The Church Name

by William J. Stewart

Mr. Melton makes two false statements in his opening sentence to this section. He wrote:

“The Church of Christ claims to reserve for itself the ONLY scriptural name for a New Testament church, although the term ‘church of Christ’ is found nowhere in the Bible.”

I don’t know of anyone who would affirm that “Church of Christ” is the ONLY scriptural name for a New Testament church. The Lord’s church is referred to a few different ways in the New Testament: Continue reading

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What Is The Church?

by William J. Stewart

Mr. Melton begins by quoting a single sentence from a Delton Haun tract, and concludes from it, “The Church of Christ people fail to realize that the ‘true church’ is a spiritual organism, NOT a physical organization.” The citation says no such thing. Haun acknowledged the Lord’s promise to build only one church (which He did, Matthew 16:18), and that it is identified in Scripture as His body (which it is, Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 1:18). Continue reading

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The Alabaster Flask

by William J. Stewart

Approaching Jerusalem in the final days of His life, Jesus stopped at Bethany. There, He was in the home of a man recorded as Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6; Mark 14:3). While at Simon’s house, a woman, identified as Mary (John 12:3) came in with a sizeable amount of fragrant oil, broke open the flask, and proceeded to anoint Jesus with the oil. Some, most notably Judas Iscariot (John 12:4) spoke out against such a “waste” of this oil, reasoning that it could have been sold and used to care for the poor. Jesus rebuked His disciples, defending the woman, as she had “…kept this for the day of My burial” (John 12:7). Their concern for the poor was noted, but the Lord stated, “…the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always” (John 12:8). So great was this deed, Jesus said, “…wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark 14:9). Continue reading

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The Sovereignty of God

by William J. Stewart

The sovereignty of God is a vital Bible doctrine. In fact, one’s understanding (or lack thereof) of God’s sovereignty will shape the rest of his religious convictions. What you believe of God’s sovereignty will determine how you understand the inherent nature of man, whether man has free will or not, how and who can become a child of God, etc.. A false concept of sovereignty will inevitably corrupt one’s understanding of these and other Bible doctrines. Thus, it is important to consider and comprehend what the Bible says about God’s sovereignty. Continue reading

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The Foolishness Of God

by William J. Stewart

There are many today who have no regard for the Bible. They believe the Scriptures to be a “crutch” for the weak, a book of “fairy tales.” They would be quick to declare the message of the gospel to be foolishness. The apostle Paul reveals that such a consideration by the opponents of the gospel is actually a demonstration of the manifold wisdom of God. Continue reading

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The Prayer Of Jabez

by William J. Stewart

Amidst a list of the names of the family of Judah, we find what has come to be called in our modern day, ‘The Prayer of Jabez.’ The text reads:

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause evil.’ So God granted him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

Sadly, this short prayer has been highly commercialized Continue reading

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male & female

by William J. Stewart

There’s been a lot of discussion about gender identity in recent years, but it is certainly not a new topic. Not long ago, it was commonly referred to as gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria, which are psychiatric terms, indicating the confusion of one’s gender as mental illness. Society is quickly turning from this, as evidenced by m-w.com’s definition of gender identity as

“…a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female.”1

Continue reading

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Social Media & Christians

by William J. Stewart

Communication has changed drastically in my lifetime. When I was a kid, we had a rotary telephone attached to the wall. If you wanted to post a message, you needed an envelop and a stamp. Cords and landlines have been replaced by smartphones that do much more than make calls. Posting a letter in the mail is a rarity today. The mailman is a lot slower than e-mail, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. Communication has been drastically affected by technology.

There are some great benefits to social media. It affords the ability to reconnect with people whom we’ve lost contact. Being able to communicate instantly, we are able to pass news along to folks; good news, prayer requests, etc.. With this modern convenience, we can share encouraging words with folks whom we might not otherwise be in touch with. This age of instant communication is wonderful. Continue reading

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What does the Bible say about gambling?

John Hines | via Watching & Waiting (woodlandchurchofchrist.org)

Many turn a blind eye to it. Many see nothing wrong with it. States have legalized it telling us how the money goes to support the schools yet just as quickly as money comes in the front door it leaves through the back and the schools are worse now financially than ever while gambling revenue has done nothing but increase. But rather than appeal to what the common man or the common politician may say, what does the Bible say about gambling? Continue reading

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How Did Jesus View Scripture?

by Sean P. Cavender | via the Bald Knob Builder

It is amazing to hear so many people talk about loving Jesus and how they follow Him, and in the same breath disparage the Bible. It is amazing, but it is no surprise. Denominations denigrate Scripture continually. If it disagrees with them, they claim that times have changed. If it condemns them, they say the writer was just a radical anyway. If an epistle contradicts their doctrine, they say, “Well, Jesus never said that.” Even publishers have gotten into the act, for why else would they put Jesus’ words in red? Is the entire thing not the Word of God?

If we are going to follow the Lord, then we need to use Scripture the same way He did. How did Jesus view it? How did He use it? Continue reading

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