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  • J. Randal Matheny 8:26 pm on 2017-02-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , obedience, ,   

    VOTD: Psalm 119.2 

    “How blessed are those who observe [God’s] rules, and seek him with all their heart” (NET).

    Psalm 119 begins with two blessings. This is the second of the two. It pairs obedience to God’s commands and a full-hearted seeking of God. What few consider a blessing today is actually even more so in the new covenant of Christ. If it was a blessing under the old law, how much more so is it a blessing today.

     
  • Ron Thomas 12:00 pm on 2017-02-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , obedience,   

    Walking the Well-Traveled Path (A Word to the Wise) 

    The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul (Proverbs 16:17, NKJV). Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. No man can go to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). This means that if a person desires heaven, then he must listen and obey Jesus. We all travel on a highway through life; it is the desire of many to arrive at a destination that is restful and pleasant. The thoughtful person even desires that place to be heaven. But it won’t be heaven if he/she does not listen to Jesus and obey. The reason for this is simple: The Lord gave directions as to how to get there, but if a person hears nothing of those directions, then no possibility of arrival exists. Even if one did listen, but then changed her mind about listening further, the result will be straying from the less traveled path the Lord walked on, and onto a path well-traveled by many who don’t know where they are going. RT

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 6:39 am on 2017-01-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: obedience,   

    God will let you do what you please, will give you all you want 

    From the permissiveness and immorality of denominations—and from some churches that used to belong to the Lord, it appears that they now work from Augustine’s idea to love God and do what you please. Whatever Augustine may have meant by it, they take it to mean that God allows you have it your way.

    No wonder then that one of the favorite verses of religious folk is Psa 37.4: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (KJV). Many take it to mean that God will write you a blank check, will do whatever you want. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 8:20 am on 2017-01-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , obedience, , works of merit   

    Pleasing versus proving 

    It is one thing to please God, quite another to attempt to buy him with works of merit. We can hold no hope of heaven without pleasing him, Rom 8.8-9; 2 Cor 5.9-10; Heb 11.6. On the other hand, we can never expect divine approval by our selected list of works that we determine as good. Such arrogance smacks of one’s own deification. But pleasing God means that we believe his truth and his promise and act upon them, in order to receive the eternal reward that he bestows based upon his will and conditions.

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:25 am on 2016-12-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , obedience, ,   

    Where’s the urgency? 

    urgency

    Yesterday, a non-Christian and I resumed studying the Bible with a view toward his conversion. He wants to be baptized. His wife is a Christian. He feels left out of participation in worship. He wants to be a part of the body.

    He had stopped studying for months. He had an issue that he needed to deal with in his heart. But for all that, he just didn’t feel the urgency, even though he understood the connection between sin and perdition. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 12:00 pm on 2016-11-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , obedience   

    Wipe your internet presence clean with one click. And your sins with one dip 

    click-hereIt’s the real deal, supposedly. These folks will find all your accounts on the web, through a Google login, and wipe your internet presence clean. They don’t say if they’ll get you off Google as well. But it really tempts one, does it not?

    There is a good side to the internet. At times, however, we don’t see it. We get bombarded by the bad side, and offers like the one made by the site above appeal to those who are tired of it all. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 7:35 am on 2016-07-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: obedience, ,   

    The more we think about it 

    Not everything is solved by thinking. Sometimes we can think too long or hard. In some ways, the more we think, the more we complicate the simplicity of the Good News. As soon as understanding occurs, action is necessary. Thinking can be an attempt to stall and balk at obedience.

    This is not an argument against thinking. We must use the mind — more than we do, usually — to comprehend the truths of God. We must separate human religion from divine revelation. But this is not a hard or protracted process. Once the Word is understood, obedience must soon follow, else the old man rises up to object and obstruct.

    #thinking #obedience #simplicity

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:41 pm on 2016-06-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , obedience,   

    Two times only, in two different senses 

    You may see this elsewhere, but here’s something cool—and of vital importance. The Greek word monē (abode, dwelling place) is used only twice in all the NT: John 14.2 and John 14.23. In the first, Christ prepares for us heavenly dwelling places. So we ought to prepare ourselves so we can be received into them. In the second, God is seeking, today, dwelling places on earth—in the hearts of men. So we ought to prepare ourselves to receive him, and the Lord Jesus, by loving obedience. Only when he takes up his residence in us on earth, will we be able to reside with him in eternity.

    #obedience #heaven #presence-of-god

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:18 am on 2016-05-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , obedience, ,   

    Chose one of these statements. Your eternal life depends upon it. 

    In an article called, “Obedience Unlocks God’s Power,” a popular evangelical writer states:

    While effort has nothing to do with your salvation, it has much to do with your spiritual growth.

    This is the standard evangelical disclaimer about obedience. If you read anything by evangelicals, you’ll see similar statements all over the place. Now this: (More …)

     
    • D. H. Johnson 9:45 am on 2016-05-14 Permalink | Reply

      Randy, you are absolutely right about choosing the right version that comes from the correct Greek copies. It makes me wonder why absolute specific obedience to every detail is required TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN, but after we become a Christian, sin is acceptable. If loving God is keeping his commandments (1 Jn 5:3), how much do we love him if we keep one command? Two? Three? How many commands are we to obey if we love Him with all our heart, soul and mind? God makes a covenant, but for some reason it is not necessary for God’s children to keep ALL of the commands of that covenant. The Israelites kept many of the commands of God, and Jesus testified they kept the Sabbath, Feast Days, and even tithed! However he also testified that not one of them kept that covenant (John 7:19). Why? They were warned that unless they kept ALL of the commands of the Covenant, he would curse them (Deut 28;1; 15). If we keep all the law but offend in one point, are we not guilty of all (Jas 2:10-12)? What is so hard about keeping all the commands of God (1 Jn 5:3)? We claim to follow the Great Commission, but how many plan to ‘observe ALL THINGS whatsoever’ Jesus commands us? Should we not apply the same principles of obedience to God’s children that we apply to the unbeliever so that he can become a Christian?

      • Humberto 5:57 pm on 2016-05-15 Permalink | Reply

        “…but after we become a Christian, sin is acceptable

        lol, who said that?

    • Carol Vinzant 9:52 am on 2016-05-14 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Randy, I, for one, REALLY appreciate your devoting your writing to the elements of salvation that really matter! We are in the most ecumenical phase ever, since the restoration of the church. Most think we of churches of Christ, ( including many of our own members are thinking this way) are too picky and only focus on baptism. I believe we began to focus on baptism because it was what was being omitted. We all should recognize the difference in “effort” and “obedience.” Of course we should NEVER forget FAITH on our part, and GRACE as God’s gift to us. Anyone who can read and understand the Bible cannot miss the fact that GOD wants Obedience to His WORD…..We should NEVER take away nor add to God’s Word. (Rev. 22: 18, 19).Even Moses did not get to go into the promised land due to disobedience and what EFFORT he had manifested! (We know Moses IS in Heaven with God, and got to view Canaan, and later was on the Mount of Transfiguration.)
      “Preach on, Brother,” and may we simply TRUST and OBEY.

      • Humberto 6:01 pm on 2016-05-15 Permalink | Reply

        I second your comment. <3

        Well said. Abiding Jesus words is easy. People complain too much and they have forgot the simple and essential baptism.

    • fd4tht 10:40 am on 2016-05-14 Permalink | Reply

      Of course, none of those folks would argue that you must “obey” God to grow, or to acquire forgiveness when you sin. Even the “sinner’s prayer” requires compliance. Repentance is obedience. Leave it to the devil to skew terms and leave a trail of deception. Thanks for the persistence.

    • Timothy Hall 10:43 am on 2016-05-14 Permalink | Reply

      Clearly stated, Randal. By juxtaposing Warren’s statement with Scripture’s you show the serious contrast between the two positions. God has been so gracious to offer salvation; why would we ever quibble over His terms?

  • John T. Polk II 9:35 pm on 2015-11-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: debased, , evil-inflicted events, obedience   

    11-19-2015 Why Blame God 

    Whenever disaster or evil-inflicted events occur, people are quick to blame God for that evil. They ignore 2 important facts: (1) The Devil is real and against us. Jesus went “through death” to destroy “him who had the power of death that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). The Devil makes death horrible to see. (2) Evil is in the world because people have not listened to God. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28 NKJV). Jesus “learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9 NKJV). Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

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

     

     
  • Glenda Williams 1:37 pm on 2015-09-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , obedience   

    Are we gambling with God? 

    Funerals always make us think about life and dying more seriously. As we traveled to Andalusia Friday to attend a funeral, I thought about how people gamble with different aspects of their lives. Oh, I’m not talking about going to the casinos and doing whatever they do there, but rather about the ways we gamble with ourselves and God. So I pose the question here, Are we gambling with God?

    About our soul? About our becoming a Christian? Procrastination, waiting until the last hours. “Let no man despise your youth, but be an example in faith, purity, etc. (1 Tim.5:22). Saturday a lady brought me up to date on the spiritual status of her family. “But my husband still hasn’t become a Christian. He says he is going to wait longer before becoming a Christian.” I remember it was his daddy who made basically the same comment. He died of a massive heart attack and NEVER made things right with God. Don’t gamble with God. He will win every time!

    About our dedication to God? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33) We are gambling with God if we don’t put him first. He will not have any other place. Not attending the services of the church, but being able to visit friends or family, or doing something else, shows we are gambling with God.

    About our marriage status. One man and one woman for life. No one who dies in an adulterous relationship will enter heaven (Gal. 5:19-21). Widows are to marry only in the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:39). Adulterous relationships are gambling with God.

    About our church. Are we gambling with God with the church in which we pledge our allegiance? Jesus built one church. It was not a denomination, nor is it now. Holding on to family traditions and failing to obey the truth of the gospel will cause one to lose their soul. Gambling with God. He will win every time

    If the Bible is the book we are going to be judged by, and we know it is, “The words I have spoken will judge you in the last day,” (John 12:48); If the Bible is true, and we know it is for the Bible says, “all scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16); If the Bible sets forth a marked pattern of salvation, and we know it does by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), Believing (John 8:24), Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3), Confessing that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 10:32) and being baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16), then we are gambling with God if we don’t take His words seriously, and we will lose our souls in Hell.

    Don’t gamble with God. He will win every time!

     
  • TFRStaff 10:03 am on 2015-07-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , obedience   

    Learning Obedience 

    “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb. 5:8).

    The Bible is clear that Jesus has “all power … in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). So why would a being with all power need to learn obedience? It might have something with the salvation of mankind. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 4:14 am on 2015-06-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , obedience,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (For Whom . . . Effective?) 

    FOR WHOM IS THE ATONING DEATH OF CHRIST FOR ALL MANKIND EFFECTIVE?

    The Scriptures are abundantly clear that Christ died for the sins of all mankind, all the way from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to the last soul that shall be born on the earth. The Holy Spirit, through the writer of the book of Hebrews, shines His “spotlight” on this truth and unequivocally states, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). Paul declared, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men . . .” (Titus 2:11). (Emphasis mine in both texts, hf). (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 7:25 pm on 2015-04-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: obedience, ,   

    How to start a prayer 

    What a great way to start a prayer! Solomon starts with the only God who is faithful. (More …)

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

     
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