Benevolent Work of the Church

Posted by mark under Sermons

By David Watson

Benchley, January 20, 2019

  • I Peter 4:11
  • The most important work of the church is supporting the preaching of the gospel.
  • Acts 24:17 – Paul mentioned alms, but not in the context of benevolence.
  • Acts 2:42-45 – They were some in Jerusalem who were unavoidably destitute. The saints brought money to go into a common fund to be distributed to those who had need.
  • Acts 4:32, 34-35
  • Acts 6:1-4 – Men were selected to handle benevolence. Preaching was still the priority!
  • Acts 11:27-30 – The sending church selected its own means to get the money to the congregation that had need. The elders of the receiving church controlled the distribution of the funds. The relief was specifically directed to needy saints.
  • Romans 15:25-27, 30-31 – Benevolence was not to convert people. Only saints are eligible to be relieved by the church.
  • I Corinthians 16:1-4 – Each one is to give as he has prospered on the first day of every week. This is the only way God has authorized a local church to get funds to do the work He has assigned.
  • II Corinthians 8:1-5, 12-15
  • II Corinthians 9:1, 12-15 – “All” here is referring to the Jewish saints.
  • I Timothy 5:16 – The church is limited to relieving only those who are widows indeed. If family is available to help, they should help instead of burdening the church.

Authority, Part 2

Posted by mark under Sermons

By David Watson

Benchley, January 20, 2019

  • Authority is specified to a certain degree
    • Example #1: Transporting the ark
      • Exodus 25:14; Numbers 4:15; 7:6-9
      • I Chronicles 13:7-14; 15:2, 12-15
    • Example #2: Strange fire
      • Leviticus 10:1-2
    • Example #3: Priesthood
      • Hebrews 7:11-16; 8:4
    • III John 9
  • “Please go buy me a dog.”
    • If you buy a cat, you did not follow the instructions.
  • Genesis 6:14 – “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood.”
  • Singing – Colossians 3:17
    • Matthew 26:30
    • Mark 14:26
    • Acts 16:25
    • Romans 15:9
    • I Corinthians 14:15
    • Ephesians 5:19
    • Colossians 3:16
    • Hebrews 2:12
    • Hebrews 13:15
    • James 5:13
  • Work of local churches – II Corinthians 8:1-4; I Corinthians 14:26; Philippians 4:15
    • Provide for needy saints
    • Provide for worship and edification
    • Provide for preaching
  • Where is the authority for song books?
    • We must pick some method by which we sing.
  • Where is the authority for the church building?
    • I Corinthians 14:23, 26

Humbly Seeking Truth, Part 7

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, January 20, 2019

  • Attitude check: I Corinthians 13:4
  • How do I know the Holy Spirit is talking to me? (continued)
    • These promises to the apostles began to be fulfilled in Acts 1-2.
    • We might wonder if the phrase in Acts 2:38 (“the gift of the Holy Spirit”) means that all people receive some supernatural communication or power from the Spirit.
      • Numerous examples show that baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way were two separate things. Acts 8:16-18; 10:44-48; 19:1-7
      • So, what is the “gift of the Holy Spirit” that is received at baptism?
        • For centuries, the Holy Spirit had been saying (through prophets) that salvation was coming.
          • Hebrews 3:7; 4:7
          • Jeremiah 31:34; Isaiah 53:11; Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21
          • Salvation was the gift!
    • I should not be waiting for something miraculous to occur to either produce or confirm my salvation.
    • So, does God do anything today?
      • What God does in answer to our prayers is beyond our ability to know.
      • God is not going to contradict the written word. Galatians 1:6-9
      • God wants us to pay attention to the revealed gospel. Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:1-4
    • James 1:5
    • II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:3; Jude 3
  • Does the New Covenant authorize worship with instruments?
    • God has always been very strict about keeping His word exactly.
      • Acts 16:25
      • Romans 15:9
      • I Corinthians 14:15
      • Ephesians 5:19
      • Colossians 3:16
      • Hebrews 2:12
      • Hebrews 13:15
      • James 5:13
      • We have zero New Covenant passages authorizing Christians to worship through instruments.
      • It’s easy to see that singing is authorized, but there is no clear authority for instruments as worship.
      • Matthew 15:1-9; Colossians 3:17; II John 9 – God warns us about staying within what He has specifically authorized.
      • Deuteronomy 4:2; Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19
    • Are instruments just aids for singing?
      • When God authorized something, He narrows it down to a certain degree.
      • Instruments are not just aids – they add a new type of music.

The Apostles, Part 7

Posted by mark under Classes

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, January 16, 2019

  • Lesson six, continued:
    • Andrew after death
      • Relics of apostles
      • Motivations for worship diverted
      • Were Andrew’s remains moved about?
    • Andrew’s relics
      • Initially buried in Patra
      • Constantius moved all but head to Istanbul
        • Part of his father’s collection
        • Church of the Holy Apostles
      • Head moved to Rome in 1460
        • Save it from being taken by invading Muslims
        • Returned to Greece in 1964 by Roman Catholic Church
  • Lesson seven
    • James son of Zebedee in scripture
      • Matthew 4:18-22
        • Brother of John
        • Son of Zebedee
        • Fisherman
      • With James, one of Sons of Thunder – Mark 3:17
      • Wanted to destroy Samaritan village – Luke 9:51-56
      • Requested special status – Matthew 20:20-28
      • At the transfiguration – Matthew 17:1-9
      • On watch while Jesus prayed – Matthew 26:36-37
      • His mother also followed Jesus – Matthew 27:55-56
      • Executed by Herod Agrippa (AD 44) – Acts 12:1-2
    • Traditions about James
      • Went to Sardinia during first persecution
        • Herod Agrippa’s deportation of Jews in AD 19
        • Jewish enclave had grown very large by AD 33
        • James went there to teach them the gospel
      • Continued on to Spain
        • Taught Jewish enclaves there
        • Made his way across Spain to Compostela
      • Returned to Jerusalem in AD 44
      • Took gospel to Spain – why Spain?
        • Gospel had only spread as far as Samaria
        • Spain not eyed as missionary field until AD 54
          • Paul in Romans 15:24-28
          • Ten years after death of James
          • Desire might have been to visit Christians in Spain
      • Remains were divided
        • Head remained in Jerusalem
        • Body taken first to Sinai, then Spain
          • Save it from pillaging by invading Persians in 2nd century
          • Return it to the farthest reach of his missionary efforts
        • Head remains in Jerusalem
          • Hidden under a wall when Persians invaded
          • Kept in Armenian cathedral in Jerusalem
        • No way to authenticate remains’ identity
      • Foreign missions highly unlikely
        • James executed in AD 44
        • Only 11 years from Pentecost to death
        • “Apostles” mentioned just previous to Acts 2
          • Acts 1; 2; 4:33-37; 5; 6:6; 8:1; 9:27; 11:1
          • No discernable time period for his absence
          • “Apostles” = ALL the apostles?
        • Still, not completely impossible
        • Note Acts 3:1-4, 11; 4:13, 19; 8:14-15
        • No positive conclusions can be made
      • Remains moved to Spain
        • Santiago de Compostela
        • “Saint James of Compostela”
      • About early eighth century
        • Just prior to Moorish invasion
        • Second largest pilgrimage site for Europeans
          • Jerusalem
          • Rome
      • “Rediscovered” – twice!!

A Message from Torment

Posted by mark under Sermons

By Jesse Jenkins

Benchley, January 13, 2019

  • Luke 16:19-31
  • Universalism refuted
    • Luke 16:22-23 – One saved, one not.
  • Materialism refuted
    • Luke 16:24-25 – Both still existed after death.
    • The eternal spirit lives on after death. The material is not all there is.
    • II Corinthians 4:16; 5:1
    • Ecclesiastes 12:7
  • Spiritualism refuted
    • Luke 16:27-29 – The dead could not commune with the living.
  • Soul sleeping refuted
    • Some teach that at death, the soul sleeps until judgment.
    • Luke 16:24-25 – Both were still conscious.
  • Predestination refuted
    • Some teach that God selected certain people to be saved before time began.
    • Luke 16:28-29 – His brothers could hear Moses and repent.
    • Man has a choice in the matter!
  • Purgatory (second chance) refuted
    • Luke 16:26 – Gulf could not be crossed.

By David Watson

Benchley, January 13, 2019

  • Authority = right, liberty
  • Deity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:2; John 16:7)
    • → Inspired people: apostles, prophets (John 16:13; Acts 8:18)
    • → Inspired scripture: Bible (I Thessalonians 2:13)
  • Gather all the facts
    • Commands
      • Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 17:7-10; I Corinthians 7:19; I Thessalonians 4:1-2, 11; II Thessalonians 3:4-6; 10:12; II Peter 2:21-3:2; I John 2:3-4; 3:22-24; 4:21-5:3; II John 4:6
    • Statements
      • Psalms 119:104; Matthew 10:34-37; 15:9; 21:42-45; Acts 20:35
    • Examples
      • John 15:12; Acts 20:35; I Corinthians 4:16; 10:6-11; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 4:9; I Thessalonians 1:6; II Thessalonians 3:7-9; Hebrews 4:11; III John 9-11
    • Inferences
      • Creation → Romans 1:18-21
      • Genesis 2:26 → Matthew 19:3-6
      • Genesis 14:18-20 + Psalms 110:4 → Hebrews 7:7-11; 8:6
      • Exodus 3:6 → Mark 12:26-27
      • Psalms 16:10 → Acts 2:24-32
      • Psalms 110:1 → Matthew 22:41-46; Acts 2:33-36
      • Matthew 9:6 → Matthew 9:2
      • Acts 16:9 → Acts 16:10
  • Harmonize the facts into a conclusion
    • Acts 10
      • Vision: unclean animals, “God has cleansed” (Acts 10:10-16)
      • Spirit: “accompany them” (Acts 10:19-20)
      • Angel to Cornelius: “send for … Peter” (Acts 10:5, 22)
      • → Peter infers/concludes: “I should not call any man unholy or unclean” (Acts 10:28, 34-35)
    • Acts 11
      • The vision and the commands (Acts 11:5-10)
      • The angel telling Cornelius to send messengers (Acts 11:11-14)
      • Holy Spirit’s command for Peter to go with them (Acts 11:12)
      • The Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles (Acts 11:15-16)
      • → Jews infer/conclude: “God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:18)
    • Acts 15
      • Peter: inference from events with Cornelius (Acts 15:6-11)
      • Paul and Barnabas: examples from 1st preaching journey (Acts 15:12)
      • James: statements from prophets (Acts 15:13-18)
      • → Apostles and elders lead them to a conclusion: “do not trouble” Gentiles (Acts 15:19)
    • I Corinthians 9
      • Statement: Deuteronomy 25:4 (I Corinthians 9:9a)
      • Inference: from Deuteronomy 25:4 (I Corinthians 9:9b-10)
      • Example: Old Covenant priests (I Corinthians 9:13)
      • Command: Jesus, Luke 10:7-8 (I Corinthians 9:14)
      • → Paul leads them to a conclusion: Preachers have a “right” to support (I Corinthians 9:4-6, 18)
  • What we need to know
    • We must reason logically and objectively from the text (Acts 17:2, 17; 18:4, 19, 28)
    • The failure to do so has resulted in tons of religious division and error (Matthew 15:3-9)
    • This did not originate with the Restoration Movement (II Timothy 2:15)

Humbly Seeking Truth, Part 6

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, January 13, 2019

  • Attitude check: Galatians 1:6-7; 4:16 – When we disagree, the point is to unify on truth.
  • Why don’t you call your preacher the “Pastor?” (continued)
    • Three Greek words are used in the New Testament to refer to the men who are appointed as leaders and watch over the souls in a local church.
      • Presbuteros – elder, presbyter
      • Episkopos – overseer, bishop
      • Poimen – pastor, shepherd
    • How do we know these words all refer to the same man?
      • Acts 20:17, 28; I Peter 5:1-2 – These passages use the terms interchangeably.
    • Don’t preachers feed the flock, thus making them pastors/shepherds?
      • Yes, they do, but so do other people: song leaders, scripture readers, those who bring short lessons, etc.
      • The Bible makes a distinction between anyone who feeds the flock and those who are specifically designated with special responsibilities. I Timothy 3; Titus 1
    • Why this matters
      • We don’t want to imply that preachers have some unauthorized role or authority within a congregation.
      • We don’t want to rob elders of their proper role and authority.
  • How do I know when the Holy Spirit is talking to me?
    • Don’t take Jesus’ promises to the apostles as promises to us.
      • Jesus made several promises about the Holy Spirit to the apostles. Those promises are often quoted today as if Jesus was making promises to all people for all time.
      • John 13-17 – Jesus was speaking with His apostles.
        • Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14
        • John 14:26; 15:27
      • “You”: apostles, not all believers everywhere for all time
        • John 14:16-17, 25-26 – Holy Spirit would teach and inspire perfect memories.
        • John 15:26-27
        • John 16:7-13
      • Jesus prayed with and for the apostles in John 17 and then that’s the end of the section (John 18:1).
    • These promises to the apostles began to be fulfilled in Acts 1-2.
      • Acts 1:1-8 – Jesus gave orders to the apostles.
      • Acts 1:14-15 – Other people mentioned, but subject returns to the apostles in Acts 1:26.
      • Only the apostles were speaking in tongues in Acts 2.
      • Acts 2:7 and 1:11
      • Acts 2:14, 37, 42-43
    • Luke 24:49
    • We might wonder if the phrase in Acts 2:38 (“the gift of the Holy Spirit”) means that all people receive some supernatural communication or power from the Spirit.
      • Numerous examples show that baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way were two separate things. Acts 8:16-18; 10:44-48; 19:1-7

The Apostles, Part 6

Posted by mark under Classes

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, January 9, 2019

  • Lesson five: the apostles in scripture
    • Apostles as a group
      • Called “The Apostles” or “The Twelve”
        • They accompanied Jesus most of the time
          • Luke 7:11; 8:1
          • Matthew 20:17-19
        • Not always together with Jesus
          • Mark 6:7-13
          • John 6:15
        • They were given authority
          • Matthew 10:1
          • Mark 3:13-15
        • And instructions
          • Luke 9:1-6
          • Matthew 10:5-15
          • Luke 24:44-53
    • Apostles in smaller numbers
      • Peter, James, and John
        • Matthew 17:1-9
        • Mark 5:21-26, 35-43
        • Mark 14:32-42
        • Plus Andrew – Mark 13:3-4
      • Peter and John
        • Luke 22:8
        • Acts 3:1ff
        • Acts 8:14
      • Phillip and Andrew – John 12:20-23
      • Larger group – John 21:2
  • Lesson six: looking at each apostle
    • Researching history and tradition
      • Neither is inspired
      • History and its sources
        • Primary sources
        • Secondary sources
        • Questions of accuracy
      • Tradition and its sources
        • Stories and accounts handed down
        • Story changes over the years
        • Contrast with Scripture
      • What’s not included
        • Peter and Paul
          • They’ll be in separate lessons
        • Study of Peter
          • Much tradition to be analyzed
          • Blends in to lesson on apostolic succession
    • Andrew in scripture
      • Brother to Peter – Matthew 4:18
      • Present when John declared Jesus “Lamb of God” – John 1:35-44
        • First known to “follow” Jesus
        • Was a “multiplier” (Andrew + Simon = double)
        • Knew Jesus immediately as the Messiah
        • From Bethsaida, then Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee
        • Fisherman – Matthew 4:18
        • Found the boy with the fish – John 6:5-9
        • Directed some Greeks to Jesus – John 12:20-23
      • Named among the twelve
        • In initial naming
        • In Jerusalem awaiting the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:13
        • Included whenever apostles grouped
    • Andrew: history and traditions
      • Given Hellenistic name
        • Never called to repent or redact name
        • Repentance was with regard to works, deeds, thoughts
        • Matthew 3:7-8; Acts 8:22; 26:19-20
      • Left Jerusalem at an unknown time
      • Traveled to Scythia and preached
      • Continued across Asia Minor to Ephesus
      • Began preaching in Greece
      • Converted governor’s wife in Patras, Greece
        • Enraged governor
        • “Debate” followed by crucifixion in AD 69

Humbly Seeking Truth, Part 5

Posted by mark under Classes