Defending Against Temptation

Church of Christ SermonsWhat are some of the defenses we can use against temptation ?

1) Self-respect – when Nehemiah was tempted by Shemiah to hide in the temple in order to save his life, Nehemiah said: Neh 6:11 “But I said, ‘Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life ? I will not go !’” We know ourselves and we have to live with the consequences of our actions.

2) Our Christian identity – we are children of the King, children of God, chosen people (Col 3:12) We have a responsibility and a reputation to uphold, not just for ourselves, but as the representatives of God.

3) Consider the effects of sin – what will this do to the relationship with my family, friends, or with God? What physical effects will this have on me and others – diseases, suffering, financial difficulties, and the spiritual consequences of an eternity in hell.

4) Prayer – Jesus told his disciples to pray to overcome their temptation (Mark 4:38)

5) The presence of Jesus – He is always with us; the Holy Spirit dwells in us – how can we sin against the one who died for us ?

Although God permits Satan to tempt us, He has placed limits on the temptation and always provides a way for us to escape – 1Cor 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Have you sought the ‘way out’ when faced with the pressure of temptation ? Do you feel the presence of God with you at all times? Have you prayed for His help in times of testing? (Ps 107:1-6)

Satan is no match for the Lord. Hide yourself in Him and you will find the armor you need to win the fight. Eph 6:13-18 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions withal kinds of prayers and requests.”
Use the defenses the Lord provides.

Church of Christ Mt Healthy Ohio

Church of Christ Scripture




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Check It Out!

Bible Scripture TruthThe scripture says “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” 1 Thess 5:21 The Bible invites those who question it to test what it says. Jesus said in John 7:17 “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” In other words – check out what is taught. Try it out to see if it is true. Christianity isn’t afraid of evaluation, in fact it invites public scrutiny. (Acts 17:11)

In contrast, many religions of the world don’t see truth as something that is subject to evaluation and testing. They want truth to be a matter of personal conclusion and nothing else. When asked what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ they will claim not to be sure. This is designed to make them look humble. But these same individuals want you to believe what they believe. If you state your belief in the word of God as absolute truth, and Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven – you are looked upon as intolerant or arrogant. But it is not arrogant to state your belief and present the evidence to support it, and then invite scrutiny.

The truth is that these other religions do not want to defend their beliefs or offer proof. They castigate anyone who wants to question what they teach or to debate the evidence. Consider the following: suppose you are stranded in the desert with no water and you come across two people . One says “I have water and here is the evidence for it being pure and clean. Test it for yourself.” The second person says “Don’t listen to that fellow who wants you to test everything. I have water, I think. It may be poison, but I’m not going to allow you to test it. Just trust me and let’s drink it together and see what happens.” Who is the truly arrogant person here?

There is such a thing as false humility. Paul wrote in Col 2:23 that some had a ‘show’ of humility, but were not truly humble. Many religious teachers seem humble, but ask you to believe what they are saying without any evidence or allowing the subjective testing of their beliefs. This is the height of arrogance.

If someone says to you , ‘I’m not sure – you may be right and I may be wrong’, then you need to ask them –‘ then why are you living the way that you do? If you may be wrong or if you are not sure, then why don’t you give up what you are doing and teaching others?’ How can you ask someone to believe what you do when you cannot offer any evidence of its truthfulness? We as Christians need to clearly state what we believe and invite others to examine the truth of the scriptures for themselves. Christians have no fear of rigorous examination of our beliefs, but those who believe only because someone else ‘told them it was so’ have everything to fear! (1 John 4:1)

Cincinnati Church of Christ Cincinnati OH

Church of Christ Beliefs




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Can A Sinner Pray For ……

Bible-Lessons.jpgThe “religious world” teaches that God will accept a person if they pray for certain things, but what does the Bible say?

Can a person pray for …

-God to love them? Read John 3:16 and Rom 5:8 it is redundant to ask God to love us in light of these verses.

-acceptance by God? Read Acts 10:34-35 and Eph 1:6-7 Sinners do not need to pray for God to accept them, rather they need to obey the teachings of Christ to be accepted by God. Read John 14:23

-salvation? Read the account of Saul in Acts 9:3-19 and Acts 22:6-16 When Ananias found Saul praying, he stopped the prayer with the command to be baptized in order to have his sins forgiven. No one was ever told in the Bible to pray for salvation. There is no record of a ‘sinner’s prayer’ anywhere in the Bible. Salvation is found when a penitent person is baptized – Read Acts 2:37-40

-God’s grace? Read Titus 2:11-12 God’s grace has been given to us in the gospel. We cannot pray for some other way when God has already told us what to do in His word. Read Mark 16:16 and 2Cor 5:17-21 And how do we get ‘into Christ’ and find this promised grace ? Gal 3:26-27 “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.”

What then is the sinner to do? Accept the word of God, believe in Jesus and obey the commands of the scriptures. The power of salvation is in obedience to the commands of the scriptures, not in prayer. Read Rom 1:16 and in Rom 6:3-4 “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him in baptism in order that , just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Will you follow the clear scriptural teaching today? Do not depend on what some man or some preacher has told you – read it for yourself. We will answer only to God for our responsibility of knowing and following the instructions that he has given us!

Consider this:

If Jesus had gone to heal Lazarus when Martha and Mary asked, it wouldn’t have been a new kind of miracle. Everyone already knew that Jesus could heal the sick. Lazarus had been dead four days, everyone knew this. According to Jewish belief, the spirit stayed around the body three days in hope of returning, but at four days – there was no hope. Martha even said “there will be an odor”. Imagine the shock when Jesus called Lazarus from the grave and he came out alive again. No one could deny the great miracle that had been done and that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. There is a reason why God acts on His own time frame. May we learn to wait for the Lord’s perfect timing.
Note: Jesus had to specifically call “Lazarus, come out” otherwise all of the dead would have been raised!

Non-denominational churches in cincinnati ohio

church of christ scripture




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Clear Vision

Bible Scripture TruthMatt 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness.”

The eye has been called ‘the window of the soul’. If the window is clean, clear, and undistorted, light passing through it will be unchanged. But if the window is dirty or distorted, the light passing through is affected by those conditions. What Jesus is teaching is that the light that gets into a man’s heart depends on the condition of the spiritual eye through which it passes.

What makes a good spiritual eye? First, the eye must be honest. Prejudice distorts vision, makes us blind to the facts, and prevents clear, logical, unbiased decisions. Jealousy can color our vision too. It distorts words and actions so that even innocent things seem suspicious. Conceit can also cloud the vision. It keeps us from seeing ourselves as we really are and others as they truly are. Rom 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

Second, the eye must be generous. The Greek word for “good” used in this passage is ‘haplous’ which means generous or liberally. Jesus is teaching that we are to be generous in our judgments of others. We are to seek the best in people, not expect the worst. We are to be generous in judging the motives of others. To presume to know the motives is to make oneself God – only He knows men’s hearts. 1 Cor 4:5 One whose eye is bad has a hard time living happily in this world. They are always envying another’s success, begrudging another’s happiness, and closing their hearts to other’s needs. There grows in them a root of bitterness and resentment that robs them of happiness, joy, and contentment. A person with bad eyes is always suspicious and wary of love. But worst of all, the person whose eye is bad cannot fellowship God , for God is the embodiment of love, forgiveness, and generosity. We cannot live in harmony with God if we have no fellowship with people. (1 Pet 1:22, John 13: 34-35)

Is your eye clear, pure, and undefiled? Is your heart filled with love for God and for those made in His image? Or is it darkened by suspicion, selfishness, and resentment? Do you need to come to the Great Physician and have your sight corrected ?

http://arlingtoncoc.com

http://churchofchristscripture.com




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

By Bread Alone

By Bread Alone
By Bread Alone
In Luke 4:4, Jesus said that we cannot live by bread alone, but by every word of God. He made that statement while he was being tempted in wilderness by Satan. After Jesus was baptized ‘to fulfill all righteousness’, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where for forty days he underwent temptation by the devil. While there, He had nothing to eat and afterwards was hungry (Luke 4:2).

Most of us are “starving” if dinner is a little late, and missing a meal altogether is a big deal – imagine forty days of nothing to eat. Jesus must have been in an extremely weakened state physically and mentally as well. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be mentally alert when you are really hungry? Nutritionists have said that if a person is to be sharp mentally, they need a good breakfast in the morning and a good lunch to sustain them throughout the day. Yet the devil comes to Jesus at His weakest physical and mental state.

Satan loves to attack us when we are in our most vulnerable situations. Knowing Jesus had the power to do so, Satan tempts Him to use His power to ‘turn these stones into bread’. (Luke 4:3) But as weak as Jesus was, He resisted the temptation as He did in all cases, by turning to the word of God. Scripture was the source of Jesus’ strength to fight temptation and it must be ours also. It supplies everything we need for life and godliness (2Pet 1:3) and furnishes us for every good work (2Tim 3:16-17). And notice the attitude of Christ in His answer to Satan. Even though He was very hungry, He recognized that the material things of the body and this life are secondary to the spiritual things and to the will of God.

And after Jesus had experienced and practiced this attitude, He taught it to the people. He told them not to worry about the material things of life, but to seek first the kingdom of God and that all the necessities would follow. (Matt 6:24-33) Our greatest goal is to do the will of God. Yet most people seem to have the priorities reversed. They spend their lives in pursuit of the physical and never give attention to the spiritual. Jesus told about a rich man who He called a fool for his attitude toward his possessions. (Luke 12) He was a fool for being solely concerned with the physical and not being ‘rich toward God’.

Christians are not always free from this priority problem. Sometimes material things start having a great priority in their lives. And sometimes, if we are not careful and watchful, they take over our lives and fill our hearts. (Matt 13:22) Where Christ and His word once were most important, now this world and its concerns have taken over. Paul said that the love of money has caused some to wander from the faith and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. (1Tim 6:10) If we want to please God and overcome the devil, we must strive to put the will of God first and material things second. Do not live by ‘bread alone’, but by every word that comes from God!

Cincinnati Church of Christ Cincinnati Ohio

church of Christ Doctrine




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Crossroads

Bible-Lessons.jpg

In every course of action, we are confronted with choices. We cannot stand still, we must go one way or the other. Matt 7: 13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

In these verses, Jesus lays out the choices for our soul. We can choose the easy way or the way of discipline. We recognize that it takes hours of sweat, work, and practice in our world for people to gain certain abilities. To us, it may look easy, but we did not see all the hours spent trying to master that skill. To believe that there is an easy way to reach success is to believe the lie of Satan. We must choose between the long way and the short way. While an idea may come in a flash, it is a fact that great writings, engineering advances, or other major ‘breakthroughs’ are the result of years of patient and trying work. Just as an original product goes through changes until it reaches the perfected form, so we as Christians take time to mature into the finished product that God intends us to be , reflecting the image of our Lord.

When James Garfield was president of Hiram College, a father came to enroll his son. He asked for a shorter curriculum than the regular one. “The boy could never take all that in” explained the father, “He wants to get through quicker. Can you arrange that for him?” The future president answered “Oh, yes, he can take a short course; it all depends on what you want to make of him. When God wants to make a squash, it only takes him two months; but when he wants to make an oak, it takes a hundred years.”

Many people today want instant spirituality – but it doesn’t happen that way. There are no short cuts; it takes time and practice to grow a strong faith. Heb 5:13-14 Do we want the disciplined way or the undisciplined way? How many athletes have been lost by abandoning their discipline. It takes discipline to succeed – 1Cor 9:24-27. We must choose between the thoughtful and the thoughtless way. We know in our hearts that the easy way, the undisciplined way, the short way does not produce that results we want. Yet we believe the devil’s lie that even though it has never worked before, maybe for us it will. We live in a generation that wants things NOW, that feels they deserve things NOW, that they are entitled to what others have taken years to achieve handed to them NOW. James 5:7-8

All of us are on one path or the other. We cannot refuse to choose, for in doing so we have already selected the ‘easy’ path. Which way are you in? John 14:15, Mark 16:15-16

Provided by: Arlington Church of Christ in Cincinnati, OH

Non-Denominational Churches in Cincinnati




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Building a Marriage

Building a Marriage
Building a Marriage

God instituted marriage in the book of Genesis because He knew that “it was not good for man to be alone”. (Gen 2:18) Jesus said “what God has joined together, man should not separate”. (Matt 19:6) Yet in our society more than 50% of all marriages end in divorce or separation. The major reasons given for marriage failure are : Selfishness, financial problems, in-law problems, sexual problems, and pornography.

Selfishness is seen in many ways. When the goal of a person is their own pleasure and not that of their mate, the selfishness can rip apart the relationship. A marriage between ‘spoiled’ individuals, where each is used to having their own way is in for a rough time. Marriage is to be like the relationship between Christ and the church – where each gives total commitment and attention to the other. This is only possible when both parties have their first allegiance to Christ, then to each other. Eph 5:28-33

Money and problems with its use are usually involved somehow in marital discord. Failure to understand the proper use of credit has lead to many divorces. Parents need to teach the necessity and importance of paying debts on time. Rom 13:7-8 Society promotes the concept of covetousness in young couples who feel that they need or ‘deserve’ everything right away although it may have taken their parents years to attain some of those things.

Young people must be taught the role of trust and faithfulness in marriage. Many believe that the important things in life are a big house, social standing, fine cars, and an abundance of material things. Hollywood and pornography lead to unrealistic expectations which destroy the marital oneness. A lack of Bible study, and indifference toward God and worship as a couple will cause couples to have few convictions about what is right and wrong in the marriage relationship. The proper place for the fulfillment of sexual desires is in marriage. 1Cor 7:1-5 This is another area in which selfishness must give way to tender, loving care for each others needs.

And each of the parties in a marriage needs to understand that their commitment is now to each other, and not to their individual families. Gen 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” They are to become one in purpose, one in action, one in mind, as well as one in body. The oneness that God intends can be achieved only when the marriage is based on faith in and obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ. Have you obeyed His commands? John14:15 “Jesus said: If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Church of Christ in Cincinnati, OH Arlington Church of Christ

Church of Christ

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

A Broken Heart

A Broken Heart is Good?

People have wrestled with the problems of sorrow, pain, and grief for ages. It has led to doubts and spiritual questions, yet the scriptures have a different view of suffering –Ecc 7:3-4 “ Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” And also 2 Cor 4:17 “ For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Then word ‘mourn’ in the scriptures like Matt 5:4, is the strongest word for mourning. It means to wail with unrestrained visible grief. When Jesus said in that verse “Blessed are those who mourn..” what was He teaching? He could mean “blessed are those who have endured the bitterest sorrows that life can bring.” That kind of sorrow breaks us and causes us to understand our total reliance on God. It shows us what is truly important in this life and gives us new perspective. Heb 12:2-3

Jesus could also mean “Blessed are those who are desperately concerned for the sorrows and sufferings of peoples of the world. It is indeed right to be concerned and compassionate with those struggling. Rom 12:15, Gal 6:2
But the main point of Jesus’ teaching is “Blessed is the man who is overwhelmingly sorry for his own sin and unworthiness.” When Jesus started preaching, His message was “repent!” Matt 4:17. Repentance requires a deep sorrow for sin. It requires that we open our eyes to what sin is and to its consequences. When we see the hurt, pain, and disappointments that sin causes, then we can understand Paul’s words in 1Tim 1:15 “here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. Paul had his eyes opened to the horrors of his sin and its consequences. It should break OUR hearts to realize that it was OUR sin too that caused the death of Jesus. True repentance occurs only when the heart is broken and it shows itself in the new actions that we take. Joy is found in gratitude to God for His forgiveness and grace.

Blessed is the one whose heart is broken by the suffering in the world and his own sin, for out of this repentance will come obedience leading to peace, forgiveness, and comfort from God. Do you have that joy that comes from close fellowship with God? Do you need to rid your life of sin? Acts 22:16

Lesson contributed by: Arlington Church of Christ – Mt. Healthy, OH

What is the Church of Christ




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

What is the Church of Christ?

What is the Church of Christ and its History?

The church of Christ is dated back to the times of the New Testament (Romans 16:16).  The Christian church was founded by Christ on the Day of Pentecost, A.D. 33 (Acts 2), shortly after Christ’s ascension back to heaven.  In the following years, rapid growth took place that filled Jerusalem, back then Judea, Samaria and eventually the entire Roman Empire (Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:23).  In the US, the first churches of Christ were established in the late 1700s.  This movement was created through the need to live life through the Bible according to Bible scripture and Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names (cf. 1 Peter 4:11).

 

Church of Christ Beliefs and Doctrine Through the Bible

The church of Christ believes Jesus is the Son of God (John 20:30-31), that the words of the Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and that Christ will return to take His kingdom home to God (1 Corinthians 15:24).  The church of Christ emphasizes:  sincere worship (John 4:24), every-member evangelism (Acts 8:4), godly living (Titus 2:11-12), love for each other (John 13:34-35), and helping people in need (James 1:27).

The church of Christ believes that the Bible teaches sinners are saved by learning of Jesus, confession of Jesus and baptism into Jesus (John 6:44-45; John 3:16; Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:38).  The church of Christ is a non-denominational church that is organized with elders, deacons, preachers and members, duplicate to the church created in New Testament times (Philippians 1:1).  There is no governing body on earth higher than the local congregation itself.

 

The Church of Christ – A Place for Everyone

Christ’s church is made up of diverse people and backgrounds (1 Corinthians 12; Galatians 3:27-28).  All members, no matter their ethnicity, economic level and educational background, are welcome and made to feel comfortable during times of service.  Truly, everyone is welcome to join in our worship services.

 

Family and Bible School is Emphasized

Bible school is a high priority with the church of Christ.  It is a God-given responsibility to share the teachings and scripture of the Bible to church visitors, members and especially the children.  Children are important and the church of Christ assists parents in revealing to them their purpose and destiny through the scripture.  Children should learn about their Creator, Redeemer, Lord and Savior early on in life (Ecclesiastes 12:1; Matthew 19:14).  Children have been birthed into confusing times in this world.  Bible school and classes will ground them and learn the truth and depict right from wrong.

 

Beautiful Singing (a capella – without musical instruments)

The entire congregation sings a capella just as it happened in New Testament times (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).  Guests to the church of Christ may sing along or feel free to listen and take in the meaning of the song.  Many first-time visitors compliment on the beautiful sound of a cappella singing and find it easier to focus on the words and meaning without the distraction of musical accompaniment.

Videos of a cappella singing at different church of Christ congregations.

 

Lord’s Supper Observed Every Sunday

The church of Christ observes communion each Sunday, just as it was done in the New Testament times (Act 20:7).  Commemorating Christ’s death and celebrating His promised return, is a highlight of the weekly worship services.  “This Do In Remembrance of Me”

 

Bible-Based, Centered Around Christ, Heaven-Bound

When visiting a church of Christ, you will be surrounding yourself with like minded people who want to learn more about the Bible and Christ’s teachings and following the instructions and lessons to prepare yourself for Heaven.  Every sermon, lesson and class will based on teachings based on the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Visitors and members alike are encouraged to bring along their Bibles and follow along with the quoted scriptures and versus that back the lessons and sermon being taught.  Christ is exalted through prayer, songs, sermons and the way we live our lives (Colossians 1:18).  The beautiful promise of heaven for God’s faithful children lends an air of hope throughout the church during worship (Revelation 21).

 

 




Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube