"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Invites you to our
Steven j. wallace
(Sunnyside & Yakima, WA)
April 26–May 01, 2009
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
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Some actually teach that Christians should keep the Passover. This is false doctrine. The Passover was a uniquely Hebrew celebration that God commanded Israel to observe annually:
Exodus 12:13-14: Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
Exodus 12:24-28: And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
The Passover was never commanded of Christians nor observed by Christians as a religious celebration.
When Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples He was observing the Law of Moses (Lk. 22:15), not instituting it for the gospel age. The Passover has been fulfilled in Christ, who was sacrificed for us; He is our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7). It is His blood - not the blood of a dead lamb - that grants redemption from sins (Eph. 1:7). God sees the blood of the Lam of God and passes over us, not imposing death, but giving us life.
The Law of Moses, with its feasts and celebrations, has been done away in Christ (2 Cor. 3:14), abolished (Eph. 2:14-15) and nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14). Therefore, no one is to bind the festivals of the Law of Moses upon Christians (Col. 2:16-17). If one tries to bind any part of the Law of Moses upon Christians they are severed from Christ and fallen from grace (Gal. 5:3-4).
Just as Easter is of human origin and nowhere to be found in the gospel of Christ, so also is the false teaching that the Passover is for Christians. Both are without the authority of Christ and are to be refused (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; Gal. 1:6-10).
We must continually be concerned about the influence false brethren and false teachers can have upon us. Like Israel demanding a king in the days of Samuel (1 Sam. 8), many of God’s people are enamored with the religious teachers among the churches of men. While applauding the "spiritual insights" of these blind guides (Matt. 15:14), they routinely reject as outdated, old fashioned “sticks in the mud” (or worse) those who “contend for the faith” and who “hold fast the pattern of sound words” (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 1:13).
Some of the kings of the nations surrounding Israel may have had some good ideas about how to govern a nation. Do you suppose the Israelite demand for a king started with, “We will only take the good points from them - we can tell the difference between the works of men and the will of God”? If so, they were naive about the influence of error, lacking faith in God and His revelation to them. So are we if we think we cannot be influenced by the smooth, fair and persuasive speech of false teachers (Rom. 16:18; Col. 2:4). Every “good idea” about spiritual matters must be judicially exposed to the light of revealed truth, not human wisdom, before it can be rightly regarded as “good” in God’s sight (2 Tim. 3:16-17). To what shall we look for guidance, the wisdom of men or the power of God, His gospel (1 Cor. 2:4-5; Rom. 1:16)?
So, should I never read or study any religious material except it be authored by faithful brethren? Must I never listen to anything anyone has to say who is not a Christian? No, and if that is your conclusion from this article then you have missed my point. The point is this: any of us can be influenced by error. Error is deceptive, often appearing to serve righteousness (2 Cor. 11:15). We cannot afford to be fooled. Whatever we study and learn must be strictly compared with and judged by what the Scriptures say (Acts 17:11). Keeping our focus on the word of God rather than the opinions of men is the only safe and Scriptural course. Then, we will not want to be like the nations around us. “Buy the truth and sell it not.” (Prov. 23:23)
“He Comes with Good News”
When the watchman told King David the approaching runner looked like Ahimaaz, David said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news” (2 Sam. 18:27). The nature of much of the news is that if it is good it is not news at all. (We have all heard the TV news adage, “if it bleeds, it leads”.)
The daily news is both good and bad. There are lessons to be learned in times of evil as well as when times are good (cf. Prov. 30:7-9; Eccl. 7:14).
The gospel is “good news” because it is the report of salvation from sin through the sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16). Since “all have sinned”, the gospel is truly “noteworthy news” for us all (Rom. 3:23).
The gospel is noteworthy because it is unique. There is no other way to be saved except through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). How truly important it is that we hear, believe and obey the gospel message, for only then will we be saved from sin and death (Mk. 16:15-16).
The gospel is noteworthy because it is final. There is no other message coming in the future that will save us; the gospel is the full and complete law of liberty (Heb. 1:1-2; Jas. 1:25).
The gospel is noteworthy because it is true. We are bombarded with misinformation every day. But, the “word of the truth of the gospel” is sure and contains the message of hope in heaven (Col. 1:5).
Let us be those who bring good news to all who need it.
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA