Browse Tag: sermons

Spiritual Surgery

Church of Christ Scripture Readins, Bible Lessons and SermonsMatt 5:27-30 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole body to go into hell.”

Jesus sets a new standard for His followers. The other rabbis urged their disciples not to participate in sinful acts, but Jesus tells His not to even think about them. Jesus is teaching that a defiled heart is one that looks at ordinary things and uses them as an occasion to stimulate sinful desires. What ‘cure’ does He suggest?

Spiritual surgery – anything that is a cause of, or a seduction to sin, must be cut out of life. The type of thing Jesus is speaking of is described by the Greek word “skandalizo” and refers to a baited trap or snare. Anything that is a temptation to us, or incites us to sin is to be ruthlessly rooted out of our lives. Any habit, association, or pleasure that leads us astray must be removed. But how can a person shut those things out of their mind? It cannot be done by simply saying ‘I won’t think about such and such.’ The more we try to not think about them, the more we do. How can we defeat the forbidden thought?

1) Fill you mind and heart with good thoughts – be so busy with the good that there is no time for evil thoughts. (Phil 4:8, 2Cor 10:4-5)

2) Fill your life with activities that glorify God and promote Him. Much of Jesus’ life was spent simply going around doing good. (Acts 10:38) Just thinking about God’s word is not enough – we must put it into constant practice. (James 1:22, 1Cor 15:58) Keeping busy leaves no time for these problems. (2Thess 3:10-13) it comes down to a decision for spiritual surgery. Will you work to remove those things from your life that tempt you and draw you away from God? Those are the things that make you a slave to Satan. Rom 6:16 “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Do you need the spiritual surgery of a “heart transplant” or a renewed mind ? Jesus can give you the power to live as he commands when you are willing to yield your will to His. He is the great physician and has the cure for all our problems if we simply follow His instructions and stay under His care.

http://www.arlingtoncoc.com

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A Little Compromise

Church of Christ ScripturesOne key difference between the Church of Christ and the Christian church is the use of instrumental music in the worship. The following are two true stories from J.W. McGarvey about his experiences in this matter.

In the 1870’s, J.W. McGarvey was one of the elders of the Lexington Church, and he with the other elders approved a small instrument to be placed in the church building basement for the young people to use to help improve their singing. No one, especially McGarvey, would ever have thought of moving it upstairs to be used in the worship service. They had used only acapella singing as the Bible instructed and had no intention of violating the scriptures.

Years went by and the youngsters grew up and took their places in the worship upstairs. Then in November 1902, a move was made to introduce instrumental music into the worship service. A vote was taken and the result was 370 for, 202 against. What was unthinkable a few years before was now voted in by men, and McGarvey’s conscience would not allow him to remain with that church and he went elsewhere.

While one may admire McGarvey’s stand on principle in 1902, the elders small compromise in allowing that small instrument to be put in the basement in the first place led to the introduction of the organ into the worship service by those who were likely trained by its use in that basement.

In January 1903, at the Pearl and Bryan Street Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas, brother McGarvey was asked to speak and was sitting on the front row next to brother Jesse P. Sewell. He leaned over and said to brother Sewell, “You are on the right road, and whatever you do, do not let anyone persuade you that you can successfully combat error by fellowshipping it and going along with it.

I have tried, I believed at the start that was the only way to do it. I have never held membership in a congregation that used instrumental music. I have, however, accepted the invitation to preach without distinction between churches that use it and those that do not. I have gone along with their papers and magazines and things of the sort. During those years, I taught the truth as the New Testament teaches it to every young preacher who has passed through the College of the Bible. Yet I do not know of more than six of those men who are preaching the truth today. Compromise, even a little, will not work.”

You see, what may seem to be a harmless compromise can lead to things that we never envisioned would occur. We must remain true to the word of God and never compromise in large or small ways. Our actions as Christians will influence others toward the truth or put things in their way that will make likely to stray from the word of God. May we make up our minds never to compromise.

Arlington church of Christ in Cincinnati, Ohio

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Judging Fairly Matthew Chapter 7 1-5

Judging Fairly
Judging Fairly
Matt 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you too will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye. How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ ,when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye
.”
Jesus is appealing to the highest ideals of the rabbis. The Jewish rabbis taught that there were six great ‘works’ in this life: studying the scriptures, visiting the sick, showing hospitality, prayer, educating children in the law, and thinking the best of others. Think of how often you have misjudged others or been misjudged by them. Our judgment of others is faulty because we do not know all the situations, background, and especially their motives -1Cor 2:11. We know what they did, but not WHY they did it. We may not know the facts they faced, or the strength of a particular temptation.

It is impossible for us to be completely impartial in our judgments. We are swayed by attraction or repulsion by certain people. The Greeks would sometimes hold difficult trials in total darkness, so the defendant could not be seen or recognized, and only the facts considered. Only one who is totally impartial has the right to judge, and since none but God is impartial, only He can make right judgments.

Jesus is teaching that no one has the right to judge or criticize another unless he is prepared to do better in the same situation. Please note that Jesus is not condemning all evaluations of whether an action is right or wrong. What He is condemning is the hypocritical evaluation of others. We are told to discipline the erring brother – 1Cor 5. That requires that an evaluation be made of actions, but it is not being made on the basis of our own thoughts, but on the comparison to God’s standard of conduct for us in His word. If we use His word, then He is judging – not us – and His judgment is just. We cannot condemn others, but we can condemn their actions when they violate the word of God. That is the duty of Christians – to apply the words of the Bible to the things we see happening around us and speak out in defense of God and His standards. We can ‘judge’ properly if we use His judgments, not our own or those of society. We are to try to help others live in harmony with God’s will by pointing out what He expects. But we must also apply those same principles and laws to our own lives. Let us examine our own lives first in the mirror of God’s word. James 1:23-25.

Gospel Lesson by the Arlington Church of Christ Located in Cincinnati, Ohio

Church of Christ Video Sermons

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Fasting

Church of Christ DevotionalsMatt 6:16-18 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men that they are fasting. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it is not obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father , who sees what is done in secret will reward you openly.”

Fasting was an essential part of religious life in Eastern countries. For the Jew, there was only one compulsory fast – the Day of Atonement – Lev 16:31. But the religious Jews made great use of private fasting. It was the custom to fast from the death of a relative until the burial, or to show sorrow for sin, or as an appeal to God in times of physical or spiritual need. Occasionally a time of fasting would be declared for the whole nation as a sign of national repentance – Judges 20:26.

While fasting was supposed to represent devotion to God and repentance for sins, it had the potential to be done for improper motives. One might fast as a sign of ‘superior piety’ – Luke 8:11-12. One might fast to show others how ‘devoted’ he was in order to gain their praise and admiration. So Jesus warns His disciples about fasting for the wrong reasons.

While we as Christians are not commanded to fast, there are some practical reasons to do so:

• healthy eating habits – makes us think about what we eat
• self-discipline – we learn to deny ourselves and break habits
• it teaches us to distinguish between needs and wants
• it teaches us appreciation of what we have
• it makes us more sensitive to spiritual things by sharpening senses

Jesus condemned the wrong kind of fasting- when it was done for outward show. But nowhere does the Bible encourage Christians to avoid the practice of fasting. We would do well to consider our own situation, and if fasting would help us get our lives into the proper perspective. However, we must follow the instructions of Christ and do it privately, so that it will not be obvious to others. Fasting is to be between the individual and God. In fact, Jesus condemned any religious practice when it was done for show. If we do things to impress men, we will get no reward from our Father. (He knows our hearts and our motives) What would the Lord say about the way that you ‘practice’ your religion? Is your heart right with God?

church of Christ Cincinnati, OH

Bible Study Lessons




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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




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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).

 

 




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