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Weekly Bulletin Article 2007

By Bro Jim Brasseal, Pastor Landmark MBC

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Dec 30, 2007 - Having the Mind of Christ in Us
Dec 23, 2007 - Jesus Christ the Lord, a Name Above Every Name
Dec 16, 2007 - Jesus Christ, the Obedient Servant
Dec 09, 2007 - God Sent His Own Son in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh
Dec 02, 2007 - Christ Took Upon Himself the Form of a Servant
Nov 25, 2007 - Christ Jesus, Who being in the Form of God
Nov 18, 2007 - Thanksgiving
Nov 11, 2007 - A Brave Soldier Worthy of Honor
Nov 04, 2007 - Daylight Savings Time in the Scriptures
Oct 28, 2007 - The Gospel of Christ and Eternity
Oct 14, 2007 - Why be so Particular about Doctrine?
Oct 07, 2007 - God: The Righteous Judge
Sep 30, 2007 - What Kind of Church? - Part 2
Sep 23, 2007 - What Kind of Church? - Part 1
Sep 16, 2007 - Love for Missions
Sep 09, 2007 - Remove not the Ancient Landmark
Sep 02, 2007 - Following Jesus in the Truth
Aug 26, 2007 - Workers and Servants
Aug 19, 2007 - The Vital Role of Church Members, Part 2
Aug 12, 2007 - The Vital Role of Church Members, Part 1
Aug 05, 2007 - The Great Commission
Jul 29, 2007 - Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Wool, Hay, Stubble
Jul 15, 2007 - The Holy Spirit -- the Spirit of Truth
Jul 08, 2007 - The Blessings of Going to the House of the Lord
Jul 01, 2007 - Free from the Law of Sin and Death
Jun 24, 2007 - Pleasant Fellowship
Jun 17, 2007 - What Kind of Father?
Jun 10, 2007 - Working Together to Get the Job Done
Jun 03, 2007 - Five Important Lessons in the Observance of the Lord's Supper
May 27, 2007 - Another Very Import Memorial Day
May 20, 2007 - The Lord's Glorious Church
May 13, 2007 - What Kind of Mother?
May 06, 2007 - Resurrection and Baptism
Apr 29, 2007 - To Enjoy?
Apr 22, 2007 - Faith That Pleases God
Apr 15, 2007 - Accomplishing the Mission: Report on Mongolian Missions
Apr 08, 2007 - The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: An Essential Bible Doctrine
Apr 01, 2007 - Christ, Our Passover
Mar 25, 2007 - The Joy of Sowing and Reaping
Mar 18, 2007 - How To Change a Church
Mar 11, 2007 - No Fellowship with Darkness, Part 3
Mar 04, 2007 - No Fellowship with Darkness, Part 2
Feb 25, 2007 - I'm Free
Feb 18, 2007 - No Fellowship with Darkness, Part 1
Feb 11, 2007 - Love is a Very Splendorous Thing
Feb 04, 2007 - Wash Me, and I Shall be Whiter Than Snow
Jan 28, 2007 - The Communion of the Blood of Christ
Jan 21, 2007 - The Lord's Supper
Jan 14, 2007 - The Bible -- God's Holy Book
Jan 07, 2007 - God Deserves Our Best


Having the Mind of Christ in Us

Philippians 2:5
Dec 30, 2007

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

This verse calls us to have the attitude, the way of thinking, like Jesus as shown in Philippians 2:6-8. This is the Christian attitude of humility, obedience, faithfulness, sacrificial giving, and service.

We know that our thinking is affected by our sin nature, so in this life we will come short of the lofty goal of Philippians 2:5. Romans 12:1-2 gives this command: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Philippians 4:8 tells us this: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

One Old Testament passage that shows how we can stay in the right frame of mind is Psalm 1:1-2: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."

Are you willing to do these things so that you will have the attitude that is more like the thinking of Christ? (a) Present yourself to God as a living sacrifice, (b) Resist the pressure of the world to shape you into a worldly-minded backslider, (c) Seek the good, acceptable, perfect will of God, (d)Think on things that are true, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue, of praise, and (e) Meditate in the law of the LORD.

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Jesus Christ the Lord, a Name Above Every Name

Philippians 2:9
Dec 23, 2007

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."

The different names and titles that are given to Jesus teach us wonderful lessons about his Divine character, his humble obedient servitude, and his glorious mission. In the Old Testament we find these names:

(A) In Daniel 9:25 and 9:26, we read of the Messiah, a title for Jesus, meaning the Christ, the Anointed One, referring to the fact that Jesus was anointed of the Father and sent on a special mission. In Genesis 49:8-10, Jacob gave a prophecy concerning the tribe of Judah and the Messiah that would come from that tribe. Notice the words of verse 10. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [that is, the Messiah] come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10). The woman at the well in John 4:25 said, "I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things." The answer of Jesus in verse 26 is, "I that speak unto thee am he."

(B) His name is given as Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14. This verse is quoted in Matthew 1:23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." The phrase "God with us" speaks of Jesus as God manifest in the flesh and as the Son of God in the flesh he "dwelt among us" (John 1:14). The phrase used in the Amplified Bible is "He tabernacled among us." We can say when we gather as a New Testament church that God is with us, but we are using words that have a different meaning from the name "Emmanuel."

These two names from the Old Testament are names that can only be applied to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Jesus Christ, the Obedient Servant

Philippians 2:8 and Hebrews 5:8
Dec 16, 2007

"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8). "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). A.T. Robertson gives these words in his commentary on the humility of Christ. "It is a voluntary humiliation on the part of Christ and for this reason Paul is pressing the example of Christ upon the Philippians, this supreme example of renunciation. The bottom rung in the ladder from the Throne of God. Jesus came all the way down to the most despised death of all, a condemned criminal on the accursed cross" (Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament).

Hebrews 5:8 shows us that in his humiliation, Christ subjected himself to suffering, real pain and sorrow, as described in Isaiah 53:3-4, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

In his humiliation, Christ subjected himself to poverty. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9). The words of Philippians 2:7, "But made himself of no reputation," are sometimes translated "he emptied himself." The question is then asked, "Of what did Christ empty himself?" These scriptures in Hebrews 5:8 and II Corinthians 8:9 show us that he gave up the comfort, glory, and riches of his heavenly home. Oh! What a Saviour who gave up so much that we might have eternal heavenly riches, with no pain or sorrow!

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God Sent His Own Son in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh

Philippians 2:7 and Romans 8:3
Dec 09, 2007

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7).

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3).

The last two bulletin articles may be summarized in these two statements: (1) Jesus Christ is truly God, and "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), and (2) Jesus Christ, the Word, "was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14) and as the sinless Son of man, he was the perfect, humble Servant.

With all the human race having the depraved corrupt Adamic nature (Romans 5:12), how could God send his own Son into this sinful world in the likeness of sinful flesh and his Son still be the Lamb of God without spot or blemish (I Peter 1:19)? The answer to this question is: The wonderful, amazing, supernatural virgin conception and birth of Christ are the means that God used to accomplish his plan.

God had promised Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15). In the days of Isaiah, God had promised that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 and quoted in Matthew 1:23).

The message that the angel brought to Mary gives us the best information on this virgin conception. "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:31-32, 35).

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Christ Took Upon Himself the Form of a Servant

Philippians 2:7
Dec 02, 2007

In our discussion of verse 6 last week, we learned that the phrase "who being in the form of God" teaches us that Christ is God, possessing the very nature, essence, and attributes of God, and the very "fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9). The same word "form" (morphei) is used in reference to the humanity and "servant" (doulou) position of Christ. Please note that there is a change in the verbs of verse 7. The word "being" is not used in verse seven. The verbs "took" and "was made" are used instead to indicate that the servitude and humanity of Christ had a definite beginning in time, when Christ came into this world as the Son of man "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). The same truth is found in John 1:14. "...the Word was made flesh..." It would be wrong to say, "...the Word 'being' flesh."

In Isaiah 42:1 (quoted in Matthew 12:18), Jesus Christ is referred to as the servant of God. Christ was not just in the guise and appearance of a servant, but was a servant in his heart and soul, surrendered to do the will of the Father.

Jesus taught his disciples to be servants. "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:27-28).

If you want to be a true Christian, that is, like Christ, then you too need to have the heart and soul of a servant. Be willing to serve in any way that will bring glory to God.

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Christ Jesus, Who being in the Form of God

Philippians 2:5-7
Nov 25, 2007

This article for our bulletin is one of six articles based on the second chapter of Philippians.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Phil 2:5-7).

The word "form" used in verses six and seven is a translation of the original Greek word "morphei." This definition is found in Vine's Bible Dictionary.

"Morphe denotes 'the special or characteristic form or feature' of a person or thing; it is used with particular significance in the NT, only of Christ, in Phil 2:6, 7, in the phrases 'being in the form of God,' and 'taking the form of a servant.' Thus in the passage before us morphe Theou is the Divine nature actually and inseparably subsisting in the Person of Christ" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers).

A. T. Robertson writes this about these verses. "In his preincarnate state [before His human conception and birth] Christ possessed the attributes of God and so appeared to those in heaven who saw him. Here is a clear statement by Paul of the deity of Christ" (Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright 1985 by Broadman Press).

The word "form" in our English language can mean "shape." For example, a sculptor may use a piece of marble and with his hammer and chisel the artist will cut the stone into the shape or form of a graceful eagle in flight. That cold stone does not have the qualities, the attributes, nature, or life of a real eagle.

"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell" (Colossians 1:19). "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

Before the world was created, during his earthly ministry, now, and for all eternity, Christ Jesus is truly God, with all the divine qualities of the Godhead.

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Thanksgiving

Psalm 100
Nov 18, 2007

1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Thanksgiving is right and good every day. "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" (II Corinthians 9:15).

Happiness is possible by trusting the LORD. "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he" (Proverbs 16:20).

Assembling in the house of God is a blessing. "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD" (Psalm 122:1).

Now is the time for every lost person to come to Christ Jesus. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2).

Knowing for certain that you are saved brings peace to your heart. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:13).

Salvation is God's free gift to you, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

Good gifts that we enjoy come from God above. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

Inspiration of the scriptures is a source of confidence in the promises of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16).

Victory over death is another one of God's blessings for which we give thanks. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:57).

Infinite understanding is one of the attributes of God for which we give thanks. "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5).

Never is a wonderful word when it is used in connection with God's promise of eternal security for the believer. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28).

God's grace makes all these wonderful gifts possible. "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (Romans 5:15).

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A Brave Soldier Worthy of Honor

II Samuel 11:1-17
Nov 11, 2007

II Samuel chapter eleven tells us about an honorable soldier, Uriah, who served in the army of King David. While Uriah and his soldiers were away on the battlefield fighting against the Ammonites, King David stayed in Jerusalem and committed the terrible sin of adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. David plotted to cover his sin by bringing Uriah home from the battlefield so that he would go home to Bathsheba. Uriah refused to go to his own home but instead slept at the door of the king's house. David questioned him about his conduct and Uriah's answer in II Samuel 11:11 shows that Uriah would not enjoy the comfort of his own home while his fellow soldiers were enduring the hardships of the war zone. When Uriah went back to the battlefield, David planned a sinful deed as evil as his adultery. David schemed to have Uriah, "in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten and die" (II Samuel 11:15). "...and Uriah the Hittite died also" (II Samuel 11:17).

Psalm 51 shows us how David came to true repentance and confession of these awful sins. He did receive forgiveness, but did suffer the consequences of his disobedience for many years.

We learn these lessons from II Samuel 11. (1) Innocent people often suffer as a result of another person's sin. (2) God does not cause innocent death, but God does allow suffering in this wicked world. (3) King David should have been executed for the willful, pre-meditated murder of Uriah, but we see that God's grace is offered in a way beyond our understanding. "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20).

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Daylight Savings Time in the Scriptures

Joshua 10:12-14
Nov 04, 2007

"Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel" (Joshua 10:12-14).

This lesson takes place at the time when Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, is moving into the land to the west of the Jordan River. God had promised the nation that He would give the victory over their enemies in the Promised Land if they would trust and serve Him. He had kept those promises at the crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 3:14-17), at the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27), and at the battle of Ai, after their initial defeat caused by the sin of Achan (Joshua 7:1-5, 8:1-7). Using deceitful means, the great city of Gibeon had secured an oath from the princes of Israel that their city would be spared. Even after the deceit was discovered, Israel would not break the oath. Five other kings in the area decided to attack Gibeon. Joshua and the army of Israel completely defeated those five kings and their armies. We learn from these events:

A. God is in absolute control of all this physical universe. This is also shown in the days of Hezekiah when God caused the shadow on the sun dial of Ahaz to move backward ten degrees. (Isaiah 38:6-8)

B. God was able to keep his promises to Israel, even though they were outnumbered by their enemies. Should we ever doubt the promises of God? NEVER! The New Testament shows us this about the history of Israel. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Corinthians 10:11).

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The Gospel of Christ and Eternity

I Peter 1:18-21
Oct 28, 2007

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."

It is hard for our finite minds to think of things that happened before the foundation of this world. We can see from verse twenty that God's plan for our redemption started in eternity. God's plan required that by means of the virgin birth, Jesus Christ would come into this world as the Son of man and live a life without blemish and without spot. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

God's plan required that his only begotten Son would be crucified, purchasing our salvation with his own blood. "...Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:5).

When a person comes to Christ in repentance and faith, the salvation that they receive as a free gift from God (Romans 5:15) is described with the words "Eternal life" (John 3:16). This new life will never end. The saved person has the promise from God that they will never come into condemnation (John 3:18).

In the eternal ages to come, the child of God will enjoy the eternal, everlasting presence and fellowship with God, which God planned before the world began, and which was made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:1-7).

You would not want to miss these eternal blessings, so if you are not saved, we pray that you will come to the Lord in faith. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

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Why be so Particular about Doctrine?

Galatians 1:8 and I Corinthians 1:10
Oct 14, 2007

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10).

By teaching that we as a church should fellowship with only those churches that teach the same doctrines regarding baptism, communion, the office of pastor and deacon, Bible inspiration, security, and church history, we may receive criticism for being too narrow in our thinking.

You do not need to agree with us on these doctrines to be saved. Several years ago, one of my neighbors (a member of another Baptist church in our neighborhood) said to me, 'My church would grow much faster if we only had this one question for people who want to join our church: "Have you been saved by faith in Jesus Christ?'" I had to admit that he was right about two things: (1) his church growing in number and (2) the true plan of salvation. However, he was wrong in Biblical church practice. That approach would contradict I Corinthians 1:10. Soon there would be no definite harmony in the doctrinal position of the church body. There would be confusion on major doctrines.

The official position of many churches is that the water of baptism actually cleanses the soul from sin. This false teaching is "another gospel," which Paul, by God's inspiration, condemns so strongly in Galatians 1:6-12. When baptism and the Lord's Supper are Biblically observed, these two ordinances illustrate and aid in teaching the true plan of salvation.

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God: The Righteous Judge

Psalm 96:13
Oct 07, 2007

"Before the LORD; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."

When we consider the different judgments in the Scriptures, we must think of the severe judgment that Jesus Christ endured on the cross of Calvary. He had no sin, yet the sin of the whole world was placed on Christ. "...and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). Christ was condemned as though he had been the vilest sinner. God the Father saw the travail of his soul and was satisfied (Isaiah 53:11).

Those who are saved by God's grace will never be condemned (John 3:18). Each child of God will face the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10). At the judgment seat of Christ, we will answer to God for the life we have lived as Christians. Rewards will be given for faithful service (I Corinthians 3:13-15).

Those who reject Christ will face the great white throne judgment as described in Revelation 20:11-15. All the lost will be judged from the book of life. (They will be shown that their name is not in the book of life.) The lost will also be judged from the books of the Bible. (They will be shown plainly the reason for their eternal damnation.)

Even in this life, there is judgment for God's people. Disobedience without repentance will bring God's judgment in chastisement. "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Hebrews 11:6). This chastening judgment is for correction even as a loving father corrects his children (Hebrews 11:9).

In all his judgments, God acts according to his full knowledge, and according to principles of mercy and truth (Psalm 96).

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What Kind of Church? - Part 2

Ephesians 4:5 and Jude 3
Sep 30, 2007

A Church of the same faith and order. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). "...and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). The word "faith" in these two verses refers to the doctrines of God's inspired word that we are to receive, believe, and teach.

When a church receives a new member by letter of recommendation from another church body, the receiving church, by its actions, is recognizing the scriptural authority of the other church and thus giving approval to its doctrinal teachings.

It has been common among Missionary Baptists to have a policy on receiving members by letter to be worded in this manner. "We will accept new members by letter from another church of the SAME FAITH AND ORDER. Those who have been members of a church of a DIFFERENT FAITH AND ORDER and who now testify of a personal experience of salvation by grace through faith and who agree to accept and work in harmony with our doctrinal statement will be received as candidates for baptism and then full fellowship and membership in our church body." This has been true in all the churches where I have served as pastor for almost fifty years.

Serious vital differences in doctrine among churches that use the name "Baptist" make it necessary that we check into the doctrinal position of each church before we receive a new member by letter of recommendation. For example, the book, "The Proceedings of the Conference on Biblical Inerrancy," published by Broadman Press in 1987, shows that some "Baptist" pastors and Seminary professors no longer teach the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. Consider this statement on page 365, part of an address by J. Kenneth Eakins, Professor of Archaeology and Old Testament Interpretation at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California. "David L. Dye, a respected scientist and Christian wrote, "At some point in time, perhaps 20,000 years ago, perhaps earlier, one of the primate products of the God-designed biological processes had a body somewhat similar to the body of today" God took this primate and made a man of him." Although many Christians doubt that it happened that way, all of us need to be careful to respect the views of others and to realize how precarious it is, when, in the absence of unequivocal Biblical teaching, we insist that God could not have done something in a particular way."

Note: Bible Believers are careful to respect the plain teaching of Genesis on the creation of Adam and Eve.

Part 1

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What Kind of Church? - Part 1

II Corinthians 11:2
Sep 23, 2007

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (II Corinthians 11:2).

Paul was concerned about the purity of the Corinthian church; in its preaching of the true gospel, in doctrinal truth, and in Christian morals. God's pastors must be concerned about the same issues today. There is much confusion in the religious world. It has been common for religious writers to identify what they call the "Christian community" into two divisions; Protestants and Catholic. Based on the Holy Scriptures, which describe a true New Testament church, we as old-time Missionary Baptists reject their classification. We know from documented church history that there is an unbroken lineage of true churches of Biblical doctrine and practice in harmony with our teaching today.

I believe that it would be helpful to classify the "Christian community" into four divisions. FIRST: There are those true churches that still hold to Biblical doctrine and practice. SECOND: There are the Catholic groups that came into existence as churches were corrupted by false doctrine in the second and third centuries. These false doctrines include: salvation from sin in the water of baptism, infant baptism, replacing the Bible as the rule of faith and practice with human reason and tradition, and the development of the ministerial hierarchy which brought about the office of the pope. THIRD: There are Protestants, who came out of the Catholic organization. FOURTH: There are churches that still use the Baptist name but have adopted the Protestant position on many major doctrines and practices. They are now in their actions identified as PROTESTANT/BAPTIST. Some of the practices and doctrines of these Protestant/Baptists include: claiming that Baptist churches first started in England as part of the Protestant Reformation, teaching the false doctrine of the universal invisible church, removing the Lord's supper from its rightful place in the membership of a true church, and inventing the false teaching of "open communion," promoting fellowship with organizations that have corrupted the true gospel message.

Part 2

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Love for Missions

Acts 1:8
Sep 16, 2007

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). These words were spoken by our Lord to his first church just before he ascended back to heaven.

We love missions because we love Jesus Christ, and it is our desire to obey him and fulfill this commandment in Acts 1:8.

We love missions because we love lost souls, and we know that Jesus Christ died for every person in this world. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9).

We love missions because we know that the gospel message is the "power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16). God-called missionaries, sent out by true churches, preaching the true gospel message, will bring many precious souls to salvation.

We love missions because we love the men and their families who are making great sacrifices to carry the gospel message to precious souls. Our hearts go out to the men and their families that we are supporting: Brother Jim Black and Brother Mike Rogers in Romania, and Brother Bill Cooper and Brother Dennis Carrell in Mongolia.

We love missions because we love the Lord's churches, and these men are not only preaching the gospel but also teaching the converts to follow the Lord in the establishment of true churches.

Here is a prayer request from our Saviour. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:37-38).

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Remove not the Ancient Landmark

Proverbs 22:28
Sep 09, 2007

"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set" (Proverbs 22:28).

The term "landmark" used in the Old Testament refers to the markings, usually large stones, which identified a person's property. In the early to mid-eighteen hundreds, well-respected Baptist pastors, educators, and publishers (such as J.R. Graves, J.M. Pendleton, Judson Taylor, and T.T. Eaton) were using the term to identify old-time Baptist teachings that set the Baptist churches apart from the Protestants. Liberalism was gaining ground among many Baptist churches, just as it is today. A very informative book by J.M. Pendleton, "LANDMARKISM," published in 1899, has a very good article by Judson Taylor. The following excerpt is from that article.

The Evils of Religious Liberalism

"Liberalism has taken the place of Persecution. Persecution killed men, but prospered the cause; whilst Liberalism kills the cause by flattering men into compromises. Persecuted Truth has survived in all ages, but Compromised Truth never survives the fatal tragedy in which the voice of God is only made equal to the voice of human tradition. Persecution is the act of an enemy against the truth, but Compromise is the act of a professed friend. God engages to counteract and overrule opposition, but heaven has no promise for that ill that deliberately sacrifices the truth of God, either from fear or for the applause of men. So of the two, Persecution is far preferable to the Liberalism that claims the various denominations of the times as all "churches" or "branches" of the church of Christ."

"Whilst the Baptists stood the raging blast of the Pope for more than a thousand years, yet it is a fact that many of our churches are now shorn of all their strength whilst sleeping upon the lap of this bewitching Delilah of the nineteenth century. But the song is so sweet and the lap is so fragrant that thousands of silly Baptists throw aside the habiliments of their strength and lull down into the sweet but deathly sleep of the popular "Liberalism" of the day.

---

Paul warned of this turning away from the truth in II Timothy 4:1-5. In verse 2 he said, "Preach the word." Will we accept the preaching of the Word or will we seek to have teachers to tickle the "itching ears" (verse 3).

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Following Jesus in the Truth

John 14:6 and Ephesians 4:15
Sep 02, 2007

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).

The truth is very precious." Jesus used the words "the truth" to describe himself in John 14:6. He was always truthful in his doctrine, his message, and his promises. Jesus Christ is described in Revelation 1:5 in these words: "...Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness..." We are taught in God's Holy Bible, the Word of Truth (John 17:17), that we are to follow in the steps of Jesus (I Peter 2:21) . When we follow Jesus, we will "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).

In our family relationships, in our jobs, and in all our church and social contacts, we are to be people of truthfulness and honesty. Our testimony is damaged whenever we fall short of this responsibility.

Teaching the truth is a vital part of our commission as a New Testament church. When Paul wrote by inspiration of God in I Timothy 3:15, he described the house of God, the church of the living God, as "the pillar and ground of the truth." The Lord's church is set on the foundation (ground) of Jesus Christ and uplifts and supports (pillar) His precious truth.

Oh, precious flock, my heart's desire and prayer to God is that this congregation may always uphold and proclaim all the truth of God's Word.

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Workers and Servants

II Corinthians 6:1, 4-11
Aug 26, 2007

"We then, as workers together with him..." (II Corinthians 6:1). "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God..." (II Corinthians 6:4). The word "ministers" means "servants." The work and the service are not just for pastors and missionaries (recall the last two articles about Aquila and Priscilla).

From II Corinthians 6:4-11, we learn of the many trials and blessings that the servant of God may face."...in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned," By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged" (II Corinthians 6:4-11). In our modern English, the last verse means "we have a big heart, full of love for you."

When we consider God's wonderful grace and the great price that Jesus Christ paid to redeem us and give us everlasting life, we must say that no sacrifice for the service of God is too much. When we consider the positive things in these verses that God provides to support us in our work with him, we must not grow weary and give up the fight.

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The Vital Role of Church Members, Part 2

Acts 18:24-28
Aug 19, 2007

By Jeffery Barron

"And he [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ" (Acts 18:26-28).

We know Aquila and Pricilla as good friends of the apostle Paul. While Paul is not mentioned in these scriptures, you can't leave him out of this story. He was at least one of the men that God used to train Aquila and Pricilla in the ways of the Lord. Paul thought of Aquilla and Pricilla as "helpers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3). The word "helpers" is translated from a compound Greek word. The first denotes a partnership, and the second indicates labor. Therefore, Paul considered them fellow laborers. At the time of the contact with Apollos, Aquila and Pricilla were members of the church at Ephesus.

Aquila and Pricilla recognized an opportunity to present the truth of the Gospel. They approached Apollos and "expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly" (verse 26). The use of the phrase "more perfectly" indicates that they explained the Gospel more completely and accurately than what Apollos had heard from John the Baptist. They did not present anything different from John, but they were able to provide additional details like the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of his church.

Did I mention that Aquilla and Pricilla were church members? They applied both the training that they had received from Paul and their own studies of God's Word. They took their vital role as church members very seriously and acted upon the opportunity God presented them to share the complete Gospel with Apollos. It took the ministry of Paul and the application of God's Word by Aquila and Pricilla to prepare the man Apollos for his ministry in the Lord's churches.

May the Lord give us the strength and desire to be fellow laborers with our pastor in our work for Jesus Christ.

Part 1

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The Vital Role of Church Members, Part 1

Acts 18:24-28
Aug 12, 2007

By Jeffery Barron

"And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John" (Acts 18:24-25).

Apollos, a Jew and a citizen of the great city of Alexandria, is described here as eloquent. This implies that he was a dynamic public speaker and was likely someone that captured the attention of his audience when he spoke. His communication skills were partly a product of his natural born skills and the excellent education he received in Alexandria. Apollos is also described as being "mighty in the scriptures." This implies that he had a great understanding of the Old Testament prophesies concerning the promises that the Messiah would come.

The only message that Apollos had heard regarding the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies was spoken by John the Baptist: "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). It is also probable that Apollos recognized John the Baptist as the one spoken of in Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. Apollos accepted the message from John and was baptized, but he had not learned that the Messiah had in fact appeared.

We know that he spoke "and taught diligently the things of the Lord." In fact, we learn in the first part of Acts 19 that Apollos had baptized some disciples, but he did it without church authority. Apollos understood the message of salvation, but he did not have any knowledge of the work of the Lord's churches.

Apollos was a man that became a great minister for the Lord. However, he had a lot to learn before he would be ready for the Lord's work, and God had a plan for him.

Part 2

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The Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-20
Aug 05, 2007

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

When Jesus gave this commission, there was only one church body in the entire world. That church was the congregation of baptized disciples that he had called out to serve under his leadership. Their faithfulness to this commission would result in many other local churches being organized. The book of Acts shows how this church was empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and then persecuted and scattered from Jerusalem.

Among the different kinds of Baptists, there are at least three views as to the proper authority to carry out the commission of Christ. First (and in my opinion, the scriptural position), is that the commission which was first given to one church is still a local one church commission. That is, each church of the Lord has the responsibility to fulfill the commission. Yes, churches may help each other just as the churches of Macedonia helped Paul when he worked in Corinth (II Corinthians 11: 8-9).

A second view that has no support or example in the scriptures is that the church may delegate its authority to a mission board and place the responsibility for sending out missionaries with the mission board. Is there any mission board shown in Acts chapter 13 when Paul and Barnabas were sent out from the Antioch church? No.

A third view, with no Biblical example or support has been adopted among some Baptists. This position is that messengers who gather from many different churches for a meeting (such as we will have here at Landmark MBC on August 10 and 11) bring the great commission authority from their churches. By this view, the messengers may elect and send out missionaries.

Our best plan of action is to follow the book of Acts and do our mission work as it was done in the church at Antioch and the church at Philippi.

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Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Wool, Hay, Stubble

1 Corinthians 3:12-15
Jul 29, 2007

"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

These scriptures help us to understand the difference between being saved by God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) and God giving rewards for faithful service. The word "crown" is also used to refer to rewards (I Cor. 9:24-27).

Some things come to us as a free gift in salvation, and our works will not have any influence on our receiving these wonderful gifts. Some of these things are (a) eternal life (John 3:16), (b) freedom from condemnation and the freedom from the law of sin and death (John 3:18 and Romans 8: 1-2), (c) eternal security as a child of God (John 5:24), (d) a new glorified body in the resurrection and "we shall be like [Christ]" (I John 3:2 and I Cor. 15:42-57), (e) having our name written in the Lamb's book of life. Revelation 20:15 contains a warning to the lost but also a promise to the saved that they will not face the second death because their names are in the book of life. Having our names in the book of life also gives us the wonderful blessing of being with Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem.

The scriptures in I Corinthians 3 and the parables of the faithful servants in Luke 19 show us that God will commend, praise, reward, and give crowns to those who are saved who serve him faithfully. This faithful service is described as "building with gold, silver, and precious stones." This faithful service is described as to "run that ye may obtain" (I Cor. 9:24). Paul described this faithful service in II Tim. 2:5. "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully."

Our attitude as God's people should be that we praise Him for his wonderful saving grace and then work faithfully for him to show our thanks.

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The Holy Spirit -- the Spirit of Truth

John 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:13
Jul 15, 2007

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17).

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me" (John 15:26).

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13).

In three of the four verses just quoted, the Holy Spirit of God is described by the words "Spirit of truth." The Holy Spirit is a person of the Trinity. Therefore, he is God, even as Jesus Christ, the Son, is God as shown in John 1:1. One of the characteristics of God is that He never lies but always speaks the truth (John 14:6, Hebrews 6:18).

We can have full confidence that the inspired Word of God, given by the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the truth in all parts and in the whole (II Timothy 3:15-16). "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved [or steered] by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21).

God has promised that the Holy Spirit will lead us (Romans 8:14). We can be positively sure that the leadership of the Spirit will always be in harmony with the true Word of God, and that the leadership of the Spirit will always cause us to walk in a way that exalts Jesus Christ (John 15:26).

When you make decisions in your life, pray for wisdom that you may understand the precious leadership of the Holy Spirit.

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The Blessings of Going to the House of the Lord

Psalm 122:1
Jul 08, 2007

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."

The house of the LORD is now identified as a scriptural New Testament church according to I Timothy 3:15. "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

It is a blessing to attend church because God commands it, and it is always good to obey God's commands. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).

By our attendance and fellowship with other Christians, we follow the Biblical example of the early churches. Notice in Acts 2:1, how the Lord's first church was meeting together "with one accord in one place." Notice the reference in I Corinthians ll:20 to the Corinthian church coming together "into one place."

The things that the church membership does in the services are a help to our Christian growth and our Christian work. We worship, we pray, we sing, we give, we study God's Word, we learn about mission work, and we fellowship with each other.

Attending church regularly is a way to let our light shine before others. Others will know that we really care about the Lord's work. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Your fellow church members will be edified, i.e., lifted up, by your faithfulness. We are told in I Thessalonians 5:11, I Corinthians 14:5, 12, 26, and in Ephesians 4:12 that we have a responsibility to lift each other up with encouragement.

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Free from the Law of Sin and Death

Romans 8:2-3
Jul 01, 2007

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom 8:2-3).

There are three laws named in these two verses. First, consider the law of sin and death. In Romans 6:23 we learn, "For the wages of sin is death..." In James 1:15 we read, "...and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." From the fall of Adam and Eve until now, the consequences of sin have been physical and spiritual death.

Romans 8:3 tells us what the law could not do. This law refers to the commandments given by God through Moses. Because of sin in the flesh, no one could completely obey God's law. "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Under God's law, we are condemned (John 3:18) and have no hope (Ephesians 2:12).

There is a law that is greater than the law of sin and death, and this third law in these verses is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. God sent his own Son, who lived in this world without sin, even though the Son lived here in the likeness of sinful flesh. Christ took on himself the sin of the whole world and paid the sin debt by his atoning death on the cross of Calvary. Come to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith and you will be made free from the law of sin and death. You will no longer be condemned but will be forgiven, justified, saved, born-again, and will be given eternal life as a free gift. Now that is freedom for life and eternity!

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Pleasant Fellowship

Psalm 133
Jun 24, 2007

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

While in Tulsa, Oklahoma this past week for the messenger body meeting of the American Baptist Association (ABA), I had the joy of seeing and having fellowship with many people that I have known throughout my ministry. It was good to see Brother Bob Nusko and his wife, Evelyn. Brother Nusko offered valuable counsel (along with my Pastor, Brother Claude Walker) just a few days after I answered God's call to the ministry on February 4, 1958. Brother Shigeo Kanaoya, still serving as Pastor in Yokohama, Japan, was my roommate at the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, during the school year of 1958. We were able to spend some time together and reminiscence about God's wonderful blessings in our lives.

I was able to visit with many students who were in my classes at the Gulf Coast Baptist Institute in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who are now serving as pastors and missionaries in many different states. The three men who were members in churches where I served as pastor who answered God's call to the ministry were at the meeting, and we had some time together. Two of these men now serve as missionaries.

This meeting reminded me of the great value of fellowship with our brethren. Fellowship is like precious ointment when we enjoy it in the local church and so precious when we enjoy fellowship with other churches of the same faith and order.

Just a reminder from the June 3, 2007 article in our church bulletin, when we meet this Sunday night for the Lord's Supper, we can only observe the Supper in a scriptural way, that is, when there is fellowship in our church.

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What Kind of Father?

Ephesians 6:4
Jun 17, 2007

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4, KJV).

The Amplified Bible gives this translation: "Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4, AMP).

This verse and many others in the scriptures show us that the responsibilities of fathers need attention each day of the year and not just on this one day.

One very important statement that God made about Abraham is this: "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him" (Genesis 18:19, KJV).

Later when the Law of Moses was given to the nation of Israel, the LORD gave this command: "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:5-7, KJV).

One of the best scriptures for fathers to consider is the statement of Joshua: "...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15, KJV). We need fathers today with the same commitment to the LORD as Joshua.

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Working Together to Get the Job Done

II Corinthians 8:4
Jun 10, 2007

"...and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." This last statement of II Corinthians 8:4 is part of Paul's commendation to the churches of Macedonia for their generous help and cooperation in his work for the Lord. Since more than one church was involved, we could say that this is an example of churches in association for the Lord's work. Consider this illustration of associated work.

Early on Saturday June 9, three men -- Pastor Brasseal, of Landmark, Pastor Paul Reeves, of Calvary MBC in Aurora, and Brother Doug Wick, a window contractor and a member of Calvary MBC (Brother Doug's young son also helped) -- installed new windows in our church auditorium. The fifty-five year old windows had to be removed, the openings prepared for the new double glass windows, and the new windows installed, fastened, and caulked. We had a total of twenty six man-hours donated for this work.

Consider these facts: (1) our cooperation and associated work was voluntary, (2) we retained our own individual freedom and independence as we worked together, (3) we made good progress by helping each other, and (4) this job would have been almost impossible for one man.

We see examples of individual churches in association in the Lord's work in the New Testament. Paul was sent on his labors by the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1-4). Paul worked for eighteen months in Corinth and established a church there (Acts 18:1-11). While he worked in Corinth, the churches of Macedonia sent financial support to Paul (II Corinthians 11:8-9). Each church helped because they desired to help and not because a mission board ordered them to cooperate. Each church retained its own independence. The work of the Lord was advanced because the churches worked together on Biblical principles. These are the bedrock principles that guide true Missionary Baptist churches in their associated work today.

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Five Important Lessons in the Observance of the Lord's Supper

I Corinthians 10:16-21
Jun 03, 2007

1. The use of the unleavened bread to picture the sinless life and body of Jesus Christ teaches us that Jesus is not just a good man, but that he is the sinless Savior, the very Son of God manifest in the flesh (John 1:14, II Corinthians 5:21).

2. The fruit of the vine that pictures the blood of Jesus Christ teaches us that we are redeemed by his blood and now we belong to God (I Corinthians 6:20, I Peter 1:18-19).

3. By the practice of closed communion, in which only the members of our church body will take the Lord's supper together, we reinforce the doctrine that the church is a local body of saved, baptized disciples who are in covenant relationship to work together to fulfill the commission of Christ (I Corinthians 10:17, Matthew 28:19-20).

4. The practice of church discipline is supported when we see how the church at Corinth was not to have communion with the brother who was living a sinful life. The church at Corinth was to put him out of their fellowship (I Corinthians 5:1-13).

5. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come (I Corinthians 11:26). When we study I Corinthians 11:26, we are reminded that Jesus will return and that his churches are to continue to observe the Lord's Supper 'till "he descends from heaven with a shout..." (I Thessalonians 4:16).

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Another Very Import Memorial Day

I Corinthians 11:23-25
May 27, 2007

Our nation will observe Memorial Day on May 28, a day to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces, especially those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country. This is a good time to offer special prayers for our nation in this time of war.

Our church will observe the Lord's Supper in a few weeks. The day of that service will be a day of remembrance for what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary.

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me" ( I Cor. 11:23-25).

Those of us who have experienced the wonderful grace of eternal salvation need to remember the sacrifice of our Savior on the old rugged cross. By the death of Jesus, we have, "redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7). We were separated from God and were far from him but now "are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13). We now belong to God with all the blessings of being in his family. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, ...But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19). Our eternal home in heaven has been provided through the precious blood of Jesus as is shown by the music around the throne of God. "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9). A true understanding of what Christ has done for us will cause us to humbly say, "O Lord, not my will but thy will be done."

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The Lord's Glorious Church

Ephesians 5:27
May 20, 2007

"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27).

On Sunday night, a new member will be added to our church. Laura Hooper was received on profession of faith as a candidate for baptism. The baptism is planned for the Sunday night service. Church membership is very important in our service to God. Yes, you can be saved and go to heaven without church membership, but for the glory of God (Ephesians 3:21) and for Christian growth (Ephesians 4:14-16), you need membership in the Lord's church.

Consider these scriptures that teach us the importance of church membership and active service in a true Bible-teaching church.

I. Jesus Christ is the founder and the foundation (Matthew 16:18).

II. Jesus purchased his church with his own blood (Acts 20:28).

III. The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to empower the church for its world- wide mission (Acts 1:8).

IV. Each true church has the authority to administer the ordinances of Baptism (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 11:21-26).

V. The Lord's church is the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 1:23). The word "fullness" in its verb form means to complete, fulfill, and carry out the mission. In the noun form of Ephesians 1:23, the word refers to that institution that does complete, fulfill, and carry out the mission of Christ.

VI. The Lord's church is the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15). With the precious Word of God as our only rule of faith and practice, we as one of the Lord's churches are to support and uphold the truth.

It is a blessing to fellowship, worship, and work with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the membership of a church where we experience Christian love and Bible teaching.

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What Kind of Mother?

II Timothy 1:5
May 13, 2007

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

According to our text verse, Timothy had a very good mother and grandmother. Both were women of unfeigned (sincere) faith. This kind of godly mother is described in Proverbs 31:10 as having value "far above rubies."

Another kind of mother is described in recent television and newspaper reports. Authorities responded to a call about a seven year old boy, Chandler, who died from starvation. Chandler had been removed from the custody of his mother who had been accused of child abuse against the boy and his younger half-brother. The two boys" maternal grandmother had been taking care of the boys until January of this year. The grandmother stated that drugs made it impossible for her daughter to care for the boys. The Child Welfare Department would not allow the grandmother to care for the boys because her apartment did not have enough bedrooms. Custody of both boys was given to the younger boy's father and his live-in girlfriend. They had been keeping Chandler locked in a closet. His elementary school teacher had contacted authorities because of her concern that Chandler was being abused. Shortly after, he was removed from the school and the teachers were told that he was being home schooled. The father and his girlfriend have been charged with the murder of Chandler.

How many violations of good Biblical order can you see in this story? (1) Two boys born out of wedlock. (2) An abusive mother using drugs. (3) A grandmother denied the opportunity to provide the loving care that she desired to give because a government agency counted the number of bedrooms as more important than her love. An immoral father and his girlfriend given custody of the boys by a Child Welfare Department that seems to have no concern for decency.

What a wonderful blessing from God to have a loving responsible Christian mother.

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Resurrection and Baptism

Romans 6:3-4
May 06, 2007

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Pastor's note: The word "into" from the Greek "eis," which is used twice in verse 3 and once in verse 4, has the meaning "with reference to.")

We have had four lessons in our Wednesday Bible Study/Prayer Meeting on the subject of the resurrection. On May 2, we considered, among others, these four scriptures: Romans 6:4, Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 2:12 and 3:1-3. The expressions "hath raised us up together," "you are risen with him," and "if ye then be risen with him" are not explaining the physical bodily resurrection of I Corinthians 15:51-57. We learn from the context of Ephesians 2:6 and Colossians 3:1 that the change from "death unto life" (John 5:24) is a spiritual change that takes place in regeneration, salvation, and the new birth.

Baptism enters into the picture in Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 because there is a three-fold picture presented in the burial and raising up of the person in the ordinance of baptism. First, the ordinance is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Second, the ordinance shows that we shall go down in death, but God will raise this mortal body to immortality in a physical bodily resurrection. Third, this Biblical ordinance pictures the change of the inward man from death to life. In Christ, we have new life. We are now to "walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Baptism does not produce the change from death unto life. Baptism is a picture that we have been raised out of condemnation to eternal life in Christ. This change could be called a "spiritual resurrection." Baptism is a promise and a pledge that we will not live as we lived when we were lost, but we will now live the Christian life.

Are you keeping your promise?

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To Enjoy?

I Timothy 6:17
Apr 29, 2007

"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Timothy 6:17).

Is it possible that a Christian can actually enjoy the things that God has so graciously given to us? We are living in "perilous times" (II Timothy 3:1). Jesus did promise that, in this world, we would "have tribulation" (John 16:33). The Bible does tell us about the trial of our faith (I Peter 1:7), and Peter also writes, "...ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations" (I Peter 1:6).

The Christian life is not just perilous times, tribulation, and trials. Yes, these troubles may afflict us, but there are blessings to enjoy. Consider some of these verses. In reference to Christ, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (I Peter 1:8). In Philippians 4:4, we are given this command, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Just look at all the blessings listed in that last chapter of Philippians. "The Lord is at hand" (Philippians 4:5). "Let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

With God's eternal salvation, with His love and care all around you, with fellowship, companionship, and love from family and friends, and with God working out his eternal purpose in your life, you can enjoy your Christian life.

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Faith That Pleases God

Hebrews 11:6
Apr 22, 2007

"But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

The saving faith that pleases God is shown in the example of the man that Jesus healed of his blindness (John 9:1-41). Jesus asked this man the question, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" (verse 35). The man did not give a direct answer, but instead he asked Jesus, "Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" Jesus answered, "Thou hast both seen him and it is he that talketh with thee." This man's answer that shows his faith is in verse 36. "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."

Those of us today cannot converse with Jesus face to face as the man of John 9 did, but our heart can still answer, "Lord, I believe."

Faith that pleases God after salvation is demonstrated in the obedience of Abraham when he offered his son Isaac in obedience to the will of God. "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called; Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Hebrews 11:17-19). The trial of your faith may come in a different way, but you can be sure it will come. By faith, surrender in obedience to the will of God, and your faith will please God.

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Accomplishing the Mission: Report on Mongolian Missions

Luke 4:18
Apr 15, 2007

From Brother Dennis Carrell: Our precious Lord and Savior continues to accomplish His mission as outlined in Luke 4:18. Ganhoya professed Jesus as personal Savior, obediently followed in baptism, and committed to the Lord's work as part of the local body. Ganhoya's life and testimony give evidence that Jesus has delivered this man from the captivity of a sinful, alcoholic life style. Bod, a young single mother, also professed Jesus as personal Savior, obediently received baptism, and committed to the Lord's work as part of His local church. She gives evidence that Jesus mends broken hearts and lives and heals those greatly bruised by a sinful life. Rich Heart Baptist Church took action this month to exclude 14 people from membership in the church, as they had shown no interest in being a part of this body by their non-attendance. This was a major step in spiritual growth in this Asian culture which doesn't like to be involved in anything negative. As a result of this action, God has blessed the church with unity in love and purpose and a revived and intensified desire to share the glorious gospel with others.

From Brother Bill Cooper: Well, we have our second month of deputation behind us. God continues to place wonderful and hospitable people in our way. I am now working on a webpage for the Mongolian Mission Team and the Rich Heart Baptist Church. I hope to have it up and running by the next report. We are presently in Florida until the middle of April, and then we will be heading up the Eastern Coast.

From Pastor Brasseal: Our church treasurer was able to send two offerings for this mission work: one from the Ladies for Brother Cooper's personal support and another offering given to the Ladies Auxiliary designated for the Mongolian building fund. Thank God for good mission work and the blessed privilege to help.

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: An Essential Bible Doctrine

I Corinthians 15:1-58
Apr 08, 2007

The resurrection of Christ proves that the prophetic promises made in Old Testament times about Christ are always true. Nothing can prevent the eternal purpose of God. On the day of Pentecost, Peter quoted from Psalm 16 and preached that God's promise in that passage was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:25-31).

The resurrection of Christ proves that He is truly the eternal Son of God. "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).

The resurrection of Christ shows that our trust in Him is not a vain, useless faith (I Corinthians 15:17-20). True faith in Christ as our personal Savior guarantees us an eternal home with him in heaven (John 14:1-6).

The resurrection of Christ proves that life does not end at death. Christ died a physical death. "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:46). His spirit, very much alive, went into paradise, to fulfill the promise Christ had made to the one thief who had asked that Christ remember him (Luke 23:42-46).

The resurrection of Christ shows that he has power over Satan (Hebrews 2:14-15) and over death and hell (Revelation 1:18).

The resurrection of Christ shows that we are to be "stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58).

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Christ, Our Passover

I Corinthians 5:7
Apr 01, 2007

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

Observant Jewish people will have seven days of Passover from April 3 to April 10.

When we study how Paul, by inspiration of God, used the lesson of the Passover (Exodus 12:14-50) to teach the Lord's church in Corinth a valuable lesson on moral purity in the church, we find some interesting comparisons between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Leaven in Old Testament and New Testament times is used to illustrate and picture sin because leaven will spread rapidly from just a small bit to the whole container of dough. In preparation for the Passover, the people of Israel were instructed to remove all leaven from their houses (Exodus 12:15). The church at Corinth (God's house, I Tim. 3:15) was told by God's authority to remove the leaven (the sinful member living contrary to good moral order) from their membership in preparation for the observance of the Lord's Supper. For anyone to complain when church discipline is done in a loving Biblical manner would be like an Israelite complaining because God commanded that leaven be removed from his house for the seven days of Passover.

Christ is pictured in the Passover as indicated by Paul in I Cor. 5:7. The lamb selected was to be a male of the first year, without blemish. When the Passover was first observed, the lamb was to be slain and the blood applied to the upper and side door posts of each home. When the death angel passed over Egypt that night, there was safety in each home where the blood was applied.

Even so today, the precious blood of Christ applied to our heart and soul brings safety and security, not for just one night, but for all eternity.

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The Joy of Sowing and Reaping

Psalm 126:5-6
Mar 25, 2007

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

With the change in our weather as spring arrives, it is time to get some seed in the ground. We cannot plant the tomatoes and peppers just yet, but a variety of greens and onions do very well if planted now. I planted a few things two weeks ago, and it was delightful to walk along the edge of the garden and see spinach, mustard, turnips, and onions popping their little green growth through the soil.

There is even greater joy when we see the promises of Psalm 126:5-6 fulfilled according to God's sure and unchanging Word. The parable of the sower as taught by our Saviour in Matthew 13 teaches us that the precious seed is the Word of God. Jesus also taught us that not all seed will bear good fruit. The seed that fell by the way side and was devoured by the fowls is a picture of how Satan keeps some from even considering and understanding the Word. This is similar to what Paul wrote in II Corinthians 4:3-4, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

God still has power to change lives by the glorious gospel, and we see in the parable of the sower how some become fruitful Christians.

May God give each of us the burden, the vision, the opportunity, and the wonderful joy of sowing his Word and seeing that Word bear fruit to his glory.

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How To Change a Church

Jeremiah 16:6
Mar 18, 2007

The following article appeared in the February 2007 mission report of Brother Dan Holt who is serving as pastor of a new congregation in Roswell, New Mexico.

"How to change a church" thus reads the title of an article in a weekly publication sent out to my email address. This solicitation hopes to lure you into using their "hot tips" to further enhance your ministry and at the same time line their pockets. This "enlightening" article condemns the "old fashioned" church for lack of change since, according to them, the church's relationship to our modern society is changing, and, at the same time, they extol the virtues of progressive change. The change here implied is not whether to use a laptop computer with a video projector rather than hymnbooks from the pew or whether we sit in movable chairs rather than padded pews, the change implied goes much deeper than that. Frankly, change in and of itself is not necessarily good or bad. If change takes us away from the primary purpose of the church and the principles of God's Word -- it is bad. However, if change brings us closer to the will and way of God -- it is good. Personally, I would prefer that the contemporary church undergo a real change! Not change to new directions, but a change back to the old ways when the church did not look so much like the world, when Bible study and prayer meant more than "Christian entertainment," and flashy gimmicks, when folks stood more in awe of God's amazing grace than mega-churches and TV preachers, when preachers spoke more about the holiness of Almighty God, rather than the acceptability of mankind, when God's people relied more on Him rather than their own intellect and money. My prayer is simply this: LORD, help me to lead this church into the kind of change that You would have, that it would be more like the church of Your choosing. Jeremiah 6:16, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls."

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No Fellowship with Darkness, Part 3

Ephesians 5:11
Mar 11, 2007

Our doctrines and practices are different. This article is a summary of the last part of Dr. Paul Goodwin's article reprinted in the February 2007 issue of the Missionary Baptist Searchlight. We have already discussed the section on our differences in church history with the churches in the Ecumenical Movement. We also have shown that we have major differences in basic Bible doctrines such as (1) the plenary verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, (2) the very nature and attributes of the Triune God, (3) the total depravity of the human race, (4) Christ, the virgin born Son of God, who died on the cross for all mankind, (5) one way of salvation in all ages by grace through faith, (6) eternal security for all who are saved through the blood of Christ, and (7) the origin and nature of a true New Testament church.

Dr. Goodwin's third section of the article is under the heading: Practice. Missionary Baptists believe that the work of the church (local in nature) is summarized in the commission of Christ in Matthew 28:19-20. We are to win people in all nations to salvation in Christ. Baptism is to be practiced following the Biblical order. Only those who truly come to Christ in repentance and faith are to be baptized. Baptism is to be a complete immersion by the authority of a true church. Baptism is a prerequisite to church membership and participation in communion. The Lord's Supper is a local church ordinance restricted to faithful church members (i.e., closed communion). It is a memorial service in which the fruit of the vine pictures the blood of Christ, and the unleavened bread pictures the sinless body of Jesus Christ.

We cannot fellowship the darkness of the Ecumenical Movement. To do so, we would have to deny our history, change our doctrines, and violate the sacred practice of the church ordinances.

Part 1 | Part 2

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No Fellowship with Darkness, Part 2

Ephesians 5:11
Mar 04, 2007

This article is a continuation of the article that appeared in our bulletin on February 18. The late Dr. Paul Goodwin first delivered the message in 1964. We must first consider some foundation truths:

(A) The inspired scriptures are the only guide in all matters of faith and doctrine (II Tim. 3:15-17).

(B) There is definitely religious error in this world and Satan has the messengers and the means to promote his false teachings (II Cor. 11: 13-15).

(C) Any person, who under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repents and turns in faith to Jesus Christ for salvation is truly born again and will be in heaven.

(D) We believe in freedom of religion and will only use godly Christian influence, the wonderful gospel message and Bible teaching based on love to bring others to our viewpoint (Ephesians 4:15 and II Cor. 10:4-5).

(E) We love the truth of Biblical doctrine and cannot compromise any Biblical truth to gain fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness and error (Ephesians 5:11).

In his message, "Missionary Baptists and the Ecumenical Movement," Dr. Goodwin gave these three reasons that Missionary Baptists should not unite with the Ecumenical Movement.

1. Our history is different from Catholic and Protestant organizations. We had our beginning when Jesus Christ, during his earthly ministry, called out his first disciples and established his first church body. This fact is documented by historians of all denominations. There has been an unbroken succession of churches that hold to the same doctrine, practice, and ordinances that we hold today.

2. Our doctrines are different. In the Ecumenical Movement, there is a violation of I Cor. 1:10. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Part 1 | Part 3

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I'm Free

Psalm 16:11
Feb 25, 2007

For the complete article dedicated to the Memory of Sister Betty Pafford, click here.

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No Fellowship with Darkness, Part 1

Ephesians 5:11
Feb 18, 2007

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

The following article by the late Dr. Paul Goodwin explains one area of spiritual darkness that we must understand and reprove." Dr. Goodwin was one of my first teachers in the Missionary Baptist Seminary, Little Rock, in 1958." He combined a heart-felt evangelistic fervor with a strong stand on doctrine." This article was recently reprinted in the Missionary Baptist Searchlight under the title, "Missionary Baptists and the Ecumenical Movement."

There is a plea in professed Christianity for a world-wide unity. This plea has crystallized into a movement to unite all churches into a world church. "Ecumenical" is the word employed to describe this movement. The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the National Council of Churches U.S.A. are the chief channels through which this movement is operating." They include some 200 denominations in nearly 100 countries with a combined membership of over 300 million.

The WCC, organized in Amsterdam in 1948, is composed of churches with widely differing doctrines and practices. In this super church are found Unitarians, Trinitarians, Liberals, Arminians, Calvinists, Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some apostate Baptists. Some of these groups accept Christ as the one and only Mediator, while others accept Mary, the mother of Jesus, and many others." Every form of church government is represented in this "one church for one world." There are national churches who believe in the union of church and state and there are churches who oppose this doctrine." There are dozens of ways of communion and worship represented in this world church of "unity."

This article first written by Dr. Goodwin in 1964 will be continued in our bulletin next week.

Pastor Brasseal has first hand information on how some once strong Biblical Missionary Baptist churches are moving closer into fellowship with these unfruitful works of darkness.

Part 2 | Part 3

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Love is a Very Splendorous Thing

I Corinthians 13
Feb 11, 2007

The title for this article is almost like the title of a very popular song that I first heard in the early 1960's." It is still my favorite popular song." The word "splendorous" is defined in the dictionary with these synonyms: grand, magnificent, glorious, praiseworthy, very good, and satisfying." When you read the description of true Christian love in I Corinthians chapter thirteen, you will see that the love described there is truly splendorous.

The following verses are from I Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified Bible):

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

According to Romans 5:5, those of us who are justified by faith in Jesus Christ have the love of God shed abroad [poured out] in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us. By this love in our hearts, we can love God, love our fellow Christians and love the lost who need to come to Christ.

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Wash Me, and I Shall be Whiter Than Snow

Psalm 51:7
Feb 04, 2007

The words in the title of this article are from the prayer of King David on the occasion when Nathan the prophet confronted him about his great sin with Bathsheba. He was guilty and he knew it, but he was also broken hearted, contrite, and ready to plead with God for mercy and forgiveness. Of the many scriptures that show true repentance, Psalm 51 is one of the most revealing." It allows us to look right into the heart and soul of this backsliding child of God. He was still saved, but he needed fellowship with God, and he needed to have the joy of his salvation restored (Psalm 51:12).

The full text of verse 7 is, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." It is very meaningful that the Psalmist refers to purging with hyssop. This small leafy plant is first mentioned in Exodus 12:22 in connection with the application of the blood of the Passover lamb." Hyssop was also used in the offering made in connection with the cleansing from leprosy for a person or a house as shown in Leviticus 14:4, 6, 51, and 52.

When David says, "purge me with hyssop," he has in mind the application of the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God.

As you see all the snow that we have received over the last seven weeks, think of Psalm 51:7 and Isaiah 1:18, "Come now let us reason together, saith the LORD, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." It is a marvelous testimony to God's grace that a sinner can come to God in true repentance and be washed and made whiter than snow.

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The Communion of the Blood of Christ

I Corinthians 10:16
Jan 28, 2007

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" In preparation for the observance of the Lord's Supper, this lesson will list several important facts about the blood of Christ.

The blood of Christ is innocent blood, even acknowledged as innocent by Judas who betrayed him. "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4).

The blood of Jesus is precious blood, as of a "lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:19)." The price of our redemption could not be paid in silver and gold (I Peter 1:18)." It is so precious that his blood can redeem us from the "curse of the law" (Galatians 3:13)." This redemption purchases us for God, we are, therefore, not our own (I Corinthians. 6:19).

The blood of Christ brings forgiveness, which is one result of redemption. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins"(Colossians 1:14).

After we are saved, we will still do actions according to the flesh, which displeases God. Repentance and confession brings the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. "...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin" (I John 1:7).

Each one of the Lord's churches has been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ." "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).

The beautiful music of heaven will praise Jesus Christ because he was slain as a lamb and made heaven possible for us through his blood (Revelation 5:8-14).

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The Lord's Supper

I Corinthians 11:20-31
Jan 21, 2007

When one of the Lord's churches meets for the communion service, that service can be a time of spiritual fellowship with the Lord and with our fellow church members. The Lord's supper is a time to remember the precious blood of Jesus Christ that was given for our redemption. The blood is pictured in the fruit of the vine. The unleavened bread pictures the sinless body of Jesus that was nailed to the cross.

Our practice of closed communion (i.e., only members of Landmark Missionary Baptist church participate in our communion service) is a great lesson on the biblical teaching of the local, visible church body and helps us to guard against the false doctrine of the universal invisible church.

Moral standards for church members are taught when we see the connection between church discipline and the Lord's supper. This connection is taught plainly in I Corinthians 5. In that church, one member was living an immoral life, and the church body was taught to "put away from among yourselves that wicked person" ( I Corinthians 5:13). They were to exclude him from the church body and not to eat the Lord's supper with him. They were not to approve his ungodly conduct because, "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (I Corinthians 5:6). Any approval would cause immoral actions to spread to other members.

Sometimes the church body does not know of the immoral actions of one member, but that member knows and he should understand that his lifestyle would warrant discipline if his conduct were known. This is where self-examination (I Corinthians 11:28) should come into action. If you participate in the Lord's supper while in such an immoral condition, you can expect the judgment of God. The right thing to do is to judge yourself, repent, confess, and have your heart cleansed before you take the Lord's supper.

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The Bible -- God's Holy Book

Isaiah 34:16, Mathew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33
Jan 14, 2007

"Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mathew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33).

"Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them" (Isaiah 34:16).

This Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter.

Christ is its subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully.

It is given to you in life, will be open in the judgement, and be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy precepts.

Author Unknown

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God Deserves Our Best

Romans 8:32
Jan 07, 2007

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

This verse shows us that God gave us his very best when he delivered up his Son for us.

Two other verses show that Jesus Christ freely gave himself for us. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10-17-18).

This principle of giving God the very best goes back into the Old Testament when God was giving his law to the nation of Israel. "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD" (Leviticus 23:10-12). The "firstfruits" were the very best of the grain and of the flocks.

A very strong rebuke is given in Malachi 1:7-8. The people were offering the polluted bread and the blind and sick animals to the Lord but keeping the very best for themselves. In Haggai 1:2-9, there is strong condemnation on the people because God had given orders that his house in Jerusalem was to be finished, but the people only cared about their own houses and neglected the house of God.

When we make our plans about how we will use our time, our talents, and our finances, let us keep in mind that because God has done so much for us, he deserves our very best.

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