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"
June 21, 2015
1) The Nature of the Word of God (Joe R. Price)
2) That Familiar Ring of Truth (Bill Hall)
3) News & Notes
The Nature of the Word of God
by Joe R. Price
While contemplating God and His word, the psalmist observed,
"Righteous are You, O Lord, and upright are Your judgments... Your
word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it" (Psa. 119:137,
140). Since God is righteous, we fully expect His word to also be
righteous. We are not disappointed. We marvel at the harmony of
God's word. We trust its power to save souls and transform lives. We
are dismayed at those who choose to dishonor God by dishonoring His
Many religious people discount the credibility of the Bible and
discredit the Scriptures as the only authoritative, binding standard
for faith and practice. They appeal to "church tradition," to "new
revelation" or to "personal testimony" while rejecting the Bible as
the very word of God. The apostles of Jesus preached the "word of
God" and not the "word of men" (1 Ths. 2:13). The Spirit of God gave
the apostles the very words to speak and write (Matt. 10:19-20; 1
Cor. 14:37). To relegate the Bible to human origin either displays a
lack of knowledge or a willful rejection of the word of God (2 Tim.
Others, wanting to deflect the validity of the apostles' teachings,
say there is a big difference between the words of Jesus and the
words of His apostles. We hear the uninformed say things like,
"Jesus didn't say it, just Paul (Peter, John, etc.)". Yet, Jesus
told His apostles, "He who receives whomever I send receives Me; and
he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me" (Jno. 13:20). Jesus
sent His apostles into the world to preach His gospel (Mk.
16:15-20). The apostles spoke and then wrote "the commandments of
the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:37). We cannot minimize and reject the
apostles' words without also minimizing and rejecting Jesus.
The apostle Paul said, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven,
preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you,
let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if
anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received,
let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8-9). This declarative statement calls
on us to preach the same gospel the apostles preached.
The teaching of Christ's apostles and prophets about the nature of
God's word strengthens our faith and revives our love for His truth.
They assure us that God's "divine power has given to us all things
that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who
called us by glory and virtue" (2 Pet. 1:3).
Every teaching that contradicts Christ's first century apostles and
prophets indicts the purity of God and His word. Here is what they
taught about the nature of the word of God.
All truth. The apostles of Christ were guided by the Holy
Spirit into all truth: "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has
come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His
own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell
you things to come" (Jno. 16:13). This is most reassuring since we
are sanctified by truth (Jno. 17:17). If we only have some truth
then we can only have some sanctification. But, God's word "is
truth," and "all truth" was given to the apostles. We have all of
God's word through the apostles. We have no need for direct,
personal messages from God. God has already given us "all truth" to
follow. The Bible is enough.
Fully adequate. The Scriptures, because they are inspired by
God, are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). To "be
complete" means to be adequate, filled up, sufficient. The
Scriptures are adequate to supply us for "every good work" of faith,
without any additional revelation (Eph. 2:10). They are our pattern
for doing God's will. The Bible is enough.
Incorruptible. The words of men fall by the wayside and are
cast into the dustbin of history. But the word of God is living and
powerful, vibrant to convict of sin and to convert sinners (Heb.
4:12). It is enduring, never fading away: "having been born again,
not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God
which lives and abides forever" (1 Pet. 1:23). When people say God's
word is no longer relevant in modern culture they expose their
unwilling heart to accept and live by the living word of God. There
have been and always will be different cultures on the earth, yet
the incorruptible word of God applies to people of every culture
(Mk. 16:15). Some say men have corrupted truth and we need the truth
restored. No, men have fallen away from the truth; the truth has not
fallen away (1 Tim. 4:1). The Bible is enough.
Once for all delivered. The gospel is not repeatedly
delivered from heaven to earth throughout the ages. The faith was
fully delivered to mankind by the first century apostles and
prophets of Christ -- "...once for all delivered to the saints"
(Jude 3). Jesus Christ died a single time ("once") as a sacrifice
for sin (Heb. 7:27; 9:28; 10:10). Once was enough. Likewise, "the
faith" was delivered "once" (a single time). The Bible is enough.
Full and final authority. The apostles' teaching carries the
full weight of heaven's authority. When we accept the apostles'
teaching we are accepting Christ because He sent them into the world
with His word (Jno. 13:20; Mk. 16:15; Acts 2:42). The writings of
the apostles of Christ "are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor.
14:37). God speaks to us today "in His Son" by the words of His
apostles (Heb. 1:1-2). Their word has binding authority over us
(Col. 3:17). The Bible is enough.
Understandable. Amazingly, by reading what the apostles wrote
we can understand what they knew about the will of God! "...how that
by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly
written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my
knowledge in the mystery of Christ)..." (Eph. 3:3-4). It is false to
say the Bible is not understandable (2 Pet. 3:16-18). We do not need
a new revelation to understand the first century revelation. We need
to read and learn it. The Bible is enough.
-- Via The Spirit's Sword, November 9, 2014, Volume 17, Number 24
That Familiar Ring of Truth
by Bill Hall
The preacher's topic: "The Conversion of Saul." But why that topic?
Aren't most of us familiar with that? Shouldn't the preacher choose
something new and more challenging? Why preach what is familiar?
1. It confirms convictions we have formed through the years.
Most of us have strong beliefs concerning what a sinner needs to do
to be saved, what constitutes the pattern set by the apostles for
each local church, what the Lord wants of us on a daily basis, and
on many other issues. When we hear sermons confirming these
convictions, it builds our confidence that we are indeed doing the
Lord's will and strengthens our hope of eternal life.
2. It conforms our teaching to the example of the apostles.
Peter wrote that he was reminding his readers of certain things,
that he would continue to do so, and that he would see to it that
they would continue to "have a reminder of these things after my
decease" (2 Peter 1:12-15). Peter knew that Christians need to hear
the truth -- familiar truth -- again and again.
3. It builds convictions in those who are young and those who are
new in the faith. There are reasons why we who have been
Christians for many years are familiar with these scriptures. It is
because of the preaching we have heard since our youth. Today's
young people and newer converts need this same opportunity.
4. It thrills listeners to hear again that which has brought joy
to them in the past. A sports fan views a rerun of an
exciting game his team has won. He knows exactly the moment when the
running back scoots through the defense and scores a touchdown. He
knows when that moment is near, and he can't wait to see it again.
It never gets old to him. So it is when we love the scriptures. We
rejoice to hear the message. It never grows old. We anticipate
certain scriptures and points that are about to be presented. We
never tire of the old, old story.
Catherine Hankey said it this way:
I love to tell the story,
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest;
And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
Twill be the old, old story
That I have loved so long.
Our purpose is not "to tell or to hear some new thing," as seems to
be the trend. Our purpose is to preach truth. If we are bored with
that message, something is wrong with us spiritually. If we need to
apologize anytime we preach it, something is wrong with our
audience. The ring of truth! The familiar ring of truth! Preach it,
Brother! We thank God for the joy of hearing it again and again.
-- Via The Beacon, June 2, 2015
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things
came into being through Him... And the Word became flesh, and dwelt
among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from
the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-3,14).
News & News
We were glad to hear that things are looking well from Myrna
Jordan's recent CT scan!
Judy Daugherty, who had been improving from her recent fall,
is now experiencing some serious complications due to having
severely hit her head in that.
Let us also continue to remember the following in our prayers: Mary
Vandevander and Melotine Davis, Marie Pennock, Danielle Howard,
Deborah and Penny Medlock, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Ronnie
Crews, Randy McBride, Sunny Nichols, Jean Beach, Dexter Roberts,
Jewell Wilson, Betty Miles, Steve Vista, Buddy Gornto, Dolly
Moody, Rex and Frankie Hadley, Jesse Bailey, Sue Wooten, Colleen
Henson, Tom Holland, Donell Wells (cancer), and Kelsey
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;
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. 3:21)
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
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website)