Welcome to the Tiftonia church of Christ
ServicesPlease join us! ALL are invited
Directions and Location
Bible Study 10:00 am
Worship 11:00 am
Bible Study: 7:00pm
JANUARY 25TH sermons for Tiftonia
AM Right Relationships–Psalm 119:112;
PM The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart–Jeremiah 17:9-10.
We really have something to be excited about with the startup of the outreach effort using WKWN out of Trenton, GA. Anyone with access to the internet at 2:30 on Sunday afternoons will be able to see/hear the program by going to the WKWN website. So, even if you don’t live in the coverage area, you can still gain access to the program this way. In the coverage area, the program will be aired over Charter Cable 195, so please note that. Also, we are working toward having the program stream live at that time on the church’s website, which as you know is www.tiftoniachurchofchrist.com. One very helpful and tangible way everybody can help with the program is by getting the word out about it. Please, keep this evangelistic effort in your prayers.
The Everlasting Gospel
Speaker: Gary McDade,
Preacher for the Tiftonia Church of Christ
EVERY SUNDAY AT 2:30 P.M. BEGINNING FEBRUARY 1, 2015
The program will be carried at that time on:
(These AM and FM stations reach North Georgia, Southeast Tennessee,
and North Alabama)
In addition to the Sunday time, The Everlasting Gospel will air on Thursday. (The time of day will be announced once the schedule is established.)
In Revelation 14:6-7 the apostle John wrote, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
In Christ Christians have access to “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). Among the most cherished of those blessings is our possession of the great love of God. The Lord said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:13-14). This greatest expression of love of which Jesus spoke emerges out of the great love of God for those who believe in and obey Christ. Again Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Life truly is made better, more satisfying, and worthwhile in realization of the love of God for His children through Jesus Christ. The love of God is seen in His relationship to Christians as His children. On this point Paul commented, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
The heartwarming truth about the love of God we experience in Christ and in His Church is that it abides with us forever. The Lord promised the faithful, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20). The writer of Hebrews blended his inspired words with these when he wrote, “Let your conversation [conduct, NKJV] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5; cf. Genesis 28:15; Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 37:25; Isaiah 41:10, 17).
Faithful Children of God cannot be separated from God’s love. Paul eloquently wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39). Let’s continue to remain faithful in Christ and “count our blessings.”
REFLECTIONS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Righteousness from the Hebrew word sedeq and the Greek word dikia has been
defined as “purity of heart and rectitude of life; being and doing right.”1
means, “Holy and upright living, in accordance with God’s standard. The word
righteousness comes from a root word that means ‘straightness.’ It refers to a state
that conforms to an authoritative standard.”2 When the gospel was first preached to
Gentile people, Peter echoed the prophecy of Isaiah concerning how the
righteousness of God would be reflected through his people. Isaiah prophesied,
“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a
lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy
glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall
name” (Isa. 62:1-2). About eight years after the establishment of the church of
Christ, Peter preached to the Gentiles as Luke recorded, “Then Peter opened his
mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in
every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him”
(Acts 10:34-35). Required reflections of righteousness for God’s people are to:
The lost must be reached with the gospel. The Lord commanded, “And Jesus came
and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20). A burning desire for the salvation of
men’s souls must characterize the Christian and consume the church. The wise
man wrote, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is
wise” (Prov. 11:30).
The spiritual sentiment of King David for God to “renew a right spirit within me”
is the responsibility of the church toward the membership of the church. Under the
terms of edification or up building Paul in this regard wrote, “But speaking the
truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which
every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every
part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:15-
16). Speaking the truth or the word of God in love provides the basis for all
spiritual growth (John 17:17). As the years of Christian living bring maturity, the
spirit of man is renewed on a daily basis. Paul said, “For which cause we faint not;
but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (II
Cor.4:16). Renewal is what Jesus taught when he said, “Teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”
Renewal also may sometimes mean the restoration of erring Christians. The Bible
says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore
such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be
tempted” (Gal. 6:1).
The compassion of Christ must be reflected through his body, the church (Eph.
1:22-23). Paul wrote, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we
shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all
men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:9-10).
Benevolence is a demonstration of true religion. James noted, “Pure religion and
undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in
their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (Jas. 1:27).
1J. Denney, New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1988), p. 100.
2Herbert Lockyear, Sr., Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Incorporation, 1986), p. 918.
HOW TO READ THE BIBLE THROUGH IN 2015
While reading through the Bible in an allotted period of time is not difficult, we are talking about a lot of reading. In the lines that follow I’d like to give several ways reading the Bible everyday can yield one of the greatest accomplishments in a Christian’s life and that is reading the Bible all the way through.
Secure your own copy of the Daily Bible Reading Schedule (they are available on the table in the foyer). Sit down with it and look it over for a minute. See how by reading 3 to 5 chapters a day takes you through the whole Bible in one year. In order gain a victory one must visualize the goal. In Christianity we must always be thinking of heaven (Philippians 3:13-14; Revelation 21 & 22). The principle is true of other things as well, such as sports where a basketball player must visualize the basket in order to make the shots that will win the game. To read through the Bible we may need motivation closer at hand than looking at December 31st and seeing Revelation 19-22 and pressing toward that distant goal. Instead, look for your birthdate and see where, when you stay on schedule, you will be at that point in the year. Amplify this effect by looking up the birthdates of your spouse, children, grandchildren, close friends and note the text you will be reading on their birthdays. I think it is edifying to see Sheila’s birthday which is August 7th and find we will be reading from the love story of the Bible, Song of Solomon, that day. That will keep us on schedule! Also, when I look at my grandson Austin’s birthday which is April 12th and see we’ll be reading from 1 Kings 7 where King Solomon builds one of the most beautiful buildings of all time in which Jehovah God would be worshiped, it livens my hope for him that he will always see the beauty of worshiping God in the church of Christ which Solomon’s great…great grandson Jesus Christ built in which we worship God today. These intermediate goals when reached bring us closer to the ultimate goal of completing the reading of all 66 books of the Bible.
Another thought is to fold up the schedule and use it to mark your place. This does 2 things: (1) it marks you place and (2) it marks your progress. Watch through year and let yourself be encouraged as the marker drives deeper and deeper into God’s Word.
Remember we have the Bible on DVD available. If you need one please see brother Fred Johnson, and he’ll be happy to hand you a copy. This is a great tool to assist in daily Bible reading for two reasons I’d like to mention here: (1) where lists of unusual names appear (1 Chronicles; Matthew 1; and Luke 3; for example) the narrator, Alexander Scourby pronounces them perfectly and is a joy to hear do so! (2) If you fall behind on the daily schedule, plug in the DVD and in the space of time you’d spend watching a movie you can cover dozens of chapters and gain the benefit of the larger context beyond the usual 3 to 5 chapters.
Bible reading is so basic to our accomplishing God’s Will with our lives personally and in the Lord’s church. We hope more people will discover the spiritual fulfilment of daily Bible reading in 2015. The apostle John wrote, “Blessed is he that readeth” Revelation 1:3).
A TRULY AMAZING PROMISE
Sometimes we just need to sit down in the quiet and think about some of the
promises to us in the Word of God. The apostle Paul encouraged this when he wrote,
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear
to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). One such promise appears in the book of James, “Submit
yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
May I share three brief observations from this promise for your edification?
First, the devil is a real being at whose feet we rightly may lay blame for many
problems and heartaches we encounter in our lives. As you know, it is common when
people face problems and heartaches to hear them blame God, but it is uncommon to
hear them blame the devil. About the devil, the Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he
may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are
accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). The devil is not just
described as a lion but as a roaring loin. A lion roars when he is hungry, and the devil is
always “hungry” for the destruction he can cause to people’s lives.
Second, James said, “Resist the devil.” This is to me what is truly so amazing. For
all his desire and drive, for all his prowess and power, the devil can be resisted. We’ve
heard it a hundred times from those who have quit cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, profanity,
pornography, and philandering. The Bible says it and observation shows it: the devil
can be resisted! The sentence that precedes this promise holds the key: “submit
yourselves therefore to God.” Now, you have the most powerful and benevolent Being
in the universe standing with you. Christians have Christ with them always (Matthew
28:20). He “will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Do you know the
next verse after that says, “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will
not fear what man shall do unto me” (v. 6)? Paul is there quoting Psalm 118:6-7 which
says, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord
taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that
Third, the devil won’t just slip away; he will “flee” from you! Strong’s
concordance has the meaning of the word “flee” here as “apparently a primary verb; to
run away (literally or figuratively); by implication, to shun; by analogy, to vanish.” In
order to receive such an impressive promise, surely we remain motivated to “resist the
ADD THOU NOT UNTO HIS WORDS
The Bible says, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be
found a liar” (Prov. 30:6). The wise man cautioned against a perennial tendency of
mankind to add to God’s words. An exposure of the creeds of men sometimes
yields statements of denial of their existence from their perhaps unwitting
adherents. While some preachers hoist high the catechism or the discipline, other
preachers do not open their creed books and read from them before the
congregation. They obviously wish to convey that the Bible alone is the standard
rule of faith and practice. Certainly, the Bible should be just that as II Timothy
3:16-17 and other passages clearly teach, but distinctive doctrines consistently
taught which are not found in the Bible suggest a common source. Many times that
source is a creed book.
One example recently presented will serve as proof that a prominent Baptist
preacher preaches right out of the Standard Baptist Manual and not the Bible.
Again, he did not inform the membership that he was; he wanted to convey to them
the idea that his material was from the Bible. Here is what Adrian Rogers from the
Bellevue Baptist Church wrote: “Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, but it is
necessary for obedience” (“Inspiration’s View of Baptism” by Lennie Reagan, The
Messenger, July 16, 2000, p. 3).
Now, here is what The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches by Edward T.
Hiscox, D.D. says: “Baptism is not essential to salvation, for our churches utterly
repudiate the dogma of ‘baptismal regeneration’; but it is essential to obedience,
since Christ has commanded it” (pp. 20-21). Perhaps placing the abbreviated
statements side by side will help to emphasize the point:
Rogers Baptist Manual
Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, Baptism is not essential to salvation, .
but it is necessary for obedience. but it is essential to obedience. . . .
Many have been the times when Baptists have argued, “We do not use a manual. I
have never heard of The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches.” This example
proves that their preachers have heard of it and, in fact, at least on occasion preach right out of it. The manual itself states, “Members, on being received to fellowship,
are not required to subscribe or pledge conformity to any creed-form, but are
expected to yield substantial agreement to that which the church with which they
unite has adopted” (p. 56). From where does the name “Baptist” and the particular
practices unique to them come if not from the manual or those who know it so well
they can recite it without ever acknowledging its existence? The new name that the
mouth of the Lord would name is “Christian,” not “Baptist” (Isa. 62:2; Acts
It takes the manual to evade the force of Jesus’ teaching on the essentiality of
baptism for both salvation and obedience in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Belief, number
one, plus baptism, number two, yields salvation, number three. Why did Jesus say,
“But he that believeth not shall be damned,” instead of, “But he that believeth not
and is not baptized shall be damned”? Because if a person does not believe in
Christ, he is “condemned already” (John 3:18). The true believer will be baptized;
the unbeliever will not be baptized.
The Bible has a timeless relevance, and all who heed it will be simply and only
Christians. The Baptists do not believe this truth because of what the manual says
on page 22: “It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but ‘one
Lord, one faith, and one baptism’ and no differing denominations existed, the
baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the church, and
at once endowed him with all the rights and privileges of full membership. In that
sense baptism was the ‘door into the church.’ Now, it is different; and while the
churches are desirous of receiving members, they are wary and cautious that they
do not receive unworthy persons. The churches therefore have candidates come
before them, make their statement, give their ‘experience,’ and then their reception
is decided by a vote of the members.”
The church does not belong to the members; it belongs to Christ (Matt. 16:18; Acts
20:28). And, those who repent and are baptized for the remission of their sins are
added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:38, 47). Jesus Christ has the ability to
search the hearts; men do not (Rev. 2:23).
ARE YOU “IN CHRIST”?
The vital importance of being “in Christ” is seen in the many New Testament references to it. 77 times the New Testament mentions the phrase “in Christ.” Let’s explore several of these occurrences and see what may be gleaned from the pursuit.
The Faith Is “In Christ”
“And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ” (Acts 24:24).
Redemption Is “In Christ”
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
Life Is “In Christ”
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
Love Of God Is “In Christ”
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).
The Truth Is “In Christ”
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 9:1).
“Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity” (I Tim. 2:7).
The One Body Is “In Christ”
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Rom. 12:5).
Sanctification Is “In Christ”
“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (I Cor. 1:2).
Wisdom Is “In Christ”
“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised” (I Cor. 4:10).
Hope Is “In Christ”
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (I Cor. 15:19).
Triumph Is “In Christ”
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place” (II Cor. 2:14).
Simplicity Is “In Christ”
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3).
Liberty Is “In Christ”
“And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” (Gal. 2:4).
Unity Is “In Christ”
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
The Faithful Are “In Christ”
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:1).
All Spiritual Blessings Are “In Christ”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
All Things Are “In Christ”
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Eph. 1:10).
Created “In Christ”
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
His Promise Is “In Christ”
“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6).
His Eternal Purpose Is “In Christ”
“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:8).
The Saints Are “In Christ”
“Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1).
“Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you” (Phil. 4:21).
Consolation Is “In Christ”
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies” (Phil. 2:1).
Rejoicing Is “In Christ”
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3).
The Prize Is “In Christ”
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).
Faith And Love Are “In Christ”
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 1:14).
Grace Is “In Christ”
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 1:14).
Salvation Is “In Christ”
“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (II Tim. 2:10).
Are You “In Christ”?
How Do You Get Into Christ?
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27).
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rom. 6:3).
". . and upon this rock I will build my church . ." -- Matthew 16:18.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.