Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                March 25, 2012                                                                                                                                                                                NO. 9




The church of Christ at this place is nothing but a church. There is no social program, nor does the church have a kitchen, fellowship hall, gymnasium or television lounge. This church does not promote fun, frolicking, frivolities or feasting. It has no ball teams, skating parties, hay rides or wiener roasts. We are attempting to try to “hold” young people with the truth of the gospel. This church specializes in being a church.

The church of Christ at this place is not a member of any organization larger than itself. It has no organizations within it smaller than itself. (Its classes are not organizations but mediums of teaching, being a part of the teaching program of the church.) It sustains organic ties and contributes to no organizations outside of itself. As we said before, this church specializes in being just a church.

This is not an apology. We believe that being a church is enough for the church to be. (That’s all that Jesus made it!) And that involves much on the positive side.

Jesus established the church for spiritual purposes. It is a “spiritual house”. The “stones” of which it is made are people who are also the priesthood, in order to offer up acceptable spiritual sacrifice (worship) to God through Christ (1 Peter 2:5). Therefore we meet to worship God (we have not yet discovered a better reason for meeting.) just as Christians did in the New Testament. We are careful to do as they did, namely, to sing and pray, and on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s supper and give liberally (1 Cor. 14:15; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). We are equally careful not to do anything as worship that He has not authorized for worship, such as counting beads, burning incense and playing  musical instruments. We want to do all that He wants and nothing that He does not want. After all, a church of Christ must worship as authorized by Christ.

The Bible teaches that the church has work to do (we take it seriously). This important work is recognized, emphasized, and done by the church of Christ at this place. It is the preaching of the gospel of Christ which is God’s power to save, and therefore of the utmost importance and urgency (Eph. 4:12; Rom. 1:16). The church, of all the institutions and organizations in the world, is the one to which God committed this work. His church is “the pillar and ground of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). Churches of Christ therefore are to sound out the word of truth. The church at Thessalonica sounded out the work in Macedonia and Achaia; the church at Philippi financially supported Paul as part of its evangelistic work (1 Thess. 1:8; Phil. 4:14-17). The teaching of divine truth to its members is an integral part of its work as the flock if fed spiritual truth and the body thus builds up itself (Acts 20:38; Eph. 4:12,15-16). The secondary work of ministering to the needs of the saints is to be done as the need arises, and is thus done by the church of Christ at this place (Acts 6:1-6; 2 Cor. 9:1ff).

Yes, this church specializes at being a church. (It’s a full time job!) Besides, to be of Christ, a church cannot be anything except a church.

---Jere Frost

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Suggestions For Christian Living

STUDY: -- Upon becoming a Christian we should let God speak to us every day, through His Word. Paul wrote: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workmen that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."  (2 Tim. 2:15).

PRAY: -- Talk to God everyday! Paul wrote: "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4:6). Also: "Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thess. 5:17,18).

BE FAITHFUL: -- It does no good to become a Christian unless one remains a Christian! Jesus said: "...he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22). Likewise He told the saints at Smyrna, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).  Then in Acts 2:42, we learn that the early Christians were steadfast in doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and in prayers. Hence, Christians must be faithful to God in regular worship and in every day life.

BEHAVE: -- In Eph. 4:1 we find Paul imploring church members to:  "Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called". In other words, Christians must always behave like Christians. One way to accomplish that is by constant and continued self examination. Paul encourages his readers to know themselves. If we will conscientiously  judge ourselves we will not be condemned under the judgment of God. (2 Cor. 13:5). He also wrote: "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11:31, 32).

ADD TO YOUR FAITH:-- Many have made "shipwreck" of their faith because they did not sustain themselves spiritually after becoming Christians. In thirty years of observation, I have never known an able bodied person, who only attended one service or less per week, who could really be considered faithful! To be faithful is to be active, serving, growing and working. To be faithful is to personally be involved in the spreading of the Gospel, furthering the up building of the church and ever growing as a Christian.

VISIT THE SICK: -- Christian living is a life of love, concern and service to others (Matt. 25:30-34). It is truly more blessed to give than to receive! Jesus went about doing good. And saints are admonished to follow in His footsteps.

ABSTAIN FROM ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL: -- (1 Thess. 5:22). In Eph. 5:26,27, we learn that the church is likened unto the bride of Christ. We learn that the bride (the church) is to be glorious, without spot, wrinkle or blemish. The church is made up of Christians. Therefore, if the church is to be pure and without blemish, its members will have to be pure and without blemish. To be a member of the bride of Christ is a great blessing but it carries with it grave responsibilities.

      "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15;58)

---Raymond E. Harris 

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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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