The Gospel Observer
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).
July 1, 2018
1) The Greatest Liberty (Bill Crews)
2) Pray for One Another (R.J. Evans)
3) News & Notes
The Greatest Liberty
According to Isaiah 61:1 the Messiah was to proclaim liberty to the
captives. In a synagogue in His home town of Nazareth Jesus read the
Isaiah passage and announced, “Today hath this scripture been
fulfilled in your ears” (Lk. 4:16-21).
The captivity referred to is not political (being held
prisoner in a government prison) or social (being owned as
the slave of another), but spiritual (being in bondage to
sin). The word of Christ, in fact, calls upon every soul to be
subject to civil authorities (Rom. 13:1-7) and upon slaves to be
obedient to their masters (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25), but no one is
called upon to be content in sin or obedient to Satan. Sin is, after
all, the most oppressive and the most destructive form of slavery.
Don’t wait until life is over to discover this!
To certain Jews that had believed on Him (nominally, according to
the context), Jesus said, “If ye abide in my word, then are ye
truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31-32). They mistakenly said,
“We have never yet been in bondage to any man” (vs. 33; had
they forgotten the long bondage in Egypt? the Assyrian captivity?
the 70 years of Babylonian captivity?, and other times of national
oppression? And if they referred only to themselves, did they think
they were now free from the Romans? But Jesus had in mind none of
these things. However, they were also enslaved by sin and in bondage
to the human traditions of their fathers.)
When Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that
committeth sin is the bondservant of sin” (vs. 34), He made
clear His meaning. Christ, the great Deliverer, came to set at
liberty those who are enslaved by sin. Solomon said, “Surely
there is not a righteous man upon earth that doeth good, and
sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). And Paul wrote, “For all
have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
However, full release is offered by and through Christ, and to the
extent that mankind is made free from sin, other forms of oppressive
bondage will in time disappear.
The saints at Rome, like all other saints who were saved through
Christ, were once the bondservants of sin, but they became obedient
from the heart unto that form of teaching unto which they were
delivered, and were then made free from sin and became bondservants
of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18). They traded a bondage that was
oppressive and destructive for a bondage that was beneficial and
salutary (see Matt. 11:28-30 on “yoke”).
Because of the liberating power of the truth, the gospel of Christ,
it is called “the law of liberty” (James 1:25; 2:12). Paul
refers to it as “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”
and declares that it made him “free from the law of sin and
death” (Rom. 8:2). To the saints in Galatia Paul wrote:
“For freedom did Christ set us free; stand fast therefore, and be
not entangled again in a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).
And how are Christians to use, rather than abuse, this freedom?
"For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your
freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants
one to another” (Gal. 5:13). “As free, and not using your
freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God"
(1 Pet. 2:16 — notice the context, vv. 13-17). We should think of
our freedom in Christ more as freedom from things that are
oppressive and burdensome rather than as freedom to do as we please
or as freedom from restraint and responsibility
-- Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 32 Issue 45 Page 02
Pray for One Another
"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another,
that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
man avails much" (James 5:16).
Paul wrote two letters to Timothy, a young evangelist he referred to
as “my true son in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2). Both of the letters are
filled with instructions, exhortations and admonitions that would
come under the category of commands that Paul was giving his “son in
the faith” (1 Tim. 1:3, 18; 4:11; 5:7, 21; 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:1). Among
other things, Paul commanded him to study the Word (2 Tim. 2:15);
live the Word (1 Tim. 4:12); preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2). But in
this article let us note the exhortation Paul gave Timothy
concerning prayer: "Therefore I exhort first of all that
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made
for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may
lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."
Prayer is one of the most important duties and privileges of a
Christian. And I am convinced that praying for others
(“intercessions”) should take up a large portion of our prayer time.
“I am praying for you” are some of the most encouraging words I have
ever heard from others, especially during difficult times. There are
some valid reasons for believing this.
Paul is giving a command to intercede by prayer for all men. In the
next verse he mentions some in particular— “for kings and all who
are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all
godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:2). Ephesians 6:18 and James 5:16
also commands us to pray for others. Thus, it is a duty commanded by
God for every Christian to pray for others.
Our prayers for others manifest brotherly love and an unselfish
attitude. These two areas are so important in the life of a
Christian. The Apostle Paul said, “Let nothing be done through
selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only
for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil.
2:3-4). This being true, the requests we make for others are just as
important as the requests we make for ourselves. When the Lord
answers our prayers for others, no doubt, our faith is increased.
Jesus said loving our neighbor as our self is the second greatest
commandment (Mk. 12:31).
The Apostle Paul prayed for all the churches where he labored. For
example, in his letter to the Ephesians, he assured them of his
prayers on their behalf. He said I “do not cease to give thanks for
you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom
and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph. 1:16-17). The list of
things he asked God to do for the Colossians was similar (Col.
1:9-12). Epaphras offered fervent prayers for the Colossian
brethren. Paul told them, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of
Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers,
that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God"
I have no doubt that Christians enjoy many blessings from God
because some brother or sister in Christ prayed for them. May we not
forget that praying for others should be a big part of our lives.
Such encouraging words when some faithful brother or sister tells
us, "I am praying for you”! Thus, may we constantly practice what
James was teaching when he said "pray for one another" (Jas. 5:16).
— bulletin article of the Southside church of Christ, June 10, 2018
News & Notes
Rick Cuthbertson was to find out around the end of
June of what kind of treatment he will be given, as a precautionary
measure, following the recent removal of all his cancer.
Let us also remember in prayer Jordyn Mackey (who had a
series of seizures), Shirley Davis (who has swelling,
cellulitis, and pain in her legs — though improving —and pain in her
shoulder), Bentley O’Berry (who had a seizure), Bennie
Medlock (who has an aortic aneurysm), Charles Crosby
(healing from a knee implant), Michael Crawford (heart
trouble), Ginger Head (spot on lung), Elizabeth Young
Harden (has a baby due July 4), and Marie Maymoldi
(who is also expecting).
Others to also pray for: Jim Lively, Deborah Medlock, Pat
& A.J. Joyner, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Rhyan
Thomas, Hannah Laughlin, Misty Thornton, Belinda Medlock, Michelle
Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
Being the first Sunday of the month, our p.m. service today will
primarily be the singing of spiritual songs led by several of the
men. Song requests can be made prior to the service.
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal
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. 3:21).
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 a.m.
(Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m.
(Ladies' Bible class)
p.m. (Bible class)
Edwards (912) 614-8593
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