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).
December 11, 2016
1) "My Lord and My God!" (Tom Edwards)
2) "It's About Me!" (Steve Patton)
3) Why Do We Have the Lord's Supper on the First Day of the Week?
4) Still Growing! (Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes --------------------
"My Lord and My God!"
Thomas was not present when the Lord had first appeared to the ten
apostles, after His resurrection. In later hearing their
testimony that “We have seen the Lord!,” Thomas then responded,
“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of nails, and put my finger
into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will
not believe” (Jn. 20:25).
It was the following Sunday when Thomas was given that
opportunity. For the Lord again appeared to His disciples,
standing in their midst and saying, “Peace be with you” (v.
26). And then, specifically to Thomas, Jesus said, “Reach
here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand
and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing”
We are not told whether Thomas actually touched the Lord or not,
but we are given his response in what he saw, when he
acknowledged, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).
Jesus then said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you
believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" (v.
We note that Jesus does not specifically say that Thomas had
touched Him, but that he had seen Him – and that appears to have
been all that was necessary for this previous doubter!
Thomas, of course, had not been the only doubter, prior to seeing
the resurrected Lord. For that was also the case of all the
Lord's apostles – and even after hearing the testimony of Mary
Magdalene, that faithful follower of Jesus Christ who had often
been with them, and the one to whom the Lord first appeared,
following His resurrection (Mark 16:9). For she had declared
to them that she had seen the Lord; yet, the apostles did not
believe her (vv. 10,11). Where was that knowledge and even
that inkling of faith in them that the Lord was to arise from the
dead? Had they had that, would not such a testimony of Mary
have been all they needed to have sparked and brought them to the
realization of this marvelous event?!
The Lord's resurrection is that which truly bears witness to His
Deity. For as Paul writes concerning Jesus, “who was born of
a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was DECLARED THE
SON OF GOD WITH POWER BY THE RESURRECTION from the dead, according
to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 1:3,4,
And as we just saw, it was in seeing the resurrected Jesus that
prompted Thomas to declare, “My Lord and my God!”
If Christ had been merely a man, would not His response to Thomas
have been a rebuke for calling Him “God”?!
Thomas would certainly not call the apostle John “God” nor say
that about any other man. But he said that of Jesus, and the
Lord did not point out any error in what Thomas had said, but
accepted it. And not only that, but He also pronounced
blessing upon all those who had not seen, but yet still believed
in His resurrection.
We recall the time when Peter came to the household of Cornelius,
and Cornelius “fell at his feet and worshiped him” (Acts
10:25). But in seeing that, “Peter raised him up, saying,
'Stand up, I too am just a man'” (v. 26).
And when the apostle John, while receiving the great Revelation
from God through an angel, “fell at his feet to worship him,” the
angel said, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and
your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God...”
So even holy angels are not to be worshiped. Yet, according
to Hebrews 1:6, all the angels are to worship Jesus Christ!
While on earth, Jesus was worshiped. He was worshiped when
an infant (Matt. 2:11). He was worshiped in adulthood (Matt.
14:33, 28:9,27; John 9:38) – and not once did He rebuke any of
these for doing so! For Jesus is to be reverenced and
worshiped just as greatly as we reverence and worship the Father –
and to not do so is to not honor the Father at all! As the
Lord declares, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has
given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even
as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does
not honor the Father who sent Him” (Jn. 5:22,23).
After considering all of these above passages, we should well
understand what the Lord meant by warning, “unless you believe
that I am He, you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24).
May the world not only come to that great conclusion that Jesus
truly is Lord, and that Jesus is truly God; but also be able to
declare, like Thomas, that Jesus is “My Lord and my God!”
* All Bible verses are from the New American Standard Bible. --------------------
“It’s About Me!”
Our world constantly emphasizes that life is “all about me.”
We have it hammered into our brains daily with ad slogans like:
“You are special. You deserve a break today. Have it
your way. Because you’re worth it. We do it all for
you. It’s everywhere you want to be.” So life is all
about me and my wants and desires. Happiness means getting
everything I want.
I believe such an idea can be attributed to two things. One
is the battle with our own lusts — lusts of the flesh, lusts of
the eye, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-16). Flesh
versus spirit is a battle we fight our whole life. God’s Word
teaches us that self-denial and sacrifice are fundamental to a
meaningful existence (Luke 9:27; Romans 12:1, etc.).
But secondly, we are told that life can be meaningful without a
belief in a Creator God who is the source of all existence and to
whom we will ultimately answer. Radical evolutionists have
been at the heart of this idea, telling us that this world is here
without the hand of God, and that its continued successful
existence is up to man. In the evolutionist’s mind we are
but one species in a long continuum of beings evolving into higher
forms over billions of years. Our responsibility is to do
our part to see that this evolutionary march continues throughout
the millenniums ahead. I’m not sure why they think we should
do this since we each live only one lifetime. Shouldn’t that
one brief lifetime be filled with doing whatever I want, not with
fulfilling any responsibility to future higher evolved
beings? After all they will not care one bit about me and
how I lived.
The evolutionist says that to find meaning to life, do not look
up. Rather look around you and find something more important
than yourself and work for it. Sounds good but I think
someone long ago tried that. King Solomon recounted his
quest for meaning in "something more." With great success he
completed grand projects, amassed fortunes, and enjoyed
mountaintop experiences, each failing to quell his heart’s deepest
pangs. His life lesson: Lasting significance is not found in
something, but in Someone (Eccl. 12:14).
Do not let this world fool you. Life is not just about
“me.” It is about both God and others. When your life
needs meaning, learn to look up. Have the heart of the
Psalmist when he wrote, “As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psa. 42:1). There you will
find life’s meaning.
-- Via articles from Manslick Road church of Christ, January 19,
Why Do We Have the Lord’s Supper on the First Day of the
The New Testament accounts of the institution of the Lord's Supper
are found in Matt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; and Lk. 22:19-20.
Paul also cites this occurrence in 1 Cor. 11:23-26. In all
of these the followers of Christ are commanded to observe the
Lord's Supper. Those who constitute a congregation or local
church are taught to assemble together for this observance (1 Cor.
11:18,20,33). In Acts 20:7 we have the example of the church
in Troas assembling together "upon the first day of the week" for
the purpose of eating the Lord's Supper (called "breaking bread,"
just as it is in Acts 2:42). This approved example is the
only New Testament clue we have as to when first century
Christians observed the memorial feast of the Lord's Supper.
Church histories compiled by men confirm that it was indeed the
practice of Christians in the first few centuries to assemble on
the first day of each week for the purpose of eating the Lord's
Supper. In later years, led by those who believe that the
frequency of doing so and the day of the week upon which it is
done are not important, the practice of annual, quarterly, and
monthly observances were begun. There is no Bible authority for
-- via the articles of the Collegevue church of Christ, November
13, 2016 --------------------
In thinking of our need to continually grow in our relationship
with God, I was once reminded of that by Pablo Casals -- that
renowned cellist who was a virtuoso in his field. On his
75th birthday an interviewer asked him why he still found it
necessary to practice the cello for four hours a day. "Because,"
Casals answered, "I think I'm making some progress."
Regardless of how long we have been a Christian, we, too, can
still make some progress as we continue in our service to God and
grow in His word. And may that always be our desire.
-- Tom --------------------
News & Notes
Last Thursday, Cheryl Crews was taken off the ventilator
and continues to improve each day.
Shirley Davis has been receiving physical therapy for the
last few weeks to strengthen her legs, which is needful prior to
her having a knee replacement.
Bennie and Deborah Medlock have both fallen recently, which
has led to some back trouble.
Doyle Rittenhouse had been getting better over his illness,
but also had recently fallen, which has caused some back trouble
(which he has long had trouble with to begin with).
Jim Lively has also fallen again and put a couple bruises
on the back of his head. He is still undergoing cardio
therapy 4 days a week.
Let those of us who are Christians also continue to remember in
prayer the following: Joyce Rittenhouse, Kay Byars, La Donna
Andrews, Lexi Crawford, Camp Tatum, Kelli Fleeman, Mikaela
Jones, Brianna Mackey, Ray Richards, and Mary
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John
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.
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; 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 (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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