Know Your Bible

VOL. 7                           September 21, 2008                           NO. 35

Faith Is Useless, When...

...It will not move you to OBEY the Lord's commandments.

    The "chief rulers" of John 12:42 BELIEVED in Jesus, but their faith wasn't strong enough to move them to CONFESS Him; as we must, according to Romans 10:9,10. Jesus said, "He that believeth AND IS BAPTIZED shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). Every Old Testament character listed in Hebrews eleven, as demonstrating soul-saving FAITH, had faith which moved them to OBEY, and we are told that in Jesus' OBEDIENCE on the Cross, "He became the Author of eternal life TO ALL WHO OBEY." (Heb. 5:8f)

...It will not SUSTAIN you in time of TEMPTATION.

    When Jesus was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4)). He, on each occasion, answered, "It is written." John assures us in 1 John 5:4 that, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our FAITH." We are assured that "God is faithful, and that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond that we are able to bear; but will with every temptation, provide a way of escape." (1 Corinthians 10:13) We must have faith that is strong enough to confidently believe that! If your faith will not serve as a SHIELD, warding off the darts of Satan, then it is USELESS!

...It will not keep your heart CENTERED ON THE CHRIST!

    When Peter, paying more attention to the churning waves around him than to his Lord, began to sink, Jesus exclaimed, "O thou of little faith..." (Matthew 12:29-31). When your faith is such that you are so unconcerned about Christ and His Cause that you can willfuly forsake the assemblies of the saints; where He has promised to be (Matt. 18:20), it is useless!

...It does not make you "BIG" enough to forgive some petty wrong committed against you.

    We are to pray, in faith, "...forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors...But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:12,15) If your faith is so weak that it will stand in the way of the Father forgiving your sins, then it is useless!

...It will not cause you to courageously contend for the Truth.

    Every child of God is charged to "earnestly contend for the faith..." (Jude 3) When the early disciples were told to "speak no more in the name of Jesus," their faith moved them to "speak boldly" the unsearchable riches of Christ. The apostle Paul says, "we BELIEVE, and therefore SPEAK." (2 Cor. 4:13) If your faith will allow you to keep silent about THE FAITH, then it is useless!

...It will not keep you "FAITHFUL unto death." (Rev. 2:10)

    "The crown of life" is only for those who are FAITHFUL unto the end of their life; even if they should; because of their faith, have to die! The apostle Paul was confident of "the crown of righteousness," because he had "fought the good fight...finished the course...kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:6-8); and you will notice that he adds that such was "not for (him) only, but also to all who love His appearing." If your faith will allow you to become "unfaithful," then it is useless!

    IS YOURS A USELESS FAITH? I beg you to seriously and prayerfully think on this! A WEAK faith can be INCREASED by a DILIGENT and PRAYERFUL STUDY of the Scriptures; and that with a DETERMINATION to put into PRACTICE every TRUTH that you learn!

---Charles G. Maples, Sr.

Page 1


        Are You Faithful?

`It was a sunny Saturday morning. James stepped outside to get his morning paper. Only a moment later James returned with a disgusted look on his face. No paper! James said, "I'm gonna have to get me a new paper boy. He's just not faithful." The problem was that James' paperboy would deliver about 1 out of every 3 days.

`Fred was in a hurry to get to work, but it happened again. His car wouldn't start. He had hoped this used second vehicle would be just what he needed, but about 1 out of every 3 turns of the ignition, the car wouldn't start. Fred told his wife, "I'm gonna have to trade that car in. I just need one that's more faithful."

    Are James and Fred right to call the paperboy and the car unfaithful? Would you be pleased with a paperboy who delivered 1 day out of 3? Would you be pleased with a car that only started 2 out of 3 times? Certainly not.

    The apostle Paul was chosen by God to carry the gospel because God counted him faithful. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry" (1 Tim. 1:12). Paul was trustworthy. God could count on him when He needed him. Paul would never fail in his duty to God.

    What about me and my attendance to the assemblies of God's people? My brethren are counting on me to be there. I need to consider the impact of my absence upon them. My presence helps to stir up my brothers and sisters to love and good works Furthermore, I am drawing near to God and holding fast to my faith (Heb. 10:23-25). Am I faithful if I hit one out of every 3 services? Am I faithful if I hit 2 out of 3? Does God consider me reliable and trustworthy? Is he pleased with such performance? It's something to think about, isn't it? If I wouldn't call the paperboy faithful and the used car faithful then why do I consider myself faithful in my service to God if my performance is no better? All of us need to realize our obligations to God and to our brethren regarding our attendance. We grow weaker through our absence.

    Someone once used good car language on this subject. He said. "Brethren are often like cars. They "sputter" before they "miss" and they "miss" before they "quit."

---Jeff May

Page 2


You, Me, and The Bible

You may understand the Bible and I may misunderstand it;

I may understand it and you may misunderstand it;

We may misunderstand it differently;

We may misunderstand it alike;

But we cannot understand it differently!

 

What kind of book would the Bible be

If it said something to you that it didn't say to me?

---Eugene Britnell

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.

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