"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 Scriptures Refute Calvin’s TULIP
of the Saints
Some people never give a thought to God or His will in their lives. Like the ancient Gentiles, they refuse to have God in their knowledge (Rom. 1:28). There are many other people, though, who do profess to live spiritual lives and to be believers in and followers of Jesus Christ. Yet, these same people are divided into hundreds and hundreds of different religious doctrines and practices. How can this be? This sort of division surely does NOT have God’s approval (Jno. 17:20-21; Eph. 4:3-4).
Some people are what they are religiously because their parents practiced the same thing. Parents should have influence over their children, and parents will likely be among the first people to influence a child in religious matters. When one of my sons was seven he had a dispute with a classmate over which church is correct; the Mormon Church or the church of Christ. Although they were not able to form mature reasons for faith at that age, they defended what they had seen and heard from their parents. Your children will learn and live what they see in you, including your faith.
There comes a time when every child must honestly test the accuracy of the religious teaching his parents has given him. There comes a day when one must do more than say, “I am what I am religiously because that is what my parents are.”
That occasion of evaluation will reveal the person’s heart. By using the New Testament, self-examination will expose things that must be corrected; sin to be repented of, error to be renounced and truth to be obeyed (Rom. 1:16-17; 3:23; Acts 2:38).
Isn’t it time that everyone who claims to be following Jesus test themselves by the same standard of truth (the gospel, the faith, the New Testament of Jesus Christ, Mk. 16:15-16; 2 Cor. 13:5; Jude 3)? Better to please Jesus and be saved than to please parents at the expense of truth and forever lose one’s soul (Lk. 14:25-33).
Matthew 10:28 warns us to not fear man, but God. In verses 32-33 Jesus assures us that when we confess Him before men, he will confess us before His Father. But, if we deny Jesus before men, we will not be confessed before the Father. We will be lost. Is it not a coincidence that Jesus continues by saying that obeying His gospel will often bring us into disagreement with our family and friends (Matt. 10:34-39). Here then, is the application of confessing Jesus before men: To be what Jesus wants us to be religiously may mean renouncing what we have been in the past, what we are now, what our parents taught us to be, or what our children now are. If we are unwilling to put Jesus first and be what He commands us to be, we fail to confess Him before others. We disobey Matthew 10:32.
So, who was right, my seven year old son or his Mormon friend? The New Testament settles the matter. It teaches Christ built one church, the church of Christ, not the LDS Church (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4). Today, both my son and his first grade friend are old enough to examine God’s word for themselves, believe it and obey it. I pray both of them confess Christ and not follow men (Acts 5:29; Matt. 10:32).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-7
1. Parents discipline out of love
& so does God, Prov. 3:11-12; Heb. 12:5-11 (Deut. 8:5-6).
I. THROUGH HIS WORD, 2 Tim. 4:2 (Psa. 94:12-15).
Scriptures Reprove Us of our Sin – 2 Tim. 3:16 (Heb. 4:12); 1 Tim. 4:6-8.
II. THROUGH LOCAL CHURCH DISCIPLINE.
Designed to Save the Unrepentant Sinner, 1 Cor. 5:1-5, 9-13 (Matt.
III. THROUGH TIMES OF SUFFERING, cf. Heb. 5:7-8.
Suffering Due to Our Own Sin – cf. 2 Sam. 7:14 (Psa. 89:30-33); Amos 4:6-12.
IV. THROUGH MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF TRIALS.
Hostility from Sinners, Heb. 12:3-7 (1 Pet. 4:16); Matt. 5:10-12; Heb.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 15:50-58
“If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14)
I. ALL THE DEAD WILL BE RAISED, Jno. 5:28 (Rev. 20:13); just & unjust – Acts 24:15.
II. THE LAST DAY.
A. All at Same Time (“hour”) – Jno. 5:28; 6:39-40, 54; 12:48.
III. BODILY RESURRECTION, 1 Cor. 15:35-49.
of God’s Choosing, 15:38-49.
IV. JUDGMENT OF ALL, Rev. 20:10-15.
Will Honor Christ – Phil. 2:9-11; Rom. 14:10-12.
V. KINGDOM WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE FATHER, 1 Cor. 15:23-28.
Will Come at “the End” & Destroy Death (Resurrection), 15:23-24.
VI. WHAT ABOUT CHRISTIANS WHO DIE BEFORE JESUS COMES? 1 Ths. 4:13-18
A. Our Knowledge of Future Events gives us Hope & Joy, 2 Cor. 4:14.
VII. THE HEAVENS & THE EARTH WILL BE DESTROYED, 2 Pet. 3:10-12.
Conclusion: Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 22:12, 20
In an effort to modernize the U.S. military, on Friday the Pentagon announced military base closures and realignments. “Our current arrangements, designed for the Cold War, must give way to the new demands of the war against extremism and other evolving 21st century challenges,” (Defense Secretary, jrp) Rumsfeld said in a statement.” (Pentagon Wants 33 Major Military Bases Closed, FoxNews.com, 13May05)
From all appearances, some brethren want to “modernize” churches of Christ. They apparently do not think the church of the first century is equipped for fighting the forces of darkness in the 21st century (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Thus, we hear of the need to be progressive and relevant in today’s world. (When did the gospel stop being relevant? -Rom. 1:16-17)
We are not opposing the use of modern technology as tools to better communicate and teach the gospel. Nor should we be offended by scriptural methods being used to accomplish the Lord’s work.
The modernization of which we speak describes Bible preaching on authority, the worship, work and organization of the local church and on religious error as boring, negative, irrelevant and old-fashioned. Calls for “positive preaching” that warms the emotions without challenging the listeners to search the Scriptures daily to verify truth and reject sin and error typify today’s modernization of churches of Christ. Then, there are some who say “church of Christ” itself is outdated; they just use “the church meets here” or some similar “less-offensive” term. Well, which church meets here, Christ’s or man’s (Rom. 16:16; 1 Pet. 4:11)?The church is relevant; it does not need modernization (Jno. 14:6; Mk. 16:15; He. 4:12). We must walk in the “old paths” of truth to find rest for our souls (Jer. 6:16; 2 Cor. 13:5; Matt. 7:13-14; 11:28).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA