Why Would Anyone Be a Christian?

Sitting and Looking at SunsetIn the previous article, we discussed the demands of discipleship. We saw that in order to be one of Jesus’ disciples, we must be willing to surrender earthly homes and family relationships and make a lifelong commitment to Him. Many are unwilling to do this. Others are not only unwilling, but they also do not understand why anyone would do this.

The fact that people would question the reasonableness of being a Christian is understandable. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). For one who is only looking at things as they pertain to life here on the earth, it does not make sense for anyone to be a disciple of Christ.

Yet there certainly are reasons for being a disciple despite the demanding nature of that life. In this article, we are going to consider four reasons why we are Christians and why we believe others should be as well.Continue Reading

The Name of “Christian”

Christian on chalkboard

The “Restoration Movement” is sometimes called the “Stone-Campbell Movement” after two principle men in that movement – Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell. They were two of many who endeavored to leave the churches and creeds of men and follow the Bible alone.

Stone was formerly a Presbyterian. Campbell had previously been associated with the Baptists. Yet they decided they were no longer going to use those names to identify themselves. So what would they be called? Campbell thought brethren should be identified as “Disciples” while Stone favored the name “Christian.” What does the Bible say? Notice what Luke recorded:

And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

In the verse above, disciples were called Christians. Let us consider what the Bible says about the name we are to wear.Continue Reading

Reasons to Love Our Brethren

1 John 4:7

One of the themes emphasized in John’s first epistle is love. In particular, the inspired apostle stressed the importance of loving our brethren in Christ: “Beloved, let us love one another” (1 John 4:7). In this short letter, John provided at least nine reasons why we should love one another. Let us briefly notice each of these.

Why should we love our brethren?
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Hedges to Help Protect Us from Sin

Hedges

When Satan came before the Lord, God praised Job for his righteousness: “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8). Satan, however, protested. In his mind, he believed that God was unfairly protecting Job from temptation: “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?” (Job 1:10). This “hedge” of divine blessing made Job less susceptible to temptation.

Of course, when God granted permission for this “hedge” to be removed, Job remained faithful (Job 1:22; 2:10). But the fact that Job had to work harder to resist the temptation to forsake God cannot be denied. Temptation was more severe when the “hedge” protecting Job was taken away.

As we make application to our lives, we should understand that we can have certain hedges to help protect us from sin. God has promised a way of escape so that every temptation can be defeated (1 Corinthians 10:13). The more hedges we have in place, the better we will be able to overcome temptation.

The only infallible safeguard against temptation is the word of God. The wise man wrote, “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him” (Proverbs 30:5). However, there are other hedges that we can put in place to help guard against temptation. We will consider a few of these in this article. We should understand that none of these safeguards are infallible, but they can greatly help if we use them properly.
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Safety Among Brethren? (4/6)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Judges 19-21.

We remember Sodom where homosexuality was so prevalent that the men of the city demanded that Lot’s visitors be brought out so they could rape them (Genesis 19:4-5). God destroyed the city for this sin (Genesis 19:12-13, 24-25; Jude 7).

A few hundred years later, a similar event happened in Gibeah when a Levite and his concubine visited the city (Judges 19:1-28). The men of the city surrounded the house in which they were staying and called for the man to be brought out so they could rape him. When the owner of the house refused and the concubine was sent out instead, they brutally gang raped her throughout the night. She was treated so severely that she died just before dawn from the abuse she had received.

How did this couple find themselves in such an awful and dangerous place? They actually believed it was a place of safety.
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Who Is My Brother?

Two Men

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).

The brotherhood that Peter mentioned was a special group of people. We know this because it was distinguished from “all people” in the same verse. Because a distinction was made, it would be good for us to understand who our brethren are.

We often talk of those with whom we worship and those with whom we agree in religious matters as being brethren. We are generally careful not to use the term to refer to those in denominationalism. We also talk about brethren in institutionalism with whom we cannot have fellowship. Why? What is the Scriptural basis for making these distinctions?

When told to love his neighbor, the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). We are told to “love the brotherhood.” We should ask a similar question: “Who is my brother?
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The Importance of Assembling

People (silhouettes)

Last month I posted an article titled, The Importance of the Assembly. The article was an exhortation for brethren to not forsake the assembly of the local church and showed why the assembly is important.

As we should understand the importance of the assembly, there is something else we must also understand. The assembly should not be the extent of our interaction with our brethren. The Hebrew writer gave this instruction:
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