Church of Christ
Mission USA

The Incomprehensible Love of God

by Perry Sexton

      Many speak the words “God is love” for that is what the Bible says (1 John 4:8).  However, can we really comprehend the love of God?  I think before we could do so we would have to understand how great God is: His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence.  God knows everything: His “understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5).  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33).

      God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7,8).  Are we able to conceive the power behind speaking a word to bring about creation (Jeremiah 32:17; cp. Genesis 1; Luke 1:37; Hebrews 1:3)?  Indisputably, we cannot comprehend the greatness of God, nor His love.

      The point is this, God is so very exceedingly greater than man (remember, we were made from dust) yet God gave His perfect, sinless and only begotten Son for sinful man (John 3:16).  That is love; true love (read 1 John 4). 

      God proved His love.  What if God had said, “I love you,” but never sent His Son to die for our sins and offer the plan of salvation?  What good would that do us?  Certainly, a love not demonstrated is not true love.  Many speak of their love for God and for His Son, but where is the proof (cp. 2 Corinthians 8:8,24)?  Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). 

      Here is the conclusion:  “God is love” and God wants only those who have true love to be with Him in Heaven.  “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).  Only those who truly love God will keep His commandments (John 14:23), and thus be saved (cp. Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 7:21; John 15:10).

      We care for you.  Your soul is very valuable (Matthew 16:26).  That is why we spend the money to send this paper to you and tell you the truth (John 8:32; 1 Peter 1:22,23). And offer, FREE of charge, our Bible Correspondence Courses that you can do in the privacy of your home. And invite you to study with us from the words of life (John 6:63).  ♥

Authority In Religion

by Perry Sexton

      "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Mat. 28:18)  This simply means that Jesus has all authority.  Since Jesus is the Savior (John 4:42) and we must obey Him in order to be saved (Heb. 5:8, 9), it behooves us to be certain that we have His authority for everything that we do in religion.

      Paul said: "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Col 3:17)  Again, that is simply saying that we must have the authority for everything that we do.  How do we know if we have authority from Jesus on any certain thing?  The New Testament is the covenant that all men are under today (Heb. 9:14‑17; 1:1, 2; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14, etc.).  If we cannot find authority for what we do and teach in religion in the N.T. we had better stop doing it.

      Consider the strictness of God:  Read Leviticus 10:1, 2.  From these two verses we can learn that God had told them from what source to get fire.  They did not get fire from the authorized source and therefore did not obey nor please God.  There are many examples of the strictness of God in the Bible.  Here are a few others: Gen. 2:15‑17 and chap. 3; 2 Sam. 6:1‑7; 1 Kings 13, etc.  On the other hand we have many examples of what it takes to please God.  Here are two examples:  Gen. Chap. 6.  Verse 22 says: "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."  Another example is 1 Sam 15.  ". . . Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Sam 15:22).

      Today, for salvation, all men must obey the gospel.  Please read Mark 16:15,16; 2 Thess. 1:7‑10.  We must be sure that we are following what God says rather than what man says (Matt. 7:21‑23; 15:9‑14).

      Concerning worship we are told: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).  God's Word is Truth (John 17:17).  Simply put, we must have book, chapter, and verse (authority) for everything that we do (Col. 3:17).  We must also be sure that we properly use the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15  cp. 2 Pet. 3:16).

      Examples: The Lord's Supper.  Jesus only authorized the use of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice) to be used (Matt. 26:17, 26‑30).  The day of worship is on Sunday which is the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).  We must not take away or add to, or in any way substitute what the Lord wants (Rev. 22:18,19).  When God told Noah to build an ark of gopher wood, Noah had to follow exactly what God said, and Noah did (Gen. 6).

      Music in worship to God.  God has told us what kind of music He wants in worship to Him today.  It is singing (Eph. 5:19: Col. 3:16,17).  Anything less or more will not please God.  The early church understood this and therefore did not use any mechanical instruments of music in worship to God.  Nowhere in the New Testament is it authorized.  To offer mechanical music to God is equivalent to offering "strange (or unauthorized) fire" before the Lord as did Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1, 2).

      One cannot go back to the Old Testament for authority because it is no longer of force (Heb. 7‑10; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14; Rom. 7:6, 7, etc.).  If one could go back to the O.T. he would be obligated to keep all of the old system (Gal. 5:1‑4).  Some wrongly use Psalm 150 to justify the use of mechanical music in worship but fail to "dance" (verse 4).  They also fail to obey Psalm 66:13‑15.  Please study carefully Gal. 5:1‑4 and see the consequence of going back.

      In order to be pleasing to God we must obey Him in all things.  If we do not do what God says, we do not please Him.  Jesus said: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)  Neither can we go beyond (add to) what God wants (1 Cor. 4:6). 

      If we love Jesus we will obey Him in all things (John 14:15, 23).  We will obey Him and not change what He says.  God only wants those who truly love Him to be with him in Heaven.  Only those who truly love Him will obey Him and thus be saved.

      We must be very careful that we do not let false teachers lead us astray.  Jesus warned: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Mat 7:15)  Because of false teachers many religious people will be lost (V. 21‑23, see 2 Pet. 2:1, 2).  ♥