And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume X, Number 35 June 17, 2007
In this issue:
I hope this is a question that you have already given reasonable consideration. It is a part of one’s life that many young people do not take as seriously as they should. Young people of a worldly mind have a very loose standard when it comes to who they date. They are not very selective, and as a result end up with someone that is a detriment to them.
For a young person that is spiritually minded, he or she does care a great deal about who they will or will not date. A godly minded teenager has certain criteria they look for in one they would consider dating. This is a good thing. Be picky. Be patient. Be particular. Now that does not mean you wait until you find the “perfect” one to date, for no one is perfect. But you do search diligently for a young lady or young man who loves God and serves God in their life.
A young person must always keep before them the all-important fact that the one they choose to date always makes a potential mate. Dating is what leads a young person to the divine institution of marriage. And aside from one’s obedience to the gospel of Christ, no more important decision exists in a person’s life. And so we must be resolved to choose wisely, very wisely.
Young people, it is of vital importance that you listen to the counsel of your parents (Proverbs 1:8; 2:1-5; 3:1-2; 4:1-2, 10, 20-22; 7:1-2) when it comes to dating. Because of their age they possess the knowledge, experience, and wisdom that we have yet to acquire in life. It is for good reason that God instructs children repeatedly to listen to and obey their parents (Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20). Though we might be reluctant to heed their advice when dating, we would be foolish to ignore it (not to mention disobedient to God’s commands).
It is obvious that Esau ignored his parents wishes and did what he desired when it came to his choice of wives. Judith and Basemath “were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah” (Genesis 26:34-35). Both Rebekah and Isaac were determined not to allow that same mistake to be made by their younger son Jacob. He would not choose a wife from the daughters of Canaan as Esau had done, but from his own people (Genesis 27:46; 28:1-9). Young people, do not date and certainly do not marry, someone that displeases your parents. Their counsel will not always be perfect, but what they teach you is done with your best interest in mind. So strive to honor them as God commands.
How do you know if someone is the “right one” for you? That is not always easy. You may date that person, but make sure you get to know them as well as possible. Ask yourself if this is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with (I Cor. 7:39). It should come natural to a Christian young person to desire to date and marry a Christian. A child of God should most readily be attracted to a fellow child of God – an individual that shares the one faith and one hope in common (Eph. 4:4-6).
Please keep in
mind young person that just because someone you might consider dating is a
Christian does not mean you should marry them. They may be weak in the
faith. They may be living a hypocritical life. They just may not be for you
and vise versa. But whoever you do decide on –
choose someone that will help you
get to heaven!
A brother in the Philippines recently asked,
“We believe we need to follow and adhere to the pattern as shown and exemplified by Jesus and his apostles in spiritual activity. My question is, when do we have liberty to act on a spiritual matters and still deemed it right to do so in besides of the pattern given in scriptures.
“For example, it is also right and I believe it is to use multiple cups in the Lord's Supper besides the given example by Jesus is a single cup. What principle of hermeneutics covers it?”
Jesus did not set a binding example of using a single container when he instituted the supper any more than he set a binding pattern of eating the Lord’s Supper in an upper room. Both the container and the upper room are incidental to obeying the Lord’s commandment to eat the supper in memory of His death.
Our brother’s question addresses how we tell whether a practice is incidental or germane to the authorized activity (an aid or an addition). We are at liberty to use that which aids our obedience to God. We are not at liberty to add to what God commands of us (Col. 3:17; Rev. 22:18).
When something is incidental it is a liberty which may or may not be expedient in a given circumstance. For example, Noah was at liberty to use tools that would help him obey God’s commandment to build an ark. He could use whatever tools best served this purpose.
However, when something is an element of the authorized activity it is a matter of necessity, not liberty. Noah was not free to use whatever wood he desired; gopher wood had been commanded. The heart with which we make melody to God is essential; song books are incidental.
We may scripturally conclude that we are granted liberty (permission from God)…
1) When no specific authority is under consideration. Had God commanded “wood” Noah would have been at liberty to choose the kind of wood to use. Had the Lord commanded “juice” we would be at liberty to choose the kind we prefer. Jesus did not specific “one container” but one kind of content. In Matthew 26:27 he “took the cup” and said “drink from it,” which was equivalent to drinking “of this fruit of the vine” in verse 29. That which is specified is the fruit of the vine not that which contains it.
2) When the force or purpose of the commandment is left unchanged. Whether Noah used an ax, a saw, ropes, pulleys or pegs, these were incidental to the commandment and left up to him to decide.
Jesus told his disciples to “drink this cup” (1 Cor. 11:26; cf. Lk. 22:17-20). Whether one or many containers are used to “drink this cup,” the purpose of the commandment remains intact. Thus, we are at liberty to choose the number of containers without violating any biblical example. It is sinful to bind one container upon brethren. Those who do so are twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3:16).
Had the Lord commanded “one container” we would be bound to that course of action. But, it is “the fruit of the vine” that represents the blood Jesus “shed for you,” not the container (Lk. 22:18, 20). God accepts those who drink the fruit of the vine in memory of His blood, regardless of the number of containers used to accomplish the memorial.
3) We are never given liberty (permission) to sin against the word of God. All must be done by His authority (1 Jno. 3:4; Col. 3:17).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Eph. 6:10-17
1. “Fight the
good fight of faith,” 1 Tim. 6:12.
-The militancy of God’s people should be apparent in the following:
1. Be militant in
obeying (applying) truth, Heb. 5:11-14; Jas. 1:21-22; 1 Jno.
2. Be militant in
contending for the faith, Jude 3.
3. Be militant in
resisting devil, Js.4:7; 1Pe 5:9
4. Be militant in
standing in the faith (1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 6:10-13, 14-17). 2
1. Be zealous for what is good
(truth), Gal. 4:18.
Video from Space
Did you hear about
the mother in suburban Chicago whose baby monitor has been picking up video
from inside the space shuttle Atlantis? Experts say the transmission is not
being picked up directly from the shuttle, but since live video of the
mission is available on NASA's website, the signal is being picked up from
somewhere. ("Baby Monitor Picks Up Video from NASA," AP, 14June2007,
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 06/17/2007
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA