The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

January 12, 2014

 
In This Issue:
All That is in the World
by Jerry Curry

Humble Obedience
by David J. Riggs

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All That Is In The World

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”   (1 John 2:15-17) The influence of Satan in the world is emphasized later in this same epistle by John. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway ofthe wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) The phrase “all that is in the world” refers to those thoughts and actions that are influenced by Satan. Let’s notice two examples of Satan’s attempt to influence as he tempts via the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Temptation of Jesus

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:3-4) Satan, appealing to the lust of the flesh, tempts Jesus to satisfy His hunger by turning the stones to bread.

“Then devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.  Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:5-7) Satan, appealing to the pride of life, tempts Jesus to prove that he is the Son of God by calling on God to save Him as he casts Himself off of the temple.

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.  Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:8-10) Satan, appealing to the lust of the eyes, tempts Jesus by offering Him the wealth of the world.

Temptation of Eve

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:1-6) Eve saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh); the fruit of the tree was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes); and that eating the fruit would make one wise (pride of life).

May we be on guard as we live each day, knowing that Satan will be about tempting us with all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

- Jerry Curry


 

HUMBLE OBEDIENCE

 

Jesus said to Peter, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." Peter answered, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." (Luke 5:4-5).

Peter demonstrated respect for the word of Jesus. He was an experienced fisherman and knew that fishing was better at night. He knew that if they hadn't caught anything after fishing all night, they wouldn't during the day. However, he didn't let human wisdom or reasoning stand in his way. He simply took Jesus at His word and did what He said.

We, too, need to simply take Jesus at His word and do what He says. We need to take Him at His word and do what He says with regard to being saved from past sins (Mark 16:16). We need to take Him at His word and do what He says regarding attendance (Heb. 10:25), giving (1 Cor. 16:2), visiting (Matt. 25:36), studying (2 Tim. 2:15), etc.

Peter and his friends were greatly rewarded for their humble obedience of letting down their nets. They caught such an abundance of fish that they filled two ships so full they began to sink (Luke 5:6-7). As on that occasion, humble obedience to the Lord today brings its manifold blessings, blessing far superior to all the physical ones afforded in the lifetime of Jesus.

If Peter had refused to launch out and let down his nets, he would not have witnessed nor experienced this great miracle of the Lord. If he had been persistent in his own will in this and other matters, he would only have been numbered with the disobedient of his day. All those who will not humbly submit to the will of Christ are classified as the disobedient, and someday the wrath of God will be poured out upon them (Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6). A mere profession of knowing God is not enough (Titus 1:6); we must obey.

There is great wisdom in obeying the Lord. Jesus said, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matt. 7:24). Part of the work of John the Baptist was to "turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just." (Luke 1:17). He was to teach them the wisdom of the righteous who obey God. The whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13).

Please notice that Jesus said, "Whoever hears these saying of MINE, and does THEM, I will liken him to a wise man..." (Matt. 7:24; emp. mine). Furthermore, He said, "He that has MY commandments, and keeps THEM, it is he who loves Me." (John 14:21; emp. mine). Only by keeping the commandments of Jesus, not the commandments of men, do we prove our love. It takes deep, abiding respect and love for the Lord to do only as He commanded. When we follow the traditions and commandments of men, our worship becomes vain (Matt. 15:9). Indeed, we must render humble obedience to the Lord and to Him only.

-David J. Riggs