Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                               December 10, 2017                                                                                                              NO. 37



There is a natural tendency to compare ourselves to those who are around us. The result is a general conformity with the norms of the society in which we live.  How we dress, talk, and act are affected to various degrees by what we observe in others.

This conformity is not all bad. It makes it possible for us to relate to those within our circle of influence. Paul said that "unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews . . . I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:20-22).  A social "odd ball" or misfit will have little ability to influence others in any positive way.

A problem arises when we take this comparing and conforming too far. We are warned to "be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). The danger is that we will begin to imitate the people around us in ways that lead to sinful thoughts and actions. For example, we can dress, talk, and act like those in our society -- but only in so far as it does not violate God's law. Stylish clothes are not wrong, but immodest ones are. Using popular phrases and expressions is okay -- but not if they convey an evil message. 

Ultimately it becomes a matter of authority. What is your standard? How do you determine what is right and wrong? If societal norms constitute your highest authority, then you will be carried along with whatever becomes popular. This will inevitably lead to sinful choices. For instance, the popular culture would have condemned homosexuality 25 years ago. Today it is widely accepted. The Bible, though, has never changed in its denunciation of this sin (Rom. 1:26,27).

"We dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Cor. 10:12). Let’s be sure that we evaluate our spiritual standing before God - not by the ever changing popular trends - but by the absolute and unchangeable standard of His Word.

—Greg Gwin

Page 1



How do we win the fight against fleshly lusts? Several answers come to mind. Pray. Fill your heart with God's word. Fill your time with spiritually beneficial activities. Associate with people who will influence you for good. In Romans 13:14 Paul identifies another key: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”

To make provision for something is to think ahead, to make plans, to provide opportunities. Paul's word literally means forethought. Its other occurrence is in Acts 24:2, where the lawyer Tertullus praised Felix, the governor, because through his "providence" beneficial reforms were occurring throughout the land.

Obviously, making no provision for the flesh requires that we not plan ways of fulfilling illegitimate carnal lusts. But it goes beyond that. It requires that we think ahead and, when possible, avoid even the opportunity for such conduct. Here is the principle in action.

Teens, when you are planning a date, make no provision for fleshly lusts. Do not go to movies that glorify sensuality and fornication, and thereby arouse desire. Stay away from dances for the same reason. Be selective about parties; skip those where alcohol is featured. Avoid dark, lonely sites that provide the occasion for unchaste behavior.

Parents, when arranging your homes, make no provision for fleshly lusts. It may make me unpopular in some circles to say so, but when you allow your kids to have televisions, phones, and internet-connected computers in their bedrooms, you are providing a world of possibilities for wrong conduct.

Families, when you are purchasing in-home entertainment, make no provision for fleshly lusts. If you don't subscribe to cable or satellite channels which air nudity and "adult" content, there will be no opportunity for any family member to watch it. If you refuse to listen to profanity, you will be much less likely to speak it.

Shoppers, when you are choosing your clothes, make no provision for fleshly lusts. Plenty of modest choices exist for those concerned about such things. Err on the side of caution. Don't underestimate the appeal of exposed or accentuated flesh.

Brethren, when you place membership at a congregation, make no provision for fleshly lusts. Realize up front that you won't always get your way, that others may be more talented than you, that we are all working together for the same cause. Remind yourself of that often and give thanks for your brethren.

If you want to know what this last point is doing here, read Paul's illustrations of fleshly conduct in Romans 13:13. Let's not deceive ourselves into thinking that strife, jealousy, and bickering are any less carnal or any less sinful than drunkenness or fornication. No matter the sin, make no provision for fleshly lusts.

—Frank Himmel

Page 2



A girl once came to a gospel preacher for advice in her contemplated marriage to a boy who was not a Christian. The preacher asked the girl to step on a chair . . . then onto a desk. He said, "Now pull me up to where you are." She tried with all her strength, and failed. The preacher then gave a slight pull, pulling her easily to the floor. He then said, "It is more probable that this boy will pull you down to his level than it is that you will pull him up to yours." The illustration was effective. The girl did not marry the boy until he became a true Christian.

—Harry Lewis

Page 3


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.





Bible Classes ……….....….…............ 10:00 AM

Morning Worship ……..…….….…...... 11:00 AM

Evening Worship …………...……........ 6:00 PM


Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM



Radio Program

Monday - Friday

WDXC 102.3 FM .....................…........ 10:20 AM



Television Program


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 2:00 PM



World Wide Web:


UNSUBSCRIBE: Reply to and put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

SUBSCRIBE FRIENDS: Reply to and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.