Clinton church of Christ

Welcome, Mississippi College Students!

August 25, 2013

John Allan

Students have come to Clinton for the new semester at Mississippi College. We are welcoming back some returning students and meeting new MC students, too. We are beginning a new College Class for our students, and our “College Night” devotionals will be resuming next Thursday.

We are looking forward to a great year. We have rides to our services available for any students who need them. For more information please call us (601-924-5300) or use our “Contact Us” link to submit an electronic message.

Posted in Uncategorized

Vacation Bible School

June 11, 2013

John Allan

Vacation Bible School is scheduled for June 23-26th. Our theme is “It’s a Blue Ribbon Life: A Study of the Fruit of the Spirit.”

Classes are free and available for all ages (adults included). There is never a charge to attend our services!

VBS begins Sunday, June 23rd at 9 a.m. Sunday morning worship will be conducted as usual at 10 a.m. Vacation Bible School will then continue at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Monday-Wednesday our VBS will occur at 7 p.m. each night.

Posted in Announcements

Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

December 6, 2012

John Allan

In Romans 12:9 the Bible says “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (NKJV).

Our attention at this time is on the latter two sentences in that verse: 1) Abhor what is evil. 2) Cling to what is good.

We might be inclined to think that “abhor” is just a fancy word for “hate.” Nonetheless, with the way that the word “hate” gets used today “abhor” does have the benefit of striking us with the intense displeasure Christians should have for evil. “Hate” is a word we hear a lot, and it is misapplied often enough that it loses some of its force.

But whether you prefer “hate” or “abhor” do not miss the point Paul is making. Evil should be detestable to us. It should bother us. Since it is contrary to Christ and pulls people away from him we should genuinely hate it. We certainly should not be toying with it.

Sometimes people confuse hating sin with hating a person entangled in sin. This is where the familiar expression “Hate the sin, love the sinner” can be properly inserted. Speaking out against evil should be done in hopes that people will notice and avoid destructive behavior. Our actions have eternal consequences.

Christians are also to “cling” to what is good. Some have used the illustrative idea of glue to help us understand this notion: the idea is we are stuck to it and we are not going to budge. The expression “cleave to what is good” is sometimes used, and it portrays the same general idea.

From an intellectual standpoint there is nothing difficult about those concepts. Even folks who might disagree about whether some particular acts are evil or not can agree that there are some evil things in the world, and that it is wise to stay away from those things and do good, instead. Understanding the concept and putting it into action are different things.

In the remainder of Romans 12 there are several specific instructions given which are consistent with the general principle “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” It is entirely fitting that Paul include them in this discussion: they provide us practical examples and remind us that our behavior is inconsistent if we are not always clinging to what is good.

Romans 12:14 is one such example: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” When somebody mistreats us, the temptation can be very strong to retaliate with evil words. The world might even tell us that this is normal and appropriate behavior. Christians, though, are not supposed to conform to the world (Romans 12:2). Just because the majority of people around us are doing something does not mean what they are doing is right.

If we truly “abhor what is evil” then we will not do something evil in response to an evil done to us. This is perfectly consistent with Romans 12:17 “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.”

What would you think if somebody told you “I hate donuts”? What would you think if you later saw that same person coming out of a donut shop with a box in one hand and a partly-eaten donut in the other? You would probably think “I guess they do not hate donuts after all!” A similar reaction would be appropriate if somebody who says they hate evil is later found engaging in evil. They have said one thing, but their behavior does not match.

Christians should not repay evil for evil because Christians are to abhor evil. We cannot, in good conscience, engage in something we profess to hate.

When this principle is clearly understood you can easily see that the remainder of the chapter is loaded with examples of that underlying principle put into action:

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:18-21 NKJV).

 

Conclusion:

Because Christians are to abhor evil and cling to what is good their way of looking at things (worldview) will often be very different from the world. Their worldview will positively impact their behavior. By consistently acting in accordance with these commands they will “have regard for good things in the sight of all men” and thus be a powerful example to others of the virtue of Christian living.

 

 

Posted in Miscellaneous

Baptism and 1 Corinthians 1:14-17

November 29, 2012

John Allan

In 1 Corinthians 1, while combating the problem of divisions among Christians at Corinth, the apostle Paul said:

I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. (1 Corinthians 1:14-17, NKJV).

The question comes: “How could baptism possibly be essential and yet Paul say what he did?”

It should prove helpful in answering our question to consider something that was said of Jesus Christ during his ministry. In John 4:1-3 we read that Jesus “left Judea and departed again to Galilee” because the Pharisees had heard that Jesus “made and baptized more disciples than John.” Verse two is of particular interest to us here: “(though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),”

The purpose of citing that verse is to show that baptism was occurring and being attributed to Jesus, but Jesus himself was not physically lowering people beneath the water and raising them back out. His disciples were doing that.

With the establishment of the Church in Acts 2 and the apostles carrying out the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16, Matthew 28:18-19) there is no doubt that they preached baptism (Acts 2:38). This does not mean that every person who converted to Jesus Christ was baptized by an apostle; Acts 8:12 and 8:38 provide sufficient proof of this fact.

Just because Paul did not physically immerse them does not mean that he viewed baptism as unnecessary. It is clear in the passage we are considering that the Christians at Corinth had indeed been baptized. Paul merely stated that with the exception of a few, he had not been the one performing the physical act.

It is also worth our observation that Paul did not say he was glad he only baptized a few of the Corinthian Christians because baptism was not important. Instead, he said “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.” (emphasis mine -JA)

There were contentions in the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:11). Paul was grateful that he had not contributed unnecessarily to these contentions. Paul wanted unity, not division (1 Corinthians 1:10).

While accepting that the Corinthian Christians were baptized, some might still think that baptism cannot be essential in light of verse 17: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”

Surely these words cannot be understood to mean that Jesus Christ attached no significance to baptism. After all, Jesus is the one who commanded the apostles that people should be baptized (Mark 16:16)! What, then, could it mean?

In Acts 6 we learn that in the church at Jerusalem there had been a complaint that Hellenist widows among the disciples were being neglected in the daily distribution. Was this an important matter? Absolutely. But notice what the apostles did:

Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

That work was important, and needed to be done. But it was not work that the apostles should have taken upon themselves at the expense of carrying out the Great Commission. In like manner, baptism was important, but Paul’s primary concern was preaching the gospel: there were other able-bodied people who could physically baptize people.

Our conclusion, then, is this:

  1. Paul was not always the person who physically baptized people into Christ.
  2. Paul was grateful that because of this, the Corinthians could not use him as ammunition for their divisions.
  3. Paul’s primary focus was to preach the gospel: there were other people who could perform the physical act of baptizing converts.

When Paul’s comments are properly understood in light of their context and additional biblical evidence, there is no reason to conclude that Paul viewed baptism as insignificant.

Posted in Bible Reading Notes

Saul’s Conversion

November 28, 2012

John Allan

The book of Acts contains three accounts of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (better known as Saul of Tarsus): Acts 9, Acts 22, and Acts 26. The latter two were accounts given by Paul himself as he defended his actions in front of Jews (Acts 22) and King Agrippa (Acts 26).

Through the years many have contended that Saul was saved (had his sins forgiven) when he saw that “great light from heaven” (Acts 22:6) that was “brighter than the sun” (Acts 26:13) and conversed with Jesus on the road to Damascus. The force of this position seems to be the presumption that his having a conversation with the Lord must mean that he was saved at that point.

When studying a Bible topic it is proper to gather all the available information on a topic and draw conclusions based on the evidence the Bible provides. Our question is this: “Was Saul of Tarsus saved on the road to Damascus concurrent with his conversation with the Lord?” By using the method we described a few sentences ago, the evidence gives a definitive answer to our question.

First, notice when you read all three accounts there is simply no clear indication that Saul’s conversation with the Lord meant that he was saved. You will not find wording to that effect and therefore we cannot make that assertion based on the evidence. The assertion that Saul was saved at that time is not based on a presumption, and that presumption cannot be validated by the biblical record.

If Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus, then when were his sins taken away? As we read the information the Bible makes available to us we are drawn to Acts 22:16. In that place Ananias, having just explained God’s plan for Saul, urges “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'”

The presumption that Saul was saved prior to this moment is indefensible in light of the plain words of the Bible. If Saul were already saved, there would have been no need for Ananias to instruct him “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

If we permit the Bible to be the authority on the matter we find that Saul’s sins were not taken away on the road to Damascus. Instead, he was instructed by Ananias that he was to be obedient to the gospel. This is perfectly consistent with the instructions Jesus gave the apostles in The Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16) and with the declaration made by Peter in Acts 2:38.

Posted in Bible Reading Notes

The Deity of Jesus Christ

November 13, 2012

John Allan

Our Bible reading schedule has moved into the New Testament. It has rightly been said that the Old Testament points toward Jesus Christ, and now that we have arrived in the New Testament we see the arrival of Jesus Christ and his redemptive work. The gospel had been foretold and now we read as it unfolds!

The fundamental fact on which the Church is built is that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God (Matthew 16:16 etc.). The gospel message is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Yet, in spite of such things there are those who deny that Jesus is the Christ.

There are even some who recognize that Christians believe in the deity of Christ, but deny that Jesus ever made that claim himself. As you read through the gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) there is sufficient evidence to refute that. Since our reading schedule has us in John this week let us consider a few verses from that book which prove that Jesus did (in spite of what some might say) claim to be divine.

As John 8 comes toward a close, Jesus told the Jews that “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” This prompted the Jews to press Jesus on the matter: “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

Jesus’ reply in John 8:58 is testimony of the fact that Jesus had always existed: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Jesus used unmistakable language to show the Jews that he had always been. The Jews knew the force of what Jesus said, because in the next verse we read that they took up stones to throw at him. This clearly indicates that they understood what Jesus was saying, and they refused to believe him.

Consider a similar occurrence just a few chapters later (John 10):

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and My Father are one. (John 10:27-30, NKJV)

On this occasion the reaction of the Jews was, once again, to pick up stones to throw at him. Why would they do such a thing? They explain it themselves in John 10:33. “The Jews answered Him, saying, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (NKJV).

Once again, the Jews knew the force of what Jesus had said. They knew the implications of his words, and took those claims seriously.

These are not all the references that could be considered. These are sufficient, however, to show that Jesus Christ did claim divinity for himself. That means Jesus has always existed, but there came a time when he became flesh and dwelt among men. This is perfectly consistent with the biblical record and John’s inspired testimony in John 1.

All Bible quotes in this article are from the New King James Version. If you have any Bible questions, please feel free to submit them to us through the “Contact Us” feature of this web site.

Posted in Bible Reading Notes

Gospel Meeting October 14-17.

September 13, 2012

John Allan

Chris Steele, minister for the River Road Church of Christ in New Port Richey, Fla., is the guest speaker for our Fall Gospel Meeting.

The meeting begins Sunday, October 14th (9 a.m., 10 a.m., 6 p.m.) and continues Monday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. each evening.

The theme for this meeting is “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” We invite and encourage the public to come hear these lessons:

Sunday Bible Study (9 a.m.) – The Gospel: Prophecy Fulfilled
Sunday Morning Worship (10 a.m.) – The Gospel is Good News
Sunday Evening Worship (6 p.m.) – The Gospel is God’s Power unto Salvation
Monday (7 p.m.) – The Simplicity of the Gospel Plan
Tuesday (7 p.m.)- The Gospel and Baptism
Wednesday (7 p.m.)- Preaching the Gospel to the Whole World

 

Clinton Church of Christ
155 Broadway St.
Clinton, MS 39056
601-924-5300

Posted in Announcements

Safeguards from Sin

August 2, 2012

John Allan

THE BIBLE (James 1:21).
  • Psalm 119:104-105.
  • Romans 1:16.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16.
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-5.
  • Colossians 3:17 (we must have authority for all we do)

 

CONSCIENCE

  • We should not do anything that violates our conscience (Romans 14:23, Acts 24:16, Romans 13:5, 1 Corinthians 8:7, 10-13).
  • Conscience is not a perfect guide (Acts 23:1, 1 Timothy 4:2).

 

ETERNITY

  • When we remember that there will be a Judgment Day it can motivate us to be faithful (Revelation 2:10).
  • The faithful can look forward to eternity, but those who are outside of Christ cannot. (2 Thess. 1:3-12, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Matthew 13:37-43, Matthew 13:47-50).

 

Conclusion:

God does not want us to sin. He has put in place things to help us avoid sin. While even more could be discussed, in this lesson we have limited our conversation to three such safeguards: 1) The Bible. 2) Conscience. 3) The fact that Judgment Day and eternity are coming.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Christian, please contact us.

Posted in Give Me the Bible Radio

Vacation Bible School

June 7, 2012

John Allan

Vacation Bible School is June 10-13, our theme is “All Aboard the Kingdom Express.”

VBS begins at 9 a.m. Sunday. It will resume Sunday at 6 p.m. and then continue Monday-Wednesday at 7 p.m. nightly.

We have classes for all ages (including adults). There is no cost to attend, and of course our VBS is open to the public.

Posted in Announcements

How to Study the Bible (Updated)

April 30, 2012

John Allan

Below is the lineup of lessons for our ongoing “How to Study the Bible” series. The lineup is subject to change, but if changes do occur they will be noted.

This series is being preached during the Sunday morning worship hour (10 a.m.).

  1. Understanding Authority (April 29).
  2. Ascertaining Authority (May 6).
  3. The Proper Attitude toward the Bible (May 13).
  4. Some Fundamental Interpretation Principles (May 20).
  5. Dealing with Difficult Passages (May 27).

The objective of these lessons is to help us appreciate the need to have authority from the Bible for all that we do, and to aid the individual in properly interpreting the Bible for himself without being forced to rely on others to know what God has said.

Please accept our invitation to come study the Bible with us, and benefit from these lessons.

Posted in Announcements

Clinton church of Christ | 155 Broadway St. Clinton, MS 39056 | (601) 924-5300 | Admin