"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
The Mt. Baker church of Christ
Every one of us have some tradition that is a part of our life, even if it is nothing more than squeezing the tube of toothpaste from the bottom! Really, we all live with many traditions every day.
The word “tradition” with its shades of meaning is at times used with disdain by New Testament Christians. We are warned against the dangers of the religious and philosophical traditions of men (Mk. 7:8-9, 13; Col. 2:8). On the other hand, the gospel of Christ is also described as a “tradition” in the New Testament (1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Ths. 2:15; 3:6). So, what is the difference?
Defining words is crucial to understanding any subject. The word translated “tradition” in the New Testament (paradosis) means “giving over, giving up…a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, etc....objectively, that which is delivered, the substance of a teaching” (Thayer, 481). So, a tradition is something that is handed over or handed down from one to another. For example, we commonly think of traditions as generational, such as parents handing down some family tradition to their children.
The traditions of men originate in the minds of men and are given over or handed down to others through verbal teaching and/or written words. The Jewish “traditions of the elders”, which often conflicted with a “commandment of God”, are a case in point (Matt. 15:2-3, 6). Religious doctrines and practices that were started by men and handed down to others can never hold equal authority with the word of God (Gal. 1:6-9). Hundreds of human religious traditions are practiced today in the name of God. To bind human traditions upon men as necessary in order to please God renders said traditions spiritually worthless and deceitful (Col. 2:8, 20-23). Truly, to do so is to make “void the word of God” (Matt. 15:6).
There are also traditions that have been delivered to man from God. The Corinthians were praised by the apostle for keeping the traditions “just as I delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2). Since it is “the faith” (gospel) that has been delivered from heaven to man by inspired men, it is apparent that Paul is commending the Corinthian Christians for staying true to the inspired gospel of Christ (Jude 3). The gospel is called “traditions” because they have been given over or handed down from God to man. Truth – the God-given traditions – were transmitted to the world verbally and then in written form (2 Ths. 2:15). We are expected to “stand fast and hold the traditions” of God (2 Ths. 2:15). The truth handed over from God to man is the God-approved instruction that contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3; cf. Jno. 17:17). So, if we do not live according to the “traditions” received from the apostles (the gospel), our life is described as “disorderly” before men and God (2 Ths. 3:6). God expects us to order our lives after His revealed truth that He has handed down to us through the apostles of Christ Jesus.
Let us all be careful to walk in the traditions given to us by God in the gospel of Christ. There are no better traditions to hand down to our children than these!
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Be Merciful as your Father is Merciful
Scripture Reading: Luke 7:36-43
Lk. 7:36-50: Simon the Pharisee and the woman – Which one more nearly depicts our view of ourselves, of others & of Jesus?
I. A PICTURE OF GODLY SORROW, Lk.7:36-38
Sorrow does not occur…
II. A PICTURE OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, 7:39
A. It is
Void of Compassion & Mercy, 1 Jno. 3:17; Col. 3:12-13.
III. OUR NEED FOR MERCY COMPELS US TO BE MERCIFUL, Lk. 7:40-47.
our Sin – Lk. 7:40-42a.
IV. FAITH TO OBTAIN MERCY FROM CHRIST.
Love was Result of her Forgiveness – Lk. 7:47-48; 1 Jno. 4:19 (4:10).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Water Baptism: Who is to be Baptized? (Part 3)
Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:1-5
Who is to be baptized: Nobody? Everybody? Babies? Christians? Lost? Saved?
I. WHO IS OBLIGATED TO BE BAPTIZED?
to Whom the Gospel is Sent – Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15.
II. WATER BAPTISM IS NOT FOR:
A. Infants and Small Children,
Ac 8:12; Matt. 14:21; 15:38; Ac 21:5; Matt. 18:1-3; 19:14 (Rom. 5:12).
III. SUMMARY: BAPTISM IS…
A. For Believers Who Confess
Faith & Repent of Sins, Acts 18:8.
"I made it
This has been an extraordinary hurricane season for the southeastern United States, with Florida taking the biggest beating (Charley, Frances and Ivan) with two months left in the season.
Space fails us here to speak at length of God’s control of the weather cycles: He created them, He fully understands them and He uses them to accomplish His purposes. We are here reminded of Elihu’s remarkable statement of God’s authority over and control of nature:
6 For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength… 10 By the breath of God ice is given, And the broad waters are frozen. 11 Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. 12 And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. 13 He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy. (Job 37:6, 10-13)
The power and terror of natural calamity reminds the thoughtful person of his utter impotence before and reliance upon the Almighty. Whether it be as a rod of correction or as merciful relief, we cannot say unless the Lord reveals His intentions (as He did at times; Gen. 6:13; 7:4; Deut. 11:16-17; 28:24; 1 Kgs. 17:1; 18:41-45).
But, we can observe His power at work at such times and understand our need to be right with the One who wields such strength. It should compel us to seek and Him (Acts 17:27-31). Israel did not repent and return to the Lord when He sent them famine, drought, crop failure, plagues, disease and warfare (Amos 4:6-11). God “made it rain”, but Israel would not return to Him (4:7). Eventually, Israel was told to “prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12). If we fail to learn the lesson(s) taught by the mighty forces of nature, repent and submit to God’s rule over us, our sin of obstinacy will finally be our downfall (Amos 4:12-13).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA