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WestHardinfan1

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  1. Romans Chapter 7 By: Jim Crews Romans 7:1-3 The Law is binding only while we are living. After we die, we are not bound by it. Paul uses the example of a married woman, who is released from her marriage vows upon the death of her husband. Romans 7:4-6 Like this example, they have died to the Mosaic Law when they obey the Gospel. The Mosaic Law is no longer bound upon us, instead, we worship in Spirit and in Truth. John 4:24 We are no longer slaves to the sins that the Law revealed to us. Romans 7:7-12 God used the Mosaic Law to reveal to the Israelites, and all of humanity, the things He considered to be sin. No one would know what is sin had God not told us. Humanity thought they were alive, but God’s revelation of the things that are sin showed that none were alive, all were dead spiritually. Romans 7:13-20 Is it the fault of the Law, which revealed to us what things are sin, that we sin? No. It is our own fault that we sin. The Law simply showed us the things that are sinful. We then have the choice to continue sinning, or try to stop. Many, when shown that they are sinning, pay it no heed and continue on. The Law didn't cause them to sin, their own stubbornness and lusts did. James 4:1-4 Some, when shown that they are sinning, desire to stop, but find that it is impossible. They become downtrodden and depressed, wondering how they can be faithful servants of God if they can't even stop sinning. They need to remember what John wrote. I John 1: 8 - 10 Romans 7:21-25 The Mosaic Law has no answer to this. Under that Law, sins weren't washed away, they were pushed forward awaiting the Messiah. Joy for us!!! The Messiah has come, and with Him, a solution to the problem of sin for those who believe.
  2. Vol.V No.IX Pg.7 November 1968 Queries And Answers Robert F. Turner Bro. Turner: We have brethren who feel their women must wear a head covering in assembly; that they must not ask questions in Bible class, even while showing a humble submissive spirit; that one container only, is scriptural for the Lord's Supper; etc. These brethren say that if we "let down" for one such matter, we open the gate to all "innovations"; i.e. they think the use of multiple containers is a disregard for Bible authority, that will eventually lead to disrespect for divine will in other matters. Please comment on the disregard for Bible authority in such little matters. Reply: There are no little matters in which God's authority may be disregarded. If God's word teaches we must use one container, to disregard this is presumptuous sin -- a serious thing indeed. To judge (selecting portions of) God's law, is to elevate the subject of law above the giver (JAM.4:10-12; NUM.15:30-36). I do not teach women that God commands them to wear hats, that God imposes total silence upon them because I do not believe the scriptures teach this (see Vol. 1, No. 6, "Women Keep Silence"). I have repeatedly restudied these and like matters, when seemingly sincere brethren "pressed" them, because I am concerned lest I adopt an attitude toward God's word, or toward God's people, that is "highhanded" or presumptuous. We act in "good conscience toward God" by honestly facing a subject, determining as best we can what God says about it, and act accordingly. I try to do this, and expect brethren (whom I may regard as being in error) to do likewise. Many of the differences that exist among brethren will allow for individual treatment (one woman will wear a hat, for conscience sake; another will not) and there is no need for hard feelings or division (Read ROM.14: carefully, for a lesson on respect for the conscience of another.). And even when differences exist in collective activities, so that all participants are involved in the responsibility, and all conscientious objectors must abstain; the willingness to openly study the matter must remain, on the part of both "sides". But too often, even when differences are discussed, one "side" gives no honest attention to what the other is saying — makes no effort to understand why they have come to such conclusions. Many arguments (?) on the subjects mentioned are the result of prejudices and customs of long standing. An honest effort to understand, even this, will promote better feelings and teaching opportunity. If "foolish questions" must be ignored, do so out of respect for peace, (2TI.2:23) having compassion and long - suffering. It is too much to expect that all people, out of differing backgrounds, educations, current environments, will reach the same conclusions about everything. But it is not too much to expect them to try, and this can only be done when all have a deep respect for Divine authority. If "unity" efforts must fail, let them fail here where Almighty God draws the line.
  3. Romans 1:21-23 English Standard Version (ESV) 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
  4. Faith is not blind....God is self evident... Romans 1:19-20 English Standard Version (ESV) 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. The scriptures existed LONG before the apostate catholic church came into existence....
  5. Romans Chapter 6 By: Jim Crews Romans 6:1-4 In Romans 5:2, we were told that we had gained access by our faith into God’s grace. The faith being spoken of is an unquestioning, obedient faith like the faith of Abraham. Here, we are shown how our faith gives us access to God’s grace. It is through baptism, which is a burial of our dead souls into a watery grave and our resurrection from sin to a new life. This parallels Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It is in obedience to the commands to repent, confess, and be baptized, that we are given access to God’s Grace. Titus 3:4-7 Romans 6:5-10 When we rise from the watery grave of our baptism, our sins have been washed away and forgiven. Acts 22:16 Acts 2:38 We are dead to sin now, and alive to God. Before this, we were dead to God and slaves to our sins. Romans 6:12-14 Since we are now dead to sin and no longer slaves to it, we should strive to stop sinning and live faithfully. Though we try our best, we will sin. When we falter, fail, and sin again, we have nothing to worry about as long as we swallow our pride, repent of that sin, and go to God in prayer asking Him to forgive us again. He will forgive us every time. I John 1:8-10 Acts 8:22 This is why we are no longer slaves to sin. The only power sin has over us is the power of spiritual death. That no longer affects us if we follow God’s teaching about forgiveness and repentance. Romans 6:15-16 Since our sins are covered, do we have to even bother trying to stop sinning? Yes, we do. Grace is not a license to keep on sinning. If we keep on willfully sinning, it did us no good at all to believe and obey Him. Hebrews 10: 26-27 Continuing to commit the same sins after we are baptized, willfully and premeditated, shows we have not repented. Without repentance, there is no salvation. Luke 13:3 II Corinthians 9:10 Romans 6:17-19 By obeying the Word of God, we were set free from our sins. This standard of teaching being referred to is the written, revealed Word of God as expressed by His apostles and prophets in the New Testament. It was in its complete and perfect form when Jude wrote his letter. Jude 3 Romans 6:20-22 The only fruit sin produces is spiritual death. The fruit of the Spirit in our lives sets us free from slavery to sin. Galatians 5:22-23 Romans 6:23 We can't earn salvation, it is given freely by God to those who believe Him and obey Him. Condemnation is earned, and those who refuse to submit to the authority of Christ have fully earned their wages.
  6. Vol.V No.IX Pg.6 November 1968 Thomas Campbells Appeal Robert F. Turner Honored Brethren: Before you come to a final issue in the present business, let me entreat you to pause a moment, and seriously to consider the following things: to refuse any one his just privilege, is it not to oppress and injure? In proportion to the magnitude and importance of the privilege withheld, is not the injustice done in withholding it to be estimated? If so, how great the injustice, how highly aggravated the injury will appear, to thrust out from communion a Christian brother, a fellow-minister, for saying and doing none other things than those which our Divine Lord and his holy apostles have taught and enjoined to be spoken and done by his ministering servants, and to be received and observed by all his people. Or have I, in any instance, proposed to say or to do otherwise? If I have, I shall be heartily thankful to any brother that shall point it out, and upon his so doing, shall as heartily and thankfully relinquish it. Let none think that, by so saying, I entertain the vain presumption of being infallible. So far am I from this, that I dare not venture to trust my own understanding so far as to take upon me to teach anything as a matter of faith or duty but what is already expressly taught and enjoined by Divine authority; and I hope it is no presumption to believe that in saying and doing the very same things that are said and done before our eyes on the sacred page, is infallibly right, as well as all-sufficient for the edification of the Church, whose duty and perfection it is to be in all things conformed to the original standard. It is, therefore, because I have no confidence, either in my own infallibility or in that of others, that I absolutely refuse, as inadmissible and schismatic, the introduction of human opinions and human inventions into the faith and worship of the Church. Is it, therefore, because I plead the cause of the Scriptural and apostolic worship of the Church, in opposition to the various errors and schisms which have so awfully corrupted and divided it, that the brethren of the Union should feel it difficult to admit me as their fellow-laborer in the blessed work? I sincerely rejoice with them in what they have done in that way; but still, all is not yet done; and surely they can have no just objection to go farther. Translated into Plain Talk: Wait, brethren! Do not beat me for following the Lord. Let us help one-another to be faithful to him. Let us accept as the standard of the faith, not human opinions and inventions, but the expressly revealed Word of God. This alone is infallibly right, and all-sufficient. As explained on page 2, this is the first installment of our reprint of Thomas Campbells appeal to a board of his fellow-presbyters, who would censure him for teaching and practice contrary to the usages of the Presbyterian church of his day. We urge you to read the whole reprint carefully. The fight between honest convictions and the sectarian spirit continues today, as in 1808.
  7. Romans Chapter 5 By: Jim Crews Romans 5:1-2 We finished up the last lesson by looking at the active, unquestioning faith of Abraham. We begin this chapter by being shown that we are justified by this same type of faith. To be justified means to be made righteous in the eyes of God, having our sins washed away and being pardoned from the sentence of spiritual death those sins brought us. By our obedient, unquestioning faith, we have gained access to the wonderful free gift of God’s grace. Paul goes on to explain how this occurs later in his letter. Romans 5:3-5 Trials, tribulations, and persecutions make our faith stronger. They produce an enduring and strong faith by building up our character which produces hope. This is like running or lifting weights to bring our bodies into fitness and get in physical shape. I Timothy 4:7-10 Studying the Word helps us avoid all of the false doctrine, myths, and outright lies of those who serve Satan. We train our minds to be strong in the Word when we study, prayerfully asking God to guide us in His Word through His Spirit. God’s love was poured onto us when we believed and obeyed Him, receiving forgiveness of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. Acts 2:38 Romans 5:6-8 While the world was mired in sin and totally under the control of Satan, Jesus willingly died as a sacrifice for us. This shows His infinite love because 99.99% of us would not give our lives even to save a good, worthy person. He died for humanity when there was not a single person who was worthy of his sacrifice. Romans 5:9-11 We have been justified by His Blood and His sacrifice. He died for us when the world was totally compromised by evil, so how much more so will He forgive the sins of those who believe and obey Him. Why wouldn't He forgive His children when He was willing to die for those who never heard of God? He will. Our sins separated us from God. Isaiah 59:2 His Blood reconciled us to God when we believed and obeyed. Romans 5:12-14 One man, Adam, brought sin into the world by disobeying God. Sin quickly spread through the world, not because we inherited Adam’s sin, but because sinning was easier and more pleasurable than obedience to God. James 4:1-4 We are not burdened by Adam’s sin, we are responsible only for our own sins. The teaching of Calvinism, which says we are born already stained with sin is shown to be false in Ezekiel 18. The teaching of “original sin” is shown to be false in the same passages. Ezekiel 18:4 Romans 5:15-17 One man, Jesus, brought grace into the world by His perfect obedience to God. From the beginning, God has required perfect obedience to His commands. One sin, one misstep, brought condemnation. Following many sins, God’s grace brings justification. Jesus lived the perfect life of perfect obedience required by God for us. We don't have to obey perfectly anymore, we are simply told that after we hear, believe, and obey the Gospel, we must live faithful lives. Faithful, not perfect. We are no longer under the sentence of spiritual death for our imperfections if we have become Christians and remain faithful. Romans 5:18-21 One sin led to condemnation. One righteous sacrifice led to salvation. By Adam’s disobedience, many were made sinners. Many chose to follow his path and take the easy way of sin and death. Matthew 7:13-14 By Jesus’ obedience, many will be made righteous. We will fail and falter and be imperfect, as we try to obey God, but we have nothing to fear if we are living faithfully. Jesus obeyed perfectly for us, all we have to do after we repent, confess, and are baptized, is to remain faithfully obedient to Him. He even shows us how to do this in the New Testament. Grace covers our sins and we are forgiven.
  8. Vol.V No.IX Pg.5 November 1968 The Skeptic's Question Robert F. Turner A preacher told me of a question he had been asked — one somewhat on the "zany" side, but asked in apparent sincerity — and how he spent many hours trying to find a direct and scriptural reply. When he finally went to the querist with the answer, the material was brushed aside with little or no notice, and another question was asked. About par for the course, I would say. A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in a day. One is under no obligation to devote time and attention to a querist who will not meet the responsibilities of his position. If he has no position — simply seeks information — let him maintain the role of an appreciative disciple. But the man who can not teach, and will not learn, is not worth the salt it would take to "cure" him (PRO.23:9, 29:9). Paul said, "Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes" (2TI.2:23). Of "unlearned" Vincent's Word Studies says, "undisciplined — questions of an untrained mind, carried away with novelties; questions which do not proceed from any trained habit of thinking." Many of the questions asked by skeptics or unbelievers are unworthy of consideration, being asked solely to discredit or "stump" the believer, and have no constructive purpose. Does the querist honestly seek the answer? If asked to reveal weakness on the part of the believer, to what end? Is the querist genuinely interested in the ultimate well-being of the person questioned? What has he to offer of a constructive or positive nature? Is there reason to believe (from past "fruits") that the querist would accept the consequence of, and be motivated by the answer to his question, correctly given? It is right to consider such questions before attempting a serious answer. We should realize, and freely acknowledge, that many questions about God, and the things of God find answer only in the realm of faith, God has revealed, by His Spirit, things which "the wisdom of this world" can not encompass (Read carefully 1CO.2:1-13). The very nature of God makes revelation a necessity — to think that deity could be subject to man is to demote God go the level of his creatures. Questions about such matters can, therefore, be answered only with a "thus saith the Lord". Understandably, the unbeliever is not willing to accept such answers — but this only proves that the question is out of order. The existence of God can be seen in "things made" (ROM.1:20); The nature and identity of God are seen in His manifestations of Himself (EXO.3:1-f, etc.); but in NT in Jesus Christ, JOH.14:7-10; and "signs, wonders, divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost" confirm the divine source of the words spoken by chosen messengers (HEB.2:3-4). Until these things are accepted by the skeptic, there is no reason to deal seriously with questions about the content of the revelation. And we have a right to expect some answers from the unbeliever. Let him "puzzle" awhile about the beginning.
  9. Romans Chapter 4 By: Jim Crews Romans 4:1-12 Abraham gained or earned nothing on his own. Abraham was counted as righteous by God when he believed and obeyed God. He had nothing to boast about as far as his righteousness. God did all the work. All Abraham did was what he was told to do. Luke 17:10 Many try to say this passage shows that Abraham was saved by faith only. Those who claim this either deny the rest of the Word taught in the New Testament, or don't take the time to seek it out and search the Scriptures. Matthew 7:7-8 Acts 17:11 When they do, they find the rest of the story. Hebrews 11: 8-10 James 2:21-24 These writers are saying the same things in different ways. I know that because if they contradict, the Bible is of no more value than any other book. Paul in Romans is showing that neither works of merit on our own nor works required by the Mosaic Law can save us. Abraham wasn't justified by anything he did, he was counted righteous by God when he believed. The Hebrew writer is showing us that our faith leading to obedience to God is a requirement if we are to be saved. Abraham’s faith led to him being counted righteous by God when he did what God told him to do. Only an obedient faith can save us. James is showing us that works of faith, which is a part of living faithfully unto death, are required, and that they aren't works of our own merit but are simply doing what God said to do. These works demonstrate our faith and make our faith a living faith, not a dead one. Circumcision sealed them as God’s children. God counted them as righteous when they believed and obeyed. We are sealed by the gift of the Holy Spirit when we believe and obey the commands to repent, confess, be immersed in water to wash away our sins, and live faithfully unto death. Romans 3:13-15 The obedient faith of Abraham and those of his descendants led to them being counted as righteous by God. They did nothing on their own but what God told them to do. Romans 3:16-26 Paul expounds more on the obedient faith of Abraham. When he was 100 years old and Sarah 90, Abraham had no doubts at all when God told him he was going to have a son. When God told him several years later to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham never flinched. He had the knife drawn back and was about to do it when God stopped him. Abraham’s faith was an obedient faith. This is the same type of faith still required by God.
  10. Vol.V No.IX Pg.4 November 1968 On "Church" Loyalty Robert F. Turner We have given considerable space of late to articles emphasizing the individual's obligation to Christ and warning about "party" or "church" loyalty that makes Christ second fiddle. This continues to be a current problem and warrants further attention. But there is no solace here for those who would set the church aside as being of no importance. "Partyism" increases the need for more accurate definition of "church" and a better understanding of the obligations imposed by our association with other saints in the local church. One can not be a faithful follower of Christ, and ignore what the NT says about Christ's church. Christ is "head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all" (EPH.1:22-23). God is glorified "in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages world without end. Amen!" (EPH.3:21) "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" (EPH.5:25) "the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (ACT.20:28). These verses treat of the church in its universal sense — all saints, world-wide — that great "brotherhood" which we are to love and respect (1PE.2:17). I preached a sermon in Louisville, on Congregational Independence, and a Christian Church visitor commented, "Don't go too far with that, so that churches will have nothing to do with one another". I acknowledged the appropriateness of "love" and "fellowship" — and the possibility of a "separateness" that could endanger such — but told him true "brotherhood" does not mean nor necessitate organic ties among churches. There is even a form of "cooperation" among brethren that does not involve local church action (see GAL.6:6; HEB.13:1-3; ROM.12:15). Loyalty, first and always, to the Lord, does not negate the obligations of membership in a local church. When brethren function collectively (and even those who ridicule local church "membership" seem to agree they are authorized to so function) or "member of the team" the need to do his part (1CO.16:1-2; 1CO.5:4-5, 14:27-33). Here, loyalty to one-another, and to the common goal achieved in collective action, is within the framework of loyalty to Christ, and not a supplanting of it. The Corinthians purposed (willed) a year in advance, to supply a gift for the needy saints in Jerusalem (2CO.8:10-11, 9:2-4). Each saint was thereby obligated "as God hath prospered him" (1CO.16:1-2). In the same way, when a church today plans and approves a program of work for the furtherance of the gospel etc., each member of that church accepts an obligation in "team-work" that is wholly in keeping with loyalty to the Lord each saint serves (We must here assume, of course, that the "work" is in keeping with the Lord's will and direction.). One can not be a faithful Christian and, having opportunity, ignore fellow-Christians — another way of saying, "the church" (HEB.10:24-25).
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