The Best Of Bulletins
Note: This month we have two short but significant articles. BGE
Restoring The Weak
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself" (Gal. 6:1-3).
If it were possible to restore all of our brothers and sisters who have allowed sin to overcome them, seating would become a big problem in most of our meeting places. But why? Why are we failing so miserably in the number we try to restore? I confess that I do not have all the answers to this and many other problems that are apparent in dealing with backsliders. I know that some are so entangled and in love with sin that they do not want to be restored. However, this is not always the case. The need to "restore" and the command to "restore" is recognized by just about all members of the church, but I am made to wonder if we are taking into consideration all that is said to those who are prone to work to restore the weak brother.
Those qualified to "restore such an one" are those who are "spiritual." In this instance, those who are spiritual are required to have a mind of "meekness" and recognition that I am not above temptation and if my temptation overcomes me I am in no better position that the one I am attempting to restore. I also need to be willing to "bear one another's burdens." To work to restore the fallen brother, to work in helping him to remain faithful by exerting myself to helping minimize the burdens that have contributed to his unfaithfulness.
Brethren, we cannot help others, until we have helped ourselves. We cannot restore weak brethren, until we have grown strong. On one occasion Jesus told the people; "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matt. 7:3). How many of our brethren have we failed to restore? And was it because we did not try, or because we deceived ourselves?
- Paul M. Caldwell, Sr. Belmont Bible Banner Indianapolis, Indiana
Famous Lost Words
By inserting the word "lost" for "last" in the phrase, "Famous Last Words," we arrive at an interesting thought. There are some words that are lost in the vocabulary of modern man. As we look at some of these, we need to be thinking seriously about the effect this has on those around us, and the world in general. If each one would concentrate on incorporating these words, or finding these words, and using them in his vocabulary, the world surely would be a better place in which to live. Now, let us look at some lost words:
1. "I'm WRONG." The word wrong is not lost, but the pronoun usually connected with it is YOU. It's never me, always you. Some are just like the fellow that allegedly said: "Don't confuse me with the facts, I've already made up my mind." This lost phrase takes very little time to say, but at the same time it takes a great deal of courage. However, many have too much pride to use these words in their vocabulary. Therefore, to them they are lost words. In Romans 3:4 the apostle Paul says: "...yea, let God be true, but every man a liar." When we study the words of God, this must be in our minds. We don't study God's word to prove our opinions, but rather to understand HIS holy and matchless truths. Much of the problem is related to pride, in that we are afraid someone else might show us, from the Word of God, the truth concerning our belief. We look upon this as man vrs. man. But, in reality it is God speaking to man through His word. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (I Pet. 4:11). When we can plainly see that our position disagrees with the word of God, why can't we use the phrase "I'm wrong?" Why do we consider it a shame to be wrong? The wise man Solomon declared: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18). The word of God is profitable for reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. When one disagrees with the word of God, then he must say, "I'm wrong." We need to give up some of our pride, lest it lead us to eternal torment and pain in the depths of a fiery hell. Let us remember, God is giving the correction through HIS WORD, and not one man to another.
2. "I'm sorry." This is closely connected with the last phrase. We no longer hear apologies, at least not very often. Again I am firmly convinced that part of the problem is pride. Paul tells us, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think..." (Rom. 12:3). Don't we pray to God for forgiveness of our sins and wrong doings?" Aren't we saying "I repent;" "I'm sorry?" We admit to God that we are sorry for being weak, and for often failing our duty. We realize our weakness before God, and we are not ashamed to admit it. Bui, because of our pride, we won't admit our faults before others, yet it is even worse not to admit it and say that you are sorry. It would be a sorrowful thing, if the omission of the words, "I'm sorry" caused one to miss eternal life.
Each one needs to examine himself and see if these are lost words in his vocabulary. If so, it is time for some soul-searching and honest meditation. No one can be right all the time, and no man can live completely free of apologies. If you think you can, then you are already in deep and serious trouble.
-- Dennis L. Shaver THE INSTRUCTOR Rochelle, Illinois