Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                                                         April 30, 2017                                                                                                                            NO. 7



We live in an age pre-occupied with sex. It is used in ads to sell books, cars, vacations and toothpaste. And so it is no wonder young people think that they need to try out marriage by "living together". We are told that the physical relationship is such an important part of marriage that the man and woman involved need to have this experience to see if the marriage will be good.

I have an alternative: let the man and woman wallpaper a room together. Let them slop paste around, spill water, get in each other's way, look at each other's work, and learn of each other's patience, or the lack of it .... there's the way to see what it is going to be like!

Young people: don't be fooled by what the devil preaches in books, on television, and from the mouths of his disciples. Marriage is not primarily a physical relationship. It is a life-long commitment by two people who care about each other. Love and sex are not the same thing.

Learn about each other. Spend time together. Plan as much for your marriage as you do for your wedding.  Papering a room together is not as much of a joke as you think! How two people get along together and whether they have common ideas and goals make for the best of situations.

Jesus called living together "sin", fornication. He placed the highest values on marriage, using it as the figure to describe his relationship with the church (Eph.5).  He wants you to have all the joy God gives - including that of the physical relationship in marriage.  But, carefully consider that He shows a basis for marriage far beyond that of the world.  In fact, it is in Him!

—Robert Hines

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People should be insulted by all the gimmicks that churches are offering to draw and to keep them. Most of it is directed toward families, the children in particular. I speak of all the secular, non-religious, non-spiritual gimmicks -- the picnics, luncheons and suppers, the parties, the sports teams, the fun and games, the square dances, the clubs and socials, the diet and exercise classes, and the fund-raising dinners and bazaars offered by churches. Classes and services that used to be purely religious are given new appearances with gimmickry.

Don't the people realize that the churches are saying, in effect, "We know that purely spiritual or religious activities and services, involving worshipping God, teaching and learning His word, edifying and being edified spiritually, are not enough to draw and to keep you.  So we are featuring all these other secular activities in which you are probably more interested and adding a little religion to them and calling them 'Christian fellowship.' We are willing to compromise to get our crowd.”

So churches cease to be churches and become more like social, recreational, athletic, health, or craft clubs. The church of Christ is still a church, and we do not resort to gimmickry. We are trying to be like the churches you read about in the New Testament, not the churches around us.

—Bill Crews

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Children are natural imitators, not only of their parents, but also of each other. Paul alludes to this inborn mimicry when he commands us to "be imitators of God as dear children." (Ephesians 5:1). So, children are "imitators." We know this. But we get so focussed on "peer pressure" as a negative thing that we forget that young people can and should influence one another to do good. Yes, it is possible for them to imitate good. In fact, the Bible commands it! The Bible says, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good" (3 John 11).

There are important reasons for young and old alike to work at imitating good. For one thing, we'll have much less to fear in the way of negative consequences for our behavior. In 1 Peter 3:13, Peter asks, "And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?" It's just not very likely that you'll ever get in much trouble or be punished severely for following a good example. Besides this, the Lord will love and appreciate you if you will allow yourself to be influenced to do good. Proverbs 15:9 says that, “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness."

The fact that young people can be influenced BY others necessarily implies that they can also be influences ON others.  The Bible commands the young to be good examples, so that others will have something worthwhile to imitate. The young man Timothy was 

told, "Let no one despise your youth, but BE AN EXAMPLE to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).

So, to the young we say BE INFLUENCED and BE AN INFLUENCE:

Let yourself be influenced to obey the gospel, and then influence someone else to do the same.

Let yourself be influenced to use pure speech, and then influence someone else to do the same.

Let yourself be influenced to dress modestly, and then influence others to do the same.

Let yourself be influenced to reverently participate in worship (no note passing, giggling, whispering), and then influence someone else to do the same.

Let yourself be influenced to be kind to others, and then influence someone else to do the same.

—Steve Klein

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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.

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