Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 14 No. 11 November 2012
Page 6

Keep It Simple!

Donald R. Fox

Donald R. FoxI am a simple fellow! Why should we complicate things that are easy? Some folks seem to enjoy the complication and making everyday jobs difficult. I have also observed that trouble-free and daily jobs are overlooked. A task unassigned is a task that does not get done. Many a job becomes a great chore because the basics were not done. I am sure you can think of occasions when folks look at each other and say, “I thought you were supposed to do that?” Let’s “Keep It Simple.”

We are also aware that religious creeds that guide one’s belief system can also be very complicated. Let’s keep it simple and go back to the source of our Christian belief system. Someone may ask, “What is that source?” The answer, plain and simply is the Bible. The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. We do not live under the Old Law. It has been nailed to the cross, “having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14 ASV).

Manmade Religious Creeds
Unnecessarily Complicate Christianity

Let us note the last paragraph, Volume One, Preface, page VI, “The Creeds of Christendom with History and Critical Notes” in Three Volumes, Sixth Edition, edited by Philip Schaff and revised by David S. Schaff.

May this repository of creeds and confessions promote a better understanding among the Churches of Christ. The divisions of Christendom bring to light the various aspects and phases of revealed truth, and will be overruled at last for a deeper and richer harmony, of which Christ is the keynote. In him and by him all problems of theology and history will be solved. The nearer believers of different creed approach the Christological center, the better they will understand and love each other. (Philip Schaff, December, 1876)

Under the section of “Authority of Creeds” on Page 7-8, Dr. Philip Schaff stated, “The value of creeds depends upon the measure of their agreement with the Scripture… The Bible has, therefore, a divine and absolute, the Confession only an ecclesiastical and relative authority.” As a possible summary of Mr. Schaff’s feelings concerning creeds, he points to the fact that both the Greek Church and the Roman Church claim infallibility. He wrote, “It is clear that either the Greek or the Roman Church, or both, must be wrong in this claim of infallibility, since they contradict each other on some important points…” Manmade interjectors into the Word of God, the Bible, only created confusions and grave divisions.

The Challenge for All Believers
Is to Go “Back to the Bible”

Basic facts of the Church of Christ include its: Establishment, Isaiah 2:2-3; Daniel 2:44; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-4; Note also Mark 9:1. Foundation, Christ, Isaiah 28:16; 1 Corinthians 3:11; Matthew 16:18. Founder, Christ, Matthew 16:16-18. Names of Members, Acts 9:1-2, 13-14; 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16. Organization, Ephesians 1:22-23; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-12. Worship, Spirit and Truth, John 4:24; Acts 2:42; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. Law of Pardon, Faith + Obedience = Salvation, Mark 16:16; Hebrews 5:8-9. Creed, Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:2. Church Name/Description, Romans 16:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:15.

[Editor’s Note: Not only ought we to keep it simple, that is not complicated by denominational doctrine, but only the simple Gospel of Christ saves (Romans 1:16; Galatians 1:6-9). Denominational doctrinal complications obscure the church of the Bible from truth seekers. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

Precious Prophetic Promises

D. Gene West

D. Gene WestSince the first predictive prophecy was made by God Himself and recorded by Moses in Genesis 3:15, man has been enthralled with prophecy, especially that which is both promissory and predictive. It would appear that one of the greatest apologetic tools at our disposal is that of prophetic promise. For if a promise is made centuries, years or even months before an event transpires, God must be responsible, since no man can see into the future. The Bible is replete with prophetic promises; consequently, it must be true that there is a God who has revealed Himself through inspired writings.

In Isaiah 65:23-24, we find one of the most magnificent, heart-warming and winsome prophetic promises ever recorded. The inspired prophet wrote, “They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Here, in a section of remarkable prophecy concerning the coming of the kingdom (church) and the nature of it, Isaiah wrote a further description of the peaceable kingdom in which he included the promises of God for those who would enter it. Christians need to review these promises from time to time.

Working very hard at something and failing brings great disappointment and heartache to the laborer. Hence, the promise that citizens of the kingdom of Christ will not labor in vain, nor will they bring forth children (i.e., make converts for nothing but trouble). The prophet did not promise that Christians would never have trials, testing or persecutions; He did emphasize they were not converted for that alone, but for the great blessings to be received in time and eternity. They are the descendants of those who had been blessed by Yahweh. In the New Testament, perhaps with this prophecy in mind, Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” Furthermore, the prophet added that the offspring of the descendants would be blessed, simply meaning the blessings of the kingdom would be passed on from generation to generation. Christians today receive the very same spiritual blessings as the first Christians!

In the 24th verse, Isaiah quoted God as saying, “…before they call, I will answer; while they speak He would hear” (i.e., know, understand and provide for their needs). God has fulfilled this promise in many ways. For example, before man ever knew he needed salvation from his sin, or called upon Yahweh to provide that blessing to him, the Father provided the answer to that dilemma through His Son Jesus Christ. When mankind did learn of that need, God hesitated not to fulfill it through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Even before the Christian calls upon the Father in prayer, He knows our daily physical needs (Matthew 6:8) and our spiritual needs, and while we are calling on Him to provide them, He hears and provides. The blessings that come to the citizens of the kingdom of Christ are rich, full and never failing (Lamentations 3:22-23). What precious promises!

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