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" (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
December 1, 2019
1) God's Authority (Jeffrey Hamilton)
2) News & Notes
In the lessons we have studied so far, we have seen God create a
world and then destroy it when it no longer suited His purpose. We
have also seen God make demands of His creation, such as the law for
Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain tree or the instructions to
Noah to build a vessel according to a very specific plan. It should
be obvious that God expects obedience from mankind. We could say
that God has the right to be obeyed.
I have a small car. It isn't much, but it gets me around town. I can
drive it wherever I desire. If I decide to get rid of it, I can
dispose of it in a variety of ways. Why can I do all these things
with my car? Because I own it.
The reason God can make laws for his world and destroy it if he sees
fit is because God owns our world. In Genesis 1:1 we learned that
the only reason this world exists is because God created it from
nothing by the power of His Word. Therefore, other passages in the
Bible speak of the world as belonging to God, such as Psalm 24:1-2.
Even though we would like to think of ourselves as free and
independent beings, we too belong to God. We read in Genesis 1:26,
that God made man in his own image. He gave us a spirit that the
rest of his creation on earth does not have. Since our spirits come
from God, God can claim that all souls belong to him (Ezekiel 18:4).
God also has a right to expect obedience from us because we were
created to serve him. Solomon, after studying all the possible
reasons for mankind's existence, concluded that the whole duty of
man is to serve his Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:13). When we must make
a choice between serving a man on this earth or serving God, the
answer is obvious. It is more important to serve God (Acts 5:29).
Who are we to argue otherwise with the Creator of this universe?
(See Job 38:1-41.)
Another important reason for mankind to obey God is the simple fact
that man cannot find his own way. We do not leave small children
alone to fend for themselves. We understand that with their limited
knowledge and capability that they will soon come to harm. Compared
to God, we are all infants. Unless God directs our way, our lives
become useless (Psalms 127:1). People are unable to accurately
choose to take the best path (Proverbs 14:12).
While we understand the right of God to ask for obedience from us,
can we also say that God is asserting his right? In other words,
does God expect us to be obedient? Even in the few chapters that we
have read so far, it is obvious that God expects to be obeyed. The
Bible is filled with such illustrations. King Saul was given a very
specific command in I Samuel 15:2-3. He was to wipe out a nation to
fulfill a punishment that God had promised would come a number of
generations earlier. Saul chose to obey God's commands in his own
way. As a result, God took the right of Saul's children to inherit
the kingship away from Saul (I Samuel 15:9-11). Even though Saul
justified his disobedience by claiming to use it as a way of
worshiping God, we learn that obedience is more important than
making up ways to worship God (I Samuel 15:22-23).
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ holds all the authority of the
Godhead (Matthew 28:18). Everything has been placed at Jesus' feet,
to be used or disposed of as Jesus sees fit (Ephesians 1:21-22;
Colossians 2:10; I Peter 3:22). If we wish to please God, the
Father, we must do it Jesus' way (John 14:6). If we truly love our
Lord and Savior, then we will obey the things that Jesus has
commanded of us (John 14:15). And it is not just those things that
Jesus has directly commanded that we must obey. Jesus appointed the
apostles to represent him after his death (Matthew 28:19-20). As
they teach the Master's words, so we must follow their directions.
Occasionally, you run across people who claim that God only expects
us to follow his direct commands. The examples of what Christians
did during the first century are only considered to be suggestions,
but not requirements. There are many things that we practice that
are only based on examples recorded in the Bible. Our meeting on the
first day of the week to partake of the Lord's Supper is based on
the practice of the first century Christians (Acts 20:7, I
Corinthians 11:17-34). The taking up of a collection on the first
day of the week is also based on an example (I Corinthians 16:1-2).
Does this mean that we can meet and partake of the Lord's Supper on
days other than Sunday? Is taking up a collection optional for
One thing that people miss is that we are commanded to follow the
good examples recorded in the Scriptures. In I Corinthians 11:1,
Paul commands us to imitate his life as he imitates Christ. To the
Philippians, Paul says to do the things we have learned, heard, and
seen (Philippians 4:9). When the apostles or preachers set the
proper example, we need to follow those examples (II Thessalonians
3:7). In Philippians 3:17, we are told to follow Paul and those who
follow the same path he took.
However, we can learn from the Scriptures that God expects even more
from us than just to follow his commandments and the examples of his
children. Sometimes we have to follow rules that we can only derive
by implication. Consider this, when Noah built the ark, he was told
the kind of material to use and the size of ark to build. However,
God never said what type of tools Noah should use in building the
ark. Does this mean Noah did not use any tools? Of course not! The
command to build the ark implies Noah had permission to use tools.
We are used to deriving implications from the facts we are given.
For example, we know that Peter had a wife because Jesus healed his
mother-in-law (Mark 1:30). Similarly, we practice things that are
based on implication. We use grape juice and unleavened bread for
the Lord's Supper. The reason for grape juice is that Jesus used the
fruit of the vine during his last supper. The vine that every Jew
would think about is grape, so we use grape juice. The bread that
Jesus used would have had to be unleavened since he ate the last
supper during the Passover festival when leavening was not permitted
in the home. As a result, it would be wrong to substitute the juice
of another fruit, such as watermelons. Nor would yeast-risen bread
be an acceptable substitute for unleavened bread.
In Acts 15:4-19, we have an example of the disciples settling a
difficult problem by drawing a conclusion from the evidence that God
had presented. The problem was deciding whether Gentile believers
had to follow at least some of the Jewish practices, such as
circumcision, to be a Christian. The reason this came up was because
the first Christians were Jews and many behaved as if Christianity
was a branch of Judaism. To solve this problem, the disciples cited
the command of God to send Peter to a Gentile. They also noted that
prophecies in the Old Law stated that the Gentiles would become
God's children. They also cited the example of the Holy Spirit
coming to the Gentiles that Peter taught without them being
circumcised. They also cited the miracles that Paul and Barnabas did
among the Gentiles. From all this evidence, they drew the conclusion
that God did not want the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses. Their
conclusion was not directly stated anywhere in the Scriptures. You
can only make this conclusion by inference.
God does expect men to make the proper conclusions from the
things he does and does not say. We will use an event from Moses'
life to illustrate this point. In Numbers 20:1-12, the people of
Israel were complaining once again that they did not have enough
water. God told Moses to take Aaron's rod and speak to a certain
rock and water would come forth. As you read the account, notice
that Moses did do what God commanded. He did speak to the rock, but
God punished Moses for his disobedience. So, what did Moses do
wrong? First, Moses struck the rock with Aaron's rod in addition to
speaking to the rock. I can understand why Moses did strike the
rock, after all God told him to take Aaron's rod with him and a
while back, when the people wanted water at an earlier time, God
told Moses to strike the rock to bring forth the water. However, in
this case, God did not say to strike the rock. God said that Moses
did not trust God. Moses felt he had to do more than God had
commanded. The second mistake that Moses made was that he did not
give God credit for bringing water. Moses asked, "Must we bring
forth water?" He should have asked, "Must God bring forth water?"
Moses did not have anything to do with the granting of water. He was
simply God's spokesman.
Serving God should be taken seriously. We must be careful to do
exactly as God has commanded. God has the right to expect obedience
from his creation. It is our duty to serve him to the best of our
— Via article from the La Vista church of Christ
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Katryna
Brinkley Hayes who passed away November 24, after being
fatally injured in a vehicle accident.
Katryna’s daughter (Brooke Richardson) and granddaughter (Kaydance
Richardson) were also in the accident and seriously injured.
Frankie Hadley was admitted to the Jesup hospital last
Tuesday, due to a bad UTI and another issue. She returned home
Saturday very weak and has pain in her back when moving.
It was good to see Myrna Jordan back with us last week,
after her trouble with shingles.
Also for prayer: the family & friends of Mary Ruth Corley
Allen who recently passed away, Shirley Davis, Melotine
Davis, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Jan
Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, and Rex
WordPress version of this 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)
p.m. (Bible class)
Edwards (912) 281-9917
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(Older version of Gospel Observer website without
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