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Courageous or Cowardly?

Am I courageous or cowardly? This thought often swiftly dashes across my brain throughout my Christian walk of life. I often think up scenarios that put me in situations of immediate danger and ponder at what I would do. There is always the classic: “A terrorist walks into the church building with a gun and I have to make a decision if I will attack him or run and cower.” On the other hand, here recently I have been trying to apply this in a more realistic sense. I understand that the scenario mentioned above could happen and in some parts of the world may be more likely to happen, but I feel as of now that the chances are fairly slim in my case. The point of this article is to get you and I to examine ourselves to see if we are spiritual cowards or courageous saints. Am I like Daniel who overcame seemingly the toughest of situations with unwavering faith or am I like Peter when he denied the Lord three times for fear of what might happen to him (Matt. 26:33-34, 69-75). Yes, Peter went on to have great faith in the Lord and even as history tells us died a martyrs death. Faced with the same situation many of us, if not all, I believe would have felt the heart piercing crow of the cock just as Peter did.

Nevertheless, I want us to bring this down to the “ordinary” Christian scale on which most of us probably consider ourselves. I have come to realize that Daniel never did anything overly amazing himself. Daniel just kept the faith and practiced courageousness in the so-called small things. Think about it, Daniel was cast into the lion’s den simply because he continued praying like he had before. It was God who was doing great things like shutting the mouths of the lions (Daniel 6). I believe that if we look at the Scriptures carefully we will see that in most instances those great men and women of faith just did all the “simple” things faithfully and God did the great things. For instance if we look closely at the “Hall of Fame of Faith” in Hebrews 11 we will see men and women doing the “simple” things and God doing great things. Abel was killed because he worshiped God in spirit and in truth (Heb. 11:4). Noah moved with fear and built an arc of gopher wood (11:7). Abraham was told to go and he went (11:8). Sara believed God to be faithful (11:11). Moses’ parents feared God and not man (11:23). Moses took a pay cut (11:24-26). The Israelites walked in circles for seven days (11:30). Rahab welcomed into her home children of God (11:31). My point in listing these faithful men and women was not to undermine their great faith, but to show that such faith is attainable for the “ordinary” Christian. They simply did the “small” things faithfully and courageously, trusting God to do the “big” things. Do not the Scriptures teach that it is God who is great and mighty? Was it not Jesus that overcame the world (John 16:33) and is it not Jesus who gives us strength to do all things (Phil. 4:13)? The fact of the matter is that God does not place on us some great burden. It was Jesus who said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). God simply requires that we be faithful to Him by doing the basic things that He asks us to do and He will do the great things.

Moreover, are we doing the basic things like praying for all things, teaching the gospel, having godly conduct at home and in the workplace, having Bible studies with my family, telling the truth, dressing modest, being faithful to my spouse, loving our fellow man, abstaining from the use of filthy language and helping out at church functions? None of these things are unattainable in life, but sometimes we treat them as such. We do not have to be faced with physical life or death situations to determine if we can be courageous saints. As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” We should practice being courageous in these “small” matters so that we may be better prepared for days of tribulation and hardship.

Remember, that it is God who does the great things and we need to leave that to Him. Many times we try to do the work of God and fail at doing what He actually asks us to do. Likewise, we should remember it was Jesus that walked on the water and when Peter tried to do the same he quickly realized that he needed to leave that up to Jesus (Matt. 14:25-31). God does not require that we walk on water, but that we be courageous enough to do the little things that He asks of us. Jesus said in a parable concerning the kingdom of Heaven, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21). If we are humbly faithful over the few things God has set forth for us to do, then we too one day will hear those wonderful words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

We can have courage in doing these “simple” things knowing that the Almighty God is watching over each thing we do. Concerning the salvation of man, the teacher and preacher are to simply take the gospel to the world. It is God who does the great things in the salvation of man. It was Jesus who went to the cross and died for the salvation of the world (1 John 2:1-2; 4:14). It is God that cleanses the sinner of his sins through the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5). We must simply be willing to do what God says to do and leave the hard stuff up to Him. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Just doing what God says makes us courageous and puts us in the company of those written about in Hebrews 11.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Biblical Studies

 

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Entrance Into The Church

There are many misconceptions about the Lord’s church taught in the world today. One of those misconceptions is how one is to find entrance into the church. Now, when I say church I want it to be made clear that I am talking about the church we read about in the Bible. That church is not a physical building, but rather it is an assembly of believers who have found entrance into the kingdom by the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  These believers were added unto the one body of Ephesians 4:4 by the one Lord, through the one faith, which involves the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5. The Bible never differs in how one is added to the church from its conception in Acts 2. Acts 2:41 (KJV) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:47 (KJV) “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” The Lord was the one adding those being saved to the church then and He is the only one that adds to the church today. He only adds those who have come to Him in faithful obedience to the gospel. Acts 5:14 (KJV) “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)” Being added to the Lord is synonymous with being added to the church. The church is the body of Christ according to the Scriptures. Ephesians 1:22-23 (KJV) “22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Colossians 1:24 (KJV) “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” It was our Lord who laid down His life and shed His blood to purchase the church (Acts 20:28). The Lord has set forth the only way one may find entrance into His purchased possession. That way is through contact with His blood by obedience to the gospel. Our salvation and entrance into the church is dependent upon our obeying the gospel plan of salvation.

John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Acts 17:30 (KJV) And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Romans 10:9 (KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Does baptism really play a part in our being added to the church? Let’s give a Bible answer. Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:17 tell us that to get into Christ one must be baptized. 1 Corinthians 12:13 also says that we are baptized into ONE body. Remember the church is not a building, but rather it is an assembly of believers. Therefore our entrance is spiritual in nature. “Church of your choosing” is never found in the Scriptures. Let no man fool you into believing that there is more than one church. There is one church and one entrance into that church.

If you have not been added to the church by the Lord through obeying the gospel, then we encourage you to do so today before it is too late.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Biblical Studies

 

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5 Aids for Understanding Scripture

5 Aids for Understanding Scripture. Check out this link that gives good tips for studying the Bible. It is one that all Bible students should read and follow in order to magnify our understanding of God’s will for man.

God bless,
LydenFamily

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Biblical Studies

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT…BAPTISM?

Am I saved before or after I am baptized?
What does the Bible say?

  • Mark 16:16 – “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
  • 1 Peter 3:20-21 – “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

How do I get into Christ where all spiritual blessings are (Ephesians 1:3) and become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
What does the Bible say?

  • Galatians 3:27 – “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
  • Romans 6:3 – “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
  • Romans 6:4 – “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Is baptism necessary for the forgiveness of my sins?
What does the Bible say?

  • Acts 2:38 – “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  • Acts 22:16 – “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
  • Colossians 2:12-13 – “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

Do I come in contact with the blood of Christ during baptism?
What does the Bible say?

  • John 19:34 – “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”
  • Revelation 1:5 – “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
  • Acts 22:16 – “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Is that baptism that saves water baptism (immersion)?
What does the Bible say?

  • Ephesians 4:5 – “One Lord, one faith, one baptism
  • Acts 8:36-38 – “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”
  • Hebrews 10:22 – “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
  • 1 Peter 3:20-21 – “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

Is baptism necessary for everyone?
What does the Bible say?

  • Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
  • Luke 6:46-49 – “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 – “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Is baptism an operation of God or man?
What does the Bible say?

  • Colossians 2:12 – “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

What are some other things the Bible says about baptism?

  • Acts 2:41, 47 – “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand soulsPraising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
  • Acts 8:12 – “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
  • Acts 16:33 – “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”
  • Acts 18:8 – “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.”

Did you hold to a teaching that was opposite of what the Bible says concerning baptism?
Do you believe what the Bible says about baptism?
Have you been baptized into Christ and come in contact with his blood that washes you of your sins?
If not, then why do you wait (Acts 22:16)?

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in Biblical Studies

 

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Warn The Wicked

The prophets were to warn the wicked of their fate or else:
When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 3:18-19)

We are commanded to go into the world and warn the wicked converting souls:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:18-20)

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16)

If we do not warn the wicked we have the same fate as did the prophets of old.
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:26-27)

Are your hands pure? Preach the whole counsel of God or suffer the consequences.

Teach the lost what God has said they must do to be saved:
Believe that Jesus is the Christ – John 3:16
Repent of a sinful lifestyle – Acts 17:30
Make the good confession of faith in Christ Jesus – Romans 10:9-10
Be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins becoming a child of God – Acts 2:38; 8:38; Romans 6

– Chris
 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Biblical Studies

 

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TRUE LOVE

John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 – He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

John 15:10 – If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

1 John 5:2 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.

1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

2 John 1:6 – This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Biblical Studies

 

Preaching Tomorrow

Chris will be preaching tomorrow at the Valley Church of Christ where we normally attend. He has worked out a deal with the elders there to preach every third Sunday unless other arrangements are made. We love our church family at Valley and look forward to fellowshipping with them tomorrow, but most importantly worshipping our God. If you are in the Tri-Cities area, then please come and join us tomorrow at Valley. The Bible Study hour is at 9:30 A.M. with the worship service immediately following. My lesson tomorrow is entitled Forgetful Hearer. You can find the address for the Valley Church of Christ on their website. Hope to see you all tomorrow.

~Lyden Family

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Recent News

 

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