Archive for the ‘christian’ Category

May Christians Participate in Politics?

December 16th, 2007

It is not only permissible for Christians in America to participate in the political process (according to the New Testament) it is redemptive and God glorifying.

1. Christian doctrine endorses subjection to the American political process (see Romans 13:1-7). Fortunately, in the American system a citizen of the country may have a voice and a vote. But this voice and vote are to be for “good” (not evil) and as “servants of God”(not servants against God) (see 1 Peter 2:13-17).
2. Christian examples of Paul and his associates models for all time approved apostolic examples of participation in the political process. See Acts 16:35-40 and 26:1,32 for evidence of this both on the local and the imperial level.

3. Christian purpose was, perhaps, never clearer than when Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Notice, here, that privatization of one’s faith is the very opposite of what the Lord meant.

Political issues are often moral issues. When Jesus said, “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) he endorsed for all time that Christians should use their voice and their vote for good not evil. Yes, we are aware that some in America are citing “separation of church and state” as grounds for Christians to hush their mouths. The fact is, however, that Thomas Jefferson uttered those words, January 1, 1802, to reassure the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut of their continued and uninterrupted expression of Christian faith. Current attempts to infer that this is a constitutional matter have another agenda in mind.

Secular humanists are not only anti-Bible and anti-Christ, they are against the very Founders of our own Nation. Will you participate in the political process as a Christian?

-Robert M. Housby

Thank God for Ordinary Christians

November 25th, 2007

(This article appeared in the Shady Acres Church of Christ Bulletin,
September 2, 2007, and was composed by D. Slingluff.  It has been condensed and adapted)

Someone has said, “God must really love ordinary people—He made so many of them.” In this day of superstars and specialists, experts and authorities, it is reassuring to know that there is one place where the ordinary man (or woman) will always be loved and needed–in the church!

General Eisenhower once rebuked one of his officers for referring to a soldier as “just a private.” He reminded him that the army could function far better without generals than it could without its foot-soldiers. “If this war is won,” he said, “it will be won by privates.” In the same way, the common, ordinary, one talent, Christians are the very backbone of the church…If the work of the Lord is to be done, it will be ordinary Christians who do it.

In thinking back over the years, we can think of some tremendous examples of ordinary Christians serving God in extraordinary ways. The work that has been done by these brothers and sisters is known by few. Their names do not typically appear in church bulletins, though their works are precious and priceless. There is no shame in having limited talents. But there is shame in not using the talents that God has given.

Thank God for ordinary Christians!

Categories: Bible, christian, God Tags:

12 Benefits of Christian Baptism

June 17th, 2007

(The following list has been adapted from the respected scholarship of G.R. Beasley-Murray, in his book, Baptism in the New Testament. “Baptism saves, not because water washes dirt from the body, but as the occasion when a man is met by the risen Christ” (pp. 264-265).

1. The forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
2. The cleansing from sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11).
3. Union with Christ (Gal. 3:27).
4. Union in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-6; Col. 2:10-12).
5. Release from sins power and guilt (Romans 6:1-11, 17-18).
6. Participation in Christ’s Sonship (Gal. 3:26,27).
7. Consecration to God (1 Cor. 6:11).
8. Membership in the church, the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
9. Possession of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 2:38).
10. New life in the Spirit and regeneration (Jn. 3:5; Tit. 3:5).
11. Help to live according to the will of God (Rom. 6:6-7; 11-14).
12. The answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Pet. 3:21).

From time to time, we meet people who have been exposed to a denominational type of Christianity, who reject what the Bible says about baptism. They make up their own little creeds about baptism and recite the doctrines of men rather than what the Scriptures affirm about it. They contend that baptism is an outward expression of an inward grace, and so forth. But, as the above scripture references confirm, Calvinistic–saved at the altar type experiences–are but human substitutes for the Word of God—“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21).

Would you obey the command to be baptized and become a New Testament Christian today? The benefits are for those who are Scripturally baptized.

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Acts, baptism, Bible, christian, New Testament Tags:

Christian Development

May 27th, 2007

“…they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”

(2 Peter 1:8)

What is meant by Christian development? 2 Peter 1:8 suggests that Christian development may be (and should be) measured along the lines of being effective and fruitful. To lack the qualities that result in this development is a critical problem (see 2 Peter 1:8-11).

1. Christian development means, first, becoming a Christian (2 Peter 1:1,2).
2. Christian development involves aspiring to the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3,4).
3. Christian development necessitates pursuing certain qualities (2 Peter 1:5-15).

a. Faith – virtue (1:5)
b. virtue – knowledge (1:5b)
c. knowledge – self-control (1:6)
d. self-control – steadfastness (1:6b)
e. steadfastness – godliness (1:6c)
f. godliness – brotherly affection (1:7)
g. brotherly affection – love (1:7b)

The apostle’s list of qualities activates an effective and fruitful lifestyle (2 Peter 3:18). The word produces our thinking; our thinking produces our emotions; our emotions produce our decisions; our decisions produce our actions; our actions produce our habits; our habits produce our character; and, our character produces our destiny. Life in the overflow.

– Robert M. Housby

Stable and Steadfast

October 15th, 2006

(Colossians 1:21-23)

“…if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast,
not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard…”

(Colossians 1:23, ESV)

When George Ricker Berry translated Colossians 1:23, in his literal rendering, directly from the Greek New Testament, he chose the wording: “founded and firm” (Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), 522). The English Standard Version reads: “stable and steadfast;” while the King James Version has—“grounded and settled.”

Colossians 1:23 describes Christian development in several key ways:

1. Col. 1:21,22 speaks of what God has done, and is doing for the believer. Note the past and present references of benefit here.

2. Although set up as a condition, this conditional sentence, “if” (1:23) expresses Paul’s confidence that the condition will be met with stable and steadfast living.

3. The caution against shifting away from the original gospel and being carried away with another gospel is stressed. Likely, the falsification here meant unnecessary supplementing of the gospel (see 2:6-15).

According to Colossians 1:21-23, Christian development means: (1) Realizing what God has done and is doing for us (2) Accepting the conditional nature of the faith; while having apostolic confidence that one can well continue (3) That the original gospel will be preferred and kept.

– Robert M. Housby

Why You Should Revisit the Tomb

September 24th, 2006

“Come see the place where the Lord lay”

(Matt.28: 6)

The term, “tomb” (mnemeion, Matt. 27:60) can be appreciated by the Christian on several levels. Although the concepts of the Lord’s death and resurrection are not new to us, when these two fundamental themes of the gospel are viewed in relation to the tomb of Christ, we find that both are represented. In other words, the tomb goes both ways, as Paul’s speech at Antioch of Pisidia indicates – “…they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead” (Acts 13: 29, 30). The tomb (mnemion) embraces Christ’s death and resurrection—it is a virtual sanctuary for the great themes of the Gospel.

But, is a return to the tomb really necessary? We think that it is a warranted action on the part of all Christians, novices and veterans alike. We say this in lieu of the sporadic hijacking of many Judeo-Christian concepts today: success through the Proverbs of Solomon; stable family values; money-matters; and relationships in general. But, to take all of these valuable Biblical concepts and sell them without regard to the power of the Gospel is certainly a terrible blunder of omission.

So, why should you return to the tomb?

1. It is the central sanctuary of Christian faith (2Cor. 5:15; 1Thess. 4:14; etc.).
2. It points out the futility of trying to achieve the good-life, without the good news (1Cor. 15: 1-4).
3. It asserts the historical-factual nature of the Gospel (Acts 13: 29-31).
4. It reaffirms how baptism is the watery-grave—and, such it is (Rom. 6:3-5).

– Robert M. Housby


July 17th, 2005

“…That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers”

(Hebrews 2:11)

The doctrine of “brethren” is a very important study. It is vital to the development of every Christian coming into the body of Christ to understand this concept. It is a term found plentifully throughout the Bible, and especially within the New Testament (adelphos). It is the term typically used to express relationship.

1. A genetic relationship, that is, siblings (Acts 1:14). The Hebrew is ah. The term for tribe is the plural ahim (compare Judges 1:3).
2. A cultural relationship, that is, Hebrew (Acts 1:16; 13:26a; Ex. 2:11).
3. A religious relationship, that is Jewish (Acts 1:29,37). Further indication of their Jewish religiousness may be seen in Acts 2:14, 22. There is over-lapping between cultural heritage and religious heritage. Carefully notice, also, that although this group was indeed religious, they were not as of yet forgiven; nor recipients of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38,41). Polite address seems evident in Acts 2:37 (see Gen. 29:4).
4. A relationship of Christian Sonship (Hebrews 2:10-13,17). Sonship is a relationship between the believer and God entered into through Christian baptism; that is by being born-anew (John 3:5; Tit. 3:5).
5. A relationship of love, as meaningful and mandatory (1 Jn 4:19-21).

To neglect this prime-time doctrine of “brethren” will lead to a failed relationship with Christ, with the church, and even with oneself (1 Jn. 3:10).

-Robert Housby

Categories: Bible, christian, Hebrews, New Testament Tags:

Almost Persuaded To Be A Christian

June 26th, 2005

“And Agrippa said to Paul, In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am…”

(Acts 26:28,29)

Old King Agrippa must have realized that he had his hands full with the apostle Paul. Here was Paul, a chained prisoner (Acts 26:29), face-to-face with King Agrippa and his advisor Festus. The text says that Paul spoke boldly to both Agrippa and Festus; so much so, that they were even disappointed because he could have been set free, had he not made an appeal to Caesar (Acts 26:26, 31,32). Note the following major Christian concepts from this passage:

1. Salvation is for all men (Acts 26:17,18,22). Its benefits include receiving forgiveness and sanctification by faith (Acts 26:18).
2. The Christian message is communicated in rational words (Acts 26:25); verified in the prophets (Acts 26:22), and centered in the gospel (Acts 26:22,23).
3. Repentance is a turning to God through deeds (Acts 26:20, see v. 18).
4. It is possible to be a “Christian” (Acts 26:28,29; 11:26).

In the middle of Paul’s speech, we may notice a very special observation: “To his day I have had the help that comes from God” (Acts 26:22). Are you a Christian, or almost persuaded? Keep in mind, that Agrippa believed, but was not yet a Christian (Acts 26:27). Christians turn as well as learn.

-Robert M. Housby

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