And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 15, Number
In this issue:
September 30-October 5, 2012
lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
"Practical Lessons for Every Christian"
Sunday Class - Salvation and Blood
Sunday AM – Putting the Past--In the Past (1)
Sunday PM – Putting the Past--In the Past (2)
Monday - Storms of Life
Tuesday – Prayerlessness--What Happens When We Fail to Pray?
Wednesday – Rekindle the Fire
Thursday – Preaching What We Practice
Friday - Taking Up My Cross
Learn about New Testament Christianity!
The gospel is God’s power to save us! (Romans 1:16)
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Someone put a door hanger on the church building’s door knob with a photo of planet earth. It said, “One Planet, One People”. On the back it said, “Protect your religious freedoms – Support separation of church and state”. Whoever left it on the door then wrote, “Teach Tolerance”.
I’m sorry I was not here when it was left at the door. I would have liked to ask what type of tolerance we were being urged to teach. After all, we cannot tolerate some things.
We cannot teach tolerance for relative truth. Who shall we turn to for the truth about teaching tolerance? Shall we rely on the person who hung the flyer on the door for the truth about tolerance? Or, perhaps we should rely on a politician, a philosopher or ourselves. The Bible says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it” (Prov. 23:23). According to Jesus, God’s word is truth: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jno. 17:17). We dare not go beyond what is written by inspiration without incurring the wrath of God who gave us His truth (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:8-9). We cannot tolerate the notion that there is no definite standard of moral authority. There is a standard of truth that came from God by which we must live our lives in order to have His approval (Col. 3:17; Matt. 7:21). That is what we will teach.
We cannot teach tolerance for moral sin. God’s word is clear in advancing moral purity in our attitudes and in the way we live. The Bible teaches us to purify our hearts and to keep ourselves pure (Jas. 4:8; 1 Tim. 5:22). It identifies the works of the flesh as sinful defilement (Gal. 5:19-21). It identifies the lusts of the flesh and of the eyes, along with pride, as sins that are against the love of God (1 Jno. 2:15-17). We cannot tolerate immorality. It dishonors God and mankind (Rom. 1:18-32). That is what we will teach.
We cannot teach tolerance for doctrinal error. It matters what we teach, that is for sure. Some do not think so. They are comfortable with sincerity and conscience being their guide. They silently stand by as false teaching spreads unchallenged. Nevertheless, the New Testament of Christ says we must speak and hold fast to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:9; 2:1). Some “will not endure sound doctrine”, but faithful followers of Jesus Christ are not among that number (2 Tim. 4:3-5). Christians are taught to “note” and “avoid” those “who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned” (Rom. 16:17). We cannot tolerate false doctrine. It contradicts the faith that has been delivered to us by the apostles and prophets of Christ (Jude 3). That is what we will teach.
We cannot teach tolerance for ecumenism. The Bible does not say it does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. In sincere ignorance Saul of Tarsus consented to the persecution and death of Christians (Acts 23:1; 26:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:12-16). His sin was great, but God was merciful and forgave him – not because he was sincere while sinning, but because he repented and obeyed the gospel of Jesus (Acts 9:6-18; 22:16). The religions of men are based on human philosophies and not upon the will of Christ. Consisting of “the traditions of men”, they are incapable of saving souls from sin and death (Col. 2:8, 20-23). We cannot tolerate the “empty deceit” of “agreeing to disagree” (Eph. 5:11; 2 Cor. 6:14-18). That is what we will teach.
Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:19-24
everyone at some point reflects upon his mortality, Psa. 90:10 (Eccl.
I. FAITH, Heb. 11:1, 6; 2 Cor. 5:7.
that Holds Jesus as Lord, Jno. 8:24; Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17.
II. FORGIVENESS, Eph. 1:7.
God for Our Past Sins, Acts 3:19; 1 Jno. 2:12; Psa. 25:7; 1 Tim. 1:12-15.
Christian’s Future Holds the Prospect of Spiritual Growth and Maturity,
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Work of the Local Church: Edification Bible Authority (13)
Scripture Reading: Eph. 4:11-16
1. The church
functions as a corporate body on the local level (local church).
EDIFICATION OF CHRISTIANS IS VITAL, Acts 14:21-22.
EDIFICATION IS INDIVIDUAL.
EDIFICATION IS A WORK OF THE LOCAL CHURCH, Acts 9:31.
Over the past week (as with most weeks) various alerts and warnings were sent out across this country and around the world to alert folks of danger. There were weather warnings of hurricanes, floods and tsunamis. Political warnings were heard at conventions and in advertisements. There were warnings about diseases and there were warnings to cigarette smokers and beer drinkers.
Warnings are good. They alert us to imminent danger, urging us to take precautions to protect life and limb.
Did you hear any warnings about sin last week? Perhaps, but we are pretty sure many (if not most) did not. Did you hear any warnings about the dangers of lying, of stealing or of sexual immorality? You heard the warnings if you read your Bible (1 Cor. 10:1-12; Jas. 1:13-16; Eph. 4:17-32; Col. 3:1-11; Gal. 5:19-21).
Did you hear any cautions against doctrinal error last week? Perhaps, but most who heard about doctrine were probably told it matters more that they are sincere than it does about what they actually believe. Yet, God expects both a genuine heart and a pure faith that is guided by truth (Jno. 4:23-24; 8:31-32; Jas. 1:21-27; Gal. 1:6-10). You heard the warnings against false teaching if you read your Bible last week (Matt. 7:15-20; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; 2 Jno. 9-11).
Why don’t we hear more warnings of spiritual dangers? The obvious answer is because people love sin more than they love God. Then there are those who do not want to offend the offenders of righteousness. They say warning against sin is too negative and hurts the cause of Christ. It never occurs to them to think a hurricane warning is negative. It never enters their mind that a tornado warning is harmful. Such warnings are positive and essential. How much more essential are the warnings that protect our souls from sin and shelter us from spiritual harm? Such warnings are positive! “Beware!” (Matt. 16:6-12; Lk. 12:15; Col. 2:8; Heb. 3:12)
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/02/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA