Ask for the Ancient Paths

Crossroads

Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it”’” (Jeremiah 6:16).

Jeremiah received a warning from God which he was to deliver to the people – Jerusalem was going to be destroyed! They were going to be punished for their sin since they had departed from the Lord and His ways. In the verse above, the Lord issued a final call for them to return, but they refused.

The Scriptures teach that it is possible for God’s people to fall away today (1 Timothy 4:1). How does this happen? And if we do fall away, how can we return to the “ancient paths”?Continue Reading

The Futility of Fighting against God (Sermon #43)

The Futility of Fighting against God (Sermon #43)

 
 
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The Futility of Fighting against God (Sermon #43)

The Plain Bible Teaching Podcast is returning later this month. In the meantime, here is a bonus episode with a sermon I recently preached while we were traveling in Arkansas. This sermon was preached on December 25, 2019 at the Spring Park church of Christ in Heber Springs, AR.

As was previously announced, the revamped podcast will now be centered around answering listener-submitted questions. So if you have a question you would like to hear addressed in a podcast episode, please fill out the form at the following link:

Questions for the Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

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.

Why It Is Important to Study the Bible

Bible Study

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

The verses above affirm that the Bible contains the truth and reveals to us the mind of God. Yet it is important to understand that it is not a private diary of God’s thoughts that mankind just happened to discover. The Bible contains revelation. God has not revealed all that He knows, but He has revealed everything He wants us to know. Moses said, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Since God revealed His word for us, what are we to do with it? Paul reminded Timothy of the importance of studying God’s word: “Be diligent [study, KJV] to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). This is one of the things we must do with the word of God. In this article, we are going to consider seven reasons why studying the Bible is important.Continue Reading

Measuring the Love of God

Measuring

Midway through Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle described a prayer that he offered to the Father (Ephesians 3:14-21). Part of this prayer emphasized the greatness of the love of God.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Paul began this chapter by describing what God has given – His grace in the gospel (v. 2-3), a way to understand His will (v. 4), salvation to the Gentiles (v. 6), His wisdom revealed (v. 10), the church (v. 10), and His eternal purpose carried out in Christ (v. 11). All of these were part of the demonstration of the love of God. As Paul said, God’s love “surpasses knowledge” (v. 19).

Paul described the greatness of God’s love in terms of measurements – breadth, length, height, and depth (Ephesians 3:18). What do these measurements mean? Some commentators suggest that God’s love is described in this way simply to emphasize the fact that it cannot be quantified. However, each of these terms mean something and the New Testament shows how they apply to the love of God.Continue Reading

Obedient to That Form of Teaching

Romans 6:17

Romans 6 is a critical chapter in the New Testament. It discusses the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. It concisely explains why this difference exists and what happened in the life of a Christian to bring about this difference. This chapter can be summarized in the following two verses:

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).

Paul was writing to Christians in Rome. Previously, they were “slaves of sin.” But at this time, they were “slaves of righteousness.” How did this change occur? They “became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which [they] were committed.

To better understand what Paul was discussing, let us do a brief overview of this chapter.Continue Reading

Better Not to Know (Sermon #41)

Better Not to Know (Sermon #41)

 
 
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Better Not to Know (Sermon #41)

We’re in between season 12 and season 13. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on February 10, 2019 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.

Are You Perfect?

Perfect

[This article was written by Bill Reeves and has been reformatted for viewing online.]

1 Jn. 1:5-10, the controverted text (ver. 7) and context:

“And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin [conditionally, ver. 9!]. If we say that we have no sin [that is, deny the reality of sin as the Gnostics did], we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If [conditionality] we confess our sins [anytime they are committed], he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned [as the Gnostics did, and therefore would not confess their sins] we make him a liar [as they did], and his word is not in us [as it is not in them].”

The phrase “walking in the light” has been used by neo-Calvinistic brethren to assert that if one is “walking in the light” (as they define it), that God continually cleanses them of their sins even as they sin! The bottom line of the issue is the so-called “depraved nature” in man.

“Are you perfect?” is the question often stated by the proponents of this error in an effort to stop the mouths of their opponents. The question is totally invalid, until the terms are defined! Let them tell us what they mean by the word “perfect” in their question. They don’t do it! It is a scare tactic. The question is supposed to halt the one questioned, because no one wants to appear as if he never sins, nor could ever sin again in the future, that he is absolutely like God in sinlessness (although he actually is, when pardoned by God – he has no sins!).Continue Reading