New year resolutions have been used by many societies. The ancient Babylonians promised their gods that they would return borrowed items and pay their debts. The Romans made promises to their god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. In Medieval times, knights took the “peacock vow” to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. In our modern day society, some prepare for the year ahead by making resolutions at watchnight services.
If you are a Christian, the most important resolution you can make is to remain obedient, learn more of God’s Word, and give more in His service.
If you are not yet a Christian, the best resolution for a happy new year is to become a child of God by hearing the gospel (Romans 10:14), believing in Jesus, God’s Son (Acts 16:30-31, Hebrews 11:6), repenting of your sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus as Lord before men (Acts 8:36), and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
A 2007 study showed that only 12% of people who set New Year resolutions succeed. As followers of the one true God of the Bible, let’s all resolve to obey our Lord and live by His Word. This will ensure a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It is not uncommon for our friends to ask us a religious question. Sometimes they are seeking information, at other times they are trying to make a point. But in either case we should see it as an opportunity to teach some Bible truth. From time to time in the bulletin I will offer an answer to one of those questions. If you have one such, write it down and give it to me. I’ll try to answer it.
Question: Are you sure that you are going to heaven?
Answer: I believe what the Bible says. “If I make my calling and election sure, I will never fall but rather will have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom.” (2 Peter 1:10-11) What about you? The answer they give will most likely have to do with the doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” If so, take the opportunity to teach 2 Peter 1 with them.
The apostle Peter wrote that we should add to our faith… virtue… knowledge… temperance… patience… godliness… brotherly kindness… love. He then added that by doing so we would make our calling and election sure. (2 Peter 1:5-11)
Protestantism began as a protest against the edicts (decrees) of the Roman Church and called for freedom of conscience for all believers. The problem is that the protestants turned around and formed their own institutional church imposing their own rules and regulations.
Today all protestant denominations have their own institutional organization which sets the rules and regulations for member churches. They write and rewrite these rules as the leadership sees fit. It never seems to occur to them that in the church of the Bible, Christ is the only head and the law of Christ the only rule of faith and practice. There was no institutional authority over the individual congregations. All were subject only to Christ.
The churches of Christ are all autonomous (independent). We have no denominational or institutional structure. While there are thousands of individual churches of Christ throughout the world, we are all in conscience and organization free – subject only to Christ as the head and the law of Christ as our only rule of faith and practice.
The apostle Peter in his opening words at the house of Cornelius stated two important truths about God. First, he said: “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34) The significance of his statement on that occasion was to show that God was willing to accept Gentiles as well as Jews. The broader meaning of the statement is that God makes no distinction on the basis of race, nationality, education, financial success, etc. And, of course, neither should we.
Second, Peter said: “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:35) This is a very important Bible statement today in view of the prevailing doctrine of salvation by faith alone. Too many believe that all one must do to be acceptable to God is just accept Christ by praying the “Sinner’s Prayer.” The apostle makes it clear that our life must be one of working righteousness.
The following report was received from Sarah Tesh:
“I’d like to sincerely thank you for your support
towards my recent mission trip to Cusco, Peru!”
“Each day of the campaign we held a Christian
Parenting seminar for the people of the community at the Ayllu church of Christ’s building. Here are the outcomes of the campaign:
794 adults and children attended the
Christian Parenting seminar
62 adults signed up for the School of the
Bible (a 4-6 week Bible Course)
Currently, over 50% of these studies have already been conducted by the missionaries”
Signed: Sarah Tesh
We at North Main had a small part in supporting Sarah on the mission trip. Her full letter along with a group picture is on the back bulletin board.