Apr 21

JESUS (3)

It is a biblical fact, that Jesus is our salvation; we may write it: 1) in him, 2) by him, 3) through him, and 4) by means of him. One fact stands clear in the New Testament, that without Jesus there would be no salvation for even one person!
As Paul wrote, with the Jew and the Gentile in mind, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Earlier, Paul had quoted from the Old Testament these words: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10, here Paul is referring to Psa. 14:1-4 and Psa. 53:1-4). That mankind was and is in need of a savior is without question! So, who would be the savior of lost mankind? It would be he of who John, the apostle, wrote: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Mankind’s savior would be, that flesh and blood body in which Deity dwelt and his name is Jesus (Matt. 1:21). Now, think on this; if Deity without the flesh and blood body of Jesus, could have saved mankind, there would not have been any reason for the reality of “the Word” being “made flesh!” It appears that there were two reasons for “the Word” (Deity) being “made flesh:” 1) that he would be the means of salvation for mankind, and 2) that he would declare God unto mankind. Having already pointed out the name given “Jesus” means salvation (Matt. 1:21), we turn our attention to the second point: that “the Word was made flesh” to declare God to mankind. John wrote: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Here we take a little time to notice the words “at any time,” (Greek, popote). Strong gives us this: “at any time, at no time.” This is a very strong negative, as in an absolutely not! Thus, without Jesus God would have continued to be a total unknown in the areas which Jesus would “declare!” John’s words are pointing to the character, the nature of God. Without Jesus how would mankind have ever known of God’s love, of God’s kindness, of God’s compassion, and how would mankind have ever known of God’s desire to save mankind? Before leaving this verse, let us look at the word “declare.” It is the Greek “exegeomai” and Strong says it means: “to consider out (aloud), that is, rehearse, unfold: – declare, tell.” Jesus would unfold in his words the beautiful nature of God and in Jesus’ action, as he walked among men, he would speak aloud in his actions the character, the nature of God. Thus, Jesus came to declare God to mankind!
In the above, we come to God’s desire to save mankind; and it is God’s desire to save mankind! Hear Paul as he wrote: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tim. 2:4). Paul ties being “saved” with “to come unto the knowledge of the truth!” Jesus also addressed this subject, when said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Coming to “the knowledge of the truth” requires studying and learning; through this means man can “come unto the knowledge of the truth!” Allow me to just add this thought, many read, some even learn some “truth,” but this is not, Paul’s “to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Why is this true? It is in the word “knowledge” that Paul used. He used the Greek word, “epignosis” and this word means: “precise and correct knowledge” (Thayer). “Knowledge” as used by Paul does not mean a little, or incorrect knowledge, but “precise and correct knowledge!” This is the “knowledge” that is in Jesus’ “and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!”
This brings us to God’s desire. How would God go about fulfilling his desire? Paul continues: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (verse 5). Notice the words “the man Christ Jesus.” Here Paul has pointed out, there is but “one mediator between God and men” but who is he? Please read with care these words: “the man Christ Jesus” The words, “the man,” is the Greek “anthropos” and Strong gives this: “manfaced, that is, a human being: – certain, man.” So, just who is this “certain, man?” Paul answers: “the man Christ Jesus.” Therefore, we have, “the Word was made flesh,” who is the “certain, man;” who is the anointed savior: Jesus! Now, looking with care at Paul’s next words: “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Many people miss the true meaning of the word “ransom.” Thayer gives: “what is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption, ransom.” Jesus did not take our place, but he was the “price” required for our freedom from Satan, who held us in bondage. In our sin, we were the servants of Satan, in bondage to Satan! The “certain” man Jesus, who was “the Word was made flesh;” thus, he was all that was required to be our “ransom.”
It is now required that we understand how Jesus was qualified to be the “ransom” of mankind. Peter will tell us: “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Pet. 222-23). No other member of mankind was perfect, as in being without sin; therefore, Jesus, the seed of woman, the flesh, as in “the Word was made flesh,” could be “the ransom” for mankind. Jesus stood by himself, as the one on the cross, shedding his blood as he paid the “ransom” for our sins! Jesus did not take our place on the cross, as we are unqualified to be upon the cross!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/jesus-3-2/

Apr 14

JESUS (2)

As I start this second article with Jesus as the subject, allow me to make a distinction in the words used to identify the second member of the Godhead, in the flesh. This is important because “seed” of the woman in Genesis, chapter three and verse fifteen, is a fleshly seed. We generally understand this, but do not think of it. In the “seed” of the woman was to be both Deity and flesh! So, just what do we mean when writing the name “Jesus?”
To start with, we turn to John, the apostle, who wrote: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The words, “the Word,” relates to who? Let John answer the question: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Here “the Word” is God; he is Deity. But, “God” “the Word” was “made flesh.” Now, what do we call this “the Word,” who “was made flesh?” Yes, we could answer, We call this being “the only begotten of the Father.” It is necessary that we look at the words, “was made flesh.” The Greek word is “ginomai” and means: “to come into existence, begin to be, receive being.” (Thayer). Prior to the conception in Mary, this being did not exist! He had a beginning, totally unlike “the Word” who had no beginning; as he is Deity! But, clearly there was a change, as a being “was made flesh,” and begin to be at a point in time! Before this point in time, the conception of Mary, “the only begotten of the Father” came into existence, he begins to be! But here is our question: What do we call him?
Why not call this new being, “Jesus,” as the Holy Spirit said he should be called? Here we turn to Matthew: “And she (Mary, frw) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Jesus is the one who had a beginning, as he “began to be.” He is the “seed” of woman, the promised “seed” in Genesis chapter three, verse fifteen. The name of the “seed” of the woman is Jesus! He is “the only begotten of the Father!” While we are here, we shall allow the Holy Spirit to speak, in answering the question: Why was “the Word” who began to be “the only begotten of the Father,” called Jesus? Once more we turn to Matthew: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Why was “the only begotten of the Father” called Jesus? Notice the words of the Holy Spirit here: “for he shall save his people from their sins.” The word “Jesus” is the Greek “Iesous,” and means: “Savior” and is the same name as Joshua in the Old Testament.” Joshua saved the children of Israel from the wilderness wanderings as he led them across the Jordon River into the promised land! This salvation was physical, but the salvation of Jesus is spiritual.
It is most important that we keep in mind, that Deity does not have flesh and blood, but Deity, “the Word,” “was made flesh!” And with that “flesh,” Jesus came into existence, he began to be; therefore, the blood by which we are saved, became a reality. It is imperative that we keep in mind, that Deity does not die, Deity cannot die! But Jesus, the son of the fleshly Mary did die, and Peter calls his blood; “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” (1 Pet. 1:19-20). Peter’s subject is “redemption” and he tells us it was by the precious blood of Christ,” the anointed one, that we are redeemed! Keeping in mind, that God, Deity, does not have blood but “the only begotten of the Father” did have blood through Mary! He is the anointed One, the anointed Jesus, the savior!
As we concluded this article, we return to the “seed” of woman in Genesis. It is by the blood of the “seed” of woman that we are redeemed; that we are saved! The words of the song come to mind: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” And the Refrain: “Oh! precious is the flow; That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/jesus-2-2/

Apr 06

JESUS (1)

Jesus is the “center” of the Bible. The center fold in the Bible is the four books, which are the four accounts of the life of Jesus. Of course, there are more books in the Old Testament than there is in the New Testament. Therefore, when the word “center” is used, we are not talking about the middle of the books. Here is a note of interest, when you have an even number of anything, there is no “center,” and this is the case with the Bible. It has 66 books, this means there is no middle book. However, Micah and Nahum are the 33rd and 34th books of the Bible.
Here is a little more on this subject; both having no meaning to the importance of the Bible at all. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible and the middle chapter is 595th which is Psalm 117. Then, there are 31, 102 verses in the Bible, which means there is no middle verse, but the middle verses are in the Psalm 103, verses one and two. The two middle verses are the 15,551st and 15,552nd verses respectively. This is true, if my source is truth. The answer to your question: “Did I count the number of chapters in the Bible, no! Did I count the number of verses in the Bible, the answer is no! This information has noting to do with our subject, other than, in our opening statement, that Jesus is the “center” of the Bible. Finally, in this trivia is the fact that there are 789, 314 words in the Bible (counting the Psalm introductions). As this number is an even number, there is no middle word. Thus, there are two middle words, the 394,656th and 394,657th words in the Bible are found in Psalm 56 verse two.
We could say, if Jesus is removed from the Bible it has little purpose, other than history, medical, and why Israel fared better than other nations when they obeyed God. As the greatest need man has is his salvation and salvation is in Jesus! There is no other book that could possibly address the subject of the salvation of man. This is true, as there is no other way to gain salvation, other than through Jesus and all we know about Jesus, save a few points of information in the historical record; is in the Bible! Then, most of what we can learned about Jesus is in the New Testament. Then, it is also true, that most of what can be learned about Jesus is in the four gospel accounts! Yet, we must keep in mind, that the other twenty-two books have a great deal to say about Jesus. Therefore, it is incorrect to think, that all we need is in the four gospel accounts!
It is generally agreed that the first time the Bible addresses Jesus is in Genesis, chapter three and verse fifteen. This is called the “protoevangelium,” the first pronouncement of Jesus. The verse reads: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” In this verse, “the LORD God,” is the antecedent to the personal pronoun “I” (see verse 14); thus, the words in verse fifteen are the words of “the LORD God.” Before continuing, it is needful that we look at the Hebrew word translated “LORD.” First, please notice that the word in the King James Version is in all capital letters. The reason for this is to call attention to it; to give notice that the word is very important in our understanding. Moses used the Hebrew word, yehovah or yeh-ho-vaw, which means: “self Existent” or “Jehovah!” (Strong). The second word Moses used is, “‘elohıym,” which is translated “God” in verse fourteen and is also the antecedent to the pronoun in verse fifteen, “I.” Having now identified the antecedent in verse fifteen, it is correct to put the antecedent in the verse itself; therefore, the verse would read: “And the LORD God will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (the “seed”) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The announcement is not only that the “seed” would come, but also that he would have the greatest victory of all time! This is seen in the words, “it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The victory belongs to Jesus! But, his victory is for us!
The “seed” in verse fifteen is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. Keep in mind, that verse fifteen is the beginning story of Jesus, the Christ. Who is the “seed” of the “self Existent” and “el-o-heem” is the same word found in the first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God (eloheem) created the heaven and the earth.”
Therefore, he that would become Jesus, God in the flesh, in the New Testament is in the opening statement of the Bible! No, I did not write that “Jesus” is in the first verse of the Bible but that he who would become Jesus is in the first verse of the Bible. There is a great deal of difference between these two thoughts!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/jesus-1-2/

Mar 31

WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS ABOUT JESUS?

Right off the top of your head, what are your first thoughts about Jesus? No, don’t take long, this is a “right off the top of your head” kind of test! You get no grade from me, but Jesus might be interesting in what you know “right off the top of your head.”
My first thoughts were, 1) he obeyed his mother (John 2:5); 2) I thought of his sympathy toward the widow who was taking her only son to bury him in Nain, (Luke 7:11–17); 3) I thought of his kindness in feeding the 5,000 (Matt. 14:21), 4) I thought of his driving out the money changers out of the temple area (John 2:13-15); 5) I thought of his crying as he looked over Jerusalem, and knew they were lost and would remain lost, as they would not repent (Luke 19:41); 6) I thought of his words when John, who baptized, tried to refuse to baptize him, and he said to John, “thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” ( Matt. 13:14); 7) I thought of his weeping in the garden, as great drops of blood running from his face, (Luke 22:44); 8) I thought of his words to John about his mother, as he hung upon the cross (John 19:26-27); 9) I thought of him on the cross, and saying to the malefactor who repented, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43); 10) I thought of his words in the garden: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42); 11) I remember his last words on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30); 12) I thought of Jesus’ blood being shed on that “old rugged cross;” and finally, 13) I remember his last words on the cross: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
So, take a little time, it shows all his love for mankind and what it means us! Here allow me to make a point, that many fail to understand. Look at Jesus, visualize him on the cross and ask yourself, what do I really see? If you see him taking your place, you are missing the truth! Sure, I know that many, many, people say this and believe it! Now, let us really think about Jesus on the cross and what was really taking place there.
If Jesus had not died upon the cross, just what would happen to our soul/spirit? Would we just have to die physically for our own sins? Then, having died, would we go to “paradise?” No, that would miss the whole of what salvation is about! Jesus did not take our place, in his death upon the cross! He was a ransom; he was our redemption; he was the price that had to be paid, so our souls could be saved! Peter addressed this subject: “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” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). The word “redeemed” is the Greek, “lutroo,” and it means: “1) to release on receipt of ransom 2) to redeem, liberate by payment of ransom” (Thayer). You can see the entire thought is the payment for liberation, to be released upon receipt of the ransom payment!! Friends, please get this point, Jesus’ death on the cross was the payment for our liberation of our souls/spirit! By means of our sins, Satan held our souls/spirits captive; our souls/spirits were bound to eternal punishment, in hell!
Now, back to the subject we started out with: “What are your first thoughts about Jesus?” The reason for the question is that we are to have the same mind he had; as Paul wrote: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). If we know nothing about Jesus, if we have no thoughts about Jesus; how could we have same “mind” he had.
We need to spend a life time, studying the life of Jesus! Why? Because he is our life; without knowing Jesus we are spiritually dead; we are lost! Without knowing Jesus, what hope does a person have? We would have zero hope of being saved now; we will never see “Paradise;” and there will be no eternity in heaven! So, how well do you really know Jesus?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/what-are-your-first-thoughts-about-jesus/

Mar 24

IT WAS HERE AND IS HERE

Though the heading of this article is generic, it could refer to any event. However, to those of the Barnes congregation and those who received the bulletin sent out by the Barnes congregation, it is not generic. For the Barnes congregation has been planning for one event for months! It is an event that takes place each year about this same time.
The event to which the heading of this article refers, is the “29th Annual Oklahoma City Lectures.” It was a time to put away physical activities and to be spiritually minded. It was time to prepare ourselves for a spiritual feast! We had, up until today, nine lessons and three to go; all twelve lessons based on Paul’s words to Timothy: “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). These words refer to the difference between the physical and the spiritual in the words of the text: first, “bodily exercise profiteth little,” and second, “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Please notice with me the word “little.” Strong says of this word, the Greek “oligos,” “somewhat” and “briefly.” It will help in our understanding to note the words of James: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). The words “a little time” is the same Greek word, “oligos,” and is speaking of our life on this earth; it appears “for a little time,” or as Strong says, here, speaking of our life, it appears ““briefly” and “then vanisheth away.” So, it is with “bodily exercise, it “profiteth briefly.” “Bodily exercise” may and does “profiteth” for a brief time, as in this life only. Whereas, “godliness is profitable unto all things,” and the apostle clarifies the “all things” in two parts: 1) “having promise of the life that now is,” and 2) “of that which is to come.” This goes hand in hand with the words of Jesus in his answer to the devil in his temptation: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Man needs “bodily exercise” just as he needs “bread;” but both are limited to this life and can go no further; all of it is left on this side of death!
On the other hand, “godliness is profitable unto all things!” Here I would point out the word “all” must be taken in the context in which is appears and must never be extended outside the text at hand! Therefore, the apostles gave the limits of the words “all things;” as he writes: “having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” These words express, if I may say, Paul has covered man in his two areas of life: 1) “the life that now is,” and 2) the life “which is to come.” As a child might say, “There ain’t no more!” Just as “bread” and “bodily exercise” are for this life only! Just here, consider this question: Knowing these truths, what would a wise man do? Let the wise man answer the question: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro. 4:23). Jesus uses this same truth when he said: “… for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). As one man put it: “Before you can do a thing you have to think it. Your thoughts lead to attitudes; attitudes lead to actions; actions lead to those achievements.” (Bible StudiesTools.com). One’s “achievements” may be good or evil but both start in the same place, the heart! As all this relates to the “29th Annual Oklahoma City Lectures,” what have you been doing while the word of God has been and will be preached in these lectures? Have you been feasting upon things that are for this life only, or have you been developing godliness which: “having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come?”
The decision has been yours to make, it is from your heart that attitudes are formed, it is from your attitudes that actions follow! Have you and will you be pursuing the things of “this life,” or have you and will you be following godliness that have “promise of this life and that which is to come?” I condemn you not, for it is not for me to condemn anyone! It is understood that plans are made at an earlier date, unless you are like me, never knowing what comes tomorrow!

Frank R. William

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/it-was-here-and-is-here/

Mar 17

GODLINESS

The word “godliness’ is a Bible word that is greatly misunderstood! This is hard to grasp as it is so important to one’s standing with God. If a person has no or only little “godliness” in their lives, they have no favorite standing with God. Of course, one of the reasons for this problem is that people have failed through the years to give the necessary time to a study of the word “godliness.”
Now, it is possible for a person to have the qualities of “godliness” without understanding the meaning of the word itself. It is that one may use another word, which has the same meaning as does “godliness.” However, it is good for our education, as it is also good for our relationship with God, to gain the best knowledge we can of the word “godliness.” Therefore, we shall engage in a study of the word “godliness!”
Generally, people believe the word “godliness” means being like God. This is understandable because of the English word itself. The word having the ending of “ness,” which means “the state of being” and in the case of the “godliness” there is the word “god” at the beginning; thus, many have concluded that the word means: being like God. Taking this meaning, a person reads John 1:18: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Here the question that comes to mind, why did God, the Father, have Jesus “declared him?” Is it because God desired that we know him in order that we might become like him? This does not mean getting the power of God, doing what God did with his power, but if not these, then what? If is the holiness of God that Jesus revealed in his own life on this earth; wherein he was revealing God to all. First, personally and second, through the written word, the New Testament. Here let us note the words of Hebrews: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Thayer gives the meaning of the Greek word “hagiasmos,” which is: “1) consecration, purification.” Just looking at the word “consecration,” which means: “the action of making or declaring something sacred.” Have you ever thought of yourself as being “sacred?” If a thing, a person, is one who is “following holiness,” then, this person is “sacred!” This person belongs to God! In our case, we have been redeemed to God by “the precious blood of Christ!” (1 Pet. 1:19). With this understanding before us, it is easy to see why many have taken the word “godliness” to mean that we are to be like God!
However, when looking at the Greek word from which “godliness” is translated from, we get something somewhat different. “Godliness” comes from the Greek word “eusebeia” and Thayer gives the meaning as: “1) reverence, respect, 2) piety towards God, godliness.” You can see that at person maybe one who reverences God, one who has piety towards God; therefore, such a person has “godliness” without knowing the meaning of the word itself. For having obeyed the gospel and thereby becoming a servant of God; as Paul wrote: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16). It was because of one’s “godliness” that he obeys the gospel! He “reverences” God, as he has yielded to God’s will and is a servant of God! All these things being true, we can see the importance, the necessity of having “godliness” running through the entirety of our being, but we may not have known the true meaning of the word “godliness!”
People who are religious, like to see “piety” in others! Nevertheless, they may not know the true meaning of the word “godliness.” It is because of one’s reverence toward God, it is because of one’s piety toward God, that a person yields his will to God’s will. There is piety! How many times have we thrilled in just reading his words, as Jesus prayed: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39)? However, did we see the “godliness” of Jesus in the words he prayed? Have we ever even thought that Jesus had piety, reverence toward God, the Father? Maybe not, but there it is in the words Jesus prayed: “not as I will, but as thou wilt.” How beautiful is Jesus and Paul wrote: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5).

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/godliness/

Mar 10

OPPORTUNITY

One of things we learn from the Bible is to be ready for opportunities! You will remember Jesus comparing the “kingdom of heaven” to “ten virgins.” Here is what Jesus said: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom” (Matt. 25:1-13). At this point, all is well and the “ten virgins” are equal. However, it is not long until this changes as Jesus continued: “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish” (verse 2). The word “foolish” (Greek – moros) means: “impious, godless.” This makes more difference that we generally think! It tells us about the character of the five virgins. They were without the right attitude toward God, as they were “impious,” that is they did not think of God as they should. They were not reverent toward him. Thus, being “godless” they did not prepare themselves for spiritual things! As a result of this great character failure; Jesus said: “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them” (verse 3). Just think for a moment; they “took their lamps” but did not take the necessary oil the lamps required. In modern terms, it might be said, they took their car but failed to take the necessary gas for the trip! So, in simple terms, they were not prepared to take advantage of the great opportunity before them.
On the other hand, Jesus said of the other five virgins: “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps” (verse 4). The word “wise” (Greek – phronimos), means: “prudent, mindful of one’s interests.” The “five virgins” here, were “prudent” in preparing for the occasion; as they “took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” They understood, the lamps would be useless without oil. They had their minds on their interests and their interest was in being prepared “to meet the bridegroom!” In this case, the “five virgins” not only took their lamps, but they also took “their vessels with their lamps.” They knew of the time and distance that was before them; therefore, they took other “vessels” full of oil. Their wisdom always said to them, be prepared for the opportunity set before you! But there is more! Being “wise” is their character, as they had spiritual things in their minds; their lives were ones filled with a pious, reverent nature toward God!
The trip was to take them to the point, as Jesus said: “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept” (verse 5). Here there is an equality between the “ten virgins!” But, it was not long until their equality would change. Jesus informs us, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (verse 6). When the “cry” was made, all the virgins heard it, but once more we are able to see the difference. If we did not have the information that Jesus has already given, the text would show equality. Here the words of Jesus: “Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps” (verse 7). Notice that all ten virgins were told to “go ye out to meet him (the bridegroom).” We can see them getting up and taking hold of their lamps and moving forward in the direction of the bridegroom, but here it changes. And great is the change!
It appears the five foolish virgins knew immediately that they had a major problem, as Jesus said of them: “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out” (verse 8). But, they did not get the answer they were looking for; Jesus gives us the answer of the five wise virgins: “But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves” (verse 9). This is not the answer we are prepared to hear, is it?
The conclusion is simple to understand. We, personally, must be prepared for the opportunities that come our way! So, what is the opportunity set before us? It is the “29th Annual Oklahoma City Lectures!” A great time to hear, to learn, to accept, to obey, and to have fellowship in the word of God.

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/opportunity/

Mar 03

IN TIME OF NEED

Remember those beautiful and so comforting words of Hebrews: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16). God the Father hears our cries through our High Priest, Jesus Christ! Notice those two beautiful and comforting words: 1) mercy and 2) grace, in the context of “to help in time of need!” Anytime we have “time of need” there is one who hears our words as they go forth through the precious blood of Jesus! Personally, I never want to be seen by God outside the precious blood of Jesus; as my sins are, as Isaiah wrote of sins: are “as scarlet” and “though they be red like crimson; (Isaiah 1:18); but when the “red” blood of Jesus covers our “scarlet” and “crimson” sins they no longer can be seen! No wonder Peter wrote of our redemption; it is not by things of this world, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
Just how much time to we give to the “precious blood of Jesus?” As we drink “the fruit of the vine” in the Lord’s Supper, do we stop long enough to think; to recall the events of Jesus’ death? It was by wicked hands that he was physically crucified; but it should be remembered by the pure, having been forgiven of our sins, saints. Who are so described by Peter: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth …’ (1 Pet. 1:22). On one side of Jesus, there are wicked “hands,” but on the other side, there are “purified” souls! You see, the “purified” souls have come through the “red” blood of Jesus and their sins are no longer seen by God; as they have been forgiven! Oh, how we should love the “precious blood of Jesus,” which is so “red” our “scarlet” and “crimson” sins no longer can be seen by him who is the God of all.
No wonder the words of Hebrews are so beautiful and comforting to the thoughtful soul: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16). No matter how many times, we have called our minds back to the cross, looked upon that “precious blood of Jesus,” it is not enough to the child of God. Here the words of Paul: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ehp. 1:7). Do you question why one of my favorite verses is Acts 20:32, where Paul is addressing the elders of the church in Ephesus: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Get this now, Paul “commended” these elders to: 1) “to God, and 2) “to the word of his grace.” Here is a question, “Can we find “grace” outside “the word of his grace?” It would also be good, just here, to recall the words of the apostle, as he was bringing the saints through God’s plan: “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Then, he wrote: “For by grace are ye saved through the faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:7-8). The word “For,” the Greek “gar” which is: “A primary particle; properly assigning a reason.” That is here, Paul is assigning the reason that verse seven reveals God plan of: “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” was to bring us to the reality that God’s grace is enjoyed only “by means of the faith!” Grace runs through the words of the gospel, which is, as Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Then, Paul continued with: “For (the reason) therein (in the gospel) is the righteousness (justification) of God revealed from faith (the once delivered faith) to faith (our personal faith): as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Get this now, our personal faith must be in or it must come from the faith! If not, there is no grace found for the lost soul!! The faith and our faith must walk step in step!
Then, comes the words: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” My friend, whatever you do, don’t miss out on the truth of these beautiful and comforting words!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/in-time-of-need/

Feb 24

HOW MANY WAYS CAN ONE BE SAVED? (4)

In the end, it does not matter at all how man answers the question under which these articles are written! Sometimes we hear of Baptist Doctrine, Methodist Doctrine, Pentecostal Doctrine, and at times someone will speak of the Church of Christ Doctrine. First, when the word “doctrine” is used, we need to keep in mind that the Greek word is “didache” (or some form of this word) and means: “1) teaching 1a) that which is taught 1b) doctrine, teaching, concerning something” (Thayer). Therefore, it is simply a teaching. So, Baptist Doctrine is no more than Baptist Teaching, and Methodist Teaching, and on it goes. It is a teaching that belongs to the church which name goes with it. In which case the church has authority to change the teaching at any time. In fact, we have seen this over the years.
Second, we shall notice a few changes which have taken place in the more resent time. Looking first at the United Methodist Church which has a governing body known as: The General Conference. However, before changes are made there is another body which sends the changes to the General Conference and is know as “The Connectional Table,” which is just one of The United Methodist Church’s governing bodies. It is made up of 59 members which are clergy and lay people that coordinates the denomination’s mission, ministry and resources. In a meeting, April 2014, this group decided to draft legislation that could change church law “to fully include LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), there is a debate as to what the “Q” stands for but generally it stands for queer persons in the life and ministry of the church.” Any decision “The Connectional Table” makes would have to go before the top lawmaking assembly, General Conference. To say the least, this would be a major change in Methodist Doctrine! Nevertheless, as the Doctrine is Methodist, the authoritative body has the right/power to change any teaching that belongs to it. However, the Methodist Church has no right/power to change the teaching that belongs to Christ! John wrote on this subject: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).
The above is true of all denominational churches, as the doctrine belongs to them! Each one has the power/right to change any doctrine at anytime! So, what do some of these bodies say about what is necessary to be saved? Here is what I read: “We’re saved by grace alone through faith alone.” If you will recall from the last article (# 3) we gave the way the word “only,” which is the same as “alone.” Both “only” and “alone” removes all other things related to what is required to be saved! You cannot have both “saved by grace alone” and “through faith alone!” It cannot be by grace only/alone; then, add “through faith only/alone!” But, this is not the end of what the Methodist Church has said about how one is saved; they also say: “We’re made whole and reconciled by the love of God as we receive it and trust in it.” It should have come to the mind of some Methodist Church leaders that they have a third requirement to be saved, but it appears that this has never taken place! (This information has been taken from “The People of The United Methodist Church page.)
It has not been the intent of these articles to teach on grace, faith, and love, but it has been necessary as they relate to the question: “How many ways can one be saved?” It should not surprise anyone that each denominational church has its own doctrine and its own teaching as to how one is saved! Thus, from their point of view, the answer to our question: “There are many ways to be saved!” Nevertheless, not any of these denominational churches has any authority to give an answer different than is found in “the teaching of Christ!”
As we conclude this series of articles, let it be understood by all, that there is NO CHURCH OF CHRIST DOCTRINE! The teaching, doctrine, belongs to Christ; it is his and no man, nor any group of men, has any authority to change it in any way! Therefore, we close with the inspired words of one of the “ambassadors for Christ,” John the apostle: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/how-many-ways-can-one-be-saved-4/

Feb 17

HOW MANY WAYS CAN ONE BE SAVED? (3)

Just how many questions are more important than those that deal with salvation? You can count on one hand with four fingers missing and get the right answer! Keep in mind the thumb is not a finger. Many people fail to understand what they are really saying when they address the subject of salvation. In this life there is nothing more important than the subject of salvation. With this in mind; let us take look at the question: “How many ways can one be saved?
Some people speak of “grace only,” meaning that salvation is by “grace only.” First, if salvation is by “grace only,” then, would not all people be saved? Grace coming from God to mankind, then, all mankind would be saved. That is, unless one believes in Calvinism. As Calvinism teaches that God predetermined that some would be saved, and all others would be lost. Keep in mind that this would limit the number of people who would be saved to those chosen by God. However, Paul wrote: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Here the “grace of God” teaches us certain things, as Paul continued: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (verse 11). Just for learning sake, and we should all be eager to learn. The word “teaching” is the Greek “paideuo” and means “to train children” but there is more. This Greek word is also translated “to chastise” and “chasteneth” in Hebrews chapter twelve, verses five and six. Therefore, the phrase “grace of God” refers to “the teaching of Christ.” So, how does this relate to our subject? It means “the grace of God,” which is “the gospel of Christ,” had at that time “appeared to all men!” Now, what is the point in having “the grace of God” appearing to all men, all mankind, if those who are to be saved by “grace only” and the number had/has been determined already? It is a wasted effort and God does not waste anything!
But, there is another thought just here. If man is saved “by grace only,” and it had/has appeared to all mankind, then, would not all mankind be saved? Yes, indeed! This would also prove the doctrine of “Universal salvation!” However, those who believe in “grace only” do not believe in “universal salvation!” “Universal salvation” would remove the need of teaching/preaching the gospel of Christ to anyone!
It is not uncommon to hear those who believe that we are saved “by grace only” also believe man is saved “by faith only.” The word “only” does not allow for anything else! The word “only” is an adjective:
1) “lone(a), lonesome(a), only(a), sole(a), solitary(a).” “It means: being the only one; single and isolated from others.” Therefore, it is “lacking companions or companionship.” No room here for anything else.
2) “lone(a), lonely(a), solitary (adj) characterized by or preferring solitude,” as in “a lone wolf”; “a lonely existence”; “a man of a solitary disposition”; “a solitary walk.” No room for another!
3) “lone(a), lonesome(a), only(a), sole(a), solitary(a) (adj) being the only one; single and isolated from others, “the lone doctor in the entire county”; “a lonesome pine”; “an only child”; “the sole heir”; “the sole example”; “a solitary instance of cowardice”; “a solitary speck in the sky.” No room for anything else!

Therefore, if salvation is “by grace only,” then, there is no room for “by faith only!” And if salvation is “by faith only,” there is no room for “by grace only!” Therefore, if these things were true, they negate each other!
There remains just a few questions. First, why did Jesus command his apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)? Second, why did the inspired Peter answer the question, by those who believed his preaching: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” in the manner he did: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:37-38)? Neither Jesus nor his inspired aposltes believe nor taught that salvation was “by grace only” nor “by faith only” as a means of being saved!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/how-many-ways-can-one-be-saved-3/

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