What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 4 / No. 26”

What The Bible Says

Vol. IV - No. 26 / May 22, 2022


   Sometimes to describe two things opposite one another, we might say, “They are as different as day and night”. When it comes to opposites there is no sharper contrast which exist than the one between God and sin.

   God created all that is good (Genesis 1:10,12,18,21,25). “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” (Psalms 33:5). The first man, Adam, was created with no sin and was given access to the tree of life so that he could live forever (Genesis 2:9,16; 3:22,24). It was never God’s wish or will for man to sin. God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27) and He provided man with every good thing as we have shown already.

   God’s attitude is such that He hates all iniquity. Psalms 5:5: “Thou hates all workers of iniquity” and Psalms 45:7: “Thou loves righteousness and hates wickedness”. “Iniquity” and “wickedness” is committed when we transgress God’s will and sin. 1 John 3:4 teaches: “For sin is the transgression of the law”. Everyone of us has sinned (Romans 3:23). It is sin that separates us from God and causes Him to. Hide His face from us so that He will not hear us (Isiah 59:2). However, Psalms 119:172 teaches all of God’s commandments are righteous.

   God so hates sin that He cannot dwell in the presence of it. The reason for this is because He is holy (1 Peter 1:15,16; 1 Timothy 6:16). We see God’s hatred toward sin as He dealt with mankind under the Old Testament. The priests who offered sacrifices under the Old Testament had to consecrate and purify themselves before going into the tabernacle or temple (Leviticus 8). They had to wash with water (verse 6), be properly clothed (verses 7-9), have oil poured on their heads (verse 12), a sin offering had to be offered (verse 14), and blood had to be put on the tip of Aaron’s right ear, the thumb of his right finger, and big toe of his right foot (verse 23) before he could come near to the presence of God and offer sacrifices for the sins of the people.

   God’s hatred of sin is so great the greatest price was required for its forgiveness, His own Son. We today, like those in old time, must purify ourselves before we can come into the presence of God. Hebrews 10:22 teaches “our bodies” are to be “washed with pure water”. This signifies the necessity of our being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Real atonement is through the blood of Christ which we contact in baptism. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” (Romans 6:3-5). —E.R. Hall, Jr.

The pleasures of sin are seasonal, but the wages of sin are eternal!
(Hebrews 11:25; Romans 6:23) 



   If we are not careful we will gradually intermingle the physical with the spiritual. This was a problem even in the early church. Corinth turned a spiritual feast (the Lord's supper) into a physical festival (1 Cor. 11). What was supposed to be the Lord's supper became their own supper (1 Cor. 11:21). Paul reminded them that they had "houses to eat and drink in" and to so desecrate the spiritual feast of the Lord's supper with the physical was to "despise the church of God" (1 Cor. 11:22). So, he said, "If any man hunger let him eat at home: that ye come not together unto condemnation" (1 Cor. 11:34).

   Long ago the denominations failed to see the distinction between the carnal and the spiritual, so they built their kitchens and recreation rooms, and people soon looked upon church-furnished recreation and social activities as an integral part of the church’s mission. I can remember when Christians thought this was ridiculous. When I was a boy, the Presbyterians in my home town built a kitchen on to their building. Our brethren ridiculed it, and exclaimed, "The very idea of a kitchen in a church building!" Now, the church of Christ there whose building is just across the street, has a special building for a kitchen and a recreation room where they have social activities like baby and bridal showers, pot lucks, etc.

   Today, the liberal churches ape the denominations. There are liberal churches that have recreation programs, youth ministers, million dollar gymnasiums and well-furnished kitchens, etc. The spiritual-minded person finds this to be unscriptural and abhorrent. Worship is designed to draw our minds away from such things and focus them upon that which transcends all of this. The carnally minded think the church is not fulfilling its mission if it is not filling stomachs or entertaining someone. They intermingle praying with playing, and the social with the spiritual.

   We all need to be careful how we walk. Our Lord did not die for a YMCA or a Red Cross society. He shed His blood to purchase a divine spiritual institution with a divine spiritual mission. We must keep the line distinct and wide between the secular, the carnal, the physical, and the divine spiritual. The church has a threefold mission: Evangelism, edification and benevolence among its needy members. That does not include recreation and social activities. These are fine, but we must refrain from anything that remotely indicates that we are intermingling the social with the spiritual.

   A brother was asked how services were last Sunday. He replied, "The preaching was weak, the coffee was cold, and the donuts were old." N. B. Hardeman used to say, "The less spiritual a person is the more fried chicken it takes to keep him interested." Someone has said, "If we must use tea parties, fried chicken dinners, and ice cream socials to keep a church interested, the church is as cold as the ice cream, as weak as the tea, and as dead as the chicken."

   Churches generally need more reverence in their worship and more spirituality in their members. Let it not be said of us as of ancient Israel, "They sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play" (1 Cor. 10:7). —James P. Needham



   There is nothing more completely opposed to the true spirit of Christianity than the attitude back of the questions “How Much, How Many, and How Often must I serve the Lord?” It is appalling that some would argue such.

   Years back a man handed me a paper which listed his income, rent, food bill, utilities, etc., and said “Now you have the facts. Tell me how much I must give to the Lord?” I asked if he thought he should visit the sick, help the needy; and when he said he did, I asked “How often?”.

   He seemed a bit puzzled, so I suggested 50 times per week, and he thought he would be well to get in that number of calls. But I persisted: “On Saturday afternoon when you have just made your fiftieth call and are on your way home, you meet a brother who is destitute, obviously worthy, and you have the means to assist him. Do you say, “I’m sorry I cannot help you now. I have made my 50 calls for this week--but hang in there, drink water and I’ll see you Monday.”

   How does one measure service that is patterned after God’s love for us? If a fellow just must have figures or percentages, he should be given them from Scriptures: like 100%. “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:44) or “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33). Are you amazed? (Matthew 19:25)

   A Christian does not dole out an hour or two, a few dollars, or a pound of mercy for God. He gives first himself (2 Cor. 8:5; Mt. 16:24) and from then on his service is limited only by ability and opportunity. That’s the meaning of “as prospered” (1 Cor. 16:2). i.e., in keeping with what God has given you. God gave life to Stephen, and when the service of God called for it, Stephen gave it back to God (Acts 7:59).

   When Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Mat. 22:37), He left no place for “and ten percent of thy money and one hour per week of thy time”. I believe Jesus will go fishing with you (Lk. 5:4f); but don’t forget, you are doing it on His time. —Robert Turner



He who is not content with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have. 


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For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
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