The Preacher’s Work

Man with Bible Standing on the Train Tracks

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, one of the matters he addressed was the support of preachers (1 Corinthians 9:3-14). He explained that although he did not take wages from them (1 Corinthians 9:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:8), he had a right to receive such support. To show that a man has a right to receive support for his work as a preacher, Paul cited three other types of work for which men may receive compensation.

Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?” (1 Corinthians 9:7).

The point of this article is not to discuss the right of preachers to be supported for their work.* Instead, I want us to notice the three illustrations that Paul used in the verse above. He did not simply pick three random occupations and say that since they have a right to receive a return on their work then preachers should be supported. Every legitimate work is worthy of pay (cf. Proverbs 14:23). Yet the inspired apostle mentioned three works that in some way resemble the role of a preacher. Let us consider these briefly.Continue Reading

A Father’s Advice to His Son (Sermon #25)

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A Father's Advice to His Son (Sermon #25)

We’re in between season 9 and season 10 which will start on May 1st. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on December 31, 2017 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

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Types of Questions We Don’t Need to Answer

Question Mark

When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9).

It is easy for discussions on controversial issues – either in person or online – to quickly become contentious. This is especially true right now regarding political discussions, but it is also true when it comes to topics that are religious in nature. Contentious discussions can consume our time and mental energy if we allow them to do so.

Questions are often used to draw us into discussions. Some questions are good. Peter said that we must be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Peter 3:15). However, some questions do not need to be answered. It is important that we know which questions would fall into this category. The Bible shows us what types of questions we do not need to answer.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 7): The Pharisees Shut Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Others

The Real Pharisees

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13).

We have already discussed the fact that the Pharisees had “rejected God’s purpose for themselves” (Luke 7:30) by refusing to obey Him and be saved. Therefore, they would be left out of the Lord’s kingdom. However, in addition to this, they were also preventing others from entering the kingdom.
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You Have Become Dull of Hearing

Ear, static

In making a point about the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over the priesthood of Aaron, the Hebrew writer cited the priesthood of Melchizedek. Since Jesus was “a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:10; cf. Psalm 110:4), His priesthood was superior. He would go on to explain why this proved the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood later in the epistle (Hebrews 7:1-10).

However, he paused the discussion about comparing the priesthoods because it was “hard to explain” (Hebrews 5:11), even though it was certainly not impossible. The problem was not that the facts were difficult. Instead, the problem was that these brethren were “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11). As the Hebrew writer would explain, this problem affected more than just their understanding of Jesus’ priesthood – it had the potential of costing them their souls.

We need to understand what it means to be “dull of hearing,” what the result is of being in that condition, and how to fix it.
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An Institution of Higher Education (Season 5, Episode 4)

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An Institution of Higher Education (Season 5, Episode 4)

In our society, a great amount of emphasis is placed upon obtaining a college education in order to prepare for secular employment. For many careers, this is helpful. For some, it is essential. Therefore, many people pursue a secular education in an institution of higher learning in order to best prepare themselves to find what they consider to be good jobs.

However, there is a type of education that is far more important than the education that prepares one for employment. This higher education is not for secular pursuits, but spiritual. It prepares us not for the work force (at least not directly), but for our service to God. Its purpose is not to help us obtain a high-paying job with good benefits, but to help us obtain eternal life.

Strangely, some act as though an institution devoted to secular education is also the preferred institution for their spiritual education. But God has created His own institution of higher education – the church. It has everything we need for the pursuit of a higher (i.e. from God) education. Let us notice what the Bible says about this institution of higher education.

Article: An Institution of Higher Education

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Jesus: The Great Debater (Season 4, Episode 3)

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Jesus: The Great Debater (Season 4, Episode 3)

One aspect about Jesus that is often ignored is His ability to debate. There is probably a reason for this. To say that religious debates are not popular in our time is an understatement. Yet the ability to debate is a valuable skill for those who would endeavor to teach the gospel to others. Jesus was so effective that Luke recorded four occasions in just one chapter (Luke 20) in which Jesus silenced His opponents. He did so by presenting arguments that could not be combated.

When Jesus silenced His opponents four times in Luke 20, He was able to do so without turning the common people against Him. “And they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said” (Luke 19:48). This was before the debates in chapter 20. Then after the debates, Luke records: “And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him” (Luke 21:38). We must develop our abilities to confound our opponents while also persuading the people. In order to help us do this, we’re going to consider how Jesus silenced His opponents. So in this episode, we’re going to discuss the four things Jesus did as He debated with those who opposed the truth.

Article: Jesus: The Great Debater

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.