Know Your Bible

VOL. 12                                                                                                                          August 11, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 27



If I do what this billboard advertisement says, I will say, "Lord, save me!" for this is what a major denomination in this area teaches from radio, television, billboards, and pulpits. But Jesus has an answer to those who want salvation from sin simply by uttering the words "Lord, save me" or "Jesus, come into my heart". Jesus' answer is found in Matthew 7:21 - "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH THE WILL of my Father which is in heaven."

It could also be that this statement is believed to have Bible basis because we are told to "ask and it shall be given you" in Matthew 7:7. But that's not the half of what the verse says. Jesus said, "ASK, and it shall be given you; SEEK, and ye shall find; KNOCK, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matthew 7:7,8). There is more to it than asking; there is seeking and knocking.

Anything for which we ask must be according to His will. "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us." We cannot ask the Lord to save us a way that is not "according to His will". Faith only and praying your sins away are not according to His will and we cannot ask Christ to save us by doing either of them. He will only save us from sins if we DO ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. To properly "seek" the Lord, we must do His will wholeheartedly. "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart." (Psalms 119:2).

The Scriptures teach that we are saved by the blood of Christ. (Matthew 26:28). We contact the blood of Christ when we "have obey from the heart that form of doctrine" (Romans 6:17). When we are "baptized into Jesus Christ", we are "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." (Romans 6:3,4). Jesus has TOLD us what to do, just do it!

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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Have you heard of someone cutting off their nose to spite their face? In an effort to get back at others, or teach somebody a lesson, people often wind up inflicting a lot of pain on themselves. Suicide bombers are a case in point. The bitterness and hatred that could lead a person to blow himself up just to harm those that (he thinks) have harmed him, reveals human vengeance for what it is: self-centeredness gone stupid.

In Genesis 34, there is the record of Shechem, a prince of the Hivite people, violating Dinah the daughter of Jacob. To avenge their sister, Dinah's brothers Simeon and Levi devised an evil plan against Shechem and his people. They told Shechem that he could marry their sister if he and his men were circumcised. Shechem agreed. Genesis 34:25 states, "Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males." While this vengeful atrocity appears at first to have evened the score, it did not. By their vigilante justice, Simeon and Levi made many enemies for their family from among the people of the land -- they had cut off their own nose, in a manner of speaking. "Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, 'You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since I am few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I." (Genesis 34:30). Chapter thirty-five of Genesis goes on to tell how that it was only by God's protection that Jacob's family was able to safely flee to Bethel. Vengeance does not belong to men; it belongs to God. "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19).

There appear to be any number of reasons that God has not given individuals the right to avenge themselves. For one, we aren't wise enough to determine who deserves to be punished. Nor are we very good at deciding the appropriate degree of punishment to be inflicted. This is especially true when we are personally involved in a situation. Our judgment is imperfect at best, and often clouded by self-serving prejudice. But another reason we haven't been given the right to take vengeance for ourselves, and the main point of this article, is that our efforts to even a score are often so badly botched that they wind up hurting us more than anyone. Truly, "Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him" (Proverbs 26:27). Let us give place to the wrath of God. "He will repay my enemies for their evil" (Psalm 54:5). 


---Steve Klein

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Something is bad wrong when we cannot have all of the members of the church, and their children, in attendance for Bible study. If you are a habitual absentee, consider that your eternal welfare depends upon your finding and correcting what is wrong. A few possibilities are listed:

1. If a person is too sick to go, something is wrong with his health. He should consult a doctor.

2. If he thinks he does not need the help that comes from Bible study, something is wrong with his education. He does not know enough to know what he needs most.

3. If he sleeps too late, he is too lazy. He needs to study Proverbs 6:6-11.

4. If he does not have the interest to go, something is terribly wrong with his attitude. Indifference causes people to be lost.

5. If he is too busy to go, something is wrong with his schedule. The person who is "too busy" to serve the Lord is "too busy" to go to heaven.

6. If he lets company keep him away, then something is wrong with his courage. He should have the grit to serve the Lord even if the company is missed or offended.

7. If he thinks his clothes are not good enough, something is wrong with his pride. This excuse is over exalted, for the persons who use it can usually go anywhere else in the same town.

And when any of the above, excepting the first, are the reasons one will not regularly worship and study, something is wrong with the heart. Do not deceive yourself by thinking that everything will1 "work out alright” if everything is not all right with your heart - check yours.


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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.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.





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