THE RELEVANCE OF GOD
Every Christian preacher and teacher discusses the relevancy of God, explicitly and implicitly, through sermons, speeches, articles, notes, etc. Believing that God and his word is relevant to everyone’s life Christians want to share their understandings with others. This is done with the hope that other people will benefit from having acquired a greater understanding of God. For this reason, assorted files of speeches, sermon manuscripts and outlines, articles, notes, etc. are presented below. Lord willing, other files will be added as time goes by. The (pdf) is a link to a printable copy of the article.
The Churches of Christ – (pdf) For those unfamiliar with churches of Christ, this brief overview is presented to declare some fundamental convictions and their applications regarding the church’s original establishment, name, organization and government, membership requirements, worship practices, fellowship, and Christian living. Inasmuch as churches of Christ have no earthly headquarters, no one speaks officially for the churches. The thoughts presented here are those generally believed among brethren.
You Can Memorize the New Testament – (pdf) Some people are more gifted in memorizing than others, however, if you can memorize 4 to 6 verses every day and retain what you’ve memorized, then you can memorize the New Testament in five years. Here’s a plan to do just that. Here also is a schedule for reading the New Testament through every month.
Why Women Should Not Be Preachers – (pdf) In these times of “women’s liberation movements” more and more women are moving into what has formerly been considered all male vocations – e.g. military positions, politics, etc. They are also pressing for leading roles in religious life of the churches. The Bible teaches that women are not to assume leadership roles in preaching, teaching, or praying, whenever such constitutes authority over a man, or whenever such would have dominion over a man. These notes observe leading women in the New Testament, significant scriptures regarding women’s role in the church, and the reason why women are subordinate to men.
Why Instruments of Music Should Not Be Used In Christian Worship – (pdf) So common is the use of musical instruments in various denominational assemblies that a guest at worship in a Church of Christ is immediately struck by the oddity of its absence. The resulting question, “Why do you not have instrumental music?” tends to put brethren on the defensive. Reasons for not using instrumental music in worship have nothing whatever to do with personal music preferences nor economic ability to afford such instruments, but rather with the conviction that obedience to God will not allow it.
An Overview of Matthew’s Gospel - (pdf) This is but a brief statement of arguments for the priority of Matthew’s gospel. If you believe, as I do, the internal evidence that Matthew wrote his gospel to a Jewish audience, that the Jews were intended by God to receive the gospel before the Gentiles received it, and that the external historical evidence indicates that Matthew wrote his gospel first in Aramaic Hebrew before it was translated into Greek, then you may claim that Matthew wrote first, that each of the gospel writers wrote independently of the others, and that all of them are equally inspired.
Faith Can Do It - (pdf) We can accomplish what God requires when we believe what God says. When Christians have set before them responsibilities that demand accomplishment, or commands from the Lord which demand obedience, Christians must have convictions which say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” We may look within to ourselves, we may look about ourselves, and we may look beyond the present to the future, but most of all, we must look upward in faith toward God.
God With Us - (pdf) His birth was presented as fulfillment of prophetic scriptures. These scriptures declared that in the birth of Jesus, God is with us, Jehovah is salvation, and that a ruler to shepherd God’s people had come among them.
Watch For The Lord’s Coming - (pdf) Everyone who has a biblical worldview has surely wondered at one time or another when the world will come to an end. That question was also of interest to Jesus’ apostles. We have a record of his answer to them in the Gospels. However, because his answer was given at the same time he answered another question, some believers are confused by what he said. This confusion is generally because there is a failure to discern where Jesus’ answer to the first question ends and his answer to the second question begins.
Beware of Covetousness – (pdf) The New Testaments strongly forbids covetousness. Covetousness is inappropriate for Christians. Paul wrote, “but fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints” (Ephesians 5:3). He also placed covetousness on equality with sexual immorality, idolatry, reviling, drunkards, and extortioners, saying that believers should “not keep company with anyone named a brother” who does such, “not even to eat with such a person” (1 Corinthians 5:11). And the Apostle John declares, “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15).
Be Perfect – (pdf) Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). A typical is reaction: ‘Now isn’t that silly? No one is perfect!’ But would Jesus command his disciples to do what is impossible? Our intent here is to discover what the Bible means when it uses the word ‘perfect.’
How Can They Believe If They Don’t Know What To Believe? – (pdf) To help us understand this Acts 16:26-34, we seek answers to four simple questions. What did the jailer mean when he asked, “What must I do to be saved?” What did Paul and Silas say to the jailer? Why should the jailer believe Paul and Silas? And, why do some people misunderstand this passage?
Be Diligent - (pdf) Here are two Bible stories that illustrate the relationship between faith and diligence. First, a story and comments about two prophets, then a story and comments about a prophet and a king. After presenting these, we’ll make some additional applications.
Conversations at the Judgment - (pdf) The Bible teaches that there will be conversations at the judgment. By this we understand lessons we need to know in order that we might be ready to meet our Lord in the day of judgment. We do not presume that these conversations will consume time, but they do teach us the necessity of being prepared, the folly of unrighteousness, and the feelings of humanity at the judgment. As we notice conversations at the judgment as described in the Bible, think about what the Lord may say to you when that time comes.
Do These Sayings of Mine and You’ll Be Wise - (pdf) Matthew, chapter 7, contains seven major ideas that we’d be wise to follow. These ideas are presented individually after some initial observations regarding wisdom.
Good Living With God - (pdf) The Lord requires justice, mercy, and humility. As God called Israel to trial for their apostasy and declared what was expected of them, so also he calls people today from their error, and restores them to Himself.
The Good Hand of the Lord was on Ezra - (pdf) The theme of this lesson is that “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him” (Ezra 8:22). We look first at the nature of the times and character of Ezra, then think together about the times in which we live and the character qualities we need to be good servants of God.
The Mark of the Beast - (pdf) This message is intended to explain difficulties Christians had when John wrote the Apocalypse and to encourage brethren to remain faithful in spite of being discouraged. Questions asked are what is the beast? Who causes all to receive the mark of the beast? And, what is the beast’s name? To answer these questions we need first to learn the historical and biblical context.
The Father Seeks Worshippers - (pdf) This lesson will focus on answering three questions. What did Jesus mean when he said we must worship “in spirit”? What did Jesus mean when he said we must worship “in truth”? What did Jesus mean when he said that the Father seeks such to worship him?
It Is Finished – (pdf) Human perspective, at the moment of the cross, was that Jesus had failed. However, divine perspective, revealed by the resurrection, was that Jesus was VICTORIOUS! For out of death came life. As Jesus completed his Father’s will, so also we need to discern the Father’s will for our lives, and finish them according to His will.
The First Shall Be Last – (pdf) The parables of Jesus allow us to see ourselves in other people. Where do you see yourself in this parable of the laborers in the vineyard? What is your attitude toward the owner of the vineyard? Do you think you should have more than others? Did you bargain for what you shall receive? Are you jealous of what others may receive from the Lord? Or, are you simply expecting the Lord to do what is right?
What the Bible Says About Salvation - (pdf) The message of the gospel is about how people may be saved from the guilt and consequences of sin. Those who believe and obey God’s commandments contained in the gospel message of salvation manifest a sense of joy and awe as they change their attitudes, behavior, and relationships. This message is divided into three parts – the mystery, the gospel, and the changes.
Proclaim God To A God-Forsaking World - (pdf) Now let me share with you what I see happening in our world. Of course, what’s happening is not without biblical precedent. Therefore, I’ll also reflect with you about people forsaking God in biblical times. After that, we’ll look at why people are now turning away from God and then turn to some practical considerations about what we may do about it.
Why Genuine Christianity Improves The World - (pdf) Christianity has done more to improve the world than any other religion. Our concern here is to identify why this is so. Our procedure will be to quote some leading historians and thinkers and to specify some particular factors noted within these quotations by elaborating upon them.
Visualizing Soul-Winning in the 21st Century - (pdf) A brief review of soul-winning in the immediate past life of the church will better enable us to understand how to visualize soul-winning in the 21st century and beyond. To grasp the larger dimensions of soul winning for the next century, we may find guidance if we’ll look several centuries to the past. Our purposes may be adequately served if we try to imagine for a moment that this is the year 1499, that we are Europeans, and that we’re going to assess what soul-winning will be like in the next century. We first look at some external factors, and then those which may be designated as internal.
Biblical Distinctions Between Preaching and Teaching - (pdf) The primary meaning associated with the nature of preaching in the New Testament comes from the fact that the Greek word most frequently used to describe a preacher was that of a herald. Preaching in New Testament times therefore related primarily to announcing good news. On the other hand the nature of teaching in New Testament times was primarily to explain ideas and their implications, and to exhort people to live by declared values.
Discovering God’s Standards of Authority - (pdf) The Bible constitutes authority for human behavior in all areas of life. God’s word sets forth standards or patterns of authority to govern all human conduct. Humanity does not determine these standards, God does. People discover them. Since we must all obey God or face the consequences of disobedience, we must understand how God instructs us.
The Importance of Preaching - (pdf) The preacher’s task is more important than that of any other. Preaching is more significant because preaching turns sinners into saints, and gives guidance to life not only for time, but also for eternity. Preaching is the work of bringing humanity and all human endeavors into alignment with God and his word. What other work can be more important than that?
What Does the Bible Say About The Content of Preaching? - (pdf) When every New Testament passage that uses “preach,” “preached,” or “preaching” is examined, five major topics are discovered which describe the content of preaching. New Testament preachers preached Jesus. They preached Christ. They preached the gospel. They preached the word. And they preached the kingdom.
How Much Did They Know? - (pdf) I’ve heard it said on more than one occasion that those three thousand who obeyed the gospel on the day of Pentecost needed to hear only one sermon before they obeyed the gospel. However, that idea is a thoughtless and shallow misunderstanding of what really happened.
Preaching Deserves Priority - (pdf) Consider the honorable role God has given to preachers. A preacher is God’s spokesman to a troubled world. By the power of preaching, humanity may be reconciled to God. Preaching is serious business. Preaching recognizes sin. While preaching sees trouble, it is basically optimistic because it presents a message of hope. Preaching presents God’s solutions to human problems.
Should Christians Be Baptized For Their Dead – (pdf) Some folks claim that 1 Corinthians 15:29 constitutes biblical authority for living Christians to be baptized as representatives of deceased unbaptized persons, in order that at the resurrection unbaptized dead people may then have the option of obtaining salvation procured for them by a proxy baptism. This claim, however, is refuted by historical, linguistic, and contextual considerations, and by arguments from Christian doctrine.