"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 tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing of the U. S. Federal Building will occur on Tuesday, April 19. One of the statements that we heard ten years ago was that we must “never forget” what happened on that day. Time has passed, and we have seen more tragedy, suffering and death. Have we forgotten?
Memory can be a wonderful tool for good. By remembering past events we can improve our lives. God blessed us with memory so that we can learn and grow from the past; avoid its mistakes and duplicate its successes. The gospel teaches several things the Christian should “never forget.” Never forget…
1. Our cleansing from past sins (2 Pet. 1:9). When we forget the price paid for our redemption, the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, or the thrill of our new life in Christ, we show ourselves to be extremely ungrateful and short-sighted (cf. Rom. 5:8; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 6:3-4; et al.). We must never forget (2 Pet. 1:5-11).
2. God’s word of truth (2 Pet. 1:12-15; 3:2; Jude 17). Peter’s purpose for writing 2 Peter was to help Christians remember the truth (1:12). They knew the truth and were grounded in it, but still they needed to never forget it. We need similar exhortation. The world is evil and tries to turn us away from divine truth. The old, old story grows sweeter with time and protects us from falling.
3. To do good and share with others (Heb. 13:16). Our world emphasizes selfishness, getting and staying ahead of the next person. We must remember the good Christ has done for us and share that goodwill with others (Matt. 25:34-40). Never forget to do good things for others (Matt. 7:12; Acts 4:32-35; Gal. 6:10).
4. Those who have gone before us (Heb. 13:3). We continue to benefit from the sacrifices made by brethren of past generations. Stands for truth against the innovations of human doctrines have paved a path of respect for divine authority in which we must continue to walk. Saints were deprived of their possessions, their reputations, and even their lives so we may be saved (cf. Heb. 11:32-40, 13:3). Such sacrifices continue to be made, and we must never forget what has brought us to this moment in our spiritual lives.
5. God’s power and promises (2 Pet. 3:5, 8-9). Mockers forget what God has done in the past and do not prepare for future judgment (2 Pet. 3:3-7). Those who remember God’s power and promises are thankful for His longsuffering and repent. What about us?
God remembers us. Let us “never forget” Him (Heb. 6:10-12).
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
God requires certain things from man. Not in the sense that God needs anything from man in order for Him to survive, but in the sense that as Creator He expects man to live in certain ways (Acts 17:25; 1 Pet. 1:15-16).
Micah 6:8 (above) identifies three things that are “good” and therefore required by God of man. These three items drive to the heart of man and how he treats his fellow man. In so doing, they reveal what must be present in each person’s life in order to be blessed by God.
First, just as God required Israel to “do justly” toward each other, He expects us to be just toward one another. That is, God requires that we treat each other fairly and honestly. Whether it is a king toward his subjects, a judge toward the accused, neighbors across the fence or toward a fellow Christian, God demands that we be just and fair toward others. It has always been so (Lev. 19:15; Isa. 1:21-23; Amos 5:10-13; Prov. 24:23; Rom. 1:18, 28-31). This requirement forbids us from doing harm to another person’s property, his person or his name. Speaking “truth with (one’s) neighbor” will help (Eph. 4:25). Jesus commands, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). We must always be just toward others, since “the righteous God tests the hearts and minds” and is a “just judge” who “saves the upright in heart” (Psa. 7:9-11).
Secondly, God required Israel to “love mercy” (kindness, KJV), and He continues to expect it of Christians. Our lives ought to be living examples of mercy and kindness toward others. Unfortunately, kindness appears to be an inconvenience to some and a necessary evil to others. But, to the person who respects God and his fellow man, kindness is cherished and practiced (Eph. 4:31-32; 2 Pet. 1:7). He loves his neighbor as himself because his heart is turned outward, not inward (Matt. 22:39; Phil. 2:4). Kindness is a precious commodity that should be freely given away.
Thirdly, God required Israel to “walk humbly” with Him. God continues to resist the proud and give grace to the humble (Jas. 4:6). He hates the proud look of haughty eyes (Prov. 6:17). Where humility is found there will be a ready acceptance of God’s word and a commitment to follow its teachings above everything else. It is imperative that we humble ourselves before God now, rather than waiting until that fateful and final day when every knee shall bow. Then, we can only expect righteous punishment for the prideful heart we refused to relinquish (Rom. 14:11-12; 2 Cor. 5:10).
We cannot afford to live a self-defined Christianity. God offers salvation in His Son. He has shown us what He requires for us in order to receive His mercy (Eph. 2:7-8; Heb. 5:8-9). Ours is to humbly obey His will, being just and kind toward all.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: John 5:16-23
1. “Son of” was used by the
eastern people primarily to denote sameness &/or equality in some respect
(Mk. 3:17; Lk. 10:6).
I. THE SON OF GOD.
Emphasizes Jesus’ Deity (sameness with the Father), Jno. 5:17-18.
II. WE MUST BE:
of God (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4); Jno. 1:12-13; Gal. 3:26-27 (2 Co. 6:17-18; Matt.
III. WE MUST NOT BE:
of this World, Lk. 16:8 (1 Jno. 2:15-17).
For more on The Religion of Islam, please go to http://www.bibleanswer.com/islam.htm
The Religion of Islam
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:1-6
1. “Islam, began in Mecca,
claimed to be the revelation of God (Allah) through the angel Gabriel to a
man named Muhammad. Muhammad was born in approximately AD 570-571” (A
Brief History of Islam, Reiber).
I. FACTS ABOUT ISLAM.
(1.2 billion; 7 million in U.S.)
II. ORIGIN & SPREAD OF ISLAM.
Muhammad: Final Messenger of God.
III. SOME ISLAMIC DOCTRINES.
Oneness of God.
In southern India there is an ancient Hindu ritual known as “the festival of pits” in which parents bury their firstborn child (some less than a year old). Indian police charged 80 people with practicing the Kuzhimattru Thiru Vizha ceremony happened last Monday. Here is what happens:
The children are drugged to make them unconscious and placed in shallow “graves” in temple courtyards. The pits are covered with leaves and dirt and the children are pulled out after Hindu priests chant a brief prayer -- lasting up to a minute (Indians Charged for Burying Children Alive, Oddly Enough–Reuters.com, ThuApr14).
Yes, paganism still thrives.
Ancient Israel was induced by the pagan idolatry around them to pass their children through the fires of Baal and Molech, greatly sinning against God (Psa. 106:37; Jer. 32:25; Lev. 20:1-5).
Will we be induced by the idolatry of covetousness to pass our children through the fires of materialism? (Col. 3:5; Matt. 6:24) Are we teaching them there is something much more valuable than possessions? (Matt. 16:26) Are they learning from us, their parents, to put God first in their lives? (Matt. 6:33) Have we passed them through the fire of selfishness, worshiping our own time, desires and things more than the God who gives them to us? (1 Tim. 6:9-10, 17-19)
Yes, paganism is alive today, and not only in some distant land. Has it been put to death where you live?
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA