Church Blog (Page 5)

Church Blog (Page 5)

Justin Martyr and Early Christian Worship

From their emergence in this country in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the ethos of churches of Christ has been restoration. European nations had established churches: Roman Catholicism in many countries, Anglicanism in Great Britain, Lutheranism in Scandinavia. These were supported by taxes, given privileges by the government and, in some cases, compelled membership of all citizens. The New World offered an opportunity for religious freedom, as most of us learned in grade school. But that freedom came…

True Worship

This week, we are beginning a sermon series on worship – specifically, on the corporate worship of the church in the assembly. We are going to cover the specific activities we participate in and why they are important. More fundamentally, we want to consider what worship is. And with that in mind, there are a couple of important points about the nature of worship that did not make it into our sermon this morning (you don’t want me to talk…

What Must I Know?

Baptism is a tremendously significant event. In baptism, God promises to extend his grace to the penitent believer, and we appropriate all the blessings associated with the saving work of Jesus Christ. We have had 3 baptisms in recent weeks. We rejoice that these young people made the commitment to follow Jesus, had their sins washed away, and were added to his church. Now, baptism is more than just experiencing any sort of rite involving water. For one thing, the…

A Case Study in Restoration

In 586 BC, the Babylonians destroyed the city of Jerusalem and carried away a final group of prisoners into captivity. This was God’s judgment against his people because of their refusal to obey him. But by the time the book of Nehemiah was written, the exile was over. The Jews were allowed to return home and rebuild the Temple of God. A spirit of revival was sweeping the land, and the people were eager to serve God. You can see…

Refresher Course

In AD 64, a great fire engulfed the city of Rome. It burned unchecked for nearly a week, driving innumerable people from their homes and devastating a vast swath of the city. Of the 14 districts of Rome, 3 were virtually destroyed, and a further 7 were reduced to a handful of scorched ruins. Only 4 completely escaped damage. In the aftermath, a rumor started that Nero, the emperor, had started the fire to clear land for his massive new…

Valuing Small Things

As difficult to believe as it is, this is the final Sunday of 2018. Tomorrow, we will close the book on this year and then embark on 2019. We are probably all focused on the challenges of the coming year, the changes we would like to make, the improvement we would like to see. As we think about that as it relates to the church here in Liberty, our desire for growth and development both numerical and spiritual, I am…

Merry Christmas

This article was originally written by Reuel Lemmons and published in Firm Foundation. I encountered if for the first time online with no issue reference, and though I have several decades worth of the paper in my possession, I cannot seem to track it down. In any case, considering the mixed feelings some of us have about the Christmas season, I wanted to commend this editorial to your attention. BP  We are again at that time on the calendar when the…

Joy to the World

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;     break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;     the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands;     let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for he comes     to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness,     and the peoples with equity.–Psalm 98 Isaac Watts is considered…

Silent Night

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”(Luke 2:13-14) Joseph Mohr was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1792. In 1815, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church and served in a number of parishes in the Salzburg area. As of Christmas 1818, he was the assistant priest at St. Nicholas church in the…

Practical Atheism

A news story caught my eye last week. The United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in the country, reached a settlement in the pending heresy trial of one of their clergy, Gretta Vosper. The General Council of the church released a statement announcing that they had settled all issues with Vosper, and she was allowed to keep her pulpit. Ordinarily, this sort of thing would hardly be worth noticing. In fact, you are probably wondering right now what…

Enter With Thanksgiving

Special times for giving thanks for blessings as well as celebrations of bountiful harvests are ancient traditions in a number of cultures. In the New World, both the Spanish and French conducted thanksgivings in the 16th century. English settlers in Jamestown held a thanksgiving in 1610. But what we consider the “first Thanksgiving” was, of course, held by the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony in 1621. We all learned about that in elementary school and know names like Squanto and Miles…

Church and State Postscript: What Now?

The election is now behind us. Perhaps you are distraught that the Democrats gained control of the House. Or maybe you are on the other side, upset that they did not gain the Senate too. Or maybe you are one of those in the middle who thinks a divided government is a good thing because it forces compromise.  In any case, we have spent multiple weeks laying out fundamental Scriptural principles that should guide us politically: the sovereignty of God;…