The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to
observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
August 22, 2010
1) Remembering the Lord (David Phillips)
2) It Does Good To Do Good (Gary Henry)
Remembering the Lord
by David Phillips
Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and Savior of the world, ought to be a
difficult person to forget. Yet men are very forgetful creatures. God,
in His great wisdom, understands this about us and knows that we need
to be constantly reminded of even the most important truths. Therefore,
He has given us a most wonderful means of remembering His Only Begotten
Son and the sacrifice by which He has accomplished salvation for
mankind. It is good for us to consider this reminder so that we may
constantly turn our thoughts to Christ and remember Him at every
The Lord's Supper
Jesus, during the last supper with His disciples on the night of His
betrayal, instituted what we know today as the Lord's Supper. "When the
hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He
said to them, 'With fervent desire I
have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say
to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom
of God.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, 'Take this
and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of
the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And He
took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
'This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the
new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you'" (Luke
In this memorial we remember that Jesus, as God, became flesh (John
1:14) and dwelt among men in the flesh as one of us (Phil. 2:6-8). It
is the offering of His body that we remember when we eat the bread,
just as Jesus said, "This is My body
which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
Along with this, we drink the fruit of the vine which Jesus said is His
blood. For it was by the shedding of His blood that He established the
New Covenant in which God is able to take away our sins. "This cup is the new covenant in My
blood, which is shed for you." Just as important as His body is
to our salvation, so is His blood. When we remember that Jesus shed His
blood on the cross we remember that we who have come to Christ have had
our sins sprinkled clean and washed away by His life-giving sacrifice. "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" (Heb. 10:22).
Following The Pattern
The Lord instituted this supper on the eve of His betrayal. At that
time he eluded to a day on which His disciples would keep this supper
as a memorial to Him. "But I say to
you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it
new with you in My Father's
kingdom" (Matt. 26:29). Jesus stated that it would be
observed on "that day" (a single, literal day) in the kingdom.
The question is, what day? We may conclude that since Jesus rose on the
first day of the week (Mark 16:9) and that the church was established
on the first day of the week, that that should be the day on which to
eat the Lord's Supper. But we have something much more
conclusive. Since the Lord was looking to a specific day, we must ask,
on what day did the disciples observe the Lord's Supper in fulfillment
of His command? The answer comes to us in Acts 20:7, "Now on the first day of the week, when
the disciples came together to break bread." That is the day the
Lord specified that His people remember Him through the observance of
the Lord's Supper. Not just any first day, but every first day.
As the supper is a memorial, it is also a proclamation of His death, as
Paul said, "Ye do show the Lord's
death till He come" (1 Cor. 11:26, KJV). It is also meant to be
a communion, as Paul also said, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is
it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break,
is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16).
"Communion" is literally a joint participation, partnership, or
fellowship. Therefore, this memorial is to be done, not on an
individual basis, but in joint participation with the whole
congregation. Thus Paul said, "Therefore,
brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another"
(1 Cor. 11:33). And again, the proclamation takes place when "Ye (plural) eat this bread and drink
this cup" (1 Cor. 11:26).
Both the communion and the proclamation that take place in the
observance of the Lord's supper can only be accomplished when the
supper is observed collectively in the assembly of the church, the
Lord's body. For one cannot commune (share) without another's
participation. And when there is no communion of the Lord's body and
blood, there can be no proclamation of the Lord's death (1 Cor. 11:20).
This reminder is helpful for us because we are called to present our
bodies as living sacrifices for God (Rom. 12:1). As we remember the
Lord and what He accomplished through His death each first day of the
week we are reminded of the sacrifices we ought to be making for our
God and for our brethren, as it is written, "For the love of Christ compels us,
because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He
died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves,
but for Him who died for them and rose again" (2 Cor. 5:14,15).
-- Via In Newness of Life, May 9, 2010
It Does Good To Do Good
by Gary Henry
Life is filled with seemingly "impossible" situations, those where it
seems that nothing we can do will make any difference for good. There
may be some small step that we could take in a positive direction, but
the devil is quick to discourage us: "The little things you could do
wouldn't be enough to change the outcome. Why waste your effort?
Wouldn't it be easier just to give up?" As always, of course, the devil
is lying. To start with, when we stay focused and patiently do one
little thing after another, we're often able to do what the devil said
couldn't be done: change the outcome.
even if not, there happen to be plenty of other reasons for doing
Just a few days ago I was rereading a favorite book by J. R. R. Tolkien
and came across a long-forgotten passage where he has one of his
characters say, "There are some things that it is better to begin than
to refuse, even though the end may be dark." I was reminded of how
nourishing Tolkien's fiction was to me in my youth. The work of this
Englishman is one of the great literary monuments to the truth that
honor always does what it can do, and that great good comes from the
"little" actions of those who, not knowing the outcome, go ahead and do
whatever's right in the present moment.
Those who know their Bibles, of course, know that this truth is
biblical truth. How many examples can we think of where God called upon
individuals to do something that to them would have seemed a waste of
effort? When Jesus asked His apostles what they had with which they
could feed the multitude, Andrew said, "There is a lad here who has
five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
(Jn. 6:9). Before the day was done, however, Jesus had fed the five
thousand and proved again that God is able to take small resources and
produce astonishing results. Having read this story, how can we ever
say, "Lord, what good will it
The very essence of "faith" is the willingness to do whatever we know
God would want us to do, whether we can see how it will "work out" or
not. When Jesus instructed the apostles to launch out into the deep and
let down their nets for a catch, Peter's answer was, "Master, we have
toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net"
(Lk. 5:5). Whatever his misgivings may have been, Peter did what the
Lord said because it was the Lord
speaking! If we say we have faith, but we're not willing to act
when we can't see the outcome, then it's not God's foresight that we
trust, but our own. Faith takes God at His word and does whatever He
says, disregarding the devil's lie that "it won't do any good." It always does good to do good --
whether we live long enough to see the good or not.
A few years ago I had to make a decision that was far more difficult
than the sum total of all the others I'd had ever made. After many
agonizing, indecisive months, most of which were consumed trying to
foresee the "consequences" of all the alternatives before me, it
finally occurred to me that consequences can't be allowed to have the
final say in matters of right and wrong. Honor simply does what
one's deepest conscience determines to be right, and leaves the outcome in
the hands of a wise God who can see much farther down the road than we
Shortsightedness (often coupled with selfishness) is a serious
hindrance to our decision-making. When we know what we should do, but
we're wondering what good it'll do, we tend to define "good" in terms
of very short-term benefits (often those that will accrue to us
personally). But even if we knew how a decision would play out for the
remainder of our days, one human lifetime is but a tiny fragment of
what God deals with. Shouldn't we let Him determine what "good"
consequences need to be set in motion?
Solomon wisely advised his son, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). And it was
also Solomon (it seems to me) who gave this very practical advice in
Ecclesiastes: "As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how
the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know
the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed,
and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which
will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good"
(Eccl. 11:5,6). The fact is, we don't have
to know all that God knows. It's His job to run the universe, and we
can trust that He'll do it perfectly. Meanwhile, there are many
productive things we can do if we'll just focus on doing our best with
the present moment.
When a child of the King is faced with any "hopeless" situation, giving
up should never be an option. It is far nobler to die, if need be,
fighting beneath His banner than to "save" ourselves by succumbing to
evil. May God give us not only the courage to follow our conscience,
but the wisdom to trust His foresight. The consequences of right
conduct won't be fully known until eternity. In the meantime, the wise
are those who remember: it always
does good to do good.
-- Via www.wordpoints.com
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel,
for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the
deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ
(Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water
for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith;
CHURCH OF CHRIST
201 Rushing Road (at the Hampton Inn), Denham Springs, Louisiana
Sunday services: 9:15 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 4 PM (worship)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (225) 667-4520
http://home.onemain.com/~tedwards/go (Gospel Observer website)
http://home.onemain.com/~tedwards/audioser.html (audio sermons)
Take the Denham Springs exit (exit 10) off of I-12. At the end of
the exit ramp, turn north. Go about a stone's throw to Rushing
Road. (You'll see a Starbucks, Circle K, and two other gas
stations; with each on each corner.) Turn left on Rushing Road,
and go a little less than 0.3 of a mile. Hampton Inn will be on
right. We assemble in its "Meeting Room," which is very close to
the reception counter. Just walk pass the check-in counter; turn
right at the hall. The first and second doors on the left lead to
where we meet.