It is always pleasant to find in the Email box the next issue of TRUTH from Roger D. Campbell. He is a great Bible student and he teaches God’s truth in an easily understood fashion. I have high regard for his love for lost souls and his dedicated work in both domestic and foreign fields of labor. Please take a look at these important studies. Always there are four excellent articles. This issue includes:
Serious Questions about Truth and Knowledge
12 Truths about the Ten Commandments
The Privilege of Citizenship in God’s Kingdom/Family
Why did Paul go to Jerusalem in Acts 15? Would not the Holy Spirit have guided them in answer to their question? Another great question that was turned in by one of YOU. Let’s take a few lines to consider this excellent question. Will you study it with me?
It is certainly true that Jesus promised the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into ALL truth! Notice John 16:13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. And, John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. There should be no question in anyone’s mind whether or not the apostles (including Paul) knew every single thing that they needed to know to do the work of spreading the saving message. Jesus’ words make that perfectly clear.
So then, there must have been some other reason that a meeting took place in Acts 15. Let’s read it… Acts 15:1-2 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. (2) When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. Luke informs us here that certain Judaizing teachers were causing problems (dissension and disputation). They were seeking to bind parts of the Law of Moses upon Gentiles. Let us not for one moment think that Paul was confused about this matter or that he needed consultation with others before he could give his answer to these false teachers! Listen to what Paul wrote: Galatians 1:11-12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. The truth of the gospel was revealed to Paul by Jesus Christ and he had the exact same authority and guidance that the other apostles did.
Back to Acts 15.1-2. Let’s ask the question: What word is the antecedent for the word THEY in verse 2? Who was it that determined that such a meeting was needed? Grammatically, it could be: PAUL AND BARNABAS. But contextually, that does not make sense because of the phrase: AND CERTAIN OTHER OF THEM. It seems the antecedent has to be THE BRETHREN of verse 1. Paul and Barnabas were quite willing to defend their position in Jerusalem or anywhere else. It was the brethren who were beginning to be influenced by the false teaching of the Judaizers. They needed some confirmation that the position of Paul was the true position.
Those false teachers had attacked the authority of Paul and Paul was thus forced to defend his apostolic authority. That is what he does in 2 Corinthians and Galatians. The thing that came out of the meeting of Acts 15 was recognition that Paul’s position was true and a letter was sent out to the Gentile churches (Acts 15.20). Paul had the SIGNS of an apostle (2 Cor 12.12) and none of the Gentile Christians ever should have questioned Paul’s teaching, but evidently some were in that sad state. Not only was the Judaizing doctrine a problem among the Gentiles, there were many Christians of a Jewish background who also were having difficulty with that particular doctrinal discussion. The doctrine was always WRONG and the Jerusalem meeting simply was one means of getting that message firmly presented among all brethren.
Paul went to Jerusalem for the meeting of Acts 15 because he loved the souls of men—he wanted that question to be answered once and for all, if possible.
TRUTH for January 2019 is now available. We are thankful to Roger Campbell for his study of the Bible and his interest in helping others better to appreciate and know God’s Book. Will you please consider the four excellent studies for January. Listed below are the titles and first paragraphs of the four one-page articles found in TRUTH for January of 2019.
Prophets of God in the First Century Church
Fulfilled Bible prophecy is evidence that the Bible’s message came from the mind of God. We thrill to read of the foretelling of the virgin birth of the Christ (Isaiah 7), the coming fall of Babylon (Isaiah 13), and the influential role of King Cyrus (Isaiah 44). Each of those memorable prophecies is found in the Old Testament. But what about prophets in the New Testament church? To read more download here: Truth1901.
Lessons We Can Learn from David Sparing King Saul
King Saul was granted the privilege of being the first human king to rule over the nation of Israel. The message of 1 Samuel 18 shows how the relationship between Saul and a young man named David was soured. When Saul heard some in Israel praising David more than they praised the king himself, he was extremely upset. Saul was angry, he was afraid of David, he kept his eye on him, he counted David as an enemy, and more than once he tried to kill him. To put it mildly, in his dealings with David, Saul was not a very nice person. To study SEVEN lessons from this Bible account, download: Truth1901.
Do You Find Worship Boring?
“Boring is defined as someone or something dull or uninteresting” [ http://www.yourdictionary.com ]. As humans, we find certain things and certain people interesting; at the same time, hearing someone discuss other topics may put us to sleep, as we have zero interest in those matters. To read more, download: Truth1901.
1 Corinthians 15.1-8—The Gospel
The theme of the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is “The Resurrection.” Paul writes about Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead, he notes the consequences which would follow if there were no resurrection, and he speaks of the future resurrection which will occur when the Christ comes again. To consider FIVE points from these verses, download: Truth1901.
In Luke 4.1-13 we have the record of Jesus being tempted of Satan. Though He was tempted, He never yielded to temptation (Hebrews 4.15). What a marvelous example we have to follow: our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2.21)! We ought often to thank God for this blessing.
We will not fare as well as did our Lord in meeting temptation (Romans 3.23). However, we do have the ability to resist temptation and we CAN be successful in our battle with Satan and S-I-N! Three points should make this clear to us. Please study the references attached to these points…
We have a HEAVENLY EXAMPLE (Luke 4.1-13).
We have a HEAVENLY ASSURANCE (1 Corinthians 10.13).
We have a HEAVENLY PRESCRIPTION–Revelation 3.10. The saints at Philadelphia were commended by the Lord. They had kept His word of PATIENCE. That word means: “to continue to bear up despite difficulty and suffering … to put up with…” [Louw-Nida]. God’s Word is that which makes it possible to resist temptation (Psalm 119.11).
An “entire alphabet of help” (26 total) from Scripture to resist temptation…
In order to meet temptation with Christ, we must. . .
A. “Keep the word of Christ’s patience” (Rev 3:10).
B. Know the Bible (Psalms 119:11).
C. Be godly (2 Peter 2:9).
D. Look for the way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
E. Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32).
F. Use the “Spiritual EPA” (Philippians 4:8).
G. Follow the Example of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).
H. Pray (Matthew 26:41).
I. KNOW that we are ABLE to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).
J. Don’t allow temptations to discourage and then destroy (1 Peter 5:6-7).
K. Refuse to allow Satan to create doubt in your mind about what God has said or what He really means (Genesis 3:4-5).
L. Refuse to believe Satan’s lie that something good will come from doing something evil (Genesis 3:4-5).
M. Do not allow Satan to use your God-given ability to envision, visualize, and fantasize to create a picture of the pleasure of sin–these pleasures are ONLY for a season (Genesis 3:4-5; Hebrews 11:25).
N. Remember that when God says NO to something it is NOT to diminish your pleasure, but to ENHANCE it (John 10:10).
O. Remember this world is not your home (1 Peter 1:17).
P. Think about the NEW ways God can use you as you choose not to yield to temptation (Hebrews 11).
Q. THINK about how much might be riding on the decision you are about to make (Matthew 16:26).
R. Realize that it is OK to be angry about SIN (John 2:13; Mark 3:5)–Personalize the enemy: SATAN.
S. Beware of your STRENGTHS (1 Corinthians 10:12).
T. Shift your energy from preoccupation with life’s inconveniences and your own pain to GOING TO WORK FOR THE LORD–Put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14).
U. Know that the way out of temptation is THROUGH it–Patiently endure it and do so with JOY (James 1:2).
V. Understand that the Bible speaks of SINS OF IMAGINING (e.g., Matthew 5:27-28).
W. Do not waste time devising evil plans or making provision for the flesh, BUT rather put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14).
X. Do not forget about the OMNISCIENCE OF GOD–Some day all that you thought was secret and hidden will be made manifest and made known (Luke 8:17).
Y. Appreciate and use the DISCERNING POWER OF GOD’S WORD (Hebrews 4:12).
Z. Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Life on this earth is filled with trials, temptations, and disappointments. In order to live the best way it is possible to live here, we must be determined to: MEET TEMPTATION WITH CHRIST.
I’ve just viewed a YouTube Video from the 2018 Power Lectures of the Southaven Church of Christ in Southaven, MS. The speaker was Cliff Goodwin. Cliff taught from Scripture that you and I CAN BE, but ought not to be used by Satan by: (1) Resisting God’s Pattern; (2) Refusing Forgiveness; and (3) Retaining Overconfidence. I would highly recommend this study to you. Please take the time to view it. It lasts 45:32 minutes.
I have just received the July issue of TRUTH from Roger Campbell. There are four fine articles in this month’s issue: (1) Pointing Fingers at Others; (2) What Do You Remember about Abigail?; (3) Lord, Help Me Have a Spirit of Sacrifice; (4) Two Paths which Lead to Two Eternal Destinies. We encourage you to read and be edified by these four articles. Find them by clicking here… Truth1807
…covers many of the same topics as Ephesians does and in much the same order.
Please notice the following brief statement of introduction to Colossians…
“INTRODUCTION TO COLOSSIANS: Paul is writing this letter from prison in Rome. He says in the last verse of the book, “Remember my bonds” (Col 4.18). Colossae was located in the Roman province of Phrygia only twenty or so miles from its companion city of Laodicea. No doubt this accounts for the several times that Laodicea is mentioned in this book (Co 2.1; 4.13-15) and for the exchange of epistles between them. This letter was sent to the church in Colossae at the same time that Paul sent the letter to Philemon regarding Onesimus (Col 4.7-9). It is a companion letter to Ephesians, evidently written at the same time, and also sent by the hand of Tychicus (Col 4.7; Eph 6.21). It covers many of the same topics as Ephesians does and in much the same order. It was written in response to a report by Epaphras regarding the church there (Col 1.7-8). This report was mainly encouraging, but evidently (considering the topics covered in the epistle) also included news of some false teaching that might lead some astray” [Darrell Conley, “Philippians and Colossians—A Summary,” in Studies in Philippians and Colossians, Editor: Dub McClish, 2000 Annual Denton Lectures, p. 38].
I hope you will find the study guides listed below to be helpful. The first is a combination of the others, a 37-page PDF document. If you find them helpful in your study, please tell others where they can be found.
Matthew’s Gospel provides the vital link between the Old and New Testaments. Matthew begins by tracing the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph; the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary; the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; and Satan’s temptation of Jesus while in the wilderness. Jesus speaks more in Matthew than in the other Gospels, and His teaching discourses include the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7); sending out the Twelve (chapter 10); parables of the kingdom (chapter 13); fellowship of the Kingdom (chapter 18); and the Olivet Discourse concerning the future (chapters 24-25). During Jesus’ final week His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection take place. Matthew concludes with the call of the Great Commission to all believers [The Rainbow Study Bible, p. 1131].
We hope these study guides linked below will be helfpul to you in a detailed study of this great account of the life of Christ. If you find them helpful please refer others to this site.
Matthew–a 337-page PDF, which includes ALL of the following links… 4000sg.Combo
You might recognize the expression of the title of this article as coming from the pen of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23. Please notice verses 22 through 25. In this section of Paul’s letter to the saints at Colossae, instructions are given to various categories of Christians. This particular instruction is for SERVANTS or SLAVES. If we would make proper application of the text to our day, we would take the principle and apply it to employer/employee relationships. The extent of the obedience mentioned is given as “in all things.” Of course, this would not include instances when an employer makes some demand that would cause the Christian to disobey God (Acts 5:29).
In verse 22 the concept is put forth that it is possible to obey WITH EYESERVICE (opthalmodouleiais); the idea being of service or labor that needs to be watched (i. e., if someone is not watching, a less than full effort would be put forth by the servant). In our modern setting, there are those who are “clock-watchers” and are not so productive at those times, as they long for the time to leave the place of employment in order to get on to their own concerns. Paul teaches that the Christian is not to work in such a fashion, but rather he is to do his work in SINGLENESS OF HEART, fearing God. There is a higher and nobler cause that drives the Christian in all that he does, including what he does at the work place. He does what he does in order to bring glory to God and out of fear of God. There is a SINGLENESS OF HEART that moves the Christian to render the kind of service that does not require constant watching and prodding along. That singleness of heart is the desire to be well pleasing in the sight of God. To please God like Enoch of old did when he “walked with God” (Gen 5:24; Hebrews 11:5).
The Christian has opportunity at the work place or wherever he finds himself to be a shining light of influence (Mt 5:14-16). In another passage written by Paul to servants, he suggests what has to be an amazingly attractive and awesome opportunity. Listen to the instructions. Titus 2:9–Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Now the possibility of actually ADORNING the doctrine of God ought to be quite exciting to all of us. As we go about our work we have opportunity to represent before others what it means to be part of God’s family. We can make Christianity attractive to those who are outside of Christ in a lost condition.
The part of the passage from Colossians that I would like us to focus in on is that part that talks about doing WHATEVER we do HEARTILY. Yes, the context is that section dealing with slaves or servants. However, can we not see how inconsistent it is for a Christian to do anything he does in any other way than the way that the Holy Spirit demands servants to work for their masters? After all, it is clearly pointed out that all Christians (whether we be an employer or an employee in the work situation) are the servants of the Lord Christ (v. 24).
If we would study the word HEARTILY in the original Greek, we would see that it is the same word root that is often translated SOUL. The idea is that of working with your whole heart, with all of your being. That is, putting your entire self into the work.
Colossians 3:24 speaks about the motivation for doing whatever we do heartily. The reward is not the paycheck at the end of the week, but the one that is coming further down the road. It is the reward that comes from serving the Lord Christ. It is the crown of life (Rev 2:10).
When I think of this passage, I think of my need to be concerned about excellence in whatever I do. I need to be doing all that I do HEARTILY. As a Christian, I serve the Lord Christ. As a Christian, people are watching me and they need to see a true and genuine Christian. Those watching me need to be influenced toward that which is right and good. They need to be led by my behavior to ask a reason of the hope that is in me, and I need to be prepared to give them that answer (1 Peter 3:15).
Next time you are called upon to perform some task, why not allow this word from the Holy Spirit to ring in your ears. Let us all decide to render the service we render in whatever place or time it is rendered, heartily!