Home Call: Samuel E. Robinson

I recently received word that brother Samuel E. Robinson was called into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday afternoon. Sam, as he was most often called, was a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. He had a strong interest in the Great Commission and devoted much of his time to helping the cause of the Gospel by serving missionaries.

For 52 years Sam served as a director of Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc. , a missionary service organization that serves overseas missionaries commended from North American assemblies. For 24 of the 52 years, Sam served as President of the organization. It is worth noting that all of his service was on a volunteer basis. If you are not familiar with the work of this organization a brief history of CMML, written by Sam Robinson, is available on the CMML website.

Although Sam was a very capable businessman spending much of his career working for the American Bank Note Company in New York City, his passion was for the pastoral care of overseas missionaries. For many decades he spent countless hours counseling, shepherding, and encouraging the Lord’s workers—over the phone, in his office, and in his home.

I am very grateful that I personally had the opportunity to get to know Sam and his lovely wife, Ruth (who entered into the presence of the Lord in April of 2010). For the better part of 11 years (1994 – 2005) I had the privilege of working closely with Sam in the New Jersey offices of CMML. During that time I also fellowshipped at the same assembly as the Robinsons, and was often a guest in their household.

While numerous memories of brother Sam fill my thoughts, here is a small sampling of some of the more memorable:

  • At the CMML office Sam was tirelessly dedicated to the gospel and was deeply passionate for shepherding the Lord’s servants. He was often first to the office in the morning– one had to rise very early to arrive before he did!
  • At the assembly Sam was faithfully dedicated to the meetings of the church. One Lord’s Day morning Sam and his wife were conspicuously absent from the Lord’s Supper– after the meeting it was announced that overnight there was an apparent hostage situation in their neighbor’s home and the SWAT team had the entire area surrounded. Thankfully, the situation was a misunderstanding, there really were no hostages, and no one was hurt. Nevertheless, the story does illustrate brother Sam’s dedication to the meetings of the assembly– only the SWAT team could keep him away.
  • In their home the Robinsons loved to show hospitality to all of the Lord’s people. Ruth was an excellent cook and Sam loved to discuss the things of the Lord. Because of Sam’s aversion to all things poultry Ruth often prepared her trademark pot roast. Without question the most savory pot roast I’ve ever tasted.
  • One final memory: when my wife and I started to tell our friends and family that we were expecting our first child Sam was overjoyed for us… in fact, he was the only non-family member who actually broke down in tears of joy for us! I will never forget how excited he was for us.

Brother Robinson will be missed; however he has left behind a legacy of service, compassion, and dedication to the cause of Christ. Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to Timothy “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. Sam Robinson was one of those ‘faithful men.’

It is my prayer that I will follow Paul’s admonition to Timothy and pass on to another generation those things that I have learned from brother Sam. To God be the glory!

Information regarding funeral arraignments is available on the CMML website here.

 

Read More

vlog: 1 Corinthians 1:12-18 – No Divisions

 

 

Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:12-18 KJV

 

The church must look quite a mess from heaven’s viewpoint.

Many Christians not only hold the name of Christ but also operate under an additional tag – a denomination. The division of God’s people into artificial groupings was never the will of God but the problem started very early in the history of the church.

Paul addresses this problem when writing to the church in Corinth. He even outlaws those who claim to exclusively follow Christ.

I trust these verses challenge the way we think.

 

————————-

This is the 8th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

Jump back to the first video in this series…

Jump to the next video in this series…

————————-

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 6]

Open BibleWe continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

We were reminded in Colossians 1, that Christ is the Head of the Body – The Church.

We recognized two basic truths contained in Colossians 1:

  • One of these truths is that if Jesus Christ is the Head than NO ONE else can be the Head of the Body. In order for someone else to be the Head of the Church, that would require that Jesus Christ abdicate His role. And He can not, nor will He ever do that. In that very same passage, we read how “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” Since the fullness of God dwells in Christ (because He is fully God), then He is eternal and His plan is to prepare the Bride for the great Wedding feast.
  • The other truth that is evident in this passage is that CHRIST is Head. Oh, I know that we have been talking about this, but I want the point to be very clear – Jesus Christ is Head over the Church! That ought to mean something. It ought to have a practical effect on all that we do or say.

What I mean by this emphasis is that many believers, after having read and studied the scriptures, have rightly concluded that there ought not to be a man (a mere man) as the head of the Church, either the universal church or the local church. However, the absence of a man recognized as the head does not satisfy scriptures. Only when believers recognize Christ as the Head are scriptures fulfilled. Now, I am sure many of you are thinking that you are following this principle. But, let’s think about this in an objective manner.

If Christ is the Head, have we carefully and consistently done that which is necessary to satisfy HIS commands and His directions for our lives as individuals, as well as, our corporate life? In other words, do we merely give lip service or do we actively and purposely follow His lead? I fear that for my own life and for many others, it seems like lip service can be easier than true devotion to Jesus Christ.

Next week, we will continue looking at what the Scriptures say about the Church and other New Testament Principles.

 

————————

Jump back to the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[photo credit]

————————

 

Read More

vlog: 1 Corinthians 1:11 – Quote Your Sources

 

 

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 1 Corinthians 1:11 KJV

 

Undercurrents in church fellowships are so destructive. It shouldn’t be like this. Listen to the simple lesson that can be learned from the House of Chloe.

 

————————-

This is the 7th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

Jump back to the first video in this series…

Jump to the next video in this series…

————————-

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 5]

 

Christ Preeminent

 

We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

Today we shall explore another aspect of Jesus Christ’s relationship to the Church.

In Ephesians 5, we noted that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. In other words, He purchased her with His own precious blood. It was the only way by which lost souls could be ransomed, sins could be forgiven and God could be satisfied. Because of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross, sinners can be called out and set apart for God’s purposes and in Christ’s Church.

 


The Head of the Church



 

We remarked, albeit briefly, that the Church is the Body of Christ. And, just as our human bodies have a head, so does the Church. The Church’s Head is Jesus Christ.

In Colossians 1:18-20 ESV, we have an inarguable affirmation of this. “And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

As a side note, it confuses me how a statement so clear can be so ignored by people who profess to be part of the Body of Christ. Christ is the Head! That means that NO ONE else could possibly be the Head. No man, now or ever, could or should take the place of Jesus Christ. Not Peter, not Paul, and no one today.

Much is in the news about a man who leads a denomination of professing Christians and his plans to retire. This mere man is often referred to as the head of the church. Dear loved ones, this man is not the head of the Church! Jesus Christ is and — praise His name Jesus is not retiring! I do not write this to cast aspersions, rather I must write this because the Word of God demands that truth be defended and taught.

 


Prominent or Preeminent?



 

Equally undeniable is the fact that, as Head, Jesus has the right to be preeminent in all things. That means He gets the first place, the most important position, the top priority in everything that we do – as a Body and as members of the body. One dear brother said, “It is easy to have Christ as prominent, but there is quite a difference when He is preeminent.”

For most reading this little blog, Jesus Christ probably plays a prominent role in your life, but, dear ones, is He preeminent? This is a challenge to my heart, as well!

Next week, we will continue looking at the role of Jesus Christ as Head of the Church. Praise His name!

 

————————

Jump back to the first, second, third, or fourth post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

————————

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 4]

Bride and GroomWe continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

Over the last few weeks, we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms dwelling place, house, and pillar and ground of truth.

This week, I want to look at my personal favorite. All of the phrases are amazing and reveal what God thinks about the Church, but the Bride of Christ reveals an amazing love and incredible sense of intimacy.

Let’s think about what John the baptizer said about Jesus Christ and His bride. “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete” John 3:29 ESV.

Two important points can be made from this short statement:

One is that the Bridegroom “has the bride”. In other words, there is an intimate relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. We often say, “we don’t have a religion, we have a relationship,” but do we really understand the significance of that statement. A religion is a series of beliefs/mores that define how God relates to man and man relates to God. But a relationship is about two living, intelligent beings that involve our emotions, our intellect, and our physical being. Relationships are living and can grow or can drift. Marriages get stronger or they stagnate. The same is true with our relationship with our Bridegroom, it ought to get stronger. Relationships take work. I like to say it takes investment, where we expend our time, emotions, and energy in something that is worthwhile.

The other fact contained in John’s statement is that there is great joy involved in a relationship between the bride and the Bridegroom. Now, John is saying that he has joy, so it is a joy that spreads. His joy is in knowing that the Bridegroom is rejoicing in His relationship with His bride.

I have to admit, that this concept is hard for me to grasp sometimes. I can understand, having experienced it myself, the joy of ME knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But, the Lord is rejoicing because He knows me?? How can this be? The answer is clear. It all has to do with His nature and His character and His attributes and it has NOTHING to do with me. He loves me (and His entire Bride) because He is love and because He loves us because of Who He is. We are unlovable, but He loves us anyway. I am so incredibly thankful that He loves me despite my numerous flaws, despite my falling short.

The Church is not a building, nor an organization! I hope we are starting to see this. The Church is the Bride of the Son of God and as such, it is the object of His special love and affection.

Praise God for His incomparable love!

————————

Jump back to the first, second, or third post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Photo credit]

————————-

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 3]

Sunflower

 

We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

And last week we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms flock, building temple, husbandry, and body.

The first term we will look at this week is the “Habitation of God” or “dwelling place for God.” This speaks to us of a permanency and closeness in proximity. God has routinely dwelt with man in various ways – in the Tabernacle, in the Word made flesh, in believers, and in a very special way in the Church. This speaks of fellowship – the fact that God wants to have a relationship with us! Praise His name!

In a similar way, the church is referred to as the House of God (1 Timothy 3:15). This speaks of order and discipline. The term “house” isn’t referring to the structure, but rather to the functions contained within the house. Think of the writer to the Hebrew’s comparison of Moses and Jesus Christ. The writer states that Moses was faithful “in God’s entire house” but that Jesus Christ was faithful “over the house of God as a Son.” The writer is referring to the functions of the house, not the structure.

This reminds us that we are part of what God is accomplishing here on earth – the functions, the work, the order is all part of the house of God, and as members of the Body, we are part of what God is accomplishing. It also speaks to us of an order as well. God, with all due respect, gets to call the shots. He is in charge. It’s His house! We would do well to submit to His revealed instructions and directions.

In the same passage in Timothy, the writer mentions that the church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth. William MacDonald brings out some amazing insights to explain the significance of this phrase. Pillars, in biblical times, were used to post announcements and proclamations. They were also used to support the structure. So, the church is the instrument used by God to proclaim, support and defend the truth. Sadly, it would seem that some who profess to be the church, have done a terrible job of fulfilling this role. Much truth has been watered down or simply changed to make it more palatable to itching ears.

Next week, we will look at one more phrase. Until then, think about the magnitude of God’s love for the Church based on the phrases we have looked at thus far.

 

————————

Jump back to the first post or the second post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Photo credit]

————————-

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 2]

 

dont go to church - be the church

 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-28

 

Last Week I began a new series of posts to take a closer look at what the Bible teaches us about the Church. After all, if “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” then this must be an important subject to Him! Therefore we must focus our thoughts on His Word to gain an accurate understanding of what the Church is.

In his book, Christ Loved the Church, William MacDonald listed many ways in which the Church is referenced in Scripture. For the careful reader, each of these references provides a different vantage point of God’s manifold love for His church.

Let’s take a look at a few of these.

In John 10:16, the Lord refers to the church as a flock. The term “flock” brings before us a sense of care, feeding, protection, and guidance! And our Father certainly performs many shepherd like functions for His flock.

We are also referred to as His husbandry (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV). He expects fruit from us! Are we a fruitful garden/field/orchard? Or are we dead, fallow ground? God expects fruit from us – let’s work to meet His expectations.

Paul uses the term “building” to describe the church (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV). This provides us with two view points as to God’s love. The first is ownership – God owns us. He created us, He purchased us. He owns us.

Secondly, sticking with the building theme, we are also referred to as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV). This implies worship. As a corporate body we worship the Living God. The Holy Spirit is the one and only Worship Leader – there are no others. Just as we would never tolerate a man/woman filling the role of Head of the Church, we should be equally diligent in preserving the role of the Holy Spirit, as well.

We are the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). This has a ton of implications, but the most significant implication is that Christ (the Head) uses the Church (the Body) to express His thoughts and intentions via our actions. What we do reflects on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every action we take, or every failure to act is perceived by others as a manifestation of the expression of the Head.

Is it any wonder why so few people are attracted to Christianity? We, as a church, have failed in properly expressing Christ to those watching. We have failed to be His hands and feet. We have failed to be His voice and His heart. But, the end has not yet been written! As we grasp this truth, we can, by God’s grace and help, die to self and seek to manifest the life of the Lord Jesus through our actions. The church ought to be His hands and feet! Let’s get busy, folks.

There are several more terms that we will review next week. Until then, let’s be the Church!

————————

Jump back to the first post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Graphic Credit]

————————

Read More

vlog: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

 

 

Paul, a called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 KJV

How to blow away your audience! Tell them how God sees them and what He has called them.

I think if it was me I would be a bit apprehensive! Imagine the delight of discovering that God sees you as a saint, all Christians are, no exceptions! Wow.

Watch and discover more of this exciting and thrilling truth.

————————-

This is the 3rd video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

Jump back to the first video in this series…

Jump to the next video in this series…

————————-

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 1]

Ekklesia

Over the next several weeks, I would like to take a closer look at what the Bible teaches us about the Church. There are many misconceptions about the Church and many false ideas. We can only get true and accurate understanding by looking at the Word of God and allowing the Scriptures to shape our thoughts (rather than the alternative).

First, let’s wrap our mind around a key Bible passage about the Church. Ephesians 5:25-28 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

Now that we have level set our thinking, let me tell you how I grew up and what use to come to mind when I heard the word “church.” I was raised in a main-line protestant denomination. When I was young, “we went to church”. And what that meant was we went to a special purpose building where religious things happened. Church also meant things like special calendars and special clothes for the clergy. It meant special events and special collections. It meant spectating while the paid staff and the deacons did the work. It meant a little song “here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people.” The word “church” brought to mind a lot of things, but none of them were biblical or in the correct context.

I don’t recall ever hearing that the Church was the Bride of Christ and that He was eagerly awaiting His gathering her up for the great wedding day. I don’t ever recall being told that I was part of a body – a living organism that, in order for it to function, every member must use the gift given to him/her for the mutual edification of the other members of the body. I wasn’t told that we were “called out ones” or that we were gathered unto the Lord Jesus. Ironically, I was taught why “we” were “more right” than the Catholic church. But, I don’t recall being taught that Jesus was the Head of the Body. I always thought that the clergy was the head of the church.

But if we look at Ephesians 5, we notice something pretty significant. First and foremost, Christ loved the Church. He loves her – and He demonstrated His love towards her by dying for her and by purchasing her – He GAVE Himself for her. That’s an amazing thought – that the Eternal Son of God gave Himself for her. What does it mean that “He gave Himself”? Basically, how I see it is that He sacrificed Himself for us – for me!

More next week, but in the meantime, think about the fact that Christ loves the Church. What does that mean for you?

 

————————

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Photo Credit] Note: Ekklesia is the Greek word for church.

————————

 

Read More
p 3 of 1112345...»»