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  • John T. Polk II 7:40 pm on 2017-01-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , grace   

    “But by the grace of God I am… 

    “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10-11 NKJV). God’s “gospel of grace” saved Paul when he washed away his sins in baptism, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). But he knew it was not “once-saved-always-saved,” because he “had labored more abundantly than” the rest of the Apostles.
    Paul taught: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (Titus 3:8 NKJV).  A Christian must continually be obedient, or else God’s grace was given “in vain.”  “Good works” are the proper response to God’s grace.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:01 pm on 2016-09-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grace   

    9-21-2016 Grace And Baptism 

    “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 NKJV).  The Child Jesus “grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40 NKJV).  Paul felt that what he “received from the Lord Jesus, [was] to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NKJV).  That “gospel” said, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 NKJV).  Jesus offered His blood in his death, and the only way sinners enter His death is through baptism!  “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3 NKJV).  Baptism into His death brings salvation by God’s grace.  If not, why not?

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

     
  • Eugene Adkins 4:00 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , grace, ,   

    Does grace and faith by default do away with water? 

    Many people in the religious world contend that water has nothing to do with our salvation today because salvation from God comes by grace through faith. In other words, salvation by grace and faith, so it is thought, leaves no room or need for the water, but is that the case?

    Did you know that Noah was saved by grace through faith and water? He sure was!

    But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)

    By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)

    who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” (1 Peter 3:20)

    Now if God’s plan of salvation in the past could consist of saving someone by grace through faith and water, then what makes a person think that grace and faith does away with the water today?

    There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 3:21)

     
    • docmgphillips 8:13 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. Unfortunately, we are a “milk” generation, and need more lessons on the basics.

    • marciasettles 8:52 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on A Mom Looking Up.

    • marciasettles 9:03 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 1 John 5

      • Eugene Adkins 6:31 am on 2015-08-24 Permalink | Reply

        Great scripture reference, Marcia. And thanks for the reblog too. I appreciate that.

  • James McFerrin 8:19 pm on 2015-04-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grace, , Reassurance   

    Faith/Grace/Obedience/Walking in the Light 

    Below, is the text of a Bible lesson that I taught Sunday morning, Apr. 12, 2015 at the State Line church of Christ. I hope everyone finds this study informative and comforting, but also alarming if you are NOT walking in the light with God.

    James

    FAITH/GRACE/OBEDIENCE/WALKING IN THE LIGHT 4-12-15

    I. INTRODUCTION There is great misunderstanding and disagreement among our friends and even among ourselves regarding the roles that faith, grace and obedience occupy in our lives. Is faith in Christ the only thing necessary for our salvation? What does grace have to do with our salvation? If God wants everyone to be saved, He being all powerful should be able to give us executive clemency without us having to obey. Right? Since there is no sin in heaven am I doomed to torment if I die right after committing a sin? I’m sure that all of us have wondered about these things at various times in our lives. Hopefully, we will have a better degree of understanding and comfort about these issues after studying the following Scriptures.

    II. Rom. 10:1-17 Paul stated in his letter to the Roman Christians the importance of faith/believing. He also mentioned the importance of confessing that faith. It’s obviously important to preach the Lord Jesus to those who have not heard about Him. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

    III. Eph. 2:1-22 In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reflected upon the sinful nature of man. God is a just God. He severely punished sinful people during the Old Testament era because of their failures to follow Him. In addition to being just, God is also loving and merciful. He desires that all would be saved. His love, mercy and desire for our salvation led Him to send His Son to serve as a sacrifice for our sins by shedding His blood on Calvary’s cross. Sinful man has done nothing and will never do anything that will “earn” salvation. If our works saved us through their merits, salvation would not be free, but earned. It is a free gift and gifts are not earned. HOWEVER, there are certain conditions or commands that must be met prior to qualifying to receive God’s grace. If one is to enjoy these blessings, it is necessary to be in Christ—in His body—the church.

    IV. Jas. 2:14-26 Empty words do not show faith—faith is made known by the kinds of acts that a person performs. Even the demons believe in the one God and tremble, but that is not sufficient to please Him. Abraham and Rahab are examples of some who showed their faith by their works of obedience. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

    V. Rom. 5:12-6:23 A person with more sins than another receives a greater measure of grace than the one with fewer sins. There are those who seem to teach that one may sin freely and God’s grace will cover those sins. It is hard to live without “slipping up” and sinning, but to sin freely makes a mockery of His grace. Paul stated, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” As one repents of his sins when becoming a Christian, his old sinful man dies to sin. This dead man of sin is symbolically buried in baptism just as Christ was buried. He then symbolically rises as a newborn Christian to walk a new spiritual life just as Christ rose to walk a new spiritual life. Even though a Christian may occasionally stumble and sin, if he has died to sin, he has stopped willingly living in sin or for sin.

    VI. I Jn. 1:1-2:6 How can one be assured that he is saved? According to John, the person who says that he has not sinned is a liar and that makes God a liar—strong words. There are no sins in heaven. God is referred to as light. John stated that one cannot claim to walk with God if he is living in the darkness of sin. A true child of God walks in fellowship with Him according to His word even though he sometimes falls. As long as one keeps his trust in the saving power of the blood of Christ and walks accordingly, that blood continually cleanses all of those sins. This is a most reassuring and comforting thought. LET US CONTINUE TO WALK IN THE LIGHT!!

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:54 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , grace,   

    3-19-2015 A Commandment of Men 

    Israelites were commanded to “Honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12), but Pharisees and scribes had claimed whatever they might use to honor parents was “Corban,” or devoted to God (Leviticus 1:2). Jesus exposed their using the Bible to contradict the Bible by saying, “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:3-6 NKJV). Did Jesus contradict other Scriptures when He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV)? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV). Since “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), then it is a “commandment of men” to make Paul cancel Jesus’ requirement for salvation.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:53 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , contradicted, grace,   

    3-18-2015 Did Jesus Make Baptism Essential to Salvation? 

    Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV), and placed baptism after believing but before salvation. Why is this so? If Jesus had felt baptism had nothing whatever to do with salvation, He would have (1) left it out altogether, but He included it;(2) mentioned it after salvation, but not one passage of Scripture where baptism and salvation/remission of sins are mentioned together that places salvation before baptism; (3) specifically said that it had nothing whatever to do with salvation, but no New Testament writer ever taught this ; (4) warned His disciples that it contradicted God’s other commandments but Peter did not think it contradicted any passage dealing with “works,” “grace,” “love,” or “faith” when he said “baptism doth also now save us “ (1 Peter 3:21 KJV).

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

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 5:24 am on 2015-02-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , divine gifts, grace,   

    We need them all 

    The Lord Jesus Christ taught multitudes, discipled small groups, talked one-on-one. He also took time away from people to be with his Father.

    His followers do likewise. They find time alone with their God. They shine their light in the midst of a dark world. They make it a priority to meet with their family in Christ. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 5:58 am on 2014-11-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , grace   

    The gospel of the grace of God 

    A lesson by this title has been added to the Old Paths Archive in text and audio, and in English and Dutch.

    “The gospel of the grace of God”

    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/063-grace.html

    “Het evangelie van de genade Gods”

    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/063-genade.html

    This is a compendium of Paul’s teaching on grace in his letter to the saints at Rome.

    A compressed version is appearing as an article in the December 2014 issue of the Canadian publication, The Gospel Herald http://www.gospelherald.org/ which has the grace of God as its theme.

    Pray with me that this material will help souls throughout the world gain a greater understanding of the marvelous grace of God.

    May the Lord bless you.

    Roy Davison

    http://www.oldpaths.com/RD

     
  • Ed Boggess 8:32 am on 2014-08-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "living in sin", , grace, ,   

    1 John teaches us much about the love of God and how his grace works on behalf of his children. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us.” We all stumble in many ways and fall short of the glory of God. But once we are adopted into the family of God, the blood of Jesus constantly washes us from our failings and sins. As long as we are walking in the light, this blessing gives us the confidence that we can live without fear, trusting in the grace and love of our Father. But since we all stumble and sin, else why would there be any need for a constant cleansing, how do we know that we are walking in the light? I hear the phrase, nearly always describing someone other than the one using the phrase, describing someone as “living in sin”. Every time I hear it is used exclusively for one particular sin. But why apply it to only one? The gossip, the liar, the resentful, the thief, the cheat, tax evader (or tax corner-cutter), the lustful, the covetous, and on and on are all living in sin. How can anyone trust themselves as walking in the light and therefore receiving the cleansing power and sonship of God? I believe the answer is in the context of 1 John itself. John does not introduce the idea and then abandon it, but rather develops it throughout his letter. In the midst of this development, he identifies who is walking in the light and who is not. in 3:7, 8 John warns against being deceived and then contrasts two different lifestyles. Using the ESV John says there are the children of God who “practice righteousness” and there are those serving the devil who “make a practice of sinning.” John is not talking about a single sin but a overall lifestyle. Through the years I have seen people struggle with a particular sin, perhaps drunkenness, yet overall they lived a life serving the Lord. I am not the judge of such folks, nor will I condemn them off-hand. I will encourage them to continue to work on those areas they fall short, as I hope I continue to work on the areas I fall short. But the very fact that they are living lives “practicing righteousness” gives me hope that God’s grace will cover their shortcomings.

    Through nearly 50 years of preaching I have met and grieved over scores and hundreds of former Christians who were offered no hope and therefore gave up. I remember one deacon’s son who had been told he might as well give up since his situation, a mess he had made for himself, made it impossible for him to be saved. Believing what he was told, he no longer tried. He had children and they were not taken to church nor introduced to the Lord. They now have teenage children who were never taken to church and never introduced to the Lord. So there is Oscar himself and his wife, four children and 12 grandchildren, 18 in all: all with no hope and all altogether away from the Lord. Why? Some folks “living in sin” are never told “you might as well quit”, others, liars, gossips, etc. are ignored. Oscar is one of hundreds I have come across. How many more could be multiplied if we only could somehow know? There will always be tares among the wheat and the Lord has the wisdom to separate the two when it is time. Think how much greater the kingdom could be, if we left it to Him. These are just some thoughts I choose to share that cause me to grieve. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I am sure I will be again. But maybe I’m not. This is Just-A-Minute or two or three.

     
  • TFRStaff 6:07 am on 2014-02-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grace, ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Grace) 

    HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

    GRACE

    The following story is well known to many people, including many of the readers of “News & Views.” I tell it here because it is a fitting introduction to today’s column.

    Little Johnny was only seven years old when his mother died. She was a pious woman and did everything she could to teach Johnny about God and spiritual matters.

    But Johnny’s daddy was a sea captain, and the lure of the sea pulled Johnny in that direction. At the age of eleven, Johnny Newton went to sea and spent the next twenty years as a sailor engaged in African slave trading. His life was spent in the basest sort of wickedness.

    However, during a violent storm at sea John Newton almost lost his life. His wicked deeds passed before him in vivid review and caused him to cry out to the God he had known as a child. His life was spared.

    His next several years were spent in preparation for the ministry. He studied Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. He diligently studied the Scriptures. He became a preacher and author of great note. But the world knows him best for a hymn which he wrote which was autobiographical. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:12 am on 2013-11-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: grace, , personal shortcomings   

    Easy to be around 

    As long as a person wasn’t living life with a faux front, Jesus was easy to be around. For the most part, when it came to people interacting with Jesus, imperfection was actually able to relate to and relax around perfection. They knew they didn’t belong in his presence but they knew they had nowhere else to go (Luke 5:8; John 6:68). I guess that’s why I came and why I stay all in one sentence.

    He reveals what I already know about myself, even the stuff that I don’t want to see, but he keeps those shortcomings between him and me. 

    That sentence may be bad English, but it’s good doctrine and theology because Jesus came in the flesh to be around us despite our shortcomings, and that’s why we can still find it easy to be around him.

    For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:32 am on 2013-09-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , grace, , , ,   

    Guest Article: Where’s Jesus? by Joshua Gulley 

    Here’s a good article that reminds us about the importance of feeding our faith over our ego and allowing God’s grace to accomplish what we could never earn.

    Where’s Jesus? by Joshua Gulley

    Luke 5:15-16 – “The news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would slip away to the wilderness and pray.”

    Hold on a minute! I thought this was what Jesus’s job was—to spread the gospel of the kingdom of God, to heal people, to cast out demons, to raise people from the dead, to encourage, to do miracles, to teach, to exhort, to rebuke! You’re telling me that Jesus turned down opportunities to do the Lord’s work?! You mean they had a door-knocking event and He didn’t show up? You mean to tell me that there was a work camp going on and He skipped it? Are you trying to say that there was a revival meeting that night and He didn’t attend?

    I’m being overly dramatic, of course. But the fact remains that there was good work available for the doing, and Jesus chose not to be there. How can this be so? I think Jesus had already learned a couple of things that take some experience to figure out—a couple of things that I understand in theory at this point of my life, but have not quite perfected in practice just yet.

    First is that your own relationship with God has to be in proper order before anything else can be acceptable. There are always good things to be doing, but if we are always doing good things, we are not taking time to stay close to God ourselves.

    Second is that overworking yourself is not good. There are several reasons for this, but the important one here is that when we are working all the time, we may be accomplishing a lot, but we may also be tempted to develop an unhealthy pride in the things we accomplish. I may knock on 500 doors and conduct 30 Bible studies and grade a thousand correspondence courses and mow a dozen yards and clean five gutters and visit 20 widows and carry 40 meals to the sick before I realize that by keeping up with my stats, I’m developing a “salvation by credit” kind of attitude. To twist Paul’s words a bit, I may give all my possessions to feed the poor and surrender my body to be burned, but without the blood of Jesus, none of that will get me to heaven. God is pleased with the good we accomplish as long as we keep in mind that He doesn’t need us to do it. He deserves every bit of our devotion, but ironically, that devotion can be misplaced and actually cause us to move away from God. “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

    Paul perhaps captures it best in Ephesians 2:8-10. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” We can’t let Satan guilt us into thinking we’ve got to do more, more, more. When you find yourself patting yourself on the back for something good you just did (boasting), then it’s time to go back to the other side of the semicolon to remember that salvation is a gift—not wages. Lord, help us know when it is time to slip away into the wilderness and pray. – Joshua Gulley

    Josh is a member at the Smithville Church of Christ and a teacher of music at the High School level

     
  • docmgphillips 9:48 am on 2013-09-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grace,   

    Just a quick thought. After two or three years of drought, we are experiencing rain in this part of Texas. Thank you, Lord! We know that you are the source of every good and perfect gift, and the rain is truly that.
    But I am thinking…How can we truly appreciate the goodness and mercy of God if we never know of His justice and wrath? I am in no way opposed to sermons that teach us about God’ love and patience; we need those sermons. But if we, like Paul, are to teach the “whole”, do we not need to occasionally mention to the congregation WHY we need that goodness, patience, and grace>

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , grace, , , , , , seasoned,   

    (#61) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:23-A Fool is a Blabbermouth! 

    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 12:23: “A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.”

    “Knowledge” is based upon facts, certainty, and insight. When “knowledge” involves Bible truths, we must all be as David, who said, “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know” (Psalm 40:9). Though Peter confessed Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), Jesus was not ready for this to be widely known at that time, so “He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:20). However, when this truth was fully revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul had “not shunned to declare…the whole counsel of God” in Ephesus (Acts 20:17, 27). In dealing with the judgments of our daily lives, the “prudent” (sensible, wise, judicious) don’t need to tell everything at once! Since “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12), this principle is applicable to Christians (1 Peter 4:8). Solomon later would say, “There is a time to keep silence, And a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Those with good judgment will make timely conversation, hence, Christians must “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

    When blabbing anything and everything one knows about others with the excuse that, “I’m just being honest,” one becomes a fool who is without good judgment! Other proverbs that add to this truth are: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19); “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16); “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2); “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). There is a common saying based upon this truth: “Better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” One who is “slow to speak” (James 1:19) is either “wise” or a fool who is mistaken as wise! Meanwhile, “a fool” will use a “multitude of words” to lay “open his folly” and pour forth “foolishness.” Running off at the mouth is never good, while shutting up the mouth in good judgment can be “perceptive!” When our heart is in our mouth, truth may be lost in the moment! God gives us a mind with which to filter what we say: “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips” (Proverbs 16:23). Since God’s people are now the Christians, Solomon’s wisdom is timeless: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

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

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:51 am on 2013-08-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grace, , , , , Simon the Pharisee, , spiritual debt   

    A Thought on Mercy 

    Here’s a thought that I’m going to work in during my sermon based within the context of Luke 7:36-50 (Simon the Pharisee and the woman sinner).

    “If you owe someone 1,000$ and your neighbor owes 10,000$, and the note is due the next day, but you’re both out of work, who’s in trouble? – That’s why we’re all dependent upon the mercy of God through the Son of God who can pay off our notes through his blood.”

    Read Luke’s account of what happened that day in a Pharisee’s house and the point becomes clear.

    I thought you might be able to use it for a devotional thought or a sermon seed.

     
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