Church of Christ
Mission USA

 

Some Sound Reminders

by Perry Sexton

      It is very easy for us humans to become slack in any area for a myriad of reasons and so it is in the Christian life. We are cautioned: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9); “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).  Strong’s definition of “slip” is “to flow by, that is, (figuratively) carelessly pass (miss):—let slip.” With these warnings, and there are many others, let us be reminded of a few basic things that are essential to a faithful Christian life.

      We are to continue to study and grow (2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18). The fruit of not doing so is bad and can lead to a complete falling away (cp. Heb. 5:12ff). We should work diligently in bearing “the fruit of the Spirit” and in shedding every sinful thing (Gal. 5:22-26). Adding those Christian graces of which Peter speaks (2 Peter 1:1ff) and having such glorious assurance as seen in verse 10.

      We must have authority for all that we do (Col. 3:17). This seems to be ignored more and more by brethren, howbeit denied. Yet when challenged in certain areas they are not willing to give book, chapter and verse. Let us all truly be careful to “Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent and do Bible things in Bible ways” (cp. 1 Cor. 4:6; 1 Peter 4:11).

      Let the women keep silent during worship (1 Tim. 2:11, 12). If the preacher cannot remember a point or name let him ask his wife at home, not during the sermon (cp. 1 Cor. 14:34, 35). But some would say it is just a small thing. Small or big, we have God’s Word on the matter. That should make the difference. It is easy to label things as small and insignificant and make it appear as no big deal. Perhaps we need to revisit Nadab and Abihu and many others.  If we are willing to break God’s Word on one point, then why not break God’s Word on any and every point? The one point proves it! Furthermore, study James 2:10 and context.

      A practice that seems to be gaining ground is for the preacher, at the beginning of the sermon, to address the audience in such a manner as to encourage a response. Such as “Good morning” and the roar comes back: “Good morning” as if they had not already greeted one another! And even if they had not, such is unscriptural! Are we so weak legged that we cannot stand on the Word of God alone, as we used to sing as children? Must we borrow from the denominations? Does not 1 Cor. 14:40 apply here and also 1 Tim. 2:11, 12?

      Observe very strictly the funding of the work of the church (1 Cor. 16:1, 2). The same preacher who asked his wife a question during the sermon and she did answer, was selling things after services to help in their work. Now to be sure, selling your possessions and contributing to the Lord’s work can be very good when done properly (cp. Acts 2:45; 4:34-37). But it can also be done the wrong way (e.g. Acts 5:1ff). The preacher said something like this: These things are not for sale, but if you make a donation you can have them. Does this sound familiar? After services I overheard a conversation among members in the foyer something like this: Where is your wife? She’s in the back buying things (not making a donation). Sure enough that is exactly what was going on! Is there really such an animal as “You make a donation and I will give you such and such”? Is that not more denominational dishonesty? Let us not forget: “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Cor. 8:21, please see the context).

      “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40). I have been in some places that it seems they come together for the purpose of cutting up and joking. They are letting very valuable and precious moments flee by that never can be recaptured, and that should be used for serious Bible study and praise for God. A song service night is not for personal entertainment, but for praise to God and admonishing one another (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16). We should reverence God with our might (Exod. 15:11; Psa. 99; 111, et al).

      Jesus taught us how to address our God (Matt. 6:9). Will we be satisfied with that or will we see how “cool” and creative we can be as we compete with others? I do not know the motives behind all these modern day addresses to God, but we have the teaching and example of Christ and other godly men (ibid, John 11:41; 17:1 cp. the Psalms). God is not a man that He should be addressed as such. God is exceedingly far above man and should be held “in awe” by all men (Psa. 33:8). And how much more so by His blood redeemed people (Rev. 5:9; Acts 20:28)?

      There are many other equally important things we should ever keep in mind and never waver. Briefly: Never ever compromise (Exod. 10:26); Speak the truth in love – true love and not watered down truth which is not truth at all (Eph. 4:15); Teach all the council of God (Acts 20:26, 27); Be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8; 1 Cor. 15:58); Press onward (Phil. 3:14), never draw back (Heb. 10:38, 39), etc., etc.

      Why is it so hard for mankind to follow God and stay the course? Biblical history shows that mankind often, and many times have departed from God’s way very soon. How will it be for you and me? Can we be satisfied with God’s way? Will we endure the pressures from without and within?  Let us hold the course “…and ask for the old paths, where is the good way…” (Jeremiah 6:16). ♥

 

 2010, 11 SW  As The Young Men Rejoiced, The Old Men Wept  (women speaking out in worship)