And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 18 May 10, 2009
In this issue:
Blessed are the Mothers who
love God, for their children shall
Blessed are the Mothers who love the word of God, for their
Blessed are the Mothers who love the house of God, for their
Blessed are the Mothers who love to pray, for their children
Blessed are the Mothers who love to give to the cause of Christ,
Blessed are the Mothers who love the family altar, for they
Blessed are the Mothers who love to speak kind words to their
Blessed are the Mothers who love to be companions to their
Blessed are the Mothers who love to fight life’s battles
Blessed are the Mothers who, when they are old and gray,
Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Churches accept the Nicene Creed (325 AD) which says in part, “We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church.” These “four marks” or “notes”, said to characterize the church, also found their way into the Creed of Constantinople in 381: “‘[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.’”
More on these marks in a moment, but first, we must understand what the church is and what it is not. Although Catholicism and Protestantism view the church from an institutional point of view, that is not New Testament teaching. The church of Christ is not composed of various organizations (denominations) of Christians; it is composed of Christians (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47). The church of Christ is not defined and regulated by creeds, but by the living word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; Col. 3:17). The church of Christ does not have a worldwide institutional headquarter; its head is Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Christians do not organize into denominations with opposing doctrines; they organize into local congregations and hold fast to sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2-3; 1:13). With that said, let us return to the “four marks” of the church.
There ought to be unity in the body of Christ. For it Jesus prayed and we must endeavor to keep it (Jno. 17:20-21; Eph. 4:3).
Their creed claims unity, but the denominations practice division in name, in doctrine and in morality. Christ is not divided (1 Cor. 1:13). The churches of men are not one.
Christians are to be “sanctified and useful for the Master” (2 Tim. 2:21). Christ redeemed the church by His death “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:26-27). Christians are called to put away sin, not to continue living in it (Eph. 4:20-24; Rom. 6:1-2).
Catholics and Protestants – and many in churches of Christ – have forsaken the holiness “without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Moral sins of licentiousness abound and are acceptable in the churches of men, but that is not Christ’s will for His church. He has called us to holiness (1 Ths. 4:3, 7; 2 Cor. 6:17-18).
This word means “universal” without reference to Roman Catholicism. Redemption is available to all who will gladly receive the gospel, repent of sins and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:37-41).
Yet, some churches continue to define themselves by a particular race, culture or nationality (such as the Greek Orthodox Church). Being “one in Christ” removes such barriers; the gospel is for all (Gal. 3:26-29).
The “apostles’ doctrine” molded and directed the early church (Acts 2:42). The churches of men claim the apostles, but the church of Christ follows the apostles. They were “earthen vessels” in whom the treasure of the gospel was deposited. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they proclaimed it to the world (2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Only when we receive the apostles do we receive Christ (Jno. 13:20).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Exodus 2:1-9
mother’s love that pleases God is learned (Titus 2:4).
I. A MOTHER PROTECTS HER CHILDREN.
The Nurturing of a Mother Lasts a Lifetime.
II. A MOTHER PRAYS FOR HER CHILDREN.
Faith in God is the Center of her Life, Prov 31:10, 30.
III. A MOTHER PREPARES HER CHILDREN.
Mother Prepares her Children for Many Things (cf. life, love, faith).
not despise mother, Prov 28:24; 30:11
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psalm 40:1-5
Jesus expressed the Almighty’s desire to help us – to give us what we truly
need. God wants to help! Matt 11:28-30
I. GOD WANTS TO HELP YOU…
Saved from Your Sins, Psa 145:17-18, 8-9 (Eph 2:4-5); Acts 16:27-30.
II. TO BE HELPED BY GOD WE MUST…
Call upon Him, Psa 145:18; 55:16; Acts 1:14; 4:23-24; 12:5; 8:22-24; 1 Jno
III. THE RESULT OF GOD’S HELP, Psa 145:21.
Speak God’s Praises to Others, Psa 145:21, 5-7, 10-13 (51:12-13); Matt 5:16.
Going to God for His help requires faith (1 Jno 5:4).
Oprah gave away free chicken this week, but things turned fowl. Coupons could be downloaded and redeemed at KFC, but first there were problems with downloading the coupons. Then, some KFC restaurants wouldn’t redeem the coupons. A sit-in and near riot ensued at one New York City KFC when it refused to honor the coupons. Others stood in line for up to an hour to get their free chicken.
This reminds us of the Bible teaching on the conditional nature of God’s gift of salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). Those who advocate salvation “by faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone” refuse to accept the clear truth that God’s gift of salvation is conditional. To receive the gift of salvation the sinner must do the things God requires (His conditions). When the gospel conditions are met it is no less a gift, nor is the gift “earned”.
Consider the gift of free chicken from Oprah. She offered the gift, having arranged it with KFC. God offers salvation to all sinners, having arranged it through the offering of Christ on the cross (Rom. 3:23-26). The chicken was free, but people had to do some things to obtain it. They had to 1) Download the coupon, 2) go to KFC, and 3) stand in line and order the “gift”. Likewise, those who want to be saved by grace through faith must 1) Believe in Christ, Jno. 8:24, 2) Confess faith, Rom. 10:9-10, 3) Repent, Lk. 13:3, 5, and 4) be baptized, Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38. The conditions do not change the nature of the gift. When met, the gift is obtained.
Why is it people will do more for free chicken than they will for free salvation? (See Jno. 6:26-29; Ac 22:16)
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 05/11/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA