Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 22 Number 2 February 2020
Page 13

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

Ready, Set, Grow!

Martha Lynn Rushmore

Martha Lynn RushmoreI am going to ask you a few questions that only you and I can answer for ourselves. Have you thought about putting Christ on in baptism so you can be a child of God? If not, why not? Have you been baptized for the remission of sins in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38)? Are you a babe in Christ? Have you been a Christian long enough to be off the milk of the Word and on the meat of the Word? Are you willing to work for the Lord and His church? Can you help the church to grow spiritually and numerically? If, so, then, ready, set, grow!

In order to become a child of God, one must hear the Gospel. “So then faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Secondly, you must believe the Word of God. In Mark 16:16, we are told to believe and be baptized. Then, in Luke 13:3, 5, it says we must repent of our sins or we shall perish. What does the word repent mean? To repent, one changes his actions and not just his mind. Repentance is sometimes called a U-turn. Marshall Keeble, one of the great old-time preachers, compared repentance to a train backing up. It was going forward into sin. It then began to back up out of sin. Next, we are to confess Christ as the son of God (Romans 10:9-10). Lastly, we are to put Christ on in baptism. In Romans 6:3-6, our baptism is compared to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus at His death. We are to die to our sins and to be resurrected to a new life. Being a Christian does not end with these five steps, as we call them. This is just the beginning of one’s new life. In Revelation 2:10, it says we are to remain faithful unto death—even to the giving of our lives for Christ.

We need to study as stated in 2 Timothy 2:15. This is one of the best ways to grow as a babe in Christ. We can read and study alone. We can also have someone from the congregation study with us. We also need to attend worship services and Bible classes. We need to pray daily to our Father in Heaven through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Keep company with other Christians; they will help us become stronger Christians. These are some ways we can grow to be strong children of the King and take the message to those who do not know the Savior.

The first teaching field is the home. It is our responsibility to teach our children and our husbands if they are not Christians. We teach by our actions, our attitude, our words and how we speak to them. Our voices and our actions say more sometimes than what we verbalize. Let them see you studying and reading the Word of God.

Take a special quiet time each day and study the Bible with your children. When they are young, they love hearing Bible stories. Also, before going to bed at night, when you tuck them into bed, be sure to say a prayer with them. They will learn, and as they get older, this will become automatic with them. Before each meal, give God thanks for your meal. It may not be what you wanted, but it was something to eat. Some in this world would love to have it, because they have nothing.

Paul told the Corinthian Christians that they should have been on the meat of the Word and teaching others. Instead, they were having to be taught as babes on the milk of the Word themselves. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2 NKJV). We do not want to be like the Corinthians, and neither do we want to be like Hebrew Christians to whom the following was penned.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Herein we want to observe that Christian women also have a responsibility to mature spiritually. As Christians, we are part of “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” (1 Peter 2:9-10). In addition to biblical instruction for all Christians, sisters in Christ have their own set of divine directives.

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

There is more, too. In Titus and Timothy, there are qualifications for elders and deacons. Ladies, we can disqualify our husbands from ever being able to serve the Lord in either of these offices. “How?” you say. Let us look at the qualifications for these works.

In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 are the qualification for the office of an elder. Read the passage. Then, turn to Titus 1:4-9 and read this passage, comparing it to the one in 1 Timothy. The qualifications are:

  1. Desire the office of an elder, a good work. The words to consider are “desire” and “good work” (1 Timothy 3:1). He must want to be a bishop, an elder, a shepherd or an overseer. The word “desire” is to want something.
  2. He must be blameless—guiltless, innocent, righteous, unblemished.
  3. An elder is to be the husband of one wife. He can only have one wife at a time. If his first wife dies and he marries again, he is still the husband of one wife.
  4. A man must be temperate—to have a mild manner, not quick to lose his temper, self-controlled, moderate.
  5. A prospective elder needs to be sober-minded—solemn, serious when needed. This does not mean he has to go around with a frown on his face, looking like he was weaned on a dill pickle.
  6. He must exhibit good behavior. His actions and conduct must be good.
  7. An elder is hospitable—to be friendly, sociable, warm, cordial and welcoming.
  8. He is able to teach—capable of teaching the Word and able to be in front of the church.
  9. An elder is not given to much wine—in control. The use of any amount of alcohol inhibits the control of one’s senses (1 Timothy 3:2).
  10. He is no striker—not violent or wanting to argue and fight.     
  11. An elder is not greedy of filthy money—trying to get money in unholy ways, such as gambling, missing services simply to work to gain more pay.
  12.  He is patient—gentle, kind.
  13. An elder is not a brawler—not quarrelsome, not wanting to engage in alterations.
  14. He is not covetous—not trying to get things that belong to someone else.
  15. An elder “rules his own house well.“ If he cannot rule his own home well, it is a sure thing he cannot oversee a congregation properly.
  16. He must have “his children in submission with all reverence.“ His children must be obedient and respectful to parents and those in authority.
  17. An elder is “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he falls into the same condemnation as the devil.“ He must be older and know the members of the congregation over which he is to rule.
  18.  A prospective elder must have “a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snares of the devil.“ Those of the world must think he is a good man, honest and caring. His example must be as clean as possible.

Yes, these are qualifications for an older man to become an elder. A young man can do things that can keep him from ever qualifying to be an elder when he is older. Yes, young ladies, you can do the same to disqualify your husband.

Ladies, we need to set a goal of someday being the wife of an elder, a deacon or a preacher. I realize we will not all marry one of these men, but it is a good goal for which to strive. As a young Christian lady, I urge you to set your goals high. Marry a strong Christian young man. If you are both striving to be the best Christians you can be, you will be helping each other to get to our final reward, Heaven.

We need to grow daily and diligently in our service for our Lord no matter our age, whether single, married or widowed. We should want to be the best Christian lady we can possibly be for our God. We all should grow in the fruit of the spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We are told in 2 Peter 1:5-8 to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. As you notice, some of these qualities are quoted in both Scriptures. They must be important for God to have mentioned them more than one time in His Word.

Ladies, let’s grow together and be the very best example for others to see. Glory be to God for our growth and goodness.

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