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 22, 2019
1) Romans 8:14-17 -- Spiritual Adoption (Harry Ozment)
2) 1John 3:1-3 (NASB)
3) "Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak" (R.J. Evans)
4) News & Notes
Romans 8:14-17 -- Spiritual Adoption
In Romans 8:14-17, the apostle Paul had some words to say about
spiritual adoption into the family of God: "For as many as are led
by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not
received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit
itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of
God: and if children, then heirs; and heirs of God, and joint-heirs
with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also
glorified together." The apostle shows us two things about spiritual
adoption: (1) the manner of adoption, and (2) the results and
blessings of adoption.
(1) Paul tells us how a person is adopted into God's family when he
says in v. 14, "led by the Spirit of God." Before one can be a
member of God's family, he must first follow the Holy Spirit. Now,
what does this involve? Does this involve a personal indwelling of
the Spirit? Does this involve a mysterious, indescribable feeling?
No, not at all. The Holy Spirit operates upon the heart of an
individual solely through the word of God. This is true because the
gospel is the product of the inspiration, revelation, and
confirmation of the Holy Spirit. What the gospel does, the Holy
Spirit does (and vice versa) because the gospel came from the Holy
Spirit. The Holy Spirit, then, leads us by means of the gospel, for
the gospel does indeed lead us: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my way" (Psa. 119:105). If one is ever to be a
child of God, he must follow (i.e., obey) the word of God. When a
couple wishes to adopt a child, there are laws of the state in which
they live that must be met and obeyed. If these laws are not obeyed,
the couple will never be able to adopt a child. The same is true of
spiritual adoption. One who is not willing to obey the gospel will
not gain and does not deserve entrance into the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21).
(2) Paul then lists three blessings of adoption into the family of
(a) Deliverance from fear (v. 15). This is one of the great
blessings of being a Christian. The inspired writer said in Heb.
2:14-15, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through
death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the
devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their
lifetime subject to bondage." Sin, which was the cause of fear, can
be taken away by means of the atoning blood shed by Jesus in his
death. Death, which was the object of fear, was taken away by the
resurrection of Jesus because it gave us hope of our resurrection
and the hope of living with God.
(b) Assurance that we are children of God (v. 16). It must be
terrible to go through life without knowing where you will
spend eternity, without knowing whether God is pleased with your
life or whether you are in God's family. For the Christian, however,
this is not a problem. When one obeys the gospel, the Holy Spirit
through the word assures that person that he is a child of God. This
is the "gift of the Holy Spirit" of which Peter spoke in Acts 2:38.
This is the "times of refreshing" of which Peter spoke in Acts 3:19.
This is being "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" of which Paul
spoke in Eph. 1:13. These descriptions show how glorious this
(c) Heirs of promises (v. 17). When one is a child of God, he can
look to an inheritance from the promises that God has made to His
family. These promises are great and precious. The value of this
blessing is seen in Peter 's words: "Whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be
partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that
is in the world through lust" (II Pet. 1:4).
— via Searching the Scriptures, January 1970, Volume XI,
1 John 3:1-3
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would
be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the
world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we
are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.
We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will
see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him
purifies himself, just as He is pure” (NASB).
"Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak"
It should be obvious to us all that we learn more by listening than
by speaking. Listening means we are willing to hear what is
being said. The willingness to be a good listener or hearer is
set forth in James 1:19: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, let
every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." But
so many of us are tempted to talk more than we are willing to
listen. One way to be a good friend and be helpful to others
is to let them talk and merely listen without interrupting.
But this involves patience and not allowing our own egotism to take
The Book of Proverbs provides wise instructions concerning hearing
and listening. In fact, Proverbs 12:15 (NIV) states: "The way
of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice."
We are also told by the wise man that "A fool has no delight in
understanding, But in expressing his own heart" (Prov. 18:12).
In our relationship with God, we must be willing to obey Him in
order to please Him. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep
my commandments" (Jn. 14:15). The writer of Hebrews, speaking
of Jesus, stated: "And having been perfected, He became the author
of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Heb. 5:9). However,
we must be willing to hear or listen, before we can obey what He
commands us. Jesus gave a parable about building a
house. The wise man, who built his house on the rock, is the
one who "hears these sayings of Mine and does them" (Matt.
7:24). Whereas, the foolish man who built his house on the
sand, failed to obey what he had heard from the Lord and his "house
fell...And great was its fall" (Matt. 7:26-27).
Sadly, there are some who are willing to listen and hear, but stop
when they don't like what they are hearing. This keeps them
from ever obeying and pleasing God. There are a number of
biblical examples of this type of hearer that can be cited.
The Jews heard Stephen up until the point where he told them they
were "stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears… betrayers
and murderers" (Acts 7:51-52). After being told this, they
"cried with a loud voice, stopped their ears… and stoned him" (Acts
7:57-60). The Apostle Paul addressed the Jerusalem mob in Acts
22. But when he told them of how the Lord sent him to the
"Gentiles," notice carefully how they reacted--"And they listened to
him until this word, and then raised their `voices and said, 'Away
with such a fellow from the earth for he is not fit to live!'" (Acts
22: 22). The Athenians listened to Paul in Acts 17. But
"when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while
others said, 'We will hear you again on this matter'" (Acts 7:32).
What about us? Are we good listeners? In our normal
conversations with others, do we love to hear the sound of our own
voice and can't wait for the other person to stop talking so we can
jump in and have our say? If so, we need to avoid this
But most important of all, are we good listeners and hearers of
God's word so that we can know and do His will? Are we like
the Bereans who received the word "with all readiness" (Acts
17:11)? Are we willing to listen to the "whole counsel of God"
(Acts 20:27)? Hopefully, the answer to these two questions is
YES. May we all seek to be like Cornelius and his
household. Their main objective was to hear the word of
God so they could obey it and be saved. We close with
the words of Cornelius to the Apostle Peter: “So I sent for you
immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all
here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has
commanded you to tell us” (Acts 10:33, NIV).
-- via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ in Gonzales,
Louisiana, November 24, 2019
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
John Bladen had a heart attack Friday and can use our
Kelly Stoneheart’s husband Keith writes: “We are home and
Kelly is recovering. As of today she is in a great deal of pain and
discomfort but we know that will get better. In the meantime we are
keeping her comfortable as we can.”
Shirley Davis is sounding much better, but it is still rough
for her at times — especially with the arthritis in her knee and
back. Following her stroke, they are still coming twice a week
for in-home rehabilitation therapy, which she will complete in two
We are glad to have Jan Bartlett back with us today.
She started feeling better last week, having recently completed her
Bennie Medlock, who has been in much pain due to loss of
cartilage and bone rubbing against bone in his knee, will be seeing
his orthopedist tomorrow.
A.J. & Pat Joyner are not doing well and would like our
Also for our prayers: Melotine Davis, Bud Montero, the Medlocks,
Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Brook and
Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams.
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
Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without
pictures, but back to March 1990)