BESTOWALS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is an eternal and divine person, a member of the Godhead, compatible in nature with the other two members of the Godhead, the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14). If we have no trouble conceiving of the Father as a divine person or conceiving of the Son as a divine person, then we should have no trouble conceiving of the Holy Spirit as a divine person rather than as an impersonal “it” or only a force, power, or influence. Seven times in a single text Jesus used personal pronouns to refer to the Holy Spirit, referring to Him six times as “He” and one time as “His” (John 16:13). This is but one of many texts that speak of the Holy Spirit as a divine person/being. Continue reading
SOME MORE THINGS THE BIBLE PLAINLY SAYS
Continuing from last week, let us note some more things the Bible plainly says.
1. That God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
2. That through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed (Lamentations 3:22-24). Continue reading
SOME THINGS THE BIBLE PLAINLY SAYS
As a sequel to last week’s “News & Views” titled “Where Does The Bible Say . . .?” this week we set forth some things the Bible plainly says. Seriously reflect on these sacred truths, accept them, and take appropriate action. Continue reading
LOVE FINALLY BROKE OUT
(Note: For this week’s edition of Hugh’s News & Views I am indebted to my friend, Jefferson DAVID Tant, son of Fanning Yater Tant, and grandson of the grand old Texas pioneer preacher, Jefferson DAVIS Tant. After decades in the Atlanta area, David and Flora have moved to Hendersonville, TN to be nearer their children and where he is now my neighbor. Under the above title David wrote as follow):
Spencer Tracy is acclaimed by many to have been the greatest of all American actors. While much is known concerning his public life, little is known about his private life. A story from his private life is both touching and edifying at once, and I would like to share it with you. Continue reading
As is the case with old people (about whom we wrote last week), the Bible has much to say about young people. In some respects, both “young” and “old” are relative terms. Even after I was in my 60s, I would sometimes be told, “You are still a young man.” To me, anyone under 60 is young. Consider some things the Bible tells us about young people.
Joseph was only 17 years old when he was sold by his envious brothers into Egyptian slavery, but in Egypt he rose to great heights in the government, and later was used by the Lord to save his family from a severe famine in the land of Canaan (Genesis 37:2). While still a mere child, Samuel was turned over to Eli, the priest of God, by his mother to be trained for service to the Lord. Samuel grew up to become a judge, a prophet, and a powerful spiritual leader of God’s people. But it all began when he was very young (I Samuel 1:19-28). David was the youngest of Jesse’s son and the least likely to be chosen to succeed Saul as the king of Israel, yet he was the Lord’s choice (I Samuel 16:1-13). When David went out to meet the Philistine giant in battle he was “but a youth” (I Samuel 17:33), yet he slew the giant with a sling and a stone, then ran to the fallen body of Goliath, drew the giant’s own sword from its sheath, and cut off his head (I Samuel 17:45-51). Continue reading
The Bible has quite a bit to say about old people, and like every other Bible subject, we would do well to listen to what it says about this subject.
Adam, the first man on earth, lived to the ripe old age of 930 (Genesis 5:5). Methuselah lived to be 969 years old, the oldest person named in the Bible (Genesis 5:27). Abraham, who became the ancestral head of the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews, was 75 years old when God called him to leave his native land and migrate to the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-4). He was 100 years old when his first child, Isaac, was born, and his wife Sarah was 90 years old (Genesis 17:17). From Isaac’s son Jacob the great nation of Israel arose. Continue reading
LIPSCOMB AND WHITESIDE ON THOSE WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS
DAVID LIPSCOMB (1831-1917):
In his remarkable comments on Romans 16:17-18, David Lipscomb stated: “No greater evil, according to the Scriptures, could befall the churches than the divisions arising from the introduction of teachings and practices not required by God. The fundamental truth of the Bible is that God alone has the right to direct and guide the faith and service of his children. Everything added to the work or worship of God by man is a usurpation in the sight of God, and ought to be resisted. Things that enter into the worship of God ought to be distinguished from the things indifferent and from mere expedients used to help men in performing the service of God that render them comfortable while doing the worship. These constitute no part of the service, but are helps to man while doing that service, not additions to it. (Here Lipscomb has in mind such things as church buildings in which to assemble, pews on which to sit, a table for the Lord’s Supper, hymnals, etc., hf). All additions to the service of God are sinful and cause divisions. God has forbidden that anything be added to what he has required. There cannot be a doubt but that the use of instrumental music in connection with the worship of God, whether used as a part of the worship or as an attractive accompaniment, is unauthorized by God and violates the oft-repeated prohibition to add nothing to, take nothing from, the commandments of the Lord. It destroys the difference between the holy and the unholy, counts the blood of the Son of God unclean, and tramples under foot the authority of the Son of God. It has not been authorized by God or sanctified with the blood of the Son. Continue reading
FACTIONS IN THE CHURCH
When I say that I have obeyed the gospel, been saved from my sins, and added to the one church of which we read in the New Testament (Acts 2:47), some of my leftist brethren who are bent on portraying the Lord’s church as a denomination will ask, “Which faction of the Church (sic) of Christ were you added to?”
Before I answer that question, let me hasten to say that when I obeyed the gospel it is for sure that the Lord did not add me to any one of the more than 30 different kinds of Baptist Churches! He did not add me to any of the at least 20 different kinds of Methodist Churches in North America, plus many others in other parts of the world! He did not add me to any of the over 30 different kinds of major Presbyterian Churches or to any of the many smaller Presbyterian bodies! He did not add me to any one of the almost 40 different Lutheran factions in North America, nor to any of the over 20 different kinds of Catholic Churches, all with their own patriarch or prelate and their own rites and rituals! Continue reading
THOUGHTS, INSIGHTS, AND A LITTLE “HUGH-MOR”
Mr. Robert Harper, a kind and courteous African-American gentleman, has picked up our household trash every week for over 20 years. When we moved to our present home my wife was here by herself for a few weeks unpacking dishes and other household items while I finished my work with the church in Selma, AL. She put many empty boxes in the garage and on our driveway, not knowing exactly how she would later dispose of them. Mr. Harper came by, introduced himself to her, told her of his services, broke down and hauled off all the moving boxes, and began his regular weekly pickup of our trash. He has a phenomenal work ethic. He never misses picking up our trash like clockwork every Monday. Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day—it makes no difference—Mr. Harper and his crew can be counted on! I think the only holidays he takes off are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The only time our trash is not picked up on Monday is when Christmas or New Year’s Day falls on that day of the week. Then he gets it the following day. Although he is a few years younger than I, I have never addressed him other than as “Mr. Harper.” In 20 years he has issued only one price increase for his services. A few years ago, when gas prices took a big jump, Mr. Harper increased his extremely reasonable monthly charge by 10%, which was only a nominal amount, Only a 10% price increase in 20 years! In a day when prices continue to go up and service and efficiency continue to go down, Mr. Robert Harper is a sterling example of faithfulness, consistency, being on time, efficiency, and fairness in the pricing of his services. Many other independent contractors and small business owners could learn much from his example. I try to reward Mr. Harper with a little bonus at Christmas, but I eschew tipping (and thereby enabling) inefficiency and nonsensical policies that some businesses seem to delight in adopting, all to the consternation and frustration of their customers. It is for that reason that I do not take my business back to them when I have other options, but I stay with people like Mr. Robert Harper. Continue reading
STEPHEN AND PAUL’S MEETING IN PARADISE
According to sacred Scripture, the first person to die for the faith of the gospel was a man by the name of Stephen. Stephen had first been chosen as one of the seven men to look after the neglected Grecian widows in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-7), but he went on to become an able and courageous defender of the faith. His preaching stirred up the anger and animosity of several groups of Jews in Jerusalem, and he was eventually brought before the Jewish Sanhedrin Council to defend himself (Acts 6:8-7:53). Stephen’s words “cut to the heart” of his audience and so enraged them that “they gnashed at him with their teeth…cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and cast him out of the city and stoned him” (Acts 7:54-58a). Standing by and holding the clothes of those who stoned Stephen and consenting to his death was a young man by the name of Saul (Acts 7:58b). What an ugly, ugly picture of religious prejudice and what it can do to people! Continue reading
MY USE OF THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO ADVANCE, PROMOTE, AND DEFEND NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY
Since my retirement from full-time ministry 20 years ago I have actively used the internet and social media to advance, promote, and defend New Testament Christianity. I believe that as a steward of my time, opportunities, and resources, I am under divine obligation to do this. “Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (I Corinthians 4:2).
I am aware that some may not like my approach or my emphasis. That is alright. I will not fall out with them because they disagree with my approach and/or my emphasis. Others also utilize the internet and social media to present things that are important to them. Some of them also have a particular emphasis, but they seem to think that their emphasis is more important and significant than mine. The fact is, there are many great Bible truths and principles that are in dire need of emphasis in our time. Continue reading
According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a smart aleck is “an obnoxiously conceited and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness or cleverness.” Smart alecks exist in all fields, including the field of religion. They often think of themselves as “original thinkers,” and like to portray themselves as such. Much of the time, upon closer investigation, it is determined that they are neither “original” nor “thinkers”!
Some of my leftist, liberal, progressive brethren come across as “smart alecks.” They like to raise doubt in the minds of faithful members of the Lord’s church by asserting certain things that on deeper thought and investigation are plainly misleading, if not totally false. They take delight in bashing the Lord’s church, while defending denominationalists. Following are some examples of one such smart aleck’s observations as they appeared on his Facebook page of Friday, August 7, 2020. Continue reading
JUST FOR TODAY
Rarely, but occasionally, I borrow material from another source for my “News & Views.” Such is the case this week.
In the bulletin of the Shelbyville Road Church of Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana of May 31, 2020, Ben Vick, minister of the church, one of the two elders of the congregation, and editor of the bulletin spoke of the encouragement he often received from his mother in his work as a gospel preacher. He mentioned especially how much encouragement she was to him in his first full-time work. Often in her letters to him she would include clippings of sayings, poems, or stories. Ben would read them and then file them according to subject matter. Over the years, he accumulated an abundance of informative and encouraging material from his mother. He said she must have been kin to Barnabas, known in the New Testament as the Son of consolation (KJV), Son of exhortation (ASV), or Son of Encouragement (NKJV; NASB) (Acts 4:36).
Included in that bulletin of May 21, 2020 was the following article Ben had received from his mother many years before. I share it with my readers this week in the hope that it will be an encouragement to us in our walk with the Master. It is titled “Just For Today.”
JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through this day only, and not set far-reaching goals to try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime. Continue reading
THE WIT AND WISDOM OF F. B. SRYGLEY
One of the great men in the movement to restore, defend, and maintain original, first century, undenominational Christianity was an unusual personality by the name of Filo Bunyan Srygley (1859-1940). In my “News & Views” of March 28, 2018, I included a sketch of his marvelous life, along with that of his brother, F. D. Srygley, and their mentor, T. B. Larimore. That sketch also appeared in my book Restoration News and Views: Plea, Principles, Perspectives, & Personalities , Hester Publications, Henderson, TN. The July 2020 edition of The Spiritual Sword likewise carried an article by me about this great Christian man. Continue reading
SIGNIFICANT “MARKERS” IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
His Victorious Resurrection – On the third day after His death and burial (as the Jews reckoned time), our Lord was raised from the dead by the power of God. All four of the Gospel writers tell of this momentous event (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). By His resurrection Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). The reality of the resurrection was one of the key aspects of the preaching of the apostles in the book of Acts (2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:1-2, 10, 33; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33-34, 37; 17:18, 31; et al). The resurrection is an essential element of the gospel, and without it there would be no gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4). Christians love and serve a living Lord and Savior, not a dead martyr! His resurrection is the divine assurance of our resurrection (I Corinthians 15:20-22), reminding us always that our labor for Him is not in vain (verse 58). Continue reading