The love of God is perfected in a person’s life when he or she obeys from the heart the words of Christ (Rom. 6:16-18); without obedience, one has not reached a mature state (1 Jn 2:5). Perfection is not a matter of being flawless or sinless (in this context), but the willingness and desire to allow the will of God to control one’s life. It was Jesus who said to those around Him, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’ and do not the things that I say?”
Perhaps you heard someone say something like the following: “The last time I went to church, some lady named Mary seemed to be very unpleasant. I can move past that, I thought, but when I sat down, I received cold stares because,” I was told, “you are sitting in Brother and Sister Pleasant’s seats. That was it, I moved on. Thought to myself, if that is ‘church,’ I’ve had my fill of it!”
Has this or something similar happened to you? Perhaps not. Many, however, have had an experience like this, maybe even worse. If you’ve had a bad experience, let me encourage to think afresh about “church.”
In the New Testament, the word “church” is directly related to people called out of the world of sin into a world where people assemble to praise the Almighty for the salvation He freely gave and gives to each. With all the baggage they should have left behind, many present themselves to the Lord with it. Sue has been divorced three times and now married to her fourth husband. Mike has spent the last eighteen years fighting his drug addiction. Tim and Mary have children that are very undisciplined because Tim and Mary are also undisciplined. The list of all the baggage that people bring goes on and on. I, too, have my own baggage.
Yet, here they are inside a building where people gather together to be taught the Lord’s word, sing and praise His holy name in worship. Not a one has lived life without some blotch (or many) on their personal record of failings. Some hide it well; others live with it openly.
After a moment’s reflection, is it not best to be in the environment where people gather to praise the Lord and taught His holy way? It was Peter who said to the Lord, after the Lord asked His disciples if they were also going to turn away from Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” To whom will you go?
Why not consider, again, the Lord’s church and what He intended the church to be, spiritually sick people who recognize the Lord’s mercy and in real need of it. RT
(Written for House to House and heart to Heart for our Fall mailing)
It was Paul’s habit to go into a community of Jews and reason with them from the scriptures. Paul did this because of his conviction; he wrote to the church in Rome, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, KJV). Paul did not pursue an intellectual path, discussing the finer points of the Law of Moses. Instead, he made it his mission to convert those of his country, his heritage (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-22; Rom. 9:1-5).
It was Paul’s intent to persuade and convince those of his heritage that Jesus was the Christ, the anointed of God. Many of the Jewish community rejected this, although some were convinced.
The approach Paul took has intrigued me for years. I do not live nearby a Jewish synagogue, but if I did would I be capable of doing the same? No, I could not. Because I was not able to, I set in motion for myself to learn from Rabbinic writings what they say about the Scriptures, especially in relation to Messianic passages of Scripture.
This article and some following articles will give attention to this very matter. Whether we live near or in a Jewish community, the principles of Paul should be applied by each New Testament Christian as one seeks to reason with people of faith, seeking to learn together and persuade others about New Testament Christianity, getting back to the Bible, doing Bible things in Bible ways as well as speaking with Bible words.
Messianic Passages in Genesis
In the beginning, the Lord created Adam and Eve putting them in His garden, the Garden of Eden. It was there the Lord directed they were to work. They could eat of anything the Lord put in that garden, but not from one specific tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord had His reasons for this prohibition, and it was the obligation of the first couple to comply with the Lord’s directive.
God desired man to experience the joys of living in His created world, but this joy could not (and cannot) be realized as God intends if man is disobedient to His revealed will. History told us the first couple failed to enjoy God’s intended blessings in this life. The Lord responded to this failure:
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:14-16, KJV).
I want to notice the words of the Lord to Eve and the one who generated the temptation. Notice: 1) there was separation between the pinnacle of God’s creation (human beings) and the beasts of the field (represented by the serpent); 2) the serpent was controlled by the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) utilizing deception and lying to bring down God’s pinnacle; 3) the beast of the field was subservient to human beings; 4) man’s great adversary (Satan) as represented by the serpent would have his head crushed; 5) man’s great adversary will not go down without a fight (so to speak) for he will bruise or sting; 6) human beings cannot crush the serpent’s head, that is, overcome the great adversary. This can only be done by God’s hope given to humanity as revealed in these words.
In the words of the Holy Spirit to Adam and Eve there was hope given by God. Admittedly, the hope is not easily seen, but it is there. From the New Testament, we know it is there. Notice: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The pinnacle of God’s creation will be (and is) hurt terribly, but the tempter is crushed. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55-57). Where did that “sting of death” come from, but in the Garden! Paul wrote to Timothy, “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).
What did the Rabbis teach on Genesis 3:15? I was disappointed in what I read, for it was not at all what I thought I would see. Some of interpretations move from the reasonable into strange and weird speculation (completely useless). There is nothing said in what they wrote about hope overcoming Satan except to say this will occur with the study of the Torah (the Law of Moses as revealed in the first five books of the Bible). Nothing is said about the serpent’s head being crushed by man, except to make known to a reader what intentions the serpent had (who had hands and feet walking uprightly), “The serpent’s plan was to have Adam die and to then marry Chavah [Eve].” Michael Brown, in a footnote, gave attention to Genesis 3:15 being understood by some (not all) in the Jewish community as Messianic.
I thought I would consider what some through the centuries said on the passage. Jerome, biblical scholar of the 5th century, wrote, “Later revelation will confirm this first vague message of victory [Gen. 3:15] and specify the manner in which the victory will be attained.” Alfred Edersheim, a 19th century authority on Jewish ways and teachings, did not give attention to what the Rabbis taught in regards to Genesis 3:15, but did offer his perspective that the passage is Messianic in early form (protoevangelium). The 16th century reformers are on both sides as to whether the passage is Messianic or not, most thinking it is. In fact, of the 18 citations, only two (John Calvin and Johannes Oecolampadius) doubted the exegetical application. “If we should cite this text to dispute against the Jews, I fear we would more likely be ridiculed than accomplish anything” (Reformation 161).
Can Genesis 3:15 be exegetically understood to refer to the Christ? Even though Judaism does not regard the Messiah as being a necessary interpretation here , clearly a case for the Christ must start here. Admittedly, it is from a New Testament context and from an overall picture of the Old Covenant that one is better able to see it unfold. Consider the following points. First, there is an adversarial relationship between what the serpent represents and man. In Revelation 12:9, the serpent is the dragon making war against those of God’s creation. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (12:17). Second, the enmity between the woman and the serpent was separation, hostility, hatred. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and his only intent is to separate man from his Creator, developing within him hatred and bitterness toward the Almighty. He has had great (numerical) success at this. Third, the serpent will bruise the heel of man, but man will crush the head of serpent. Coffman, who is dismissive of those who reject the protoevangelium, said, “‘Thou shalt bruise his heel…is undoubtedly a reference to the Crucifixion.’ The reason many scholars fail to see this is because ‘[t]heir blindness is due to their failure to recognize that the key to understanding the O.T. is Jesus Christ (2Cor. 3:15-16). The terminology of this verse is such that it cannot apply to anything in heaven or upon earth except the long spiritual conflict between Christ and Satan’.”
A case can be made that Genesis 3:15 is the first reference to man’s hope, albeit an obscure reference and one that can only be seen in the context of the whole of Scripture.
The Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud, The Milstein Edition, p. 30.
Michael Brown, Answering Jewish Objections: Messianic Prophecy Objections, Vol. 3; Baker Books, p. 198.
The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, 2:28, p. 13.
Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament, Hendriksen Publishers, p. 14.
Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Genesis 1-11, Vol. 1; IVP Academic, pp. 156-162.
“In Judaism, the estrangement caused by the innate human appetite for evil does not require an act of messianic redemption to be healed” (The Jewish Study Bible, p. 18).
James B. Coffman, Commentary of Genesis, pp. 68, 67.
Keeping up appearances is only a façade, a covering that hides the struggle and anguish of one’s loneliness and shame underneath. It’s not always easy to address, but it must be given attention. The attention one must give, however, is not a wall to keep out others, but a door opened when Jesus comes knocking.
In the minds of many folk at this time of the year, there is significance to the December 25th date. It does not matter if you tell them the Scriptures do not speak of any special-remembrance to the date of the Lord’s birth. What matters to them is that “the reason for the season” is a time to remember the Lord’s birth, coupled with gift-giving.
Perhaps we can resist that and be accurate in doing so, or we can take a different approach and move (teach) people from where they are to where they should (or could) be in their own understanding. This is my approach.
The text of this article comes from Matthew 27:27-31, Jesus was mocked by those who sought His death. I readily admit there is nothing in the text of Matthew 27:27-31 that lends itself to the Christmas season, but that is my point. Though I will speak against the “reason for the season” approach that most take, my primary focus is in telling others why Jesus came and the humiliation He suffered for having done nothing wrong, not even a single thing!
Jesus walked on the earth teaching the Father’s command to a people (the nation of Israel) steeped in rebellion to His revealed word. The Israelite nation would have, and did, reject the notion they were in rebellion to the Almighty’s exhortations as revealed in Scripture. Yet, Jesus, time and time again pointed out and demonstrated that is exactly what was occurring with them. More than that, though He pointed out their rebellion, it was only a part of His message. The other part was that He (Jesus) was the fulfillment of prophetic Scripture declarations. For instance, He said: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:17-18, ESV).
This was more than the people of the nation wanted to hear, especially the religious leaders. Consequently, the leaders set themselves to be against Jesus. There were opportunities get Him, but they could not pull it off. Finally, they were able to arrest Him and put Him on trial. They did not realize that this was all a part of God’s plan. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him (Acts 13:27).
Jesus stood before Rome’s governmental representative in the text of Matthew 27:27-31. The people in that court-setting looked at Jesus and with disdain mocked Him as they rejected His mission and message. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head (Matthew 27:28-30).
Jesus came to this earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), but the lost did not recognize their very-bad-standing in the Lord’s presence. Consequently, they rejected Him and His message. Because they failed to understand and most of the people living to day have failed to understand – the reason for the season is lost on everyone. What is the reason for the season? The reason for this season and every season of the calendar year is for the Christian to live and preach Jesus.
Here you have it. RT
David Lipscomb College or, as it is known today, David Lipscomb University, in their student on-line “paper” “Lumination Network” has an article “in recognition of National Coming Out Day.”
Reflect on this for just a moment, a Christian university that supposedly stands for the moral foundations of the Lord allows students to come out in support of “National Coming Out Day”, an effort to buttress or reinforce the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. Is this acceptance of the behavior? It appears to be exactly that.
It is reported this is “about freedom to be who you are” on this Nashville campus. Student Aria Bartley said, “There’s a difference between acceptance and supporting, and although not everyone is going to be supportive, this is about learning to accept everyone for who they are.”
Does she realize what she is saying? The behavior of the transgender and homosexual community – does the Lord support and accept them.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due (Rom. 1:26-27, ASV).
One can’t read the above passage and conclude the Lord accepts and supports the behavioral lifestyle that is contrary to His will. One can’t accept it unless one’s thinking is clouded with the ways of the world.
Perhaps those who came out to support the LGBT day simply wanted to educate others, at least this is what was said: “The students had conversations with the student body and sought to educate outsiders on what it means to be a part of the LGBT community to anybody who stopped by the community gathering around the Bison.
I am curious about what would be said. Would the education be with regard to what the Lord teaches, or would it be the desires of a secular, progressive and atheistic world? I suspect the latter. That will be too bad for those who accept and support people who live contrary to the Lord’s will. His standard of holiness will not be compromised by any without there being accountability on the ultimate “coming out” day, otherwise known as Judgment Day.
What a sad day when the Lipscomb handbook speaks about standing up for “biblical standards of sexual morality” but then has a staff member (Dr. Paul Prill) as an unofficial advocate for the community as they “come out”.
Those who struggle with the immoral behavior need support and education to change their way of thinking from the ways of this world to the ways of the Lord. There are a great many people in this world who would willingly support and help those who bend their knees before the Lord and ask to be forgiven. Jesus said to all, “Come unto me…take my yoke…my burden is light…”
The Lord’s burden is much lighter to carry than one’s own. RT
The following article (https://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/07/02/obama-george-w-bush-quinnipiac-poll-reagan-clinton/11985837/) generated a discussion that was strange.
There was nothing in relation to this link that I said except “Hmmm.” I made no argument concerning the content, made no remarks concerning agreement or disagreement; in fact, I said nothing about it.
Someone did, though.
One brother typed, “Fake News.”
An interesting remark, since it came from the USAToday website.
I replied to that: “Then USAToday is Fake News”
He replied: “The article is fake news. 1st is outdated. 2nd. Its sampled from a very small minority. 3rd. A similar poll has Trump as the worst (same circumstances applied).”
Note that he called it “fake news.” To speak of something as “fake” is to say that it is not real, not true, thus false. Yet, nothing in what he said gives indication of anything false. It is “outdated” does not say that it is false, “sampled from a very small minority” does not say that it is false or untrue and Trump has worse numbers also does not say that something written within is false or untrue.
I replied to this: “dated is not fake, your denying notwithstanding. The sampling can be criticized if you like, but if it’s the norm for such actions, then you not liking it means nothing. Perhaps Trump is worse, I don’t know. I don’t follow or reverence him like some do with others.”
What did he say to this?
“Ron Thomas thats a strawman argument. You posit that I dont like the results and then criticize the assertion. You have no idea if I like the results or not. I simply stated that the message of the article is false. Misleading at best. To gather 35 ultra conservatives and ask them who is the worse president ever is prejudicial and you know it. It produces fake results, making this article fake news.
Notice what I said above. There is no argument from me in anything I said to this point, neither did I say anything about his liking or not liking. My remark about “your denying not withstanding” was not a comment on his liking or disliking the contents of the article, only that he wrongly attributed “fake news” status to the article. He said, moreover, that my reply to him was a “strawman argument.” Go back and see what I said – I said nothing that can be construed as an argument, not even a syllable’s worth. He said the article is false, which means the data used in the content of the article is nothing but lies (at worse), untrue otherwise because “to gather 35 ultra conservatives” alters the results.
35 ultra conservatives? I don’t remember reading anything about the sampling being conservative, to say nothing of ultra conservative.
To what he said, I replied: “Do you even know what a ‘straw man’ argument is? What about the article that is fake/false? It was a report in 2014 of a survey of popularity concerning presidents. Do you know if there are 35 ultra conservatives who thus judged? If your assertion is right, then I agree it is unbalanced. But do you see ‘ultra conservatives’ in the piece, or even ‘republican’? If not, then why assert?”
For the benefit of understanding, here is a definition from a Logic Textbook: “It is argument by caricature. It avoids dealing with the real issue by changing the opposition’s view” (Come Let Us Reason Together, p. 101).
The one who replied to what I posted asserted I made an argument (when I made none), then tried to tag me with this fallacy, the fallacy of setting up a straw man. Here is another source: “The Fallacy of “straw man” is changing or exaggerating an opponent’s position or argument to make it easier to refute” (The Fallacy Detective, p. 68).
With these two definitions in mind, see if what I said to him, to this point, is a straw man. Did I change anything he said or exaggerate his position? I simply considered the words he used.
He did not like what I said, he replied: “still attacking my intelligence huh? Thats called an ad hom fallacy. Smh. My statements stand. You disagree. Carry on.”
Now, I am “attacking his intelligence”? More than that he said I am doing it “still.” Wow!
I called into question, only, his use of the term “straw man” – this is not questioning his intelligence, not even close! Amazing!
Then he says I used an ad hominem reply to him. From the same two sources, here is the definition of ad hominem: “This is argument by character assassination. ‘reject whatever he says because he is a bad person’” (Reason, p. 93); “attacking an opponent’s character, or his motives for believing something, instead of disproving his argument” (Fallacy, p. 47).
In all that I said to this point, is there any character assassination, an ad hominem attack? No reasonable person will agree with his interpretation of what I wrote.
So, I replied: “Ken, you used the term, but you did not properly apply the term, so I asked. Shake your head if you like. You assert ‘ultra conservative’, so I asked for evidence, shake your head if you like. You said I insulted your intelligence by asking you a question and then said, ‘I spoke against the man’ (the meaning of the Latin term), when you give no evidence I spoke against you as a man. Shake your head if you like. Others will have to read and discern.”
The brother in the Lord replied to me, “Accusing me of incorrectly using the term is another attack upon me. (Ad hom). I in fact did use the term (strawman) properly”.
Be sure to note the authoritative source definitions and his use of the terms to see if there is a match.
Moreover, he said, “You posited an argument, (actually an assertion) that I do not like ‘sampling’ as a way of polling, and consequently implied that I do not like the results. It is a strawman argument because I have never said nor asserted that I do not like “sampling” as a way of polling, nor have I implied that I do not like the results.”
Again, go back and see what I said; you will notice I said nothing of the sort. He said, “nor have I implied that I do not like the results” and compare with his remark below when he said “the poll is skewed.”
Here is his point in this discussion: “You set up a strawman…and proceeded to knock it down. Further your comments contributed nothing to my original statement that it is fake news. The message of the article is that Obama is the worse president since WWII. And that is a lie. The poll is skewed, the article is misleading, and it is the epitome of the definition of ‘fake news’.”
From this, I brought my part in the discussion to a close: “Ken, this conversation is going nowhere. Others will have to read and judge.”
It is clear to me, from this discussion, the brother does not know what an argument is in a debate context. In posting a news-link, I made no argument. In posting a news-link, the piece online was simply a survey of opinions, not a substantive story that made a case for or against a person.
There was nothing I posted at the outset that can be in any way construed as an argument. I did not assert a single thing, I did not say premise one is the case, premise two is the case, therefore the conclusion stands (a formal deductive argument in debate). I did nothing of this sort. He perceived I said something when I said nothing.
Neither does he know the meaning of the terms he used, though he said he does. If he does know the meaning, then he terribly misused the terms in discussion. I did not speak against the man, I only question his use of the terms he used – which is NOT “attacking the man.”
Is this brother a partisan political apologist? Perhaps.
One will hear people in the public sector of the community speak about morality in such a way there is no doubt about the moral standard used to judge an action wrong.
For instance, “Appearing alongside a deacon and other religious leaders at a Capitol Hill news conference on Tuesday, Booker said that in a ‘moral moment,’ one is called to either fight against ‘evil’ or be ‘complicit’ in it”.
Why was this a moral matter? Because it was asserted the Judge Kavenough of the DC Court of Appeal would role back voting rights, gay rights, civil rights, reproductive rights and access to healthcare. What was the evidence for this hysterical moment of the Senator from New Jersey? To complicate his unhinged remark, he referred to a portion of Psalm 23, “we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death” attributing the words to Abraham (see link above). It appears some fellow senators are distancing themselves from him and also mocking him.
It appears the senator knows little of his own moral code except it be politically based. Moreover, there is no chance he could defend his moral code in public dispute as being anything objective, transcendent and obligatory on any other person – except to compel others to submit by force of arms or the Law. As Dr. Robert Price would argue, emptily I might say, this is a social contract that some few people (elitists) would compel on others.
In Ohio, a text was put on administrative leave because in her classroom she gave the students a moral test. Parents were outraged.
With regard to the report and two of the questions, I understand why some parents might have seen this as troubling. One question read: “Using both a condom and a pill, a brother and a sister decide that they want to sleep with each other — just once, to see what it would be like.” The student was asked if this was OK or Not OK, with varied options in-between.
Is it okay? Not a chance! Yet, many in the community would fail this simple test because, like Senator Booker, their moral compass is fluid, it’s based on what many others are saying. Even if one thought it to be wrong, on what basis would the one who thinks it to be wrong say that it’s wrong?
Here is another question that stirred some of the parents: “Sarah’s dog has four puppies. She can only find a home for two of them, so she kills the other two with a stone to the head.”
Okay, I get it. It is troubling to have to consider a question like this, whether it is okay or not okay or somewhere in-between. I am sure, however, some of those who would be troubled by this question are the same as those who support killing innocent children in the womb! Consider the following link.
Some liberals consider this not wrong at all – so why the outrage with killing puppies?
I will tell you why. From the Lord’s perspective, the value of a human life is far greater than the value of an animal, but animals should not be abused in any sort of way. The Lord created them for man’s use, not abuse. What rights do animals have? There is nothing in animals that are associated with inherent rights, or the ethical principles of freedom associated with right and wrong. Animals are amoral.
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. (Proverbs 12:10, ASV). Notice the word “righteous.” A righteous man will take care of his animals, his livestock; he will care for them in a way that allows their life longevity and productivity. The word righteous, however, can’t be properly understood outside the ways of God. When used and defined by man, the definition is like a piece of driftwood on the waters, going back and forth until water-logged and sinks.
Many in our community would fail a moral test, even those who consider themselves well-informed on such matters. RT
My son, forget not my law; But let thy heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and years of life, And peace, will they add to the (Proverbs 3:1-2, ASV). A mother in all her years tries to give counsel to her children in such a way her counsel will not only be helpful in navigating the difficulties of life, but counsel that will help the children live a long and prosperous life. Parents like these can say they truly love their own children. This is not always the case, however. Some recent headline: “Police: Parents starve, bind, cage, 21-year-old disabled son” (7.11.2018), “’Faith healing’ parents plead guilty in newborn’s death” (7.10.2018), “Man convicted of attempted homicide in spiking of girlfriend’s drink with abortion pill” (8.2.2018). It is possible the second headline will generate more sympathy and/or understanding with these parents who were deceived by false religion; not likely one will say these parents did not love their child. This is hardly the case with the other two headlines. The problem with all three is their source of philosophy in life: man! With the Lord, however, the guide in life is His way. There is NO CHANCE a child, an adult or anyone will be hurt morally and or spiritually by the Lord’s way of thinking, for He gives guidance in life to instruct people away from moral failings, away from the pitfalls of life that others find themselves in. It is true, it must be admitted, some who have refused the Lord’s way will feel threatened by this way of thinking and seek to administered punishment to the others living in accordance with the Lord’s way. They did this to Jesus should be expected by those who love Him that will be done to those who love the Lord. Nevertheless, as one applies the Lord’s way, before him or her is understanding, moral protection, prosperity and long life. In place the Lord has set the components of life that is best for each.
- Part of God’s eternal plan (Eph. 3:1-12)
- To gather together into one body (Eph. 1:10)
- Subject to Christ in all respects (Eph. 1:22-23)
- All who are saved are within (Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23, 26); there are no unsaved people in the Lord’s church.
- Pillar and Ground of truth (1 Tim. 3:15)
- Name? Church of the Lord (Acts 20:28), Church of God (1 Cor. 1:2), Churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16), Church of the First-born (Heb. 12:23) – Acts 4:12
- What is wrong (sinful) about another name? a) The Holy Spirit condemned division (1 Cor. 1:10), b) To wear the name of a man is to be carnal (fleshly, worldly) thinking (1 Cor. 3:3-4), c) Would it be wrong for a man’s wife to wear the name of another man, not her husband? d) The church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23-27).
- How to be a member of it? a) One must believe the gospel after having been taught it (Romans 10:17; Acts 18:8), b) With that belief in place, one must repent (turn away from) sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30-31; Luke 13:3, 5), c) Confess (acknowledge) Jesus as Lord in life (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9-10), d) Be baptized (immersed) into the Lord, by the authority of the Lord (Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:3-7) for (with a view to) the forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16; 2:38).