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Restored New Testament Christianity

Archive for the tag “bible”

Thought for the week

What The Rich Man In Torment Would Have Us To Know

Have you ever stopped to consider what the rich man in torment would say to us if given a chance? Make no mistake about it, he would speak to us if he could, but he can’t (cf. Luke 16:26-31). God gives us all the information we need in His Word and it’s up to each of us to find those facts and apply them to our lives (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3)! But let’s suppose for a minute that it were possible for him to speak to us. What would he say?

The rich man would tell us that our time on earth is limited and that death is inevitable. He’d fared sumptuously every day. He had it all, and I’d dare say that death and eternity were the furthest things from his mind, as they are with many still today. But despite the comforts and pleasures he’d enjoyed in this life, time ultimately came for him to cross over into eternity. We’re all going to die (cf. Heb. 9:27; Jam. 4:14). Cemeteries are proof that our time is limited. People of all ages and from all walks of life can be found buried therein! Thus, what time we do have in this life should be spent in preparing for that life to come!

The rich man would tell us that hell is real! It’s amazing to hear people talk about there being a heaven, but in the same breath reject the notion of there being a hell. Hell is a prepared place for an unprepared (spiritually) people, make no mistake about it (cf. Mat. 25:41; 2 The. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 21:8). Because hell is real we must fear it and use it as motivation to keep us on the straight and narrow (Mat. 7:13-14).

The rich man would tell us that earthly things have no eternal value. What do you suppose his fare and sumptuous life before death meant to him after death? Those things he had enjoyed in this life could not help him, comfort him, or aide him in eternity! It’s what we do in this life that will follow us into eternity, not what we have (cf. Rev. 14:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Mat. 6:19-20; 2 John 2:15-17; 2 Pet. 3:10-14).

The rich man would tell us to quit making excuses and obey God today! He will spend eternity in torment thinking about the excuses he made and the subsequent opportunities he squandered to obey God’s Word. Opportunities to obey God’s will are quickly passing and will soon cease! Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:15)!

Where we spend our eternity will be determined by how we spend our time on earth. Let’s not make the same fatal mistake as did the rich man. Let’s spend our time in this life preparing for and looking forward to that life in the hereafter.

Terry R. Townsend (October 9, 2012)
Terry preaches for the Curry Street church of Christ, Jasper, Alabama
http://www.currychurchofchrist.org/

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Thought for the week

You Don’t Know Me

I don’t know about you but I like to reminisce about old times, look up old names and faces using Google.com. Sometime ago I became curious about whatever happened to Helen Shapiro (born East End district of London, 28 Sept., 1946), a dark haired 14 year old Jewish girl who in 1961 had two memorable hits called, You Don’t Know
and Walkin’ Back To Happiness. Her husky voice for one so young was of exquisite timbre. I well remember at the time, saying to my mother, that she surely could not be a girl for her voice was, to me, very boy-like.
It appears Helen is alive and well but has changed in a number of ways. It seems her fame of the early ‘sixties diminished being supplanted by the warm-up group in her entourage, none other than The Beatles. She turned to Jazz and eventually Gospel. Helen, a girl born of a Polish immigrant family and raised in the strict confines of the Hackney, London synagogue eventually heard about Jesus. I will let her tell you the story: “The State school I attended taught the Bible and I loved the Bible stories very much. However, because my school had a Jewish Headmaster and a large Jewish contingency among the pupils, we Jewish kids had separate R.E. (religious education) classes and assemblies. As a consequence, I never heard of a New Testament or a Jesus until I was around six years of age. One day, a non-Jewish girl came up to me in the [school] playground in quite some distress and blurted out, “You killed Jesus Christ!” I was devastated and confused by this accusation. I had never killed anyone in my life, and who was this person with the strange name, Jesus Christ?”
Helen drifts through life wondering about this man called Jesus even supposing as most Jews do that he and his New Testament is a conspiracy of the gentiles. She lurches from Judaism to New Age confusion, praying for God to show her the way until one day in the 1980’s her musical director Bob Cranham proclaimed “He was a Christian and more than once he had spoken of what his ‘Lord’ had done in his life.” It seems he planned to spend the rest of his life being a preacher. Helen is curious to know who Jesus really is. She finds a book entitled “Betrayed” by Stan Telchin. She says, “The book was a total shock…Here was a book by a normal, successful Jewish businessman who believed in Jesus and I couldn’t ignore it.”
She eventually meets Stan and asks him to explain Jesus. He responds by quoting Isaiah 9:6, where it’s written “unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”. I had always thought that verse was in the New Testament as I’d only ever seen it on Christmas cards. But there it was in Isaiah! One of ours!” He further enlightens this Jewish mind about other Old Testament (Tenarch) verses such as Isaiah 7:14 a child (Jesus) born to a virgin; Micah 5:2 the child’s birth place – Bethlehem; Psalm 22 prophesying the child’s final words on the cross; Isaiah 53 of the suffering, redeeming Jesus and she says, “All of these prophecies seemed to be painting a picture that I wasn’t sure I wanted to see. How come nobody ever showed me these things before? How come all I got was ‘You Killed Jesus Christ!’?
August 1987 Helen is finally convinced that Jesus Christ is genuine. She says, “I telephoned Bob [Cranham] and said, “I think I’m on the verge of becoming a believer.” He and his wife asked me over… I told Bob and his wife that I believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God and God the Son. I believed that He died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day… They explained that I needed to repent – to turn from my sin back to God. I learned that I was a sinner. We all are. Bob asked me if I would like to respond by praying and asking God to forgive me on the basis of what Jesus has done. Only He can forgive me and only the Blood of Jesus can atone for me. I could then commit my life to Him as my Lord and Saviour.”
However, as interesting and rich the story may be, have you noticed that Helen has still fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)? She has been duped by denominational mischief, for they miss out what the 3000 plus were told they must do on Pentecost (Acts 2:38); what Jesus said Ananias would tell Saul what he “must do” (Acts 9:6 and 22:16); what the Philippian Jailer and household were told to do in answer to, “What must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30); what Paul said the Galatians had done, i.e., “clothed themselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27) and finally what Peter says is an action that appeals to God for a “good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21) – yes, she has not been baptized for the acquittal of her sins and subsequently be added to Christ’s church (Acts 2:47) and as a consequence, salvation wise, Christ, sadly, does not know her (Matthew 7:23).
I pray that Helen to discover this vital link between now and eternity.

Graham

Thought for the week

Be Perfect

To be perfect is something Jesus expects His disciples to be: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). How can that be, you ask, when it is simply not possible even though you try as hard as you can. In fact if Jesus meant to be perfect like Himself; that is, having not sinned (II Corinthians 5:21) then He contradicts His own scriptures which state, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:10). So, is the meaning of perfect as used by Christ to be sinless? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that one can only be such by being “perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:28); that is “perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12) and no, for try as we might “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

A simple analysis of the word “perfect” comes up with the answer as to its meaning. According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary the word as used by Jesus is “tel’-i-os
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: – of full age, man, perfect.” In other words the word means to complete a task; be mature; reach the end.

Jesus wants those who decide to follow Him to reach a point whereby they are not only in Christ but are striving to reach the goal of maturity. This was something the Hebrew converts were lacking in according to Hebrews 5:12-14 “when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” He is saying they were still feeding like infant babes from the elementary “principles of the doctrine of Christ” instead of being mature and eating the protein of doctrinal “perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).

So this is Jesus plea in Matthew 5:48 that you be perfect so that you may know what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the will of God.

Are you perfect and complete in all the will of God? Are you in Christ having been baptised for the remission of sins? If not, then I strongly urge you to seek out a member of God’s church to find out exactly how to become perfect in His will before you die because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) and you sure don’t want to face this frightening prospect: “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Graham

Thought For The Week

A Word To The Wise

A few weeks ago I wrote that the Law of Moses has been abolished, for Paul said it had been “nailed to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). However, in stating such one should not underestimate the old law still remaining as a great teaching tool. Once again the great preacher Paul says, “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). The Law, it is said, conceals the New Testament, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1). One such teachable premise is contained within the Levitical code which states “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbour, lest you incur sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17 ESV). I believe God declares that communication in the brotherhood in respect to a sharp disapproval concerning specific or implied offence must be open, honest and direct lest a deep resentment is harboured in the heart. The New Testament reveals the same sentiment in Ephesians 5:11; that is, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Many do not adhere to this authorised practice for fear of the sometimes inevitable consequence of alienation. They fear they may make too many enemies. Paul would no doubt encourage not to be fearful but simply retort with “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth” (Galatians 4:16).

You see it is far better to be straight forward and let your feelings be known with the appropriate dignity and gentleness (I Peter 3:15) than to hold back resentment and anger in the heart of which the latter is sin (Ephesians 4:26).

Graham

Thought for the week

Ok, so where am I going wrong?

The sometimes testy subject of fellowship is on my mind this week. I say “testy” because fellowship circles in the church invariably bring with it issues associated with error. Let me explain by way of a theoretical example.

A brother in Christ who has for years been revered as having an exemplary record regarding biblical study by upholding the Pauline call to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15) and lived life in pursuit of “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (II Timothy 2:22) then, out of the blue, with inexplicable audacity publically serves up a lesson from a “different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). One is left wondering, “What gives?” So with grace and humility words are exchanged “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6) over an extraordinary length of time not just by me but many faithful brethren seeking to correct ‘if God perhaps will grant them repentance” (II Timothy 2:24-26) but, alas, to no avail. To this day he remains defiant even accusing correctors of being dishonourable and inciting division.

Now, having pursued a course of “proving all things” as true and correct from the scriptures to show the errant one’s departure from the truth to brethren who fellowship him via personal contact, using him in church outreach programmes etc. and endeavouring to point out with the same attitude displayed to the errant one that such contact and association is “sharing in his evil deeds” (II John 2:11), I and faithful brethren are the ones rejected and found to be dishonourable even to the point of misapplying II John 9-11. Have I misapplied II John 9-11? I do not believe so. A.T. Robertson, Baptist (1863-1934) says the text is dealing with those who progress beyond the doctrine of Christ not about Christ. Adam Clarke, Methodist minister (1762-1832) said, “He who passes over the sacred enclosure, or goes beyond the prescribed limits; and abideth not in the doctrine – does not remain within these holy limits, but indulges himself either in excesses of action or passion; hath not God for his Father, nor the love of God in his heart.” Which brings me to the title of this week’s thought for the week, where am I going wrong? Are you willing to help me out using scripture, of course?

Graham

Thought For The Week

A Sad Day For New Zealand Ethics

Today I awoke to hear the sad and horrible news that the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its first hurdle in Parliament last night by having its first reading to the tune of a vote by two to one in favour along with our homosexual condoning Prime Minister John Key saying it is a “strong endorsement for equality of rights” and “It puts the bill in a strong place to potentially become law given you’ve got more than two thirds of Parliament voting for it” [NZ Herald 30 August 2012]. This is a Bill presented by an opposition MP who happens to be homosexual and drawn out of the ballot box that has now put New Zealand firmly on the road to Sodom and Gomorrah’s condemnation. These two cities are famous for God’s wrath and condemnation because of their wicked homosexual behaviour recorded in Genesis 19. Sodom is where the term sodomy comes from and is the term of intercourse used by homosexual men for sexual pleasure; hence, the name sodomite stands for a homosexual man. This behaviour which the Bible describes as “against nature…shameful…debased…not fitting” (Romans 1:26-28) is so abhorrent to God that such who commit this type of wickedness cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthian 6:9).

Why would New Zealanders want to engage in such a radical departure from what was, until the late 1970s, a crime punishable by prison sentence? Simple really, the vast majority do not believe nor take God and His word seriously enough to warrant His inclusion in their thinking just like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, just as man’s wickedness increased in those days whereby the sodomites were invading homes and raping boys and men to their fancy (Genesis 19:4-5), so too, I believe we will see the day when these perverts will not be satisfied with their parliamentary gain but will want to engage in with impunity more debauched acts some of which they are now well known for such as paedophilia and the likes.

The warning issued in the book of Psalms to Doeg for the betrayal of King David is, I believe, applicable to the lawmakers of New Zealand for betraying the people with this evil, despicable bill: “Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee for ever” (Psalm 52:1-5). God will not be mocked, for, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

New Zealand, you have been warned.

Graham

Thought for the week

The debate that is raging at the moment is all about “gay marriage” and the rights and wrongs of it that I feel compelled to add it is fuelled by liberal politicians such as US President Obama and New Zealand Prime Minister Key to garner political “Brownie Points”. My question is: Is it possible that this issue can ever be solved through a method devoid of higher authority? I say no! For as the Bible says, ” No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). Let’s be honest, man’s premise of atheism cannot account for moral behaviour such as marriage, for atheism itself is mere opinion devoid of objective proof. Go ahead; prove to me there is no God. Tolerance, remember, is that one man’s opinion is no better or worse than another’s so you must objectively, as God says, “prove all things” (I Thessalonians 5:21).

Soon after the Second World War 22 high ranking officers of the Nazi regime were brought to justice in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, the birth place of the Nazi Party. The Allies used the newly created London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, which differed from individual Allied nation’s laws, to prosecute these criminals. The Nazi defence argued on the grounds of subjectivity saying they were “only acting under orders”. That is to say, as it was legal in Germany to pursue war and the associated atrocities that thereafter occurred, each officer was merely following a superior’s order. Instead of arguing the defenders’ point, the Allied prosecution appealed to a higher authority’s objectivity; that is, The “Nuremberg Principals” which consisted of seven articles with this basic principal in mind: that an individual or head of state “who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.” To this day, no nation has the subjective right to sanction murder without consequence from an international high authority.

So the “gay marriage” argument pursued without a higher authority’s input is merely an argument devoid of objective proof. Many people of all sorts of secular backgrounds and viewpoints now argue for the right of homosexuals to be legally married. In a similar fashion many people in Nazi controlled Germany from all sorts of secular and even religious backgrounds argued for the right to exterminate Poles, Dutch, French, British, and Jews etc. through their act of war. Yet, in both cases, while being legal according to constitutional governance that does not mean it is morally right.

As I stated in the beginning, man is not the inventor of morals, for if so, that would constitute morals based upon mere opinion. The God of the Bible claims He is the higher authority regarding morals (Mark 10:18); therefore man needs to appeal to He who is “good” for the right for homosexuals to marry. Without fear of a true and valid contradiction I will point out from His New Testament (mankind is subject to the new covenant today so don’t do as many are apt to do in this debate and appeal to nonsensical arguments based on the old covenant’s statutes) that giving homosexuals the right to marry would be sinful. Go to Romans 1:18-32; I Corinthians 6:9; I Timothy 1:10 where the Holy Spirit guided apostle states unequivocally that practicing homosexuality is condemned.

Graham

Godhead United In Word and Deed

In this week’s thought for the week let’s consider the unity of The Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who make the Divine Godhead of the Bible.

The idea that each of the Godhead is divorced of the thought and actions of the other is strange to say the least. For instance, some say that Jesus is love but God the Father is wrath. So, they suggest through implication that God the Father is not love, hmm!
This nonsense has grown, in my opinion, from the thought that people only want love and not the consequence of sin which is wrath.

To show that all three of the Godhead are united in all they think and do, let us consider three separate verses dealing with the topic of sanctification.

• Jude 1 “Sanctified by God the Father.” The Father sets the Christian apart.
• I Corinthians 1:2 “Sanctified in Christ.” Jesus sets the Christian apart.
• I Peter 1:2 “Through sanctification of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit sets the Christian apart.

Each of the Godhead is in total harmony regarding the sanctification of Christians which is just as true with all the other workings of the Godhead, for Jesus acts just as wrathfully (Revelation 6:16) as God the Father (John 3:36) as much as the Holy Spirit is just as grieved at sin ( Ephesians 4:30) as Jesus is grieved (Mark 3:5).

Jesus said in His prayer to God the Father “that they (the holy apostles GJW) all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). The purpose of Jesus’ words is to show He is united in thought and deed in order to create faith in unbelievers, for the opposite creates disorder and confusion which leads to faulty ideas such as this thought opened with.

God bless as you travel and study through His word.
Graham.

There is no Biblical defense for the consumption of alcohol

I’m back from the holidays having relaxed and recharged for a new year that hopefully will be better than last year’s disasters.

As it happens, I viewed some interesting blogs and commentaries that issued forth some poignant thoughts especially of a Biblical nature. However, in printing or referring to such articles or thoughts doesn’t mean I endorse the faith of the author for such may go beyond that which is written (I Corinthians 4:6) or may be in fellowship or endorse the fellowship of those that abide not in the doctrine of Christ and therefore share in their evil deeds (II John 7-11).

One such article that caught my eye comes forth from Martin Johnson, a church of Christ minister who served as a missionary in Indonesia. He presents a position on the consumption of alcohol that I, personally, can relate to when I first became a Christian back in 1985.  Here is a snippet:

When I first became a Christian I thought it was okay for Christians to drink alcohol socially or recreationally as long as they didn’t get drunk. I based this decision on the following reasons:

  • In the first century they couldn’t have prevented grape juice from fermenting since they had no refrigeration.
  • Jesus made wine.
  • Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine.

However, after I began to hear others say that Christians couldn’t drink socially I began to study the issue secretly hoping that they were wrong. But, I’m now convinced that my reasoning was wrong and that Christians have no business drinking alcoholic beverages socially or recreationally.

Read the article and let your heart react to some good, practical advice.

Graham

The truth; i.e., God’s word will set you free from sin


A preacher back in 1958 had the following to say about the truth of God’s word that changeth not over the years in much the same manner as God Who declares: “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. [This in order that] In the exercise of His will He brought us [that is those who have obeyed his word] forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures” (James 1:17-18).

Let us sit back and hear what Melvin Vaughan had to say all those years ago.
Of all those things which are important and essential to man’s spiritual welfare, there is no single item that can affect him more significantly than his attitude toward the truth.
The truth, in a special sense, was made known by the coming of the Lord: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). It is not surprising that the Lord had so much to say about the truth and what it can do for men. The Lord pointed out that the truth leads men to the freedom most needed: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31,32). The truth revealed and applied is the means by which God “sanctified” or sets man aside in His service as the Lord indicated in His prayer: “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth”3 (John 17:17). So important is the truth to men that the major function of the Comforter or Holy Spirit was to remind the disciples of the truth Jesus had taught them during his ministry (John 14: 26), and to guide the apostles “. . . into all truth” (John 16:13).

The Truth Shall Make You Free

( Melvin L. Vaughan – 1958)

Those to whom the Holy Spirit was sent emphasised the importance of truth. James writes of the “word of truth” as the means by which his readers had been “begotten of God” (James 1:18). Paul reminded the Ephesians that the salvation they enjoyed was the end result of their response to the truth delivered to them (Eph.1:13). Peter points to the truth as the means by which man becomes justified before God: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto the unfeigned love of the brethren see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Pet. 22, 23).

Even though the importance of the truth has been emphasized and its source clearly identified with the will of God; it has been denied, ignored, ridiculed, and misrepresented by men. Those who have sought to uphold the truth have been persecuted, oppressed and even put to death because of their devotion to the truth which they held to be unalterable.
The word of God renders to man an invaluable service by pointing out to him the truth with regard to his state, the limitations of his ability, his great need, and the solution to that need. Paul in examining the spiritual state of the people apart from Christ concluded that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is identified in the Bible as including both the “transgression” of God’s law (1 John 3:4), and the failure or refusal to fulfil a known duty to God: “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

To recognise the fact of sin and its existence, even in one’s self, is of little significance until it is known that sin is the barrier that separates man from God. “Behold,” the prophet has written, “The Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy that he cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid his face from you that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1,2).
Here is the truth about man’s state and need. He becomes guilty of sin because he has violated Divine law. Because he is guilty of sin he is alienated from God and should he die in this condition he is forever and eternally excluded from the joys of heaven. A disagreeable picture, to be sure. and unfortunate indeed is the person whose knowledge of the truth goes no further than this!

Man does not have within himself the means or knowledge by which he can free himself from these sins and become reconciled to God. Jeremiah had long since reminded Israel of this: “The way of man is not in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jer.10: 29). To provide the means, God sent His Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the world; to provide the guidance, the Son brought the truth. In the Son is revealed the truth by which alone it is possible to have access to God: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus had said: “. . . if ye continue in my word . . . ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The truth does provide freedom from ignorance by making both knowledge and understanding available: “The entrance of thy word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). The truth provides freedom from uncertainty by making the pathway visible: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathway.” (Psalm 119:105.) The truth makes known the possibility of attaining freedom from sin by showing how the barrier between man and God can be removed: “. . . if ye continue in my word . . . ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32). The truth provides this freedom from sin in reality as man obeys the truth: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obedience to the truth . . .” (1 Pet. 1:22, 23).

The good news of freedom from sin through the sacrifice of Christ and obedience to the truth is called “the gospel” (1 Cor.15:1-4).

For the truth to become to you what it can, and what the Lord desires it to become, it must be sought in the words of the Lord and His apostles (John 8: 31,32). This truth must be approached reverently, respectfully, and open-mindedly that it might produce faith. (Rom. 10: 17; 2 Thess.2:10-12). The response of which a believer involves the turning from sin and error to truth and righteousness inspired by gratitude for His mercy and the desire to please him (Rom.2: 4). The removal of the guilt resulting from sin is to be found where the Lord placed it in His death where His blood was shed. According to the truth the penitent believer is “baptized into his death” (Rom.6:3,4), “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). It is here that he is made “free from sin” (Rom.6:18), has his sins “washed away” (Acts 22:16), enters Christ (Gal.3:27), and becomes a “new creature” (2 Cor.5:17).
The church, which is composed of the saved (Acts 2:47), is to be the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim.3:15). The ‘disciple indeed” is to “let his light so shine before men that others may see his good works and glorify his Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16). The teacher must uphold the truth at all times in its purity and fullness as revealed by the Lord (2 Tim.2: 2; Jude 3).

Love and devotion to the truth leads the new creature to walk in the steps of him who “. . . left us an example. . . .” That he might “draw near with full assurance of faith having his heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and his body washed with pure water” (Heb.10:22).
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed in Him: If ye continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31,32).

  • Will you recognise according to God’s standard that you are caught up in sin and need to rectify it?
  • Will you follow the steps provided by the unchangeable word that leads to freedom from sin?
  • Will you enter the church that is Christ’s body where the truth that sets you free is a “pillar and ground”?
  • If you are willing to follow, let it be known to Christ’s church that gathers in your neighborhood or reply to this post and let “us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).

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