Dealing With Anger

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Have you ever let your anger get the best of you? Have you ever wanted to retaliate against someone who wronged you? These are things that sometimes confront many of us. In this article Colby Culbertson discusses the idea of dealing with anger.

Dealing With Anger

​The carnal, human side of a person advises us as Christians to use retaliation as a means of getting even when we are wronged. This writer will be the first one to confess to struggling a great deal with this. Yet, the New Testament clearly points out that for a Christian to allow his/her anger to control oneself is sinful and therefore putting a Christian a guilty distance from the Lord.

The apostle Paul instructs the brethren at Rome very plainly in Romans 12:19—Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. It is not sinful to be angry about things that happen to us when we are wronged. It is wrong, however, when we allow that anger to turn into a grudge that we hold (James 5:9), or worse, we seek revenge on whosoever it is who does us wrong. That’s what Paul explains here.

I’m going to use myself as an example, because I believe I struggle with this just as much as anyone. Suppose someone comes along and does me the wrong way or does something to me that makes me mad; immediately my carnal side tells me to let them know quickly, what a mistake they just made in doing me wrong! But I can’t do that and still be right in God’s eyes. I’m no better in the Lord’s eyes if I return evil for evil. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We are not at liberty to issue justice to those who have done us wrong out of vengeance because vengeance DOES NOT BELONG to us! It belongs to the Lord, and he will give all those in sin their just reward when this earth stands still.

Paul has a bit more to say on the subject to the congregation at Ephesus in Ephesians 4:26-27—Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Believe it or not, Paul tells these people that you can be angry and refrain from sinning! This is possible if we only learn how to deal with anger. We have to control anger that we have, rather than letting it control us and eventually getting out of hand. Pay close attention to verse 27. Did you know that every time we retaliate, hold a grudge, or seek any means of revenge, we are giving place to the devil? When that happens, we are allowing the devil to corrupt us by making our anger and wrath impossible to contain! This is why it is so very important for the Christian today to master the art of temperance as the scriptures refer to it, or self-control. Friends, the smallest spark can start the largest fires, and so it is with our anger. Believe me, I know how hard it is. If you are a Christian, you must learn how to deal with anger in the proper way. The way a Christian is taught to do so in the scriptures.

Colby Culbertson

imageWhen you hear someone say, “that’s relative”, what they are really saying is; “I prefer to do something else or do it in a different manner.” They are saying that absolutes do not exist. In this article Aaron Battey writes about the idea of “relativism” and shows us it is a dangerous idea.

“That’s Just Relative”

​It is hard to walk the earth and pass away before hearing someone say at least once, “That’s just relative.” Some people believe that everything is relative to any given person or situation. Consider the enraging idea that there is only one church going to heaven. Is this a true statement? The modern and popular “Christian” would say that this is a relative statement, or “What’s right for you is not what’s right for me.” The Bible says differently.
​The proper term to describe the philosophy above is “postmodernism” or “relativism”. The Bible does indeed address this subject. Judges 21:25 says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” The period of the judges was a 450 year span of anarchic chaos and immorality. Why were times so bad then? Because what was right for one person was not right for the other person, or as Judges says, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This type of thinking evolved long before Judges though. The first relativist was Adam’s son Cain in Genesis 4. He decided it didn’t matter what kind of sacrifice he gave to God. Carrots were okay in the eyes of Cain, but God did not approve. You can then read to find out that Cain’s lineage produced only evil (Genesis 4:16-24).

​Relativism is wrong. It is not only wrong, but the doctrine is dangerous. Relativism is so dangerous that it can unwittingly lead to losing one’s soul as Cain lost his. This short article is just a short piece to introduce you to this evil philosophy which creeps around inside and outside the Lord’s church. Next time we will discover in more depth why this doctrine is a contradiction by using simple logic and more enlightening scriptures. You can know the truth, and “The truth shall make you free,” (John 8:32).

Aaron Battey

NOT A HOOF LEFT BEHIND

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If you are not a subscriber to the Old Paths Advocate here is an example of what you are missing.

Compromise  can sometimes be a good thing. However, when it comes to serving God, compromise is not a good thing. I hope you enjoy this excellent article by Carl Johnson on the subject of compromise.

 

NOT A HOOF LEFT BEHIND

 

Mark Twain says that early in his life he moved to a mining town in Colorado. The town was wide open with brothels and bars on every corner. Twain says, “I immediately recognized it was no place for a Christian-so I decided not to be one.” Many people have imitated Twain’s response. When they find it hard to be a Christian, they either quit trying to be one or they compromise their convictions.

Jesus directs some of His harshest words toward the sin of compromise embodied in the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans in the church at Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-17). Both doctrines were efforts to adjust Christianity to the level of the world rather than lift the world to the level of Christianity. They taught the people to go along in order to get along, in short, to compromise. However, Jesus says he “hates” the doctrine (2:15), and the Scriptures warn us repeatedly against it (2 Cor. 6:17; Rom. 12:2; 2 Tim. 2:19).

Pharaoh’s dealing with Moses is a classic example of how the devil uses compromise to thwart God’s children from reaching the Promised Land (Ex. 8:25-10:26). At God’s orders, Moses and Aaron demand that Pharaoh release every family and tribe of Israel out of Egypt. Pharaoh does not wish to grant any part of their request, but sees he is going to have to yield to some extent. He feels, however, that he can save his dignity and protect his own interests by yielding less than what is demanded. On four occasions, he offers to compromise.

First, God specifically requires all of the Israelites to be separated from Egypt by a 3-day journey. Pharaoh counters by saying the Israelites may worship Jehovah, but they must stay within the confines of Egypt to do it (8:25). The spirit of this offer reminds me of a compromise offered by a large cups-and classes congregation to a small one-cup church in the same city a few years ago. The preacher from the large church said, “If you will come and join us in our building and be a part of our congregation, we’ll put one loaf and one cup on the end of the communion table just for you.”

In Pharaoh’s second attempt at compromise he tells Moses they can leave Egypt, but they cannot go too far (8:28). He will let them go as the cat lets the mouse go, just so far but no farther-not out of his reach. The offer may have sounded good to Moses. They would at least be separate from the Egyptians. Moses rejects the ofer, however, because it is not what God commands.

After Moses rejects the first and second offers, Pharaoh sees he has no alternative but to release the Israelites beyond his reach. He devises a third compromise, however, by which he thinks he can draw them back. He tells Moses the people can leave Egypt, but they must leave the women and children behind (10:8-11). Pharaoh knows that if the men go into the wilderness for 3 full days they will soon return to their wives, children, and slavery in Egypt. Moses refuses the compromise and demands everyone must go. Male, female, old, and young must be set free.

The fourth offer by Pharaoh is the craftiest of all. He says the people of Israel may leave Egypt, but they must leave their flocks and herds of cattle behind. God has not made specific mention of the animals to Moses and they are not descendants of Israel, but a nomadic people cannot subsist for many weeks scarcely for many days without its flocks and herds. The Israelites would have been starved into surrender. Furthermore, they cannot leave Egypt empty-handed; without the means for worship. The flocks and herds will be needed to make sacrifices to Jehovah. Even though God does not mention them specifically, Moses necessarily infers the livestock must be kept as part of God’s plan. He rejects Pharaoh’s offer by declaring, “Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind” (10:26).

Pharaoh is enraged by Moses’ refusal to compromise even “one hoof’ (10:27-28). Pharaoh’s response is typical of evil men when they are unable to overcome the convictions of good men by compromise. They usually throw off the mask of friendliness and show their true colors.

May God give us the wisdom to learn from Moses’ example! He teaches us to suspect, to doubt, and to examine carefully every proposed compromise in religion. Obviously, compromise is permissible in matters of liberty or indifference (Rom. 14). In matters of faith, however, compromise is absolutely unacceptable. We cannot surrender anything divinely ordered or instituted for the sake of some supposed convenience or expedience. It can never really be right to give up willingly the smallest fragment of revealed truth, or to allow the infraction of the least of God’s commandments (Lk. 16:10). Therefore, as Satan pressures us relentlessly to compromise, remember the spirit of Moses that says, “Not a hoof shall be left behind.”

 

Things I Face Every Day

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How much do you know about the Bible? In our article for today, Carter Culbertson exhorts teenagers to be more diligent in Bible study.

Things I Face Everyday

Teenagers growing up today face many struggles. I think one thing that we as teenagers need to do more of, is make more time for God in our daily lives. This is something, we all, including myself need to work on. It seems that our busy lives today are jam packed, and all we have time for is work, work, work, and more work. We need to cut out the unnecessary things that we waste time doing and start reading our Bibles. Not just reading, but actually studying the Word of God and knowing what is actually being taught. Acts 17:11 says, These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. When we have a test, we usually take time and study and know it backwards and forwards. At least, that is what we should do. That is how we need to start studying the Bible. Statistics show that the average American cannot name all four gospels. That shows we need to take more time out of our schedules to learn about God, who gave his only Son for our sins.

Three Facts Your Atheist Friend Cannot Reply To

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Have you ever talked to someone who said they were an atheist? You probably have,and most likely they acted superior to you because you believe in God. In our article today Aaron Battey gives 3 questions that the atheist cannot answer. We hope you enjoy it.

Three Facts Your Atheist Friend Cannot Reply To

There are many facts of nature that the sad and hopeless belief of atheism cannot explain. To make it more personal, the atheist today will go by the name of John. You have probably talked to John at some point in your life, but did you ever think to tell him these three profound truths to which his atheistic beliefs have no reply?

First, John cannot explain the very first origins of life. You have probably heard John say something like, “Well, we are still looking into that,” when you asked him to explain where the chemicals that produced the first life form originated. John believes that all things come from materials that you can detect with the five senses. However, there is no proof whatsoever that a certain combination of chemicals (which, themselves, came from nowhere apparently) in even the most ideal conditions can produce life of any kind. Scientists definitively disproved this theory of spontaneous generation years ago. Only a real and living creator can explain the miraculous phenomenon of a mature earth and man coming out of nowhere. Genesis 2:7 explains, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” The natural principle -everything that had a beginning had a cause- is only satisfied by the greatest cause of all. That cause is God who is “Spirit” (Jn. 4:24), outside the realm of time and space.

Second, John cannot explain where thoughts and cognition come from. Materialism is the belief that everything in existence has a material origin and can be sensed by the five human senses. This doctrine is also the crux of atheism and evolution. Did you know your friend John believes in this doctrine? Did you ever think to ask John how immaterial “thoughts” could have originated from material “chemicals”? If you have ever asked John this question, his reply was undoubtedly, “Well, we are still looking into that.” The atheist has no response, but the Bible does. Once again the scriptures provide us with the answer when they say, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:9). Only someone who is smarter than humans could have created humans. This is a basic truth that John and any rational scientist must agree with. Nonetheless, there will always be those who deny even such basic truths. To such minded people the Bible also says, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,” (1 Cor. 1:27).

Lastly, John cannot explain the origin of morals. After all, how much does hate weigh? Is there an atom for love? What is the chemical composition for the murder molecule? If you were to ask John about the existence of morality he might be puzzled; thus, these three follow-up questions are good to instill to your memory. Morality, just like thoughts and cognition, is immaterial and cannot be explained by atheism. Since atheists cannot explain this phenomenon, they claim there are no set morals. Where does this type of thinking lead? It leads to humans killing babies, Hitler annihilating a human race, and John cheating on his wife. In contrast to this ludicrous thinking, the Bible says that Eve’s “eyes…were opened” after she ate of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:7). She became aware of a set standard of right and wrong. The origin of morals and a human conscience did not occur by accident.

Search the scriptures for yourself to see if the claims in this article are true and accurate. More importantly, use some common sense and realize that this intricate universe we live in is not due to an accident. Accidents bring about only more disorder, but God and His Word offer order for your life.

Worldliness

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As Christians we should not let the world color our thinking. When we allow the world into our lives, God is crowded out. In this article I have given 3 warnings found in God’s word given about worldliness. With this article in mind, would you not consider your life and see where you stand?

WORLDLINESS
One of the greatest problems facing the church today is the problem of worldliness. As we will see in this article this problem has always plagued God’s people and numerous warnings are given in God’s word.

The word “worldliness” is not found in the standard versions of the Bible, but there is no doubt that the trait is often referred to. In defining the word “worldliness” we would say it is the condition of being worldly. The Bible tells us that the “world” we are not to embrace is not just the world we live in, but it is the moral and spiritual chaos that is opposed to and alienated from God. Any person who loves the world and who is influenced by it stands in opposition to God and is alienated from Him. Worldliness is being disposed to things pertaining to this temporary world; not regarding the spiritual or religious realm but being secular. In this article we will notice 3 warnings given against worldliness and the world.

First, we see that we are not to be fashioned by the world. Rom.12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The apostle Paul is telling his readers, to not fall in step with the people of the world. Christians are constantly being pressured to be like the world. People of the world do not want to live right and they are not too happy about having people around them who live right. They don’t want anyone to rebuke them for their evil behavior. People of the world will often use harassment, ridicule, and other techniques in an attempt to make the Christian conform to their standards. Paul says, “Be not conformed”. Don’t fall in step with the modern world. Christians should not allow worldly people to determine how they talk, dress, and how they spend their leisure time. If one is a Christian, then Christ sets the standards. When a person lets the world dictate his behavior, he is not a follower of Christ.

Second, we see that we are not to be lovers of the world: 1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. John could not be any clearer; a choice must be made between loving the world and loving God. He tells us what the world is made of and what we must avoid; Lust of the flesh is what feels good, Lust of the eyes is what looks good, and Pride of life is what makes me look good. Love for these things excludes love of God and vice versa. All that the world stands for is opposed to God and will perish.

Lastly and third, we are not to be stained by the world. James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. The life of the Christian should not be stained by worldly behavior. People who see nothing wrong with worldly activities such as drinking, dancing, vile language, immodesty, and so on are showing their love for the world. Unfortunately, when people in the church act in such a manner, they lower the standards of the Gospel. They want to behave like the world and maintain respectability in the church. This is impossible. To practice “pure and undefiled religion” one must abstain from all appearance of evil, 1 Thess. 5:22.

In conclusion, Christians are to be the “light of the world, a city that is set on a hill”, Matt 5:14. Light is no good unless it penetrates the darkness. If light becomes darkness, how great is the darkness? That is what happens when Christians, become worldly. The power is in contrast, not comparison. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. May all those who wear the name Christ come out of the world and be separate.

Rick Martin

Modesty

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Summer time is approaching and people will be wearing less and less clothes. In the June issue of the Old Paths Advocate Doug Hawkins discusses the idea of Modest Apparel. I hope you enjoy reading this article on a very critical and needed subject.

Modest Apparel

Paul writes, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” As evidenced here, the Bible teaches Christian women (and men too) to adorn themselves in modest apparel, which simply means the Christian should wear appropriate attire; attire that professes godliness.
Peter writes a similar message in 1 Peter 3:1-4: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

As indicated in both passages, “modesty” and “modest apparel” first involves the human heart. Both writers emphasize what is within over what is without – by saying, as Paul did “not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array, or as Peter did “…not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold or of putting on of apparel.” In those statements, the Bible is not forbidding, as some mistakenly think, the wearing of any gold or the putting on of any makeup or fixing the hair to any extent. Such positions become extreme. However, the inwardness overshadows the outwardness and our appearance reflects the heart. Paul and Peter show us not to put the emphasis on the outward man but on the inward man. How we dress, therefore, reflects either a heart of godliness and shamefacedness or a heart devoid of such an attitude. Godliness and shamefacedness create in the Lord’s people a keen sense of moral purity, holiness, and reverential fear. Broadly stated, this attitude of holiness overlays our heart and our clothes and appearance outwardly reflect this inward sense.

Shamefacedness stands in contrast to shamelessness and godliness to worldliness. Both can be seen in how we dress. The prophet Jeremiah asked, “were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not ashamed and neither could they blush” (Jeremiah 6:15). Without shamefacedness and godliness a person has no ability to blush. Paul also tells us, “…be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1,2)

Going back to the initial readings in l Timothy and 1 Peter, notice the language used by both Paul and Peter. Paul says, “…with shamefacedness and sobriety and Peter writes, “…chaste conduct coupled with fear [reverence]” Peter continues by saying, “Whose adorning …[should be] the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price.” Again, these words describe the inward grace, reverence, and beauty that adorn the Christian’s soul, particularly the Christian woman’s soul. The Christian woman projects this grace outwardly by…”adorning herself in modest apparel.”

From the very outset, the gospel cultivates among the Saints a spirit of godliness and holiness. Titus 2:11,12 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly righteously and godly in the present world.” Peter also says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16) First, when we deny worldly lust and ungodliness and second, when we affirm godliness and holiness in our hearts (truly, fully, and sincerely), the gospel builds in us the divine nature of which all saints partake. (2 Peter 1:4) Again, Paul, writing in contrast to the adulterer, the fornicator, the drunkard and the like, says, “…And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)

Conversion involves transformation – something is put off (Col. 3:8) that something else might be put on (Rom. 13:14); something dies that something else might live (Romans 6); we flee lust to follow after faith righteousness and charity with them that call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Tim. 2:22)

Contemplate this very serious point. What mostly influences our lives and our thinking? If television, magazines, the internet and other forms of modern culture have greater sway with us than the gospel, then chances are we may lack the moral strength to be transformed from the world and are more likely conforming to it. We may be found adopting its trends, sporting its fashions, and accepting its standards. Friends, we must take the Scripture’s admonition very seriously. When Paul says, “Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord… and touch not the unclean thing” (2 Cor. 6:17), he is not merely suggesting a way to live. He is admonishing us to avoid the evil in the world. With so much talk and so many images involving lust, sin, and immorality, do we deny the effects of the world on our hearts and minds?

With this as our premise, I want to discuss briefly the Biblical principles of our clothes and how we dress. Our clothes should: 1. Honor The Lord 2. Adequately cover our bodies 3. Distinguish our gender.

Honor The Lord: The ornament of a quiet and meek spirit is of great price in the sight of God. The Christian woman (and man) professes godliness adorning herself (or himself) in modest apparel. Do we really need to sketch a mental image of what’s appropriate and what’s not? Are our senses so dull of hearing and our consciences so seared that we fail to recognize immodesty? Paul would say, “…present your bodies as living sacrifices holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1) I have been told of people making the argument that if you were in a public place where everyone is dressed in bathing suits (like the lake or the ocean) and you stand out because you are not dressed as they are that you are immodest and “drawing attention to yourself.” In response to such a silly notion, Paul would say, “Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord …and touch not the unclean thing.” (2 Cor.6:17) and Peter would write, “wherefore they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot…” (1 Peter 4:4).

Brother Ronny Wade referred to the following passage once in a sermon a number of years ago and that reference has stuck with me through the years. He quoted Paul saying, “whose glory is their shame” (Phil. 3:19) and then made appropriate application. Just think of how men glory in shame. That statement aptly summarizes the thinking of the modern world. The more seductive, provocative, and salacious the appearance, the more celebrated, recognized and noted that look or that person becomes. The world glories in its thin bodies, its muscled abdominals, its tanned skin, and its nakedness …Again, their glory is their shame. Is the church unaffected? Hardly friends. May God’s Grace teach us and may we keep ourselves from evil.

Covers The Body: Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and their eyes “were opened.” (Genesis 3) Suddenly, they felt a strong sense of shame and with “opened eyes” saw that they were naked. Notice the correlation between their shame and their nakedness. Adam and Eve attempted to cover themselves by sewing fig leaves together. I can hardly imagine that their apron of leaves looked more scant than what some are willing to go into public wearing today. God deemed them inadequately clothed and instead made them coats of skin and “clothed them.” (Gen.3:21) Scholars suggest that the clothes that God made covered them from their shoulders to below their knees. You see friend, we can have clothes on, but still be naked and expose our shame. We may not feel ashamed, but we expose our shame even still.

The prophet Isaiah writes, “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate. 2 Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.” (Isa. 47:1-4)

Distinguishes Our Gender: “Have you not read that He which made them at the beginning made them MALE and FEMALE?” (Matt. 19:4) You couldn’t tell by listening to modern thought in western civilization. Through concerted effort over the last fifty years, academia and progressive social thinking has largely removed all distinctions between men and women, especially with the help of television. Consequently, West Coast States have now opened “unisex bathrooms” for “transgender” children. Shocking? Why? Isn’t it only the natural progression within a society that has removed all specific gender identities from its conscience and mores? Moses commanded, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” (Duet. 22:5) This unmistakable principle of gender distinction remains in the New Testament too. For example, Paul condemned “the effeminate” (l Cor. 6:9), that is, men who act and dress as women. Now if it’s wrong for a man to dress and act like a woman, is it right for a woman to dress and act like a man?

Beloved, dress, clothes, fads, and fashions reflect a culture, its beliefs, and values. That’s true for the Kingdom of Heaven too. I pray this discussion helps someone, somewhere in the world to be more resolved and dedicated to be all that our Heavenly Father desires us to be. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7: 1)

Doug Hawkins

Walking In the Light

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Are you afraid of the dark? It is usually under the darkness of night that many crimes are committed. When it is dark you have difficulty finding your way. A healthy fear of physical darkness is a good thing. In this article Colby Culbertson talks about the idea of spiritual darkness. It is ironic that many fear physical darkness, but then have no fear of spiritual darkness. To walk in spiritual darkness is a danger to the soul. When one walks in spiritual darkness, he is not walking with God, because God is in the light.

“Walking In the Light”
I John 1:7

Of the top 10 fears for humans, fear of the dark is ranked 4th. There are many people whose greatest fear is the darkness. I remember one time my dad told my brother that he would give him $100 dollars to walk down the old dirt road behind our house in the middle of the night. My brother who was probably seven or eight at the time, turned down the offer in a heartbeat, saying there wasn’t enough money in the world to force him to walk that distance in the dark alone.

It is human nature to be afraid of the dark. Everybody knows that in order to ward off the darkness, you only need light. 1John 1:7 say, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. John here explains that darkness represents sin, and the light represents the way of righteousness. It’s interesting that human nature causes us to be afraid of physical darkness, yet we as Christians don’t seem to fear spiritual darkness. We don’t fear sin! We should fear sin and spiritual darkness, and we should fear the results that will come from making sin a habitual aspect of our lives. John explains further in verse 7 that there is only one way to rid our lives of the sinful darkness, and that is by walking in the light of the Almighty God. John’s argument is simple: As light is opposed to darkness, God is opposed to sin. As darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of God. So John commands the Christian to walk in the light, as He (God) is in the light. When a Christian does this in their spiritual life, the darkness of sin cannot and will not exist. The light referenced here means we are in a “state of supreme sanctity.” In other words we are like God, having no part in darkness and sin. We have the same likes and dislikes that God does. When this occurs, we are experiencing true fellowship with the Almighty God.

The apostle John goes on to explain the benefits of this fellowship with God in the remainder of verse 7—we have fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ and Christ’s blood cleanseth us from all sin. We can now be cleansed from the darkness and the stains of sin ONLY IF we walk in the light! Brethren, it is crucial that we, the Christians of the Church of Christ, walk in the purity of God’s light!

Colby Culbertson

Paul’s Sermon

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There are always some men and women who seem to be more authoritative on preaching than God Himself. A group of such members had journeyed up from Crete to hear Paul at Athens and to see whether or not they liked him well enough to hold their summer meeting. The account of this sermon is recorded in Acts 17.This conversation was overheard on the boat carrying the group back to Crete:

First Lady—Oh, I never was so disappointed in my whole life.

Her Husband— Me too!

Second Lady—And I had heard such good reports on Paul. I guess his zeal has led him astray; Festus said he was mad.

Third Lady—Do you know how he attracted a crowd? An Athenian told me he went in to dispute and debate. Some called him a babbler and a troublemaker. He stirred up the whole town.

Her Husband—Woe is me; woe is me.

First Lady—Now we will never have a church in Athens; they will never forget his “fighting tactics.” I never would have believed Paul was a fighter. Boy was I wrong.

Second Lady—I never was so miserable in all my life during his sermon. I knew all those Athenians were watching us. They will believe that all members of the church of Christ are as narrowed-minded as Paul. I apologized to some of them after the sermon.

Third Lady—My blood pressure nearly exploded when Paul called them by name. He should have known better than that. I told him before the sermon to preach in generalities and principles—not in particulars and facts. This was such a wonderful opportunity, but Paul was too stubborn to listen to me, though.

Her Husband—How I wished he had listened to you; I knew you had called him over to advise him.

Second Lady—I am in shock! Did you hear Paul when he said, “Unknown God”? Then he said they were ignorant. Doesn’t he realize that preaching like that only offends and brings out anger?

First Lady—Then he told them that their gods were false—that Jehovah alone is God. I squirmed in my seat. I can imagine what they must have been thinking.

Third Lady—He preached just to their error; why didn’t he commend their zeal and pat them on the back. You have to save people by degrees. Did you hear them sneer? He drove them away. They will never come back again. One sermon like that can do so much harm.

Her Husband—Amen, amen!

First Lady—Doesn’t Paul know you must use wisdom? People don’t want the truth unless it is watered down.

Third Lady—But the climax of it all was when he demanded repentance. Those Epicureans and Stoics are sincere; it’s not for us to say they can’t be saved. We can’t all agree.

Second Lady—Then he threatened them with the resurrection and judgment. I could see their faces turning redder and redder.

Third Lady—I could have overlooked Paul if had just started out, but he has been preaching several years. It’s sad to hear that Timothy and Silas preach just like him—and Timothy used to be so sweet and kind.

Her Husband—And he never cracked a smile; In fact he was all worked up.

First Lady—If he keeps this up he won’t be able to preach for a church in the brotherhood! He’s too hard. He stays too close to the letter of the law.

Second Lady—My husband is an elder and I’ll see that he never holds us a meeting.

Third Lady—He would have split the church wide open. We still have some members unconverted on the Trinity and immorality. We have stopped the Truth for the sake of peace.

First Lady—How lucky we are that we found out about Paul.

Her Husband—Amen, amen!

Second Lady—How nice it will be to hear Brother Backslapper next week. He is so lovable and kind. He’s always calling for everybody to be a peacemaker.

Third Lady—Thank goodness for preachers like that!
Author Unknown

(This is a fictional account, but nonetheless presents something to think about. Sadly, it portrays the thinking of some in the church today.)

Things I Face Everyday-Attitude

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Have you ever seen a teenager with a bad attitude? Surely not! In this article Carter Culbertson talks about controlling ones attitude.

Things I Face Everyday-Attitude

Another thing that I face every day of my life is my attitude. I know especially being a teenager,in this day and time that we live, that it really is hard to keep my attitude under control. That still should not be an excuse if you are a Christian. Philippians 2:14-15 says Do all things without murmurings and disputings:That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

In other words you can’t have a bad attitude about things that you don’t like to do. Anybody can do things for God and not have a bad attitude. Unfortunately, we often go to school and complain about our teachers and all the people that we go to school with. That is not setting a very good example. Colossians 3:23 is proof that we need to have a good attitude no matter what we do and no matter who tells us to do it. It says, And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

So as we see the Bible tells us to have a good attitude no matter what we are doing. If we can master this one aspect in our life, that’s one step closer to being like Jesus.

Carter Culbertson