West Side Church of Christ

Services will be returning to the building on Sunday, June 7, 2020

Bob Bodeker Obituary Bob Bodeker Obituary

West Side Church of Christ

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Read the Proverbs through in a month,
one chapter per day.
Read the Psalms through in a month,
five Psalms per day.

See today's reading schedule & excerpts from the Psalms & Proverbs at the bottom of this page

A Non-denominational Church

Our congregation is dedicated to worshipping God in spirit and in truth as closely as we can ascertain from the New Testament. We search the scriptures for guidance and authority on how we ought to live our lives in order to be pleasing to God.

To learn more about us, or to get in touch with us — stop by in person or send us an email at:

wscoc@wschurchofchrist.org .
Or Call (216) 671-1759.

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Sunday AM Sermon

Sermon from Sep 27, 2020
Speaker: Kevin Cleary



Sunday PM Sermon

Sermon from Sep 27, 2020
Speaker: Kevin Cleary



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1 Corinthians 15 & Christ's Resurrection
Our Sunday Morning Class

Paul Discussed the Resurrection Based on Christ’s Resurrection

(continued)

Christ was seen alive by trustworthy witnesses. Man’s faith, therefore, in life in the hereafter is based upon that glorious event. Reason may lead to one to hope, but revelation produces faith (Romans 10:17). Christ’s resurrection demonstrates His deity and the existence of life beyond the grace, proving His claim to be the Son of God (Romans 1:3-4). Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee that the day will come when all bodies will be raised as was His. This is the foundation of the Christian’s faith in a future life.

Atheists deny the resurrection of Christ and, in effect, affirm that no amount of evidence can prove that a supernatural event ever occurred. For one to make such an affirmation is ridiculous. Christianity is at stake in this controversy, for if Christ did not arise, His deity cannot be upheld, and Christianity cannot be maintained. Nevertheless, if Christ be risen, how can one deny the resurrection of the dead?

How grateful all should be that the fact of Christ’s resurrection serves as a pledge and proof of man’s resurrection, and that one day all shall come forth from their graves to live forever and ever. Christ’s resurrection, as fact, demonstrates the certainty of life after death. As Christ lives, so shall all live again. Immortality is made absolutely sure by the resurrection of Christ. The Savior suffered and died and rose again from the dead, and in His triumph over death is the assurance of man’s resurrection at the last day. As surely as

“For* just-as all die in Adam, so all will also be given life in Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

God Is Good! Love You All
— Kevin J.


Historical Types Are Examples - Examples For Our Learning, More Wednesday Class

1 Corinthians 10:6

6 Now these things took place as examples [Grk: tupos] for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.

Paul recalls some of Israel's early history to the Corinthians to instruct them on their behavior. He calls the historical events of Israel: examples (Grk: tupos, ie types). As we are learning, the Bible uses type and antitype relationships for the purpose of placing the type against the antitype to make comparisons.

Paul is identifying in this passage specific Israelite historical events as types. He is telling the Corinthian church not to behave like the types. So he's telling them to compare themselves to the Israelite historical types. Therefore, we, the church today, represented here by the Corinthian church, are the antitypes.

What does Paul tell us about our historical types in 1 Cor 10?

  • vs5 With most of them, God was not pleased.
  • vs7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play."
  • vs8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
  • vs9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them DID and were destroyed by serpents,
  • vs10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
1 Corinthians 10:11

11 Now these things happened to them as an example [Grk: tupos], but they were written down for OUR instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

He then gives us a warning, a promise, and an instruction
1 Corinthians 10:12-14 (ESV)

  • The Warning
    • vs12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
  • The Promise
    • vs13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
  • The Instruction
    • vs14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (ie Don't put ANYONE or ANYTHING else before God)

Because, our historical examples that typify us, DID all these things. Read and learn how God dealt with them and apply those lessons to us today. — Scott R


1 Corinthians 15 & Christ's Resurrection, Our Sunday Morning Class
Paul Discussed the Resurrection Based on Christ’s Resurrection

In the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul furnished the most logical and sublime argument for the resurrection of the dead. Here are given both the fact of the resurrection of Christ and a summary of the evidence or proof by which that doctrine was supported. Some at Corinth denied the resurrection of the dead. But Paul insisted on the resurrection of Christ and the truth of the resurrection of all mankind.

There are two main divisions of this resurrection chapter: (1) the certainty of the resurrection (VV. 1-34), and (2) the nature of the resurrection (vv. 35-54). The first part answers the question of verse 12; “how do some among you* say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” The second answers the questions of verse 35; “How are the dead raised up? And with what manner of body do they come?”

In first part of the chapter (vv.1-11), the apostle answered their first question: Is there really to be a resurrection from the dead? (cf.v.12) This he did from the basic truth of Christianity--- namely, the resurrection of the Savior from the dead. This had been set forth when he preached the gospel unto them. In this message he declared, “and that he was buried, and that he has been raised up on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (v. 4)

The resurrection of all men and the whole structure of Christianity are based upon Christ’s resurrection. In verses 13-19, the Apostle showed that to deny the resurrection is to deny the entire scheme of redemption, for if there were no resurrection, then Christ did not rise and there is no hope of salvation. On the fact of Christ’s resurrection rests man’s assurance of being raised from the dead. If the dead do not rise, it follows that Christ has not risen; but if God raised Him, He will also raise all from the dead. If Christ has not been raised from the dead, the apostles are false witnesses, their preaching is vain, man’s faith is vain, people are yet in their sins, and those who have fallen asleep have perished. A denial of the resurrection strikes at the very root of the Christian religion.

However, in verses 20-28, Paul asserted emphatically that Christ had risen. “But now Christ has been raised up from the dead,” Jesus conquered death. In verses 29-34, Paul showed that to obey Christ and to sacrifice for His church would be nothing short of foolishness if there is no resurrection.

Everyone, therefore, who believes that Christ was raised from the dead should believe that all who sleep in the dust of earth will likewise be raised; and, conversely, everyone who denies the certainty of the resurrection must, if consistent, deny the resurrection of Christ.

The Scriptures supply evidence of the certainty of Christ’s resurrection. After His death, Jesus showed Himself alive to His apostles by many proofs (Acts 1:2-3). Indeed, there is no other fact in history sustained by such an array of evidence as the miraculous resurrection of Christ. As a fact in history, this fundamental tenet of Christianity is attested by evidence more certain than can be produced in favor of any accepted facts ancient or modern.

Christ was seen alive by trustworthy witnesses. Man’s faith therefore, in life in the hereafter is based upon that glorious event. Reason may lead to one to hope, but revelation produces faith (Romans 10:17). Christ’s resurrection demonstrates His deity and the existence of life beyond the grace, proving His claim to be the Son of God (Romans 1:3-4). Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee that the day will come when all bodies will be raised as was His. This, is the foundation of the Christian’s faith in a future life.

Atheists deny the resurrection of Christ and, in effect, affirm that no amount of evidence can prove that a supernatural event ever occurred. For one to make such an affirmation is ridiculous. Christianity is at stake in this controversy, for if Christ did not arise, His deity cannot be upheld and Christianity cannot be maintained. Nevertheless, if Christ be risen, how can one deny the resurrection of the dead?

How grateful all should be that the fact of Christ’s resurrection serves as a pledge and proof of man’s resurrection, and that one day all shall come forth from their graves to live forever and ever. Christ’s resurrection, as fact, demonstrates the certainty of life after death. As Christ lives, so shall all live again. Immortality is made absolutely sure by the resurrection of Christ. The Savior suffered and died and rose again from the dead, and in His triumph over death is the assurance of man’s resurrection at the last day. As surely as “For* just-as all die in Adam, so all will also be given life in Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

God Is Good! Love You all
— Kevin J.

Christ's Resurrection Is Pledge and Proof of Man's Resurrection

Christ's resurrection from the dead carries with it the certainty of the resurrection of all mankind. As Christ arose, so also, He guarantees the resurrection of all bodies. Although the belief of some kind of future life has been with all peoples of earth since their earliest existence, all now have in the New Testament a much clearer revelation of that future life. Consequently, since Christ arose and since God has definitely promised the resurrection, all may be sure that the general resurrection of all mankind will occur in due time. Even though the resurrection is definitely promised, this act is not yet consummated. Nevertheless, the barriers of death have been broken, and ultimately death itself will be completely destroyed. Definitely, death's actual and total abolition is foretold and certain.

Christ said to His disciples, "because I am living, you will also live. (John 14:19b). Suppose Christ had not been raised from the dead—how terrible to be without hope! But He was raised! He lives! And this is evidence that all shall live again.

Job's question waited long for a definite answer, but at last Christ's all sufficient answer came. Jesus gave it by the grave of Lazarus in His words of calm assurance to all the world: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, even if he dies, he will live; (John 11:25). These precious words have brought hope to millions, but they would be worthless of Christ had not confirmed them by fact.

Man's hope, therefore, of a resurrected, immortal body is guaranteed to him by Christ's own resurrection and life in glory. Paul affirmed that Jesus has "abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). Christ did this in His own resurrection. This event brought the doctrine of the resurrection to the front and greatly enlarged man's hope of being resurrected. Jesus lifted the old concept out of possibility and brought it into the realm of reality. Christ's resurrection flashed an unusual light on the subject of existence beyond the grave. The ancient world had not the positive assurance of a future life; it was not so clearly revealed and proved to them as it is to people who now live under the teaching of Christianity. The wisest and best of men among the ancient heathen world, though they had some hopes and longings for a future life, were never able to reach the truth about life beyond the grave. It was not definite then as now, So Christ established the fact of immortal life, and in this sense brought life and immortality to light. With the resurrection of Christ and the teaching of the New Testament being revealed, the doctrine of immortality was completed.

Unbelievers question the resurrection. They say it is contrary to their experience. However, to doubt the resurrection because one has never seen a resurrection from the dead is like a man in a tropical climate saying it has never snowed on earth. He has never seen it snow; he has never talked to anyone who has seen snow and ice; therefore, he says it has never snowed and such is impossible. This, nevertheless, does not prove that it has never snowed. Similarly, people today have never seen the dead raised or beheld one raised from the dead, but some saw the miraculous resurrections of Christ's personal ministry. Furthermore, many today believe the testimony of the eyewitnesses of the risen Christ—and they believe the words of the Lord Jesus that one day all shall be raised from the dead.

God Is Good, Love you all — Kevin J.


The Holy Spirit — Ever Present

If we look at the personal ministry of Jesus Christ, we see the activity of the Holy Spirit is more evident than at His birth. At his immersion the Spirit was present, and active. When Jesus came up out of the water, the spirit came upon Him in the form as of a dove. (Luke 3:21-22). The result of this is seen in Luke 4:1-2:

Luke 4:1-2

Now full of the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan, and was being led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted by the Devil for forty days. And he ate nothing in those days, and being completed, later he hungered.

The imperfect tense is used here, showing us that the Holy Spirit of God is always a continuing presence with Jesus. We also see this in Luke 4:14, after the completion of His temptation.

Luke 4:14

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.

We need always remember that the Holy Spirit is in constant contact with you and I at all times, and is powerful in us today to carry us through all temptations that come our way.

God is Good, Love you all in Jesus name Amen.

— Kevin's 2 cents


How Does a Christian Deal With Sin? —Here's a Clue

Romans 4:7-8

7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;

8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."

Psalms 32:1-5

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Selah

5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;

I said,

"I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,"

and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah


Who Determines What's Moral?

Who determines what is right or wrong? Is there such a thing as morality? If so, who determines what is moral and what isn't? Any one individual? A family of individuals? A group of individuals? A nation of individuals? The consensus of all individuals? A majority of individuals? From a naturalistic point of view, concerning the electro-chemical reactions that are living things, whose electro-chemical processes are any better or worthy of making a moralistic determination than any other individual's processes?

However, from God's point of view, God the Creator reserves that right for Himself,

Isaiah 45:18-19

18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!):

"I am the Lord, and there is no other. 19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness;

I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,

'Seek me in vain.'

I the Lord speak the truth; I declare what is right.

The solution to how we deal with sin, (as outsiders or as Christians), begins with God... more to follow.

—Scott R


The Resurrection of the Body; The Apostles Taught the Resurrection

The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead constitutes a large portion of apostolic teaching, as clearly seen from a number of statements.

The apostle Paul asserted God would raise the dead:

"Now God both raised up the Lord and will be raising us up through his power." (1 Cor. 6:14);

and

"knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will also be raising us up through Jesus and will present us together with you*." (2 Cor. 4:14)

In fact, all the apostles, beginning with Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:24-36), gave witness to the resurrection of Christ with great power (Acts 3:13,26; 4:10,33; 5:30), and the consequent resurrection of all Luke wrote that they proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2). Indeed, Christ was proclaimed to be the Prince of life (Acts 3:15), who was raised to a glorified life and is capable of imparting life to others.

Peter preached the resurrection of Christ to Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:40); Paul, in his first sermon at Antioch in Pisidia, preached that God raised Christ from the dead (Acts 13:26-41). Later, as he continued his first missionary journey, he taught the same thing at Thessalonica and Athens (Acts 17:3,18,31,32). While on trial before King Agrippa, Paul proclaimed Christ's resurrection (Acts 26:8,23).

God is good. Love you all, Kevin J.


Jesus Taught the Resurrection of the Body

Jesus taught as one of His cardinal truths the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. One direct affirmation is:

Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will travel out; those who have practiced good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
(John 5:28-29).

At Capernaum, Christ repeatedly stated That the righteous would be raised at the end of time:

"But this is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all that he has given me, I should not lose any out of it, but should raise it up in the last day. But this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who views the Son and believes in him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up in the last day."
(John 6:39-40)

"No one is able to come to me, if the Father who sent me does not attract him and I will raise him up in the last day."
(John 6:44)

"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life and I will raise him up in the last day."
(John 6:54)

At the home of Martha and Mary in Bethany, Jesus said to Martha,

"Jesus says to her, your brother will rise up again."
(John 11:23)

Martha then expressed a common belief when she said of her dead brother:

"I know that he will rise up in the resurrection at the last day."
(John 11:24)

Then Christ informed her,

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, even if he dies, he will live; and everyone who lives and believes in me may never die– forever. Do you believe this?"
(John 11:25-26).

In effect, Jesus said to Martha,

"The power that shall raise all the dead at the last day is present and can raise your brother now as well as then: I am the source of the resurrection and life."...

Then following this statement, Jesus went with Martha and Mary to the tomb of Lazarus and called him forth from the dead.
(john11:38-44).

God is good. Love you all, —Kevin J.


Will All the Dead Be Raised?
Kevin's 2 cent's:
Moreover, God in His Word declared it!

That the Scriptures teach a general resurrection of all the dead is admitted by all. The evidence for the resurrection of the dead, wholly Biblical, is certainly ample, clearly taught, and divinely demonstrated. And this is the excellent ground of one's faith in immortality. Hence, the expression, "I believe in the resurrection of the dead," has been the language of faith in all ages of Christianity.

God is good, love you all.
—Kevin Cleary


Will the Body Be Raised?
Continued from Sunday July 5th;

Then, too, life here is so incomplete, even the longest is insufficient for the fulfillment of half of man's capabilities. He is often cut off when he is just ready to make some greater advance. A future life is needed for completeness. Life on Earth is short. All of man's plans are made with the knowledge that he may not live to carry them out

"the days of our years are threescore years and ten, or even by some reason of strength 80 years, yet their pride is but labour and sorrow, for it is soon gone and we fly away." (Psalms 90:10)

What is your life?

"You do not know what the next day will bring, for what is your life? For it will be a vapor which appears for a few but thereafter disappears." (James 4:14.)

Is this yearning then, after perfection of fullness the souls prophecy of its own immortality? Of course, man can believe that it is and say with Addison:

"it must be so --- Plato, thou reasonest well --- Else whence this pleasing hope, this found desire, This longing after immortality? Or whence this secret dress, the inward horror, Of falling into naughty? Why shrinks the soul back on herself and startles at the destruction?, 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis heaven itself that points out a hereafter and intimates Eternity to man. Moreover, God in His word has declared it."

"Man will raise from the dead."

—Kevin

Will The Body Be Raised?
Kevin's 2 cents, (continued from June 28th)

Is man not justified in concluding that the faith in life after death is evidence of the fact? Why this sentiment, this universal longing for existence beyond the grave? Was it as surely implanted in man by his Creator as instincts were implanted in animals? Can one believe that these deep desires are to be frustrated at death? Does a good and wise God plant a hope in the soul for mockery? Where in all of nature can one find instinct falsified? The wings of the bird mean that it was meant to fly: the fins of the fish mean that it was made to swim. Surely, then, this instinct, which infidels and atheists have never been able to up root from man's mind, is prophetic of its own fulfillment in eternity. God will not disappoint man in this respect.

God is good, Love you all, In Jesus name amen
—Kevin

Will The Body Be Raised?
There Shall Be a Resurrection

"...there shall be a resurrection of both the just and unjust."

—Acts 24:15

All of mankind will die except those who will be living at the time of Christ's return. Christ is no respecter of persons. It comes everyday to someone and someday to everyone. So the ancient and ever-returning question, expressed by Job, is, "If man die, shall be live again?" This question is universal.

There is an ever-constant longing in the heart of man for life beyond. The earliest histories of man indicate man's desire of a future life. In every person there is a conviction he was not made to die, that the grave is not the end, and that the Maker's plan for him is not annihilation. He believes he was made to live in a higher and nobler existence than this earth-life. Immortality has been the belief of all people of all nations of all ages. Truly, man wants to live after death.

God is good, Love you all. —Kevin J.


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Coming soon! A Study of Peter
Our Wednesday Night Class

Setting Our Minds for Our Study on Peter

As we have stated in our Wednesday evening bible study: The Apostle Peter, we are “setting the table,” so to speak, to set up the mood of the day.

I ask you to read 2nd Chronicles 36 and if you have the gumption, the book of Daniel also. These verses from the bible have some rich history we can go over to better help us understand what Israel and Judah in particular just went through that shapes their thinking and attitudes during Peter's day.

If you read the book of Daniel, pay particular attention to the dreams of both the king of Babylon and Daniel himself because they both cover the world empires that will be of interest to us.

Happy reading and I can't wait to discuss these topics in class with you.

See you then. Jim


Yes, Jesus Did That

It may be difficult for some of us to imagine that an all powerful eternal God has walked with mankind on earth through all the ages; but it's not difficult for us to imagine one who reigns from heaven and directs the affairs of man from there. But we do have a God who is a "hands on God", and has interacted with his creation on an intimate level, face to face even.

The apostle John tells us in John 1:18 (NRSV)

"No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known."

So it took the Son of God to actually reveal the Father to us through his life and teachings.

John further tells us, John 14:6-11 (NRSV)

Jesus said to him,

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Philip said to him,

"Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."

Jesus said to him,

"Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves."

So the oneness of the Godhead is shown to us in Jesus' statement. When we see Jesus, we see the Father, for they are one in purpose and mind. Jesus has interacted with his creation in many different forms.

In the Garden of Eden we see it is in the form of the eternal being, "Jehovah Elohim", which is "LORD God." He was the first law giver, and gave Adam the Law of Sin and Death to follow, yes — Jesus did that. — Jim


Good Lord's Day to everyone! (For Sunday, 9/13)
We are starting a new class at West Side on Wednesday

Having completed a study in the elementary teachings of Christ, we will be examining the life of Simon the son of John whom the Lord gives the nick-name Peter.

Peter is one of my favorite characters in the bible because he is an average working class guy who has many flaws and many wonderful traits. Jesus saw great potential in Peter and mentors him to become the 'Rock' which he saw him as.

This class will be for young teenagers who want a deeper understanding of our faith so that they may have a faith of their own and become a Christian one day, so the 'milk' of God's word will be taught; plus there will be plenty of 'meat' to chew on in this class for the mature audience as well.

My expectaion for this class is that upon its conclusion, we can all be of the same mind that if God can use a person like Peter in his ministry, he can use me too! I hope to see you all this Wednesday.

In his service — Jim


Why Are Types & Antitypes Important?
The Holy Spirit Expressing Spiritual Ideas with Spiritual Words – 1 Corinthians 2:10-16

Lately, in preparation for our future class on the book of Hebrews, we have been exploring the concept of types & antitypes. The idea came as a result of looking at Adam (referred to by Paul as a "type of" Christ) & Jesus in Romans 5:12-21, baptism and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, in Romans 6:1-11, and Peter, when talking about the flood, mentions that the "antitype" (of the flood), namely baptism, now saves us, 1 Peter 3:20,21. We learned that types & antitypes are for making comparisons. You can hold the type up closely against the antitype for contrasting effect (juxtapose). This is what the Bible does in Romans 5, 6 and 1 Peter 3, as mentioned above.

Last Sunday night, in the PM sermon, we looked at Ephesians 5:21-33, where Paul makes the comparison between the husband, wife relationship and the relationship Christ has with His church. Paul used this comparison to instruct us on how we ought to behave in our marriage relationships, emphasizing that this contrast was intended for us to make the comparison. In fact, he says, "Therefore," and states the law of marriage. Then says, "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." (i.e. because God wanted to show man the importance of His relationship with His church, He designed marriage.)

In other words, the marriage relationship AS a type of Christ and His church IS THE reason marriage exists!

Marriage is the ONLY authorized relationship for sexual union because God designed it (marriage) to show the relationship of Christ and His church. That is why all other sexual unions are wrong (because they don't show the relationship Christ has with His church). Not because of some "phobia" we may be accused of having.

Further, Jesus connects the dots for us when He was asked what was proper behavior regarding marriage. He says, "Have you not read that He who created them FROM THE BEGINNING (predating Moses) made them male and female, and said, 'THEREFORE, '" and He states the law of marriage, (i.e. because I made them male & female, they are to be married), Matthew 19:3-6.

Simply stated:
THE REASON why God made us male and female is to be married and our marriage was DESIGNED to show the relationship of Christ and His church. And that IS WHY marriage between a man and a woman is the ONLY relationship that is RIGHT for sexual union and ALL OTHER relationships are NOT. See 1 Corinthians 6:13b-20.

— Scott R (The power of the type and antitype)


Hebrews — Beyond the Basics
There's a Reason for Mature Instruction

One of the things Hebrews reveals is a series of comparisons between Angels and Jesus, Moses and Jesus, Jesus and Melchizedek, and the Levitical High Priest and Jesus our High Priest, all showing the superiority of Jesus. Not to mention comparisons between the Tabernacle and Heaven, the old and new covenants, and between animal sacrifices and Jesus' sacrifice.

But, there are other things mentioned too. In the passage of Hebrews that identifies and contrasts the elementary teachings to teachings for the mature Christian we find a context that is the book of Hebrews in miniature. The Hebrew writer is in the middle of a deep discussion when he stops to give a criticism, a list of elementary teachings, and a warning to his audience. After the warning he returns to his discussion right where he left off. We see this cycle of instructing & warning repeated over several times.

The instruction is aimed to address the warnings the writer presents to his audience to help them maintain their walk with Christ. Some warnings are listed.

  • Heb 2:1-4, Pay attention,
    • lest we drift away
    • How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
  • Heb 3:7-4:13 - If you hear His voice,
    • do not harden your hearts [as previous generations did]
    • [God says], "They always go astray in their heart
    • They have not KNOWN my ways,
    • I swore in my wrath, 'They shall NOT enter My rest.'"
  • Heb 10:26-31 - if we go on sinning deliberately
    • after receiving the knowledge of the truth
    • there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
    • but a fearful expectation of judgment,

Take time to read Hebrews and see for yourself how the writer tailors his instruction to the warnings he presents. Give careful thought to his message. It is as pertinent today as it was 2,000 years ago.

— Scott R


The Elementary Teachings Class Concluded

Thanks to Jim Lokenbauer for an excellent study on “the elementary teachings about Christ” from Hebrews 6:1,2.

Jim plans on taking us through a study on the Apostle Peter next. We’re looking forward to his class.

Following that, I would like to present a class on the book of Hebrews. It is in the context of discussing difficult Biblical ideas that the Hebrew writer tells us what the elementary teachings about Christ are. This Biblical definition of what constitutes the basic/elementary principles/doctrine that are foundational to the Gospel appears almost incidentally. Without this list we would be left to our own opinion/understanding of what forms the basics of the oracles of God (Hebrews 5:12).

The book of Hebrews is a case study of the “meat” of the gospel. In our Hebrews class we will take a look at the arguments the author makes with a mind of trying to understand what he is saying and for what purpose.

While Jim is on vacation, I plan on presenting, over the next Wednesday or two, a brief overview of the book of Hebrews. We will identify the structure, outline, and some arguments of the book and look for clues to what was motivating the writer to pen the book. Hopefully this will stimulate interest for everyone to read & study the book of Hebrews in preparation for the future class.

See you Wednesday Evening —Scott R


Time is Drawing Near — Are You Ready?

By the power of Jesus' word he created the heavens and the earth and holds everything together by it (Ps.33:6, Heb.1:3) Creation was the start of time, year zero. In that same year, he established his law to Adam and Eve, the law of sin and death. Through the twisting of God's word Satan deceived the first couple and got them to break that law. Mankind chose to listen to Satan and therefore has been under his influence ever since. God has a plan to redeem mankind and save them from the power of Satan and his fate.

Two thousand years later, God Jesus established a people who would be God's chosen people. He appeared to Abraham and gave him three great promises; a family, a land, and a Savior Messiah from his bloodline that would bless the world.

Two thousand years after that, the Savior was born in Bethlehem through the lineage of King David, the fulfillment of the third promise to Abraham. He taught the people the gospel of the kingdom of God; repentance and obedience and love and peace are the core of those teachings.

These are some of the reasons as to why Jesus came down from heaven.

  • "I must preach the good news of God's kingdom." (Luke 4:43)

  • Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. (Mat.5:17)

  • Jesus was born King of the Jews and came to testify to the truth. (John 18:37)

  • Jesus came to die on the cross to redeem mankind. (John 3:16, 12:27-33)

  • John tells us in his first letter 1 Jn.3:8,

  • "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

It has been nearly two thousand years since Jesus died on the cross and rose again to redeem mankind back to himself and destroy the works of Satan. It seems like these two thousand year periods are marked with significant religious events, the only promise yet to be fulfilled is Jesus second coming which will bring about the destruction of creation and the end of time. It's also when the resurrection and Judgment Day occurs and the unbelievers and Satan and his army of demons will be thrown into the lake of fire, and the redeemed will enter heaven for eternity.

And you know what? Two thousand years passing is upon us, are you ready? —Jim


What Manner of Spirit are You?

Jesus our master and savior knows how to mold and shape each of his disciples into his image.

In Paul, James and John, and Peter we have men who had the spirit of the sons of thunder. Their thought processes were worldly and carnal and not on the things of God. Saul (Paul) delivered on his murderous threats, James and John seriously wanted to rain down fire on the Samaritans and incinerate them and were jealous over others calling on the name of the Lord besides them and Peter forcefully took Jesus aside and rebuked the Son of God for revealing that he was going to Jerusalem to be killed by the gentiles.

In each of these events, the Lord showed his wisdom in dealing with each of them, whether it was a sharp rebuke or blinding light he knew how to get through to them to redirect their thoughts and actions to do his will.

Examine their attitudes in these verses. Act 9:1, Mar 9:38, Mat 16:23, Luke 9:53-55. Their manner of spirit was worldly, thinking only from the human viewpoint, they could've easily been influenced by the evil one while walking according to the flesh (Eph 2:1-3; 6:10-13). That should make us stand up and take notice, they were with the Lord and were still carnal minded and/or influenced by the evil one.

Thankfully the one whom they called "Lord" is stronger than he who is in the world. Unfortunately, Judas Iscariot, who was very carnal minded, never changed spiritually and his faith and life was influenced and destroyed by Satan. We as humans have so many obstacles to overcome to be faithful to Jesus and be led by the Spirit, but God is faithful!

The greatest challenge to our faith is what baggage we carry around with us from our lives prior to becoming Christians. Also our own frailties and weaknesses and lack of biblical knowledge are hindrances too. It is only through prayer, reading and studying God's word, being a part of a body of believers, and keeping God's word at the forefront of our thoughts that can remedy this. We need to carry our cross daily as we go through our lives so as to influence our decisions and actions that we can be the clay that's set apart for noble purpose for the Master Potter to transform us into something special. If we will believe we'll be set free by his words and if we reject him we'll be judged by Jesus' words.

John 8:31-32, "So, Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' "

John 12:48, "There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day."

Let us be ready. —Jim


Matthew 25 and the Judgment

Matthew chapter 25 has three parables that depict the Savior being away on a long journey, as He is right now. Upon His return, which will be His second coming, it shows how He deals with His followers, not those who don't believe and reject Him in this life, but His followers.

The first is the Ten Virgins. It shows two types of believers, wise and foolish.

  • The wise show their faith by being prepared and waiting.
  • The foolish...not.

(Hebrews 9:28 "so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.")

(Matthew 25:13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.")

The second parable is the Talents, three are given talents acording to their abilities.

(Romans 12:6-8 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.")

  • The first two immediately get busy and vigorously use their talents for their master.
  • The third buried his talent, not using it and did nothing for his master the entire time he was gone.
  • Upon the master's return he settles accounts with each servant, the first two he congratualates them for being fruitful with their talents and welcomes them in to his joy.

    (John 15:8 "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.")

  • The third servant made ad hominem excuses and returned the talent back to his master. The master pronounced judgment on him and called him a wicked and lazy servant, he did not enter his masters joy.

The final parable which we will go over in detail this coming Wednesday bible study, is called the Final Judgment, or the Sheep and the goats, and it may surprise you just who exactly are the goats.

—Jim


The Tree of Life

After God created the heavens and the earth and all that was in them, He planted a garden in Eden and placed man there to tend to it. In the middle of the garden God planted two special trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He told man that he was free to eat from any of the trees except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were commanded not to eat from that tree or the punishment of death would come upon them.

Presented to mankind was a choice,

  • obedience to the command and free access to the tree of life, or
  • disobedience to the command earning them condemnation and death.

After time, the two innocent souls were confronted by that age old protagonist Satan, who through trickery and twisting the word of God beguiled Eve and the woman and the man ate of the forbidden fruit, breaking the only command they were given.

After God meted out judgment and punishment on them all, deferring man's death sentence till a latter time at the end of all time, a final judgment day, He instituted temporary systems of atonement using animal sacrifices. He also removed their access to the tree of life.

Because of the original couple's sin and condemnation, a death sentence was presented to all mankind, because all have sinned, all will die. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only man to have led a sinless life which meant He was righteous in the sight of the law and by Him being willing to be crucified illegally made Him the perfect atoning sacrifice to take away man's sin. By having faith in Jesus Christ, believing that He is the Son of the Holy Living God of Heaven, and that God raised Him from the dead, we receive mercy and grace from that loving God and we have peace with Him.

Since Jesus death burial and resurrection, mankind is now faced with a new choice, believe in Jesus Christ as your personal savior and have future access to the tree of life, or reject the Savior and face eternal condemnation in the lake of fire.

Tree of Life references;
Gen.2:9, 3:22, 3:24, Rev.2:7, 11, 22:14

—Jim L



After the resurrection comes judgment

Soon we'll be studying the sixth and final elementary teaching; eternal judgment.

Immediately following the resurrection, judgment on mankind happens and the destruction of creation takes place. According to Peter's account, the heavens and the earth and everything in them will be burned up. The gospel gives us so many warnings of the judgment to come. Even as Jesus was casting out evil spirits, they knew who Jesus was, the Messiah, the Son of God! They actually gave testimony as to who He was! Listen to these testimonials.

Matthew 8:29
"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"

Mark 5:6-7
When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him, and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, don't torment me." and after that meeting all of the disciples were believers

Luke 4:41
Demons also came out of many, crying out, and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Rebuking them, he didn't allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

Acts 16:16-17
As we were going to prayer, a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. Following Paul and us, she cried out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!"

Acts 19:15
The evil spirit answered, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?"

Those demons knew Jesus was the Son of God, that salvation was through Him, that there was coming a day of judgment and that they would be tormented for all eternity.

Brothers and sisters! With the belief and knowledge the bible gives us, let us not be out-evangelized by demons! Time may be short and hell is an awful horrible place, we need to tell others about Jesus, God is being patient with us, He doesn't want anyone to suffer this fate, and wants all to repent!

Mark 13:32
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

As the hymn goes,

"Will your sheaves be many, will you garner any for the gathering at the harvest home?"

—Jim


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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Excerpts from Proverbs 1 and Psalms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Read the Proverbs through in a month,
one chapter per day.
Read the Psalms through in a month,
five Psalms per day.

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    Proverbs 1:20-21, 24-25, 28-33
    (World English Bible)

    • Warning Against Disregarding Wisdom
      • continued
      • Proverbs 1:20 - 33
    • 20) Wisdom calls aloud in the street.
      • She utters her voice in the public squares.
    • 21) She calls at the head of noisy places.
      • At the entrance of the city gates,
        • she utters her words:
        •  ...
        •  
      • 24) Because I have called, and you have refused;
        • I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention;
      • 25) But you have ignored all my counsel,
        • And wanted none of my reproof;
        •  ...
        •  
      • 28) "Then will they call on me, but I will not answer.
        • They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;
      • 29) Because they hated knowledge,
        • And didn't choose the fear of Yahweh.
      • 30) They wanted none of my counsel.
        • They despised all my reproof.
      • 31) Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way,
        • And be filled with their own schemes.
      • 32) For the backsliding of the simple
        • will kill them.
      • The careless ease of fools will destroy them.
      • 33) But whoever listens to me will dwell securely,
        • And will be at ease, without fear of harm."
    •  

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    Psalm 5:4-6
    Book 1 (Psalms 1-41)
    (World English Bible)

    • For the Chief Musician,
      • with the flutes.
        • A Psalm by David.
        • continued
    • 4) For you are not a God who
      • has pleasure in wickedness.
        • Evil can't live with you.
    • 5) The arrogant shall not stand in your sight.
      • You hate all workers of iniquity.
    • 6) You will destroy those who speak lies.
      • Yahweh abhors the blood-thirsty
        • and deceitful man.
    •  

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