Monthly Archives: February 2018

Christian Duties in the Church

Charles Moore

Christian Duties in the Church, Landmark BC, February 25, 2018
Introduction: Peter gives us a description of good church membership and how we are to act towards each other.
I Peter 3:8-17
8 Finally*, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye
are thereunto* called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

10For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew* [turn aside from] evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Key Verse:

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death* in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Verses 8-15 The apostle here passes from special to more general exhortations.
He teaches us how Christians and friends should treat one another. 

I. Unity
Christians should endeavor to be all of one mind [Unity] in the great points of faith, in real affection, and in Christian practice; they should be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus (Rom. 15:5 ), not according to man’s pleasure, but God’s word.
He advises each one to show compassion and be sympathetic one for another; To show pity, compassionate and humility to those who were in distress, and to be courteous to all.

To love as brethren

II. He instructs us how to behave towards enemies. The apostle knew that Christians would be hated and evil-entreated of all men for Christ’s sake; therefore,
1. He warns us not to return evil for evil, nor railing for railing; but, on the contrary, “when they rail at you, do you bless them; when they give you evil words, do you give them good ones; for Christ has both by his word and example called you to bless those that curse you, and has settled a blessing on you as your everlasting inheritance, though you were unworthy.’’ To bear evils patiently, and to bless your enemies, is the way to obtain this blessing of God. Learn,

(1.) To render evil for evil, or railing for railing is a sinful unchristian practice. To rail is to revile another in bitter, fierce, and reproachful terms; but for ministers to rebuke sharply, and to preach earnestly against the sins of the times, is not railing; all the prophets and apostles practiced.
(2.) The laws of Christ oblige us to return blessing for railing.Mt. 5: 44, “Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those that persecute you. You must not justify them in their sin, but you must do for your enemies all that justice requires or charity commands.’’ We must pity, pray for, and love those who rail at us.
(3.) A Christian’s calling is invested with glorious privileges and also it obliges him to difficult duties.
(4.) All the true servants of God shall infallibly inherit a blessing, however, the full possession of it is reserved to a time in the future.

2. Find peace with mankind.
He gives an excellent prescription for a comfortable happy life in this quarrelsome ill-natured world (v. 10): it is quoted from Ps. 34: 12-14. “If you earnestly desire that your life should be long, and your days peaceable and prosperous, keep your tongue from reviling, evil-speaking, and slandering, and your lips from lying, deceit, and dissimulation. Avoid doing any real damage or hurt to your neighbour, but be ever ready to do good, and to overcome evil with good; seek peace with all men, and pursue it, though it retires from you. This will be the best way to dispose people to speak well of you, and live peaceably with you.’’It is the duty of Christians not only to embrace peace when it is offered but to seek and pursue it when it is denied: peace with societies, as well as peace with particular persons, in opposition to division and contention, is what is here intended.

3. He shows that Christians need not fear that such patient inoffensive behavior as is prescribed will invite and encourage the cruelty of their enemies, for God will thereby be engaged on their side: For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous (v. 12); His ears are open to their prayers; whose ears are always attentive to the prayers of his servants in their distresses, and who will certainly aid them against their unrighteous enemies.
The face of the Lord is against those that do evil; his anger, and displeasure, and revenge will pursue them; for he is more an enemy to wicked persecutors than men are. Observe,

(1.) God hath a special care and paternal affection towards all his righteous people.
(2.) God doth always hear the prayers of the faithful, Jn. 4:31 ;
1 Jn. 5: 14; Heb. 4: 16.
(3.) Though God is infinitely good, yet he abhors impenitent sinners and will pour out his wrath upon those that do evil. He will do himself right, and do all the world justice; his goodness is no obstruction to his doing so.

4. This patient humble behavior of Christians is further recommended and urged from two considerations:—

(1.) This will be the best and surest way to prevent suffering; for who is he that will harm you? v. 13. This, I suppose, is spoken of Christians in an ordinary condition, not in the heat of persecution. “Ordinarily, there will be but few to harm those who live so innocently and usefully as you do.’’
(2.) This is the way to improve sufferings. “If you be followers of that which is good, and yet suffer, this is suffering for righteousness; sake (v. 14), and will be your glory and your happiness, as it entitles you to the blessing promised by Christ’’ (Mt. 5:10 ); therefore, “You need not be afraid of anything they can do to strike you with terror, neither be much troubled nor concerned about the rage or force of your enemies.’’
First, to follow always that which is good is the best course we can take to keep out of harm’s way.
Secondly, To suffer for righteousness sake is the honor and happiness of a Christian; to suffer for the cause of truth, a good conscience, or any part of a Christian’s duty, is a great honor; the delight of it is greater than the torment, the honor more than the disgrace, and the gain much greater than the loss.
Thirdly, Christians have no reason to be afraid of the threats or rage of any of their enemies. “Your enemies are God’s enemies, his face is against them, his power is above them, they are the objects of his curse, and can do nothing to you but by his permission; therefore trouble not yourselves about them.’’
Instead of terrifying yourselves with the fear of men, be sure to sanctify the Lord God in your hearts (v. 15); let him be your fear, and let him be your dread, Isa. 8:12, Isa. 8: 13. Fear not those that can only kill the body, but fear him that can destroy body and soul, Lu. 12:4, Lu. 12: 5.

We sanctify the Lord God in our hearts when we with sincerity and fervency adore him when our thoughts of him are awful and reverend when we rely upon his power, trust to his faithfulness, submit to his wisdom, imitate his holiness, and give him the glory due to his most illustrious perfections.
We sanctify God before others when our deportment is such as invites and encourages others to glorify and honor him; both are required,

First, A full sense of the divine perfections is the best antidote against the fear of sufferings.
Secondly, The hope and faith of a Christian are defensible against all the world.
Thirdly, Every Christian is bound to answer and apologize for the hope that is in him. We are to be ready to give an answer to every man for the hope that we have in Christ.
Fourthly, These confessions of our faith ought to be made with meekness and fear. Not in haughtiness, revenge, spitefulness, or better than thou attitude.

Conclusion: The Bible is our guidebook to teach us HOW TO PLEASE God, LOVE OTHERS, AND LOVE OURSELVES.


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FEBRUARY 28 – Close is not Good Enough

FEBRUARY 28 – Close is not Good Enough

1Samuel 15:3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 

How close do you follow instructions? My dad had a saying that he used often. “Go back and lick your calf over.” I don’t know where that saying came from but my mind tells me it is probably a reference to a calf that has been birthed. Dad used this expression when he felt that one of us kids had not done the best job on something we were told to do. I hated that I had to “lick my calf over.” It meant doing something I would prefer not to be doing, to begin with.

That was the problem with Saul. He explicit instructions as to what He should do. Whatever the reason, he did not follow instruction. He came back to Samuel and lied to Samuel. The reply of Samuel, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear.” Notice: Close is not good enough. God lays out His instructions for us. Saul did not get an opportunity to “lick his calf over.” Did you see that? He did not get another chance.

Let us pay attention to what God has to say. Let us follow every instruction He gives us. People go astray when they look for a more convenient way. Jesus says bury them under the water and convenience says sprinkling is good enough. The Bible says that salvation is “by grace through faith,” a man says good works will get you there. May pursue the study of God’s Word so we get it right the first time.

Follow the instructions.

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FEBRUARY 27 – Serve Him In Truth

FEBRUARY 27 – Serve Him In Truth

1Samuel 12:24  Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

What does it mean to fear the Lord? There is a fear of God that brings us closer to Him. That is a reverential fear knowing that God not only controls the rain and thunder but also controls the affairs of men. We are called to “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:11. The fear of the Lord should guide into paths of righteousness.

We are to serve Him in truth. Compromise is not the truth. When we compromise that then becomes a lie. We do not have the right to make adjustments in the truths that we have been given in God’s Word. John chapter 4 says to “worship in spirit and in truth.” Looking at that statement, if we do not have the truth we can not worship. It behooves us to diligently seek the truth so that we can worship. I am going to bring up one doctrine here. Most that will read this would agree that Jesus gave an ordinance to the Church called “the Lord’s Supper. Most would agree that the Lord’s Supper was closed and given to the members of those local Church members. Why do we think we can take that truth and modify it to suit us? Remember the admonition previous to this, fear the Lord. This is so clear.

What has the Lord done for you? The love of God is so precious to us that He sent His only begotten Son to this earth. He sent that Son to call out His Church to give a place of worship and service. He sent His Son to shed His blood for this Church what right do we have to minimize the Church that Jesus built. What right do we have to minimize the two offices of the Church or minimize the ordinances of the Church? We are to serve Him in truth. Yes, His blood was shed for the lost but never ever minimize or discount the blood shed for the truth.

May we find the truth so that we might worship.

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FEBRUARY 26 – See this Great Thing

FEBRUARY 26 – See this Great Thing

1Samuel 12:16  Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. 

Watch this! I am going to rain on your parade. The first of this verse is stand. This reminds me of children that are often fidgety. The Lord says, PAY ATTENTION. His address is really about their rebellion in asking for a King. God is going to show His displeasure because of their rebellion. Pay attention and see what I will do right here before your eyes. This was an occasion that God wants the people to remember. This could be called “cause and effect.” Because of rebellion, God was going to affect their lives and not in a good way.

For all we do, there are consequences. Some are good. Some are bad. The question, why do we run the risk of bad consequences. The answer is we yield to desire and relinquish the mind of God to exercise our human mind in futility. It is futile to try and out-think God. Man always has a better way than God’s way. All too often it is youth and a desire to do great things that propel us to disaster. I am guilty and I have little doubt you are guilty. Has this thought run through your mind? If I did this, I would really get some attention for God? I thank the Lord that these were temporary thoughts that were never put into action. The Word dissuaded me.

The other thought that would come to accompany the new plan was does God approve or am I going to have to rationalize what I do to make it acceptable. I noticed how ineffective my rationalizing influenced my wife. That caused me to remember that God looks on the heart. I made the determination that I did not need the thunder and rain in my life.

I determined to not rebel and simply do things God’s way.


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FEBRUARY 25 – Do Not Be Rebels

FEBRUARY 25 – Do Not Be Rebels

1Samuel 12:13  Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. 

14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 

15  But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. 

We should always be aware of what we have chosen. Sometimes we choose because of pleasure. Other times we choose because of desire. Then there are times we choose because of rebellion.

1Samuel_15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

This is the scripture of what Samuel told Saul. See the extreme wickedness that is applied to rebellion.

Samuel is instructing the nation about their rejection of God and desire for a king. Let me rephrase this for you. “I will give you one more chance. Follow my commands and be obedient and my hand will be with you. If you rebel, my hand will no longer be with you.

Let us apply this to individuals. If you will obey, I will be with you. If you rebel, I will withdraw my hand. This is a great responsibility that is put on an individual. Each individual is responsible to God for their obedience. You can not blame your rebellion on mother, father, Church or pastor. You are totally responsible.

Because an individual is responsible before God, the Church is not off the hook.

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William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

From earliest times, opportunities and tremendous blessings from the Creator were underscored for those prepared to receive them. Recipients’ key requisites most often were education and faith in His word and works. It remains that way! Think with me a moment.
Antediluvian world folks, far afield from the primitive state imagined by modern man, show excellence in education. Adam must have been created with the equivalent of a Ph.D. since he gave names to everything in creation, Gen. 2:19. Jabal excelled in animal husbandry; Jubal in music, especially in harp and organ; Tubalcain was a master artificer in brass and iron; Nimrod built a city: on and on it goes. Then God called upon Noah to build an ark to the saving of air-breathing life. It was approximately 450 by 45 by 30 in foot dimensions. Now just what dumb-bunny was able to do that? Noah was a righteous man, but he was also an educated man and prepared for the job.
Looking at other instances, Moses stands out as exemplary of educational readiness. He had the best Egypt could provide plus 40 years of personally examining the terrain of Sinai. David was a mighty warrior, but also a master of strategy, faith, and music. Notice also that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were specially selected by King Nebuchadnezzar, not because he knew them, but because they fit his criteria of service, to wit: “. . . no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had an ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel 1:4. They were ready for both spiritual and material education to seize upon opportunities to serve both God and man.
Finally, in the important initial evangelism of the first century world, God chose Saul of Tarsus, a Hebrew of Hebrews, more zealous in his faith that all his brethren, and who could not only evangelize with the New Testament doctrines after God got through teaching him, but who could by his excellent education in the tradition of his fathers persuade thousands of Jews and Gentiles alike to embrace New Testament faith. Men should excel in something, faith notwithstanding and underscored, and then use that excellence to help others as God provides opportunities which He most certainly will do.
Through brick and mortar institutions, and online educational offerings, the present generation has more information and outreach ability than all the past generations had in all their collective forms. Still, the propensity to submit to the lure of inertia manages to hinder both individual and church progress. Perhaps we all would do well to hear God’s still small voice to Elijah saying, “What are you doing here?”

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FEBRUARY 24 – Be Careful What You Want

FEBRUARY 24 – Be Careful What You Want

1Samuel 8:22  And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city. 

There is a very old saying, be careful what you wish for, you may get it. We are a fickle people. We want and desire and then find out that we really don’t like what we got. That happens with automobiles. For us men, it might be the horsepower and shape of aggressiveness. For the women, it might be the design, layout, and colors. We take possession of the automobile and find that it is a lemon. It continually breaks down and the color rapidly fades. We no longer want what we wanted.

Who remembers the progressive “churches” churches called the “Rock?” They all have just about faded out of existence. An interesting fact is, that as we grow and mature, the fascination of youth matures with us. What we found appealing then does not appeal any longer. That is why newer and more fascinating things have to be employed to attract youth. The senses mature and change. When the appeal is to the senses, we find a momentary fascination.

Look at Israel. They became unhappy with the sons of Samuel and want to make a serious change. Because of men, they no longer want the rule of God but have decided that they want a king like other, pagan nations have. The king leading the nation had that ability to lead them to God or away from God. Too often, it was away from God.

Teach the people. Drive them deep into the Word of God. May we ever be satisfied with God who orders our lives right.


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FEBRUARY 23 – Rejection

FEBRUARY 23 – Rejection

1Samuel 8:7  And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 

Rejection, what a terrible term to apply to anyone. When applied to a person it means they are not accepted. Rejection is one of the more difficult things to contend with. We all to a certain extent want to be accepted. We will deny that and argue that we don’t care, yet that is built within us.

We have to learn to handle rejection. We can not live life without experiencing rejection. When we are rejected, we need to examine the response to find the reason. Samuel appointed his sons judges and they were political, corrupt and took bribes. The people did not like these men. They rejected them. That was not the problem. What they wanted instead was the problem.

When we are rejected we need to examine ourselves to see if there is something about us that needs to be corrected. The real problem here is not that these men were rejected but that they reject God. So many brags about how much they love Jesus and they love God, but if they were under the rule of God and Jesus, how much would they love them then?

During the days of Jesus, many loved to worship, their type of worship. When Jesus came and established the Church, they hated and rejected Him. The majority of people rejected Him. They rejected His lifestyle and his teachings. They rejected His doctrine and His way of worship. He not only was rejected but was hung on a cross until He gave His life for those that rejected Him.

How about you? Do you want to live on this earth under King Jesus?

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Opinion: It is my opinion that one reason we don’t want to admit that we have a heart problem in America is because you can’t pass any legislation to solve it. The only One who can take care of this heart problem is the Great Physician.

I think this settles the issue. It is a heart problem.

Matthew 15:19
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, MURDERS, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”

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FEBRUARY 22 – Ichabod

FEBRUARY 22 – Ichabod

1Samuel 4:21  And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. 

God gives instructions that are complete. All we have to do is look for them. David in wanting to move the ark to Jerusalem did not ask the proper way to move it. Tragedy struck. In the days of Eli, his sons removed the ark from the place that had instructed to put it. Tragedy struck. The two sons died in battle. The ark was taken and when Eli heard the news, he fell backwards and broke his neck and died.

Exodus_25:22  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. Notice here that God revealed plainly where He would meet the people. The door of the tabernacle is used in Exodus and Leviticus many times. The Cloud that God was in came to the door of the tabernacle and when the people saw it they worshiped.

When the Ark was taken into battle, the Glory of the Lord and his presence was no longer in the tabernacle. He no longer came to the door. We need the presence of the Lord when we worship. I cringe when ever I hear “The Lord showed up today.” That statement lends the idea that the Lord is not necessarily there every time we worship Him. That begs the question – are we worshiping him according to the way He wants us to.

I do not want to see the Glory of the Lord depart from His Churches. We need to seriously examine our doctrine, who we are worshiping, and how we are worshiping. Are we preaching all the doctrine or keying on one and subjugating others to minority positions? Are we worshiping God or our selves and telling God he has to accept that worship. Are we worshiping the way God tells us to worship.

If it is all about us, then there is nothing there for God.

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