Editorial

And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. — Luke 22:62

While Jesus was being tried, Peter, who had followed afar off, denied the Lord three times. Afterward, Peter went outside and wept bitterly. His heart was broken, and he sorrowed deeply for denying his Lord and Savior. The beauty of this incident is that the story was not over. After Jesus rose from the dead, He especially wanted Peter to get the news that He was alive. While Peter had denied the Lord, God had accepted his repentant spirit, and Peter would have another opportunity to serve Jesus. Glory to God!Read more

Editorial

And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.  But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. —Mark 4:33-34

The Gospel Truth this quarter highlights the parables of Jesus. Parables were an important part of the teachings of Christ, and they should be a valuable resource for teaching today. Parables illustrate truth in ways that a list of facts can never do.  While Christ’s teachings were not pretentious, He spoke to the heart of issues in relative simplicity.  Bible scholars and theologians quibble at times over the definition of a parable and what makes something a parable versus an illustrative story. A true parable is a story with a hidden truth containing a comparison of a natural occurrence with a spiritual lesson.

My burden is to encourage people to study the parables and to immerse themselves in the wonderful teaching illustrations of Christ. Everyone learns differently, and Christ obviously thought it important enough to reach people with stories and examples that the truth might be understood.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of conducting a ministers’ meeting over a number of days with a group in Africa. On many past occasions we had teaching sessions and doctrinal studies together. I felt the need for something different. God inspired me with the power of the parables. My eyes were opened to the wonderful truths that are contained in the parables of Christ. For days, the ministers studied the parables and shared the lessons together. I was so blessed to be able to give pertinent lessons after each presentation that dealt with a wide array of subjects: prayer, forgiveness, salvation, the love of God, the judgment, sin, the Kingdom of God, mercy, eternity, heaven, hell, evangelism, and the list goes on. There is much doctrine and truth contained in these stories, and they engage people in a way that lecture-style teaching cannot.

I pray that God will inspire you to read the parables and discover the wealth and power contained therein.

Michael W. Smith

July 2021

The Lord Shall Be a Light Unto Me

When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. —Micah 7:8
Jesus Christ came to this world because of the Father’s great love. He experienced the pain, sorrow, and suffering of humanity to enable Him to intercede for us with compassion and understanding. In a time of great spiritual darkness, Jesus Christ came to lift up the fallen and bring light to the darkened soul.

After deliverance from sin through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, one must still face the battles and trials of this world. The enemy of our soul is doing all He can to destroy hope and bring despair. We must hold on for dear life to the promises of God and cling to the cross, for therein is light and life.Read more

Walk in the Light

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. —Isaiah 2:5

As the world grows darker and darker in sin, the distinction between society and God’s people should grow greater and greater. The light of truth from God’s people will shine brighter and brighter as wickedness abounds. As the prophet Isaiah entreated God’s people of old, I entreat you: “Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.”

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Editorial

“Those who are deacons of the mysteries of Jesus Christ must please all men in all ways. For they are not deacons of meats and drinks [only] but servants of the church of God” (Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, 2nd century).

The topic this quarter is about the office of deacons. It is a very important subject, and I am convinced that if it were understood and taken more seriously, the gospel work would operate much more smoothly and congregations would be in better condition. It was not until I was in the middle of research and study that I concluded it is a difficult subject. Shortly thereafter, I was reading in The Apostolic Church and found where C. E. Brown came to the same conclusion: “The study of the office of the deacon is perhaps the most difficult of any phase of the constitution of the early church.”

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