The Golden Isles church of Christ

Weekly Bulletin

Volume 3, Number 13

March 30, 2003

The Necessity for Distinctive Preaching & Teaching

by Lynn D. Headrick

Book, chapter and verse preaching of the the gospel of Christ is the only means God has chosen to save your soul and mine. There is a lot of preaching that is being done but much of it is just telling interesting stories that entertain the audience and make popular the preacher. This type thing is a spiritual trap. We must hear Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins and then we must courageously obey Jesus from the depth of our hearts.

DISTINCTIVE PREACHING REQUIRES STUDY. As a teacher of your class or as a preacher of sermons, there is just no substitute for careful "handling aright of the word of truth." What a thrill it is to go to a real "bible class" and study the wondrous things out of God's law! On the other hand, what a spiritual disaster to waste valuable class and sermon time on current trivia. May God bless those young preachers who are willing to dig deeply into God's Word and then preach it with conviction.

DISTINCTIVE PREACHING SEPARATES THE GOSPEL PLAN OF SALVATION FROM THE WISDOM OF MEN. The gospel preaching of the apostles said , "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...,Acts 2:38, but the wisdom of men says, "Just accept Jesus into your heart where you sit and you will be all right.!"

DISTINCTIVE PREACHING SEPARATES THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT FROM THE CHURCHES STARTED OUT OF MAN'S DESIRE TO PLEASE HIMSELF. Jesus said, "I will build my church," Mt.16:18 and He did just that. Men and women repented of sins, were baptized, God added them to the church and in localities throughout the whole world baptized believers met and do meet to worship our God and Father in heaven. But a tragedy took place when Satan deceived people into believing that they could start churches with new names and different types of organizations and with different work to do. This is what a denomination is and these churches are contrary to God's Will. Distinctive class teaching and preaching calls people back to the church just as we see it in the New Testament.

DISTINCTIVE PREACHING WILL STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH WHEN TROUBLE REARS ITS HEAD. "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another," John 13:35. However, brethren sometimes do not love as they should and need be "withstood" to their face because of some sin. See Gal.2:11. Some churches never have any peace because when sin is reproved the sinner wants to change class teachers or get a different preacher. What is needed is men and women who will stand for the truth even if it means having only a very few in the congregation. We need to quit covering up problems and forthrightly "preach the word" encouraging all to obey the gospel without the loss of a single soul to wrangling and discontent.

May God bless us as we press on toward the wonderful place called heaven!

The Holy Spirit: His Deity & Nature

by Lynn D. Headrick

"...the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We are thus introduced to the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of the first book of the bible. The last chapter of the last book of the bible presents an invitation from the Spirit saying, "and the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.'" Between the first and last chapters of the bible, there is a fascinating account of the deity, nature, and work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is called "God"

The word divinity or godhead is used in Romans 1:20 to denote "the attributes of God, His divine nature and properties." God is divine as opposed to being human. There is one God, one divine essence, Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Timothy 2:5, whose attributes are expressed in three persons: God, the Father; God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. "There is one God and Father of all," Eph.4:6. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one," John 10:30. Jesus meant that both he and the Father are divine;

"In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily," Colossians 2:9. God and Christ are of the same divine essence but are distinct persons. Ananias lied "to the Holy Spirit," but it was also said, "thou has not lied unto men, but unto God," Acts 5:3-5. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the Holy Spirit is God--He possesses the attributes of God; He is divine.

At the baptism of Jesus, Matthew 3:13-17, Jesus was on earth, God spoke from heaven and the Spirit was descending. When disciples are baptized, it is done "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matthew 28:19.

Paul acknowledges the three persons of the godhead in his benediction at the close of the second Corinthian letter: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Scripture does not affirm three Gods but it does repeatedly emphasize three persons in the godhead.

These thoughts on the deity of the Holy Spirit may seem strange to us because: 1) we are finite and do, indeed, find such concepts as eternity and deity difficult to comprehend, and 2) we just do not preach, write and talk enough about the nature and deity of the Holy Spirit.

The nature of the Holy Spirit

By nature is meant the essential characteristics and qualities of a person. It was said of Barnabas that he was a good man, of Dorcas that she was full of almsdeeds, of Cornelius that he was well reported of by all the nation of the Jews, and of Epaphroditus that he was Paul's fellow-worker and fellow-soldier. When we are made aware of these characteristics and qualities, we feel that we know these people. Since the Holy Spirit is divine, we expect to find, and do find, in Him qualities superior to humanity.

The Spirit was active, as already noted, in the creation of the heavens and the earth. God testified against rebellious Israel by the "Spirit through thy prophets," Nehemiah 9:30. We have the bible because of the work of the Holy Spirit. Peter affirms that no prophecy of Scripture originated in the mind of men but, on the contrary, "men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit," 2 Peter 1:21. This same Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all the truth, John 16:13. No human being can know God's thoughts but the divine Holy Spirit searched out the things of God and revealed them in words to the apostles, 1Corinthians 2:10-13. When we read these words of the Spirit we can understand them, Ephesians 3:4,5.

We learn through the words of the Spirit, the New Testament, that the Spirit is "given to all that obey" God, Acts 5:32. The Spirit's testimony or witness is found in God's word and when our testimony agrees with that of the Holy Spirit we have assurance that we are children of God, Romans 8:16. The Spirit testifies that we are to hear the gospel, believe that God is, repent of our sins, confess Christ to be the Son of God and be baptized for the remission of our sins. Our testimony must be

the same. A strong argument for living free of fornication is that our bodies are temples of "the Holy Spirit which is in you," 1 Corinthians 6:19. When we do wrong we grieve the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:30.

"Now the Spirit expressly says," 1 Timothy 4:1, many wonderful things unto us in the bible. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches," Revelation 2:29.

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