"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:
Invites you to our
Steven j. wallace
(Sunnyside & Yakima, WA)
March 26–31, 2006
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
9:30 AM: 2 Timothy 2:15
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Are we able to know with clarity and certainty that something is sin? The answer to that question is easy and instant when the Bible is consulted and applied.
To sin is to “miss the mark” of God’s law, His revealed “will” that is “good”: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 Jno. 3:4, kjv); “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17); “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17).
Simply stated, we sin when we do what God says not to do, or when we do not do what God says to do.
The subtlety of the serpent corrupts minds from “the simplicity that is in Christ,” convincing many that things are just “not that easy” when it comes to understanding (and obeying) the word of God, including knowing what is sin (2 Cor. 11:3-4).
Our ability to know what is sin bears on whether God has revealed His will in an understandable way that we can obey. We believe that He has: “when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). And again, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jno. 8:31-32). By not doing the word of Christ we sin against Him and His word will judge us in the last day (Jno. 12:48). If we can understand “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” we can also know sin and that its wages is death (Rom. 6:23).
Important questions arise about sin that we must ask ourselves: Do I want to know what is sin? Do I want to stop sinning when I discover it in my life? How serious do I take the whole issue of sin and what it does to me?
Some refuse to say that un-baptized believers are lost in sin. One person says it is “heretically wrong” to teach un-baptized believers are lost. This anonymous author wrote:
“…for many years before I had seen things just as he did. I, too, had believed that it was only when one’s faith led her to the point of being baptized for the remission of sins that she was saved. I no longer do.
“What changed my view?
“The simplest answer is that I finally realized that any question having to do with the fate of an unbaptized believer is an abiblical question. In other words, the bible never contemplates such a question. If we seek an answer to a question about whether or not God commands obedience, the bible speaks directly to that. (Matthew 28:20, Jeremiah 11:4) If we ask whether God commands baptism, there is plain scripture that shows He does. (Matthew 28:18-20) Even if we question the fate of a person who doesn’t have faith while claiming that he does, we find a direct answer (Hebrews 11:6, John 3:16-18). However, when it comes to looking for a verse that speaks about the fate of a person that believes in Jesus but hasn’t been baptized, there is no scripture that addresses the subject. The New Testament never considers the situation. It’s not in the bible. It’s abiblical.” (“Are Unbaptized Believers Lost?” by “A Student of the Word,” page 2, see www.nicocstudy.net/).
Our author is wrong to say the Bible does not address the subject. In Acts 22:16 an un-baptized believer, Saul of Tarsus, was told to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” He was lost before and until he did so (cf. Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). If believer Saul saved before he was baptized, then he was saved before his sins were washed away. Yes, it is very much a biblical question to ask whether the un-baptized believer is lost. The Bible answer is, “yes.”
Notice how the author appeals to the silence of the Scriptures to justify his false teaching. He says “the bible never contemplates such a question.” He wants us to believe that without the exact verbiage of the question, the Bible has nothing to say on the subject. Yet, the Bible does tell us how to be saved (hear, believe, confess faith, repent and be baptized, Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:38), thus teaching us sinners are otherwise lost. Our author is “heretically wrong” when he assumes the Bible does not address the condition of the “is the un-baptized believer. Do not be deceived.
Then again, the silence of the New Testament is used by some to say instrumental music in worship cannot be called a sin. For them, Biblical silence does not restrain, it grants divine consent; or at the very least, human tolerance. The fact that God said “sing” is not enough to restrain them from adding “play” and/or accepting those who do so (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16-17).
Then, some brethren cannot bring themselves to say instrumental music in worship pleases God, but neither can they say it is sin. They have created a hermeneutical “safe zone” in which sin cannot be identified, assigned or rebuked. Their view of God’s “thunderous silence” turns it into a whimper. We know singing pleases God (Eph. 5:19). We know adding to God’s word is a sin (Rev. 22:18). Therefore, adding “play” to “sing” displeases God; it is a sin. It adds to the silence of God’s word, thus missing the mark of revealed truth (Jno. 4:24; Eph. 5:19; 1 Cor. 4:6; 1 Pet. 4:11).
Sin really is sin. We can know what sin is; the Bible tells us. We must lay every sin aside to be unencumbered to run the race set before us (Heb. 12:1). (How can we do that if we cannot say what is really sin?) Look to Jesus and live for Him, in whom victory over sin is assured (Heb. 12:2; Rom. 6:5-14).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Acts 4:32-37
This lesson helps answer the fallacy of “whatever the Christian may do the local church may do.”
I. CHRISTIANITY EMBRACES EVERY AREA OF LIFE.
Social Relationships (community), Matt. 5:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:12; Rom. 13:8.
II. INDIVIDUAL DUTIES OF CHRISTIANS EXIST THAT CANNOT BE CARRIED OUT BY THE LOCAL CHURCH (collective).
The Above Duties are Concurrent, Gal. 6:5.
III. CLEAR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL (his Duty & Action) & LOCAL CHURCH (its Duty & Action).
How we Deal with Personal Sin Shows the Distinction, Matt. 18:15-17.
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA