True Christians are not more of this or less of that

A headline to a religious website boasted that a person had become less evangelical and more progressive in his faith. People speak in such terms with not the least bit of awareness of Scripture, all the while pretending to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The name of Christian does not tolerate degrees of this or that, or divisions into this or that group. A Christian is who he is by the grace of God and the truth of the gospel.

A Christian is not of the world. He belongs to Christ. As such, he wears no name but the Lord’s and seeks no truth but the Good News. The Lord refuses to share his glory with the honors of men.

The history of religion is a history of division. This is why we seek to return to the New Testament, where the original plan of faith is set forth.

It is not an act of hubris to jump all those centuries of “church” history, but an act of humility, because it sets aside the theologies and departures of man in order to embrace the simple model of Christ.

Scripture is sufficient. We seek to live in a manner worthy of the name of Christ. Our gospel is the simple plan of salvation. Men many call themselves after their denominations, theologies, or leaders. Following Christ means rejecting all these to become nothing more or less than the children of God.

#christian, #religious-division

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Is “Christian” a label for anyone who believes…

Is “Christian” a label for anyone who believes anything about Jesus Christ? “So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26 NKJV).  The resurrected Lord (and not the baby Jesus!) said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV). To be a “Christian” one must:    1) observe all that Jesus commanded.  But He nowhere “commanded” that we observe His birth; 2) assemble with the church.  What church? The church of Christ is the only one in the New Testament; 3) remember, “Christian” is not hyphenated nor applied to everyone who claims to be one!

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

#christian

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12-22-2016 Living A Christian

The Holy Spirit wants Christians “to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 NKJV)1) To “lead a quiet life,” is to be a “peacemaker” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV), as Jesus said. Paul explained: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 NKJV). 2) “to mind your own business” (m.y.o.b.) means you deal with yourself. This does not cancel preaching the Gospel “to every creature” (Mark 16:15 NKJV), but making their life’s decisions for them.  3) “to work with your own hands” means self-supporting, not living off your parents.  This sounds like spiritual “rugged individualism,” and that’s exactly what God requires!  No statistical “millennials” here! Living like Christians ought, doesn’t leave time for laziness, whining, or being supported by parents or government handouts!

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

#christian, #millennials, #quiet-life, #work-with-your-own-hands

Joy and tears and the heart of Philippians

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is known, appropriately, as the letter of joy. The topic is an important keynote, all the more so because Paul was in prison when he wrote it. So it is noteworthy when, at one point in the letter, Paul says he writes “with tears.” Do you know what it is that causes his tears, and why the subject brings him to tears? Read Php 3.

Philippians is less known as a letter of mission cooperation. Paul opens and closes with thanksgiving for their participation in his effort. This literary technique, called inclusio(n), marks their financial gifts as a major theme of the letter. Perhaps we don’t notice it because we lack the missionary spirit the Philippian saints had, or because we’re reading commentaries whose authors don’t have it and therefore treat it briefly. Continue reading

#bible-versions, #christian, #corollaries, #philippians, #time

Why am I a Christian?

I am not a Christian because I just want to go to heaven, but because the whole message is true as a complete revelation of God and because the Word is the full engagement of my whole being on every level. Not only does this Word provide me with the ultimate destiny, but its Author gives me the cogent explanation of origin and purpose, the deep satisfaction of heart and soul, and the intimate connection with Deity and Humanity, all of which are lacking elsewhere and utterly impossible for my own capacity to produce or imagine. He brings unity to existence, defines reality and morality, and makes sense of our questions, doubts and ignorance of all things, even if he doesn’t answer them in the present. He holds the key to suffering, injects meaning in what is apparently trivial, produces joy in spite of circumstances, and creates marvelous expectations in just the right measure. All this he has deposited in a single, accessible place: in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And the half has yet been told.

#bible, #christian, #god

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2-17-2015           Mardi Gras

Roman Catholics may celebrate the three-day Carnival (which means lustful, fleshly, activity) which is followed by Mardi Gras (Tuesday of excess), a totally sinful “blowout” before the hypocritical 40-day Lent Fast Season. No Christian would observe any of this because Christians are told: “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13-14 NKJV). No Christian has God’s permission to celebrate Mardi Gras, and any church who gives sanction to such is not a church of Christ! Nor will any church of Christ follow a religious calendar that includes such as this. Giving up something for Lent is NOT penance for willful sin!

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

#carnival, #christian, #fleshly-lusts, #lent, #mardi-gras, #religious-calendar, #roman-catholics

Bible reading is directly related to spirituality https…

Bible reading is directly related to spirituality.

#bible, #christian, #quotes, #spirituality

Some church members are not so much concerned…

Some church members are not so much concerned with walking in the light as they are with performing in the limelight. They have never got a handle on the fact that God has no sons that are not servants. They go to church regularly enough and are actively involved, but going to church will no more make you a Christian than going to the garage will make you an automobile. To be born again, you must be converted and become as children–humble and lowly. The self-seeking Christian is like the mythical unicorn – there “isn’t” any such animal! We have too many saints in stained-glass windows and not enough of them in shoe-leather. This is Just-a-Minute

#christian, #church, #just-a-minute

Christians baptized?

I came across this question last week: “Why is it important for Christians to be baptized?”

It’s not important at all; the Bible knows no such thing!

The Bible does teach that sinners are baptized into Christ when they confess their faith in Him and repent of their sins (see: Acts 8:35-40, 16:30-31; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:1-4, et. al.).

Let’s get the order straight: sinners are baptized for the remission of their sins (cf. Acts 2:38). Afterward, they are called Christians.

Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg KY church bulletin

#baptism, #christian, #forgiveness

The Place I Want to Live

On our way home to Tennessee we passed a road that led to “Graceville.” As we passed it I thought to myself that “Graceville” sounds like it would be a great place to live…then I remembered that through the blood of Jesus that’s where I’m already at!

If you’re a Christian, have a great day thinking about that because Jesus is the only road that leads in that direction (John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12).

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we havepeace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God…But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:1-2, 8-9 – NKJV)

#blood-of-christ, #christian, #grace, #jesus

A recent study published by the journal Proceedings…

A recent study published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who feel happiest live longer as well as happier! In fact they enjoy a 35% reduced risk of death than those who report feeling unhappy. Rather than relying on recollection, as past studies have, the British researchers rated the nearly 4000 participants aged 52-79 several times a day. The follow up came five years later with other factors like age, gender, health, wealth, education and marital status factored in. While it isn’t clear if simply being happy extends life, there certainly is some connection between the two. So how happy are you? The happiest people I know are Christians! They have a purpose in life: to serve God; and a goal for living: eternal life with God in heaven. This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess

#christian, #happiness, #just-a-minute

A Truly Wonderful Poem

There aren’t that many good poets out there in our day. There are even fewer good Christian poets.

That’s one of the reasons why I really like Randal Matheny’s poetry. You really owe it to yourself to read this one: http://alturl.com/isou4

 

#christian, #poem

A Christian Has the Right …

Character — 2 Cor. 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Heart — Mat 12:35 "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."

Interest — Col 3:1-2 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

Stewardship — 1Co 16:1 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."

Talk — Eph 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

Investigation — Act 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Aims — Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Name — Act 11:26 "and the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Act 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

In Christ, Steve Preston

Sign up for BibleTalk, short messages from God’s word, by sending an email to bibletalk-subscribe@freegroups.net or on the web at http://freegroups.net/groups/bibletalk/.

#christian, #righteousness

Reaching Forward for the Tape

Human beings need goals. Without goals, people have no direction, no destination.

Of course, God is keenly aware of this and has included this necessity for us in the Bible. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV).

The context of the passage tells us Paul was not a man who believed that once he was saved he would be ultimately saved, but instead continued working toward that goal.

Involved in that is forgetting the past. Many people like to dwell in the past. People agonized over their missteps. They think about “what might have been.”

But one cannot change the past. One, however, may chart a course ahead and work towards it. If one constantly lives in the past, they’ll never have a goal and nothing to look forward to achieving.

Paul said, “reaching forth unto those things which are before.” This is the way Christians should live. If there are past sins, ask forgiveness and then keep trying.

When Olympic runners near the finish line, they lunge forward to break the tape. The winner is the only one who can do this, but others who run can set goals for the day when they will break the tape themselves. That’s the way to run a Christian race!

 

#christian, #goals, #the-apostle-paul

Hot chocolate and death

The elderly brother in Christ came to our house early again tonight, as has been his habit of late, and ate supper with us. He makes a few comments during our group reading of John 14. Afterwards, our other participants have to leave early, but he stays for hot chocolate and carrot cake. While everybody else is in the kitchen, he and I talk about dying, and people he will miss who won’t be nearby when that time comes.

• I asked the participants tonight, after the reading and some explanation and discussion of the texts, what verse from the chapter — we read all of it — most caught their attention. Of those who volunteered these were mentioned:

  • v. 23, the Father and Son taking up residence in the obedient person;
  • v. 27, peace that Jesus gives;
  • v. 30, about the “ruler of this world.”

• The Way. Either we must ignore Jesus altogether, or confess him as the exclusive way to God. And more, he tells us, “you know the way.” When Thomas protests that he doesn’t know the way and Philip asks to be shown, our Lord gets miffed. After I’ve been with you all this time, he says, how can you say, ‘Show me the Father’? They’re agnostics and he wants them to face up to the Knowledge they have and have had for so long. What must he think of those who have the Bible in hand and deny the ability to know?

• If the following is true, many have been roped and bound. “The fear of people becomes a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD will be set on high” (Prov 29:25 NET). Isn’t the fear of people the essence of political correctness? Those who live in fear of others’ opinions and reactions are a sad sight to behold. I pray I may not be one.

#christian, #death, #fear-of-people, #john-14