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  • John T. Polk II 9:57 am on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, nonessential   

    2-6-2017 Commandments Of Jesus 

    After His resurrection, but before His ascension into Heaven, Jesus “through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:2-3 NKJV).  What “commandments?” 1) “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30 NKJV); 2) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34 NKJV). 3) ” He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV).  Which of these can anyone say is “nonessential?”

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

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:10 am on 2017-01-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, ,   

    Psalm 119.86 

    So how the second line connect with the first?

    All your commands are reliable.
    I am pursued without reason. Help me! (NET)

    And in what sense is a command reliable?

    • Eugene Adkins 4:13 pm on 2017-01-29 Permalink | Reply

      I suppose a command is only as reliable as the one giving the command. As for the first part, I suppose the frustration would be the difficulty of reconciling how doing good leads to being treated wrongfully. Followed by a request of the good commander for help due to the psalmist’s view of the said commander’s commands.

    • J. Randal Matheny 4:42 am on 2017-01-30 Permalink | Reply

      I wondered if the reliability of the commands refers to the promises attached to them.

      • Eugene Adkins 5:50 pm on 2017-01-30 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t know. Perhaps both. Verses 89-90 seems to lean toward the emphasis of the one “settling” the word/commandment/law. Verses 92-93 seem to lean toward what you’re saying. I don’t think either view damages the other. The trustworthiness of God’s word definitely seems to be the point.

        After initially reading your question my mind was thinking more along the lines of someone being able to “promise” you the moon, but that doesn’t mean they can deliver on it. With God it is a much different story.

  • J. Randal Matheny 1:38 pm on 2016-07-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, ,   

    The ease of obedience 

    The commandment of Christ appears to be difficult when we consider it from a human point of view. The natural man feels repulsion at selfless service. The unregenerate person finds the will of God a hard thing to do. Those who fulfill their own desires, even if they wear the name of Christ, respond only with great effort to bearing his cross. (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 6:01 pm on 2016-03-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , commandments, death on the cross, loved   

    3-22-2016 Sinners Need God’s Love 

    Everybody on earth needs to be loved. Many are the shattered, battered lives in people who think they are too vile for God to love them. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV). The greatest demonstration of God’s love to sinners was Jesus’ death on the cross. Everyone must also know that “whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him” (1 John 2:5 NKJV). “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 NKJV). To every creature in “the world” Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Accept His love by moving toward Him.

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

  • John T. Polk II 8:21 am on 2016-01-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , commandments,   

    1-29-2016 Say And Do Not 

    Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4 NKJV). Saying but not obeying only deceives one’s own self. Commands “in Jesus’ name” are “His commandments.” Jesus’ Apostle Peter commanded, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38 NKJV). To claim “remission of sins” before repenting and being baptized, means a person has not kept “His commandments.” Jesus said of Pharisees, “they say, and do not do” (Matthew 23:3 NKJV). Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21 NKJV). Do you love Jesus Christ?

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

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:47 am on 2015-10-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments,   

    How many commandments are in the New Testament? 

    As did the Jews with the Old Testament, somebody has tried to count all the commandments in the New. They claim to have found 648 commands all total. It appears, however, that the synoptic gospels were not taken into account.  (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 10:55 am on 2015-06-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , commandments, , ,   

    6-2-2015 A Shameless Existence 

    There is no reason to be ashamed, if we obey God. David said, “You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments” (Psalm 119:4-6 NKJV). “Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, That I may not be ashamed” (Psalm 119:80 NKJV). The sinners who condemn Christians and Bible-believers are the one who should be ashamed! David also said, “Let the proud be ashamed, For they treated me wrongfully with falsehood” (Psalm 119:78 NKJV). “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20 NKJV). No one is wrong who serves God.

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

  • J. Randal Matheny 1:11 pm on 2014-12-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, ,   

    Be happy! That's an order! 

    Or something like that. Yes, the Lord Jesus gave a command to rejoice. An imperative to be happy, Lk 10.20. That’s what we’ll study tomorrow at Taubaté in our series, “Commandments of Christ.”

    An amazing thought, this command to rejoice, one that goes against a lot of psychobabble and man-made philosophy that teaches that emotions are uncontrollable. (Maybe this idea is the reason for modern society being in hot water.)

    That’s one reason why we’re looking at this tomorrow, but another, larger one is that this command comes in the midst of the work of proclaiming the Good News. Now ain’t that a big thought!? Your biggest joy just might be in the middle of doing the great task of God, the mission of Christ, the preaching of the gospel, the salvation of souls.

    But shhh! Don’t tell anybody the secret. We certainly wouldn’t want this to get out now, would we?

  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-10-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , commandments, , fair, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    (#89) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:34-God’s Burden Against America 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.”

    “Righteousness” is the state or condition of being “right,” as defined by God: “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7); by His commandments: “My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172); by His example: “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

    Governments exist to protect the “righteous” within their citizenry: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake” (Romans 13:3-5). Every law; court-ruling; verbally-abusive, bullying, headlined propaganda piece; Harlotwood perversely slanted movie or TV program will be considered in God’s Judgment of this, or any other, nation! Speaking to Christians about the Jewish persecution of them, Paul wrote: “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

    God would not destroy the homosexually-corrupted cities of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20; 19:1-11) if there were as few as 10 righteous among them (Genesis 18:23-33), but there weren’t. God had a “burden” of judgment against nations, countries, and cities where sin had prevailed: Babylon (Isaiah 13:1) and Nineveh (Nahum 1:1); Moab (Isaiah 15:1); Damascus in Syria (Isaiah 17:1); Egypt (Isaiah 19:1); and Arabia (Isaiah 21:13). Assyria (not covenant-keepers of Moses’ Law!) was told by the prophet: “The LORD has given a command concerning you: ‘Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile’” (Nahum 1:14). Since then, none of these have ever arisen again to their former prominence and power! Since Jesus Christ, no country is God’s chosen People except the spiritual kingdom known as the churches of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 16:16).

    All God requires of every nation is to uphold and encourage right-thinking and right-doing: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin’” (Ezekiel 18:29-30). God is “fair,” for He accepts anyone who obeys Him: “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him’” (Acts 10:34-35).

    Jesus Christ pronounced the principle that saves: “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16). This Gospel obeyed, exalts any nation.

    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.’” — George Orwell

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,unless otherwise noted.

    • James Randal 4:27 am on 2013-10-18 Permalink | Reply

      John, if only people understand that first sentence, how different they would conduct themselves! Instead of running to human explanations of mankind, they would scour and comb Scripture for God’s revelation of who we are and what we were destined for.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:25 am on 2013-10-18 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s some more scripture where the principle may apply to The Land of Liberty one day when it comes to righteousness, or the lack-thereof, and judgment:

      “13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

      15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.

      17 “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.

      19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” (Ezekiel 14:13-20 – NKJV)

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:02 pm on 2013-09-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, ,   

    You can supply the verses needed on the link between the two, obedience and love.


  • TFRStaff 4:51 pm on 2013-06-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, ,   

    Commands That Require Diligence In Changing 

    by Mike Glenn

    The text found in Ephesians 4:20-32 is intended by Paul to be a brief synopsis of the changes that must be made when one becomes a Christian. You and I know that change is hard. Leaving sin behind is very hard. Growing in the right actions and attitudes is hard. To do any of this, we must “keep on keeping on” in our pursuit of diligence.

    ·V. 22: We are to put change our former conduct. If you think that is not hard, ask someone who struggles to lose weight or someone who tries to quit tobacco or alcohol. Watch someone strive to go from being lazy to being industrious or someone who cusses constantly to strive to become pure of speech. How about realizing the difficulty of a person who dislikes reading and study to become a diligent student of the Bible. To accomplish any of these requires consistent diligence (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

    ·V. 22-23: We make these changes with a diligent effort to change our thinking. We must stop being deceived by lusts which tell us to fulfill them, which scream that we must be satisfied in their accomplishment. On the contrary, our minds must see these desires as nails in the coffin of hell. Our “renewed mind” must recognize their danger and turn intentionally and surely away toward the practice of Christ-like attitudes and actions (Gal. 5:23-24; 2 Pet. 1:5-7; Matt 5:3-12. In our hearts, sin must become exceedingly sinful (Rom. 7:13) so that our minds win the battle against the law of sin (Rom. 7:21-8:2).

    ·V. 25-31: Honesty must replace lying, love and forgiveness must replace angry retaliation or grudge holding, industry and benevolence is to replace selfish thievery, favorable edifying speech is to replace gossip, slander, backbiting and filthy speech.

    Each of these and many other commands of our Savior require planning, concentration, and follow through. In other words we must keep on keeping on.

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:32 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible school materials, commandments, , ,   

    The imperatives of Christ 

    I’m looking at doing a quarterly study for Bible school in SJCampos on “The imperatives of Christ.” Or call it “The commands of Jesus.” A restricted list, obviously. Maybe with an introductory lesson on the nature of the imperative in the gospel, necessity of obedience, something along those lines.

    There’s no attempt here to make Christ’s words weightier than his words through the apostles and prophets, no two-tiered canon, no red-letter Bible ideas. Though his actions and teachings, since he is our Lord and Savior, while he was on the earth, do hold a special interest for the disciple, don’t you think?

    I’m making my list of commands. So here’s my question: What imperatives or commands of Christ would be of special interest to study in a congregation, for Christians today?

    • andrewphallenbeck 5:31 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply

      In my view, Randal, there is a misconception concerning what the Lord taught regarding prayer. Often some teach vigorously a view based upon, not Scripture, but rather what they have been taught. Thanks for your commitment to our Lord!

    • Ruth Atnip 5:39 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply

      God’s commands on marriage, how to be what God wants men and women to be as husbands and wives. The total message, beginning with what Jesus says about marriage and divorce. Helping Christians to see that marriage is FOR LIFE, and the God Himself does the binding! Nothing short of ‘breaking those vows’ to God and your spouse is even to be thought of as a reason for divorce, not even an abusive husband or wife. Christ tell us that if we live godly in Christ Jesus we will suffer persecution, so any abuse from a husband or wife must be viewed in that light. Also making sure that God does say we can ‘part’ if that abuse gets too severe, but not divorce, but come back together and try to make the marriage a better one. However, it should be pointed out that sometimes during that period of separation, spouses will find that there has been a reason for the abuse. Much to the hurt of a spouse, they may find that they have been being treated abusively because of another man or woman in the picture. All of this needs to be brought out, so that faithfulness can be stressed, to make marriages work, and not fail., This is a huge problem in the church today, even among preachers and elders, and involves also with homosexuality. All about sexual sins is what the church needs most today, in my opinion. The world has gotten almost like Sodom and Gomorrah, and is surrounding the church with much influence coming in with new members. This is why were needs to be a ‘nursery’ – if you will – to immediately ‘feed’ those new ones with the truth of God’s Word IN LOVE, to keep them from slipping right back out into Satan’s grasp again! Make sure ‘evil’ is ‘evil’ int their sight, and ‘good’ is ‘good’ – according to that Word of God, which will feed them from the ‘milk’ stage to the ‘meat’ stage. These are some of the thoughts I had when you presented the question about what to teach a congregation. There should be classes for the different ‘ages’ IN CHRIST – just as where are classes which take into account physical ages. The elders need to drop the ‘title’ ‘feeling’ and ‘adopt’ the ‘work’ —–

      • J. Randal Matheny 5:42 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the comments. I need specific passages and commands, in view of what I’m looking at doing.

    • Butch Adams 7:44 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply

      Matt 4:17 – Repent for the Kingdom is at hand. Matt 7:12 – Golden rule. Matt 18:3- become as children.

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:52 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply

        Butch, we’re thinking alike. Mt 4.17 is on the list. Actually, I taught the whole chapter last night in our home reading group. Golden rule, too, though I had Luke’s version in mind. Will look at Mt 18.3. Thanks for these good suggestions. Not counting the Introduction, I have seven lessons/commandments chosen already, after just a quick thought. Need more though. Thanks again.

    • John Henson 8:07 pm on 2011-09-30 Permalink | Reply

      Matthew 22:37; Mark12:30; Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

    • Ron 5:21 am on 2011-10-01 Permalink | Reply

      I think John’s reference is good because it transcends covenants. The first one that came to my mind is John 15:12, which fits nicely with Matthew 22:37. Also, I think John 3:3-5 is tremendously important. Emphasis needs to be on conversion, not baptism.

      • J. Randal Matheny 6:37 am on 2011-10-01 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Ron, I’ll look at those. You’re right about emphasis needed on conversion. Although this will be for Christians. Last night I added John 13.15.

  • Mike Riley 2:00 pm on 2010-03-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , commandments, , , , ,   

    My favorite Psalm? Psalm 78. Why? Because God is telling us through the psalmist, the vital importance of teaching our children and grandchildren God’s word. The psalm emphasizes our responsibility to teach the next generation, so they might “set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalm 78:7).

    The Psalmist then recounts a brief history of Israel and their self-imposed estrangement from God because of their wicked and perverse ways (Psalm 78:12-72).

  • John Henson 5:16 pm on 2010-02-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments, ,   

    What commandment do I struggle most to obey? Wow, what a loaded question. First, I must admit I have shortcomings and then I have to address which shortcomings are the most blatant and I must do this in a venue that J. Randal Matheny can see and edit. That’s the really humiliating part.

    My weakness is in the scripture calling me to “love the Lord thy God” with all my heart, mind, soul and might. This includes the obedience to all the commands of God (John 14:15). If I love God the way I should, then I will obey his commands.

    Lately, I’ve been instructed by the twin Psalms, Psalm 56 and 57 to make God the center of my life instead of my problems and trials. Eddie Cloer, the writer of the Truth for Today commentary on Psalms penned, “Walking with God with a living faith keeps our souls centered on our Deliverer and His deliverances instead of on our foes and our failures.” Boy, there’s a wake-up call. If I can learn that, then I’ll be closer to loving God the way I should.

    • Randal Matheny 5:21 pm on 2010-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      My dear brother, if it is said of the Lord, “A crushed reed he will not break, a dim wick he will not extinguish” (Is 42:3), we will deal with one another gently and lovingly. And we’ll help one another to overcome the shortcomings and rise up from the failures. Pray for me!

      • John Henson 5:28 pm on 2010-02-11 Permalink | Reply

        Good point. I’d say we’ll pray for one another, ‘cos that’s what brethren do. I pray I’ll never get to the point in my life where I’m so interested in sustaining myself and my opinions that I present them to the detriment of someone else. Seen too much of that lately.

  • J. Randal Matheny 1:56 pm on 2010-02-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commandments,   

    Nudge: What commandment do you struggle most to obey? 

    So asks today’s Daily Nudge. I thank one of the Fellows for the suggestion of the question. Since this might be considered a tad sensitive, I’ll go first this time. (Oops, I see two have beat me to the draw. Good for them!)

    “Finish what you start.” That’s a principle and in the Corinthians’ goal of contributing to help the Jerusalem saints, it’s a command:

    “Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have” (2 Cor 8:10-11 NLT).

    I’m creative and like to initiate projects. I have many (I try to not count) books, projects and ideas languishing for lack of attention. So I struggle to finish what I start.

    • Barbara A Oliver 4:01 pm on 2010-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      “Pray without ceasing” catches me short. When I think of all the strength and power that slips by each day, it pains me.

      • Randal Matheny 5:07 pm on 2010-02-11 Permalink | Reply

        Amen to that, Barbara. That’s a big one, too. Glad you’re showing your face on TFR.

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