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Baptism – A Spiritual Surgery

This article was originally published in the Southside church of Christ’s bulletin, September 24, 2017. Read the original source »

When an alien sinner is immersed in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), that very act itself is an appeal to God for a clean conscience.  The apostle Peter writes in his first epistle: “Baptism…now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clean conscience” (3:21).  

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Standing is Not Optional

In recent weeks, a great deal of controversy has arisen over professional football players choosing not to stand during the singing of the national anthem. Some players have chosen to kneel in protest of some sort.  Like most forms of protests, movements, and causes, this one will pass into the pages of history. 

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Daylight and Deep Water

This article was originally published in the Southside church of Christ’s bulletin, May 21, 2017. Read the original source »

Jesus was standing at the water’s edge on the western side of the Sea of Galilee which Luke calls the Lake of Gennesaret. (Twice John calls it the Sea of Tiberius – John 6:1; 21:1).   

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Speak Lord

This article was originally published in the Southside church of Christ’s bulletin, September 17, 2017. Read the original source »

Reality doesn’t jive with the notion that God really doesn’t care what we do. He does indeed. He wants us to do His will (Hebrews 10:36); to do what He deems “good” (Micah 6:8).  

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Armed for the Fight

This article was originally published in the Avenue N church of Christ’s bulletin, August 20, 2017. Read the original source »

The apostle Peter admonished the early disciples, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind” (1 Pet. 4:1). Apparently, he believed there was a spiritual war going on! 

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Are You Putting Forth Your Best Effort?

Effort is a key ingredient in accomplishing any worthwhile task.  Merriam-Webster.com defines effort as:  “1 :  conscious exertion of power . . . 2 :  a serious attempt  . . . 3 : something produced by exertion or trying . . . 4 : effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force 5 :  the total work done to achieve a particular end . 

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A Congregation’s Future

The responsibilities of the local eldership are much more than making the occasional decisions for the congregation. While it is true the current eldership has made several physical improvements to the meeting place, as well as making the decision to support additional gospel preachers, there are more important tasks to which the elders also give their time and mental energies. 

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Smyrna: The Poor Church That Was Rich

We are told nothing about the beginning of the church in Smyrna; the book of Revelation contains the only mention of this church. Since Smyrna was about 35 miles north of Ephesus, it may have been established while Paul was in Ephesus (see Acts 19:10). Jesus brings no criticism against the church at Smyrna; He, instead, comforts them by assuring them that He was acquainted with their situation. 

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The Church That Fell Out Of Love

In Revelation 2:1-7 we have record of the letter Jesus dictated to the apostle John concerning the church of Ephesus. Jesus describes Himself as “He who…walks in the midst of…the seven churches” (2:1 with 1:20). This affirms His presence among local churches and the fact that He knows what’s going on in His churches. 

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God’s Approved Pattern for Submission

The church at Ephesus was established during Paul’s second evangelistic journey. While Paul spent little time at Ephesus on his second journey, we know the church was established because Aquila and Priscilla and other brethren were there when Apollos came to Ephesus (See Acts 18:18-28). During Paul’s third evangelistic journey, he kept his promise to return to Ephesus and labored with the church for about three years. 

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