Ten Years of Golden Texts

Golden Texts

Ten years of “golden texts” are found in the 1950-1959 issues of Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary. I love these old volumes produced by the Gospel Advocate. A couple of years ago, I created a 112-page document in PDF format designed to help preachers and teachers to search those volumes for Bible texts that were written about in those books. Read about that project and download that PDF by clicking H-E-R-E.

One thing I wish I would have done at that time is to include the GOLDEN TEXTS. I have begun that project and have now completed the 1950s (10 volumes). There are 521 of these golden texts and most of them are clearly identified and usually use up half a page to a full page of writing. I have created a 27-page PDF file which lists those verses with the volume and page number. This will make if possible to use the FIND function on the PDF (control + F) to search the document and find out if a passage you are interested has been dealt with in one of these ten volumes.

To the best of my knowledge, the editors of the 1950 volumes were: Roy H. Lanier, Sr., and Leslie G. Thomas. If you know that is incorrect, please let me know.

Since I originally made the list in Evernote, I used a prefix on each scripture reference: btc (Bible text commentary). You need not use the btc in this PDF, but each reference will be preceded with btc.

Here are some particulars about searching for golden texts in this document…

  • No abbreviations are used (use the full name of each Bible book)
  • No spaces
  • No Roman Numerals
  • I know that each chapter in the Book of Psalms is a psalm, but the name of the book is still Psalms, so that is what I used for Psalms references
  • For the five one-chapter books, I do assign a chapter: e.g., btcObadiah1.15
  • I used no colons, but a period between chapters and verses

You can find this file by clicking H-E-R-E. btcGoldenTexts

Wisdom

Wisdom of Men vs the Wisdom of God, by Roger D. Campbell. The ancient city of Corinth was located in Greece, a place where philosophy, orators, and worldly wisdom were held in high esteem. To the  saints of God who lived in that commercial center, Paul had much to say about wisdom, both man’s and God’s, in the letters which he addressed to them.

On man’s side, Paul referred to “the wisdom of the wise” (1 Cor. 1: 19), “the wisdom of this world” (1 Cor. 1:20), “human wisdom” (1 Cor. 2:4), “the wisdom of men” (1 Cor. 2:5), and ”fleshly wisdom”  (2 Cor. 1:12). These are all one and the same.

On God’s side, the apostle simply calls it “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24; 2:7). As we consider worldly wisdom versus the Godhead’s wisdom, certain matters really stand out. First, man’s wisdom and God’s wisdom are not the same.  Second, man’s wisdom is not as good as God’s is. Why? “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). In fact, God has no foolishness or weakness; those are accommodative terms used here in the sense of God’s so-called foolishness and so-called weakness per the thinking of unwise, proud humans. Third, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God ” (1 Corinthians 3:19).

Man’s thinking often clashes with God’s, which does not surprise us since the Lord proclaimed that His ways and thoughts are above those of mere mortals (Isaiah 55 :8,9). Let us go ahead and consider some thoughts from the message of 1 Corinthians and see how modern-day thought (man’s wisdom) often conflicts with God’s wisdom.

Man’s wisdom says that there is no way that the blood of a former Jewish carpenter can remove another person’s sins. To such people, the message of the crucified Christ is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:23). God’s truth: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1:18).

Man’s wisdom says, “I can be a saved person and belong to Jesus without water baptism, because  God did not send Paul to baptize, but to preach the gospel (1:17)”. God’s revelation shows us that some in Corinth said that they were “of Paul” (1:12). God’s wisdom asks, “Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1:13). The answer on both counts was, “No,” and the idea was, the only person who properly could say he was “of Paul” is one who had been baptized in Paul’s name (and Paul had been crucified for such a person). In principle, in the same way, if one has not been baptized in the name of the Christ, then he has no right to claim that he is “of Christ.” Being baptized in water is a requirement to belonging to Jesus, that is, to being a saved person.

Man’s wisdom says that if! am not happy in my marriage and I see someone with whom I would rather live, then I should be able to get a divorce and “move on with my life.” God’s wisdom says, “A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife ... let him not divorce her ... let her not divorce him” (1 Corinthians 7:10-13). In the text of the English Bible, in four consecutive verses we read the instruction for a Christian not to depart from, forsake, or divorce his/her spouse.

Man’s wisdom says, “Look, I do not care whom my action offends. As a Christian, I have certain freedoms, and no one can prevent me from using them.” God’s wisdom says, “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block those who are weak” (8:9). God’s wisdom says to consider how our action might affect others, looking out not only for our own interests, “but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

Man’s wisdom says that if a gospel preacher really loves the Lord, then he ought to work without receiving any wages. God’s wisdom says, “Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (9:14).

Man’s wisdom says that our worship would be a lot more meaningful and appealing if we would be more spontaneous and just let people stand up and speak out whenever they want to praise the Lord. The Lord’s wisdom says, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (14:40).

Man’s wisdom says that there is nothing special about the gospel. By God’s wisdom, Paul said, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you ... by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you ... by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you…” (15:1,2). The gospel is God’s saving power.

Let us be committed to accepting God’s revealed wisdom. For us, it is the wise thing to do.

Ananias–Truth for February 2016

Ananias

Roger & Donna Campbell

“The Dishonesty and Death of Ananias and Sapphira,” by Roger D. Campbell.  In Acts 4, we read for the first time about persecution against the early disciples. That challenge to the Lord’s Cause came from without. The first segment of Acts 5 paints a different picture. It shows the church facing an internal challenge, a mess caused by two of its own members, the husband and wife duo of Ananias and Sapphira. Let us consider some lessons from this memorable historical account.

On the human side, it is pretty clear that not everything was smooth sailing in the early church. In contrast to the beautiful unity and sincere generosity which we see at the close of chapter four (4:32-37), Acts 5 begins with the word “But.” Here we will see a different mindset and course of action. Just as the Bible records the appealing and pleasant stuff, it also reveals instances in which children of God acted in a deplorable manner.

Ananias and Sapphira had a possession, and that possession was land (5:1,3,8). There was nothing wrong with having material possessions.

Ananias and Sapphira sold a possession (5:1). There was nothing sinful about that, either. Other disciples had done the same thing (4:34). Jesus once commanded a man to sell his things (Mark 10:21).

Before they sold that land, it was theirs (5:4). How they obtained the land, the Bible does not say. But, it was theirs. We understand that, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness” (Psalm 24:1), so all which we possess came from the Lord and belongs to Him; we are mere stewards of those things. Yet, at the same time, the Bible employs language that shows that it is correct to refer to material, earthly possessions as belonging to a person. Andrew and Simon left “their” nets (Mark 1:18), and Jesus told a paralytic to take up “your” bed” (Mark 2:11).

After Sapphira and Ananias sold their land and collected the money from that sale, the money was still under their control. Peter’s question to him shows that to be the case: “And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?” (Acts 5:4).

Ananias… Continued…

Click H-E-R-E, to read the rest of this article and four others.

  1.  How Jesus Tried to Motivate People to Make the Right Choices.
  2. Brief Takeaways from Deuteronomy 15
  3. Brief Takeaways from Deuteronomy 16
  4. Struggling with Sin
  5. Acts 5.1-11: The Dishonesty and Death of Ananias and Sapphira

Matthew Studies

Matthew

Matthew contains 28 chapters which are so vital for our proper understanding of the Christ. This post links together a set of study guides which includes an introduction to the book and 28 individual study guides for each of the chapters. These are used in connection with our radio program: WALKING IN TRUTH, which is broadcast each Sunday morning at 7:00 (Central Time) on station WCBL, 1290 AM and 99.1 FM, Benton, KY. If you are not in the western Kentucky area, you can listen by means of the TUNE-In app. We began this study of Matthew on 7 February 2016, and it will continue for 28 consecutive Sundays. The study guides will be added as they are completed. Please help us to get the word out about these study guides by using the social media boxes below this post.

Wayne Jackson has this to say about this wonderful book…

… is doubtless the most frequently read narrative in the New Testament. In spite of this, the scope and grandeur of this divine document is probably overlooked by many. Theodor Zahn declared: ‘In grandness of conception and in the power with which a mass of material is subordinated to great ideas, no writing in the New Testament, dealing with a historical theme, is to be compared with Matthew.’ … Each of the Gospel writers, under the divine leading of the Holy Spirit, had his own theme to develop. Each was primarily addressing his narrative to a different class of people. Mark was directed toward the Roman culture of the first century, while Luke’s Gospel was designed to appeal to the Greek mind. John’s account is universal in scope. But Matthew’s narrative is decidedly Jewish in flavor. It is a book written by a Jew for Jews about a Jew! The purpose of the Book of Matthew might be briefly stated thusly: The design of Matthew is to demonstrate (primarily to the Jews, but ultimately to all men) that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament Scriptures and the author of the kingdom of God in which all peoples of the earth may be saved. With great care, the apostle develops this theme [Wayne Jackson, “The Living Message of Matthew,” in The Living Messages of the Books of the New Testament, Editors: Garland Elkins, and Thomas B. Warren, 1976, pp., 34-35].

Individual Study Guides for Matthew:

Introduction to Matthew

Chapter 01     Chapter 02     Chapter 03     Chapter 04     Chapter 05     Chapter 06

Chapter 07     Chapter 08     Chapter 09     Chapter 10     Chapter 11     Chapter 12

Chapter 13     Chapter 14     Chapter 15     Chapter 16     Chapter 17     Chapter 18

Chapter 19     Chapter 20     Chapter 21     Chapter 22     Chapter 23     Chapter 24

Chapter 25     Chapter 26     Chapter 27     Chapter 28

A merged PDF document containing ALL of the above files (341 pages; 17.72 mb) is available by clicking H-E-R-E.

Balance

Balance

Balance can be a real challange! “It was Friday night, 15 June, 2012. Millions watched the ABC television network as 33-year old Nick Wallenda (largest of the two falls that make up Niagara Falls) on a two-inch cable. Though others had crossed the Niagara River in a similar way, he was the first to cross directly over the falls. The mist and winds about halfway across were Wallenda’s biggest challenge in completing the historic event” (*Gromstyn). Wallenda’s effort was an amazing feat requiring incredible balance, among other things. One has to be amazed at the determination and focus necessary to complete such an enormous undertaking. New Testament Christians are called upon by Scripture to live lives that are balanced.

It is not an easy thing to remain balanced in following the Savior’s example and being guided by the inspired Scriptures. It is the delight of Satan to cause Christians to become unbalanced or out of balance as he hurls his fiery darts toward them (Eph 6.16). Satan’s challenge must be used as motivation for faithful Christians to seek, with great zeal, to be balanced. Paul gives assurance that the necessary equipment to stand the onslaught is available (Ephesians 6.11-18), but will it be used? One of the more difficult matters of seeking balance is the task of understanding just exactly what balanced living is. Christians have not been given impossible expectations to achieve. Jehovah God is not a God who tantalizes, but One who expects from His people that which is indeed possible.

The word BALANCE is found in the King James Bible eighteen times, but only one of these is a New Testament text (Rev 6.5). All of the occurrences of the English term pertain to a device for measuring weight. In none of the uses of the word in Scripture does the word refer to a quality of life or state of being which New Testament Christians are to seek. This latter fact does not mean that balance is undesirable or unnecessary for success in living the Christian life. Balance, as being used here, is somewhat difficult to define. In one dictionary, the fourth of fourteen definitions of the noun form is as follows: “A state of equilibrium or equipoise; equality in amount, weight, value, or importance, as between two things or the parts of a thing.” Without a proper understanding of the meaning of “balance,” the term becomes a source of much confusion. It is possible that someone who is entirely out of balance may conceive of himself as being perfectly balanced. Some may thing of balance as a vital and positive attribute while others might deem it to be just another descriptor for compromising the truth. When Christians speak about balance, there is a need to communicate clearly what is intended in using the term.

Is there another way of thinking about the kind of balance that New Testament Christians are to be seeking? The general concept of balance seems to have a lot to do with a reaction to the tendency of ranking certain commands or teachings as being more important or vital than others. When a given command or attitude is ranked above others, normally there will follow the response of specializing in that particular command or attitude. Often this specializing results in neglecting other parts of God’s will for faithfulness. Sometimes this develops into “riding a hobby” or more often simply failing to realize what has been done. Ultimately, this latter course leads to becoming unbalanced, perhaps all the while claiming perfect balance. Is not the better plan to be a generalist with regard to applying Scripture to life? What about considering the weighted end of the balance scales as the ENTIRETY OF GOD’S WORD and placing application of that word on the side to be measured? To this model for balance, the words of Jesus conform: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12.48). On Judgment Day, having rejected NONE of the Savior’s words will be the ground upon which the saved shall stand by the grace of God.

* Gromstyn Alice and James Michael S. “Nick Wallenda Walk.” ABC News. ABC News Internet Ventures. 16 June, 2012. Web.

Part of a sermon David Lemmons preached at MSOP Lectures in 2013.