Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
“Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the LORD today.” (1 Kings 22:5)
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah had made peace with Ahab, the king of Israel (1 Kgs. 22:44). Unfortunately, this peace was ill-advised because of the wickedness of king Ahab. Jehoshaphat almost lost his life as Ahab’s ally in battle against the Syrians (1 Kgs. 22:29-35; 2 Chron. 18:31).
His predicament started when he visited king Ahab and was asked to join him in battle against their common enemy. Jehoshaphat agreed, but only if God’s word was first consulted. Only one prophet out of 400 warned against such a battle. Micaiah resisted the temptation to change God’s word to conform it to the comforting message which 400 false prophets had spoken to Ahab in the name of the Lord. For his uncompromising stand for truth he was put in prison and fed nothing but bread and water (1 Kgs. 22:13-28). Would to God that we will have such conviction and fidelity to His truth today! (2 Tim. 4:2-5; 1 Cor. 9:16)
Jehoshaphat’s desire to hear God’s word is admirable and worthy of imitation. To inquire of God’s word before we engage in an attitude or activity helps assure God’s approval (Col. 3:17). Only His words contain eternal life (Jno. 6:68; 8:31-32). By going to God’s word for His approval we know we are walking by faith and not sight (Rom. 10:17; 2 Cor. 5:7). We are not able to conform ourselves to the will of God until we hear it. Therefore, we must inquire of God’s word so the alliance we make is with God rather than man. Even if the odds are 400 to 1, with God’s word on our side we will be victorious (Rom. 8:31-39). Here are just a few items about which we should consult the New Testament of Jesus before we act:
must I do to be saved? (read Acts 2:37-41; 16:30-34; 22:16; Rom. 10:9-10;
“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20
We are not to change the word of God. Man has no right to change what God has spoken (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18-19). Therefore, we respect the complete, verbal inspiration of the Bible, God's word, which lives and endures forever (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:22-25). We are not to change its teachings (Gal. 1:6-12).
The original writings were inspired by God, not men's later translations of them. God gave men the words He wanted them to write, and they wrote them (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 2:13; 14:37; cf. Acts 1:16, 20). After that, men made many copies of the original text (both the Hebrew text and the Greek text) as well as translated the Hebrew and Greek texts into other languages. These translations are not inspired, since Bible translators are not inspired men, although the original text was inspired by God. Some translations are good and some are not. So, if possible, it is wise to study different translations of the Bible to help us "rightly divide" (handle properly) the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
The original manuscripts of the Bible no longer exist. Our Bibles today are translations made from copies of the Biblical text. The quantity (amount) and the quality (condition) of these existing copies help us determine the credibility and reliability of the Bible and assure us we do indeed have the word of God today. Remember, God's word does not pass away (1 Pet. 1:22-25).
The fact that the spelling of names changes from one language to another is not the same as changing the message or the meaning of the word of God from the Hebrew and Greek in which the Bible was first written. Let me illustrate. The name "Joshua" means "Jehovah is salvation" (Num. 13:16). The Hebrew name "Joshua" (Yehowshuwa) is the same as the Greek name "Jesus" (Iesous). In Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 the Greek New Testament has the name "Iesous" for the Old Testament man we know as "Joshua." The English translation of the Greek New Testament made in 1611 (known as the King James Version) translated this name as "Jesus" in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8. Later editions of the KJV as well as other English translations rendered the name "Joshua." Did these later translations change God's word when they translated the name "Iesous" as "Joshua" in Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8? No, "Joshua" accurately translates "Iesous" in these two verses and remains consistent with the context and the meaning of the Biblical text.
The Biblical text was not originally written with numbered chapters and verses. Translations of the Biblical text were organized into chapters and verses in the 13th and 14th centuries to facilitate the citation of passages (to make it easier to locate them). Numbering the chapters and verses did not change the inspired text, but made the Biblical text easier to study, much like the printing and binding of books made the Bible easier to distribute to the general public.
We are confidently assured that the Bible is indeed the fully inspired and complete word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 2 John 1-6
1. Yes, it
matters. Sound doctrine is good (1 Tim. 4:1-16) & must be held fast (2 Tim.
I. FALSE DOCTRINE IS SIN, Ac 20:28f; 2Jno.7-9.
A. Deprives a
Person of Truth, 1 Tim. 6:3-5.
II. CAN WE KNOW SOUND DOCTRINE?
because Jesus Said we can Know His Doctrine, Jno. 7:16-17 (Isa. 30:9-10; Mt.
13:14-17); Jno. 18:38; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 2:15.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:2-6
condemns speech that tears down & commends speech that builds up, Eph. 4:29.
I. HOW CAN WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SINFUL CRITICISM & CONSTRUCTIVE COUNSEL?
A. Begin by
Examining & Cleansing our Heart, Lk. 11:39-40; 2 Co. 13:5 (Mt. 5:8; Js. 4:8;
1 Pet. 1:22).
II. MARKS OF SINFUL CRITICISM.
III. CONTINUING CONSTRUCTIVE COUNSEL, Rom. 12:9-18 (Col. 4:5-6).
Dangers of War
On Memorial Day a car bomb in Baghdad killed a U.S. soldier, an Iraqi interpreter, a CBS News camera man and sound man, wounded six U.S. soldiers and a CBS reporter. We continue to be reminded of the dangers of war.
Warfare is a frequent metaphor of the Christian’s life (2 Cor. 10:4). It is easy for Christians to forget we are at war “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). We must…
Armor up. Those killed and injured by the car bomb had been riding in an armored Humvee, but were on the street when the bomb exploded. “They were wearing helmets, flak jackets and protective eyeglasses when the bomb went off” (“Kimberly Dozier Breathing On Her Own,” WCBS-TV.com, June 2, 2006). The Lord’s armor protects the soul from eternal death (Eph. 6:10-13). Always wear it to prevail in your battle against Satan and sin.
Endure hardship. A soldier’s life is not an easy one. He willingly endures many trials to win the battle. In like manner, the Christian “must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3).
Avoid worldly entanglements. There are many diversions in this world that easily distract us. We must keep our eyes on the mission of serving Christ. “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:4).
Expect casualties. Some will surrender to the enemy (Satan) rather than fight. Do not be deterred; fight the “good fight” (2 Tim. 4:7-8). All who war against Christ will fall: “The Lamb will overcome them…and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Rev. 17:14).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA