BulletinGold #8
May 20, 2001   #8
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Our articles for this issue focus on the Bible and moral and spiritual issues which concern all members of the church. Some of the articles are long. I hope you can find a way to include them in your bulletins, for every Christian needs to know these words from God's eternal truth.

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Panning for more Gold
---- preacher's articles this issue

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE TESTAMENTS
by W. A. Martin

The early Christians believed both the Old and the New Testaments. Jesus and other inspired men often quoted from the Old Testament, showing that they placed their stamp of approval upon it. This testifies to the fact that they accepted and believed the Old Testament, but they also understood that the Old Testament law had been nailed to the cross. (Col. 2:14). "Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. "(Romans 7:4). They realized in these last days God has spoken unto us through his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). So they held to the fact that unless a thing is taught in the New Testament, it is not binding upon men today. They believed every word of the Old Testament; they knew the Jewish law had been nailed to the tree. "That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, "Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3:11-13). "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Gal. 3:24-25). Of course, many teachings in the Old Testament are likewise taught in the New Testament. They are principles which have always been true. On the other hand, many things that were taught and practiced in Old Testament times were left out of the New Testament age. We find the Lord left out burning of incense, the sprinkling of blood, the playing of mechanical instruments of music in the worship. Also, they kept the sabbath day holy, but we are commanded to meet upon the first day of the week. The sabbath is Saturday. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4).

By W. A. Martin an Elder and Minister for the Crandall Church of Christ @ 209 Main Street, Crandall, Texas 75114

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WHAT MAKES A GOOD TRANSLATION?
by Mel Martin

    In our Bible classes, there are many versions of the Bible used. It is important to understand that Moses, Peter, Jesus, and the rest neither spoke nor wrote in English. Because many do not wish to take the time to study the languages of the Bible (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek), it is necessary for most of us to have a translation in a language which we understand. It goes without saying that if we do not understand any language, we will not be able to know the word of God. The better our skills in the language which we choose to speak and read (Spanish, French, English, Japanese, etc.), the better will be our understanding of the written word of God. There are three tests which should be used in choosing a translation: the test of accuracy, the test of clarity, and the test of dignity. ACCURACY - Above all, a translation must be accurate. That is, it must be the words of God and not the words of men, for the Bible is verbally inspired. CLARITY - The translation must also strive to be understandable. Understandability, however, sometimes has to be sacrificed for accuracy's sake. Sometimes difficult expressions must remain. Some translations which do not have accuracy as a top priority will depart from a difficult rendering of a text, opting for a more simplistic rendering which is more easily understood. The trouble with putting clarity before accuracy is that one may be able to understand what the translator has written, but his understanding may not be what God intended. It is better to go ahead and use the more difficult rendering (it being the word of God), and then let the reader struggle with the meaning, than to not give the reader the word of God. DIGNITY - Some translations are more coarse than others. No, when it comes to our understanding, it may make little difference whether we call God "dad" or "Father," but proper respect must be maintained. 

Mel Martin preaches for the Lincoln & Tunnell Church of Christ in Santa Maria, CA.

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YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THE LAW OF YOUR GOD
by Bill Graham

    These are the words of God spoken through the prophet Hosea (4:6). What were the consequences? The people were destroyed and rejected for their forgetfulness and so were their children. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." What an indictment! God's chosen people abandoned for their ignorance! Had God not told His people how to avoid such consequences; how to keep themselves knowledgeable of God? Some 700 years prior to the time of Hosea, God through Moses had given explicit instructions in this regard: Hear the Word of the LORD! "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you set in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 11:18-20. Knowledge opens up a whole new world of choices. With God's Word in hand, a clear distinction between what was right and what was wrong had been possible! With this knowledge had come the tools with which to make spiritual and righteous decisions. But that knowledge was now gone, either lost or ignored, and with it, all hope of pleasing God. Much later, however, during the reign of King Josiah of Judah, the Book of the Law, which had somehow been misplaced, was found. With the law book in hand, Josiah instituted great reforms. Briefly let us examine some of the possible reforms, not only then, but today. Do we worship God or idols? God or mammon (the dollar)? Contrary to popular opinion or political correctness, it is not the economy! "Then Jesus said to him. 'Away with you Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only shall you serve.'" Matthew 4:10. Or Moses to the people when he said, "You shall not go after other gods, ..for the LORD your God is a jealous God, among you" Deuteronomy 6:12-15. Do we offer our children as burnt offerings to Molech as did the Israelites? (Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5; 1 Kings ll:7; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35). That idolatrous practice is generally thought to have involved heating the arms of the Ammonite god, Molech, until red-hot and placing babies there as a human sacrifice. In our own day and time, could there be analogous situations? How about the aborting of our children? Were such offerings to Molech any more barbaric and murderous than lawful present-day methods of killing children? If you think so, please consider the more recent mode of pregnancy termination characterized as partial-birth abortion. In this procedure, a late term baby is delivered feet first, and while its head is still in the birth canal, a sharp instrument is inserted into the base of its skull, and its brains suctioned out. Talk about barbarism. Murder is murder, whether as an offering to Molech or to our own selfish desires and ambitions. And what about other abortion techniques? These are known by such terms as D&C (dilation and curettage), suction aspiration, dilation and evacuation, and instillation methods including salt poisoning; all designed to kill the unborn child. Consider if you will God's words concerning the unborn as David speaks about his own formation within the womb, "For you have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:13-14. Or of Jeremiah when God spoke of Jeremiah's sanctification while yet in the womb. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:5. Do we involve ourselves in the occult? Are such practices as witchcraft, psychic readings, fortune telling, palm readings or the use of ouija boards okay with God? 2 Chronicles 33:1-9; Galatians 5:19-21. Consulting the horoscope in the daily newspaper or phoning a psychic may seem harmless enough if one is uninformed of God's condemnation of such practices; no surprise since all of these are the works of Satan. "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices, witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD..." Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

Bill Graham is the coordinator of the World Bible School program at the Main Street church of Christ, 318 N. Main St., Springfield, Tennessee 37172.

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THE WOMAN'S ROLE IN THE CHURCH
by Lawrence Barr

    One often gets questions about the work of women in the church. Often those questions seem to center on just one area of possible service, participation in the public assemblies of the church. That is patently unfair, since since our Christian life and service goes into every aspect of living on this earth. Far too many Christians consider that what we do when we meet together on Sunday morning is all there is to being a Christian. Another misconception that the modern feminist movement seems to have fostered on to our society (and even the church seems to be influenced by this) is that equality demands sameness of function. The Bible clearly teaches that "we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another" (Romans 12:5). Verse four says, "For ... we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function." Then verse six says, "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly." So then, though we are all equally members of the one body, the church, and each one is needed by all the others, we do not have the same function. Instead, we can each function as God has intended according to the gifts He’s given us. Though women are to "remain quiet" (1 Tim. 2:12) as far as leading, or teaching in the assembly, they are to be involved as older women teaching the younger women (Titus 2:3-5), to be active in bringing up their children in the Lord, and in running their homes. That one thing, if done properly, would do more to keep our young people for the Lord than a million sermons. Women can serve the needy, teach the lost the gospel, encourage the disheartened, minister to the sick, pray for and edify the weak and so much more. So why not be busy doing good? 

Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of Christ, 225 East Pike, Indiana, PA 15701

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PREMARITAL SEX AND THE BIBLE
by Russ Lawson

    I had an interesting conversation this past week regarding Premarital Sex. Someone had concluded that since they could not find it mentioned in the Bible, (concordances, etc.) it must be all right to engage in this activity. Of course there were several things that bother me about this conclusion, but the primary thing was how this illustrated the lack of Bible understanding in America today. I agree that the Bible does not use the term "Premarital Sex." But that is because that terminology was not in wide spread use when the Bible was translated into English; it is not that this sin is not dealt with by God. Does God try to make things hard for us to understand? No, of course not! But I do think He expects us to take some time to read, study and think seriously about what he has told us in His word. Paul writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 writes, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Simply, God expects us to apply our- selves to understanding His word. Luke writes in Acts 17:11 of the people of Berea , "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." So, what does all this have to do with Premarital Sex? One of the things that "study" requires us to do is to look up words that we don't understand clearly, or which might shed some light on the meaning of the scriptures. For example, the word, "Fornication." Our present day society does not use or understand the meaning of the word, yet it is used in the scripture freely. If we go to some study helps such as Bible Dictionaries and Greek/English dictionaries, we can find the meaning, understand and make application of the word. Consider the following terms: 1. "Fornication" a. It is from the Greek word, "PORNEIA;" it means "Prostitution, Unchastity, Fornication: of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse." (i.e. premarital sex) "It means to practice sexual immorality." (Arndt-Gringrich). b. "Illicit sexual intercourse," Any sexual activity outside of the marriage covenant (i.e. premarital sex). (W.E. Vine) c. "Incest, adultery, lewdness, uncleanness," (Harper's Analytical Greek Lexicon). 2. "Adultery" This is the Greek word, "MOICHEIA or MOICHOS." a. "Of sexual unfaithfulness of a married man or woman." b. "Denotes one who has had unlawful sexual intercourse with the spouse of another." It is unfortunate that even the most modern translation of the scripture that I have in my library doesn't translate these words clearly. The best that they seem to do is simply translate fornication as "sexual immorality." In a day and age when "living together," and "premarital sex," is not only accepted but promoted in our media, we need to clarify this matter in our minds. We need to study so that we can have the approval of our God. Is Premarital sex wrong? Yes, it is "Fornication! Take some time looking at God's word for that particular word and see what is said. 1 Corinthians 6:18 through 7:2 in particular tells us, "18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 7:1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." If you want to see how seriously God takes sin, in particular the sin of premarital sex or fornication in general, take a look at Numbers 25:1-8, "While Israel was camped at Acacia, some of the young men began going to wild parties with the local Moabite girls... 6But one of the Israeli men insolently brought a Midianite girl into the camp, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as they were weeping at the door of the Tabernacle. 7When Phinehas (son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest) saw this, he jumped up, grabbed a spear, 8and rushed after the man into his tent, where he had taken the girl. He thrust the spear all the way through the man's body and into her stomach..." You tell me... is premarital sex wrong in the eyes of God? 

Russ Lawson preaches for the Greenville Church of Christ, Greenville, OH.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

I STILL BELIEVE 

    A church member wrote to the editor of a Christian magazine and said, "In his sermon Sunday, my minister preached that Jesus did not really die on the cross, but He just swooned, fainted, and went into a coma. Then when the soldiers got Him off the cross and into that tomb, the cool air revived Him and He got up and escaped. How do you think I should respond to such teaching?" 
    The Magazine editor replied, "Dear Church Member, In this modern age of "user friendly" theology, my friends, I make no apology that I STILL BELIEVE in the fundamentals of the Word of God!! I STILL BELIEVE that the miracles of the Bible are true. I STILL BELIEVE "In the Beginning, God!" I STILL BELIEVE that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24 hour days. I STILL BELIEVE that Jesus was born of a VIRGIN, that He literally bodily walked the shores of Galilee, that He healed the lame, raised the dead, and caused the blind to see. I STILL BELIEVE that He went to a hill called Golgotha and laid down His life willingly for the sins of man, and yes, I believe that he DIED on that cross. I STILL BELIEVE that in three days He literally, bodily walked out of the tomb before day-break, victorious over death, hell and the grave. I STILL BELIEVE that He ascended back to Heaven and sat down at the Right hand of the Father, and I STILL BELIEVE that the same blood that was shed 2,000 years ago on that old rugged cross is still the payment for man's sins today. And I STILL BELIEVE that one day soon He is going to literally, bodily step down from that throne and return to receive His Bride, The Blood-Washed throng of Believers. Yes, my friend, the scoffers and doubters may turn up their noses in disgust at this old-time religion, but I STILL BELIEVE!" "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16 

Author Unknown. Submitted by Marietta Slater, who does the bulletin for the church of Christ at 3500 N. Ohio, Augusta, KS 67010.

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DEAD OR ALIVE? 
by Leonard Hanold

The Bible is a LIVING book, authored by the LIVING God, for the instruction and guidance of the LIVING church. The apostle Paul admonished Christians to present themselves as "LIVING sacrifices" (Romans 2:1,2) to the service of God. Many consider the Bible a dead book! Why? Because they evidently feel that it talks about or to someone else. The applications of truths--instructions and admonitions-- are directed at another rather than applied personally. the obligation to put off worldliness ins disregarded on the grounds that we don't want our friends to think that we are "goody-goody." When one disregards the LIVING message from the LIVING book, so far as he is concerned, it is nothing more than a dead letter. 

Editor's Note: This was written in 1958. I do not know where Brother Hanold lives or if he is alive.

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READING THE BIBLE 
by Raymond Kelcy

A young lady was once given a book to read. She tried reading it and found it to be quite dull and boring. Later, she fell in love with a young man who was a writer. In a conversation with him, she found out that he was the author of that book. She could then hardly wait to get to her room so that she might read it again. This time she found it to be a very interesting and fascinating book. What was the difference? She knew and loved the author. Some think the Bible is dull and dry. But if they would read it with the idea in mind that here is a book written by their God and Creator, they would find it to be a challenging message. They need to come to love God. When they do, they will find His book to be both interesting and meaningful. 

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

SCRIPTURES AND QUOTES 

Psalm 119:1-8, 11 John 12:46-50 Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:17-19 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17 

Within the covers of one single book, the Bible, are all the answers to all the problems that face us today. . . if only we would read and believe! Human supposition can never take the place of divine revelation.

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Gold Mines
----quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs this issue

B - I - B - L - E Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

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