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11-15-2017           Man-Made Tradition: Jesus’ Death

In Mark 7:1-3 NKJV: “Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.” Some religious practices “reject the commandment of God” to keep their tradition, as Jesus said in Mark 7:9. Christians remember Jesus’ death every first day of the week in the Lord’s Supper, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 20:7 NKJV). The churches of Christ do not wait for a man-made yearly tradition!

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

#first-day-of-the-week, #lords-supper

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5-29-2017 An Annual Memorial

Memorial Day started as Decoration Day for the graves of those who died in the War Between The States. It became a federal holiday in 1971. Remembering the war dead each year should remind us how precious is our national Freedom. Have you noticed, there is no “memorial day” for enemies? David reminded Israel, “O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished” (Psalm 9:6 NKJV). It has become devoted to baseball games, racing, grilling, and traveling. For Christians, the Lord’s Supper is to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV) every “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7 NKJV), which keeps it fresh! We don’t decorate Christ’s grave, we celebrate His victory, and ours: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4 NKJV).

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

#lords-supper, #memorial-day

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2-9-2017 Kingdom Of God

Jesus physical resurrection has “infallible proofs.” He also spoke “of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:2-3 NKJV). What did Jesus say about “the kingdom of God?” 1) He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17 NKJV).  “At hand,” meant “close, near by.” 2) He said, “there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matthew 16:28 NKJV).  Either He lied, or else the kingdom came while people who heard Him were alive! 3) He said, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18 NKJV). Either the kingdom came in the 1st Century, or there is no Lord’s Supper. Kingdom people observe it every 1st day of the week in the church of Christ (Acts 20:7)! The kingdom has come!

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

#at-hand, #kingdom-of-god, #lords-supper

No fussin’ at the table

Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.” (1 Corinthians 11:20-22 – NKJV)

Much like children (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) fussin’ at the dinner table, some at the church of Corinth had a problem when they sat down to eat the Lord’s holy meal.

Paul’s letter is replete with the several details of Corinth’s other issues, but by the time Paul gets halfway through “chapter 11” of his letter he lays out his rebuke of their behavior during communion in no uncertain term: “Quit fussin’ at the table!”

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-32 – NKJV)

The Lord’s table does not leave room for fussin’.

Done someone wrong? Make it right the way the Lord would want you to through repentance. Someone done you wrong? Make it right by treating them as the Lord has treated you (this doesn’t do away with their responsibility to repent – but this mindset is the mindset of the Lord). Do what needs to be done to hush the fussin’.

Communion is a time to confess our faults – not create new ones. Communion is a time to give forgiveness – not demand it. Communion is a time for humility – not haughtiness. Communion is a time to examine self – not others. Communion is a time to fill our soul – not our belly. Communion is a time to have communion with the Lord, and communion doesn’t have time for fussin’ with brothers and sisters.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26 – NKJV)

#communion, #lords-supper, #lords-table

Hugh’s News & Views (The Lord’s Table)

THE LORD’S TABLE

To His apostles Christ said, “And I appoint for you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed for Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29-30).

The kingdom in which the table of the Lord is located and in which Christ appointed His apostles to judge is a spiritual kingdom (see John 18:36; et al). The rule/judgment of the apostles in this kingdom is spiritual, not earthly and physical. “The twelve tribes of Israel” refer, not to fleshly Israel, but to the New Testament people of God, spiritual Israel (see Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 6:16). As the great scholar J. W. McGarvey said with reference to a related text (Matthew 19:28), “During their personal ministry they [the apostles, hf] judged in person; since then they judge through their writings” (Commentary on Matthew, p. 170). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #lords-supper

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5-30-2016 An Annual Memorial

Memorial Day started as Decoration Day for the graves of those who died in the War Between The States.  It became a federal holiday in 1971.  Remembering the war dead each year should remind us how precious is our national Freedom.  Have you noticed, there is no “memorial day” for enemies?  David reminded Israel, “O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished” (Psalm 9:6 NKJV).  It has become devoted to baseball games, racing, grilling, and traveling.  For Christians, the Lord’s Supper is to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV) every “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7 NKJV), which keeps it fresh!  We don’t decorate Christ’s grave, we celebrate His victory, and ours: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4 NKJV).

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

#christs-grave, #freedom, #lords-supper, #memorial-day, #victory

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5-30-2016 An Annual Memorial

Memorial Day started as Decoration Day for the graves of those who died in the War Between The States.  It became a federal holiday in 1971.  Remembering the war dead each year should remind us how precious is our national Freedom.  Have you noticed, there is no “memorial day” for enemies?  David reminded Israel, “O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished” (Psalm 9:6 NKJV).  It has become devoted to baseball games, racing, grilling, and traveling.  For Christians, the Lord’s Supper is to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV) every “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7 NKJV), which keeps it fresh!  We don’t decorate Christ’s grave, we celebrate His victory, and ours: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4 NKJV).

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

#lords-supper, #memorial-day

Fresh bread every Lord’s day

By Betty Choate — Well, the new year has begun, and around the world we in the Family have had the privilege of worshiping God.  I hope that we were aware of the description given in Hebrews 12:18, 22-24 of the spiritual world into which we entered as we worshiped:

“For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest. … But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”

That last line puzzled me, until I finally realized that the blood of Abel cried out for vengeance and punishment of the murderer. In contrast, the blood of Christ covers us as we come — forgiven and pure — into the presence of our Father!  What a wonderful thing has been achieved through that blood! Continue reading

#communion-bread, #lords-supper

The Lord’s Supper on Friday?

The idea that all people are obligated to conform their thinking and their actions to the teaching of Jesus Christ is not a popular notion these days–even among Christians. Many desire to feel religiously authentic and pleasing to God, but few think that acceptance by God is predicated upon their own conformity to divine legislation. In fact, those who urge people to be conscientious about compliance with the details of God’s Word are decried as “legalists” (see Miller, 2003). Read >>

#breaking-bread, #lords-supper, #worship

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3-23-2015 Man-Made Tradition: Jesus’ Death

In Mark 7:1-3 NKJV: “Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.” Some religious practices “reject the commandment of God” to keep their tradition, as Jesus said in Mark 7:9. Christians remember Jesus’ death every first day of the week in the Lord’s Supper, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 20:7 NKJV). The churches of Christ do not wait for a man-made yearly tradition!

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

#churches-of-christ, #lords-supper, #man-made-traditions, #tradition

Easter and Christmas Always on Sunday

Letter to editor (3.25.2015)

Easter is a date is that is fluid in America’s culture; in fact, it is fluid in what is known as Christendom. The fluidity of the date corresponds directly to the fact that it is not a biblical date of recognition. It is a lot like the date that is fixed in western culture known as Christmas. Neither one of these holidays are biblical in origin.

Since they are not biblical in origin, then it must be they have their origin in man’s thinking. Simple research on the internet will illustrate the origins of both. Easter, for instance, was derived from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant the “goddess of spring.” Of course, today, it stands for something entirely different than the “long-time-ago” meaning. Regardless of the good intentions surrounding the occasion, still, it is not a biblical date of recognition.

New Testament Christians, on the other hand, celebrate the Lord’s resurrection each and every Sunday. If the Lord wanted Christians to remember a particular date, then He would have said as much. Since He did not, then when the saints gather together on the first day of each week, in adoration to the Lord, the “Easter” and “Christmas” occasions of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is memorialized.

(Submitted to Decatur Herald and Review)

#christmas, #easter, #lords-supper, #worship

LORD'S SUPPER

The Lord’s Supper is a sacred feast instituted by the Lord on the very last night He was a free man. The Lord’s Supper signifies not only the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord, but also His future return, with judgment to follow. In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, the Lord presented the unleavened bread as a representation of His life (“I am the bread of life”) and the fruit of the vine as a representation of His death (“the cup of the New Covenant”). According to the New Testament, the saints in the 1st century gathered to commune with the Lord on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:25). “The church is set between the center (the cross) and the consummation (the coming again) of history. The Lord’s Supper holds the two foci together” (Ferguson, Ecclesiology, p. 254).

#communion, #everett-ferguson, #lords-supper

Of poinsettias in August, stale bread and a certain kind of wisdom

poinsettia-varandaOnly a few leaves on our waist-high (or chest-high for some of my shorter friends) poinsettia bush turned red this year. I’ve not seen official records, but it seems to be a mild winter so far. Reckon that has something to do with it?

I’m sure our resident gardener, Christine Berglund, can tell us. Please don’t tell me to move it to a dark place, because it’s in a heavy pot on the back varanda.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico, say the sources, but you see them often in Brazil. You do know they grow to the size of trees, right? Up to four meters, say the sources. I’ve seen them that large. Continue reading

#bible-sites, #corollaries, #lords-supper, #poinsettia

Who is worthy?

communion-bread

Another question perhaps more often asked, “Who is worthy to partake of the Lord’s supper?”

Our brief answer would be, “No one!” We do not know, nor have we ever known, any who claimed to be or were “worthy” to partake of the Communion, or for that matter “worthy” of any act of worship we practice! Continue reading

#bible-questions, #lords-supper

Breaking First Century Bread

Yesterday I listened to a sermon that was a neat little introduction to the book of Revelation. I enjoyed the talk that actually pertained to the actual book, what I didn’t enjoy was a side-comment that was made about Acts 20:7. The speaker talked about the importance of keeping in mind what the words of Revelation meant to the first century Christians, which is a very important thing to do I believe; but for some reason the speaker felt the need to mention the Lord’s Supper and the “exact day” upon which the first century Christians observed it. He stated, in a round about and direct way, that when someone (a church/congregation) thinks that they are partaking of the Lord’s Supper on the same day and in the same way that the early church did because they use Acts 20:7 for their justification they simply don’t understand what Acts 20:7 is saying. He said, for one, the meal was actually eaten on Monday because Paul preached so long, and for two, the first day can mean a different day to different cultures. Huh??? The same man who talked so much about viewing Revelation through the eyes and ears of the first century church disregarded his own sound advice for the book of Acts.

The scripture says, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” (Acts 20:7 – NKJV) For one, for what exact purpose did Luke say the disciples came together? To break bread, right? That’s too plain to deny. Now, which day of the week did they come together to break bread? The first day. But what did Luke mean by the first day? Did the he mean Saturday (the Sabbath), did he mean Sunday, did he mean Monday? Well, all we have to do is let Luke answer that question. In Luke 24:1, the Bible says, “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” What day of the week (by the name we know on our calendar I mean) was Luke talking about when he said the first day of the week? Was it the Sabbath? Nope. Luke 23:56 says, “…And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” The Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) was the day before this first day of week, which is Sunday. Luke, without a doubt, meant the same first day of the week in Acts 20:7 that he meant in Luke 24:1 – the disciples came together to break bread on the first day of the week…a day that we can be sure of.

Now, did the disciples eat the Lord’s Supper on Monday? Let’s pretend only for a second or two that they did. Why would they have observed it on Monday instead of Sunday? It would have been because Paul got a little “long-winded” with his “long-preaching” (KJV). The intended day for breaking bread was not Monday – it was the first day! Listen again, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread….” How can anyone do anything but intentionally miss that? And who says it was the Lord’s Supper that was eaten on Monday? Why isn’t it possible that Paul had stirred up a big appetite after preaching for so long? Acts 20:11 says, “Now when [Paul] had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, [Paul] departed.Acts 20:7 says the disciples broke bread, but Acts 20:11 says Paul broke bread. Does someone find it that hard to believe that the disciples’ whole purpose for coming together on the first day of the week and breaking bread was not for the same purpose that Paul broke bread after preaching for several hours? The first breaking of bread was for spiritual nourishment, the second was for physical nourishment. Why isn’t possible that the church broke bread, then Paul began to preach? Sounds scriptural, not to mention logical to me.

The church, from the beginning, had a habit of, “…[continuing] steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42) These are spiritual matters, and of these matters there was the breaking of bread which is a clear reference of the Lord’s Supper, and not a common meal. This is the breaking of bread that the church had in mind when they met on the first day of week in Acts 20:7, and there is no indication to think otherwise.

Much more could be said, but I believe the objections raised by the speaker have been sufficiently answered. The first century church recognized that the first day of the week meant Sunday, and we can be sure of this by looking at the same author of Acts‘ meaning of “the first day of the week” in the gospel according to Luke. We know that the first century church recognized the importance of partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and the only indication of the day of the week that the church observed the Lord’s Supper that we have in all of the New Testament books from the first century is that the church came together on the first day of the week to do that very thing during the first century. If keeping things in first century context is a good idea for Revelation (and it is), then it should be a good idea to keep that goal in mind with the rest of the first century books of the Bible. When we do that, then we can know the blessing of breaking first century bread.

#acts-207, #breaking-bread, #first-century-christianity, #first-day-of-the-week, #lords-supper