Understanding Sin

[This article was written by Matt Nevins.]

There is at least one thing that everyone has in common – sin. Paul plainly observes, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It is sin that severs us from God (James 4:4). The severed relationship is a consequence of sin, and is evident from the beginning with Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:22-24). Because of the forbidden desires one wishes to fulfill, thus yielding to worldly desires (1 John 2:16), sin is produced which ends in a separation from God (Romans 6:23). Understanding sin and its nature, we will become appreciative of the grace God has extended to us.
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Baptism – A Requirement of God or Man?

Baptism

Recently on the radio I heard a Baptist preacher talking about legalism – the binding of man’s requirements instead of, or in addition to, God’s requirements. We are warned in the New Testament not to do this. Jesus told His apostles they were to bind things that had already been bound in heaven (Matthew 16:19). They were not at liberty to bind anything else. On the other hand, He also commanded them to teach those who obeyed the gospel to “observe all that [He] commanded” (Matthew 28:20). So those who teach are to instruct others of their responsibility to do everything required of them in God’s word. But they go too far and become guilty of legalism when they place additional requirements on others that are not required by our Lord.
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I Just Know in My Heart

[This article was written by Justin Monts.]

Many people decide to “trust in their heart” with regard to spiritual things and believe that by this they can’t go wrong. To point out from the Bible where they have departed is fruitless because they “know in their heart” they are saved. To press them for authority on infant baptism, praying to Mary, or speaking in tongues leads nowhere because they “know in their heart” these are approved.
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Rejoice in the Lord!

[This article was written by Matt Nevins.]

In life there are occasions that call for celebration and rejoicing. Weddings, births, graduations, job promotions, and many other things cause great joy in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in things of this life and lose sight of spiritual events that ought to cause great joy as well. Paul encouraged the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Note some events that ought to cause rejoicing.
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Is There a Need for Authority?

[This article was written by Matt Nevins.]

Authority is a term used to express the idea of having the right to practice something. The question: “What gives us the right?” is a question that can be asked in any area of life. In the realm of religion, this question ought to be asked far more frequently. Some may not see the need or the importance of having the right or authority. Everyone needs to understand the gravity of the matter. In 2 Thessalonians 1:8 Paul gives us the picture of Christ taking “vengeance” in “flaming fire” to those who do not obey His gospel. For this cause we need to test the things we do to verify all is done with the Lord’s authority (Colossians 3:17). Without having His authority, we can have no hope to be dressed in white robes in eternity.
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Great Plainness of Speech

2 Corinthians 3:12

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12, KJV).

Paul told the Corinthians that he deliberately made his words and his message clear and understandable in his work as a minister of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6). The new covenant Paul referred to is the gospel. He used “great plainness” as he preached. Why use such plainness? It is because of the hope we have under the new covenant. Those who obey the gospel have the hope of heaven because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. But why is “great plainness” necessary in preaching the gospel? Let us notice a few reasons.
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Just a Reminder

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

Reminders help us call to remembrance things that are important. At work we may leave notes to remind us to complete a task. We leave a reminder to make sure the task is completed and not forgotten. Therefore we should be able to see the usefulness to be reminded of spiritual tasks that need to be completed. The book of 2 Peter is a book of reminders for Christians (2 Pet. 1:12-15). The apostle reminds Christians of some things that need to be completed before the tasks are forgotten.Continue Reading