A Christian’s Voice – May 1, 2005

A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up

Volume 7 May 1, 2005 Number 24


This Week’s Challenges

We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application

1. Memorize: (Ezra 1:5)

2. Mediation: Understand how God had spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Prophet. How God kept His promise.

3. Application: Can/Do we find comfort in the fact that God will keep His promise to save the obedient?

Comment from a brother in India, Joshua.

“Dear Brother in Christ…Bill Sexton,

Thank you for your Gospel Material, you are doing a great job by sending these materials to many people. WE are so thankful for your help. My kind regards to all of you. In Christian Love,

Joshau and family.

Another Comment: “My dear beloved brother Sexton, Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Thank you very much for your post with a good sermon, about Abraham’s Temptation. It gives moral strength to all of our Brothers, we need this kind of lessons, The VAN BUREN church doing good Job to all of Christians. I appreciate the Christian voice, my great thankful to you, Closing with Christian Love. In His Work, S.Lenin Babu.

Editor’s comment: We appreciate hearing from others who read this bulletin, and especially from those across the waters. Our prayers for these brothers in India shall continue that they’ll be faithful to the lord, putting their trust in Him that He’ll see them through what ever difficulties they face. That is what we desire for all of us, of course. The Lord is able and we can survive if we so act.

LEAVE IT TO THE DEVIL

I read about a French atheist who died and willed his house and farm to, of all people, the Devil. The courts deliberated on the curious case for quite some time. Finally it was determined that the best way to carry out the wishes of the deceased testator was to allow the farm to grow up in weeds and briars and to leave the house to decay and ruin.

It occurs to me that the same thing can be said about our soul salvation. It’s not necessary to commit some terrible sin, nor, to engage in great evil in order to be lost. All we have to do is nothing. “Allow the farm to grow up in weeds and briars and leave the house to decay and ruin.” Dear reader, neglect, indifference, and unconcern will just as surely condemn us in the judgment as murder, theft, or immorality.

The Bible asks, “How shall we escape (eternal punishment) if we NEGLECT so great a salvation…?” (Hebrews 2:3). The answer is, “We won’t.”– –Mike Benson, Forthright Magazine, via, SUSQUEHANNA SENTINEL May 1, 2005

Editor’s comment: Yes, It is easy to leave our spiritual house unattended, and consequently be a complete failure in life. If at the end of life, regardless of what we have accumulated, we are going to leave it behind (Cf. 1 Tim. 6:7) But what we do with our spiritual treasures (Matt. 6:19-2l).

We at Van Buren had a very good meeting last week with brother Bill Cavender. Thanks to him. He preached the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17)!!!

Today’s Schedule of Yours truly: 10:00 AM at Waveland Church of Christ, Philippians chapter 3; 11:00 AM – Sermon: The Book of Life (Phil. 4:3; 2: PM, speak at Belt Cemetery; 6:00 PM, attending evening service. at Access Road in Van Buren.


The Head of The Body, The Church


Colossians 1:17 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; “

What is our attitude toward the church?

Facts:

1. He, Christ, is before all things!

2. By Him, Christ, all things consist.

3. He, Christ, is the head of the body.

4. The “body” is The Church.

5. He, Christ, has the “preeminence.”

6. This, the preeminence, was given him By the Father.

7. Such pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell!

Question: Is our attitude in tune with the Father’s? If it isn’t, what should we do?

It seems clear that many do not have the attitude toward the body of Christ that they should have. When Christ loved it so much that He gave His life for it, then can one honestly love Christ and at the same time show little or no appreciation for the Church which he manifested so much love for. Can we?

No, I believe that many people who claim to believe in and Love the Lord Jesus Christ don’t have the right attitude toward His body, the church. I find many saying such things as the “church can’t save you. You can be saved and never be in the church…” Often they speak lightly, unappreciatively of the CHURCH which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). Can you degrade the church and not include its head?

True, the church does not save; Christ is the Savior. However, the saved constitute the church. The Lord adds the SAVED to the church ( Acts 2:47 ). Consequently, no one will be saved who is not a MEMBER of the church. Neither will anyone be saved who is not under the authority of it’s head!

That means that we must be governed by His authority in all that we do. When we do not obey Him in becoming a Christian, we are not under His rule, even though we may claim that He is our Savior. The question He asked long ago is still appropriate:

Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Congregations which do not allow Him to govern them in all that they do: in work, worship, organization and terms of membership, even though they may wear His name, in fact do not belong to Him. Look at the statement that Jesus made in Matt. 15:13: “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” Beloved he was talking about corn or plants in the field or garden, but the context shows he was talking about religious people who were not governed by His father in Heaven! There is coming a rooting time. If we are not in that which has been planted by the Creator, we shall be gathered and burned! I don’t want to be there, and I really don’t want you to be there either.

The church at Ephesus was told that it’s candlestick, meaning it’s identity, would be removed unless it returned to it’s “first love.” It was called upon to recognize it’s fallen state, repent, and do it’s “first works.” ( Rev. 2:5). Beloved where are you, spiritually? What is your REAL attitude and disposition toward the family of God?

“God is the family name of the Deity, of which Christ is a member, making that word his own name as well as the Father. Hence the name church of God is equivalent to ‘church of Christ.’ It is his church because he purchased it with his own blood.” (E. M. Zerr Bible Commentary, page 333) William C. “Bill” Sexton


Despising One’s Birthright!

( Gen. 25:34; Hebrews 12:16‑17 )



“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”

History records many transactions of men in which a great deal was given away for a moment of pleasure. Seen in its light, such is really so foolish! Many in our day, like Esau of old, are selling their birthright for a mess of meat.

I mean that people are trading their soul, their

Right to Heaven, for a moment of worldly pleasure.

The per son who does that, like Esau, despises the

birthright. failing to value it as highly as he should.

What a poor trade! Think with me briefly:

1. One has to be born again, “of the water and of

the Spirit” ( Jn. 3:5), “of incorruptible” seed, the

word of God (I Peter 1:22‑23) to become a child of

God. In short that means giving adequate hearing

to the word of God, allowing it to enter and dwell in

the intellect, touch the emotions, and activate the

will. In obeying from the heart (Rom. 6:16-18), one

purifies his/her soul in that obedience (1 Pet. 1:22

23)

2. Having believed in Jesus, repented of one’s

sins and Confessed his/her faith in Him ( Acts

8:36‑37) and been baptized in water for the

remission of sins ( Acts 22:16) one is a child of

God. Heaven is their home, conditioned upon them

remaining faithful till death Rev. 2:10; Mt.

24:13).

3. Yet, many look away‑‑to the world‑‑ and learn

to love this Present world to the extent that they turn

back and walk no more with Jesus in the path of

righteousness ( 2 Tim. 4:10; 2 Pet. 2:20‑22). When

one so acts, he/she, like Esau of long ago—is

making a very unwise, foolish TRADE! Time will

cause them to see that they made a foolish

exchange, but it will be too late then.

While their soul is worth more than the whole

world, they exchange it ( Matt. 16:24‑26) for

something that will pass with the time and materials

( I Jn.2:15‑17). Beloved, we ask each of us to

examine our selves (2 Cor. 13:5) to see if we be IN

the Faith. We can and we must continue in the faith,

if we are to be eternally secure! Yes, I’m aware of

the teachings that says once you get it you can’t lose

it. However, there are many passages that tell us

other wise. Listen to the Hebrew writer: “Takes

heed brethren lest there bi in any of you an evil

heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

(Heb. 3:12). Beloved, in all seriousness: You can

depart from a place you’ve never been!

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in ex‑change for his soul?”

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 Jn. 2:15-17).

Beloved, don’t despise your spiritual birthright! It is in your hands to respond to the Lord as directed and be ASSURED that heaven will be your home, or be negligent or careless and lose it. The alternative is a place as horrible as you can imagine.

If you have not rendered obedience to the gospel, God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16-17), tomorrow won’t be a good time to do that; do it now, today (2 Cor 6:1-2).

If you have initially denied your self and submitted you life to Christ by obeying the first principles, being purified, born anew, please not allow persecution, difficulties, of worldly things to keep you from enduring to the end (Matt. 24:13). –William C. “Bill” Sexton


A Study in Book of Philippians Chapter 4

Rejoice in Steadfastness in the Lord


Introduction: This fourth chapter we describe as the joy of standing steadfast in the Lord, making their request known to the Him. That is where each of us should be SURE we are, and find a measure of satisfaction in that, even is difficult times and situations. Also, be in frequent communication with God in prayer.

1. Based on what has been said before, Paul appeals to them, as “beloved,” to “stand fast in the Lord.” Then he mentions some individuals: two ladies whom he asks to “be of the same mind,” suggesting that perhaps they were at odds with each other. Additionally, he speaks of those who labor with him in the gospel, naming Clement, all of which he affirms: “whose names are in the book of life.” (Phil. 4:1-3)

2. He calls upon them to “rejoice always,” and even repeating that call, which seems to indicate that it is something we can do, but may be more reluctant to do that we ought. We need to be able and willing to let our stand “known to all men,” recognizing that the Lord is at hand. We need be anxious for nothing, instead speak to God about the matter. Ask for His wisdom, making “supplication with thanksgiving. “With that trusting behavior, he says: “the peace of God,” which passes all understanding, “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” What a promise! (Phil. 4:4-7)

3. Finally he advises them to THINK on the right things and names seven different things: true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, adding “if there be any praise.” Then he says what they have: learned, received, heard and seen in him to DO, affirming “the God of peace shall be with you.” Now, he tells them that he rejoices to witness their “care” for him has “flourished again,” in that they have taken advantage of the “opportunity to provide support to him. He expressed that this was not so much for his good, as it was to see their spiritual growth, strength, and willingness to “communicate” with his affliction. (Phil. 4:8-14).

4. He refers to their behavior of sending to his sup-port from early in their existence as a congregation. This is in harmony with what is stated in (2 Cor. 11:8-9) instead of creating another origination or some sponsoring church to send money through. He points to Epaphroditus having brought the “things which were sent” from them. He describes them as ,”a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.” He expressed his confident that “God shall supply” their needs according to His riches through Christ. Closing out, he sends salutations to every saint in Christ. Also, he says all the saints in Caesar’s household, along with all saints salute them. (Phil. 4:15-23)

Questions:

1. What did Paul say about his “joy and crown” (Phil. 4:1)?

2. What is mentioned about certain people (Phil. 4:2-3)?

3. What behavior did he repeat and what was to be made known “unto all men” (Phil. 4:4-5)?

4. What is said about praying, instead of what, with what promise (Phil. 4:6-7)?

5. Name the things they were to “think on,” and” DO (Phil. 4:8-9)?

6. What had “flourished again” and how did he fell about it and why (Phil. 4:10-11)

7. What had Paul come to “know” and his real concern (Phil. 4:12-14)?

8. What has these Philippians done in the “beginning” (Phil. 4:15-17)?

9. What had Epaphroditus done and what promise did Paul make to these (Phil. 4:18-19)?

10. What is said about “Caesar’s household?

Waveland church of Christ

Corner of Highways 10 and 309

Waveland AR 72

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