August 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (Foundational Principles)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Jesus, Our Saviour (Cody Westbrook)
  • Hear Sam (Willcut)
  • Believe (Mike Vestal)
  • Repent (Mike Bonner)
  • Confession of Faith (Jerrod “Boogie” Doss)
  • Baptism (Robert Jefferies)
  • Living a Faithful, Growing, Godly Life (Rob L. Whitacre)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#basic-principles-of-the-gospel, #christian-growth, #christian-worker, #confessing-our-faith, #confession, #hearing-the-gospel, #how-to-become-a-christian, #jesus-christ, #jesus-our-savior, #necessity-of-faith, #purpose-of-water-baptism, #repentance

Tozer: Religious stir not of God

“I fear any kind of religious stir among Christians that does not lead to repentance and result in a sharp separation of the believer from the world. I am suspicious of any organized revival effort that is forced to play down the hard terms of the Kingdom. No matter how attractive the movement may appear, if it is not founded in righteousness and nurtured in humility it is not of God. If it exploits the flesh it is a religious fraud and should not have the support of any God-fearing Christian.” —via Tozer Devotional.

#repentance, #revival

If repentance is not part of the gospel, how can it stand in its place in Lk 24.47?

Some among us affirm that faith, repentance, and baptism are not a part of the gospel, that only the bare facts of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are the gospel, as per 1Co 15.1-3. (They do this, apparently, to get rid of baptism as a requirement for salvation. Citing this text is problematic, but we’ll let that pass for now.)

If however their affirmation is indeed the case, how is it that in Lk 24.47 repentance is used to stand for the entire gospel? Continue reading

#forgiveness-of-sins, #gospel, #gospel-requirements, #repentance

A good outline about the change that biblical repentance produces

Here’s an article that came from the Montrose Church in Carthage, TN. It’s about the change that biblical repentance produces in our life. I thought some here might want to use it as a bulletin article or as a sermon outline. With all of the “sit where you’re at and Heaven will come to you” type of preaching that is popular, this outline helps to remind us that the kingdom of Heaven is reached by walking the opposite direction of the flesh.


TEXT: Acts 3:19

INTRODUCTION: The Biblical definition of repentance is “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 3:19). Cf. Acts 26:20. The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. In terms of the kingdom, it involves…

A change in one’s allegiance. Kingdom citizens submit their own will to the will of the King. Cf. Matthew 6:10; Romans 6:12-18; Matthew 6:24; 7:21. The King deserves our loyalty, obedience, honor and praise. A change in one’s expectations. If all one lives for is TODAY, tomorrow will grow very unappealing. If there is no hope for the future, there is no power for TODAY. Cf. Acts 1:9-11; John 14:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. The King deserves our anticipation.

A change in one’s values. Our culture values success, appearance, image, wealth and independence. The values of Kingdom citizens adopt the King’s values and make decisions and choices that reflect His values. The King deserves our cooperation.

A change in one’s priorities. Priorities reflect personal allegiance, expectations and values. It also determines how I will spend my time and money. Kingdom citizens prioritize their time and money to benefit the King and His Kingdom. Cf. Matthew 6:24-34, especially vs.33. Unless the King occupies FIRST place in out life, He occupies NO place. The King deserves our full attention.

A change in one’s long mission. Those with no mission in life are aimless and unproductive. James calls them, “double minded.” The King wants His followers to be servants. Cf. John 13:15; Matthew 20:27-28; 25:21. Kingdom citizens humble themselves to serve those in the Kingdom.

CONCLUSION: Can you say, “There’s a change in my life since the King came along?” Repentance will turn your life around like nothing else will.

– Mark N. Posey, Pulpit Previews

#bulletin-articles, #kingdom-of-heaven, #repentance, #sermon-outline

I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that

The scripture for today, April 23, is Mark 4:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Some of us read a passage in the Bible and say, “I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that.” We just don’t want to hear it.

It’s hard to admit we are wrong, isn’t it? It’s human nature. And in the realm of religion, it is even harder because we’re talking about our eternal soul. So reading that we’re supposed to be doing or not doing something that we’ve never followed before is like being on a bridge over a roaring river, and suddenly realizing the bridge is breaking and we are not as safe as we thought we were. Let us take our human egos out of the way. Continue reading

#confession, #obedience, #repentance

When God’s People Humble Themselves and Pray

I’m re-blogging this from my “Call for Fire Seminar” blog. Christians struggle at times with whether sins they commit can be forgiven. This blog article examines King Manasseh of Judah’s spiritual crisis and compares him with New Testament examples of both Christians and those who had yet to become disciples of Jesus.

If Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 could describe himself as chief of sinners, then King Manasseh might have argued that he was next. Manasseh ruled fifty-five years, more than any other monarch of Judah or Israel. During most of his reign, he apparently was a compliant vassal of the Assyrian Empire. Perhaps because of Assyrian influence, Manasseh revoked the religious reforms of his father Hezekiah that had returned Judah to exclusive worship of Yahweh. Manasseh himself participated in the rites of indigenous Canaanite gods and burned one of his sons as a religious sacrifice. This king practiced divination and sorcery. He remodeled the Jerusalem Temple, adding altars to additional gods. In addition to his religious heresy, 2 Kings 21:16 notes that “Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end.” The author of 2 Kings regards Manasseh’s reign as the tipping point that persuaded God that the nation of Judah must be punished for its spiritual rebellion. 2 Kings 21 notes no positive aspects of Manasseh’s religious or political influence.

2 Chronicles 33 also relates the history of Manasseh’s long reign. Its writer repeats verbatim much of what we read in 2 Kings 21:1-10. However, while 2 Kings portrays Manasseh’s reign as consistently evil and assigns responsibility to the heretical monarch for Judah’s subsequent exile to Babylon, 1 Chronicles records that Manasseh, exiled himself for a time by the Assyrians to Babylon, repented of his multitude of sins and prayed to God for forgiveness. While the Bible does not record Manasseh’s prayer, centuries later someone wrote a prayer based on Manasseh’s repentance as described in 1 Chronicles 33. This apocryphal prayer of Manasseh ends with this plea to a gracious God:

“Do not destroy me with my transgressions; do not be angry against me forever; do not remember my evils; and do not condemn me and banish me to the depths of the earth! For you are the God of those who repent. In me you will manifest all your grace; and although I am not worthy, you will save me according to your manifold mercies. Because of this (salvation) I shall praise you continually all the days of my life; because all the hosts of heaven praise you, and sing to you forever and ever” (“The Prayer of Manasseh,” from The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by J.H. Charlesworth, Garden City, New York: Doubleday& Company, 1985, p. 635).

In 2 Chronicles, a forgiven Manasseh returns to Jerusalem, where he initiates religious reforms and building programs that demonstrate the genuineness of his repentance. The Chronicler’s account of Manasseh’s life ends: “The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself – all are written in the records of the seers” (2 Chronicles 33:18-19).

Manasseh begins his reign by arrogantly turning away from the God of his father Hezekiah. He brings both religious and political ruin to his nation by his policies. Only after being exiled does he humble himself and pray. His repentance and prayer echoes God’s words to King Solomon centuries earlier, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face an turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). God’s promise is extended to people who already are in covenant relationship with him, but have violated the terms of that covenant. Such was the case with Manasseh and Judah, the nation he ruled. In modern times, it applies to Christians who have strayed from God’s will rather than to secular nations.

Manasseh’s prayer demonstrates the efficacy of calling for fire when one realizes that through his or her own disobedience, they have placed themselves in great spiritual danger. Just as Peter and John counseled Simon to pray for forgiveness in hope that God might forgive him (Acts 8), so worshipers of God who have lost their way today may ask for forgiveness. Manasseh sinned horribly, killing at least one of his children, causing the death of many others, and leading a nation into apostasy and toward political suicide. Even after his repentance, the aftershocks of his earlier sins continued to influence Judah’s history for generations. Even when we repent, we cannot always undo the effects of the wrong we have done. On the other hand, God does forgive him, and Manasseh, despite the magnitude of his earlier sin, accomplishes great acts of service for God during his remaining years. No sin is too great for God to forgive when God’s people, who are called by his name, humble themselves and pray.

God of grace and glory, Remember how you granted forgiveness to Manasseh and Saul, who became Paul the apostle. Extend the same grace to those who recognize the horror of their own rebellion. Forgive them when they humbly return to you. Saul had thrown disciples of your Son into prison, and assisted in the killing of others, but when he arose and was baptized, calling on the name of the Lord, you forgave him and gave him a mission which transformed his weakness into strength. Give us strength and courage to do your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

#discipleship, #forgiveness-of-sin, #prayer, #repentance

Has God Changed His Mind About Repentance?

According to some people who profess to know him, God has softened his stance on repentance. According to what they say, Jesus is optional, sin can be rational and salvation is left up to what we want it to be. But is it so?

I for one say not so! Without a doubt I fail my Lord. Without a doubt sin can creep up on me. Without a doubt my salvation is important to me. But when it comes to God softening his stance on repentance toward him when it comes to unrighteousness there is some very serious doubt that those who say such things know what and who they’re talking about.

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

While preaching to a group of men and women who were living as unbelieving pagans, old-fashioned sinners and individuals outside of the safety of God’s grace Paul plainly said God expects and requires repentance. This expectation and requirement wasn’t for individuals here and there – it was for everyone, everywhere. Judgment is coming and its basis will be upon the righteousness of God; that standard that we all fail to meet at one point in our life with many, many, many more to follow. And the judgment of God will be accomplished by the non-optional and solo sacrificed Savior of the world.

Has God changed his mind about repentance since Paul preached those words in the first century? Has God softened his stance on the necessity of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? The way we answer the first question determines the way we answer the second, but the way we answer won’t change the way that God thinks.

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”” (Luke 13:1-5)

#day-of-judgment, #god, #repentance, #salvation, #the-will-of-god