GOD IS FAIR AND IMPARTIAL
A saving knowledge of God is the basic need of every human being. The scriptures begin by simply stating the existence of God and the power of God. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) In dealing with Moses God said, "I Am who I Am. And He said, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I Am has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14) The existence of the one true God is evident from His works. (Psalm 19:1-4) In Deuteronomy 6:4 we find one of the most important declarations in all of Scripture. The text says, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." It is the affirmation of the Scriptures that there is only one true, living and impartial God. The road to salvation begins with the proposition, God is! Life eternal is to know the only true God. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3) Isaiah recorded these words from God, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour." (Isaiah 43:10-11) God is fair and impartial to everyone.
God is fair and impartial; He has given one book of instructions to everyone. Humanity is blessed by God with this great gift, the Bible. If we appreciate having the Bible we should study it daily. (Acts 17:11) Our personal Bible study should produce a sincere desire for obedience from the heart. (Romans 1:5) It matters not how smart a man may become, he is still ignorant if he does not know and obey the word of God. What a mistake people make by not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matthew 22:29) The Bible is not just another book among books. The Bible is God's word, His truth. John wrote, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17) The Bible is the timeliest and most useful book ever penned. It tells man how to live on earth and how to go to heaven when he dies. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:35) The very words of the Bible were given by God. We can read and believe the Bible without having to fear that any part of it is untrue or uninspired. Remember, Peter wrote, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21) God empowered holy men to write this book we know as the Bible. God is fair and impartial; He has given one book of instructions to everyone.
God is fair and impartial; He has given one Savior for everyone. The Bible accurately teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. (Acts 8:37) At His baptism God acknowledged Him as His Son. "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) This was also the case on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured and spoke with Moses and Elijah. God said of Jesus, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5) Peter was correct when he confessed, "We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) Jesus is the only Savior. The gospel is the good News that Christ suffered sin's penalty in man's place. God’s message for the world is that Christ died for our sins. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) The announcement of the angels was true, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11) Jesus is more than just some religious tradition. He is our Savior. He knows our needs, feels our pain, and sympathizes with our weakness. If we will trust and obey Him He will forgive our sins, intercede for us and bring us to His Father in Heaven. He died for us and rose from the dead to save us from our sins. Because of Jesus man can have hope of eternal life. God is fair and impartial; He has given one Savior for everyone.
God is fair and impartial; He has given one church for everyone. The church in the Bible was paid for by the blood of Christ. "Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28) God's church is those "people" that were purchased with Christ's blood. The church was never a physical building nor was it a denomination. Christ died to purchase and cleanse the church. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (Ephesians 5:25) Christ is the Savior of the church. "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (Ephesians 5:23) If a person is saved he is a member of the blood bought church of Christ. The church of the Bible is the house of God. "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Hebrews 3:6) The Lord's church is that house over which Christ is head. God adds the saved, and only the saved, to the church. "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47) This verse indicates that salvation was a prerequisite for being “added” to the church. Salvation and membership in the church of Christ go together. God is fair and impartial; He has given one church for everyone.
God is fair and impartial; He plans one Judgment for everyone. Judgment Day will be both a glorious and fearful day for mankind. It will be the end of all time and a day of reckoning for all people before their Creator. (2 Peter 3:9-10, 2 Corinthians 5:10) Jesus said that no man knows on what day it will occur, so let us always understand that those who prophesy that the end of the world and judgment is near are false prophets. (Matthew 24:36) Christians should always live like the Lord is coming any moment. On Judgment Day the Lord shall descend from heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The dead will be raised and the living will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52; John 5:28-29) All nations will be gathered before the great Judge on that day. (Matthew 25:32) Then He will separate the good from the wicked, like a shepherd separates sheep from the goats. Jesus will welcome the righteous home to heaven. The wicked will be consigned to everlasting punishment. (Matthew 25:34-46) God has given us His grace so that we can avoid the awfulness of being lost eternally at the Judgment. Will you accept His grace in loving obedience today? God is fair and impartial; He plans one Judgment for everyone.
Our allegiance must be to God and to Him alone. He will not share first place with another. To the Jews God had said, "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3) God is the Most High God. There is none like the Lord our God. "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me." (Isaiah 46:9) If you believe in God and in His Son Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), then repent of your sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Matthew 10:32), be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-5) and stay faithful to God in order to go to heaven. (Matthew 10:22) God is fair and impartial. He wants us all to go to heaven. If we are lost we can blame no one but ourselves.
---- Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: LeRoy Boutwell, Dannie Box, Mary Ann Bozeman, Brenda Burkett, Terry Claunch, Camren Coleman, John Curry, Syble Farmer, Marietta Faulkenberry, Dawn Fullington’s cousin Jason, Ann Jackson, Sonny Johnson, Felice Kendrick, Patricia Kennemore, Peggy Lassiter, Arthur Little, Sherry Lucky, Kathy Mathis, Annie McKee, Jeff Miller, Karen Miller, Dot Mosley, Robert Mosley, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Dawson Parker, LeAnn Parker, Elizabeth Perdue, Tina Pouncey, Brian Queener, Lydia Ann Raybon, Becky Reynolds, Billy Rodgers, Dianne Salter, Caleb Sam, Ron Seal, Nathan Simmons, Liz Singleton Martha Skipper, Kenneth Smith, Sarah Stidham, Robbie Taylor, John Tindoll, Bobbie Walker, Leroy Waller, Luvella Webb, Barbara Woods, and Tom Young. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Betty Findley, Davis Hester, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders and Annie Ruth Tetter. Georgiana Nursing Home: Woodrow and Edwina Butts.
2. Baptized into Christ April 30, 2013: Brittany Owens: Brittany is from Evergreen and hopes to be released soon. She plans to worship at the Evergreen Church of Christ. Her dad is a member there. Sara Thomas: Sara is from Crestview, Florida. She had been living near Fort Walton. She plans to go to Crestview where she has family and worship with the church in Crestview. Please write to these new sisters, % Butler County Correctional Center 800 Walnut Street Greenville, AL 36037. Joan Barr and Janice Box taught them the gospel!
3. It’s a Boy: Congratulations to Jeff and Cindy Thomas on the birth of a grandson, James Gaston Thomas. He was born April 29th. He weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 21 inches long. He is the son of Brett and Erica Thomas. Erica is also the sister of Jamie Powell.
4. Tony Bozeman resigns as deacon: Tony Bozeman resigned as a deacon at the Walnut Street Church of Christ. The church loves Tony and his family and we thank him for his service. Also pray for Tony because an employee stole his vehicle and work tools.
5. Hunter Owens Honored: On April 25th at the Greenville High School JROTC Awards Banquet Hunter received the Scottish Rites Award for JROTC. Congratulations!
6. Vacation Bible School: June 23rd – 27th – Walnut Street Church of Christ -- Work hard to make our VBS the best ever! See Darrell Powell and find out what you can do to help.
7. Sympathy Expressed: Our sympathy and love is expressed to Jimmy Walker and his family in the death of his aunt, Helen Hockett.
8. Youth Devotional: Thanks to Mike and Lora Gail Bagents for hosting the youth meeting on Saturday. Times together like this are a blessing to the church.
9. Bridal Shower/Dinner: There will be a bridal shower/dinner for Dustin Harrell and Randi Burkett on May 19th after the evening service. The Meat Committee has clean up duties following the shower.
10. Anniversary: Celebrating an Anniversary this week: May 8th Marty and Alicia Sexton.
11. Birthdays: Celebrating a Birthday this week: May 6th Nelson Daughtry, Christa Stallings and John Thompson, May 8th Evelyn Lewis, and May 11th Bill Hammonds and Walter Johnson.
12. John Rice to Visit: John will visit on Wednesday night, May 15th to tell us some things about Bible Camp Work.
13. Carl Sessions Camp Fund: Please contribute! Make checks to Walnut Street Church of Christ and mark them “Carl Sessions Camp Fund.”
14. Area Events: Backwoods Christian Camp -- July 7th-12th. Counselors and Campers are needed. Contact Darrell Powell or Charles Box at 334-382-3001.
Why Am I Depressed?
I think it is safe to say that all people will struggle with some form of depression during life. Now, let me say at the beginning that some types of depression occur due to a chemical imbalance and require medical treatment. This depression can have serious effects and should be treated as such. But generally speaking, depression is just an ongoing state of sadness. I do not profess to have the cure for this condition, nor do I believe that the world will ever be rid of it, but I do know where to find happiness.
If you find it difficult to acquire happiness, maybe you are looking in the wrong places. I’m sure that one reason why so many people are depressed is that they are convinced that happiness is a result of what one possesses. But this is what Jesus said about possessions: “...the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but the quest for riches will not lead you to happiness. If you let them, riches will keep you from learning and obeying God’s word, and it is only through God that one can be truly happy. James said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” (James 1:17)
If you are depressed, perhaps it is because you are not “in Christ Jesus.” Truly, when one enters into Christ, so many wonderful things become available to him. Here are just a few of the things that are available only to them that are in Christ: (1) Redemption - Romans 3:24; (2) Sanctification - I Corinthians 1:2; (3) Liberty – Galatians 2:4; (4) The blood of Christ – Ephesians 2:13; (5) Grace – II Timothy 2:1; (6) The promise of life – II Timothy 1:1; (7) Salvation – II Timothy 2:10. If you desire to obtain these and other wonderful blessings, then the Bible tells us that the only way in which we can enter into Christ is through baptism. (Galatians 3:27) If you want to climb out of the depths of depression and into the riches of Christ, then turn to Him today through obedience to His will.
- - - - Darrell Powell