Articles and Sermons
We invite you to consider these articles and sermons in light of God's word, that you be considered "noble-minded" by Him.
Author - Stuart Crouch
As we enter 2020 many of us tend to reflect on what we accomplished in the past year and set plans for the current year. With that in mind, Lets look to the bible for some motivation.
Often in scripture, we are admonished to look to God’s creation for wisdom and even answers to some of life’s dilemmas. The Psalmist David, for example, points to the power and majesty of God when he writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). As well, Job specifies how we can learn from the various elements of nature when he advises looking to the beasts, the birds, the fish, and even the earth itself to behold the power of God (Job 12:7-10). Paul carries on this theme when he says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). It is not surprising, then, that in our text in Proverbs 6, the preacher uses another of God’s creations from which we can learn, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” Ants are the most numerous creatures on earth. Ironically, they can be found on every continent except ANT-arctica. God has left a model for all of us that transcends any geographically inhabited boundary. Ants are good teachers when it comes to considering laziness and a lack of discipline in our lives. In Proverbs 6, Solomon uses ants to teach his son a lesson about the sin of laziness. There are at least three ways we can look to the ant for wisdom.
1. Ants are legendary for being hard workers who work together. The life we are called to live as Christians should be an active one. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 begins by saying “Go.” This command is positive encouragement meant for all Christians who should be actively making disciples and finding ways to benefit the church. As a church, we are one body, working in harmony just as a colony of ants works together as a single unit. If a member of the body is idle, it can affect specific functions and productivity of the body. It’s important that when we see a member struggling, we encourage and build him or her up so that we can GO and fulfill the work we are called to do. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
2. Ants protect the colony. As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to hold fast to the truth and protect His church from those who wish to harm her. Again, every Christian should be active. Paul tells the overseers at Ephesus to “Keep watch” and to “Be on guard” because wolves would come in among them and not spare the flock (Acts 20:28-31). The sword of the Spirit is our weapon for both defense and attack (Ephesians 6:17). To wield this sword properly, we have to know the word of God. The Lord needs skilled swordsmen in the church, always being ready to defend the truth and protect this “colony” of Heaven. The writer of Hebrews states, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
3. Ants spend their life in constant preparation for the future. Christians can relate to this mindset. We should live our lives focused on preparing for our heavenly home. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).
Christians need to be active in seeking things above. This world has a host of distractions that can misguide our focus away from eternity; so, we need to “…press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). God is not pleased with idle or lazy members of the body. Every Christian should look to the ant for wisdom. Paul says, “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Colossians 1:29). May these words always be ours as we strive to fulfill the Great Commission.
If you were to take a poll of the average person, first question: What is Jesus’ last name? The number of those who say “Christ” would be higher than maybe some would think. Unfortunately we would be wrong in this assumption, yet often throughout scripture we find the term “Christ” following the name of Jesus. It’s importance is undeniable, but, what does it mean? What does it teach us? It is a term used nearly 500 times in the New Testament yet never defined.
This is the first of a series of articles entitled "I Am A Member Of The Church Of Christ Because...", based on the excellent book, "Why I Am A Member Of The Church Of Christ" by Leroy Brownlow.
Every religious body in the world was founded by someone. Therefore, each religious body was established either according to the promise of scripture or not. This is important because if a religious body was established unscripturally, it can never be scriptural.
A. Christ Jesus said that He would build the church.
“The Cup of Blessing”
This is the second article on the Lord’s Supper and I would like to take time to concentrate on the cup and the contents.
We noticed in Part 1 that Jesus gave spiritual significance to the bread. He also gave spiritual significance to the next part of the Lord’s supper.
(27) And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; (28) for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
"This Bread Is My Body"
One of the greatest privileges we have as Christians is being able to partake in the Lord’s Supper. When we partake in this sacred meal we partake in a memorial: we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:26). In partaking in the Lord’s Supper each Sunday we continue a pattern that was given to the first century church (Acts 20:7). We are fulfilling the Lord’s command to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).
Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper during the Jewish Passover, this has a great significance for us when we study the Lord’s Supper. The Passover is also called the Feast of Unleavened bread (Matthew 26:17). The significance of this is that it determined the items that could be in the house and therefore used during the Lord’s Supper.
Life and death is a complicated subject, but one that the Bible does teach us about. The diagram below briefly describes what happens after we die, based on Evangelist Keith Thomson's three part series of sermons. You can listen to part 1, part 2 and part 3 by clicking on the links. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
One of the questions often asked, sometimes as part of an attempt to disprove the existence of God is, "Why does God allow suffering?" The argument usually runs along this line: "If God is all loving and all powerful, how could he allow suffering to occur? If He really did exist, then He would do away with suffering, but since there is suffering, He does not exist."
The problem with this argument is that is makes several assumptions that are faulty: firstly that suffering is necessarily a bad thing; secondly that suffering serves no purpose and thirdly that there is no higher purpose than life on the Earth.
(1) Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
The first part of this verse seems to contradict itself as it talks about the LORD building the house but then talking about people building the house. So who builds these houses in question?
We understand that God needs to be behind whatever venture we engage in:
(4) For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
There are few, if any, questions more important than 'who is Jesus?' The world has a range of views of this important question, but they cannot all be true. The answer to the question will determine how we live our lives.
Some people claim Jesus to be a myth and not a historical character. Others believe him to be a great teacher or prophet, one of many who have walked the earth. Still others believe him to be a man and nothing else, in contrast to those who believe he is the Son of God. Even among those who claim him to be the Son of God there is disagreement about what that actually means.
Today there are so many different churches, it can be rather confusing. There are churches calling themselves all kind of names and teaching a wide variety of doctrines. This is not what we read in the Bible. This not what Jesus wants.
The very first time we read the word 'church' in the Bible is in Matthew 16:18.