Some questions for new Christians

In a little while this evening, we’ll have another study with a young couple who have been Christians for about six months. Before we get to the Bible text, here are some questions I plan to ask them tonight.

  • What difficulties have you encountered since your conversion?
  • What has been your greatest challenge?
  • Any positive surprise that you’ve had?
  • What have you seen in terms of spiritual progress and growth?
  • Any disappointment during this time?
  • What is your greatest motive for thanksgiving during this time?

What other questions might you ask?

#bible-study, #new-converts, #questions

What does the Bible say about feeding our souls?

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:1-2).

We not only need food for our physical bodies, but also food for our spiritual souls. Without food, living things die. Without food, your physical body will die. If you have pets, without feeding them, they will die.

All people need to feed their hearts and minds with the Word of God. God’s Word is the food for a person’s soul, and if people do not read and study God’s Word, then their souls will die.

Some of the things we buy come with an owner’s manual. In a similar way, the Bible is like an owner’s manual for us. God created us and knows exactly what we need to do and how we should live in order to be happy.

Wouldn’t it be good for all of us to read and study the Bible more than we have in the past? Now, at the beginning of this New Year let each of us resolve that we will do this.

Remember, if we love God we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). The Bible may be referred to as our “roadmap,” to tell us how to live and get to heaven. Also, God’s Word will judge us in the last day (John 12:48).

Happy New Year!

#bible-reading, #bible-study, #souls

What does the Bible say about the miracles of Jesus

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. “ (John 21:25).

John sent disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, and Jesus told them, “Tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Luke 7:22).

People marveled when they saw the miracles of Jesus saying, “even the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matthew 8:27). They were amazed and said, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:12). The Bible says, “they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:26).

What is usually referred to as miracles, are also called signs, wonders, and mighty works.

The Old Testament tells of miracles, as well as miracles performed by followers of Jesus, but more were done by Jesus than others. Jesus performed miracles to show that He was the Son of God. His disciples performed miracles to confirm their teachings, and that they were doing God’s will (Mark 16:20).

As noted in the verses above, Jesus did miracles to convince us to have obedient faith in Him that we might be saved from sin and have eternal life in heaven. As Jesus stated, “I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

#bible-study, #miracles

Sinning Against God

The Lord was with Joseph. He was a prosperous man. When Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand, he made him overseer over his house and all that he had. The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake. Potiphar left all that he had in Joseph’s hand. Joseph was a good man and well favored.

Potiphar’s wife liked Joseph and set her sights on him. She asked him to “lie with her.” Joseph refused and told her that his master, and her husband, had committed all that he had to his care. He reminded her that he was the greatest in his house, and she was Potiphar’s wife. Then he asked the question: “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  Continue reading

#bible-study, #sin

What does the Bible say about anger

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” (Psalm 37:8).

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:8).

“Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). Continue reading

#anger, #bible-study

What does the Bible say about the church

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

  • “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
  • “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things” (Acts 5:11).
  • “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1).
  • “Greet the church that is in their house” (Romans 16:5).
  • “To the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2).
  • “Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”
  • And “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:23-25).

As shown in the above verses and others the church is often referred to as “the church.” Since it was the only one that existed, it was not always necessary to identify the church in any other way. Of course, the church belonged to Christ as He promised to build it, and He bought it with His blood (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28). Then at Romans 16:16 it is identified as the church of Christ.

The word is from the Greek language, and the English spelling is ‘ekklesia.’ It means, “Called out.” So those who are called by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14), from the world by their obedience to the gospel of Christ, are those people who make up the church. They are sanctified or set apart as written in the article last week.

Please notice that the church is singular as the spiritual body of Christ. Jesus said He would build one church (Matthew 16:18), and at John 10:16 He said, “there will be one flock and one shepherd.” Jesus is the shepherd and the church is the flock (Acts 20:28).

Among the seven things that Paul mentions of which there was only one, was the church or spiritual body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6). The one body is the church as stated in Ephesians 1:22-23.

“The churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).

 

#bible-study, #church

What does the Bible say about the Lamb of God

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin

of the world!” (John 1:29, 36).

“These are the ones who come out of great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).

“But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). Continue reading

#bible-study

What does the Bible say about hope

By Douglas M. Williams Sr.

“For we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25). Colossians 1:27 “…Christ is in you, the hope of glory.”

The Bible speaks of the “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2; 3:7). We can look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Our hope is “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). And 2 Peter 1:3-4 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

“And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Hope is the moving force behind our activities. Sophocles stated, “It is hope which maintains most of mankind.” Our world is one of hope! Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” The Bible says, “he that ploweth should plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10).

Hope of a crop encourages the farmer to drive the plow; hope of victory urgest the soldier to fight; hope of winning makes the athlete run; and hope of the incorruptible crown inspires the child of God to run in the race of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Our hope is in God, and it is powerful! Our hope is obtained from the scriptures (Romans 15:4), and as long as there is life, there is hope. Our greatest hope is for eternal life in heaven. No matter how many times we lose in this life, we can look forward to eternal life where we win and never lose.

#bible-study

Who saw the handwriting on the wall?

Our adult Bible-study class has been studying Daniel 5 (Belshazzar and the handwriting on the wall incident) the last couple of weeks. It’s a good study that leads to several topics: the authority of God, the relationship between religion and politics, holiness, pride, humility, and judgment to name several.

While studying the first half of the chapter a new thought occurred to me. Perhaps you have had the same thought…perhaps not. The thought concerned the actual handwriting incident.

Through the years I have seen several illustrations… Continue reading

#art, #bible-study, #book-of-daniel, #influence

Ask the right question

Over on QBT, surfaces a criticism of the question about what we will do in heaven:

What we will do in…

The post, even in its pithy format, points up the need to ask the right question. One gets the impression that the celestial activity concern comes from American practicality where a body has to be up and doing something useful. People have written that, if harp-playing is all that will be going on there, then they don’t want to go. Continue reading

#bible-study, #heaven, #questions

March 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Why Should We Study the Old Testament?)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Does the Old Testament Still Have Value (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • The Old Testament & Inspiration (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Purpose of the Old Testament (Tom Wacaster)
  • Kingdom Prophecy in the Old Testament (Andy Baker)
  • Messianic Prophecy in the Old Testament (Kris Grodaurk)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bible-study, #jesus-relationship-with-the-old-testament, #messianic-prophecy, #old-testament, #the-church-in-the-old-testament

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3-15-2017 A Guided Conscience

Why study the Bible? It should be to correctly educate our “conscience.” Paul wrote: “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)” (Romans 2:14-15 NKJV). “Conscience” is our awareness of right and wrong, but it is our guide only when we learn from God’s Word what is right or wrong! People who are not a Christian may do many things right because they have their consciences educated by God’s Word. It would be good if their consciences guided them to what Jesus said must be done to be saved: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#bible-study, #conscience, #right-and-wrong

What does the Bible say about rightly dividing the Bible

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
There are two main divisions of the Bible: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Even though all of these 66 divisions are God’s inspired word, we must understand that the Old Testament is not a law binding on us today. Jesus came and fulfilled the old law and gave us the new law of the New Testament (Matthew 5:17; Colossians 2:14).
The unity of the Bible shows that one mind guided the writing of the Bible and that was God as He directed men to write the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). These 66 books were written by about 40 different authors. They wrote over a period of about 1500 years; living in widely separated parts of the world; speaking different languages; having various backgrounds; obviously many of them not knowing each other. Yet, when all of their writings are brought together they are in harmony, showing their message comes from God. That message may be summed up in the purpose of the Bible as the salvation of man through Jesus Christ that brings glory to God.
Rightly dividing God’s word describes an important principle involved in properly understanding the Bible as we obey and apply its teachings to our lives. We must properly divide or distinguish between the commands God gave to people in the Old Testament, and the commands He expects us to keep in our Christian Age.
To be saved from sin and prepare for heaven we must believe in Jesus, repent of sins, confess our faith, be baptized, and live for Jesus.

  • Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

 

#bible-study

Good tip for studying prophetic language and imagery

Several years ago, while watching a tv show based on “real life” emergency room experiences, I heard a phrase used by a doctor that’s worth remembering and applying to the study of the Bible’s prophetic language and imagery: Continue reading

#bible-study, #biblical-interpretation, #book-of-revelation, #old-testament-prophets

Lying

Lying is a sin. Little lies, little white lies, stretching the truth, all fit in the same category. There are no big lies and little lies. A lie is a lie is a lie. It’s plain and simple. Continue reading

#bible-study, #sin