Church of Christ
Mission USA


by Perry Sexton

            When one obeys the gospel he indeed is free from sin and the terrible consequences of sin (cp. Rom. 6:23; John 8:31,32; 1 Pet. 1:22, 23), but he also has responsibilities.  The child of God is to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18).  We are cautioned by the Lord: "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me" (John 15:4).  And John warned: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 John 1:9).  As we learn in these two verses, it is impossible to remain in Christ without continuing in the doctrine of Christ.

            Awhile back I had the opportunity to talk with the local Pentecostal preacher.  In our conversation he said he wasn’t concerned with doctrine.  I then, very politely, quoted II John 9, but it did not faze him at all.  It seems like many in the church are taking on that same kind of attitude!  We must be concerned for doctrine IF we are concerned for our own souls and IF we truly love God.  In fact, Jesus said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). If we love Christ we will keep His words (v.23), i.e., abide in His doctrine, thus abide in Him.

            There is much written in the New Testament of our Lord concerning soundness.  Paul foretold by inspiration: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" (2 Tim 4:3).  “Sound” comes from Strong’s #5198. hugiaino and means to have sound health, i.e. be well (in body); fig. to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine):--be in health, (be safe and) sound, (be) whole (-some).  The word is applied to our spiritual health.  Paul said of the church at Corinth: "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep" (1 Cor 11:30).  They were not following sound doctrine!

            How is our health, individually and congregationally,  in the sight of God?  Among men we may have a good report, as Jesus said to the church at Sardis: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Rev 3:1).  On the other hand, men may think we are dead, small, insignificant, but as the Lord said to Smyrna: "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) ..." (Rev 2:9).  Let us all, individuals and congregations, be certain we are truly following sound doctrine (1 Tim 1:10; 2 Tim 1:13; Titus 1:9,13; 2:1,2,8).  Let us, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thes. 5:21 cp. 2 Cor. 13:5). ♥

by Perry Sexton

            We read of the crucifixion of Jesus in Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; and John 19.  The Bible doesn’t go into details of the crucifixion: the shame, pain, suffering, etc.  However, crucifixion is said to be one of the most cruel and barbarous forms of death known to man.  Scourging alone killed some.  The Bible draws our focus on the far greater, i.e., that Christ died that we might be reconciled to God (Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20, reconciled “through the blood of His cross”).  Jesus died for our sins (I Cor. 15:3), not His, Christ was sinless (Heb. 4:15).  John the Baptist said:  "... Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).  In this article we want to look at some of the sins that literally caused the Lord’s crucifixion:

            Envy crucified Jesus.  "For he [Pilate] knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy"  (Mark 15:10).  Criminologists have listed “envy and jealousy” as the main causes of capital crime.  Envy and jealousy are still crucifying Christ and persecuting His church.  Untold good men and women have been persecuted and even destroyed because of those overcome with these sins.  Many churches have been severely affected, even split asunder, and destroyed altogether because of these diseases of the soul. 

            Remember these cases of envy: Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery for envy (Gen. 37:11ff; Acts 7:9); Moses was envied by Aaron and Miriam  (Num. 12:2ff); Saul envied David and sought to kill him (I Sam. 18:7ff) though David had saved King Saul’s life and kingdom; the prodigal son in Luke 15 was envied by his elder brother.  Envy plagued and hindered the Great Commission during the first century: "But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming" (Acts 13:45 cp. 17:5).  Much more is recorded for us in God’s word showing the destructiveness of envy and jealousy, both to others and the one afflicted: "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones" (Prov 14:30); "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?" (Prov 27:4).  See also Rom. 1:29, 30; I Tim. 6:4; Tit. 3:3.

            Greed crucified Jesus.  The love of money crucified Jesus.  Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-16), the price of a slave.  What people will do for money is amazing.  Some will steal, kill, cheat and lie, sell drugs, and even their own bodies, all manner of evil for money (I Tim.6:10)!  Remember when the woman anointed Christ with the expensive perfume? Judas objected saying the money could be used for the poor.  He was a thief.  He was not concerned with the poor as he claimed, he carried the money bag (John 12:4ff).  When people object today about spending money for good works in the church, many times it is for no other reason than greed, covetousness, or such like!

            Ignorance crucified Christ (read Acts 3:14-17 cp. Luke 23:34; I Cor 2:8).  Even though they were ignorant, they were still guilty.  Ignorance is perhaps one of the main causes of sin, especially among God’s people (cp. Hos. 4:6).  People often believe things without any Bible bases.  Many follow false doctrines of all manner because of ignorance.  The biggest problem inside and outside the church is that people do not read (study) the Bible for themselves. They rely on their preacher or other men, books, etc.

            Cowardice crucified Jesus.  People were afraid to speak up. The disciples forsook Jesus and fled (Matt. 26:56).  Remember how Peter followed afar off and denied the Christ (Luke 22:54,57)?  Most people do not want to get involved: Like the priest and Levite, they want to pass on by (Luke 10:30ff), even when there is a battle for the truth and that which is right.  Many today will not stand for truth, but want to “wash” their hands of the matter as Pilate sought to do (Matt. 27:24). 

            Pilate was a coward.  He knew Jesus was innocent (Matt. 27:24), but he feared the people.  Rather we should “...fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).  Pilot chose to please the people rather than God.  We find others of like character: "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God"(John 12:42, 43). 

            We need to remember, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev 21:8).  We should strive to be as the faithful apostles: "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men"(Acts 5:29).

            These are some of the sins that literally crucified Jesus the Son of God.  As we look back to that time it is easy for us to say: “Lord if I had been there I would not have: betrayed thee as did Judas; denied thee as did Peter; sought to kill thee for envy; forsaken thee as did all others.  But, let us look at our lives now (II Cor. 13:5): Is envy a part of our lives?  If we have envy we have not love (I Cor. 13:4) .  If we have not love, how can God, who is love, abide in us?  Is our heart free from envy and jealousy?  Can we weep with those who weep? Can we rejoice with those who rejoice  (Rom. 12:15)? Without envy?  Let us not crucify the Son of God afresh (cp. Heb. 6:6) with the envy that may be in us, but let us “mortify” (put to death) that envy.

            Let each of us ask, “Am I crucifying the Lord afresh by my greed and lust for money?”  Do we give as we should?  Which is more important to us “principle or money?”  Paul said: "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" (Col 3:5).

            Because of ignorance are we crucifying Christ afresh?  "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30).  Ignorance is not blissfulness!  It is not a cloak for sin (John 15:22).  Remember:"... if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Mat 15:14).

            Are we cowardly standing by while error is being taught, leading men to hell?  Are we “earnestly contend[ing] for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)?  Do we practice Ephesians 5:11?  Let us stand for truth, let us not be cowards, but brave soldiers of Christ.

            Our sins, your’s and mine, literally put Jesus on the cross.  He died for our sins.  What wondrous love (Rom. 5:8).  Let us be very careful not to crucify Him afresh (Heb. 10:29), but rather “walk in the light, as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7). ♥

by Andrew Connally (deceased)

            “Young people must sow their wild oats.”  How often we hear this excuse made to justify the immoral conduct of our youth.  Especially is this true after baccalaureate, the graduation or what have you.  Young people go dancing, parking, petting, to motels, mixed swimming, to beerbusts, etc. and when their sins are pointed out, far too many would shrug their shoulders and say, “kids will be kids” or some such asinine excuse.  The reason people say such things is because they feel these sins are respectable sins, and “everybody does something wrong.”

            “I told a little white lie,” says one trying to justify their lies in their own eyes and in the eyes of others.   I wonder where the “little white lie” theory got started? Did it come from God or Satan?  Does God allow men to lie for any reason whatsoever?  The Bible surely doesn’t teach it!  Everything we read in the Bible is contrary to the “little white lie” idea.  Business men lie daily.  They promise to do work they know they cannot complete as promised.  Our children lie to escape the consequences of their actions.  Parents lie to elders and concerned brethren about why they miss church so often.  People exaggerate for no reason at all under the guise of “stretching the truth.”  Truth does not stretch!  It simply breaks, and through it all we convict ourselves of being liars, and “all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire” (Rev. 21:8).  There was a time when a man’s word was his bond, but now you have to tie a man hand and foot to make him honor his commitments and still he wiggles out!  But it’s O.K. cause, “everybody does it.”

            “I’m hurting nobody but myself.”  As if this justifies anything!  Since when does a sin hurt only the man committing the sin?  Perhaps we have forgotten the sin in the camp of Joshua 7.  Perhaps Christian influence is no longer relevant and perhaps our ignorance is showing!

            People really enjoy deceiving themselves by classifying sins as respectable and unrespectable.  They do not dignify them by placing a name on them but their attitudes, words and actions speak far louder than a name would.  Until we really wake up and stop playing at being Christians and the Lord’s people, such sins will prevail.  When we do wake up and begin to really live for the Lord, then and only then will we be what God wants in this generation. ♥

Please consider these verses carefully and very seriously:

            "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment" (Eccl 11:9).

            "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;" (Eccl 12:1).

            "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Tim 2:22).