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Featured Articles

Profanity By Definition

Lords-Name-in-Vain-KB2"O my God!" "O Lord!" "Good God!" "Jesus Christ!" These words are good and pure when used properly but profane and vulgar when used to express nothing more than surprise or amazement. A person might utter the precious name of the Lord when he merely steps on his shoelace, stumps his toe or hears a piece of juicy gossip. There is even a magazine/website entitled OMG, devoted solely to celebrity gossip. Even serious matters are no excuse to abuse the Lord's name, let alone trivial matters. But every day, everywhere we go, it is being done - whether it be at work, in town, on television, on the internet or even in our homes. 

Read more: Profanity By Definition

Are Faithful Christians "Sinners"?

into-the-world-to-save-sinners-of-whom-I-am-the-foremost-1Tim-1-151 In what appears to be an effort to not appear self-righteous or prideful, we often hear Christians use catch phrases that they have picked up somewhere that may not be scripturally accurate. Such phrases as: "After all we (Christians) are all sinners" and "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints" indicating that the church is only made up of "sinners." Also, by saying such things repeatedly, it gives one the sense that he does not have the right to firmly correct those in sin – "after all we are all sinners." In fact, those who repeat such phrases may be robbing God of praise due Him.

Is that the way the New Testament talks about people who have been made righteous by the blood of Christ? In the 42 verses where the word sinner (singular or plural) appears only one could possibly be construed to be referring to Christians in their present state. That is 1 Timothy 1:15, where Paul said, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." This is the verse that is cited by most who insist on constantly talking about what "sinners" they and all other Christians are, implying that those who do not join them in such self-abasement, are prideful and maybe even Pharisaic.

Let’s look at this verse in context. This section of praise and thanksgiving by Paul begins with verses 12 and 13: "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." (1 Timothy 1:12-13 NKJV) Here Paul begins his praise for what was done for him as a former blasphemer. But he had been "enabled", "counted ... faithful", and "obtained mercy" – so that rather than in his former state he is now put into the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Read more: Are Faithful Christians "Sinners"?

The Church In Crisis

2014.06.30-Lidando-com-crises-imagem01-CDNI have a sermon titled "Crises in the Jerusalem Church" that I preach from time to time. It is based on notes that I took on a sermon I heard brother Clinton Hamilton preach many years ago. It points to several crises faced by the first congregation of Christians ever. The purpose of that sermon is threefold: 1) to show that even the Lord's church under the personal guidance of the apostles had problems and 2) churches of Christ in every generation have had problems to solve and overcome and 3) that by studying how Jerusalem weathered its crises we can learn to deal with the crises as they come to churches today.

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What Is A Sound church?

EvaluatingTheLocalChurch600What is a sound church. We can be guilty, often times, of changing the meaning of things by changing the definition of the terms that describe or represent whatever is under discussion. This has been done of course with many subjects, but perhaps the most dangerous and destructive instances are regarding the word of God. Consider the term “pastor”. Biblically, the term is poimen, and is found in Ephesians 4:11. However, the term is also translated “Shepherd” in 1 Peter 2:25 and refers to the same office of “Bishop” (1 Timothy  3:1), “Elder”(1 Peter 2L25), “Overseers” (Acts 20:28); collectively they are called “the presbytery (KJV; NASB) and “Eldership” (NKJV). This term is now used in the “religious world” to refer to an evangelist or preacher.  Now due to this change in usage, there has developed a change in definition, and due to the change in definition, there has arisen a change in designation, and due to the change in designation, there now exists a misunderstanding  of organization, and misguided view of authority, and ultimately, a rejection of God’s wisdom (Ephesians 3:9-11). For all who may say that this is just a silly argument of semantics, I remind us of (1 Peter 4:11 & Ephesians 4:29).

Read more: What Is A Sound church?

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