Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         September 4, 2016                                                                                                                            NO. 25



Jesus, the Lord of Glory, came to this earth, lived a sinless life and died a shameful death. He did it for you and me "while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8). Surely, we do not feel ourselves worthy of such a sacrifice.  But Jesus came into the world to "save sinners," even the "chief of sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). To our Lord, the souls of sinners have value -- something that makes them worthy of His saving sacrifice.

Considering this, our Lord's statement in Matthew 10:37-38 is quite astounding, for here Jesus tells us that there are some who are "not worthy" of Him!

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."

Every follower of Christ has a cross to carry and a burden to bear.  For many Christians, and "wanna be" Christians, one burden to be born involves a choice between a close family member and the Lord. This choice may present itself in several different ways, but it always boils down to this question: Whom do I love more, Christ or family?

WHOM DO I LOVE MORE, when there is...

A choice between God's plan of salvation (i.e. Acts 2:38), and the one followed by parents or grandparents?

A choice between following God's instructions for discipline within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:9-13) and "maintaining family ties"?

A choice between the truth of God on a moral issue (e.g. marriage and divorce, Matthew 19:9), and twisting God's truth to try to justify the behavior of a family member?

If we love the family more, we are not worthy of Christ.  Are you worthy?  

—Steve Klein

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If there is no God and our bodies are our own, then we can do to and with them whatever we please. 

In recent years, many new issues have become prominent in public discussion. Among these are abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, homosexuality, same sex marriage, and co-habitation without marriage. These practices which for many years were considered unquestionably immoral are now increasingly accepted by our society. 

Why? What has brought about this change in thinking? I believe it is the result of the general rejection of the idea of God as Creator by those who most affect our thinking: educators and the media. If the body I live in is indeed "my body," then it follows that "I can do with it what I will." 

If the theory of evolution is correct, then I suppose our bodies do belong to us. I cannot imagine to whom else they would belong. If a woman's body belongs to her, then why should she not abort the fruit of her womb? If a person who is but one step above an animal in the evolutionary chain has lived past his or her usefulness and has become a drain on society, why is it not as reasonable to euthanize (a nice word for kill) such a person as to abort a fetus? If my body is my own and I have ceased to find any satisfaction in living, why not commit suicide? And who is to say what is moral or immoral in areas of sexuality? These arguments are heard every day and are rapidly being "interpreted" as the law of the land by liberal judges. The conclusions are completely logical if my body belongs to me. 

The Godly Viewpoint: -- The Christian finds himself diametrically opposed to such conclusions. Why? Because Christians are illogical and tradition bound? No! It is because Christians do not accept the basic assumption that "my body is mine and I can do what I wish with it." 

Christians believe the Words of Scripture: "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19,20). 

This passage clearly establishes who is the owner of one's body -- God, and "you are not your own." It establishes the basis of that ownership -- "you were bought with a price" to say nothing of His creating us in the first place. And the passage states the goal that must constantly challenge us -- "therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 

Every decision of a godly person is made with first consideration given to God's Will. And God has clearly stated His Will in respect to the questions under consideration. 

The little fetus that the mother considers aborting is being created by God. "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth" (Psa. 139:14,15). The skillful making of a little body is the work of God and who has the right to interfere with God's work? 

God's strong disapproval of taking a life was clearly stated in Gen. 9:6 when God said, "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man." That older man or woman is still in God's image and who has the authority to terminate such a life? 

The suggestion of Job's wife that he "curse God and die" tantamount to suicide, but godly Job truthfully responded, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks" (Job 2:9), and we might add, "as many foolish philosophers speak today." 

God's Word clearly states that "neither...adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites...will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9,10). And "marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4). 

Regardless of how logical a conclusion may be, if it is based on a wrong premise it is a faulty conclusion. And even if our premise is correct, we may go astray if we allow ourselves to be influenced by the conduct of those whose premise is wrong. This is what Paul was warning against when he wrote, "Do no be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits'" (1 Cor. 15:33). 

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect Will of God" (Rom. 12:1,2).

—Sewell Hall

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A preacher and an atheistic barber were once walking through the city slums. Said the barber to the preacher; "This is why I cannot believe in a God of love. If God was as kind as you say, He would not permit all this poverty, disease, and squalor. He would not allow these poor bums to be addicted to dope and other character-destroying habits. No, I cannot believe in a God who permits these things.”

The preacher was silent until they met a man who was especially unkempt and filthy. His hair was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch of stubble on his face. Said the preacher to the barber; "You can't be a very good barber or you wouldn't permit a man like that to continue living in this neighborhood without a haircut and a shave."


Indignantly the barber answered; "Why blame me for that man's condition? I can't help it that he is like that. He has never come in my shop; I could fix him up and make him look like a gentleman!"


Giving the barber a penetrating look, the preacher said; "Then don't blame God for allowing the people to continue in their evil ways when He is constantly inviting them to come and be saved. The reason these people are slaves to sin and evil habits is that they refuse the ONE who died to save and deliver them.”

The barber saw the point. Do you?



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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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