What God Has Joined Together

The topic of marriage, divorce and remarriage is a controversial issue among brethren. There are several different views regarding the Bible teaching on this subject. There has been much writing and debate recently, particularly over the rights of an innocent put-away spouse. Debates (whether written or oral) can be useful in presenting two sides of an issue for an audience to more easily compare the teachings with Scripture. However, when one goes to study the subject, the amount of material available may seem overwhelming. Where do we begin? We need to begin with what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.
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Church Growth in the New Testament

The churches of men have come up with many devices to produce numerical growth. They cater to man’s desires in order to draw them into their number. They have activities, host events, and make every sort of “ministry” they can think of that will appeal to people. Instead of looking to the denominations for how to produce church growth, we should look to the New Testament. Paul said when we preach and teach the gospel, God is the one who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). Therefore, all we can do is follow His plan. What caused the New Testament church to grow?
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What Shall We Do?

Shortly after Jesus had ascended back into heaven, the disciples were gathered in Jerusalem. Being the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), a Jewish feast day, there were many Jews from different regions who had come to Jerusalem (Acts 2:5, 9-11). It is at this time that Peter delivered what we often refer to as the first gospel sermon. In a sense, the gospel had been preached before. It was preached in promise to Abraham (Galatians 3:8). When Jesus began His public teaching, He taught the “gospel of God” (Mark 1:15). But this was the first time the gospel was preached in its fullness. The gospel was the good news of salvation from God made available by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead which gave us hope of eternal life. Before, this was said to be coming. By the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, it was a reality. This was the first time the gospel was preached since all these things were fulfilled.
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Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees

And Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…” (Matthew 16:6).

In the verse above, Jesus warned his disciples about an influential religious group that He confronted on many occasions. He exposed them repeatedly and openly. There are lessons we can learn from the Pharisees that we need to heed so we do not fall under the same condemnation.
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Consider Your Ways!

[Article written by Matt Nevins. Originally published in his email newsletter “The Lamp.”]

At various points in our lives, a call for examination is demanded. We need to evaluate where we stand, and in what direction we are headed. Paul said, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). To determine if one is in the faith, the examination must be done according to the standard of the faith. Without proper examination, we could easily drift away from God’s pattern as many individuals have in the past. One example of this is found in the book of Haggai. Haggai was chosen by God to relay a message of examination by the admonition “Consider your ways!” This admonition was designed to awake the Jews to get back to serving God as they ought. Consideration forces the honest individual to look at various aspects of the life being led.
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The Work of an Evangelist

Preacher

Paul instructed the young preacher Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). The charge that the apostle gave to him (2 Timothy 4:1-5) shows what the work of an evangelist is and why it is such an important work.
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Our Sins and His Cross

Cross

Sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59:2). Jesus came to bring back peace between man and God (Ephesians 2:13-16). To do this, He needed to do something to remedy the problem of sin. Peter wrote, “Christ also died for sins once for all” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s solution for sin. But how did this fix the problem? Some teach that our sins were placed upon Christ and then, in essence, “nailed to the cross.” Is this what happened? It is a familiar concept. But is it a Biblical idea?

One passage used to justify the idea that Jesus took on our sins and carried them to the cross is 2 Corinthians 5:21. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” What does it mean that Jesus was made “to be sin on our behalf”? Isolating this verse from its context and ignoring related passages, there are three possible interpretations:
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