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).
September 15, 2013
1) The Gospel Must Be Taught (H.E. Phillips)
2) Well-Doing (Jerry Fite)
3) Identifying With A Local Church (selected)
4) News & Notes
The Gospel Must Be Taught
by H.E. Phillips
Christianity is a religion of the heart, and as such it must be
taught before it can be practiced. Some religions survive
better when their principles are not taught than when they are
known, but this is not so with Christianity.
God commands that His word be taught. Jesus said: "No man can come
to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will
raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets,
And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that
hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John
6:44,45). It is only by teaching that men can come to God for
salvation. Preaching is one method of teaching, and Paul said
it pleased God by this preaching to save them that believe (I Cor.
1:21). He also said that men cannot call upon God unless they
have heard the preaching of His word (Rom. 10:13-15).
Christ required his disciples to preach. "Then he called his twelve
disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all
devils [demons, NASB], and to cure diseases. And he sent them
to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick" (Luke 9:1,2).
Later he selected seventy also, and sent them out two and two with
the good news of the coming kingdom (Luke 10:1-9). In a
parable Christ gave a principle of urgency with which his disciples
were to "go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to
come in, that my house may be filled" (Lk. 14:23). Jesus
commissioned his apostles: "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). "Go 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). They began this practice on Pentecost, and following
that day they were "daily in the temple, and in every house, they
ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42). The
early Christians followed this example and when the church was so
violently persecuted in Jerusalem that they were scattered:
"Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where
preaching the word" (Acts 8:4).
The apostles taught the early Christians to teach. Paul instructed
Timothy to teach the disciples to teach. "And the things that thou
hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to
faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2).
The reason given for teaching is that others may hear and have
faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God" (Rom. 10:17). One can have faith only by being
taught the word of God, and his faith can be strengthened only by
teaching the same.
Paul and Barnabas assembled with the church in Antioch for a whole
year and "taught much people" (Acts 11:26). Not only did Paul
and Barnabas do the teaching, others in Antioch also taught.
"Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching
the word of the Lord, with many others also" (Acts 15:35).
Those things taught by the apostles laid upon others the
responsibility to teach the word of God.
Christianity will not survive without teaching; teaching the right
thing -- the word of God. In Ephesians 4 Paul explains why
different workers, including teachers, were placed in the church:
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the
body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11,12). We are taught to "grow in
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2
Peter 3:18). No one can grow unless he is taught, hence the
teaching process continues in order for the Christian to continue to
grow, regardless of age. We are what we have been taught to
be. Our children will be just what we teach them to be.
We have basic needs that depend upon teaching. The dual nature
of man requires mental and spiritual developing as well as
physical. "For which cause we faint not; but though our
outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2
Cor. 4:16). "But he answered and said, It is written, Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out
of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). "As new born babes, desire
the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter
Christianity must be taught to adults and children alike if we are
to "walk by faith." We cannot expect improvement in the moral
and spiritual standards of this age until the living word of God is
taught to every creature. This is God's plan to save.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not
to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
May I urge those who read this to diligently study the word of God
to prepare yourself to teach others that both you and those taught
may be saved.
-- Preacher Of The Word, July 28, 1996
by Jerry Fite
Paul writes, "and let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due
season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9). Not
many have died the moment they were raised up from the waters of
baptism. Most of us arise to live the life of the
Christian. We are honored to live for Christ for years.
But time can be a difficult component for us. It is one thing
to do what is right for an hour, but to continue in well-doing year
after year is a challenge. Paul exhorts Christians to continue
in well-doing and not grow weary. The spiritual harvest of eternal
life awaits those who consistently day after day engage themselves
in well-doing. What does well-doing involve?
Since Paul relates such activity to reaping, we examine the
immediate context regarding sowing to see one aspect of well
doing. Sowing to the spirit, as we are led by the Holy Spirit,
thus producing the fruit of the Spirit is well-doing (Galatians 6:8,
5:16, 22-23). Over time, we might become lax in studying and
applying the Spirit revealed Word. We might tire from always
having to manifest love, joy, peace and meekness. We might
grow weary in continual kindness, goodness, faithfulness and
self-control. During our time on earth we must continue to make sure
these spiritual qualities flourish as our spirit sows in the
Serving others is well-doing. Paul exhorts the Christian to
use the freedom enjoyed in Christ to not selfishly serve the flesh,
but "one another" (Galatians 5:13). He encourages the
Christian to manifest the Spirit's fruit of "gentleness" in
"restoring" those who are suddenly overtaken in sin (Galatians
6:1-4). Those who teach us the word are not to be overlooked
either. We should share our physical means or "communicate"
with those who share with us the spiritual truths of God's word
(Galatians 6:6). As we have opportunity, we are to "do good"
or meet the current need of all men, but especially those who are
faithful Christians (Galatians 6:10). Over time we might
become weary in always being aware of the needs of others, and grow
tired in expending our energy and physical blessings to help
others. But this is the life of the servant. Grow not
weary in such well-doing. Not compromising with error is
well-doing. Paul led by example and did not give in to false
teaching, "no not for an hour" (Galatians 2:5). He withstood
his fellow apostle face to face, pointing out Peter's hypocrisy in
"not walking according to the truth of the Gospel" (Galatians
2:14). He did this not to promote himself, but to make sure
"the truth of the Gospel might remain" before all (Galatians 2:5).
You may be courageous and take a stand for revealed truth
momentarily. You may have many follow your example and stand
with you for truth. But you may be tempted to grow weary when
few stand to preserve truth. You may even want to give up,
especially when those who compromise hurl disparaging remarks
against you. Standing for truth is sowing to the Spirit.
We must not become weary in such well-doing. Reaping eternal life is
at stake! Are you continuing in well-doing?
-- via Glad Tidings
Identifying With A Local Church
Many members of the church move into a community and never formally
identify themselves with any congregation. Some are drifters,
visiting here and there, but never becoming a part of the church
where they attend. They just consider themselves members
wherever they go. They would not do this in their work.
It becomes necessary for them to actually enter the establishment
where they work. They do not do this with their children in
school. They go immediately and formally enroll them. In
fact, we do not treat anything so lightly as we often do the
church. There are a number of good reasons why we should
identify ourselves when we move to a new location:
1. Every Christian should be a member of a local church. It is
scriptural, and therefore, bears God's approval (Rom. 16:1-2; 1 Cor.
16:3; Acts 9:26-28).
2. It makes it possible for the "shepherds of the flock" to tend the
sheep (1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 20:28).
3. It acquaints Christians with one another and is a good
environment for spiritual living.
4. It opens opportunities for service in His vineyard as members
become active in the church (Matt. 25:14-30; Mark 13:34).
5. It encourages others (Heb. 10:24).
The elders are charged with the spiritual well-being of
members. They cannot be responsible for caring for you if you
have not placed yourself under their oversight. It is
important for you to identify yourself with a local
congregation. If you have not taken that step, then please
give it serious consideration.
News & Notes
Let those of us who are of the family of God be praying for Michelle
Fleeman who is now suffering from the side effects of
And let us also continue to remember the following in prayer, who
each have health problems: Bill Barfield, Virginia Fontenot,
Jean Calloway, Shirley Young, Peggy Lefort, Cheryl Crews, and
Terry and Pam MacDonald.
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) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
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.
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can
be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
9923 Sunny Cline Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 6 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (225) 667-4520
(Gospel Observer website)