Know Your Bible

VOL. 9                           July 25, 2010                           NO. 30

 Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns


      "Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them" (Hebrews 2:1, ASV).


      The word ‘drifting’ aptly describes the process of apostasy. It is seldom accomplished by giant leaps; rather it is the result of short steps. The steps appear to be only the slightest variation from the accepted truth and altogether innocent, but each one is used as justification for the next one until truth has been left completely, even by individuals who would never have dreamed it possible.


      We have known of congregations where a piano was first allowed in the basement to teach children how to sing. But having learned with it, the children continued to need it in their Bible classes. Once this was allowed, someone asked the difference in young folks and adults -- the difference in Wednesday night and Sunday night. No logical difference could be shown so it was allowed at those times.


      Then someone had only to point out the inconsistency in using it Sunday night and refusing it Sunday morning, and from then on it was used at all services, a thing that would have been opposed when the piano was first moved into the basement.


      A group of Americans preaching in Africa said they were strongly opposed to churches of Christ operating a hospital in the United States. But they thought churches could and should support a nurse in Nigeria to treat wounds and minor illnesses. But once the nurse was supported, a hospital was proposed. Anyone who objected would be asked, "If you can support a nurse and clinic, why not a doctor and hospital?" No logical difference could be shown, so the hospital was built. Now often heard is a proposal for a Church of Christ Hospital in the United States. The argument: "If we can do it in Nigeria, why not here?" Granted that premise, no sound reason can be given. It all started with letting a church support a nurse.


      A church we know has a kitchen. They defend it on the grounds that it costs the church nothing. The kitchen and equipment were in the building when it was purchased and they have a minimum electric and water bill each month, anyway. But a generation will arise that is accustomed to the kitchen. They will want to build a new building and they will want a kitchen. Their argument will be "We've always had a kitchen. If we could have it in the old building, why not in the new?" There will be no chance of keeping it out.


      In our town, a kindergarten is beginning in the meetinghouse of one of the churches. In a news item, it is stated, "The kindergarten will be at the church, but will not be operated by the church." This will satisfy the minds of many who would object to the church operating or supporting a school of any kind.


      But one of these days another step will be proposed. It may be opening a first grade. If someone objects, the question will be raised, "But what is the difference in a first grade and kindergarten?" There is no difference, so the opposition will be silenced and the way will be clear for second grade, third grade, etc., etc.


      But some day the school will need to be subsidized. Those opposed to support of education will rise up to object. But someone will say, "It's true we haven't been contributing from the treasury, but we have been providing a place for the school and it has been using the name of the church. Now if we can contribute facilities and influence, why not money?" That question will be hard to answer, for there is no difference and the opposition will then be silenced.


      From this, the next logical step will be to send money to a college, for, after all, what is the difference between contributing to our own school and contributing to one operated by someone else? And it all began with a kindergarten, which "will be at the church, but will not be operated by the church."


      Truly, "Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow." The mistake is ever allowing an acorn to get mixed with the seed of the kingdom. Every innovation, regardless of how small, must be rejected, not only for its own sake, but also for the sake of attendant corruptions that will surely follow in its train.


---Sewell Hall


                                                                                            Page 1

When Church Is Boring


              What do you do when you find that church is boring? It's time for a change!  Now the question is, change what?


            Many folks think the answer is to change the church. I just read an article about a new church created for men only, men who find church boring. Discarding more traditional environments, they meet in a gymnasium one Saturday evening a month. A rock band provides entertainment. The preacher speaks in front of the scoreboard, with the clock running. He guarantees to have them out in one hour!


            Some might not go that far, yet they still insist on change. Contemporary music, drama, and short sermons that are little more than pep talks are the order of the day. Celebration and praise are the buzzwords.


            Malachi lived at a time when people found "church" boring. Speaking of Israel's worship, God said through the prophet, "You also say, 'My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it" (Malachi 1:13).


            God proposed two changes in these who turned up their noses at His worship.  One was to just stay home (1:10). The better solution - the change He preferred - was to repent (2:2).  Notice what God did not approve of: changing the structure or activities of worship to accommodate individual tastes.


            The preacher or the one who leads the prayer can give more thought to what he says and the song leader can try to select more meaningful hymns. But when worship as God directed is boring, the main change that is needed is in the heart of the worshiper.


                                                                                                                                                                        ---Frank Himmel

Page 2


"Before Faith Came..."

                                                                                     (GAL. 3:23-27)


            The Book of Galatians deals with two laws -- the one given by Moses to Israel and the one given by Christ to govern all men. There is much misunderstanding about these laws; hence this is a needful study.


            The law given by Moses (which included the ten commandments) was provisional and temporary, but the law given by Jesus Christ was for all men throughout the gospel age. "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster..." (Gal. 3:23-25).


I. "Before Faith Came.": -- What is "faith"? Faith can be defined as "trust" on the part of a person. It can also be defined as "what is believed; the contents of belief; the gospel; the system of faith -- the perfect law of liberty. The following Scriptures use the word "faith" in this sense. Acts 6:7; 13:8; 14:22,27; 16:5; 24:24; Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim. 4:1; Eph. 4:5; 1 Tim. 5: 8 and Jude 3.


II. "Faith Came".:-- There were some necessary things that would occur before faith came.

              1. The Holy Spirit had to come as Christ had promised. (Jn. 14:16; 15:26; 16:7,8,13).

             2. The natural world began (was created, formed) by miracles (i.e. miraculous power) and continues by law. Compare the spiritual kingdom. etc.

              3. Miracles performed by the apostles confirmed the Word (the faith) they preached. (Jno. 20:30,31; Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:1-4; Gal. 3:15). NOTE: Since the need of confirmation no longer exists (since the faith has been confirmed), therefore the working of miracles by man has ceased.


III. Before Faith Came: -- What conditions existed before faith came?

            1. Although inferior to the law of Christ, the law of Moses was in force. It seems that "the law of Moses" was based on works. (See Lev. 18:5; Rom. 3:27,28). Faith was based on grace. (See Eph. 2:5-10).

             2. "Kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed."

             3. There was "the middle wall of partition" between the Jews and the Gentiles until Christ died on the cross (Eph. 2:14-16).

           4. The law of Moses was abrogated when Jesus died on the cross and His law came into force (See Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 8:7; Rom. 7:4; Gal. 5:4).

           5. Now we are under "the faith" and we have access to many blessings (See Eph. 3:2-12; 2:8-16; Jas. 1:25; Rev. 22: 14).


                                                                                                                                                                    ---Carrol R. Sutton



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 …………..………........... 7:30 PM
Radio Program
Monday - Friday
WDXC 102.3 FM .....................…........ 10:20 AM
Television Program
Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 6:00 AM & 2:00 PM
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. Place the list of names and e-mail addresses to be subscribed in the body of the e-mail.