Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                March 11, 2012                                                                                                                                                                                NO. 7


 Are You Friends Of The World Or Friends Of God?


"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God," (James 4:4).

What Does it Mean to be a Friend of the World? (James 4:4)

  I once asked a group of teenagers to write down what they thought it meant to be a friend of the world. I was surprised and gratified that they knew what this meant. A composite of their answers is as follows:

1. Hide the fact that you are a Christian. Let people believe that you are not a Christian. Remember Peter (Matt. 26:69-74).

2. Go along with your friends that do evil (Exodus 23:2; I Cor. 15:33).

3. Cursing, Drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking (Eph. 4:29; Prov. 23; I Cor. 6:19-20).

4. Listening to dirty jokes; going to sinful movies (Phil. 4:8).

5. Wearing immodest clothing (I Tim. 2:9).

6. Putting things before the church (eg. Ball games, Matt. 6:33).

7. Finding something to do on Sunday besides worship (Heb. 10:24,25; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2)

8. Conforming to the world (Romans 12:1,2; I John 2:15; James 4:4)

9. Slowly begin accepting what the world does as if it were all right (Heb. 2:1).


What Does it Mean to be a Friend of God, as was Abraham? (James 2:23)

1. Believe God. Abraham did so (James 2:23). We like to have friends whom we can trust. It is impossible for God to lie and Abraham knew it. Therefore, he put his trust in God and did what He said, regardless of what God asked him to do. God called him His friend.

2. Obey God. "By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed” (Heb 11:8). It is impossible to be a friend of God without obeying what he says. Have you repented and been baptized for the remission of sins? If not, do you think you can be a friend of God?

3. Worship God. Over and over, it is said in Genesis 12-15 that he "builded an altar unto Jehovah." What a privilege it is to worship Jehovah! Abraham did so and he was called the friend of God.

4. Be assured that God can fulfill His promises. Abraham was fully assured that what God had promised, he was able also to perform (Rom. 4:21). Just as God fulfilled the promise of a son to Abraham, so God has promised eternal life to all who obey Him. God is able!

Conclusion: Choose to be a friend of God and not a friend of the world!

---Lynn Headrick

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Do We Mean What We Sing?

Our purpose in singing is to glorify God, "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16), to teach and admonish one another, and to receive mutual edification one from the others. It is necessary that truth be expressed if we are to accomplish this purpose. Further, it is necessary that we tell the truth about our own concerns, wishes, and aims. We need to sing truthful songs that we understand and that others can understand also. Singing what we cannot understand is akin to singing in a foreign language. 

We must think when we sing. It is easy to think on other things while we are singing familiar songs. Let us guard our thoughts diligently. Songs contain rich scriptural lessons, but that fact doesn't help us unless we think soberly. Singing can challenge us to consider our ways in view of our claims. "I want to be a worker for the Lord. I want to love and trust His Holy Word. I want to sing and pray and be busy every day in the kingdom of the Lord." So we sing. Do our actions support our claims? Or is our faith rather anemic and sickly (Rev. 3:1-3)? "You may have your worldly pleasures, your silver and your gold. You may pile up all the riches that this old world can hold. But I'd rather have my Savior, and with Him firmly stand, for I want to be ready to meet Him in the glory-land." Is this our real priority? "Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all. He is my strength form day to day. Without Him I would fall. When I am sad, to Him I go. No other one could cheer me so. When I am sad, He makes me glad. He's my Friend." Are these our sentiments, manifested by our daily conduct? 

Do our hearts overflow with joy as we sing, "Joy to the world, the Lord is come"? Do we "sing and be happy" as we urge others to do? Does "heaven hold all to me" because "I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me"? When we sing, "The gospel is for all," do we back up our words with diligent efforts to help spread the word? "Am I a soldier of the cross," and have I put on the whole armor of God, "taking every virtue and every grace to fortify the whole?" Or am I a coward hanging around the battle's edge and bitterly thinking, "If I had a better sword"...or "If I had the chances that soldier has, I could have done great things"? Do we mean it when we sing, "Without Him I could do nothing. Without Him I'd surely fail. Without Him I would be drifting like a ship without a sail"? Is Jesus Lord of all our tomorrows, our past, our conflicts, our thoughts, our longings, and our dreams? Can we honestly sing, "All my possessions and all my life, Jesus is Lord of all"? Is our heart filled with sorrow and love as we sing of the betrayal night and the garden of woe? Do our hearts thrill with joy as we sing, "Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o'er His foes"? And how fully persuaded are we as we sing, "I believe that He is coming again"? Would it bother us to sing, "Hallelujah for the judgment day"? Do we mean what we sing?

---Gilbert Alexander 

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Getting Serious About Sin

Sometimes I wonder how seriously you and I take sin. Have we become so familiar with it that we think little of it? Oh, I know that we give lip service to the horrors of sin. We say things like, "Oh, sin is terrible. I just hate sin. I am so sorry when I sin. And, I try never to sin again!" But then we go home and watch sin on television, listen to it on our car radio, buy CD''s and go to movie theaters that are overwhelmingly full of sin and, we enjoy it! Brethren, just remember what the Lord said about such, "Do not be deceived, evil associations corrupt good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33). We hate sin so much that we think we can be around it all the time and not be tainted by it! Figure that one out.

Ask yourself this honest question: "Do I really believe that sin will send a soul to hell?" If you are not sure, then carefully read Acts 8:22-23. "Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." And this, my friends, after Simon had committed one sin. Peter surely thought one sin was terrible, and that it could cause Simon to lose his soul. Do you think sin is that bad?

Ask yourself another question: "Do I think my loved ones who commit sin are doing something cute or do I think they are lost in sin?" We often wink at sin committed by our loves ones as though they have some kind of "scotch guard" clothing on that will not allow their sins to stick! If we really think sin is that bad, then we'll mourn sin in our lives, and in the lives of those we love. Don't fool yourselves, beloved. Your attitude toward sin comes through loud and clear to your parents, your children and other relatives and friends. Why not sit down and take a hard look at your attitude?

---Wayne Goff

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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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