Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Preacher Quits Sports!
1. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
2. The people with whom I had to sit didn't seem friendly.
3. The seats were too hard and not at all comfortable.
4. I went to many games, but the coach never came to call on me.
5. The referee made a decision with which I could not agree.
6. I suspected that I was sitting with some hypocrites--they came to see their friends and what others were wearing rather than to see the game.
7. Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some numbers that I had never heard before.
9. It seems that the games are scheduled when I want to do other things.
10. I was taken to too many games by my parents when I was growing up.
When put in this light, how silly and selfish some of our excuses for not assembling with the saints to worship God become! If you wouldn’t give up your favorite activity for the above reasons, then make sure you don’t give up worshipping God because them. (After all, shouldn’t worshipping God be among our favorite activities?)
It saddens us to see a child who fails to properly develop. Bodies and minds do not always grow as they should, often through no fault of the person who must live with the resulting disability. Jesus and His apostles had compassion on such people, and so should we (Jno. 9:1-7; Acts 3:1-8).
It distresses us to see Christians who are not developing spiritually. Spiritual growth is within our control. Spiritual immaturity it is not the result of unfortunate, unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances. Equally tragic is that some Christians do not seem to want to grow stronger. Apathy and indifference have infected them and they do not see why they need to grow. This must change! Hebrews 5:11-6:3 states at least three reasons why every Christian should mature in Christ.
1) We should mature by reason of time (Heb. 5:12). Time gives us opportunities to grow and mature; to become stronger Christians. How long have you been a Christian? How much has your faith grown in that length of time? The passing of time ought to increase our opportunities, if not also our ability, to serve Christ. For instance, time gives us opportunities to become teachers of God’s word (5:12). Perhaps we should ask ourselves what type of preaching and teaching holds our interest? Apparently some can only tolerate the milk of the word despite having heard the “first principles” for many years. I am not criticizing first principle lessons, for they will always have their place and need. But, when a Christian of some years objects to anything but first principle classes and preaching, is that not a sign of spiritual immaturity? Yes, preaching must suit the needs and capabilities of the hearers (2 Tim. 4:2). But, if I consistently describe Bible teaching as “over my head,” could it be that I have not adequately grown in my ability to receive the teaching I need? It was for this very reason that some of what needed to written to the Hebrew Christians fell on ears that were “dull of hearing” (5:11). Use your time to grow in Christ by reading and learning God’s word.
2) We should mature by reason of use (Heb. 5:13-14). Exercise helps us grow. Bodily exercise is good, but it will not save our souls (1 Tim. 4:7-8). So, we must exercise ourselves in godliness. Those who mature in their faith exercise their senses by using the word of God to “discern both good and evil” (5:14). They become stronger and more complete Christians through such experiences (5:13). When muscles are not exercised they become weak and do not function to their full potential. Similarly, when a Christian fails to use God’s word in his life he becomes weak and frail. A Christian in such a spiritually weakened state is an easy target for Satan. You can rest assured that Satan will tempt you in your areas of weakness! So, we must “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” by obeying God (Eph. 6:10-17). Additionally, those who are spiritually weak are not setting good examples for others to follow. We need to set strong examples of godliness before others (Matt. 5:14-16). If you are setting examples of weakness and immaturity before others do not be surprised when they are not strong, either. Rather, let us use God’s word to know and choose what is right to be stronger Christians.
3) We should mature because it is God’s will for us (Heb. 6:3). God wants His children to be strong and mature. Just as fleshly parents want their children to grow to adulthood, God anticipates our spiritual maturity. God wants us to be “perfect in Christ Jesus” and to be “filled with all the fullness of God” (Col. 1:27-28; Eph. 3:19). In His goodness, forbearance and longsuffering, God gives us time and opportunity to do His will and become strong in Christ (Rom. 2:4; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9; Jas. 4:15). We must decide to use these blessings to grow in our love for God, in our knowledge of His word, and in our obedience to His will.
“Let us go on to perfection…and this will we do if God permits” (Heb. 6:1-3).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
1. Character: “Inner strength”; that which defines the
person (Prov. 23:7; Matt. 12:34-35).
I. JESUS IS OUR MODEL FOR CHARACTER, Lk. 6:40 (1 Pet. 2:21; 2 Pet. 1:4). (1 Jno. 4:17)
A. Conformed, Rom. 8:29. (Fashioned like)
II. CONVERSION: CHANGING CHARACTER, 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 12:2 (Salvation, Acts 26:18); 1 Cor. 6:9-11.
A. Raised with Christ (Rom. 6:1-4, 5-18), Col. 3:1-4
III. IN CHRIST, WE HAVE…
A. A New Relation to Sin, 3:5-11 (Rom. 6:2-7; 11-14, no
1. What does God see in us? Heb. 4:13
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 4:12-16
1. The gospel preacher must be prepared when he stands to
preach; he must have something to say, not just have to say
I. THE PURPOSE OF GOSPEL PREACHING, Mk. 16:15-16; Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 1:21-23.
II. TRAITS OF A GOSPEL SERMON. (A Gospel Sermon Must…)
A. Be Scriptural, 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 4:2; 1
Ths. 2:1-4, 13.
III. DEVELOPING A SERMON.
A. Parts of a Sermon.
IV. TYPES OF GOSPEL SERMONS.
1. Prepare yourself to preach the gospel by preparing your
Fatal Flaws about the Future
The current war in the Middle East has Premillennial prophets predicting and Dispensational discerners divining the future. Their false doctrines include 1) The nation of Israel is still the chosen people of God, 2) Palestine is the still the Promised Land, and 3) Jesus will return to Jerusalem and reign there for 1,000 years. These are fatal flaws about the future because:
The land promise to Israel has already been fulfilled. “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.” (Josh. 21:43; see also 23:14; Jer. 32:21-23)
The Messianic kingdom exists today and is the church of Christ. “And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power." “…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” (Mk. 9:1; Matt. 16:18-19; see also Psa. 2:6-12; Acts 13:32-33; Rev. 1:5-6)
The kingdom of Christ is spiritual, not earthly. “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here" (Jno. 18:36; see also Lk. 17:20-21).
The physical nation of Israel is no longer God’s chosen people; the church is now God’s chosen people. “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly…but he is a Jews who is one inwardly” (Rom. 2:28; see also Rom. 9:6-8; 1 Pet. 2:9-10).
Armageddon is used symbolically in Revelation 16:16 of God’s decisive defeat of the enemies of His people (see also Rev. 16:12-15). The Valley of Megiddo was a place where opposing forces fought decisive battles in the Old Testament (Jug. 5:19; 6:33; 2 Chrn. 35:20-25). Similarly, the Lord defeats the persecutors of His people (Rev. 19:19-21).
When Jesus returns He will deliver the kingdom up to God, not establish it on earth (read 1 Cor. 15:23-27).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA