Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         May 8, 2016                                                                                                                            NO. 8



God, in His infinite wisdom and foresight, provided a natural response for every mood and condition that man faces. For times of affliction, there is prayer. For times of sickness and guilt, there is the summoning of good men (elders) who can assist. For times of cheerfulness and joy, there is singing. "Is any merry? let him sing" (James 5:13).

The natural response for the godly man, however, will not be just to sing "any old song," but to sing psalms and praise. The godly man lives with an awareness of God. In his cheerful moments he sees God as the source of his joy and happiness. Where could he find a better avenue for expressing his joy and gratitude than in the words and melody of:

"My Jesus I love Thee, I know thou art mine; For Thee all the follies of sin I resign; My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou: If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now." - W. R. Featherston

or in the words:

"He leadeth me! O blessed thought! O words with heavenly comfort fraught! What-e'er I do, where-e'er I be, Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me." - Joseph H. Gillmore

Indeed, one indication of the depth of a man's spirituality and godliness is the songs which he naturally sings when he is merry.

A happy church is a singing church. The happy church does not view the singing portion of its worship as a dull, emotionless requirement, but as a powerful expression of its love and praise and joy. The happy church does not allow its singing time to be cut short so the preacher can have more time. Rather, in its singing it builds enthusiasm and emotion that enhances every other part of its worship.

Happy homes often express their happiness through singing psalms. This can be done in a more formal way while sitting around a table with song books in hand, or in less formal ways, while riding in the car or working around the house. We once heard a teenage girl where we were visiting request that we sing their "family's theme song" —no, not 'Tennessee Waltz" or "Mares Eat Oats," but L. O. Sanderson's lovely hymn, 'The Lord Has Been Mindful of Me." Her request resulted in joyful praise from a joyful family.

Happy Christians find singing as a natural way of expressing their joy when they get together. We are not suggesting that every social should be built around singing, but having a group in for singing can make for a good evening. It is an activity in which Christians of varied backgrounds and interests can all participate, leaving no misfits.

But some are hesitant to have a group in to sing. They are fearful that the jovial surroundings are not sufficiently conducive to true worship. In some cases, their fears are well founded. Spiritual songs containing God's name and divine truth should be sung with reverence and respect. We have been in groups where the challenge of the music — getting the parts to come in at just the right moment and timing the half-beats — was obviously the predominant concern, and where every song ended with hilarious laughter. Such casual use of that which is spiritual cannot be right. At the same time, a cheerful atmosphere that makes it easy to laugh does not automatically render worship and praise impossible; in fact, it is under these very conditions that the Holy Spirit says, "Let him sing psalms." 

Somewhere, then, between that thoughtless joviality that makes "praise" irreverent and that somber, death-like atmosphere that makes "praise" virtually impossible is a happy, merry environment that makes true praise so easy and natural. It is this environment that we try to establish when we invite a group in to sing.

Some of the songs of the world have aesthetic and even moral value, but many of them are pure filth. The Christian must be cautious. He can no more please God in singing filth than he can in speaking filth. "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:37). We see no wrong in a person's singing the songs of the world that are morally pure, but better still: as Moses and the children of Israel sang praises after their deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 15); and as David would "give thanks unto the Lord, and sing praises unto Thy name, O most High" (Psalm 92:1); and as the "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" around God's throne sing "Worthy is the Lamb" (Revelation 5:11-12); so today, "Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”

—Bill Hall

Page 1



Morality did not originate with humans, nor is morality determined by our laws. If everything legal is necessarily moral, then man defines morality rather than God. Maybe that is why we hear people reply, when challenged about some immorality, “There’s not a problem, after all, it’s legal!” They think man is the measure of all things.

It is nothing new for people to decide for themselves what is right and wrong instead of accepting God's standard of right and wrong. When there is no fear of God in the heart, people do what is right in their own eyes, often legalizing their sin to remove its sting (Judges 21:25).

Ending a marriage for causes other than fornication is legal, but still immoral. Jesus said the man who puts away his wife “for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery” (Matt. 5:32).  Moral responsibility and accountability is placed on the person who ends a marriage for reasons other than the cause of fornication (see Matt. 19:6). Just because man’s court says such is legal does not make it moral.

Ditto, same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court has made its pronouncements that same-sex marriage is legal in America, but that does not change its immorality one iota. Homosexuality is fornication, even though it is legal. Marriage between two people of the same gender continues to defiles the marriage bed of honor – the laws of men notwithstanding (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Consuming alcohol is legal, but still immoral. While the laws of men measure the legality of drinking alcohol in a number of ways (by age, public intoxication, DUI, etc.), the Scriptures do not. Whether a little or a lot, the consumption of alcohol is described as sin by the word of God (1 Pet. 4:3; Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35; Gal. 5:21). 

Public nudity is legal in some places, but still immoral. In Times Square naked women (called desnudas, Spanish for naked), covered with body paint, panhandle for tips from photo-taking tourists. It is evidently a thorny legal issue in NYC: “Civil rights lawyers argue the women are bare-breasted panhandlers, and so they are protected, first by two state high-court rulings that made it legal to go topless and to panhandle, and then by the free-speech clauses in the state and federal constitutions” (Topless in Times Square: A Legal View, NY Times, James C. McKinley, Jr., Aug. 20, 2015). “It’s their argument that they are artists, or street entertainers, and not just someone hanging around half-naked,” said Larry Bryne, the deputy police commissioner for legal matters. “As long as they are performers exercising their First Amendment rights in a lawful way, it’s not a criminal law-enforcement issue that we can address.” (Ibid) Calling sin one’s “right” and “art” does not purify its moral filth (Eph. 5:11-12).

Sinners will always legalize and defend sin. Let us remain vigilant, lest we join the world in such worldly wisdom. Christians must abstain from immorality in all its forms (1 Thess. 5:21-22). 

–Joe R. Price 

The Spirit’s Sword, August 30, 2015

Page 2


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 ............ 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.