Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                               November 19, 2017                                                                                                              NO. 34



Vines grow the way they are trained. Children do too. Like the nurseryman who trains vines to grow on a trellis according to his design, parents are to "train up a child in the way he should go" (Prov. 20:6). Fathers are to bring up their children "in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). Vines and children trained improperly when they are young and tender, cannot easily be retrained after they have been stiffened with age. Godly parents will make a sincere and serious-minded effort to properly train their children by word and by example. Here are some practical tips for parents who are interested in having their children grow the way God wants them to grow in three important areas -- worship, morality and Bible knowledge.

Tips For Training Children To Worship

1.  Attend every assembly possible (Heb. 10:25). The example parents set will have more effect on a child than anything parents say. When parents neglect assembling they are training their children to do likewise. If there is a discussion in the home each week about "whether or not we are going to church today", the child gets the message that worship is unimportant and optional.

2.  Do not allow school age children to draw, play or sleep during a worship assembly. If they are expected to pay attention in school because "education is important", surely they should also pay attention during worship to Almighty God.

3.  Encourage children to pray - at meal time, bed time or any time they have a problem.

4.  Encourage children to sing - during worship assemblies, in the car - any time they are cheerful (James 5:13).

Tips For Training Children To Make Moral Decisions

1.  Teach children to respect authority. Children who are allowed to be disrespectful to teachers and parents are not being trained to respect the God of heaven. A child who is allowed to constantly question authority will be an adult who questions God's authority. It is one thing to explain to a child the reason for something when he needs to know; it is quite another to indulge every "why?" question a child asks in defiance of plainly spoken commands. Children must learn that the proper response to expressed authority is simple obedience.

2.  Do not allow children to engage in activities which God will consider immoral when they become adults. For instance, if parents allow their six year old daughter to wear a swimming suit in public, what are they training their child to do when she is eighteen years old? Following this advice may mean that a child will be looked upon as being different from other children. Children need to know that God's people are special to Him precisely because they are different from the world (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

3.  Discuss with your children the moral training they receive from other sources. Children in public schools may often be shown standards of morality which are out of harmony with the Bible. For example, we are hearing of cases where elementary students have been told that there are certain circumstances under which it is alright to lie! Parents should make it their business to know what others are teaching their children.

Tips For Training Children To Know The Bible

1.  Take children to every Bible class arranged by the church. It would be a shame for any parent to let such an excellent learning opportunity go to waste.

2.  Make sure children get their Bible class lessons ahead of time, and that they do any memory work that has been assigned. It does little good to get "little Johnny" to Bible class if he is not prepared to learn when he gets there.

3.  Study the Bible with your children.  When they ask a question about God's will, about right and wrong, open a Bible and read together the verses which answer their questions.  Setting aside time for Bible study can greatly benefit both you and your child.

In his book, Good Homes in a Wicked World, brother Irvin Lee wrote the following: "The child is like a mound of potter's clay.  The potter can take the clay and fashion it into whatever form he chooses. He can then dry and temper it, and the form is set into its permanent shape. That is a frightening thought. As the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined. As the child is molded and shaped so the man will be. The challenge is very great when the parents realize that they have the power to shape the very eternal destiny of the soul that inhabits the body of their little child. How many parents will be lost because they failed in their duty to their children?”

—Steve Klein

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The problem of disinterested people is not new. It existed in some places even in the first century.  Paul said it existed in Corinth.  "For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness" (I Corinthians 1:22-23).

Paul had the power to offer signs to the Jews and the knowledge to compete with the Greeks in worldly wisdom. The philosophy described above would have suggested advertisement of a lecture on "The Judiastic Philosophy in the Roman World." Obtaining his audience with this, he could then slip in a little about Jesus and the cross. But this was not Paul's approach, as he told us: "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). Human philosophy and human wisdom had no place in Paul's plan for saving the lost in Corinth.

Preaching only the gospel, of course, Paul could have announced himself as "Dr. Paul, graduate of the University of Gamaliel, noted author, world traveler, inspired and dynamic lecturer." Rather, he says, "And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God ... I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:1, 3-5).

Worldly appeals simply cannot save lost men. And to attach them to the gospel is to cheapen the good news of Jesus Christ. By such appeals we may increase numbers and even "make waves," but such individuals in the local church are liabilities rather than assets.  As materials in God's building they are classified as "wood, hay, and straw." Paul warns against building such material into the church: "According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it.  But each man must be careful how he builds on it .... Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work" (I Corinthians 3:10, 12, 13).

—Sewell Hall

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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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