Baptism in the Great Commission

Go therefore and (T)make disciples of (U)all the nations, (V)baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, (W)I am with you [f]always, even to (X)the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Notice that Jesus says that the apostles were to go and make disciples. How were they to
Make disciples? It was not by teaching them the Christian walk. It was not by faith only. He specifically said to make disciples by baptizing them in the Triune Name. After the people become disciples then they are to be taught the beautiful things about the Christian walk. Baptism us essential in order to be saved!

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Come to church

It is 7:58 a.m. in Central Indiana, there is still time to get out of bed, eat some breakfast, read your Bible and come worship with us at the Spearsville Road church of Christ.  We begin our Bible Study at 10:00 a.m.  If you need a ride please call: 317-363-9900.  We will be studying:  Is the Bible Reliable?, Enemies we should defeat, and for the P.M. Dangers we need to avoid.

Son las 7:58 a.m. en el centro de Indiana, y aun est[a a tiempo para que se levante de la cama, desayune, lea su Biblia y venga a adorar a Dios con nostros (Spearsville Road church of Christ). Si necesita transporte llámenos a 317-363-9900. Estaremos estudiando: ¿Es la Biblia confiable?, Enemigos que debemos derrotar, y Peligros que debemos evitar.

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Biblical Finances-The Christian and his money

 

Biblical Finances-The Christian and his money

1 Timothy 6:10

 

There is a Mexican proverb that says, “The dog with money is called Mr. Dog.”  There is another Mexican proverb that illustrates the power and possible evil influence of money, “When money talks, the truth becomes silent.”  A Russian proverb illustrates the power money has in friendships, “When you become tired of your friend, lend him money.”  And then there is the Scottish proverb said to illustrate the pitfalls of marrying someone for money, “Do not marry for money, a loan is much cheaper.”  King James version renders 1 Timothy 6:10 as “…the love of money is the root of all evil…”, while other translations render the texts as: “the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil…”  Any reputable translation carries the same idea and that idea is simply that when a person’s heart and god is money then the person is full of evil.  This is true when we make money our god and give it first priority in our lives.  However, it is important to understand that money is not evil in and of itself but that man makes evil uses of it.  Our lives are full of stress.  Stress comes from every direction.  It is no secret that money issues is the fountain of most of our stress.  There are a few points I would like to share with you on the topic of Biblical finances.  These are the points that I will cover tonight:

  1. Money comes from God (James 1:17).
  2. The Lord, not money, is our shelter in the time of storm (Proverbs 23:4-5)- Do not place your trust in money.
  3. Our wants should not override our needs (Proverbs 21:17).
  4. Work!  Honest work!  (Proverbs 6:6ff).
  5. Budget God first and budget generously (Proverbs 3:9-10; 11:24-25).
  6. Budget a savings plan (21:20; 31:21 [virtuous woman]).
  7. Know the financial equation: Outcome should not be more than income, and know how much money you have (Proverbs 22:7; 27:23).

 

  1. Money comes from God (James 1:17).
    1. The reason that money is not evil in and of itself is because it comes from God.  It is like any other blessing, if used wrong it can be turned into something evil
    2. Romans 15:27.

 

  1. The Lord, not money, is our shelter in the time of storm (Proverbs 23:4-5)- Do not place your trust in money.
    1. “If I only had more money…”  Whenever we have problems money is rarely the answer.  Money should be considered a tool and not our hope in times of need.
    2. Our trust should be in God.  He will take care of our needs.
      1. “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it.  When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)
      2. “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”  (Proverbs 11:28)
    3. Our wants should not override our needs (Proverbs 21:17).
      1. When we are blessed with extra money, then it is not wrong to enjoy it and purchase our toys.  The problem arises when we cannot afford to purchase our wants but buy them any way.
        1. “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man ; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.”  (Proverbs 21:17).
        2. There can be no other way around this.  If we cannot afford to buy our heart’s desire but we do so any way then we are headed to the poor house.  Usually we turn to credit to purchase our wants when we do not have the cash on hand.

III.Work!  Do some honest work!  (Proverbs 6:6ff; 21:25).

  1. One extreme leads to another:  God condemns being a work-a-holic (making work our god) and He also condemns the other extreme, laziness.
    1. The New Testament teaches that a man who will not work should not eat.  God uses nature to teach His creation the value and importance of working.  Look at the ant and see that it works hard so that when hard times do come it will not suffer.
    2. Proverbs 6:6ff, 21:25.
    3. God blesses us and promises to provide us with the essentials.  But this does not mean that we are to sit back, extend our arms and wait for God to fill our hands with money.

IV. Budget God first and budget generously (Proverbs 3:9-10; 11:24-25).

  1. Before we eat up our money with our personal purchases we need to consider God and the furthering of the Kingdom.
    1. Make it a habit and involve the entire family.  If we make it a habit to budget God first and teach our children to do the same then when times get tough we will not be too tempted to cut God back or completely out of our budgets.
    2. The priests in Malachi’s day were rebuked for giving God the left overs (Malachi).
    3. We cannot expect God to remember and bless us when we give him the left overs.   “Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce ; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.”  (Proverbs 3:9-10).
  2. Not only does God expect us to give Him the first fruits but He expects us to give liberally.
    1. Everyone knows that God loves a cheerful giver (I assume everyone likes a generous giver too).  The New Testament also teaches that God expects us to give liberally, without holding back.  (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
    2. In addition to giving of our means on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16), we are commanded to help the poor (Luke 3:11;).  God blesses the poor, sees to their needs through us.  God blesses us and we in turn are to bless others with that blessing.  i.e., electrical conduit.
    3. “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.”  (Proverbs 11:24-25).
    4. Story of being asked for financial assistance but was not able to help because I did not budget for helping the needy.  (It is true, as some point out, that we already pay taxes and that should count towards fulfilling God’s commandment of relieving the poor.  However, deep down we know that this is generally given as a copout and excuse for not helping the needy).
    5. Budget a savings plan (Proverbs 21:20; 31:21 [virtuous woman]).
      1. Saving for a rainy day.  Every months seems to bring unexpected expenses.
        1. In order for us to be ready for emergencies we need to budget them.  We all know that one day we will have the furnace go out, a tire blow-out, a cracked engine-so if we know that one day that is going to happen we should start planning now for it.
        2. Set aside some money, a few dollars every pay-period and when the emergency does arise then we can pay for it.
  3. “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.”  (Proverbs 21:20).

VI. Know the financial equation: Outcome should not be more than income, and know how much money you have (Proverbs 22:7; 27:23).

  1. It is quite simple.  If we earn $2000.00/mo then we should not spend more than $2000.00/mo.
    1. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
    2. Proverbs 6:1-5.
  2. Everyone in the family should know what the household budget.  You should know where you are financially.  How much you owe.  How long will it take to get out of debt. etc.

 

The economic future in our country looks bleak.  There are some who say the economy is getting better (they are the ones who are probably taking our money ), then there are those who say that the economy is getting worse.  I know that my bank account is at the lowest it has ever been.  I know that my spending has had to be cut back.  I know what I am living.  Hence, I am sure I am not the only one feeling the economic pinch.  Whatever our economic situation might be we are still required to be responsible, share, save and work.  Let us keep in mind that we should always:

  1. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
  2. Worry about today and let tomorrow worry about itself (Matthew 5:34).
  3. Share what we have (Hebrews 13:16).
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Are You at Peace with God?

You know that God exists and that He expects something of you, but in reality do not know what.  You know that the Bible is His word and respect it as such, but when you read it you find it difficult to understand and become frustrated.  Maybe you have gone to several churches but found them to be:

  • too formal and tied to rituals and were not edified
  • totally disorganized and with so much chaos that you left more confused than when you arrived
  • too worried about “who’s, who”, and judgmental on what kind of clothes people wore
  • too involved in themselves that you felt ignored
  • too focused on opinions and emotions that the Bible was not taught
  • caught up in human traditions so much that even you noticed that the practices are not found in the Bible
  • too concerned about tithing and their pastor that it seemed as if Jesus was no longer the focus.

Did you know that there is a group of people in our community that makes an effort to follow the Bible in everything that they practice?  The Bible is the focus of all of their teaching.  We invite you to visit us and see how our worship to the Lord is orderly, respectful and bible-centered.  When you visit us you will receive a loving welcome, but will not be embarrassed.

We will gladly listen to any spiritual question you may have, and will make every attempt to give you a Bible answer.  Our goal is to reach eternal life in heaven and it would be a pleasure to have you as our guest.

You might wonder: “Why should I care what God says?”

He created this world and everything in it, including mankind.  As Creator He has every right to demand obedience (Gen. 1:1).

Since God is our heavenly Father, He only wants what is best for His children.  His commandments have our best interests at hand, even though we do not always agree with Him, or completely understand His word (John 5:3).

He has demonstrated His power over other so-called “gods” time and again (1 Samuel 5:1; 1 Kings 18).  He promised to judge everyone using His word alone, the Bible.  This is not an empty promise, being that God, during the passing of time, has judged many nations and punished them for their sins (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

He loved us so much that He sent his only Son to die for us on the cross (John 3:16).

“But, I’m a good person, ins’t that enough to please God?”

It is not sufficient enough to be a good moral person.  Clearly, to be a good moral person is of great importance, but God requires more of His creation.

In Acts 10, we read about a man named Cornelius.  He was “…a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.  This man was a good person, but in Acts 11:14, an angel appeared and instructed him to call for the preacher (Peter) saying, “and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.”  This means that Cornelius was still not saved, there was more that he needed to do in order to be saved.

God expects His children to obey, just like parents expect the same from their children.  He has told us what He wants from us in His word, that is, the Bible.  If we do not know what the Bible says, then how can we obey God?  Yes, in order to please God, we need to do more than just live a good moral life.

We invite you to allow us to share the Word with you.  This can be done in several ways: internet, mail, email, or better yet-in an in home Bible study.  This is totally and completely free!  We are here to serve you.

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Sermon for Sunday, June 3rd, 2012- Deuteronomy: Past, present and future

Come and worship with us this coming Sunday as we continue our road trip on Route 66, through the Bible in 66 weeks. Sunday’s lessons will deal with the entire book of Deuteronomy, Moses’ farewell sermons to the children of Israel. Moses preaches three sermons and in each one encourages the Israelites to meditate on God’s word, learn it, keep it and teach others to keep it too.

We begin our worship at 10:00 am and our evening worship at 6:00 pm.
You may see the sermon presentations here (http://tinyurl.com/cjtdq74)

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Sermon for Sunday, May 8th @ 11:00 am: Numbers 15-36-Disorganization goes to Reorganization

Application:  Korah was a complainer, but he was also a poser.  He thought that he could use this opportunity, this wave of complaint, to exalt himself to a position that did not belong to him.  Since everyone was already complaining about Moses he thought that it was the perfect opportunity to “unseat” Moses, get rid of him, and then Korah could take his place.  But Korah could never become that leader in the priesthood.

Numbers 17, God is confirming the priesthood through Aaron and his sons. (sixth murmuring)

  1. Application:  We must understand that once we begin to divide God’s people through murmuring it is almost impossible to get rid of all the residue.  Even after Korah and his followers were exterminated there still remained doubt in the minds of some people.  Some people were still wondering if indeed God had selected Aaron and his sons to be the priests.  Even though God had already established this in Exodus 28.  So God is going to instruct Moses to set up a test to see who of the 12 tribes will be the priests (confirming the priesthood).
  2. Let everyone of the tribes of Israel put the name of their tribe on a stick, a total of 12 sticks, and for the tribe of Levi put the name of Aaron on a dry dead stick.  Take all 13 sticks and place then in front of the Ark.  So they did that.
  3. Num 17:8  On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.
  4. This validated Aaron and his sons as the rightful priests.  This is also a cool image of something dead coming back to life, just like Christ.
  5. In the Ark of the Covenant was placed pieces of manna, the two tablets of stone containing the 10 commandments and Aarons budding rod.
  6. All of these things remained in the Ark and served as a reminder to them of what God had done for them: gave them the Law, gave them sustenance and gave them priests that would help them in having their sins atoned.  Hebrews 9:9 tells us that the Ark, tabernacle, sacrifices, etc  serves (present time) as an illustration that only Christ can wash away our sins.

Leviticus 18-27: A walk with God through sanctification-being different

A walk with God through sanctification-being different

Leviticus 18-27

 Introduction:

  1. In the book of Leviticus we have been studying a very important word: holiness.
    1. What is God’s most attractive attribute?
      1. Love?
      2. Creative nature?
      3. Omniscience?
      4. Omnipotence?
      5. Most people would not pick God’s holiness as His most attractive attribute.
    2. The Bible speaks God’s holiness more than any other attribute.
      1. Since the Bible speaks a lot about His holiness, then we too shall speak about it in this lesson, which by the way, Leviticus has to do with approaching God with holiness.
      2. Holiness is not only an Old Testament topic but it is also a New Testament topic.  (Matthew 6:9, “Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Your name…”)
    3. “Holy” is the name of the third person in the Godhead, Holy Spirit.  Notice that He is not called “The Loving Spirit”, or the “Omniscient Spirit”, or “The Omnipotent Spirit”, but by His most attractive attribute, “The Holy Spirit”.
    4. Application:  We find a correlation between who God is and what God wants us to be: HOLY.
      1. We can’t pick and choose which attributes of God we like and toss out the rest.  We take the whole package as God reveals Himself to us.
      2. “Be holy for I am holy.”  

Come and worship with us for the entire lesson!

Featured Article

Recently I received a flyer from a local church meeting at the middle school.  It had “real testimonials from first time visitors.”  Church service is not a church service it is an experience.  It is not religious but spiritual.  It is not traditional but trendy.  The flyer promised a rock concert style music and no one would be dressed up but dressed down.

“Malls are trendy.  Churches should feel timeless.  With the forceful current of constant change sweeping over every part of our lives, people have the need to connect with something enduring and firm.  We believe Christ designed the church to fulfill that need by representing an eternal kingdom and ageless truth with no need to imitate the culture.  We want you to know that there’s still a church that feels like a church.  It won’t feel like a rock concert, comedy club or motivational seminar.  It is not old-fashioned as in 50 years ago.  It is timeless, as in 2000 years ago.”

In doing some research on this trend I was surprised (I should not have been) to learn that this type of experience is common, it is the in thing, it is the trendy thing to do.  I came across an article about someone being invited to one of these churches.

Trendy Churches

A friend recently invited me to his church. When I asked what time the service began, he was quick to correct me: it wasn’t a church “service,” it was “the Sunday experience.” He seemed to think that this terminology would make it seem cool, maybe irresistible. It was at that moment that I knew I was in trouble.First of all, every imaginable event—including tying your shoes and brushing your teeth—is an experience. To call something “the experience” makes about as much sense as calling the letter H “the letter.” It’s not “the letter”; it’s “a letter”; there are lots of other ones.Such semantics are about as ridiculous as when Christians tell others that Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship. Or when they say that they’re not religious, they’re spiritual.

There’s nothing wrong with being religious, so long as you subscribe to the right religion. And there’s nothing wrong with a church service, so long as it’s a good church service.

But back to my friend. He invited me to his church. I said sure, why not. So Sunday morning came and I went to “the experience.” And let me tell you—it was quite an experience.

The worship service is what I imagine a rock concert would be like. (Given that I never go to rock concerts, I can only surmise here.) The music was loud and there was dry ice on the stage, causing fog to rise up around the worship leaders (“performers”?).

After the music ended, a hip, well-dressed pastor came onto the stage and gave a sermon. Of course, they probably don’t call it a sermon, and he’s probably not a pastor. Bear with me; I’m still learning.

He ended his seeker-friendly sermon (“rap session”?) by quoting the church’s life verse (“He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine…”). A few people then applauded. I could have sworn that I heard some girls sighing in ecstasy, no doubt in awe of the pastor’s designer shoes. Snaking my way through the church’s foyer, where hoards of people were helping themselves to free espressos and donuts, I finally made my way to the front door.

Needless to say, not a very religious experience for me. Heck, I would have settled for a spiritual one.

Admittedly, many of my qualms over the church boil down to personal taste. I don’t like dry ice, or designer shoes, or espressos. But even when I put my personal likes and dislikes aside, I can’t help but feel that the church, and all like it, are lacking something, that they’re just not what churches are supposed to be.

Outreach is good. Adjusting your language to reach a culture is sometimes necessary. But I honestly wonder whether these trendy churches often do more harm than good.

First of all, outreach is the last thing the American church should be focusing on. Morally speaking, Christians today don’t seem to be any better than unbelievers. And I’m not just talking about all those big-haired televangelists. I’m referring to your average, everyday Christians, the Christians we meet in PTA meetings and grocery stores and real estate offices.

I’m sad to say it, but Christians tend to be an unholy bunch. We rally against same-sex marriage bills but practice a debauchery and hypocrisy that far exceeds anything you may find on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. As Ronald J. Sider, author of The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, writes, “Whether the issue is divorce, materialism, sexual promiscuity, racism, physical abuse in marriage, or neglect of a biblical world view, the polling data point to widespread, blatant disobedience of clear biblical moral demands on the part of people who allegedly are evangelical, born-again Christians.”

In the same way that a city experiencing a surge in crime needs to dump more tax money into its police force and after-school programs and not, say, its tourism department—in the same way, Christians today need to root the sin out of their own lives before trying to get outsiders to join.

But there’s another reason these trendy churches need to go. Simply put, they don’t seem to be all that Christian.

Christianity contains both happy news and sad news, and you can’t have one without the other. The happy news, of course, is that Jesus offers us the gift of eternal life. The sad news is that we’re sinners, that we’re the reason Jesus died, that every new day requires us to repent of our sins and pick up our crosses and suffer for Him.

Both aspects—the happy and the sad—make up the Christian message. A church, therefore, that just focuses on one aspect is not really Christian. Which brings us back to the trendy churches.

The trendy churches just want us to be happy. Spend a few weeks in such a church and your self-esteem will be higher than a woman who’s just been given a makeover on Oprah. Neither the sermon nor the church’s life verse nor the rockin’ worship service nor anything else will cause you to meditate on the sufferings of Christ. Nothing will encourage you to confess your sins to God; in fact, nothing will remind you that you’re a sinner who has something to confess.

It is for this reason that I’m drawn to traditional churches. Sure, the organ music can be hideous. Sure, the pastors can be ugly. But none of that matters. Christianity isn’t about good music and stylish entertainers; that’s why we have MTV.

I’m not saying that all churches need to have the Eucharist every week or that they need to sing hymns and recite liturgy. And I’m certainly not saying that they need to bring back organ music. (I personally think flatulence is more edifying.) All I’m saying is that Evangelicals today could learn much from traditionalists.

And those old foggies, in turn, can learn much from their more contemporary friends. For instance, where to go for a good deal on pants or how to make sure that all the girls in your class think you’re really cool.