EXPLANATION – …Question/Reply: Church Offerings

EXPLANATION – …Question/Reply: Church Offerings


With reference to the question of church support by financial offerings, please check I Corinthians 16. You will note that needs were to be met. There is a great expression of joy for such offerings in 2 Corinthians 9 due to the abundant supplies which were given by the brethren.

With reference to the violent death of Matthew Winkler in Selmer, TN, which has continued to be analyzed by the television media, we have to await as everyone else the motive of such a violent act. 2 questions have come to us that are in the area of biblical studies. We are grateful for your questions. 1)Is the church a cult? Absolutely no! Churches of Christ simply seek to practice religious activities presented in the New Testament. We sing and pray (I Corinthians 14:15), study God’s Word together (I Corinthians 14:22ff), memorialize the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:20ff) and give into a common treasury of our week’s prosperity (I Corinthians 16:1-2) as did the first century church. The honor of Jesus as God’s only begotten Son who came to redeem us and purchase the church is the teaching of the Bible (Acts 20:28; Romans 16:16). 2) How do you feel about the situation? Of course, be loving to any person, but regret the sinful conduct of anyone (Romans 13:7-12). This means a love for Mary, but a heavy regret for the violent act which brought about the death of Matthew at age 31. And, our love for the children left and all family members.

With reference to the idea of the Holy Spirit baptism placing a sinner who believes into the Body of Christ, what scripture teaches this? The Holy Spirit baptism was predicted by Jesus and is a promise to his disciples (Acts 1:8-18 and Acts 2:1-4). Further, water baptism is a command to be obeyed for remission of sins (Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 10:48 and Acts 2:38). Surely, there is a spiritual side to baptism (I Peter 3:21). It is more than ‘washing the flesh’. The spiritual side of God’s forgiveness by contacting the blood of Christ (Romans 6:1-8 and Ephesians 1:7-8) should not confused with the promise of the powers associated with Holy Spirit baptism. If a preacher were to conclude that at the point of faith, the cleansing by Holy Spirit baptism occurs, he would have many conflicts as he looks to the examples in Acts of the Apostles (2, 8, 9, 10, 18 and 19 and 22). It’s not there, is it? Because of the powers the apostles could teach the message of faith, repentance, confession and baptism and faithful living and worship (Acts 2, 8, 17:30-31 and 22:16; as well as Acts 20:7). Check this out and let me know what you think, please.
With reference to Hebrews 10:25, the ‘day approaching’ I’ve heard this explained as the day of judgment as well as the day of gathering for worship. The context is one of encouragement, in fact, the encouragement of one another. What difference does it make whether we encourage someone to be ‘faithful and ready’ when the day of worship comes or when the ‘uncertain’ day of judgment occurs? We should encourage one another to be faithful and ready for either occasion. The context is one of assembly which may well have been the upcoming assemblies for worship, but even this is view of the judgment day. Thank you for your question for this Explanation Page.
Study of happiness:
Yes, happiness is a byproduct of activity with God’s will. Check Proverbs 3:13 (wisdom and understanding causes happiness–especially, when working with electricity(rdr); Proverbs 14:21 (having mercy upon those less fortunate than self brings happiness–reaching out to others and helping them (rdr); Proverbs 29:18 (keeping the law of God and having ‘vision’ will bring happiness–keeping away from dangers and changing a course of life to a safer course will bring much happiness (rdr). Thank you for the question. These verses in the Old Testament book of Proverbs are in the same context. This is the reason I have stayed with the same book. You will see in your center column reference Bibles some verses that are parallel in New Testament books. Enjoy the same truth from those verses in your reference Bibles.

Study of Soul and Spirit:
Yes, there are several places wherein a distinction is made of the soul and spirit. The Word is sharper than a two edged sword dividing soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Whereas the word spirit generally denotes the inner person (John 4:24..God is a spirit) unseen by man, the word soul is sometimes used of simply the outward body of man or animal (Psalms ). There are many other places wherein soul and spirit are used interchangeable for the inner person (Psalms 19:7 Word is perfect, converting the soul; Hebrews 10:39 Faithfu to the saving of the soul; Matthew 10:28 Fear Him able to destroy soul and body in Hell). These verses obviously refer to the inner, spiritual person. The word for spirit is used to refer to the inner person most all of the time (Mark 14:38 spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; Romans 8:16 His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God) Again, obviously the spiritual, responsible person to God. 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 sums up the idea of responsibility without the use of either word (We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done in the body according to that we have done, whether they be good or evil; knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men). Spirit or Soul is all over this passage, but the word is not used. So, the difference seems to be the ‘sometimes useage’ of soul to refer to the outward man (Genesis 2:7 breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul (a living being). //From whom does the spirit come? From God (Hebrews 12:9…We all have fathers of the flesh; God the Father of our spirit; have respect that we may live (spiritually with God ). This is a passage which answers the fulness of the question. A passage in the Old Testament (Zechariah 12:1) praises God who placed the ‘spirit of man within him’. The spiritual soul, spirit, is from God. // From whence comes the evil ? From mankind’s choice to sin (1 Peter 2:25 we all like sheep going astray). Mankind is in need of redemption (buying back) by the Lord’s blood (Ephesians 1:7). Thanks for your e-mail.
Some of the finest verses in the New Testament dealing with Hope are Romans 5:2-5. The description of the process which involves faith, experience, tribulation, patience and hope is given. Enjoy. Thanks for your question.


Yes, personal work in a one to one basis is a part of the work of Christ. Paul is an example of this part of ministry as well as public proclamation. Read in Acts 20:19-20, “Serving the Lord with humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: (20) And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house”. Note in answer to your question, the ‘house to house’ part of verse 20. And, yes, we’d like to help you prepare this part of ministry. First, take a look down the navigator column to the Teaching Phase and Personal Workers Phase as well as the Three Lessons on each of the 8 Phases of study. Be in touch when you are slowed down in the studies, please. We’re as close as the Guestbook.

It is now argued that Romans 6:1-8 is speaking of spiritual baptism, not water baptism. The conclusion being that being baptized in water is not a necessary thing. Although, I disagree (the context is one of cleansing of sin, not the revelation of or miraculous work of the Holy Ghost), it still does no one of the ‘salvation by faith only and grace only’ persuasion any good. For you see, the baptism (whatever it may be) is still additional to one’s faith. The ‘faith only’ position is not helped by insisting Romans 6 is spiritual baptism. If ‘faith and spiritual baptism’ are both necessary, then more than ‘faith only’ is necessary. Why not accept the description given in Acts 8 and Acts 10 of the place of water in the act of faith-filled obedience to Christ?


When the subject of salvation from sin’s penalty is discussed, have you considered the examples in the book of Acts of the Apostles? Listed in chapters 2, 8, 9, 10, 16, 18, 19 and 22 are detailed examples of Jews and Gentiles responding to the Lord. These examples often conflict with teachers who insist that special prayers were said for salvation or certain feelings assured a person of salvation. The full understanding can be enjoyed from the detailed examples of saving faith–faith in action if easily seen. Check these out, please, and practice the same obedience of faith, please.
Biblical discussions have often been characterized as ‘separating friends and ‘red faces’. Is there a way to
extend biblical discussions? Jesus did with the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19). He asked questions to focus the major point of discussion and prolonged the discussion till finally the ruler left sorrowful. Yet, Jesus extended the discussion. Instead of saying to the ruler, “God isn’t really your God. You trust in your power, prestige and moneys more so than God”, Jesus talked about the details of the Mosaic Law: The last six (man’s relationship to man) and he summed up the first four of the ten commandments (man’s relationship to God) with the request ‘Sale what you have and give to the power. Thou shalt have treasure in Heaven. Come and follow me.// Similarly the servant prolonged the discussion with Naaman, the Syrian (2 Kings 5) by allowing him to calm down before asking him about the prophet’s orders. We, too, can possibly extend the discussions.

My study of the New Testament book of Romans has been a study of over thirty years. Now, that doesn’t mean anything wherein it comes to authority of the rightness of ideas, but it does mean that some time and thought has been given to the book of Romans. With that said, let me introduce to you an idea which I believe will clear up and straigthen out errors created by many other systems of
approach as well as help the understanding of truth as it is written in the book.

The book Paul, directed by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:5ff), wrote deals with many big topics:
Gospel, Law, Faith, Grace, Redemption, Flesh, Hope, Sin, Justification, Sanctification ,Holiness, Holy
Spirit, Living Sacrifice. In my study of many other commentaries, the approach has been to accept
the ‘initial’ meaning of the word. Thus, the false conclusions of salvation by faith ONLY, sins of the
FLESHLY members of the human body ONLY, etc., etc.

However, if one approaches the book with the idea that not only is the initial meaning of the word but in addition to the initial meaning that a system of FAITH is being discussed, a SYSTEM of FLESH is being discussed (which is the Old Testament Law of Moses), a system of LAW, a system of JUSTIFICATION, etc., etc. the truth becomes clear and within harmony of the examples of conversion in the book of Acts of the Apostles. Otherwise, if one approaches the word ‘flesh’ as events of sin in the human’s lifestyle, then how can Romans 8:7-9 ” Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that
are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, (KJV) , “7. because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: 8 and they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,(ASV) then it forces all of us to not be able to please God! We are in the flesh. But, verse 9 indicates we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.

This is wherein I see we can all come to a true understanding of the book of Romans. You see, we are not in the flesh SYSTEM of the Law of Moses or the system of the law of Sin, we are in the system of the Spirit (the New Testament Plan of Salvation in Christ’s blood) as verse 9 indicates. Even in the NIV, verse 9 indicates this truth and actually conflicts with the earlier chose of words in
verses 7 and 8 which seem to indicate man can never come to please God in flesh. Notice verse 9 first: ” You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you (NIV). Now, I resist the word ‘flesh’ in this verse should be translated ‘sinful nature’ due to the fact that I understand sinful nature to be a doctrine of sin attached at the birth of an infant. I believe the word ‘sarte’ would be better translated the simple ‘flesh’ which it means rather than translate it
in favor of a false doctrine. However, you will notice the idea of the SYSTEM of the Spirit of God who lives in you is pointing out the system of things involved not just the one time event or repetitious events of fleshly deeds of sin. In the NIV, it seems they make it impossible for a person to come to the Lord to have the Spirit of God living within. Note verses 7 and 8: ” 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (NIV). How are they ever going to ‘get out’ of the control of the flesh (fleshly system of the Law of Moses or Law of Sin)?? Of course, when they obey the Gospel of Christ (become married to Christ, chapter 7 of Romans) and , thus, leave the fleshly system of the past! But, if one understood ‘flesh’ or ‘sinful nature'(NIV) to be the activities of sin and sins alone, one could never come out. For who is without sin?? However, if we choose to leave the SYSTEM of the flesh (Old Law or Sinful Deeds) we will overthrow ‘through the power of the Gospel (1:16) and the blood of Christ (5:1-7)’ the hostile spirit toward God’s New Testament System of Justification in Christ!

You will find this fuller application with each of those big words in Romans. You see, it is the System of Domination of sin being discussed in Romans 6, otherwise, the daily sins of our lives cancel out the meaning of Paul’s words, “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein!”

s/ Robert D Rawson, Box 349 , Batesville, MS 38606. You may go to the website
and look on the Explanation Page for answers to any follow up questiions
I will copy this material to the website page and make it easier or you to refer to it and use the ‘Guestbook’ for any additional questions. I will answer on the
Explanation Page, Lord willing. Thanks for your good study. God bless you and Happy New Year!

Review Questions Romans
Remember the word plus ‘System of ‘ in each context….
Chapter 1
1.In what way was Paul debtor to both Greek and Barbarian? 2. What is God’s power to save (v. 16)?
Chapter 2
1.To whom is Paul speaking in 2:17? 2. What ws the failure of the Jews regarding the law? (v.23)
Chapter 3
1. Who are the unfaithful ones (v.3)? 2. What is the teaching of v.25?
Chapter 4
1. How might Abraham have boasted (v.2)? 2. What is meaning of v. 24?
Chapter 5
1. What is the meaning of peace v. 1? 2. What is meaning of ‘much more now’ v. 10?
Chapter 6
1. When was their new life begun v. 3-4? 2. Whose servant should they be v. 17?
Chapter 7
1. Unto what was the law originally ordained v. 10? 2. Why is the illustration of marriage used v.1-4?
Chapter 8
1. Explain ‘give life’ v. 1? 2. What is ‘glory’ v. 18?
Chapter 9
1. What is the idea in v. 4-5? 2. Who are the remnant v.27?
Chapter 10
1. Why were these ignorant v. 1-3? 2. What is the connection between ‘first principles’ and v. 10?
Chapter 11
1. How were they hardened v.7-10? 2. Why the grafting
v. 17?
Chapter 12
1. Wht is the difference between ‘conform’ and ‘transform’ v. 1-3? 2. How can a Christian live in peace with others v. 18-19?
Chapter 13
1. What is the Christian’s relationship to higher powers v 1-10? 2. Why must we always love one another ?
Chapter 14
1. Why is anyone called ‘weak’ in faith? 2. What is the future for brethren in faith ?
Chapter 15
1. What is the point regarding the Gentiles v. 9-12? 2. Why is the prayer of fv. 13 offered?
Chapter 16
1. Was Phoebe a helper at Cenchrea only? 2. Who is the ‘churches of Christ’ of v. 16?

By remembering ‘System of ‘ in relation to the big subjects of the book of Romans, we will be free from the mistaken conclusions that ‘Faith only (5:1) justifies us’ rather it is the ‘System of Faith’ which justifies us and delivers us from the ‘System of Sin’s domination’ (6:1-17) when we have ‘Obeyed that FORM of doctrine (Sytem of doctrine) which was delivered us’ (6:17), etc., etc.