And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 16 April 26, 2009
In this issue:
Invites you to our
Steven j. wallace
(Sunnyside & Yakima, WA)
April 26–May 01, 2009
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Some brethren have elevated themselves and have become content with a position as a “judge” of sermons, of doctrine and of the Scripture as being “positive” or “negative.” I have always been leery of those who think they have the authority to judge the Word as something “negative.” I sometimes ask churches when I hold a meeting if there is anything negative about “convince,” “rebuke,” “exhort.” Usually someone will think that “convince” and “rebuke” are more “negative” and “exhorting” is more “positive.”
Regardless, Paul told preachers to preach “the word” which includes the “whole counsel” and to do so in season or out of season with longsuffering (2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 20:20, 26, 27). It is “out of season” to preach what men like to judge as “negative.” Such will always be the case when brethren get bold enough to judge God’s word as “negative.” (I always thought that if a person could show me how to escape hell that such was a pretty positive thing!)
When people begin making themselves judges of the law they have sinned by making themselves above the law rather than keeping their place “under” the law. James tells us,
“So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” (Jas. 2:12).
And again he stated,
“. . . But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge” (Jas. 4:11).
If I understand James’ point, we cannot be partial in God’s law. We cannot set aside part of God’s law and choose to obey another part, or we make ourselves judges rather than doers. If we violate any part, if we reject any part, if we despise any part, we then despise it all for it all condemns us (Jas. 2:4, 10). The next time you are asked to judge God’s word as “negative” think about this admonishment:
“. . . Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” (Jas. 5:9).
The irony is, that while some may think they are judging the preaching of the word, it is the word that is judging them, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
Jesus stated nearly 2000 years ago, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). To the simple, unbiased and unprejudiced mind, Jesus’ statement is very clear and easy to understand. It is as easy to understand a doctor’s statement, “He who eats his food and digests it will live; but he who does not eat will die.” All of us would easily understand that unless we eat and digest, we will die! However, for those who have allied themselves with human creeds and have been depraved with worldly wisdom, Jesus’ simple statement becomes confusing and contradicting. Although the Bible ALWAYS places water baptism (in Jesus’ name) before salvation, men have sought ways to undermine His authority and confuse the simplicity of our Lord’s teaching.
The Enormity of God
Space scientists report finding a mysterious “blob” measured to be 12.9 billion light-years from the earth. It is reported to be a gas cloud about half the size of our Milky Way galaxy. For those who accept the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, this is being described as a discovery near the dawn of time (“Giant Mystery Blob Discovered Near Dawn of Time”, Jeremy Hsu, Space.com).
Not only does the Big Bang Theory mock the evidence of creation, it also presumes that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the big bang (cf. 2 Pet. 3:4). So, according to the theory, if you can see an object 12.9 billion light-years away, the light you are now seeing must have occurred 12.9 billion years ago.
There is a problem, though. God the Creator made the heavens and the earth with the appearance of age, just as He created Adam with the appearance of age. Formed as an adult, when Adam had lived one day he looked like he had lived many years.
In a similar way, when God created the stars their light instantly appears (Gen. 1:14-19). Adam did not have to wait years before any star light appeared in his night sky.
The fact that objects can be seen over 12 billion light-years away ought to cause man to stand in awe and amazement at the enormity and power of our God! He spoke and it all came into being (Psa. 33:6-9). Nothing is hidden from His view, no matter how far away (Psa. 139:7-8). Yet, He also sees us (Heb. 4:13).
Take time to look into the heavens and meditate on the vastness of God. The heavens give you a glimpse into God’s eternal and all-powerful nature (Rom. 1:20).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 04/24/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA