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  • Eugene Adkins 8:08 pm on 2017-02-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , worship   

    Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath 

    Millions of people in Christendom are completely unaware of the fact that they are not amenable the 10 commandments. The lack of knowledge and understanding goes even to the extent that many of these individuals confuse the first of day of the week with the seventh day of the week by referring to it as the “Christian Sabbath.” But ignorance does not change reality, and reality says that the first day of the week is not referred to as the “Christian Sabbath” in any single verse of the New Testament.

    The seventh day Sabbath had a purpose for the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 5: 2-4, 12, 15) and that purpose came to an end when the Law of Moses was replaced with the Law of Christ (Galatians 3:11, 24-25; Hebrews 8:6-7). The rest for God’s people under the New Covenant is not a single day of the week – it is the laborious induced hope of a continual reward of rest in the heavenly presence of God (Hebrews 4:8-11).

    Go ahead and enjoy some physical rest. There is nothing wrong with resting in and of itself. But when it comes to resting (or worship) there is no need to confuse others when it comes to the relationship of the 10 commandments and the New Covenant by referring to the first day of the week as any sort of “Sabbath” other than a personal one that is not bound as a commandment upon the church as a whole by God (Romans 14:5-6).

    Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

    • docmgphillips 1:15 pm on 2017-02-21 Permalink | Reply

      It never fails to amaze me that even among us, there is a tendency to cling to the OT. How can we not see the truth?

      • Eugene Adkins 6:27 am on 2017-02-23 Permalink | Reply

        As a kid, I remember being taught Sunday was the day of rest. I don’t think I was being taught this maliciously. I think it was taught in order to place an emphasis on the importance of recognizing God in worship every Sunday … hence that “natural” connection/association between the Christian treating/recognizing/remembering the first day of the week like the Jew remembered the Sabbath.

        Because of that, I don’t think it’s so much about clinging to the OT as it about looking for ways to make an impression on people’s minds.

        While I think something obviously needs to be done to try and get people (even within the church) to understand the importance of worship on a consistent basis (instead of the once every other week, or worse), I don’t think the way to do it is by making the first day of the week something that it is not. Two wrongs do not make a right.

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:01 am on 2017-01-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , worship   

    From bad to worse (1 Kings 16) 

    That might be an appropriate title for chapter 16 of 1 Kings: “From Bad to Worse.” Abandonment of the Lord produced debauchery, murder, division, idolatry. The chapter shows divine justice being carried out in the midst of a nation’s perfidy. Here are a few lessons from the chapter. (More …)

  • docmgphillips 12:17 pm on 2016-10-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , worship   


    I suppose every Christian has memorized Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, right? We all know we are to sing as a past of the worship service, and to do so without the use of mechanical music. That is a given … I hope.

    But, have you also memorized James 4:10 and I Peter 5:6? What do these two verses have to do with the first paragraph? Well, think about it. I have heard many say, “I don’t sing because my voice is bad,” or “I don’t sing because I can’t carry a tune,” or maybe even, “I don’t want to torture those in front of me.” Yes, I have actually heard all of these … excuses. They are excuses, not reasons.

    Now look at I John 2:16. (I am not quoting these five verses because I want you to be sure I am using them correctly.) Pride is a common sin, also maybe known as “the pride of life.” I don’t think I know anyone who has never had pride as a sin. So think about it. God said sing. He never said you had to have a beautiful voice. He never said the song service had to sound like a professional choir. No! God said sing. Of course, we want to offer God our very best. No question there. But if my very best voice is a rough croak, and I am singing from the heart because I want to please God—not myself nor my fellow Christians—then my voice is pleasing to God. Isn’t that what really matters?

    What say ye?

    • Terry Finley 12:23 pm on 2016-10-04 Permalink | Reply

      I like this blog. It is short enough to read and deep enough to think.

      I don’t always agree, but that is minor to me.

      • Eugene Adkins 9:10 am on 2016-10-08 Permalink | Reply

        Glad to have you reading, Terry.

        Should you ever have any questions about anything that is said, feel free to ask. Conversations can easily be had through private email instead of TFR’s public forum. You’ll find my email by clicking on my “gravatar.”

        And, on behalf of the other authors, thank you for the compliment.

    • Loy Pressley 1:39 pm on 2016-10-04 Permalink | Reply

      Not sure at all that God listens to your voice. It is certain that He hears your singing in your heart. To sing in your heart, you must sing with your voice, no matter how it sounds to those around you who should be concentrating on making melody in their hearts instead of listening to you sing.

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:10 am on 2016-07-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , meetings, worship   

    We show who we are in our meetings 


    We meet together today as God’s holy people, purified by his word of truth and cleansed by the blood of Christ in baptism.

    “He did it to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her with water and the word” Eph 5.26 NIRV.

    Our meetings reflect our character, which in turn determines our thoughts given to the mercies of Christ, our gratitude thrown upward to God, our praises louder for new life in the Spirit, our prayers fervent that others might come to this knowledge.
    (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 3:54 pm on 2016-04-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    4-18-2016 Salvation And Worship 

    “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16 NKJV).  Jesus began His public preaching in a Jewish synagogue. A “synagogue” was a local Jewish worship place.  “Custom” is what He was brought up doing:  going to “church!  People who obey the Gospel will worship with the saved.  The people who were told to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV), “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized.  That church of Christ began 3000 strong, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41-42 NKJV).  Salvation brings one into church worship.

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

  • TFRStaff 5:09 am on 2016-04-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , model prayer, , worship   

    Lead this prayer on Sunday 

    Leading a prayer in the assembly? Use a prayer from the Believing Prayer website for this Sunday.

    This one follows the general outline of the Lord’s prayer:


    Prepared prayers can be a blessing, avoiding the worn, stock phrases used by so many.

  • John T. Polk II 9:29 am on 2016-03-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: selfies, worship   

    3-18-2016 Selfie Worship 

    People are taking “selfies,” which means they now travel to exotic places where there are breath-taking sights, or high-dollar athletic events, or with family and friends, only to aim the camera at themselves! In the Bible, Christians should “Let no one seek his own, but each one the others’ well -being” (1 Corinthians 10:24 NKJV). “Selfie” photographs can keep us so focused in the moment we lose sight of others. “Selfie” worship means going to “church” and impressing ourselves, and not God. God wants “singing and making melody in your heart,” (Ephesians 5:19 NKJV), not with other instruments; meeting on the “first day of the week” “to break bread” (Acts 20:7 NKJV), not any other day; “baptism” which “saves us” (1 Peter 3:21 KJV), not after we claim we’re saved! “Selfie” worship is not pleasing to God
    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • TFRStaff 4:54 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Re-studied The Issue) 


    From the very beginning of the effort to restore original New Testament Christianity, churches of Christ have stood opposed to the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. This is the case because the churches of Christ in New Testament times did not use instrumental music in their worship. There is no passage in the New Testament that authorizes the use of instruments in worship, and there is no example of instrumental music being used by the early congregations. The music of the church for the first several centuries after its establishment was strictly a cappella (vocal only). (See Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15; et al).

    It is generally recognized that Pope Vitalian (657-672) was the first to introduce the use of instrumental music in worship in about 670. However, many church historians now think that it was not until the tenth century that instrumental music began to be used. Either date puts it well this side of the New Testament.

    When the Protestant Reformation was launched, Martin Luther opposed the use of instruments in worship. When the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist denominations began, they all opposed the use of instrumental music in worship, and did so for several years after their beginning. (For example, Charles H. Spurgeon, arguably the greatest Baptist preacher to ever live, and who preached to thousands every Sunday at the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle in London for thirty-eight years, never permitted a mechanical instrument to be used in his services.) So, churches of Christ have not always been alone in their opposition to instrumental music in worship!

    Thus, it comes as a shock to read of some churches of Christ beginning to adopt the use of instrumental music in some of their worship assemblies. The elders of these churches, in collaboration with their minister (and often at his instigation), have allegedly “re-studied” the issue and have decided that instrumental music is permissible. It is interesting to note that so far, to the best of my knowledge, no congregation that has “re-studied” the matter has reached the conclusion that the congregation had been right all along in not using the instrument! Rather, because of a clamor from the younger members to adopt the instrument and because of the delusion that its adoption would enable them to hold on to their young people and reach others, the conclusion of the “re-study” seems to have been reached before the re-study was ever done! The decision had already been made before the “re-study” was ever done: “We plan to begin using the instrument in some of our worship assemblies.” How is that for intellectual honesty?

    The study and re-study of Bible subjects is always in order. According to the King James Version of II Timothy 2:15 we are to “study to show [ourselves] approved unto God.” The word “study” in this context does not refer so much to reading, analyzing, and determining the meaning of a text, as it means to give thought to, to be diligent, and to make an earnest effort to be approved of God (see NKJV, ASV, NASB, et al). However, no one can be approved of God who does not study God’s word and does not come to an understanding of His will. Like the Bereans, we are to search/examine the Scriptures daily to determine the things that are so (Acts 17:11), because not everything taught, believed, and practiced in the realm of religion is “so” (cf. I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1). We are to “not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). We are to be ready always to give an answer/defense to everyone who asks us for a reason for the hope within us (I Peter 3:15). In other words, we are to know (based on the Scriptures) WHAT we believe and WHY we believe it!

    But God’s word does not change and truth does not change. The New Testament still says what it has always said about worship that is acceptable to God (John 4:24; 17:17; Acts 2:42; 20:7; Ephesians 5:19; I Corinthians 16:1-2). It needs to be duly noted that not all worship is pleasing and acceptable to God. There is such a thing as “vain worship” (Matthew 15:8-9), “ignorant worship” (Acts 17:23), and “will worship” (Colossians 2:23 [KJV, ASV]). Those who have “re-studied” the question of instrumental music in worship have not produced a passage from the New Testament that authorizes the instrument in the worship of the church. They have not produced an example from the New Testament of any congregation in apostolic times that used instrumental music in its worship.

    Along with a re-study of the matter of the kind of music that is acceptable to God in the Christian age, I would urge elders, preachers, and all members of the body of Christ to re-study what the Bible says about the necessity of having Bible authority for all that we do in religion. I would urge them to re-study how the Scriptures authorize a thing as being pleasing and acceptable to God. The authority in religion is not what I like or do not like, what I agree with or do not agree with, what I see or do not see anything wrong with, what my parents or grandparents believed about a matter, what “my church” has always taught about a matter, or what some creed, catechism, or church manual says about a matter.

    Re-studied the matter? Indeed, I hope so . . . not just the matter of what is pleasing to God in worship, but what the Scriptures teach on a whole host of subjects. One just might discover that the Bible does not teach what one has always been told or what one has always believed or what one has always thought or how one has always “felt” about any number of matters.

    Hugh Fulford

    February 23, 2016

    • Matt Clifton 7:33 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply


    • Ashby Camp 8:16 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      As I have written in “Music in Christian Worship” (http://theoutlet.us/MusicinChristianWorshipJuly2012.pdf), the claim that the organ was admitted into the church in the seventh century by Pope Vitalian is rooted in a history of the popes that was written by Bartolomei Sacchi (known as Platina) and first published in 1474. As Peter Williams explains in The King of Instruments: How churches came to have organs (London: SPCK, 1993), 44-46, Platina relied on the earlier Italian historian Tolomeo of Lucca, whose ultimate source was the “Life of St. Gregory” written around 880 by Johannes Hymmonides (known as John the Deacon). However, the phrase in Johannes’s work that has been taken as connecting Vitalian with organs – modulationis organum – meant “surely not some kind of instrument (organum), nor even vocal counterpoint (organum), but most probably the approved chant itself and/or its text.” In other words, “the whole story [of Vitalian’s introduction of the organ] seems to be based on a misunderstanding.” It was not until centuries after Vitalian that the organ was introduced.

    • docmgphillips 9:09 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      Would we not be better off if every member of the Lord’s church would sit down and study the Bible for themselves? Why do we insist on believing that “the preacher cannot be wrong?” Have we, like the rest of the world, come to believe that it is the preacher and not the Word that is the final authority? May it never be!

    • Tim Coucke 10:38 am on 2017-02-09 Permalink | Reply

      It is never a waste of time to restudy any subject in light of scripture. It is helpful to include the context of any quotes from the old testament. It is also helpful to include the Hebrew or Greek word meanings. Word meanings from Strong’s inserted into the text…

      Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in a set piece of music or sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm”) and celebrate or sing non-carnal songs, singing and playing on a stringed instrument in your heart to the Lord;

      Colossians 3:16 Let the word of the anointed inhabit in you copiously in all wisdom; teaching (learning) and putting in mind (caution or reprove gently) one another a set piece of music, that is, a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm”) and celebrate non-carnal songs, singing with graciousness in your hearts to the Lord.


  • John T. Polk II 2:11 pm on 2016-02-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , please God, worship   

    2-11-2016 “Worship” Matters To God 

    When Abraham said, “to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you'” (Genesis 22:5 NKJV), he showed how “worship” is a part of our lives, but not our whole life. When they were to enter the Promised Land, God warned Israelites not to adopt the worship practices of other people, and then said, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32 NKJV). While on Earth, Jesus taught: “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23 NKJV). “Worship” that pleases God must be as He commands, not that just pleases us!

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

  • John T. Polk II 12:22 pm on 2016-01-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: worship   

    1-14-2016 Right Worship 


    Before Israelites were given the Promised Land, God warned, “that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-31 NKJV). Since God gave specific instruction as to the time, manner, and type of offerings He would accept as “worship,” His people should not alter nor adopt other people’s “worship” for themselves. But, what if those people were sincere? What if those people were talented in their worship? What if God’s worship did not attract big numbers of other people? Jesus said: “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23 NKJV). Make sure our worship is “in spirit and truth” as God demands.

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

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:28 am on 2015-12-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hymnology, , , worship   

    Complicated hymnology 

    Seems that hymnology has gotten complicated. Many songs are hard for new people to pick up on. (More …)

    • James 2:33 pm on 2016-01-28 Permalink | Reply

      That is the way some songs were originally. I enjoy taking a simple tune like from an old folk song or a familiar tune and putting other words with it so the focus can be on the words since most already know the tune.

  • TFRStaff 9:13 am on 2015-11-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: worship   

    Preparation for worship not always pleasant 

    “… you must prepare to worship God, and that preparation is not always pleasant. There may be revolutionary changes which must take place in your life.”

    —A.W. Tozer

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:27 am on 2015-11-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , worship   

    Of what does praise consist? 

    Praise focuses on the person of God and his actions. It is not a listing of one’s blessings. Praise details the character of God and follows his plan of redemption through history. It describes his nature and worships his work and word. Praise is personal, but not restricted to self, for it recognizes the purpose of God for all peoples and especially for the body of Christ. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 4:09 pm on 2015-11-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: complaining, discontent, , , worship   

    Don’t let outsiders make you discontent with God’s provisions 

    Saints sometimes find it difficult enough, among themselves, to keep from complaining. They must beware that the world may influence their spirits greatly, causing them to fall by being discontent with God’s provisions. Many in our midst who claim to be saints are actually “foreign rabble” who bring in other ideas and, in order to insert their preferences, show unhappiness with the truth of the gospel. (More …)

  • Eugene Adkins 6:52 am on 2015-11-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , worship   

    Interesting connection to worship and a Greek word 

    Here’s a link to a short but very good article that makes an important point about the worship we offer to the one and living God of Heaven by describing the meaning of a Greek word that had its roots in what possibly would have been a well-known character to a Hellenistic culture…or any culture today that enjoys doing a word-study on Bible words.

    Because of the content and size, the article would make a great fit in any bulletin.

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