By Johnny O. Trail — The term fellowship has come to mean numerous things to various people. Some of the ideas put forth regarding the nature of Christian fellowship are truly sectarian in nature (Romans 16.7; cf. John 17.21). Any view that contradicts the biblical definition of fellowship should be rejected. Suffice it to say that one must ascertain what the Bible teaches about true fellowship. To that end, it becomes apparent that one can be in fellowship with God, Christ, and fellow Christians. Continue reading
By Johnny O. Trail — Spiritual growth has always been a problem in the Lord’s church. The New Testament has several passages where the inspired writer addresses that very issue. Sadly, immaturity still plagues the church today. Immaturity can rear its head in varied ways but generally stems from ignorance of God’s word. Continue reading
By Johnny O. Trail — Humankind made the decision to follow after its own way from the dawn of creation. When Adam and Eve violated God’s will regarding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when they partook of it, from that time down to this very age, human beings conduct themselves as if God and His commands make absolutely no difference.
God’s longsuffering with the Israelites was coming to an end. Jeremiah 7:23-26 says, “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.” No reasonable person could look at God’s relationship with Israel and accuse God of not being patient with them. The Jews had no excuses, and they were about to be taken into Babylonian captivity. Continue reading
By Johnny O. Trail — Our family has a dog named Sadie. It is a running joke in our family to regularly say, “Sadie is a dog.” It is a statement of an obvious truth. She looks like a dog, barks like a dog, eats like a dog, and acts like a dog. She is a dog.
Lately, we have been reassessing this conclusion. One of our sons has said, “Sadie is a goat.” Another child has said, “Sadie is a cat.” Still, another son has stated, “I don’t really know what she is.” Of course, we do all of this in jest. My children know the differences between a cat, a goat, and a dog. They also know what defines a dog as being a dog.
Suffice it to say, there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that Sadie is a dog. If enough evidence exists to prove something as being factual, then it must be accepted as the truth. One cannot deny that our dog, Sadie, is a dog. There is too much evidence to refute that fact.
The same principle is true in regards to scriptural considerations. If there is enough evidence to demonstrate that something is being accurately and truthfully represented from God’s word, it must be accepted at fact and practiced as outline in the Bible. That is, there are truths in God’s Holy Writ that are undeniable. Continue reading
By Johnny O. Trail
Women are an important part of the body of Christ. Indeed, many efforts that are attempted in the Lord’s church would fail miserably if godly women were not dedicated to supporting the work of the church.
God, through His word, selects people to serve in various ways in the body of Christ. The word of God is prohibitive in regards to the works of an elder and a deacon inasmuch as it outlines the requirements that one seeking such a work must satisfy to serve in such a capacity. If one is not qualified, he should not serve. All workers in the Lord’s church must seek authority for their actions and words whether male or female, elder or otherwise.
These things being said, God loves all people equally—men and women. John 3.16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Galatians 3.27-28 says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” God does not love an elder any more than He loves a preacher. Nor does He love a man more than a woman. Simply stated, there is a distinction in the works they are authorized to be a part of in the church (Ephesians 4.11). Continue reading