Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
Unquestionably, we are saved by faith. Faith involves one’s trust and dependency upon God. Faith is produced by and rests upon God-given evidences (Heb. 11:1; Jno. 20:30-31; Rom. 10:17). Faith is expressed through man’s obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ (Matt. 7:21; Lk. 6:46). Faith that is not joined with works (of obedience) is dead, because it is alone (Jas. 2:17). It is neither trite nor simplistic to say that “the faith that saves is the faith that obeys.” Simply stated, saving faith is obedient faith.
Yet, there are those – including some in churches of Christ – who would convince us to give up “the idea that we must DO SOMETHING to effect our justification” (“Dead Men Don’t Climb Ladders!”, Roy Osborne, Wineskins). Did this author fail to think through his statement? If his assertion is true, the faith described in Romans 5:1-2 has to be inactive in order to produce justification. If man cannot “DO SOMETHING” (his emphasis), then man’s faith cannot DO ANYTHING that effects his justification. However, in James 2 we are taught that an inactive faith is of no profit (2:14), is dead (2:17, 26), is of the demons (2:19), is barren (2:20) and will not justify (2:24). Roy Osborne has taught false doctrine on the nature of faith and justification, and unsuspecting souls have been deceived by the error. In an apparent zeal for the grace of God, the role of faith in one’s salvation is minimized. In truth, sinners must “DO SOMETHING” to be saved by God’s grace (Matt. 7:21; Titus 2:11-14).
Hebrews 11 emphatically teaches that faith saves when faith obeys. From Abel to Abraham, from Jacob to Jericho, the lesson is clear: God blesses those who trust His word and obey Him. Hebrews 11 teaches us what kind of faith saves the soul (Heb. 10:39). God rewarded their obedient faith, and He will reward ours, too (Heb. 11:6).
Will you put your faith to work by obeying God’s word? Or, through disobedience will you resist and reject God’s definition of saving faith?
The recent military conflict between Israel and Hezbollah has caused renewed interest in whether there are Biblical ramifications to the event. Is modern-day Israel the people of God? Is the nation of Israel God’s chosen people? What does the Bible say?
One of the promises God made to Abram was to make a great nation of his descendants (Gen. 12:2). God fulfilled this promise when He brought Israel out of Egyptian slavery: “Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude” (Deut. 10:22). At that time God told Israel, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exo. 19:5-6).
Israel forsook the commands of God and was punished by God, who eventually cast her off the land He had given her (Lev. 18:26-28). Assyria and Babylon executed God’s judgment upon the sinful nation (Lev. 26:27-39; Deut. 28:45-68; Isa. 10:5-12; 2 Chrn. 36:15-21). A remnant of the people returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity (Isa. 10:21; Ezra 1-2). But, Israel would no longer have a king reigning in Jerusalem (Jer. 22:24-30). Although never completely consumed, God’s judgment was that Israel would never be a nation again (Jer. 4:27; 5:18; 30:11; 46:28; 19:10-11).
Through the nation of Israel, God provided a Savior for the whole world who saves all who fear God and work righteousness - regardless of race and nationality (Gen. 12:3; 22:18; Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 1:16). Today it is not physical Israel that is God’s chosen nation; it is the spiritual kingdom of Christ, his church, that constitutes the “Israel of God” (Jno. 1:12; 1 Pet. 2:4-10; Acts 2:47; Gal. 6:16). Under the gospel of Christ, the “Israel of God” is identified by faith, not flesh: “those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed” (Rom. 9:8; cf. Phil. 3:3). “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Rom. 2:28-29).
Since Israel is not the chosen people of God today, what about current events and Israel’s salvation? Israel will be saved just like Gentiles are saved, through faith in Christ (Rom. 11:25-32; Acts 15:11). Salvation will not come to Israel as a nation, but one soul at a time, through the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). Wars will rage, not because God is preparing to restore Israel to its former glory, but because faithless men still reject the Savior and His gospel of peace (Rom. 10:15-17). Modern-day Israel is not favored by God above any other nation. All men must come to Christ through His gospel to be saved from their sins (Acts 13:26-40; Gal. 3:26-29).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: James 1:21-27
1. Jesus put a premium on action, Lk. 6:46; Jno. 4:34; 9:4;
Matt. 7:21, 24.
I. THE DOER LAYS ASIDE ALL SIN, 1:21.
A. The World’s Attitudes about Sin Include:
II. THE DOER MEEKLY ACCEPTS THE WORD OF GOD, 1:21.
A. Attitude toward Truth is Crucial, Jno. 7:17; Lk. 8:8, 15 (Col. 3:16); 1 Pet. 1:22-23 (Rom. 1:16).
III. THE DOER LOOKS AT HIMSELF IN GOD’S MIRROR OF TRUTH & CHANGES , 1:23-25.
A. The Hearer Sees Himself but does not Improve Himself,
IV. THE DOER REFUSES TO DECEIVE HIMSELF, 1:26.
A. Hearer is Self-Deceived (Heb. 3:13); Matt. 7:22-23;
V. THE DOER PRACTICES PURE & UNDEFILED RELIGION, 1:27.
A. Pure & Undefiled (genuine & untainted).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psalm 115:1-8
1. Man has corrupted himself with the sin of idolatry, Rom.
I. TO WHOM WILL YOU LIKEN GOD? Isa. 40:18
A. God is not the Things in this World, Isa. 40:25-26
II. GOD IS…
A. Eternal, Psa. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17.
III. THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD, Isa. 40.
A. God Forgives Sin, 40:1-9 (Jno. 1:29).
7 Reasons Why it is Wrong to Gamble
1. Gambling destroys the incentive to work. Gen. 2:15, 3:19; Eph. 4:28; II Thess. 3:10
2. Gambling is unjust gain. Prov. 28:6-8; Ezek. 22:12-13
3. Gambling is a form of covetousness. Eph. 5:3; Hab. 2:6
4. A gambler is a lover of money. I Tim. 6:5-10; Col. 3:5
5. Gambling breaks the second greatest commandment. Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 13:10
6. Gambling violates the golden rule. Matt. 7:12
7. A gambler robs his family. Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 5:8
Gambling is injurious to the moral and welfare of the people. It has wrecked homes and has ruined many lives. Gambling is addictive. There is an allure about getting something for nothing, which can result in a “little gambler” becoming a “big gambler.”
Either way, the gambler is a “big loser!”
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA