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).
July 1, 1990


1) Who Do You Look Like? (Greg Gwin)
Imputed Righteousness (Morris D. Norman)
3) Rejecting the Counsel of God (J.A. Harding)
4) Your Home is Bugged! (selected)


Who Do You Look Like?
by Greg Gwin

We've all heard about husbands and wives who begin to look like one another after they've lived together for a number of years. The very thought of this is sufficient cause for my wife to be losing sleep at night!

Now, while we may never actually look like those that we keep company with, it is true that we begin to think and act like them. This is the very basis upon which we are warned: "bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33, NASV). As servants of God we must be careful about the companions that we choose.

But, there's another side to that story. If bad companions cause us to think and act in evil ways (and they do!), then it is also true that good companions will help us to think and act in righteous ways (and they will!). That being the case, here are a couple of ways we can help ourselves to be more like God wants us to be:

Attend all of the services faithfully. It is hard to imagine a more uplifting situation than to join with others of like faith in the worship of God and in the study of His word. These are special times, and no one who is the least bit interested in his own soul will purposefully neglect a single assembly.

Choose faithful Christians to be your closest friends.  Why would anyone who desires to please God do otherwise? Put forth an effort to develop close, personal friendships with others in the church.

Remember, you are going to "look like" those that you are around the most. Therefore, you need to make choices that will help you to "look" your best!


Imputed Righteousness
by Morris D. Norman

Romans 4 talks about imputed righteousness. The Greek word translated "impute" is also translated account and reckon, according to the translation one uses. It means "to lay to one's account." Calvinism claims that the personal guilt of Adam is imputed to the account of all men at birth and that the personal righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer. Evidently some of our brethren are beginning to dabble in Calvinism.

I do not believe that the personal righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner any more than I believe that the personal sin of Adam is imputed to me. I am a sinner because I commit sin. Sin is not something one inherits; it is something one does. Sin is unrighteousness (1 John 5:17); it is lawlessness (1 John 3:4); it is failing to do good (James 4:17).

I am righteous because I do right. Righteousness is something that one does, not something that one inherits. "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous" (1 John 2:29; 3:7).

The sinner is accounted as righteous when through faith his iniquities are forgiven. This can only be through the blood of Christ (Rom. 3:21-25; 4:6-7; Heb. 9:14,26). "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). The sinner is under condemnation with no ability nor merit to free himself from the penalty. Christ who knew no sin, became sin (paid the penalty) for us all. By the blood of Christ, God can forgive all believers.

A man is convicted of a law violation. He must pay the fine or go to jail. He has not the ability to pay the fine. A friend is not a law violator. His innocence is not imputed to the criminal, only the payment is imputed to the criminal. The criminal is no longer charged because the fine has been paid.

So Christ has paid the penalty for the believing sinner. Christ's personal righteousness is not imputed to us, but the debt he paid is and we are no longer charged as sinners. It is only as I sin that I need the blood of Christ. His sinless life teaches me how not to be a law violator, hence, "he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous" (1 John 3:7).  


Rejecting the Counsel of God
by J.A. Harding

The Scriptures say, speaking of John's baptism, "The Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him" (Luke 7:30). If to fail to be baptized by John, as these people did, was to reject the counsel of God against themselves, what do you suppose it will be to reject the baptism of Jesus? The one was a servant, the other the Son. "If the word spoken by angels (messengers like John) was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him?" (Heb.  2:3) In the estimation of the apostle it was a much more terrible thing to reject the teaching of Jesus than of the messengers that came before him.     


Your Home is Bugged!

Yes, your home is bugged. In every home there are two microphones per child -- one in each ear. These highly sensitive instruments pick up the table prayers, the hymns sung, ordinary conversation, incidental remarks, type of language, a variety of words, and intensities of soul. These all absorbing microphones transmit all that they hear to highly impressionable minds. These sounds then become the vocabulary of the child and his basis for action and reaction.

-- Selected

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; 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; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland, Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards