Welcome to the January edition of Good News, the monthly newsletter of the Fairview Park church of Christ! We hope that you find the articles below helpful, edifying, and true to the Bible. If you find the articles helpful in your Bible study, please forward this e-mail to a friend. May God bless you as you study his word!
Of First Importance
by Jacob Hudgins
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”(1 Cor 15:3).
Christianity is a religion rooted in historical facts. While Jesus’ moral teachings, healings, and claims about himself are truly unique, the heart of the gospel is that Jesus really lived, died, and lived again. If this foundation is untrue, Christians “are of all people most to be pitied”(1 Cor 15:19). What is “of first importance” to our faith?
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory”(James 2:1).
We all have preferences. Mine include strawberries, Aggie football, and historical fiction. And we all have preferences with people—those with whom we connect more easily and prefer to be around. Yet James points out a problem that can easily proceed from those preferences—that we can treat people differently than others based on this kind of shallow reasoning. Why is showing partiality a problem?
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”(Gen 1:26).
The substance that we are made of is unimpressive. People are made of the same simple elements that compose the rest of our universe. “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return”(Gen 3:19). We notice this most not in the flower of youth, but as our bodies age and decay, aching to return to the ground from which they came. It is not a body that makes us distinct.
“And Jesus said to them, ‘Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days’”(Luke 5:34-35).
I read lots of religious and “Christian” literature. The unifying theme of most Christian books is the idea that things are not right and need to be changed. Books boast the secret of fulfillment, detail what’s wrong with the church, and promise never-before-discovered truths from the Bible. They prey on that unsettled feeling within us—that feeling that something is not quite as it should be.