The Message of the Gospel

Romans

In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul described the gospel as “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). This verse is often thought of as the theme of Paul’s letter – and for good reason. However, it is also important to note the first few verses of this letter as they introduce this central topic.

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1-6).

Since the gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16), we want to be prepared to talk to others about the gospel – especially those who are unfamiliar with it. The opening verses of the book of Romans provide us with an outline to help us do just that. Let us break down these verses and see how they help explain the message of the gospel.Continue Reading

Who Will Be Spared from Judgment (Sermon #34)

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Who Will Be Spared from Judgment (Sermon #34)

We’re in between season 11 and season 12. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on June 24, 2018 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.

Commit Your Works to the Lord (Season 11, Episode 12)

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Commit Your Works to the Lord (Season 11, Episode 12)

In this season, we’re discussing some lessons from the book of Proverbs.

In Proverbs 16:1-7, the wise man talked about the need for us to “commit [our] works to the Lord.” We have the ability to make plans as to what we will do, but we need to be sure we are obeying the Lord rather than following after sin. If we follow after wickedness, we will be punished. If we fear the Lord and obey Him, we will be established.

Mentioned in this episode:

  • My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs – This is a “topical commentary” I wrote on the book of Proverbs. Follow the link for more information. If you decide to pick up a copy, use coupon code Proverbs5 at checkout to receive $5 off and free shipping.
  • Plain Bible Study Guides – These are designed to help Christians engage in profitable studies of the Scriptures. The study guides include a straightforward explanation of the text and questions at the end of each lesson, making them useful for both individual and group Bible studies.

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.

Confident of Salvation

Man at Sunrise

The Scriptures teach that the Lord will return to judge the world (Matthew 25:31-32; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We will be judged based upon His word (John 12:48) and He will determine our eternal fate. We will either be welcomed into “eternal life” or sentenced to “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46).

Knowing this, is it possible for us to have confidence in our eternal salvation? Must we live our lives without knowing whether our final home will be in heaven or in hell? Notice what the apostle John wrote:

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 John 2:28-29).

John described a confidence that we can have as we anticipate the Lord’s return. He did not describe the Christian as one who is wishing for salvation but not knowing whether he will be saved. Yet how are we able to have such confidence, especially when we can recognize how much we have yet to grow in our walk with the Lord? Let us consider a few points that will help us answer this question.Continue Reading

The Way (Part 3): Belonging To The Way

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2).

Persecution against the church began with the death of Stephen (Acts 8:1). Saul continued this persecution with a plan to go to Damascus to arrest disciples and bring them back to Jerusalem. The ones who were targeted for persecution were those who were “belonging to the Way.” We will discuss the idea of persecution in the next lesson.

However, before these individuals were targeted, they first had to belong to “the Way.” In this lesson, we are going to see what the Scriptures teach about “belonging to the Way” – how to become a part of this group and remain in it.Continue Reading

No Laughing Matter

Laughing Statues

Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom” (James 4:9).

In the verse above, James contrasted two different attitudes that people have toward God – one of careless joy, the other of sober humility. The inspired writer was clear in showing which attitude we are to have before God. We are not to take something lightly when the Lord wants us to consider it soberly.

We sometimes label a condition, situation, or event as being “no laughing matter” when someone is taking a light-hearted approach to a serious matter. There are a few occasions in the Bible when this reminder would have been helpful as there were those who took lightly the promises, instructions, or warnings of God. In this article, we are going to consider five of these examples and notice what all of them have in common.Continue Reading

What Are Our Priorities?

Laptop, coffee, and notes

Our lives are shaped by our priorities. The time, energy, and resources we have are limited. Therefore, we will inevitably spend them on what is important to us. To make significant changes in our lives requires us to change our priorities.

What should be most important to us? The Bible shows us what our highest priorities should be. We need to see what the Scriptures teach and examine our lives and priorities to see if we are what we ought to be. So in this article, let us notice what the Bible has to say about our highest priorities.Continue Reading