Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         April 19, 2015                                                                                                                            NO. 6



A man and his grandson went on a journey, walking and leading a donkey. Soon they met a man who said, “How foolish for you to be walking. One of you should be riding the donkey.” So the man put his grandson on the donkey. The next traveler they met frowned and said, “How awful for a strong young boy to be riding while an old man walks.” With that, the boy jumped off the donkey and his grandfather climbed on.

The next person they met down the road said, “I just can’t believe that a grown man would ride and make a poor little boy walk.” So the man pulled the boy back on the donkey and off they rode.  That is, until they met the next fellow who screamed, “I never saw anything so cruel in all my life; two intelligent human beings riding on a poor, defenseless donkey.”

Down the road a short way they met a couple of men traveling together. When they had passed, one of the men turned to the other and said, “Did you ever see two fools carrying a donkey before?”

How do you please everyone? That is a trick question. You can’t. Don’t even try. Just please God! Be like Paul. “Do you think I’m trying to make people accept me? No! God is the one I’m trying to please. Am I trying to please men? If I wanted to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)

We cannot live by the sense of right or wrong of other men. We must walk by the rule of faith; the word of God. (Rom. 10:17) “Friendship with the world is enmity toward God.” (James 4:4)

The word which we preach must not be aimed at tickling ears. It must be in accord with divine inspiration, whether it is liked or not. Preaching what is designed to please men will cause one to be accursed, even if preached by an angel from heaven. (Gal. 1:8-9)

We need not check with with men when preaching the word. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure SOUND doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Tim 4:1-5) Our job is to persuade men to obey the PURE word.

       The travelers in our story soon learned that trying to please everyone only led to confusion. Confusion leads to foolish actions; like carrying your donkey! Even worse; confusion divides; division leads to denominationalism. God is so not pleased.


—Wendell Ward




The song Just As I Am is a commonly used invitation song. The idea in the song is that we cannot make ourselves right with God on our own; apart from Jesus’ blood we have no hope. That is precisely the New Testament picture (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; etc.).

I fear, however, that some folks have an erroneous idea about Jesus saving us “just as we are.” They seem to think that He saves us without any change in our conduct. That is opposite to the New Testament picture.

Jesus’ charge to the apostles was “that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations” (Luke 24:47). Forgiveness is extended to those willing to abandon sinful conduct, not to those who insist on continuing in it.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you…” (1 Cor. 6:9-10). He did not say such are some of you, but such were. They changed their conduct in connection with being washed, sanctified, and justified (v. 11).

“Just as I am,” if referring to our own helplessness, is a comforting sentiment. But to suggest it means salvation without repentance is to hold out false hope.

—Frank Himmel

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The seriousness of not abiding in the doctrine of Christ is stated in 2 John 9: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." We are commanded to "speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you;" (1 Cor. 1:10). We should be able to do today what the apostle Paul did in his day for he preached the same thing in every church (1 Cor. 4:17). Try that today and see how many churches would permit such.

While most churches profess to follow the Bible, they also have their creeds both written and unwritten. While the doctrine of Christ teaches there is one church (body) in Ephesians 1:22,23 and 4:4, people today teach all churches are right so just "join the church of your choice". There can be no unity in Christ when the Scriptures teach one thing and folk say another. The organization of the church, found in the New Testament, is made up of bishops (elders), deacons, and saints (Philippians 1:1) but "churches" today have elaborate organizational structures with law-making bodies such as conferences, conventions, associations, and synagogues. The work of the Lord's church is to minister to needy saints, preach the gospel, and spiritually build up the saints (Ephesians 4:12). "Churches" today have taken on the work of providing recreation and entertainment to cater to the physical part of man and actively involving themselves in political and social reform.

Unity in Christ teaches the necessity of faith (Hebrews 11:6) but doctrines of men teach faith exclusively in their doctrines of "faith only" and a person is saved the moment they believe. James 2:17,24 teaches that "faith only" results in a "dead" faith. The doctrine of Christ teaches that baptism is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38) while doctrines of men teach baptism has nothing to do with being saved. Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 teaches that baptism is being "buried" with Christ but men teach baptism is sprinkling or pouring. The Bible teaches baptism is for those who "believe" (Mark 16:16) and are able to "repent" (Acts 2:38) while churches today practice baptizing infants who are too young to believe the gospel and too young to have sins to repent of.

The New Testament teaches we are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in worship to God (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) while today's churches play upon mechanical instruments of music and sing rock gospel, country gospel, bluegrass gospel, and contemporary gospel. There never can be unity in Christ until we are willing to "abide in the doctrine of Christ".


—E.R. Hall, Jr.



Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.





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