Category Archives: Bulletin Articles

Words of wisdom from our weekly bulletin

“Longsuffering”

It may not take a village to raise a child, but it certainly helps when one’s neighbors are longsuffering.  With 4 active, curious and mischievous boys to deal with, our neighbors were truly patient and tolerant.  We thought little of cutting across their property to save a few steps or riding bikes in their driveways.  The man next door, Bill, was amazingly kind to us even though he was slowly losing his legs to diabetes.  He could have been a surly grouch, but he was just the opposite.  I am so sorry I never thanked them for their support.

Several verses in the Old Testament describe the Lord God as longsuffering (KJV) although other versions may use the term, “slow to anger” (NIV) (NAS) (Ex 34:6) (Nu 14:18) (Ps 86:15).  In the New Testament we are given the reasons for His patient endurance (longsuffering).  God’s kindness is to, “lead you to repentance” (Ro 2:4) (Ro 9:22).

Longsuffering is one of the Christian virtues mentioned by the Apostle Paul as fruit of the Spirit, and something for which we should strive (Gal 5:22) (Eph 4:2) (Col 1:11).  Jesus set forth a pattern of longsuffering for future believers (1 Tim 1:16).  Paul took on that challenge and charged Timothy to adopt it in his preaching (1 Tim 1:16) (2 Tim 4:2).

The Apostle Peter talks about the longsuffering of God so that people might repent during Noah’s preparation of the ark (1 Pe 3:20).  He also tells us that the Lord is still longsuffering with us today in hopes that no one will perish but come to repentance before the day of the Lord comes and the earth is burned up (2 Pe 3:9-12).  He explains that the longsuffering of the Lord is for salvation (2 Pe 3:15).  If then the Lord God is so kind, tolerant, patient and longsuffering towards mankind, (Jo 3:16) shouldn’t our attitude and conduct be the same towards all people? 

                                                                      –Jim Bailey

“Club Sub”

Suppose your good friend owned a Sub Sandwich Shop and offered you a free Club sandwich.  All you needed to do was show up hungry and it would already be made for you.  But suppose you decided to make your own Club Sub and went behind the counter and began making your own version of it.  Or perhaps you decided you didn’t need the bread and preferred to just hold the other ingredients in your hands.  Your friend would probably be amazed and somewhat offended.  You would hold several of the parts but still not have a real Club Sub.  If indeed you accepted the free, complete Club Sub, would you put it on display at home and never eat it so that it could nourish your body?  If your generous friend offered to also give a free Club Sub to any of your friends and family, would you bring them by for such a great deal?

Which of the following things save one’s soul?  GRACE (Eph 2:28) BELIEF (Mk 16:16) REPENTANCE (Lk 13:3) CONFESSION (Rom 10:10) FAITH (Lk 7:50) GOSPEL (1 Cor 15:2) IMMERSION (1 Pe 3:21) PERSEVERANCE (Mk 13:13)?  The answer, of course, is all of them are required to make a spiritual Club Sub.  Salvation is a free gift from our Heavenly Father that one must accept without adding or subtracting any of the commands.  If we were to try to enter God’s throne room and make our own version of salvation, He would certainly be offended.  We cannot earn salvation nor change the parts He has designed.  Nor can we omit any ingredient by claiming it is, “trying to earn salvation by works.”  Immersion (baptism) is somewhat like the bread on the physical Club Sub, it is commanded by God to hold everything else together.  It is for clothing oneself with Christ, (Gal 3:27) for burying one’s old sinful self and being baptized into Christ Jesus, (Rom 6:3-7) and for forgiveness of sins and receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).  It is not a work that we do, rather something that is done to us and for us by others.

Now the work part begins. (Eph 2:10) (Eph 4:12) (1 Cor 3:9) (Php 2:12-13) Not meritorious works, but works of gratitude and service.  Instead of putting one’s salvation on display, Christians are to bring in friends and family for their free Club Sub (salvation).

                                                                       –Jim Bailey