Jan 12

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

How many times have you heard the words, “the gospel of Christ?” No one’s memory is good enough to recall such a number! More than likely each time you heard it, it was with joy; that is if you paid attention to what was being said. On the other hand, if it was being used while attached to false teaching, it would bring no joy at all. This was the case when Paul wrote to the Galatians: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Notice the change of words, as Paul wrote, “the grace of Christ,” but when Paul continued to write: “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7). Yes, we hear so much today about old-time preachers who did not preach enough about the “grace” of God as they preached too much about “doctrine.” Paul used the words “grace” and “gospel” interchangeable. Now, this is a “big” thing in the minds of a growing number of preachers today. In reality, it is not “new” but it is nothing more than “digging up old bones” from earlier years.
Now, getting back to our subject, “the gospel of Christ (grace)!” Paul in Romans 1:16 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). You have heard and you have come to know that Paul is here declaring that “the gospel of Christ (grace)” is “the power of God unto salvation.” This is yet another point that you have known for many years. But, do you know why “the gospel of Christ (grace)” is the power of God “unto salvation? Well, there is something within “the gospel of Christ (grace)” that is not found anywhere else! That’s right, nowhere else! It is not found in a false “gospel of Christ!” A false gospel of Christ is not another of the same type as “the gospel of Christ!” God’s power to save rests within but one “gospel of Christ,” which is the inspired delivered “gospel.” Here recall Paul’s words to Jude: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Yes, when “the faith” was once “delivered unto the saints,” it was forever, never to be changed by adding to it, or taking from it, or a “pervert” gospel of Christ. But what is within “the gospel of Christ” that makes it God’s power unto salvation??
In order to answer the question, “What is within the gospel of Christ that makes it God’s power unto salvation?” As we go back to Romans and looking with care at the apostle’s words, after he has written: “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation,” he follows up with these words: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed …” So often these words are just read over, and no attention is given to them, but they are most important to our understanding of the truth! Paul is saying that “within the gospel of Christ (grace)” is the means by which man can be made righteous! Paul is not addressing God’s personal righteousness but the righteousness or the justification of man. Where in all that has been written the world over, is God’s power to make man righteous? It is in “the gospel of Christ (grace)” and my friends, this power is not in anything else that has been written.
The apostle has saved us a lot of work and time, in that he has put his finger on but one writing, it may be identified in various ways, such as “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9), “the faith” (Jude 3), “the grace of Christ” (Gal. 1:6), “the truth” (John 8:32), or “the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16). Why is this true? It is because that God has not put in any other writing “the righteousness of God,” the power to make man righteous!
Therefore, we ask, when Jesus stood with the eleven, just before he was taken up, he gave their commission, wherein he said: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16-17). This is a system of “faith,” of “he that believeth,” but it does not end with these words, but as Jesus continued, “and is baptized.” If a person is baptized but does not believe “the gospel of Christ” is the writing where God has put “the righteousness of God.”
You see, a person must believe, have faith in, God’s righteousness which he put in “the gospel of Christ (grace)” and it is unto salvation!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-gospel-of-christ/

Jan 04

THE BIBLE

Is there a better subject to start the New Year with, than, the Bible? The Bible introduces us to God, a being without equal! God introduces us to the beginning of man, as God breathed into “the dust of the ground,” and there is the beginning of humanity! God introduces the Devil to us, and as Peter would later write of Satan, he is our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). And with sin, came the greatest tragedy of the humanity, spiritual separation from God.
In the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament, humanity was without an answer to sin: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:5). It would take the twenty-seven books of the New Testament to reveal the only answer for sin, as Peter would write of man’s redemption: “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). In these twenty-seven books, the Holy Spirit would give to humanity God’s saving power, 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). Why Paul answers: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:17). But, it is up to humanity to understand, what is within “the gospel of Christ.” But from where does the gospel get its“power” to save? When Paul used the Greek word “gar,” from which we get the word “for,” he was telling us a “reason” the “gospel of Christ” is “the power of God unto salvation!” The “gospel of Christ” is the revelation of “the righteousness of God!” Not God’s personal “righteousness,” but the means by which he makes man “righteous,” or justified!
The “gospel of Christ” is the answer, the only answer, for the first sin committed and the last sin committed before Christ returns to judge the world, as Paul wrote: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). If we have not been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19); we will pay the price for our own sin: “For the wages of sin is death;…” (Rom. 6:23). But thanks be to God, all those who have been redeemed with “the precious blood of Christ” will enjoy “the gift of God” which “is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23).
Therefore, I introduce you to one of my favorite verses, it comes from the words of Paul, as he spoke by the Holy Spirit to the elders of the church in Ephesus, as he was prepared to depart from then for the last time: “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” (Acts 20:32). In these final words, Paul is placing “alongside” of the elders “God” and “the word of his grace!” Why is this so important? Let Paul answer: first, “which,” that is “the word of God’s grace” “is able to build you up” and second, it is able to “give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified!” Is there anything greater? No! No! Not one thing!
The Old Testament tells us about the first sins committed and the New Testament tells us about the answer to sin; the answer for all sin! This my friends, is the answer to this statement: “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12). There is our state, the state of all humanity! But then God, through the Holy Spirit spoke to all humanity, saying: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). All of God’s plan, from the first sin, until God revealed “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. or therein is the righteousness of God …” (Rom. 1:16-17).
Yes, the Bible, the greatest Book, “the Book,” that stands alone among books!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible/

Dec 28

A NEW YEAR IS UPON US

We are facing a “New Year?” But what does this mean to us? Or does it mean nothing to us? If you are alive on January 1, 2019, you have before you a time to serve God through Christ, who is sitting at the right hand of Almighty God.
Let us as this “New Year” begins, simply think about God! There is no greater thought! But, do we really understand just what it means to think about God? When, the word “God” comes before us, do we really get even near the fullness of the thought, “God?” When God was telling Moses that he would bring Israel out of the bondage of the Egyptians, God said: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Ex. 6:3). With these words God spanned the foundation of Israel in the names of: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then, God introduces himself to Moses, who would introduce God to Israel; thus, Israel would come to know “JEHOVAH!” For the first time God identifies himself in the word, the name: “JEHOVAH.” So, with this new name, new to man, just what is in the name, “Jehovah?” The word means: “self-Existent” (Strong). Never had man heard this name! Through the history of man, covering the time from Adam to Moses, God had been known as “el-o-heem,” the name Moses used in the first chapter, and the first verse, of the Old Testament. It must be understood that, as we read the Old Testament, when the word “God” is used it is the Hebrew word “eloheem” but when we see the word “Lord” in all capital letters (LORD), the Hebrew word is “yeh-ho-vaw” or as it is better known, “Jehovah.” It is this name that God is telling Moses he is to tell Israel that he is and what a change in understanding is called for!
As the “New Year” arrives, I would like for us to think of knowing God, the “self-Existent” one! There is no greater thought that man can have than “JEHOVAH!” Therefore, what is being called for, is that our minds arise to the highest name, the greatest thought, that we human beings can have! When we obeyed the gospel, as we were raised out of the water, in baptism, a child of “JEHOVAH” has been born! As when the baby is taken from the womb of the mother, we are a “new creature,” we are one which has never been before; as Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). These words bring forth the question: “How do we get into Christ? Let Paul answer: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). Did you get it? When we were “baptized into Christ,” we “have put on Christ!” In this we have become a child of “JEHOVAH!” The “self-Existent” one! In this action we did surrender the total of our self to the will of “JEHOVAH,” 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). Oh, what a thought, as we review such a time!
Do we see ourselves in such a manner? Here is a good time to recall the words of Jesus as he prayed, just before being crucified on the cross: “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). Yes, just as Jesus cried out, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt,” his words must be our words, not my will, but the will of God, is our life! The “new year” gives us time to think, I am really a child of God! Now, taking our thoughts to one of the most misused verses in the New Testament: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). The plan God announced following the first sins committed, when God said: “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 (Gen. 3:15). Every “little” point in the plan of “JEHOVAH” has “work(ed) together for good to them that love God!” My fellows, “all things” from God’s degree following the sins of Adam and Eve, have worked “together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Please notice the words, “according to his purpose,” it does not read, according to our purpose, but God’s purpose!
As we think, as the “New Year” comes upon us, let the words of Jesus be the heart of our thought: “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt!” Is there a thought that can be in our hearts, that could be greater, I think not! Yes, we who have “obeyed that form of teaching”, are children of “JEHOVAH!”
The final question: “Will this be our thought?” Will this be your thought?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/a-new-year-is-upon-us/

Dec 21

I HAVE A PLAN? (3)

In this final article written under the above heading, the first action taken when a person comes to the local church of Christ, and says he has a plan, is to send him packing! God has one plan for the local bodies of the “called out ones,” and it is the only plan the churches of Christ are authorized to use! Though the years, men have come out with any number of plans for the saved in Christ and through these plans they have led some churches of Christ into error!
As pointed out in article number two in this series, right in the state of Oklahoma there is a group of men, posing themselves as “elders,” who have taken several local churches of Christ, unto themselves. A good question that needs an answer is this: “What is their final plan for the churches of Christ?” Here we are asking, not only what they plan for the one congregation which they serve as leaders, but what is their plan for all the churches of Christ in the city wherein they are located? Moreover, what is their plan for all the local churches of Christ in the state of Oklahoma? If their plan is to have one church, as a “home church,” with “satellite” churches in other locations within the city, which they will serve as “elders,” just how far out and how many local churches do they “plan” to bring under their “eldership?”
Their authority, at least the passage they might use, that is if they are concerned about New Testament authority at all, must be Paul’s words to Titus, as Paul wrote: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). The use of this verse is not new to these so-called elders, no, this “plan” has been sent forth to the churches of Christ before in a book, wherein the writer espoused this same “plan:” one eldership over all the congregations in any given city! The fact, that no building would be able to hold all the members, of all the local congregations, will necessarily require “satellite” churches! This means that one eldership, naturally the eldership of the largest congregation; the congregation which has her sights set on being the largest congregation in the city; will have all authority over these so-called “satellite” churches! Men will go out from the large church, to implement the desires and the orders of the supreme “eldership!” With this, the local churches of Christ have no autonomy at all.
The central question, how do we harmonize the words of Paul in Titus one, verse five, with the action done under the oversight of the apostleship of the same man, Paul? Here reference is directed to Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, …” Did the apostle violate his own instructions to Titus by ordaining elders in every church? You can see Titus’ dilemma 1) is he to “ordain elders in every city,” or 2) is he to do as did the apostle, “ordained them elders in every church?” So, how would Titus or how would you, harmonize these two actions; both done by and directed by the same apostle? One thing to keep in mind, is the fact that Crete was a small island, but it had hundreds cities. This resulting in small towns, cities; thus, more than likely having but one congregation is each city, town! Therefore, Paul’s words to Titus: “ordain elders in every city!” With this, there is no difference between what Paul did and what he told Titus to do! One thing for sure, Paul did not contradict himself! And, let us not forget, the inspired writers of the New Testament never, as the “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20), intended for one eldership to be over another eldership. It being the case that elders were “ordered in every church!”
It has been said of old, “that if it is bigger than the local church, it is too big” and “if it is smaller than the local church, then, it is too small.” There has been a desire on the part of same, throughout the brotherhood, from the time of the churches of Christ in America, to have organizations outside the local churches of Christ! It is as though God had a fault in his plan for the local autonomous churches of Christ! Arrogant men have stepped forward to put in, or among, the churches of Christ, their ideas of “bigness,” they can do what the local churches of Christ cannot do! These organizations, of course, are operated by the authority of men and not God!
It is a case of man versus God! On whose side will you stand? Call to mind the words of the apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29); and make your stand with these words planted deep in your heart!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/i-have-a-plan-3/

Dec 15

I HAVE A PLAN? (2)

The first article was written with the trust that the readers would know that the title under which the article was written with “tongue in cheek.” To the Bible believing folks there is but one plan and it belongs to God through his “dear Son!” However, nearly from the beginning, when the gospel was first preached, there were some who thought that God’s plan needed just a little help, if it was to work, if it was to do the job God desired! It is the wish and fervent desire of this humble writer that all efforts of humanity would stop and desist at this very moment, to change God’s plan! However, from history it is fully known that this will not happen!
In this second article an effort will be made to look at a “new plan” for the churches of Christ. This article is not written with the belief that it will stop or even slow down what is now taking place; one eldership over more than one congregation. Those who desire and are, at this time, implementing their manmade designed plan for the future of the churches of Christ, have long ago departed from the faith, “once for all time delivered unto the saints,” (Jude 3) and they have no desire to return! This suggests the question, why write at all? It is hoped that honest, faithful, children of God will take heed of what is happening among us, with the desire that they will never weaken, nor give in to such deadly doctrine!
So, just who is it that has introduced this “new” and deadly doctrine? Here, let us recall a little history. In the first century, yes, even in the time the inspired words were being written, such an effort was foretold. It was through the pen of the apostle Paul, who wrote: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thes. 2:3). Please note that Paul’s words are set in his own time, pointing to the time when some within the churches of Christ would depart, or as Paul wrote, “there come a falling away.” Yes, from within the churches of Christ, from God’s redeemed, would this “falling away” take place. Before continuing, it is good that we notice the meaning of the Greek word used here. Our English words “a falling away,” come from the one Greek word, “apostasia,” which means: “defection from truth (properly the state), (apostasy): – falling away, forsake” (Strong). This was started in the days of the apostle himself and it took nearly 500 years before it became a full reality; Boniface III would take the seat of “The Pope” in the year 606 A.D. It is so true, that big things, are started small. In other words, the result may bear little resemblance to its beginning! So, we look at the beginning of such a “falling away,” and express the thought that the present action looks nothing like a “Pope.” To which we say, of course, not!
Now, let us look at what is really happening at the present time. We need not go outside the state of Oklahoma, beyond the second largest city in the state. Here we call your attention to an article in the “Christian Chronicle,” though we will only look in general terms and no quotes will be given. (Due to the fact that the article cannot be found at the time of writing.) The larger congregation is nearing the point of out-growing the building; therefore, a larger one is needed. It just happens about this time that, perhaps the largest denominational church in the state had fallen on bad times and needs to sell their property. Here is the general look at the property. The land is about eighty acres, with a large “family life center” building and a very large building of worship. It will serve the desires of the elders of the overseeing elders and the church. In the process of time, the now very large Church of Christ, does not have room for all the people in the congregations they have now taken over; therefore, the little congregations, which are now under the oversight of the elders of the large Church have to remain in their old buildings and are now identified as “satellite” churches. The number of which are unknown to this writer.
Here it is needful that we view what is taking place. This will be done through questions: 1) Where is the authority of Christ for the elders of one congregation overseeing the affairs of another congregation? 2) Where is the authority of Christ for these “family life centers?” and 3) Where is the authority of Christ for the church to provide “all things” of the family? These three questions are not to be just thrown to the side!
It has amazed me for years that some brethren read the New Testament as though families had no children. In other words, just what did children do who had parents who were “the called out of Christ?” We can read where children are to be obedient to their parents (Eph. 6:1), we can read where children are to “honor their father and mother” (Eph. 6:2), and we can read where fathers are to bring their children up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). My brethren, please take no part in that which helps destroys the family as designed by God!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/i-have-a-plan-2/

Dec 07

I HAVE A PLAN (1)

Some years ago, a book was published which taught that the New Testament reveals that each city was to have one eldership, not each congregation. These elders would oversee all the congregations in the city. Just take Oklahoma City for example and look at all the congregations that are in it. Then, seeing that one group of elders, one might conclude that they would be centrally located; thus, they would be able to reach each congregation on the same level. In fact, one elder could be sent to each congregation, if not all the time, at least some of the time. One might ask, where does such an idea come from in the New Testament? The idea would come from what Paul wrote to Titus: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). The key words are, “ordain elders in every city” and not in every congregation!
The idea is missed that the thought of looking at Crete, it was written by Homer, “that the island had a hundred cities” (F. Wagstaff). Understanding that the island was not above fifty miles in breadth, and two hundred and seventy in length. Crete was full of cities! Yet, the idea expressed above, is not without support, writing of Titus in one commentary has, ”to ordain elders in every city, to be bishops over the several churches” (Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible). But I was not able to find others teaching such, nevertheless, my research was done in haste. Coffman wrote in his commentary the following; “This actually means a plurality of elders in every church in each city of Crete, (Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible). Nevertheless, we would be amiss if we failed to notice what Luke wrote of the action of Paul: “And when they had ordained them elders in every church…” (Acts 14:23)
I have a plan that would go something like the following: the largest congregation is Oklahoma City, desiring to grow and in need of money, would send a few members to a small congregation without elders; thus, during a “business” meeting these fellows would bring up the idea, the congregation being so small, that they should sell their building and become members of the larger congregation. The “moved in” folks would then call for a vote and being in the majority, would out vote the brethren who had been there before. This would be done several times; thus, the larger congregation would become larger and larger and have more money when the old building was sold. Stop and think for a moment, what this would do to the cause of Christ! The work of Christ would be removed from each area where the old small congregation was in Oklahoma City where this plan was put into action! But, let us not forget, the small congregations are unable to do much to start with!
Let us look a little closer to the plan, the brethren would continue to meet in the old building, as they waited for it to sell; and the older congregation would become a “settle light” church as they would be under the elders of the larger congregation. This would be done all over Oklahoma City, one congregation at a time! Just how big would this larger congregation become? Well, it is easy to see that they would out grow their building and need a much larger one! Here is how one set of elders could become, in time, over all of Oklahoma City! This larger congregation, which may have “settle light” congregations under their oversight, as in one eldership, would be able to do a lot more work, right? This is really the motivation for such action; more money, more power, but wait, would this newer congregation really do more work authorized by the inspired writers of the New Testament? Seeing how many congregations have turned inward today, in serving themselves, may I strongly suggest that it would not result in more work being done authorized by Christ and his inspired “ambassadors” (2 Cor. 5:20).
In a second article we shall look at this idea as it is now being put into practice in at least one place.

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/i-have-a-plan-1/

Dec 01

YOUR MOUTH, MY WORD (3)

This week we have the last in our three-part series on the subject, “Your mouth, My word.” Sorry for the interruption but it was thought that an article on Thanksgiving was necessary. (Editor)
YOUR MOUTH, MY WORD (3)
In this third article, under the above heading, we shall continue our study from Paul’s pen but God’s words! Recall that each one of Paul’s four phrases are “advantageous” to us, if we are willing to receive God’s “chastenings” (Heb. 12:6) which are not always easy to receive but receive them we must!
The third word is “correction” and is the Greek “epanorthosis” which means: “restoration to an upright or right state.” This gives us a look at a person who is bent over and needs a “straightening up again,” a “rectification” (Strong). It is looking at a person who has gone wrong, spiritually but the word of God has the power to lift him up again. That is, if the God breathed word is received and obeyed.
The fourth word is “instruction” and is the Greek “paideia” which means: “tutorage, that is, education or training; by implication disciplinary correction: – chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture.” (Strong). Here Thayer will enlarge our thoughts, as he says: “the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose new commands and admonitions, new reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body.” But, Paul puts the word “instruction” with the word “righteousness;” thus, the “instruction is in “righteousness” as this is the greatest need and achievement of mankind! Righteousness equals justification and justification equals righteousness! In other words, if a person is “righteous” he is saved and if a person is justified, he is saved! At the same time, if a person is not “righteous” he is not saved and if a person is not “justified” he is not saved!
Let us not forget that each of these four words has before them that little word “for,” which we have learned is a forward-looking word. But, where do we stand spiritually, in relationship to each of Paul’s words? Whatever our state, the inspired word of God “is “profitable” as it looks forward into every area of life’s spiritual need.
Therefore, the apostle of Christ concluded with these words: “that the man of God maybe perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” More information needs to be given about the Greek word from which we get our words, “thoroughly furnished,” these two words come from the one Greek word, “exartizo,” which means: “to complete, finish 1a) to furnish perfectly” (Thayer). The idea here may be expressed this way, the word of God completely fits us for its intended purpose! Not one thing needs to be added to the “All scripture is God breathed words! In fact, if we add to it or take away from it, Paul informed the churches of Galatia, and by them, us: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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” (Gal. 1:6-8). Then, to these words we recall the words of the apostle John: “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). If there were any place for additions, or taking away, then, the words of John would not be necessary; they should not even be in the “God breathed” words!
When it comes to our needs in pleasing God, he has given us all, the totality of what will make us “thoroughly furnished unto all good works!” No man, nor angel, has the right to change one word of what Paul writes: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Once more, what is the purpose of “All scripture?” It is: “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Therefore, let each of us ask: “Where do I stand?” Have I made use of all that God has given me? There is so much more that could and needs to be written about the text of these three articles, but one can only write so much in a short space.

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/your-mouth-my-word-3/

Nov 24

THANKSGIVING 101

This week we are taking an excursion from the ongoing articles on “Your mouth, My words,” to notice “Thanksgiving.” May each of you have had a great “Thanksgiving Day” with family and friends!

THANKSGIVING 101

The subject of “thanksgiving” is one of importance to every Christian and should be to every person! There is no one who has been not be blessed in some way; therefore, each one should be thankful for these blessings! The American “thanksgiving” day has a history and each one of us should be interested in the American “thanksgiving” history. However, there should be a greater interest in the New Testament subject of “thanksgiving!”
First, a brief look at the American story of history. Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, right in the midst of the war between the states! This, if we know our history, seems at first to be a strange time to be thinking about “thanksgiving!” It was Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. However, this was not the beginning of Americans to express their “thanksgiving” to the Almighty Father!
George Washington made a proclamation following a request by Congress in 1789, for such a “Thanksgiving” day. Strangely enough, Thomas Jefferson, chose not to observe the holiday; therefore, there was no continued celebration until the Lincoln proclamation. It was celebration off and on between the dates of 1789 and 1863.
Yet, the idea of “Thanksgiving” goes all the way back to arrival of the Pilgrims in America, the “New World” in October 1621. This means that America has been a nation of “Thanksgiving” from its foundation days. It is said that this first “thanksgiving” was attended by ninety Native Americans and fifty-three Pilgrims. The first celebration lasted three days! We might ask, could we today handle a three day “celebration” of thanksgiving?
It is not the purpose of this article to give a history of “Thanksgiving” in America but to just recall a little attention to it. The purpose of this article is to address a little of what the New Testament says about being thankful.
Look at Paul’s words: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Notice first, that Christians are a “rejoicing” people, as Paul wrote: “Rejoice evermore.” Two little words but they carry a great challenge. We all know, first hand and otherwise, that we have our troubles, our bad times, and our own tragic times. So, we ask: “Does Paul expect us to “rejoice” in such times?” Yes, even in the most tragic moments, the Christian has reason to “rejoice” and this is one thing that separates Christianity from all else! You see, Christianity is based in Christ and there are always reasons that call for “rejoicing!” One thing is that Christians are a praying people; thus, Paul’s “pray without ceasing!” Strong tells us, “uninterruptedly, that is, without omission” but then adds this thought, “(on an appropriate occasion).” Not even Jesus prayed “all” the time, but he certainly did what Paul commands us to do! In our praying, we must follow the words: “In every thing give thanks!” Here is a good time and place to call attention to the word “everything,” in Paul’s command, that it requires us to “in every thing give thanks!” Do we give thanks in the death of a young mother, or father? When the child in such a family, has a father and mother, but one dies, and the one who dies is not a Christian, our we to “give thanks?” No! But we can find reason for giving thanks even in such cases! Think for a moment, what are the reasons to give thanks in such cases? If this young child who has just lost a father, he/she still has a mother and beyond this, the child has a grandfather and grandmother who are Christians and who will help guide the young child in the way of the Lord. Or, do we minimize this most important truth?
It is impossible to cover the many areas of our subject, but this brief article hopefully will give enough to think about! So, it is hoped that you did not just eat the turkey but that you found many reasons for giving thanks to the Almighty God!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/thanksgiving-101/

Nov 01

YOUR MOUTH, MY WORD (2)

In this second article under the above words we will be looking at the four phrases which the apostle of Christ wrote. Understanding that each word is God’s breath in the pen of the apostle Paul as it graces the page. It may be necessary for the reader to go back and refresh himself as to what was written in the first article. As there will not be a review of it.
We start with the apostle’s first word in the phrase and it is the Greek word “pro.” One might have expected to learn that Paul had used the Greek word “gar,” which assigns a reason, but he did not! However, we learn that he used the Greek word “pro” which is “a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward” (strong). This little Greek word must be important to the text, as Paul uses it with each phrase that follows. Therefore, as we learn the meaning of each word in the four phrases, we must remember that each is “forward looking!” But what are these four phrases looking at? This will not be explained until we get to verse seventeen.
The apostle will reveal what these inspired words can do. The apostle starts by telling us something that separates God’s word from all other writings; and it is the: “teaching, instruction.” There are books upon books written but not one of them has the ability that God’s word has, it is a teaching that is always profitable, it is always advantageous to the person who studies and learns with the intention of obeying the teaching! Let us here give attention to two passages; the first being Romans 1:16: “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.” Now notice that Paul, being guided by the Holy Spirit, starts the next verse with the word “for,” which is the Greek “gar” and is “A primary particle; properly assigning a reason” (Strong). In other words, verse seventeen tells us why verse sixteen is true. So, why is verse sixteen true? Here is verse seventeen: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” The reason sixteen is true is because within it is “the righteousness of God!” Not that it reveals that God is righteous, but that it is the revelation of God’s means of making man righteous or justified. You can see that the little word “for” is most important to our understanding of the text! This “doctrine” or “teaching” is, as John the apostle wrote, “the teaching of Christ” and it is the means of our fellowship with God the Father and his Son, Jesus the Christ!
Paul’s second word is “reproof” and it comes from the Greek “elegchos” which means: “conviction” and carries with it “evidence” by which the “conviction” is made. It is a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested. The “wiseman” of the Old Testament wrote: “Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die” (Pro. 15:10). The Christian is a person who is always subject to “correction!” In fact, as strange as it may sound in our world, the Christian is one who welcomes “correction.” Notice the words of Hebrews: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him” (Heb. 12:5). Now, why is this true, that Christians must not “despise” God’s “chastening?” Once more note that the little three letter word, “for,” as the writer starts the next verse: “For (“For” is the Greek “gar” assigning reason. frw) whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Yes, “the Lord loveth” those he “chasteneth,” and notice the “eth” on the end of the word and this tells us the “chastening” is continuous! So, do you welcome God’s “chastening?” Do you love the Lord’s “reproof?” The answer you give is revealing as to the direction your soul/spirit is going, it is going toward Heaven or Hell. The difference may be found in the word “chasteneth” and how we react to it!
It is hoped that this brief look into only two of Paul’s four phrases, that it has been “advantageous” to you. But, only you and God, can really know the answer to this question!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/your-mouth-my-word-2/

Oct 27

YOUR MOUTH, MY WORD (1)

In this first article written under the above heading we will study 2 Timothy 3:16 and in this first article, it will serve only as an introduction to the subject. In the second article we will call attention to the words in verse sixteen. Then, in a third article we will study verse 17 if things go as planned. The reason for these two articles is that more and more people living today are concluding that the Bible is just the work of men. These three articles are not an effort to prove the Bible is the word of God but to show what the apostle Paul said it is! An effort will be made to enlarge the readers thinking of the subject of inspiration and what it is able to do to a willing soul/spirit!
In writing about the inspiration of the Bible, there may not be a clearer declaration of it, than in the words of Jeramiah the prophet, as God had him write: “Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth” (Jer. 1:9). It was the mouth of Jeramiah but the words in his mouth were those of God! Before the mouth of Jeremiah could speak the words of God, God had to breath the words into his mouth! When Jeremiah wrote the words God breathed into his mouth we have inspiration!
This is near the idea of Paul’s words in the New Testament, when he wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, …” The words, “given by inspiration of God” are one word in the Greek text and it is “theopneustos.” Many will see the Greek word for God in the first four letters, “theo,” and when this word stands by itself, it would be translated into the English word “God.” In fact, we do not have to look anywhere else than verse seventeen of our text, to see this truth. As it reads: “that the man of God …” and the word “God” is the Greek “theos.” This means the rest of the Greek word used by Paul is very important to our understanding of the subject. The second part of our word is “pneustos” and it means: “spirit” or breath.” Therefore, what we have in Paul’s word “theopneustos” is “God’s spirit.” or, “God’s breath,” and as we put this into the phrase used by Paul, it would read, “All scripture is God’s breath.” It matters not who had the pen in hand, the words spoken or written were “God’s breath;” as God said to the prophet: “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.”
Moving to the word “scripture,” which is the Greek “graphe?” and means, “writing” or “the thing written.” Therefore, we have this: “The thing written is God’s breath.” It is much like the words of Jeremiah, “I have put my words in thy mouth.” Or in the case before us, “all writing is given by God’s breath!” This means that the scriptures are authored by God, and that God moved through the personality and abilities of the biblical writers in such a way that what they wrote was without error and was correct in everything that it addressed! This is true, if the subject is historical, if it is a view of the heavens, if it reveals science before there was science, or if it was prophecy which would be fulfilled hundreds of years later; the words were God’s breath in the mouth or in the pen as it graced the page.
The apostle uses the word “for” which we have a tendency to take lightly. For instance, have you ever noticed how many verses in the chapter you are reading start with the word “for?” Just look at Romans chapter six, it is noted that six of the twenty-three verses start with the word “for.” Then, in that great and challenging eighth chapter of Romans, the word “for” starts fourteen of the thirty-nine verses. Each time the word “for” is used in these verses, it is the Greek word “gar,” which is a word that introduces the “reason” the above is true! This information is most helpful in understanding the truth which the apostle writes. Now, it is true that man and not God divided these chapters into verses. In fact, man divided the books into chapters!
However, the apostle did not use the same Greek word in the Roman verses, that he used in 2 Timothy three and verse sixteen. Here Paul used the Greek “pros” in the verse before us in Timothy and it is “a preposition of direction.” Therefore, here is a good place to call attention to the fact that in each of the four phrases, each one has the word “for” at the beginning. The reason for this repetition is to draw the reader to each phrase; to show that each is very important in what he is writing.
With this introduction, we are ready to study the phrases which Paul uses in the text, 2 Timothy chapter three, verse sixteen. It will be written with the hope that our efforts will be beneficial to each reader!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/your-mouth-my-word-1/

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