And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 06 January 11, 2009
In this issue:
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” (Proverbs 4:14-15)
The word “warn” means “to give notice beforehand of danger or evil, or to call to one’s attention.” God, in His infinite wisdom, gave man many warnings in this life. Why has God given us this particular warning in Proverbs?
Since we are living in the world, we are going to come into contact with a variety of people everyday. Often the lives of our neighbors, friends, and sometimes even our loved ones will not direct or encourage us to walk “the straight and narrow.” We see the evil choices that are made by many, but do we have to follow them down the same path? The apostle Paul told the Romans to “...be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
During the many years that I have been a child of God, it has amazed me to watch the influence that the world has upon many of my brethren. Why is it not the other way around? Jesus told us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Why do we not have the effect on them that they have on us?
The answer, I believe, is quite simple. Too often, we are walking down the same paths that those in the world are travelling. In order to set the proper example as a Christian, and have an influence for good, we must “avoid the path of the wicked.” We have to live in the world, but we must not live of the world (1 Cor. 15:33; Rom. 12:10; Titus 2:11-12).
Often, brethren stumble and are overtaken in sin because they “set themselves up.” We need to be careful about finding ourselves in “situations” where the “atmosphere” is geared toward the wicked. It is much easier to “yield not to temptation” when we do not put ourselves in difficult situations. -The Vegas Drive Messenger
The power of water is often taken for granted. Water gives life to every creature on this planet. (Even our bodies are composed mostly of water.) When harnessed, the power of water generates electricity, brings life to arid soil and serves the human good in countless ways. We would die without water.
Yet, the power of water can be devastating as witnessed by the flooding this week here in Whatcom County and across the state of Washington. Tens of thousands of Washington residents were forced to evacuate their homes. Lives were disrupted and homes were destroyed. Travel and commerce was shutdown in parts of the state because of the floods.
God used water long ago to execute His judgment against sinful man. The flood in the days of Noah both saved and destroyed. Eight souls were “saved through water” while “the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water” (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:6). Behold the goodness and the severity of God!
God was gracious to Noah because Noah “walked with God” (Gen. 6:8-9). By faith Noah obeyed God and built the ark according to the commandment of God (Gen. 6:14, 22; Heb. 11:7). Noah heard the word of God and obeyed Him, thus becoming an “heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7).
In order to be saved by grace through faith, every sinner today must hear the words of Christ and obey them. Jesus said: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matt. 7:24-25). The rains and flood of sin will not overwhelm the person who hears and obeys Jesus; He saves “all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).
But, to resist and refuse to obey the words of Christ will bring the destruction of sin into one’s life. And like a mighty flood, the power of sin will destroy the soul: “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matt. 7:26-27).
The water of baptism will save you from your past sins through the death and resurrection of Christ just as water saved Noah when he obeyed God by building the ark (1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:3-4). Be protected from the devastation of sin by the power of Christ and His gospel. Hear and obey Jesus now by believing in Christ and confessing your faith, repenting of your sins and being baptized into Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 17:30; Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). Hear and do the words of Jesus to be eternally saved.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-4
can all be deceived (Prov. 14:12).
I. YOU CAN BE DECEIVED! 2 Cor. 11:3
A. Satan’s Craftiness Causes Corruption.
B. Satan’s Deceptions can be Withstood, 2 Ths. 2:3; 1 Pet. 5:8 (Jas. 4:7)
II. THINGS WHICH CAN DECEIVE YOU.
A. The Power and Influence of Sin, Rom. 7:11; 2 Pet 2:19; 1 Jno. 2:16; Jas. 1:14-15; 1 Cor. 5:6; 15:33; Col. 3:5-9, 12-13; 1 Jno. 2:15.
B. Yourself (self-deception), 1 Cor. 3:18; cf. Deut. 11:16; Lk. 18:9-12; Prov. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:18; Lk. 18:14; Rom. 12:3; 1 Jno. 1:8.
C. Evil People Who Cause Division, Rom. 16:17-18; Col. 2:4; 2 Pet. 2:3; Tit. 3:10-11.
D. Deceitful Teachers, 2 Ths. 2:3; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 1 Cor. 14:37; Eph. 5:6; 2 Ths. 2:15 (1 Ths. 2:13).
III. GOD WILL NEVER DECEIVE YOU, Heb. 13:5.
A. God is Faithful, Rom. 3:4; 1 Cor. 10:13; Psa. 43:1; 55:22-23.
B. God’s Word is Sound (Not Deceptive), 1 Tim. 6:3; 1 Pet. 2:23.
C. Jesus Will Never Lead You Astray, Jno. 14:6; 8:31-32.
we trust in ourselves or other men - We will be deceived.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19
This charge continues to be heard; repeated by people who either do not know
the issue or who refuse to accept the answers given.
I. JESUS SAID IT WOULD BE SO, Jno. 15:18-21; Matt. 5:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:12-16.
II. CHRISTIANS ARE FALSELY CHARGED, Acts 24:13-15; 28:22; Jno. 16:1-3.
III. WE ARE TOLD THE TRAITS OF A CULT ARE:
A. “A Charismatic Leader who Indoctrinates Members with Unorthodox or Extremist Views.” (cf. Jesus, Matt. 21:6-11; Col. 1:18; 3:17)
B. “Unorthodox or Extremist Views”, Matt. 15:1-2; Acts 11:2-3; Jno. 8:23-24; 11:25-26.
C. “Claims to be the Only True Church”, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:4; 5:23; 1 Tim. 3:15.
D. “Teaches Doctrines which Differ from ‘Historic Christianity’”, 1 Tim. 4:1-3; Matt. 15:7-9; Col. 2:8.
IV. “CULT” IS A PREJUDICIAL LABEL, Phil. 3:17-19; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16.
V. THE BIBLE ESTABLISHES DOCTRINE.
A. Understandable, Eph. 3:3-5; 5:17.
B. It Applies to All Men, Matt. 28:18-19.
C. It Is From God, Not Man, Gal. 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
D. What the Gospel Produces, Matt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 11:26; 2:41-42, 47; Eph. 4:4; Jno. 4:23-24; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Jno. 9; Matt. 28:20; 2 Cor. 5:7.
-The church of Christ is not a cult, 1 Tim. 3:15.
Jobless Rate hits 7.2%
The latest U. S. unemployment figures were posted Friday. 524,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were lost in December, with 2.6 million job losses in 2008. The unemployment rate now stands at 7.2%. (online.wsj.com)
This got me thinking about the unemployment rate in the Lord’s church. I wonder what the rate would be if it could be calculated how many Christians are not working in the kingdom (including the local church).
I’m talking about work that exists, that could be and should be done by someone, but isn’t being done. I’m talking about able-bodied Christians who could be working, but they are not.
Christians lose their jobs from time to time through no fault of their own. They want to work and would prefer it, but their job is cut. But, God forbid that any of us should fall into the category of the “unemployed” in the kingdom of God. Why? Because to be unemployed in the kingdom is self-imposed; one has chosen not to work for the Lord.
As an example, any of us can chose to do the smallest act of kindness; but do we? “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42). Any of us can show care and give aid to others, but are we (Matt. 25:34-40)? “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matt. 25:40).
There is work to do as Christians and as members of the Mt. Baker church. If you are an “unemployed” spiritual worker it is because you have chosen to be. If you don’t know what you can do, please ask. Rest assured, you can do something. And, by working, God will be served and you will be blessed (Lk. 12:43).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 03/17/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA