October 28, 2018

Overcoming – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (I John 4:4-6)

Do you ever feel like the world is getting the best of you? Christians need to know that this foul, stinking, rotten idea is the Devil’s lie and absolutely refuse it. Yes, we are “little children” but we are not depending on our power. We are from God and have already overcome the world.

The word translated “overcome” (nikao) is defined by the Greek lexicon BDAG to mean:

  1. to win in the face of obstacles, be victor, conquer, overcome, prevail,
  2. to overcome someone, vanquish, overcome

Christians have been there, done that…and are continuing to do so.

As Lenski puts it, we “have been and continue to be victorious over them (perfect tense).” There is a very simple, powerful justification for that claim…“because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

There are no empty promises in the Bible. The one who spoke the universe into existence is in you. Defeat is unthinkable. But there are times when I do not feel like I am wining over anything. Just what does this promise promise?

Perhaps the answer will come into focus when we look at other, similar promises,

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17) Note: The phrase mistranslated “will reign” refers to present action, continuing now, not way off in the future.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.” (I John 5:4)

“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1John 5:5)

Overcome who? The “them” in the immediate context is false teachers.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1)

But, how do we know which teachers are false? Overcoming comes with simple instructions … Don’t listen to the majority. Listen to God’s inspired Word.

“…the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (I John 4:5-6)

These promises extend beyond the threat of false teachers. They apply to all of the Devil’s efforts to defeat, cantankerous, covetous, proud brethren included. God has given us sufficient armament to defend against and defeat all threats.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-17)

You have the power of the Creator in you. You have perfect, complete instructions. Trust in God’s power and follow His instructions and you can’t lose. That’s why losing is forbidden.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21)

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris III

 

 

 

 

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October 7, 2018

A Valuable Lesson Learned – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Shortly after I began to preach, some dear friends, brethren whom I had known growing up, showed up as visitors one Sunday morning. After warm greetings, I heard disheartening news about a congregation I knew well. The story involved immorality being ignored by the elders. “Everybody” knew about it. It was “common knowledge,” but the elders refused to do anything about it.

My father also knew the congregation well and was preaching nearby. I called him, related what I had heard and asked how in the world those elders could allow such.

I heard silence for a moment. Then he asked how the accusations were sustained. “Uh…it was common knowledge,” I stammered. He responded, “That’s not good enough.”

He knew all about the situation. Those elders had asked him to help investigate the matter and they had done so. They did discover a lot of gossip but found that nothing was established scripturally. The elders were proceeding by scripturally disciplining the slanderers.

“Oh. …I see…. I didn’t know that.” He proceeded to drive the point home. “You did not ask the right questions. ‘Common knowledge,’ is a phrase that is often a red flag signaling a lack of scriptural evidence. The right question is, ‘Are there witnesses?’ … ‘Can you sustain the accusation?’”

He said he would send an article that should be helpful. He found it useful in his efforts to teach. Since then I have printed and reprinted it many, many times in my efforts to teach New Testament Christianity. It is a concise, precise statement of essential truths.

 When Accusations Are Made

Frank L. Cox, Gospel Advocate, 1959

When an accusation of wrongdoing is made, an obligation falls upon the accuser. His obligation is to sustain his accusation. He cannot sustain his accusation by rumor or gossip or hearsay or opinion, not even by the testimony of a witness. It can be sustained only by the testimony of a plurality of witnesses. It is written, “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established.” (Deut.19:15; Matt.18:16; II Cor.13:1; I Tim.5:19; Heb.10:28.) God’s word is right.

If the accuser can sustain his accusation, an obligation falls upon the person accused: for his guilt is established. In the spirit of gentleness, he should be restored (Gal.6:1, 2); if possible, he should be brought to repentance. If he will not repent, he should be marked and avoided.

If, however, the accusation cannot be sustained, an added obligation falls upon the accuser. By making a charge he cannot prove, an accusation he cannot sustain, he becomes involved in crime. He becomes a false accuser. If possible, he should be brought to repentance. If he will not repent, he should be marked and avoided.

With these things before us, the obligation of the hearer in such matters is obvious. When an accusation of wrongdoing falls upon our ears, let us ask for the proof, for sustaining evidence. If sustaining evidence is given, we should consider the person accused guilty and endeavor to restore him; if sustaining evidence is not supplied, we should consider the accuser guilty and endeavor to restore him. The person accused should be considered innocent, unless the charge is sustained. And the accuser should be considered guilty, unless he can sustain his charge.