Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Here is part of a Bible question I recently received:
“Now, I know that blood and life were required in order for sins to be forgiven. However, I just can't seem to grasp why. I know that Jesus had to die to save us all and to wash away our sins, but again, I don't understand the relationship between the death of the physical and the life of the spiritual man.”
When God created man and woman in the garden they were innocent of sin. God gave them every tree in the garden for food, but God warned man not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). When Adam and Eve sinned against God they experienced death – the severing of close fellowship with God – and were banished from the garden (Gen. 3). Thus, where once there was spiritual life, spiritual death now reigned (Rom. 5:12-14).
Sin takes away life; it brings about death. Sin causes spiritual death; the destruction of spiritual life and its fellowship with God (Rom. 6:23; Isa. 59:2). Physical death is a consequence and constant reminder of sin’s entrance into the world (Gen. 3:19).
As God unfolded His eternal plan to redeem sinners He taught men that life is in the blood (Gen. 9:4; Deut. 12:23). And, men learned from the Law of Moses that the shedding of blood “makes atonement by reason of the life” – it was the giving of life (Lev. 17:11, ASV). The animal sacrifices of that law taught man he is a sinner in need of reconciliation to God, and that the giving of life (the shedding of blood) was necessary in order to bring sinful man into the presence of the holy God. Yet, the blood (life) of bulls and goats could never take away sin (Heb. 10:4). The life of an animal does not correspond to the life that was destroyed by sin in the garden.
Enter Jesus, who came into the world to lay down His life for sinners (Jno. 10:17-18; Matt. 20:28). Though thoroughly tempted, He lived without sin and was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world (Heb. 4:15; 2:9-10; 5:8-9). Christ, the sinless Son of God, died for the ungodly ((shed His blood, gave His life, Rom. 5:6-10). His death (“one sacrifice for sins forever”) does what animal life (blood) could never do – take away sin (Heb. 10:12; 9:14, 26-28). The giving of His life as an offering for sin was sufficient and satisfying to God (Isa. 53:10-11; 1 Pet. 2:24). By the sacrifice of sinless life, sinners are brought to spiritual life. Truly, Jesus is “the Life” (Jno. 14:6).
Redemption from sin is accomplished through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7). Only by His life (His blood) can sinners be cleansed from their sin and obtain spiritual life. His blood was shed in His death on the cross (His life was given), and sinners obtain the benefit of His death through faith in Christ when they are baptized “into His death” (Rom. 6:3; Acts 22:16). Thus cleansed by the blood of Christ (the sacrifice of His life), the sinner arises to walk “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). The blood of Jesus redeems the sinner from the death of sin; the result is life with God (Rom. 6:23).
In this article, we wish to call attention to those things which are not authorized by God as the work of the church.
1) Political Issues. Even though there are issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. that we must oppose and teach against, we must recognize it is not the work of the church to develop or carry out a political agenda. These issues may be political issues for some, but as the people of God we deal with them the same way we deal with other sins; by teaching the word of God and seeking a change of heart in those who hear.
2) Secular Education. I am sure all agree that proper education of a secular nature is good and beneficial. However, it is not the work of the church to build, support, or maintain schools or colleges to provide such education. This is the responsibility of the home, rather than the church. Paul acknowledged that there are responsibilities to be fulfilled by individuals, “and let not the church be charged” (1 Tim. 5:16). This could be applied to each of the things discussed in this article.
3) Social Activities. It is good for brethren to get together and enjoy one another’s association. However, we need to remember: “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” (1 Cor. 11:22). It is not the work of the church to provide for social meals and gatherings. If we wish to save souls, we must use that which will accomplish such. Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16). To resort to gimmicks and carnal attractions is not only without authority, but also demonstrates a lack of faith in God and His will.
4) Recreation and Entertainment. Wholesome recreation and entertainment has its place, but it is not the work of the church to provide such. In recent years, it seems that many are more desirous of turning the church into a country club or health spa than “letting the church be the church.” As a result of this thinking, we see churches sponsoring ball teams, building gymnasiums and sponsoring various forms of entertainment. I have received announcements of “clowns for Jesus,” magicians, puppeteers, body builders or singing groups all being used by churches to reach the masses. The one thing lacking in these announcements is the Scripture that would authorize the church to provide such.
Paul tells us that God has provided all that is necessary “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). Note the parallel between Ephesians 4:11-12 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The inspired Scriptures are all we need. We need to put our faith in God and His word, and not in the schemes and gimmicks of men that appeal to the flesh.
(Back To Basics, Feb. 2004, page 11)
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Certain Departure from God (Part 3)
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 6:10-20
pattern, hold fast (Exo. 25:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:13).
I. DEPARTURE FROM DIVINE PATTERN OF TRUTH DESTROYS A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP W/ GOD & HIS PEOPLE – 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Jno. 9-11; cf. Mal. 4:5-6.
A. Word of Life Establishes Fellowship with God & with His People – 1 Jno.
II. EACH STEP AWAY FROM GOD’S WORD LEADS TO FURTHER DEPARTURE – 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 3:13-17.
A. Apostasy Possesses a Lawless Spirit that Knows No Stopping Place – Jgs.
2:10; 21:25; 2 Ths. 2:7 (Acts 20:27, 29-30).
III. RESTORATION TO GOD’S WAYS.
A. Restoration Requires Two Things.
Bible warns against cycles of apostasy – Jgs. 2:10; Hosea 4:6; 8:11-13; 1
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
False Gods & False Messages (Part 3)
Scripture Reading: Psalms 115:1-11
1. Idolatry & sorcery (witchcraft) are related to each other because both
constitute a rejection of God / displacement of God & His will as supreme.
A. Definition of “eidololatreia” …“the worship of false gods”
(Thayer, 174); “image-worship”
(Strong’s Greek Lexicon).
II. SORCERY (“Witchcraft” – KJV).
A. Definition of “pharmakeia” … “the use or the administering of
drugs…magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by
it…metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry”
Concl. Worship the true God & accept the true message that He gives us all. (1 Ths. 1:9-10)
After two judges in San Francisco
refused to immediately block the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses at
City Hall earlier this week, others are beginning to jump on the same-sex
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA