Church of Christ
Mission USA

Pleasing God vs. Pleasing Men

by Perry Sexton

            In the great faith chapter we find these wonderful words: "Enoch ... pleased God" (Heb. 11:5).  Such beautiful and wonderful words  should be a truthful epitaph of each one of us.  In the Genesis record we learn that "Enoch walked with God" (Gen. 5:22), i.e., Enoch obeyed God.  We have recorded of Noah: "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he" (Gen. 6:22 cp. Moses Exo. 40:16).  We are to do the same: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7); letting every word of God be our guide (Mat. 4:4; Psa. 73:24; 119:105).

            In order to please God we must have authority for everything we do: "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus [by His authority], giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Col. 3:17).  Including worship: we are to have book, chapter, and verse for all that we do (John 4:24 cp. 17:17).

            But many among us cannot be satisfied with God’s strict and narrow way and “go beyond that which is written” which we must never do: “... that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written ...” (I Cor. 4:6 ASV 1901 cp. Rev. 22:18,19).  If we truly love the Word of the Lord we would strive to abide therein always (Psa. 119:97).  To love the Word of God is to love God (Matt. 22:37ff cp. Deut. 10:12; cp. Rom. 8:7). 

            Some “love[d] the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).  The great old warrior said: "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal. 1:10).  Let us all strive to follow the apostle Paul (I Cor. 11:1).  Let us truly seek to please God in all things, not self nor other men.  "For even Christ pleased not himself; ...” (Rom. 15:3). ♥

Is There Not A Fault Among Us?

by Perry Sexton

            We are to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3).  We are to preach and teach the truth everywhere and expose error publicly (II Tim. 4:1-4; Mat. 28:18-20; Eph. 5:11).  But there are those private offences which come that are to be dealt with also.

Private Offences

            Our Lord gave specific instruction as to how to deal with private trespasses: "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. {16} But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. {17} And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican" (Mat. 18:15-17). 

            Some tell everyone but the offender and therefore the problem continues and sometimes worsens because of this wrong (sinful) action.  If handled as it should have been to begin with, often it is found to be no more than a misunderstanding of a matter.  Even in true offences (sins) the matter can be corrected without dragging others into it, and therefore much less harm done IF the Lord’s instructions are followed.


            According to Webster a rumor is: “(1.) a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts: rumors of war.  (2.) gossip; hearsay.”  Often times rumors are started with the intent of doing others harm.  Certainly the Christian should never be involved in such.  Compare: "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth" (Prov 26:20);  "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell" (James 3:6).

            Upon a few occasions when one was called a false teacher and I asked for proof, proof could not be given.  On the other hand when I have offered proof in matters it was not accepted.  Something is just not right with some brethren!!!  It seems a lot of such things as these go on in the brotherhood in spite of all that we have from God on these subjects.

Wars and Fightings Among Us

            "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1).  We need to study all of chapter 3, but for now note verses 14-16: "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. {15} This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. {16} For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."

            There will always be those who want to do others harm, even in the church, because of envy, jealousy, etc.  They seem to be set on defaming others as some were of the apostle Paul: "by evil report" (II Cor. 6:8).  Jesus said: "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:" (Mat. 15:19).


            Much more could, should, and will be said on these and related matters.  The Bible has much to say on these subjects which we all need to learn and follow. We must not pass on unsupported statements lest we become gossipers.

  • We must seek proof.
  • We should hear both sides of a matter lest we become unjust judges.
  • We must not be respecters of persons.  Just because one is a family member or a friend does not mean he is in the right.
  • We must remember anyone doing good will have his critics, and enemies.  It seems the more good one does the more enemies he has: compare the life of Jesus and Paul.

            Remember: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake" (Mat 5:11).  Please read Psalm 15:1-3.  Also consider what Paul said in II Cor. 12:20 and compare to the coming of the Lord. ♥

The Great Goal

by Perry Sexton

            In the secular realm goals are necessary or else one may find himself wandering about aimlessly and accomplishing very little.  It is very important to stay focused on the goals before us.  There are many admirable pursuits in this world, but the far greater is the spiritual.  It is of the utmost importance that we do not allow even the noblest worldly endeavors to side track us from the greatest of all goals.  My brethren, if we miss Heaven we have missed it all (Matt. 16:26).

            It is so easy to get caught up in worldly affairs (education, jobs, entertainment, etc., and religious error,) and lose our focus and not even recognize  it.  We are cautioned:  "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip" (Heb. 2:1).  We must “strive” (Luke 13:24) if we will "continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col. 1:23).  Paul said: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).  And what an exceeding great prize it is!

            Let us all check our goals (II Cor. 13:5) and be certain we are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mat. 6:33).  In order to reach that heavenly goal we must determine to do so:  "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:1-2).  We have great assurance (I Pet. 2:10). ♥