Made by the Lord’s Miracles
By Heath Rogers
After recording the Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew goes on to record numerous miracles Jesus performed in Galilee. These miracles verified the fact that the kingdom had come near, confirmed the message that Jesus taught, and were signs that He was the anticipated Messiah.
A survey of these miracles reveals that Jesus more than qualified to be the divine Son of God and Savior of the world. He performed miracles that no one else could do, especially those who claim to be performing miracles today. Notice the power displayed in the various miracles performed by the Lord.
These are just a few miracles performed by Jesus during a short part of His ministry. Later, when some of the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Jesus because He made Himself equal with God (Jn. 5:18), Jesus offered the works He had done as evidence to back up His claim to be the Son of God. “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (v. 36).
What “works” was Jesus speaking of? What “works” were done to prove that Jesus is God’s Son? I would say that someone who displayed absolute power over disease, distance, demons, disability, blindness, nature, and death would more than qualify as the Son of God. – Knollwood church of Christ Articles, April 2020.
By Bobby Witherington
In almost every congregation, there are those certain ones who may be appropriately classified as being “out of duty.” This expression is not used to refer to those who are sick, infirm, and thus physically unable to assemble with the saints. Rather, it refers to those who could attend and should attend, but simply will not!
The word “duty” suggests “that which one is bound to do by moral or legal obligation” (The American College Dictionary, p. 376) In this case, it suggest that which one is “bound to do” by SCRIPTURAL obligation. Hence, when one is “out of duty,” he has ceased to do that which God has required of him.
This is a sad condition to be in. It means that the one thus described has: (1) waxed “cold” – Matt. 24:12—in service to God; (2) failed to make his “calling and election sure” – 2 Pet. 1:10; (3) refused “as a Christian” to glorify God – 1 Pet. 4:16; (4) “come short of” and has ceased to “labour therefore to enter into that rest” – Heb. 4:1.11; (5) spurned the love of God and is in a “worse” condition than before he obeyed the Gospel (2 Pet. 2:20-22)!
Such persons need to “repent” and “pray” unto God (Acts 8:22) having confessed their “sins” (1 Jn. 1:9). The confession of sin should be public if the sin itself is public. Members of Christ’s church, who have dropped “out of duty,” have sinned before God, self, and the brethren. They must return unto the Lord so as to be saved. Consider ye well!!
Do You Miss
By Stan Cox
Many typically active participants in worship and fellowship have not seen their brethren in a month. Preachers are standing in empty buildings or sitting in their own homes, sharing messages through the internet. But, in most cases Christians are not together.
Even the few who remain able or willing to meet on the Lord’s day have limited their time together to a single hour once a week. Staying at arm’s length and leaving quickly, the loving closeness of a spiritual family is greatly missed. It is obvious to some that a “virtual” assembly is a pale imitation of a congregational meeting to worship God. If others were not aware of the great disadvantages of these electronic communications, it is becoming obvious as the pandemic lingers.
Some observations are in order:
Some Christians have been “forsaking the
assembling of ourselves together”
(cf. Heb. 10:25), just as in the first century. For them, there really
is no difference this past month to the distance they have been maintaining
from their brethren. They may be chafing at total isolation, but if it
bothered them that they weren’t with their spiritual family, they would have
been coming before! By forsaking the opportunity to worship with God’s
people, they have long been a discouragement. They weaken themselves, but
they weaken their brethren as well.
Some Christians are shut-in. Though they would love to be with their brethren, health or circumstances preclude it. No, they are not forsaking the Lord or their brethren, they simply can’t come. Now that you have experienced what it means to be isolated from God’s family, you can imagine what they have suffered through for months or even years. They need your encouragement, your compassion, your edification, your help. Please include the shut-ins as you pray, call, and eventually visit. They need their spiritual family.
Surely all of us can see that this situation we find ourselves in is not only not normal, but not good. God’s plan is for us to “come together as a church.” God organized His people into local congregations. This is so that we might worship together, admonish and edify one another, and grow up to be spiritually mature. You can’t do it at home. You can’t do it virtually. You have to do it the way God designed for it to be done (cf. Eph. 3:11-16). When we come together for work and worship, Paul writes, “the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (3:16).
We need to be together! Please pray to God diligently, every day. In every prayer petition Him for a quick ending of this unnatural and unfortunate circumstance. Pray so that God’s people can again enjoy and benefit from coming “together as a church.” – Sound Teaching, April 7, 2020.
“And upon the first day of the week, when
the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them,
ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight”