We hope you can make plans to attend the upcoming lectureship where you will be edified through the preaching of God’s Word.
We hope you can make plans to attend the upcoming lectureship where you will be edified through the preaching of God’s Word.
The Importance of Sound Doctrine
WHAT is sound doctrine? This phrase comes from the Greek words, ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ, HUGIAINOUSE DIDASKALIA. The basic meaning is doctrine which is right, correct, sound, and without any error or perversion. This is the kind of doctrine that Paul wanted Titus to speak continually, since the verb “speak” is found in the present tense and imperative mood. This means a continuous action and a command to obey. Now we ask the question: Why is sound doctrine so important? Why should you and I emphasize sound doctrine in our preaching and lives? Let us examine the following reasons why:
Sound doctrine is important because it comes from God. Yes, my brethren, sound doctrine only comes from God, since it is inspired of Him. The Apostle Paul wrote the following concerning the inspiration of the Scriptures, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Sound doctrine is important because it is inspired of God, since holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, we, as faithful Christians, must respect the doctrine of Christ at all times.
Sound doctrine is important because God expects us to proclaim it. The Apostle Paul commanded Titus to speak those things which were proper to sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). Even the young evangelist Timothy was commanded to uphold the patter of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13). Sadly, there are many who are showing no respect for the authority of sound doctrine, and refuse to proclaim it just the way we find it in the Scriptures. As faithful children of God, we must take heed to the command to emphasize sound doctrine in our lives and in our teaching and preaching of God’s Word.
Sound doctrine is important because it can help us grow spiritually. False doctrine cannot help us in any way to grow spiritually. The only Word that can help us grow the way God wants us to grow is His Word. God’s Holy Word is able to make us wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15; cf. 1 Peter 2:1-2), and is able to build us up (Acts 20:32).This is why the Apostle Peter exhorts us to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word (2 Peter 3:18). May the Lord give us the wisdom to always uphold sound doctrine in our lives.
Sound doctrine is important because it can help us to refute error. Yes, my brethren, sound doctrine can help us to refute the error of false doctrines that are being promoted in our days. Sound doctrine can help us to know that baptism is essential to salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38). It can help us to know that there is only one true Church of Christ (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; Ephesians 4:4). It can help us to know that salvation can be lost (Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Revelation 2:10). The more we study sound doctrine, the better off we will be regarding defending the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 1:3; Jude 3).
Sound doctrine is important because not to obey it will bring terrible consequences. A careful study of the Bible reveals that not to obey the doctrine of Christ will result in divine punishment from God. The Apostle John wrote in 2 John 9-11 that those who do not keep the doctrine of Christ will not have God nor Jesus on their side. If you do not have the Father nor the Son in your side, then you cannot be saved. Those false teachers in the context of 2 John were denying the incarnation of Jesus Christ (v. 7). Anyone who perverts the doctrine of Christ will not spend eternity in heaven! Therefore, sound doctrine is important!
Sound doctrine is important because it can help people know the right way to make it to heaven. False doctrine cannot teach a person the right way to make it to heaven. Only sound doctrine can accomplish such a task. The wrong address will not guide you to the right destiny! Any honest person who studies the New Testament will learn what he or she must do in order to be in a saved condition in the sight of God. The Bible teaches that an honest person will be able to discern the right doctrine (John 7:17). The plan of salvation according to the New Testament is for a person to hear the gospel (Rom. 10:17), believe in the gospel (Mark 16:16), repent of his or her sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as the Son of God (Rom. 10:9-10), be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16), and live a faithful life in Christ (Rev. 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Philippians 2:12). False doctrine only teaches error regarding salvation. We must uphold sound doctrine because this doctrine is the only one that can show people the right way into heaven. May the Lord help us to always uphold sound doctrine in our lives!
Willie A. Alvarenga
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
(817) 681 4543
This is a lesson presented at the University Church of Christ in Tyler, TX during their 2017 Summer Series. I pray that this lesson may be a great source of encouragement for all of us. Thank you for taking the time to consider the material presented. Please feel free to use this outline.
Willie A. Alvarenga, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brown Trail School of Preaching
Dear Elders/ Brethren:
We trust that the work of the Lord is going well with the good congregation there. There is so much to do, and so few to do it (Luke 10:2).
In the year of 2015 we appealed urgently to the brotherhood for financial assistance. The reason for our request was due to a high deficit that we were accruing monthly. With the increase in the cost of living and congregations and individuals having to stop their support or decrease the amount donated, our funds began to diminish rapidly. Due to the diligent efforts of the brethren working with the school, we had a surplus that we were able to survive on for a time, but we knew that these funds would soon deplete. Therefore we appealed to you.
During that time we were greatly encouraged because many of you responded hastily, and for that we again say thank you. However we humbly plea to you all again.
Though many of you made sacrifices in order to assist us, some very generous, we still did not meet the requested need. Our request was to get 150 congregations or individuals to commit to $100 a month, and that goal was not achieved. Of the requested amount, we were able to get about half to commit. So we have found ourselves in this position once again, needing our beloved brethren’s assistance. We do hope to fulfill this goal with your assistance. Though this is what we hope to accomplish, any amount will be appreciated.
We hope and pray that our plea is given prayerful and careful consideration. If you would like to speak with someone personally regarding our need, you can speak with me (Dean of Students), Robert Stapleton(Director), Willie Alvarenga (Director of the Spanish Department) or Jesse Martinez (Spanish Instructor) at 817-268-3222.
Tavaris Armstrong, Dean of Students/Field Representative
THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH by Willie A. Alvarenga
TEXT: Acts 2
In Acts 2, at the beginning of the church we see…
A GREAT MULTITUDE PRESENT (2:1-12).
In Acts the second chapter, we also see…
A GREAT FULFILLMENT OF BIBLE PROPHECIES (2:14-35).
In the second chapter of the Book of Acts we also see…
A GREAT PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL (2:22-40).
After the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, we also see…
A GREAT MANIFESTATION OF AN OBEDIENT FAITH (2:36-41).
We also learn about…
A GREAT ESTABLISHMENT OF A DIVINE INSTITUTION: THE CHURCH/KINGDOM (2:47).
A GREAT MANIFESTATION OF CHRISTIAN FAITHFULNESS (2:42-47).
Willie A. Alvarenga. P.O. Box 210667, Bedford, TX 76095. email@example.com
 Orin Root & John W. Wade. Standard Bible Commentary on the Book of Acts (Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 1965), p. 17.
GOD STILL CARES ABOUT HIS CHURCH by Willie A. Alvarenga
Text: Matthew 16:18
Let us first of all, examine some great lessons about the New Testament church
SOME GREAT LESSONS ABOUT THE LORD’S CHURCH.
Let us also consider the way God has taken care of the church in times past!
GOD HAS TAKEN CARE OF THE CHURCH IN THE PAST.
Through the Holy Scriptures we can also observe how God is taking care of the church, even in our present age!
GOD IS STILL TAKING CARE OF THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT.
What a great encouragement it is to know that God will take care of the church, even in the future!
GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE CHURCH IN THE FUTURE.
Having considered four points that deal with the way how God has taking care of the church in the past, present and future, let us now briefly examine the way how a person can become a member of this great church!
HOW TO BE A MEMBER OF THE LORD’S CHURCH.
Willie A. Alvarenga
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
(817) 681 4543; 268 3222
Blessed Are They that Memorize the Word of God by Willie A. Alvarenga
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will always be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15).
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will not walk in darkness (Psalm 19:8; 119:105).
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will overcome temptation (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:17).
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will be a happy people (Jeremiah 15:16; Psalm 19:8).
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will grow in the knowledge of God’s will (2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will keep the commandments of God (Psalm 119:2; John 14:15).
Blessed are they that memorize the Word of God: for they will be an intelligent people (Ephesians 5:17; Psalm 119:104, 130).
“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6, ASV 1901)
Willie A. Alvarenga
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
(817) 268 3222; 681 4543
The Christian’s Response to Slander by Willie A. Alvarenga
“Having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.” –1 Peter 3:16
In the passage of 1 Peter 3:16 Peter speaks about the reality of Christians suffering for their good manner of life in Christ. This is emphasized not only in this passage, but also throughout the entire letter of first Peter. In this brief study, it is my desire to provide several principles that will help us tremendously to have a proper response to slander. I will, therefore, briefly analyze the word slander and then practical principles on how to respond to it will be provided. As we examine this brief study, let us keep in mind the words of James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves.” Remember that the only way to benefit greatly from God’s Word is to put it to practice in our daily lives (Luke 11:28).
DEFINITION OF TERMS
The word “slander” comes from the Greek word epereazo which has several meanings: to insult, to treat abusively, to use despitefully, to revile, in a forensic sense, to accuse falsely, to threaten (Thayer, 1908). The Strong concordance defines this word as to insult, to use despitefully, and to falsely accuse. The words “falsely accuse” are very strong in the Greek, namely, “to spitefully abuse, to insult, to traduce.” This particular Greek word only appears three times in the New Testament (e.g. Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28; 1 Peter 3:16). Let us read these Bible references where the word appears. I will cite the King James Version:
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44, emphasis added)
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you (Luke 6:28, emphasis added).
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ (1 Peter 3:16).
Other translations of the Bible use words such as revile (ASV, NKJV, ESV), falsely accuse (KJV), slander (NIV).
THE GREEK GRAMMAR
The grammar of this verb is found in the present, active participle, which denotes a continuous action. These Christians were being slandered, and falsely accused continually by their adversaries.
HOW TO SHOULD CHRISTIANS RESPOND TO SLANDER
How can faithful Christians respond when they are being slandered all the time? Does the Bible provide any helpful assistance on what we can do? Let me suggest that you prayerfully consider the following ways on how you and I can respond when we are falsely accused.
Keep in Mind that Faithful Christians Will Suffer
The Apostle Peter in this first letter emphasizes the truth that faithful Christian will suffer in this world considerably. If we study this first letter carefully, we will arrive at the conclusion that the central theme of this letter is suffering which faithful Christians will experience, and how they should respond to it.
There is no doubt that all faithful Christians around the world will experience suffering during our time on earth. The Apostle Peter tells Christians that Satan walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). This enemy of ours will try his best to discourage us from living the Christian life, and from entering heaven someday. Remember that he will hinder our way to heaven (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:18).
The Apostle Paul also warned Christians that if they lived a faithful life in Christ, they were going to suffer tribulations (2 Timothy 3:12; cf. Philippians 1:29; Acts 14:22; James 1:2). Jesus also warned His disciples about the reality of suffering for His cause (John 16:33). Most of us have experienced difficult times just for trying to live a faithful life in Christ. Personally, several false teachers with regards to the doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage have falsely accused me of teaching false doctrine. These people argue in this way because I do not teach what they believe. The Brown Trail School of Preaching has been falsely accused of using instrumental music in our building. I, also, was falsely accused of having divorced my wife; something obviously not true!
It is imperative that we as Christians continue steadfast in the Lord so that we may not cast away our boldness, which hath great recompense of reward (Hebrews 10:35). We need to keep in mind that a Crown of life awaits those who remain faithful to the Lord, even in the midst of trials (cf. James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Follow the Advises the Inspired Apostle Peter Provided
In his first letter, the Apostle Peter provides several advices that can help us to have a positive response when we are being slandered. Therefore, I will allow Peter to instruct us on how we can respond to slander. Once again, let me encourage you to please consider each of these advices:
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (Emphasis added).
6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials, 7that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14As children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance: 15but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; 16because it is written, ye shall be holy; for I am holy.
Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation.
11Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 15For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
20For what glory is it, if, when ye sin, and are buffeted for it, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye shall take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
8Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humbleminded: 9not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile: 11And let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil. 13And who is he that will harm you, if ye be zealous of that which is good?
16having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.
12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: 13but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. 14If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are ye; because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you.
15For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men’s matters: 16but if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.
19Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator.
8Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, 9whom withstand stedfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.
10And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. 11To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
EXAMPLES OF THOSE IN THE BIBLE WHO WERE SLANDERED AND HOW THEY RESPONDED TO IT
The Bible provides several examples of faithful people of God who were accused falsely. Let us consider only three examples. At the same time, let us carefully consider how they responded to those who slandered them.
Joseph (Genesis 39:1-40).
Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of sexually harassing her. Let us read the entire story to see how things happened:
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites, that had brought him down thither. 2And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3And his master saw that Jehovah was with him, and that Jehovah made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4And Joseph found favor in his sight, and he ministered unto him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5And it came to pass from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that Jehovah blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of Jehovah was upon all that he had, in the house and in the field. 6And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not aught that was with him, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was comely, and well-favored.
7And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master knoweth not what is with me in the house, and he hath put all that he hath into my hand: 9he is not greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 11And it came to pass about this time, that he went into the house to do his work; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 12And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
Joseph is Falsely Accused
13And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 14that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us: he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: 15and it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled, and got him out. 16And she laid up his garment by her, until his master came home. 17And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, whom thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: 18and it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled out.
Joseph is Punished Unjustly
19And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. 20And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. 21But Jehovah was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 23The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand, because Jehovah was with him; and that which he did, Jehovah made it prosper. 
Throughout the development of this story we see how Joseph remained faithful to his God. This faithfulness brought him suffering since Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of trying to force her to have sexual activity with her. It is interesting to see how God will always bless His people when they diligently strive to serve Him faithfully. Notice what the text reveals concerning God’s mercy towards the faithful Joseph: “But Jehovah was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Genesis 39:21). People may accuse us falsely, but God will always be there for us (cf. Hebrews 13:5).
Daniel (Daniel 6:1-28).
In this chapter we learned how Daniel lived a faithful life before God that even his enemies were not able to find fault in him. His enemies, therefore, sought a way to accuse him, but were not successful. Why? The text reveals the answer: “…but they could find no occasion nor fault, forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.”
These adversaries devised a plan to falsely accused Daniel. Let us read the rest of the story to see what these men did, and what God did.
The Accusers and their Wicked Plan Against Daniel
5Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
6Then these presidents and satraps assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. 7All the presidents of the kingdom, the deputies and the satraps, the counsellors and the governors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a strong interdict, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8Now, O king, establish the interdict, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 9Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the interdict.
Daniel’s Courage and Faithfulness
10And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
The Accusation Against Daniel
11Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. 12Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s interdict: Hast thou not signed an interdict, that every man that shall make petition unto any god or man within thirty days, save unto thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 13Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the interdict that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 14Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to rescue him. 15Then these men assembled together unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no interdict nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
Daniel’s Unjust Tribulation and the King’s Confidence
16Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. 17And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.
18Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep fled from him.
Daniel’s Deliverance Due to His Faithfulness
19Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20And when he came near unto the den to Daniel, he cried with a lamentable voice; the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 21Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. 22My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me; forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. 23Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God.
The Accusers Punishment
24And the king commanded, and they brought those men that had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces, before they came to the bottom of the den.
The King’s Noble Decree
25Then king Darius wrote unto all the peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied unto you. 26I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and stedfast forever, And his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; and his dominion shall be even unto the end. 27He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. 
This story has the purpose of revealing 7 great lessons:
Jesus Christ (Mark 14:53-65).
In this passage of Scripture we read about how the Jews were trying to falsely accuse Jesus of wrong doing, but were not able to do so. Let us read the story to see how things happened:
53And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and there come together with him all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. 54And Peter had followed him afar off, even within, into the court of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. 55Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found it not. 56For many bare false witness against him, and their witness agreed not together. 57And there stood up certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 58We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. 59And not even so did their witness agree together. 60And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and saith unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. 63And the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What further need have we of witnesses? 64Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be worthy of death. 65And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the officers received him with blows of their hands. 
The chief priests and the whole council were looking for ways to falsely accuse Jesus, but were not successful. If you live a faithful life, people will not be able to find something credible by which to accuse you legally.
In the three stories we have examined we see how the attitude of these men of God always reflected their faithfulness to God. There is a lot we can learn from these men! May the Lord help us to imitate their great example.
In this brief lesson we have examined the topic, “The Christian’s Response to Slander.” We have learned about the reality of suffering and slandering. We can safely conclude that slander is part of the Christian’s suffering. Therefore, it is imperative that we prayerfully consider how we can response to this type of persecution from our adversaries. If you have not experienced false accusations, sooner or later you will. When the time comes, let me encourage you to carefully practice the wise principles we have examined in this lesson.
May we never allow those who slander us to discourage us from living the kind of life God would have us to live. Remember that if we remain faithful unto death, a beautiful crown of life awaits us (Revelation 2:10; James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:7-8).
May the Lord give us the wisdom and encouragement to continue serving Him faithfully!
Additional Passages on the Subject at Hand
With his mouth the godless man destroyeth his neighbor; But through knowledge shall the righteous be delivered (Proverbs 11:9).
He that hideth hatred is of lying lips; And he that uttereth a slander is a fool (Proverbs 10:18).
And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37).
Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh against the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge (James 4:11).
Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I destroy: Him that hath a high look and a proud heart will I not suffer (Psalm 101:5).
American Standard Version. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 1995.
Louw, Johannes P.; Nida, Eugene A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. 1996.
Strong, J. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. 2001.
Thayer, Joseph Henry. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007.
The Holy Bible: King James Version: 2009 (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. 1995 (1 Pe 3:16). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (1 Pe 3:16). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2009 (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. 1995 (Ge 39:1–23). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. 1995 (Da 6:5–28). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. 1995 (Mk 14:53–65). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
HE SACRIFICED HIS LIFE TO GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE by Willie A. Alvarenga
THE NATURE OF CHRIST’S DEATH.
THE PURPOSE OF CHRIST’S DEATH.
OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHRIST’S SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS.
Back to the fundamentals of the Faith! by Willie Alvarenga
A few years ago I attended a lectureship nearby. One of the speakers said something that really made me think. Notice what he said, “One of the reasons why many churches of Christ are drifting away from the truth is because they are not emphasizing anymore the fundamental truths of the Bible, such as: the inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, the existence of God, and the one true church of the Bible.” Friends, this preacher was so right!
The church of our Lord Jesus Christ needs to go back to the Bible and impress upon our minds the need to be well grounded in the truth, concerning these great fundamental subjects of the Bible. Our convictions upon God and His Word will grow stronger if we continue to study these great fundamental subjects.
Let me ask you the following questions: how much Bible knowledge do we possess concerning the Deity of Christ? How much knowledge do we possess concerning the existence of God and the inspiration of the Bible? Are we truly convinced that there is only one true church? Are we putting into practice 1 Peter 3:15, which encourage us to always be ready to give an answer? If we had the opportunity to speak for forty five minutes concerning any of these subjects, could we show people what the Scriptures teach on these subjects?
Friends, let me encourage each of us to be diligent students of the Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:18), since this knowledge will help us to stay faithful to God’s will. A strong conviction upon these fundamental subjects of the Bible will help our young people to never leave the old paths. There are so many young people who go to College and Universities without having a strong conviction upon what God teaches in His Word concerning these fundamental doctrines of the Bible. Brethren, this is alarming! Let me encourage us to do something about it. Let me encourage our Bible teachers to spend time discussing these subjects. Let me encourage parents to do the same. May God help us to never neglect the study of His Word, especially the fundamental doctrines of the Bible!
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
Beware of the false pen! by Willie Alvarenga
Jeremiah the prophet once penned the following words, “How do ye say, we are wise, and the law of Jeh
ovah is with us? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes hath wrought falsely” (Jeremiah 8:8, ASV 1901). Notice the phrase, “the false pen of the scribes.” These words were written about 600 years before the coming of the Lord to this earth. About 2,600 years have transpired since the writing of these words, and nothing has changed.
Today, as it was the case in the Old Testament, many “pens” or “keyboards” are being used to write things that go contrary to what the Word of the Lord teaches. We have many false teachers writing and teaching people that baptism is not essential to salvation; the Bible teaches that it is essential to salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21); others are saying that one church is as good as another; God says that salvation is only found in the church of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:23). Others are saying that the church does not need elders, but God says she does (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 3:1-7). Others are saying that you may worship God any way you want to, but God says you must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24; Colossians 3:17).
Some people are using the pen to pervert God’s Word instead of teaching what the Lord commands. We, as God’s children, must use “the pen” to write only that which is in harmony with the Holy Scriptures (Titus 2:1; 2 Timothy 1:13). The Bible says that there will be serious consequences when we pervert the Word of God. Notice what the apostle Peter wrote,
“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own steadfastness” (2 Pete 3:16-17).
We must be very careful of those things we read through articles, books, magazines, etc. We must “prove all things and hold fast only to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21; cf. 1 John 4:1). We must, as John the apostle instructed, “… believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The false pen of the false teachers is doing much harm to the cause of Christ. Let us not be guilty of this!
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
AN ANGRY AND WRATHFUL MAN STIRRETH UP STRIFE by Willie Alvarenga
Proverbs 15:18; 29:22
All quotations will be from the New King James Version.
It is indeed an honor to be part of this fine lectureship. I commend the elders and the congregation for allowing this lectureship to continue for so many years. I also thank Brother Gabriel Rodriguez for the hard work he puts into directing this great lectureship. It is my conviction that thousands of people have been edified through the years with the lessons that have been presented by faithful gospel preachers. It is my prayer that God may continue to bless these efforts so that thousands of people may continue to learn more about God’s Word. It is my prayer that the things that I will say today may be of great encouragement to all of us. To God be the glory!
Great lessons have been presented, and will continue to be presented during this lectureship. I commend the elders and Brother Rodriguez for selecting a topic that is much needed today. Church conflict avails much today in many congregations of the Lord’s church. Lessons like these ones will help the brethren learn how to deal with these problems. It is my conviction that we, as members of the Lord’s body, must strive to avoid conflict at all cost. Let us remember that Satan is trying to destroy the church for which our Savior died. The Bible describes Satan as our enemy (Matt. 13:39), the wicked one (1 John 5:19), the roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). He will try his best to use even Christians to accomplish his goal. Therefore, we must remain awake and consider lectureships like this one, something the church needs today.
A great and much needed topic has been assigned to me. Lord willing, we will discuss for a few minutes on the topic “An angry and wrathful man stirreth up strife”, from Proverbs 15:18 and 29:22. This topic is very important for the following reasons: 1) It is a Bible topic, and 2) it is a topic that we need so much today. The church for which Jesus died on the cross has suffered so much because of the attitude of so many Christians who are not paying attention to what the Bible teaches on this very important subject. Brethren, our attitude can either encourage, or it can destroy people’s lives. Therefore, let us pay close attention to what the will of the Lord is on this very important topic.
ANGER AND WRATH—ITS MEANINGS
Let me take a few moments to define certain terms related to our lesson. This will help us to have a pretty good idea of what we’re talking about.
According to The American Heritage Dictionary, “anger” is defined as a feeling of extreme displeasure, hostility, indignation, or exasperation toward someone or something; rage. Some synonyms are anger, fury, rage, ire, wrath, resentment, indignation. According to Holman’s Bible Dictionary, anger is defined as a feeling of being very annoyed and wanting to fight back at a person or thing that hurts one or is against one; rage. As we can see, these attitudes can lead us to some serious problems that may generate church conflict.
As far as “wrath” is concerned, The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as a violent, resentful anger; rage; fury. It is a manifestation of anger.
These definitions help us to understand what we are dealing with. These attitudes, when not controlled by Christians, can bring serious conflict to the church of Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us consider some helpful points about this very important subject. And once again, it is my prayer that the things that I will say today, be of great encouragement to all of us. May we learn as much as we can!
ANGER—THE POSTIVITE SIDE OF IT
Yes, there is a positive side to anger. Anger is a natural feeling of human beings. God has created men with this kind of feeling.
God commands us to be angry in a positive way
As we read the Scriptures, we realize that God commands us to be angry. For example, the apostle Paul, writing to the saints at Ephesus, wrote “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Eph. 4:26, NKJV). If being angry at all was sinful, then we would not find Scriptures like this one. Of course, God has given us an explanation of how far we can go with anger—“do not let the sun go down on your wrath”. The feeling of being anger must be controlled by Christians at all times.
Let me suggest a few examples of positive anger that may be felt by Christians today.
As we can see, we as Christians have the right to get angry or feel indignation when such things take place in the church. Nevertheless, we should never let the sun go down upon our anger. When this happens, we let the wrong attitude enter our hearts, and this may, and will cause, harm to the cause of Christ. We should, and must have control over our anger. Not to do so will bring about conflict in the church. This will ultimately result in the church getting hurt. But, anger, when felt properly, can help us to solve problems in the church.
ANGER AND WRATH—THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF IT
We have considered the positive side of anger; now let us considered the negative side of it. There is a negative side to anger as the following examples will show. The Bible provides plenty of examples of those who gave in to anger in a negative way. How do we know when anger is considered a negative one? Well, one thing we must understand is that when anger leads us to violate God’s word; then we have practiced something that God does not approve of. The following passages helps us to understand that there is a kind of anger that God wants us to avoid (Psa. 37:8; Prov. 14:17; 15:1; 15:18; 29:8, 22). Let us considered a few examples:
There are so many examples in the Bible of negative anger, which must be avoided by Christians today. May God give us the strength and the wisdom to be able to control anger when this attitude comes to our hearts in a negative way. Let us remember that anger becomes sin when this attitude brings us to violate God’s word.
ANGER AND WRATH—ATTITUDES THAT TRULY HURT THE CHURCH
Anger, when not controlled by Christians, will bring about conflict in the church. Sadly to say, we have many Christians today who have allowed anger and wrath to take control of their lives to the point that they hurt one another. These attitudes, when not handled properly by Christians will cause the cause of Christ to be hurt. There are many examples of daily Christian living that we can make reference to, to see and understand how these attitudes bring about conflict in the church. For example, I am reminded of a Christian who always wanted things to go according to his will. Well, one time, the men of the congregation made a decision that he did not agreed with. After the decision was made, this Christian man got so angry that he started saying awful things to the rest of the men, and also came to the point in which he ask one of the man to step outside of the church building to fight.
In another similar situation, one of the men from the congregation was teaching a Bible class. He made a comment that was not taken well by this other member. Well, the brother who was teaching the class was invited to go outside of the church building to fight. This brother had a real problem with anger.
How many times has this happen at men’s meetings, elders meetings, etc.? Nothing good can come out of anger and wrath when not controlled by Christians. Notice what God has said about this:
“A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame” (Prov. 12:16)
Also notice what Proverbs 14:17 and 14:29 teaches,
“A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated”,
“He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.”
May we never allow anger and wrath to cause us to violate the word of God. Why do these attitudes hurt the church? Well, let me suggest a few reasons why:
It is imperative that we acknowledge that this kind of attitude hurts the church for which Jesus gave His life (Acts 20:28; Matt. 20:28). This kind of attitude keeps the church from growing spiritually the way God would have it to growth. We need to remind ourselves that our responsibility consists in striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). We must “pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Rom. 14:19). This is something we need to remember all the time.
ANGER AND WRATH—WE CAN BE MORE THAN CONQUERORS
We have considered a few principles about our topic. Now, I would like to spend some time talking about how you and I can overcome these attitudes which hurt the church, and perpetuate conflict in the lives of so many Christians. It is my prayer that you and I realize how dangerous these attitudes can be when not control by Christians. I would like to look at some principles from Ephesians chapter 4, regarding how we can be more than conquerors over anger and wrath. Let me remind you that victory belongs to us (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14). We can be more than conquerors over anger and wrath; attitudes that can lead us to become disobedient to our heavenly Father. God has given us everything that it takes to be victorious (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:17). God’s word can help us to defeat attitudes that can lead us to eternal punishment. But, before we discuss these ways of how to overcome anger, let me encourage you to not turn to the world for the answer. The world will suggest to you things that go contrary to God’s will. For example, notice what the world is telling you to do when you get angry:
As we can see, this is not what God would have us to do. Therefore, may I encourage you to reject what the world says you must do about how to deal with anger. Now, let us consider what you and I can do to overcome anger.
PRINCIPLES TO OVERCOME ANGER AND WRATH FROM EPHESIANS 4
We must be gentle, longsuffering, and loving towards one another (4:1-2).
These are some of the things that we may consider to overcome anger and wrath. Let me suggest a few more that we may consider.
It is my prayer that this lesson was helpful to each of us. I realize that we cannot do justice to this topic in the time we had; nevertheless, may we consider the information that was presented in this lesson. Let us pray to our heavenly Father that He may give us the wisdom and the understanding to do His will on this subject of anger and wrath. Let us strive to the best of our ability to do as much as we can to let peace prevail in the church. May negative attitudes be rejected by the children of God who have a deep desire to be in heaven some day.
Willie A. Alvarenga
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
(817) 681 4543; 268 3222