The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

November 13, 2011

 
In This Issue:
Focus on Details
by Jerry Curry

Testing Your Faith
by Richard Thetford

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Focus on Details

The Good Man

“He is an old man and experienced man. In vice and wickedness he is never found. Opposing the work of iniquity he takes delight. In the downfall of his neighbor he never rejoices. In the prosperity of any of his fellow-creatures he is ready to assist. In destroying the peace of society he takes no pleasure. In serving the Lord he is uncommonly diligent. In sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances he takes no pride. In laboring to promote the cause of Christianity he has not been negligent. In endeavoring to stigmatize all public teachers he makes no exertion. To subdue his passions he strives hard. To build up Satan’s kingdom he lends no aid. To the support of the gospel among the heathen he contributes largely. To the evil adversary he pays no attention. To good advice he gives great heed. To the devil he will never go. To heaven he must go where he will receive the just recompense of his reward.”

The Evil Man

“He is an old man and experienced man in vice and wickedness. He is never found opposing the work of iniquity. He takes delight in the downfall of his neighbor. He never rejoices in the prosperity of any of his fellow-creatures. He is ready to assist in destroying the peace of society. He takes no pleasure in serving the Lord. He is uncommonly diligent in sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances. He takes no pride in laboring to promote the cause of Christianity. He has not been negligent in endeavoring to stigmatize all public teachers. He makes no exertion to subdue his passions. He strives hard to build up Satan’s kingdom. He lends no aid to the support of the gospel among the heathen. He contributes largely to the evil adversary. He pays no attention to good advice. He gives great heed to the devil. He will never go to heaven. He must go where he will receive the just recompense of his reward.” (By F.W. Emmons 1873)

Please go back and read the above descriptions of The Good Man and The Evil Man. You will notice that the wording is identical, with the punctuation being the only difference.
I first saw these descriptions in a bulletin edited by Bob Buchanon over 30 years ago.

We are encouraged in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The phrase “rightly dividing” means to handle aright or properly. It is imperative as we rightly divide the word in our studies that focus on the details. Some miss the detail of Colossians 2:14 that the Law (Old Testament Law) has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. Failure to focus on this detail leads to confusion about instrumental music and the necessity of keeping the Sabbath. Some miss the detail of 1 Peter 3:21. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us...” Failure to focus on the details of this passage lead many to conclude that baptism is not essential for salvation.

Oftentimes those who insist on focusing on the details of the scriptures are called legalists. Legalists are characterized as those who insist on a careful, strict interpretation of the scriptures. If focusing on the details makes one a legalist, then let us not be ashamed to be counted among that number.

- Jerry Curry


 

Testing Your Faith

 

In James 1:1-12 we read how, if we persevere under trials and tribulations, that we will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those that love Him. In Hebrews, we read that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, it takes a special person, one that really believes in God, to be faithful under all circumstances of life. James tells us in verse 2 to "consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials". Why joy? Because when our faith is tested it produces endurance. If we overcome today’s trial, then tomorrow's trial will be easier to overcome and our faith will get stronger day by day!

We read also that, if we are lacking wisdom, then we should ask God for it because "God gives to all men generously and without reproach" (verse 5). But, we must ask in total faith without wavering because, if we waiver or doubt that God will give us what we ask for, then He will not. "For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (verse 7-8). We are also told that the "brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away" (verse 9-10). The humble will be blessed and the rich will fade away, he and his beauty! Our faith is tested each and every day and the one that perseveres under these tests or trials will receive the crown of life promised by God.

-Richard Thetford
Via Walking in the Light Blogspot