450 Grandview Drive
Cookeville, TN 38506
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
"Come, let us reason together"
Church of Christ
Benjamin Franklin (1811-1878) developed into one of the most powerful proclaimers of the ancient Gospel ever known on American soil. He preached without notes and quoted scriptures voluminously. He did not pretend to be a philosopher, a politician, a teller of stories, or anything of the kind. He was a Gospel preacher in everything the term implies. He was the son of Joseph and Isabella Franklin.
When Joseph Franklin moved into Henry County, Indiana in 1833, the Franklins had not showed the slightest interest in religion. All of this changed when Samuel Rogers moved his family to Henry County in the same year. Samuel Rogers and Joseph Franklin agreed to meet in each other's cabins on Saturday afternoon and study the Bible through. They studied honestly, agreeing to mark each passage on which they could not agree with the intention of later returning to that passage for further discussion. They avoided every sign of disagreement or prejudice. When they finished, they found that not a passage had been marked. These studies resulted in the conversion of Joseph Franklin (Return to the Old Paths: A History of the Restoration Movement by V. Glenn McCoy).
Isaiah wrote, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” (Isa. 1:18a). A lot of problems, a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of misinterpretation and a lot of misapplication could be avoided if we would follow this advice today. One of the things that was so strikingly apparent during the Restoration movement was the fact that when men laid aside their creed books, their manuals, their confessions of faith, and all writing and opinions of men, and made a diligent study of the Bible, and the Bible ONLY, they came to know the truth. A study of Restoration history reveals this grand truth over and over. The above illustration of what Benjamin’s father and Samuel Rogers did illustrates that this will lead to a correct knowledge of Truth.
This same approach to the Bible will still work today. The Bible is God’s Word (John 17:17). It is “inspired of God” (II Tim. 3:16-17), and contains “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (II Pet. 1:3). “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (II Tim. 3:16-17). When we read and study diligently, we can understand it (Eph. 3:1-5; 5:17). We can “KNOW” the Truth (John 8:32).
In I Corinthians 1:10 Paul, by inspiration, says that we are to “speak the SAME thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the SAME mind and in the SAME judgment.” (emphasis mine, PMW)
Here is your homework assignment. Study diligently, in context, this statement of Paul to the saints at Corinth. Next week we want to “reason together” about this wonderful passage of scripture.
Paul M. Wilmoth