Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Opportunity means a “favorable juncture of circumstances.” It is used five times in the King James Version in the New Testament, one of which is a parallel occurrence in the gospels. A consideration of these verses can be very thought-provoking.

First, in Matthew 26:16 (cf. Luke 22:6), Judas looked for an opportunity to betray the Lord. Do we look for opportunity to betray the Lord by our dress, our speech, or our conduct?

Second, in Galatians 6:10, they were to do good at every chance. How do we deal with our opportunities? Can you honestly say that you work hard at building up yourself and the Lord’s church?

Third, in Philippians 4:10, Paul understood that the Philippians would have helped him financially if they had the chance. Can people count on you? Are you available and ready to work?

Fourth, in Hebrews 11:15, the Old Testament worthies did not want to return to their past lives. They did not want an earthly homeland. Will we go back to our life of sin? The gospel demands a break with the past, so that sin can no longer reign in our mortal bodies.

What kind of opportunities will you follow? The need is great but there are not many laborers who are willing to use every opportunity!

Kyle Campbell

Monday, March 29, 2010

The call of God

In 2 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul wrote, “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The term “called” means “to urgently invite someone to accept responsibilities for a particular task, implying a new relationship to the one who does the calling.”

Sadly, there will be those who resist this call. In Acts 13:44-46, the Jews rejected the gospel. It is not that they could not obey, but they did not want to! It’s your choice so choose wisely! It’s not that refusing the gospel will be without consequences. Second Thessalonians 1:7 says the Lord will take vengeance on those who refuse to obey.

On the other hand, those who accept the gospel of Christ experience a change of relationship. Again, Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The term “new” expresses the idea of superiority over what is old. Romans 6:12 says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” People who are “new” in Christ through the calling of the gospel are now radically different than they were before. Let’s give diligence to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


“Steadfastness” means “firm, inner strength.” Colossians 1:21-24 says, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Colossians 2:5 describes the “stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”

God doesn’t want us going anywhere. He wants us to obey the gospel and then stay there. Christians are not to be wavering (Ephesians 4:14), but stand like the wise man on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25). The devil is going to do everything he can to turn you away from faithfulness (1 Peter 5:8), but by the strength of will you need to resist the various works of the flesh and determine to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).

Kyle Campbell

Monday, March 15, 2010

Faith and baptism

The person whom the Bible designates a believer is one who, having been persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, accepts Him in implicit trust as his Savior (John 20:31). He is not one who has merely assented to gospel truth or fact, but one who has believed with all the heart; a belief that involves every faculty of his intelligent being -- reason, sensibilities, and will (Romans 10:9-10). The noun pistis (faith) means confidence or trust. The verb pisteus (believe) means adherence to or reliance on. The nobleman’s belief with all his heart meant his reliance on what Phillip had preached unto him as essential elements of salvation. His faith in Jesus and his confession of that faith meant nothing less than his acceptance of all terms and conditions of salvation laid down in the preaching of Philip (Acts 8:12). And the conviction of those “pricked in their hearts” on Pentecost was a faith that yielded the willing spirit of obedience in the pleading question, “What shall we do” (Acts 2:37)? Such a faith implies and embraces all necessary conditions named in God’s law of pardon.


The commission according to Mark says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (16:16). This salvation is the forgiveness of past sins; pardon, the complete absolution of guilt; remission of sins. But this pardon is an executive act. It takes place in the mind of God in heaven; not in the heart of man on earth. The thing we know as inner consciousness cannot determine by inward feelings that pardon has been granted. Pardon can be known only as God declares it. The man in the penitentiary can know that he is pardoned only because the Governor declares it. No warden of such an institution would release an inmate on the ground of an inner consciousness that the Governor had pardoned him. Inner consciousness cannot testify to anything outside of the man himself; it cannot measure or weigh any outward thing. There must be a standard, and God has a law of forgiveness -- the sinner is not pardoned until he has complied with it.

By Faith

The issue is not whether one is saved or justified by faith -- to that we all agree. The issue is in the degree of faith when is one saved by faith. The Baptist order is repentance before faith, but they do not mean salvation by repentance before faith. The Bible order is faith before baptism -- why should a Baptist insist that salvation comes by faith before baptism seeing that they will disavow salvation by repentance before faith in their order of things. True faith comes before baptism, but one is not saved by faith before baptism any more than one would be saved by repentance before faith in the Baptist order of things. This one thing answers every argument that can be made by a Baptist against baptism on the ground that one is saved by faith and that faith precedes baptism. All passages that declare justification by faith and others of like import we accept and believe (Romans 5:1). But we deny that any of these passages teach or imply that one is saved by faith before he is baptized.

By Faith When

Hebrews 11 lists the men of faith in the former dispensation. By faith they were approved but faith plus what? By faith Abel offered his sacrifice and was justified by it. By faith Enoch moved in godly fear. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called. Try faith alone on any of these examples of justification by faith and see how it works. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect” (James 2:21-22).

In further proof that it requires an active faith to produce justification, there is a contrast between the priests and rulers who believed. In one case a great company of priests became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). In the other case many of the rulers believed but would not confess (John 12:42). Both of these companies of Jewish officials believed, but only one company was justified. It proves that faith only does not save, else both companies would have been saved seeing that they both believed. “Yes see, then, that by works a man is justified and not by faith only” (James 2:24).

Faith Plus

If a man exercises faith but his faith does not exercise him, either the subject has a poor faith or the faith has a poor subject. Some plain passages from the New Testament suggesting some pointed questions will serve to show that mere faith does not save.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). How does a believer exercise the power to become a child of God?

“And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number that believed turned unto the Lord” (Acts 11:21). What did these believers do when they turned unto the Lord?

“Repent ye, therefore, and turn again (be converted) that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). What did these penitent persons do when they turned?

Adapted from Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Smut for smut" campaign in Texas

The University of Texas at San Antonio is locked in a fierce debate after a group of students launched the “smut for smut” campaign, trading Bibles and other religious texts for porn for any student over the age of 18.

Leaders of this atheist campaign allege that porn is no worse than what’s written in religious texts. Sadly, a university spokesman says that this controversial cause is completely legal, though he admits a majority of the students on campus do not agree with it.

Pornography is sinful. Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). The vast majority of pornography is made for men, and is extremely degrading to women, turning them from the perfect helpmeet and companion as God made them to nothing more than an object for the base gratification of sexual desires.

Furthermore, placing the Bible on the same level as this unrighteous material is completely sacrilegious. The word of God is meant to be a “light” and a “lamp,” helping someone to build themselves up and receive an inheritance among the saints (Psalm 119:105; Acts 20:32). Pornography will always make men and women worse for viewing it, while the scriptures will make them better, pointing to a higher and holier standard of life. What a travesty it is to see “campaigns” like this one which advocates evil and turns people away from what is righteous.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, March 1, 2010

Archaeology: The “Place of Trumpeting” inscription

In 1969 excavations removing debris from the southwest corner of the retaining wall of the ancient temple in Jerusalem found a rectangular capstone from one of the temple towers.

The “place of trumpeting” on the stone refers to the place where the priests blew trumpets announcing the beginnings of holy festivals (cf. Psalm 81:3; Joel 2:15). This rare find brings to life the temple rituals of Jesus’ day.

Kyle Campbell