Identifying the Lord’s Church (Part 3): Who Makes Up His Church?

Identifying the Lord's Church

In this study, we have already seen that Jesus built just one church and that His church is to follow His will that is expressed in the New Testament. If we want to be part of this church, we need to be saved since the church is the body of the saved (Ephesians 5:23). Therefore, we need to know who will be saved in order to learn how we can become part of His church. So in this lesson, we are going to ask this important question: Who makes up His church?Continue Reading

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

“Raccoon” John Smith: Relying More on the Word Than the Holy Ghost

"Raccoon" John Smith: Relying More on the Word Than the Holy Ghost

When “Raccoon” John Smith (1784-1868) began preaching, he was part of the Baptist church. As a result, he was heavily influenced by Calvinism. This led him to believe that no one could be converted except by a direct operation of the Holy Spirit on his/her heart. Without this kind of direct operation of the Spirit, no one could be saved.

At this time, his wife – who was “unconverted” when they married – developed an interest in religion. She asked him the meaning of a certain passage of Scripture; however, he would not answer her question. It was not because he did not have an answer or because he did not want her to know the answer. There was another reason behind his refusal to answer her Bible question:

“His wife, who was unconverted at the time of her marriage, soon became deeply concerned on the subject of religion. He was, of course, much interested in the progress of her experience; but he reverently and hopefully left her alone with her God. The young husband, who, in any other trouble, would have succored her, even at the sacrifice of his life, abandoned her in this, the most solemn and perplexing of her trials; for no obtrusive human agency, he thought, must interfere with the work of the Spirit. She asked him one day, what was the meaning of a certain text; and he was too considerate to give her any explanation at the time, fearing that, in the simplicity of her unregenerate heart, she might improperly take comfort from it, and rely more on the Word than on the Holy Ghost” (Life of Elder John Smith, p. 59).

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The Way (Part 2): Learning About The Way

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

But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, ‘When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case’” (Acts 24:22).

When Paul stood before rulers on trial, some knew nothing of the background of his teaching or the church. However, Felix had “a more exact knowledge of the Way.” Because of this knowledge, he was in a better position than others to believe Paul’s message and accept the gospel as the truth. As far as we know, Felix never did obey the gospel (cf. Acts 24:24-27); but he did start in a better position than many others did when they first heard the gospel.

In order for “the Way” to be of any benefit to us, we must know of it. What people had to know in the first century about “the Way” is the same as what we need to know about it. As we noticed in the previous lesson, Jesus is “the way” (John 14:6). Furthermore, He does not change: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, “the Way” has not changed.

The Way” described to us in the New Testament is still “the Way” we are to go. We need to develop “a more exact knowledge about the Way” (Acts 24:22). So let us notice what the Scriptures teach us about “the Way.Continue Reading

A Personal Relationship with Jesus

Man Praying

Many people in the religious world talk about having a “personal relationship with Jesus.” On the surface, this may sound good and appealing. After all, is there anyone who believes in Jesus but would not want this?

However, rather than thinking about how this sounds, we ought to consider what this means. In fact, different people may mean different things when they talk about a “personal relationship with Jesus.” Rather than focusing on what people might mean by this, we need to be concerned with what the Bible says. Are we to have a “personal relationship with Jesus”? If so, what is this relationship to look like? This is what we will consider in this article.Continue Reading

Baptism Now Saves You (Sermon #30)

Baptism Now Saves You (Sermon #30)

 
 
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Baptism Now Saves You (Sermon #30)

We’re in between season 10 and season 11. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on March 18, 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.

From Saul to Paul (Sermon #29)

From Saul to Paul (Sermon #29)

 
 
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From Saul to Paul (Sermon #29)

We’re in between season 10 and season 11. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on March 11, 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.