Acts 11:26: "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
Acts 11:26: "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."
1 Peter 4:16: "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."
These three are the only places in the King James Version where the word occurs. The first listed above is by Luke, a chosen vessel of the Lord. He does not explain why this term "Christians" is acceptable for the inspired Word, but evidently the brethren, including the Apostles, were by this time using this word as a proper designation for those who became the followers of the Christ. It likely would not have been appropriate for use by Jews of Israel at the time, for not many of them had willingly accepted the idea that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The word "Christ," in both the Hebrew and the Greek, does mean a learner, one who follows, and in this case, the teacher is the Anointed
of the kingdom to come. Antioch was named for a Syrian King. Many Jews lived there, but the country was outside the land of the Jews, so it is appropriate that the acceptance of a Jew, Christ, be recognized by Jews and Gentiles as the anointed King of the Jews when the Kingdom is established in the end of this age.
When we call believers who have been saved through personal faith in Jesus, we are careless if we use the word Christ as His title, for Gentiles do not think of His Kingship nor of His becoming a ruler in the kingdom to come. Those early disciples who were making disciples (followers of the Lord) among the Syrians or any other country, are not likely ready for such instruction. The teaching today, on the other hand, has a definite obstacle in the minds of most believers. We do not think of saving faith as making Jesus a King, but those early disciples, all Jews, were first taught of such a kingdom, but it is not the teaching of many in America today. To the contrary, when teaching is followed up on first faith salvation, it is with a view to their being prepared to go to heaven. I note this from even the greatest evangelists. But those early disciples from among the Jews thought of the Kingdom which God has prepared from the foundation of the world. Few people have any idea that it is to be on this earth, over men in their natural bodies. In the minds of most being saved simply means being prepared to die and go to heaven. Little thought is given to the newly saved as being prepared to lead others to accept the authority of the King, Christ, to rule their lives here on earth.
This unfortunate situation contributes to the idea that one is already prepared to meet God, has no responsibility to lead others to faith in Him, or very little. If he has a concern for lost friends or associates who may not be practicing righteous living, this is soon neglected and the individual soon leaves all such witnessing or missionary activity to the preacher, his pastor, or those who are prepared by previous education to become leaders.
This passage (Acts 11:26) is the only one that I can think of in the New Testament which lends the thought of church endorsement to the calling and employment of men to actively build the church through the influence of earlier disciples, and that idea is seldom mentioned today, in my observance.
The next of the three references in the beginning of this article is Acts 26:28. The man using the term was a Jew, well informed according to Paul who was talking to him at the moment, but he did not accept the truth behind the logic of calling Jesus of Nazareth the Christ, nor His followers as Christians. His reply to the persuasive language of Paul relative to the position of the disciples was not to accept the authority of the Christ nor to trust Him. He was impressed by the logic, and admitted it, but continued to resist. This seems to be the nature of the flesh, even of those who know who Jesus is, but God does not overrule such stubbornness. Paul, who had been Saul of Tarsus, responded with the words that mean he would have been well pleased if he not only were "almost" a Christian, but all the way. The average believer's idea about being "almost persuaded" is that he is deeply convicted but yet unwilling to be saved. Paul's thoughts obviously went much further, to being a desire that he become a true disciple, even like Paul himself (Acts 26:29), that is an active teacher, engaged in persuading others that Jesus was, indeed, the anointed Messiah of Israel. Have you been thinking that King Herod Agrippa, was "almost saved" because he was "almost" persuaded"? Well, I am sure he was not ready to become a disciple and an active teacher. It is possible that he had trusted God as Savior, but as a teacher, no. Most Jews in that day, were not ready to follow Him as Lord.
We insert here a comment on the first passage: 16 "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
It is here that we suggest that there is entirely too little knowledge and concern about the means which Jesus instituted for carrying out the mission he came to perform for the glory of the Father. Heed the admonition: Judgment begins at the house of God. God judges us when we are in the church. It begins in this life. How is it that we can ignore His own emphasis about his heeding His Father's will and obeying Him continued throughout His life in the physical body. He felt disappointed that those close associates did not grasp the significance of being "one with the Father." Is it not evident that God is concerned that we know Him, become aware of His love, His tenderness. You say, "Judgment does not sound tender." But it is. Hear the question to Philip! John 14:8-11:
"Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest
thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I
am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very work's sake" (John 14:9-11).
This language becomes more meaningful if we observe His emphasis on the Father. The language is meaningless except as He wanted His disciples to remember his humanity. A special emphasis is laid on the idea that His followers would suffer. "Judgment must begin at the house of God" (Acts 11:17). This subtle introduction of the expression "house of God," a term which had been made familiar by the prophets of the Old Testament, is here brought across so that His church becomes the house of God on earth during this age. Of course, all those who believe in a universal church think only of that human group, a man-made distinction, made up of all the saved. As a testimony to the falsity of that idea, have you ever seen a "universal" house? A house is a building, or a figurative representation of which (the building) is always local, whether it be house of God, body of Christ, or church. Neither a house, a body, nor a church is universal, but always local. It has a local address, such as "corner of Main St. and Spruce Ave. If we get the idea that we need to know such facts, this should tell us that how we live day by day, whether or not it is "my church," or "They." Further, if you listen to Paul speak to one such body, whether Corinth, Philippi, Smyrna, or Colosse, his burden was always that they glorify Christ who is "head of the church" and "Savior of the body."
Observing His answer to Philip surely we can tell He expected Philip by seeing Jesus had seen the Father. The Christ showed the appearance of His Father so clearly until He expected each disciple to see the Father and love Him as He (Jesus) loved Him. And loving Him each disciple should come to serve, honor and glorify the Father just as Jesus did, thus glorifying both the Father and the Son.
As we look further and see that Jesus said, "The works that I do shall he do also" ought to stir us up to see that our lives should tell other people who had not heard Jesus' voice, to be able to see and know the Father. Yes, such understanding would require that such a person become a soul winner. It does not say that every person will become a missionary like Paul, going from city to city and country to country. There is a sense in which we all are missionaries, called to show others our Savior and our Heavenly Father. The matter of soul winning would not then be viewed merely as a business for preachers, but a life we all should live like the Savior.
The reference in 1 Peter 4:16 certainly implies that there was a rejection on the part of many to the idea that Jesus was the Christ. Jews knew that there must come a Messiah (Hebrew for Christ ), but the majority were happy to crucify Him or help in it if given an opportunity.
It seems that Agrippa was a good politician, but Paul said he knew that the man believed the prophets, which is a mark to his credit, and better than most Jews who wanted Jesus crucified.
"In The Father"
This phrase, taken from John 14:10, embraces a thought which seems not to speak clearly to most of the hearts of believers today. Do you clearly understand what Jesus meant, speaking to Philip, one of His disciples: "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" When we speak of someone being "in" someone else, we must know that the language is not literal. Because faith is used to make contact with God and God uses instrumental witnesses to represent Himself to us, we begin to realize that the human life is rather complicated, including as it does areas which escape the designations of physical activity. A better word is temporal, for there may be no idea of spirit incidental to all such. When the Bible tells us that God is spirit (John 4:24), "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," we get the idea that life is more than "animal," but extends into what we call emotion, and various actions not outwardly visible or physical. Because of this evidence of life beyond the body, we have made the word "spiritual" serve to describe matters not actually of a spirit. Actually, soul is capable of all such elements of life. The first picture of man is of a body made from the dust of the ground, but when God breathed into Him the breath of life he "became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). God is said to create all things (Ephesians 3:9), but another word ascribes to God much more. That physical body, animated with the breath of life, "man became a living soul." Take a look at "created and made" (Genesis 2:3). Not only is God the Creator, producing everything out of nothing, but he is working on and generating life in progress, often with the consent of the individual. Birth is a marvel, but it is only the beginning of God's work on the individual. Man is made capable of thinking and dealing with spiritual matters. True, Satan corrupts man's thoughts in this area, but it behooves us to study and learn the meaning of this influence.
The Mystery of Christ
17 "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached
to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."
This is one of several passages which unfold this mystery of Christ. The book of Ephesians gives it in great detail. Note specially Ephesians 3:1-10. One may feel it only means that God has chosen to give His Son to be the Savior, but there is much more to this secret, now revealed, which explains the doctrine of Identification. It is briefly summarized in the statement: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Along with this you may be impressed, as I am, to read the prayer of Paul in Ephesians 3:14-19.
Before one can understand fully what it means to be a Christian he must understand the language of Jesus in John 14:8-11. John the Baptist touched on the thought in John 1:16: "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." Paul, who had studied under the leaders among the Pharisees. in his youth, went to school some two years plus with the Lord Himself as his Teacher (Galatians 1:11-17). All through his writings you find references to the Gospel and the Wisdom of God, including the mystery of Christ. See, specially, the book of Ephesians (See: Romans 11:25 ; Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 15:51). By looking up the word "mystery" in your concordance in Paul's writings you could observe the context in each passage and it would help. I want to observe at length the passage quoted above in Colossians 1:17-29, and point out some of the sense we need in grasping this marvelous idea of identification. The doctrine is described by such phrases as "in Christ," "in Him," "fulness of God," "Christ in you, the hope of glory," "hope of the gospel," etc.
The one word that I use, and I feel a little lonesome in using this word, for few others seem to use it, is "identification." Our English language allows such associations in our understanding as our being "one" with someone else. We may settle at the moment with the idea that there is essential agreement with the other party where two are one, but I think you will soon see that it is more than agreeing. My English dictionary gives a meaning of "one" as "characterized by unity; united; undivided [with one accord]."
Meditating we gather some further thoughts. It is not to say we are no longer two (individuals, units), but are conjoined in such a way that we operate as one. Whatever one may claim as his own, may now be considered shared with the other. When Jesus spoke of his Father he even declared that the works he did, the words he spoke, were not his own (individually), but the Father's. This was insisted on so clearly that he did not propose to claim the credit or allow separate actions. He said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:10). He was confident that he was a perfect reflection of His Father, so that Philip, having seen Jesus, should know the Father. He said that He dwelt in the Father and the Father dwelt in Him. He gave His Father
credit for the works he did as being the Father's doing. To bring this home to our hearts, read John 14:12: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than
these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Twice "Verily" challenges us to believe that the same relationship is for us also. No, not for all the saved, but for those in the one body, the church (Colossians 1:18). We are now using Paul's explanation of this relationship as we find it in Colossians 1:17-29. We quote this passage beginning at the top of Column 3, page three under the subtopic, "The Mystery of Christ."
The burden of the ministry of Paul was that Christ might be to him and all others, just what He claimed before the original Apostles (John 14 17). He would not leave them orphans (comfortless) but would come to them. The intimacy of this relationship Philip seems to have missed. Maybe they all did, at the first, but they soon began to act as disciples in such power until the world was moved to listen. The world still is unable to explain the dedication, the conviction, the power of genuine disciples.
Maybe you should open your Bible at Colossians 1:17 so you can follow our discussion now.
Jesus is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. He has resurrection power. The very essence of His coming stems from the resurrection. "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:4). The resurrection then is said to declare that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Next it manifests His power as God and we are sure this is
spiritual power, evidencing "the spirit of holiness." Cf. Romans 1:19-20). We
see no difficulty in His having such power and exercising it on earth among
men, but our problem is in grasping that it is said to be ours "in Him":
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works
that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because
I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). Do we reject the power because we cannot
imagine doing the things ourselves? "And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we
are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God,
and eternal life" (1 John 5:20). Consult also John 5:36; 10:25. It is a lot
to expect, but when the Word says it we should feel the obligation to believe
Him. The doctrine of being resurrected, is not just strange, it likely is unimaginable.
This is no more difficult than our being one with the Christ, one with the Father.
It is a spiritual experience and very real, but we are not going to be comfortable
with it until we have the kind of faith which we are taught in the Bible. We
can say we believe every word of the Bible, but take that apart and see if you
believe you are one with the Christ. I suspect that most of us get no further
than believing that we belong to Him and He is our Savior, so He comes to our
rescue in every situation. Even this is a great step of faith.
As soon as our understanding
grasps the difference between spirit and flesh we are on our way to accepting
statements which are not carnal. I would use the word natural instead of fleshly,
but spiritual experience is as real as the physical, but extends into the reality
of what is not true apart from God's presence in our lives. We have to grasp
the sense that Jesus repeated often. Illustrating, we hear that he was in the
Father and the Father was in Him. Do you believe that God is in you and you
in the Father? Before you deny this as being your condition, think again. Did
Jesus suggest it was true of a believer? Remember that he promised this to believers
(John 14:12). No, it is not true of all who believe in Jesus as Savior. "And
hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things
to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in
all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). Those saved before Jesus came did not claim it,
though doubtless many had some suggestion of it in Truth and Experience. It
must not be true of all who have trusted the Savior. If it is then why is there
so much doubt, so little understanding, and a lack of leading others to the
A similar answer describes
the false idea of a universal church. If all churches are led alike, have the
Holy Spirit alike, and understand Truth alike, then why are not all in one church,
baptized into that body? Truth to tell, people leave Missionary Baptists and
go to the Southern Baptist (universal) churches because they seek the crowd
to lose themselves in, or they do not agree with the strict teachings of the
Lord's churches. I pressed a local Baptist pastor once about it when he insisted
that he believes the local church, but continued to accept the idea of its being
universal. He was less than honest in my judgment when insisting on there being
a kind of church which is universal. There may be such, but is such one of the
Lord's. Why call it a church? The word "church" in the original Scriptures
is ekklesia, a called out group or people. Even Israel, was called a church
in the wilderness (Acts 7:38 KJV). The nation was called out of Egypt
and were together on their way to the promised land. They were not a church
such as Jesus established in the New Testament.
The Old Scofield Bible
has a note on 1 Tim. 3:15 (see bottom of page 1276), where it is indicated that
the reference is to the historical church. This visible church, they say, is
not the true church, but that the true church is within this, though having
contradictory doctrines, names and experiences. They claim the predicted end
of this visible church is apostasy, but that of the true church is glory. This
note says that Heb. 12:23 is the true church. If one will go there and note
the language, it describes a "general assembly and church of the first
born, which are written in heaven." The church there is "called out
of the world" and is together in heaven. This satisfies the meaning of
the word ecclesia, but is no more a church than the one in Acts 19:39 mentioned
in the other note. Does our carefully accepting this universal church, while
denying that we believe the church is universal, result in the coldness in so
many churches and the cowardliness of so many pastors? I write these words while
aware of the name calling which it may provoke. I may be called a "newlighter"
but if one has the light how dare he continue walking in darkness?
Col 1:19: "For
it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." If you
will read verses 20-23 you can see just what is accomplished by this secret
purpose (mystery of Christ), but a condition is stated: "If ye continue
in the faith." I do not understand this to mean that our faith is what
enables us to reach such an exalted position, but the continuing faith allows
us to know this experience. What experience? that we may know the fulness of
God which dwelt in Christ Jesus and is promised to us. Even John the Baptist
saw it and claimed it (John 1:16).
What is this fulness? Fulness
of what? It says "fulness of Christ," or "fulness of God."
And what could that mean? What does it take to comprise God in fulness?
Do you think of His attributes? I do! He has no sin at all (1 John 3:5), but
is perfectly righteous. He is holy. He is merciful, forgiving, tender, compassionate,
loving, eternal. Man is created in his image. It is not his physical image,
for God is spirit, so has no physical body, but did in time send His Son to
take on a body just like ours, but with no sin. Only so could He show us those
elements of His fulness in a fashion we could understand. Does anyone doubt
his holiness, His righteousness, Hs mercy, His compassion, His goodness, His
eternality, His love? Colossians 2:9: "For in him dwelleth all the fulness
of the Godhead bodily."
By way of further explaining
a benefit of His fulness on our behalf take the verses one at a time and visualize
just what Christ is said to have done for you. Since all of God's fulness dwells
in him, these elements are available to us who are "one" with Him, members of
His body, the church (Ephesians 3:21, 22). So we are complete in Him. Nothing is lacking
that we need. We are said to have that fulness which is for His church. The
guarantee of it is that he went back to the Father (John 14:12, thus to send
the Holy Spirit to perform all those things for us as named in John 14
16, Get familiar with these three chapters for your own comfort and encouragement.
Since he is the head over all government (ruler ship) and powers (authority).
So you are never outranked. He is in charge (Colossians 1:10). You are "in Him," so
there is no law or anything standing in your way of which he is not the Head.
No need to be circumcised or the like to qualify. Not even your sins can disqualify
you, for you have an inward mark that makes you like Him, His circumcision,
so that you need no outward forms v. 11). We are said to have His circumcision
which is without hands, and His baptism, so that death is already accomplished
and resurrection is already a reality. This may be difficult for us to feel
right, for our minds know we are sinners, that we are still alive, but our hearts
assure us that we have His life, and have been baptized with Him (v. 12). Our
lives must show His life. This answers to the commandment to the new believer,
Paul Acts 22:16), as to what he must do yet: "Acts 22:16 "And now why tarriest
thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of
Just here we must realize
that the actions we perform do not make us worthy. His circumcision, His resurrection,
contain all that we need. Still, faith allows us to "put off the old man" and
"put on Christ." Our baptism, which we call "following the Lord in baptism,"
gives us a sign that our heart is right and allows a faith that makes for the
reality. If we refuse baptism in its proper authority (by His church) we thereby
show, not that we know too much, or enough, but that our flesh is not to be
trusted, even when it performs good deeds. Circumcision, even for the Jew, never
did put away the filth of the flesh. Baptism is not actual death, so it does
not bury the old man. But having accepted by faith the death of Christ and his
holiness, we trust Him to have finished all of the work on our behalf. No we
do not erase baptism as God requires it. It serves yet as the sign which God
wants us to show. For the unbeliever our baptism shows we are in Christ. For
other believers our putting away of the filth of the flesh and putting on Christ
as actions of our faith, gives testimony that we are one with Him.
You may have to read that
last paragraph several times, prayer- fully. If you do not understand my way
of saying it, then you surely must believe the words of inspiration which teach
these beautiful things.
The rest of the chapter, Colossians 1:16-23, further repeats: do not allow anyone to make you believe that
you earn merit toward salvation through works of the flesh. Such are but a shadow
picture of the Christ. He finished the work; we walk by faith. "By faith" is
the connection we have with the inexhaustible satisfaction of our every need.
Commands must be seen simply as reminders of our dependence on the Christ.
This labor of love, preparing the copy for The Reminder, has taxed my strength to this
date, November 1, 2005, and raised second thoughts about the advisability of
continuing. God has been gracious. The cost has not entered into the problem,
for sufficient money is in hand to pay all current expenses. I have been wondrously
blessed to rethink some of the material in the last few issues. Because there
is so much resistance to my thinking in some circles, even among Missionary
Baptists, I have seriously questioned whether it is worth my continuing. Knowing
just what may be lost to those who have not thought through these issues, and
realizing the value extends into the age to come, I have decided I must continue.
A few good brethren may have thought of how the teaching of faithfulness has shaken the minds and hearts
of some Baptists, but are willing for this topic to get further emphasis. One
brother has written on the subject, almost apologizing for holding a position
certain to be rejected by some. Some of my members here at Bethel Baptist Church
may have felt that I am repeating too much. I desire the prayers of those who
love the Lord to be able to continue with Truth so frequently rejected by those
less devoted to the Lord.
Some tell me that it sounds as though I am making doctrine contradict other doctrines. The two doctrines
which may appear to be contradictory are...
So many feel that they take only one of these teachings,
so the other is wrong. Surely everybody knows that God expects us to come to
Him freely and be saved and kept secure purely on the basis of God's grace manifested
in Jesus. Others miss the emphasis the Scriptures place on obedience of believers
after they have made a surrender to Christ as Lord. In summary we are saying
you must depend on Christ with the whole heart, since we are unable to perform
any righteousness in our bodies. But we must work very hard as if it all depends
on us. The difference, of course, is found in an area which is not visible to
the natural eye. If someone sees me working zealously he may think I depend
on that as my Savior, but I know Jesus alone is the Savior. Still He is worthy
of all my life and energies. This truly is not contradict- ory; it only appears
- Salvation is by grace through faith
- Obedience to the commands of God is essential to our inheriting the kingdom
and/or receiving a reward.
When God gave the law of Moses it appeared to many that they must keep it religiously in order to be
saved. There has never been any other way of salvation but by grace. Why all
the sacrifices, the time and expense of working and giving? There are not two
plans of salvation. God has always given forgiveness freely, mercy always, and
has continued without a break. The law never saved. If we say it helped, we
have to realize it was only as a means of revealing the absolute necessity of
surrender to God. It is the same way in the New Testament. Surrender to Him
is because it is only by His free grace. But does someone say, you have to let
him save, but then you must work to maintain your relationship. That is close,
but it does not mean that our labors are contributing directly. The law and
its works only serve to teach our minds and hearts in their helplessness to
Today we have the Person and ministry of Christ and the church to teach us how helpless we are and how
gracious God is. Love takes hold of grace and zealously cries out to men to
trust Him. The joy of believers comes when we see how these two work together.
Jesus paid the price, so we could have forgiveness; the church assists us as
the good company we keep encourages us to go on believing.
Encouragement As A Church
I hear remarks occasionally about how good it is to have the new family which drives over from Fayetteville
to be with us each week. My wife's voice comes most often in this regard. I
suppose, as the preacher's wife, that she is concerned to see the larger number
present. Yes, it encourages the pastor too, but we pray for many others in this
area who ought to be taking advantage of the atmosphere of a small group of
brethren who take God's word at face value and continue to learn. I know that
we do not yet have all the answers, but a Sunday Bible Study response in class
does give encouragement as brethren recognize portions of the Word more clearly
than ever before.
Our Bible Class teacher, Bro. Mike Horne, has not been with us much since Katrina. He and a group of
power company personnel from here were sent to Louisiana to restore power to
thousands of people who were deprived of this vital connection. Presently, he
is working in Florida, after being home for a week. The family of four who have
moved to our membership, includes two sons who are teenage, both of whom lead
in prayer publicly, and also have differing degrees of teaching ability. It
is most encouraging to a pastor to have even one able to teach an adult class
when the teacher is absent, but Bro. Joe Cecil is an excellent Bible teacher.
I believe most anyone can develop into good teachers, if they read the Bible regularly. Of course it takes
prayer and a bit of study, but God promises to show us the sense if we look
to Him for help (John 14:26). This promise was to the church which Jesus originally
taught. No telling when one might be called on for help in teaching, but any
of us likely will find occasions in everyday speech when we need some of this
"teaching" and "reminding." This is available to any man who truly trusts Jesus.
Whether you realize it or not may be a factor in your learning how you may have
failed the Lord along the way.
Fellowship With Others
Our location, along with our age, makes it difficult to be present in other communities for fellow- ship.
We miss this advantage, for it is truly an advantage to attend other churches
occasionally for worship.
September, just passed, was a time when there were five Sundays, so I looked forward to getting to enjoy
fellowship with the churches around Hot Springs. But this did not happen, as
things came about.
We have a visitor occasionally, and usually have a visiting preacher bring a message. We are thankful when others
come in and visit us. If you are not able to enjoy such we feel you have missed
Wife and I drove over to Clinton, AR, about an hour and a half from us. Her sister, Pearl Wilson, now
a widow, and Ruth, her Sister, and Bro. Robert Wilson, Ruth's husband. moved
to a Seniors building which appears to be very comfortable for retires. We spent
a few hours with them, as they live just across the hall from each other. This
move puts shopping, church, and their doctors closer to them. The drive, less
than two hours, seemed very long and tiresome to Louise, but she is able to
get into the car and go with me to town, to shop or attend to business, so does
not have to stay alone much.
If you plan to move, write us first. We even pay postage for you which you could pay yourself. We desire to be a blessing.