Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                         February 22, 2015                                                                                                                            NO. 50



1. When you had rather stay home than assemble with the saints.

2. When you had rather watch TV than visit the sick (or weak) and teach the lost.

3.  When you had rather read a magazine or the daily paper than the Bible or religious material such as this bulletin.

4.  When you find a political speech inspiring but a gospel sermon boring.

5.  When you pray for the preacher but sleep through his sermons.

6.  When you talk long and loud about what the church should do, but never do your part in what is being done now.

7.  When you sing with your lips what you don’t really mean in your heart.

8.  When you look at spiritual work as a chore rather than a privilege.

9. When you are  offended by an article like this.





Question: Aren't the many faiths today the one faith?

Answer: Paul wrote, "One Lord, on faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4: 5). The one faith is the gospel system (Acts 6: 7; Jude 3). Many believe that denominationalism (many different faiths) constitutes the "one faith" of Ephesians 4: 5. They reason that Jesus taught this in John 15. Each branch, they explain, is a different religion. However, Jesus explained that He is the true vine and each individual disciple is a branch (Jn. 15: 1-10).

Denominationalism represents a diversity of divergent teachings. Some say babies are born sinners, hell-bound without baptism (see Matt. 18: 3; Mk. 16:16). Some advocate salvation by merit (cf. Tit. 3: 5). Some teach you must have been arbitrarily predestined to be saved (cf. Jn. 3: 16). Most denominations have embraced the selfish social gospel of entertainment and physical placation (cf. I Tim. 3: 15). Some boldly say there is not just one way (cf. Jn. 14: 6; Eph. 4: 5). Some are now advocating with great pride lesbians and homosexuals in the pulpits (cf. Rom. 1: 21-28). There is a religion today to satisfy any and all sinful proclivities and desires and to pronounce sinners without guilt!

The Scriptures condemn religious division. Beloved, denominationalism, as we know it today, was nonexistent during New Testament times. The older denominations came into existence mostly in the time period of 1601 to 1789 A.D. 

Hundreds are the product of the past 40 years. Whenever religious division existed among God’s people, it was condemned and not tolerated (I Cor. 1: 10-13; Jn. 17: 20, 21; Rom. 16: 17; 2 Jn. 9-11).

Beloved, there was only "one faith" in the first century. You can read about it in the New Testament. We can be scripturally united if we will believe and teach the same creed, the New Testament (Eph. 4: 3-6). We can be just “Christians.”


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God reasons with mankind (Isa. 1:18). His reasoning is always righteous and for our good. He has made provisions that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28). God also gives reasons many times for His commandments, and those reasons are righteous. His reasons are as authoritative as His commandments are. For example, when He gives the reason for water baptism, the remission of sins, the reason becomes a part of the command therefore, immersion in water because one thinks that his sins have already been forgiven, that he is already saved from his sins is not in compliance with the commandment of God (Acts 2:38; Mk. 16:16).

God is not required to give a reason for His commandments, just as earthly parents are not required to give their children reasons for every command. Abraham was not told why God told him to take Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering until after the test was completed (Gen. 22:1-13). He did give a reason for the command that Israel not intermarry with heathen people (Deut. 5:15). Likewise, God has given His people today reasons for honoring one's mother and father (Eph. 6:1-4), for loving one's enemies (Matt. 6:14,15), for not laying up treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19-21), for working  and earning wages (Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:4-8), why the law of God was changed in providing the New Testament (Heb. 6:20; 7:12-14,18), and why God gave His Son for all men (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 3:21-25; Titus 2:11-14).

God's reason for allowing suffering and trial of our faith is that we might learn patience (Jas. 1:2,3) and that the genuineness of our faith may be proven (1 Pet. 1:6-9). God gave up the nations that rejected knowledge of Him because of their rejection of Him, to debase themselves (Rom. 1:18-32). Can we not see from these and other examples that  God's purpose has always been for the good of mankind, providing insight so that we might not lose heart because we do not understand? Every revelation of God is for our good, that we might obey Him (Deut. 29:29; Rom. 1:5, 16:25,26). It is vital that we understand the reason God gave us His revelation. It is not designed to confuse those who whole-heartedly seek Him, but rather to make known to them the way of life. This being true, we ought to treasure His Word in our hearts, so that we might not sin against Him (Psa. 119:11).

Let us give diligence to show ourselves approved to God, as workmen who do not need to be ashamed because we handle aright the Word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). By this conduct on our part, God’s reason for giving us His Son and the truth which reveals Him to us will be fulfilled, and the goodness and righteousness of God will lead us to eternal life as He purposed (Jn. 10:10).

—Gilbert Alexander 

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What would you think of a man who tells his wife: “I know there are some things I need to change in order to be a proper husband – and I plan to make those changes – but not right now.  I have some things I want to do first, pursue some of my hobbies, hang out with my friends, go places and do things I like.  After I get all of that stuff done, I’ll take care of my ‘home duties’.”

You would think this fella is an incredible jerk!  What is he thinking!  Does he really expect his wife to wait – to put up with his selfish, childish conduct until he is ready to get serious about their relationship?  NO!  He needs to get things right – RIGHT NOW!

If this is what we’d expect and demand from a husband toward his wife, why would we think differently about an individual’s duties toward God?  Can you imagine how He feels when people selfishly pursue all their own desires while continually postponing their obedience to Him.  There are many who know what they should do – and they claim that they intend to do it – but they keep procrastinating.  It is an affront to the God who loves us and who constantly blesses us with “every good gift” (James 1:17).

For all those who express their plans to obey the gospel, ‘but not right now’, we urge you to think seriously about how God perceives this delay.

For those who have initially obeyed, but have fallen into a state of unfaithfulness – please consider that Gold says you have “trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith (you were) sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29).

Planning to do right, but not right now?  Better think again!


—Greg Gwin 

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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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