Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore “Come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord. 2 Corinthians 6.16-18
Many Christians are being reminded recently of a very simple truth. But it is a truth that I fear many of us had forgotten. The temple of God is not a building of brick and mortar. The temple of God is comprised of the people which make up the church which is the body of Christ.
Paul is asking a question for which the answer should be obvious. However, when we look at our lives and behaviors, we find that the answer is clouded and unclear for many people. Is there a moment when light and darkness mix? Not in the created world. Light always shines forth more brightly when it is present and dispels the dark. We cannot tolerate idols of any kind in our lives.
God has said that he will live in us and walk among us. But he calls us to be separate from the world and to strive for purity. We can not straddle a line with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. We are only deceiving ourselves into thinking it will be all right. We have to make a choice.
If we choose wisely, God will welcome us and be a father to us. The All-Powerful Lord will be our father!
#risingjoy #2-Corinthians #church
While congregations across the world have cancelled their meetings because of the coronavirus, some still insist on gathering the saints together. Yesterday, we in Urbanova gathered a small number together, while experimenting for the first time with a live broadcast. Continue reading
THE NAME OF THE CHURCH
(Note: Periodically I write about the “name” of the church. It seems that such is necessary because there are those who want to give to the New Testament people of God a proper, patented, and official name to then be used in a denominational sense. Because of this, many view the church as a denomination, and many are only too glad to have it so. Please read and reflect once more on what the Bible says about the name of the church).
In our contemporary religious culture more and more churches are seeking to separate themselves from their denominational affiliation and to be non-denominational and independent. In attempting to do this they have come up with all kinds of ingenious names for their congregations. In the small city where I live there are many of these kinds of churches bearing such names as Godwhy Church, Agape Community, Celebration of Life Church, Freedom Church, Free Indeed Fellowship, Higher Ground Church, New Vision Ministries, First Apostolic Church, Truth Tabernacle Church, as well as various others. Continue reading
What percentage of New Testament usage refers to the phrase, “church(es) of Christ”? How often does the phrase appear in comparison to other similar ones? For the next week, why not try reflecting that percentage in your speech? The exercise might encourage some positive reflection.
Perhaps it’s such a generic phrase that it gets frequently overlooked. But as I was doing some study in Portuguese yesterday, I noted that in a goodly part of our literature, we don’t include the phrase, “people of God,” in our lists of descriptions of the Lord’s church. Continue reading
“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'”
In a special vision, Saul, persecutor of the church, saw the Lord Jesus, who asked him why he persecuted the Lord. What is done to the church is done to the Lord.
The church is Christ’s body. In judgment he wills say, “… just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me” Mt 25.40.
#votd #Acts #church
Wikipedia is getting a big-time competitor in Everipedia.org. I checked their entry on the church, and the information for Brazil was pulled from the former, with a Christian Church missionary giving information for their people as if it were us. I’ve contacted the Everipedia folk and gotten a nice reply. At the moment, they’re not allowing editing, but it will be available soon.
I took the opportunity to update the information on the church in our city, region, and in the country as well. I’ve also moved it from my email account’s space to our ministry site. Much remains to be done still, but you can check the progress here: http://gospeak.org/sjc/.
#Brazil #Wikipedia #Everipedia #church
By Jeremiah Tatum — I bet by the title of this article you are at least reading the first sentence to see where this is going. Let me tell you first where this is not going. This is not going in the direction that is going to malign the church of our Lord. This is not going to be a rejection of the old paths. This is not going to be a 21st Century, “I am smarter and more enlightened than the people who lived 100 years ago,” type of article that I see being written by so many of our younger preachers today.
What this is going to be is honest. And honestly, the churches of Christ as a whole have really been making a huge mistake for a while now. Continue reading
“Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
The theme of the letter is the magnificent universal church. This is Paul’s first mention of the word and he ties it to Christ and his fullness.
The first chapter is all about prayer and praise for God’s work, which is focused in uniting people in the church. Am I united to Christ and to his people? This is central to his will.
#votd #Ephesians #church
“I was glad because they said to me, ‘We will go to the Lord’s temple.’”
The writer knew the value of being in God’s presence together with the people of God. To be inside, v. 2, where God has built his abode, v. 3, to pray and praise together, vv. 4-9, is a great joy.
God is in the midst of his family, the church. We gather together to praise God and pray for one another. Does this give me joy? Do I assemble with high hopes?
#votd #Psalms #church #joy
BIBLE FACTS ABOUT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1. It was established by Christ (Matthew 16:18).
2. It was purchased with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28).
3. It was the culmination of God’s eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:8-12). Continue reading
“But keep away from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
2 Timothy 2.22
In order to refrain from untoward desires, Timothy must “give positive attention” (Phillips) to the virtues of Christ. This is done together with the saints.
Sin may be avoided and righteousness obtained as a part of God’s worshiping family. Seek every opportunity to be with Christ’s disciples.
#votd #2-Timothy #church
We enjoyed our trip to visit our daughter and her family in Ridgeland, MS this past week. On our way home we stopped at The Dinner Bell restaurant in Waynesboro, MS, to have lunch. Let me say it wasn’t a disappointment.
I asked the waitress near the end of our visit, “Is there a church of Christ here?” She looked around and I could tell she didn’t know. She did the next best thing, she asked a man seated right behind me. “Yes,” he replied firmly as if she certainly should know. He continued, “It is right up here on highway 45.” I didn’t ask any further questions but found the conversation very interesting. Continue reading
AM I A MEMBER OF A DENOMINATION?
(Note: This week’s essay is pursuant to a sermon I preached this past Sunday morning, June 3, at the Mitchellville (TN) Church of Christ on the question, “Why Do You Say That The Church Of Christ Is Not A Denomination?”) Continue reading
A BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF THE CHURCH
(Note: The following was posted on my FB page on May 10. With a few emendations, I send it out as this week’s edition of “Hugh’s News & Views.”)
When a person says he (or she) left the church of Christ (which they often will think/speak/write in terms of “Church of Christ”) to join the Baptist Church or the Catholic Church or the Episcopal Church or whatever the denomination might be so that they and their spouse “would be members of the same church” (or for some other “reason”), I immediately know that they do not have a biblical concept of the church of Christ, nor are they and I “on the same page” when speaking of the church of Christ. They have one concept in mind, and I have an entirely different concept in mind. (Note: Contrary to the thinking of some, “Church of Christ” is not “the fellowship’s name,” as the editor of one publication recently asserted. In reality, the church of the New Testament does not have an official, exclusive, patented “name,” but, instead, it is identified by a number of descriptors of which “church of Christ” is but one). Continue reading