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)
Accountability means taking responsibility for one’s actions. It is answering for one’s conduct. In a spiritual usage it implies that one has the mental and moral capacity to make decisions that affect one’s standing before God. When a person has the mental and moral capacity to make decisions, God holds him accountable for those decisions (Rom. 14:12; Ezek. 18:20). Conversely, when one does not have the moral or mental capability to make decisions we necessarily conclude God does not hold him answerable in spite of that inability (2 Cor. 8:12). Therefore, we judge infants and small children are not morally accountable to God. They are innocent of sin because their moral capacity has not yet developed to the point of discerning good and evil and in turn, of choosing sin (Matt. 18:3; 19:14).
There comes a time when children become morally responsible before God for their attitudes and actions (Rom. 7:9). There is no magic age in the Bible assuring us that from that moment on a child is morally developed and therefore accountable to God for his or her attitudes and actions. Every child develops at a different rate.
Still, the Bible gives us a picture of young people who understood their accountability to God and who decided to obey God in their youth. Joseph was seventeen years old when he was sold into Egyptian slavery. As a youth he faced tremendous challenges to his faith (Gen. 37:2). Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, and at sixteen years of age he began to seek after God (2 Chrn. 34:1-3). From an early age he recognized his responsibility to and his accountability before God. Jesus was twelve years old when he said that he must “be about my Father’s business” (Lk. 2:42, 49).
These Bible examples of young people teach us several things, including:
1. Young people can and should think about God. We must encourage them to remember God in their youth (Eccl. 12:1).
2. Children can and should be learning about God. Early instruction from God’s word is invaluable to their spiritual development (Eph. 6:4).
3. Parents, grandparents and concerned brethren are the ones who must teach children to prepare for their accountability before God (2 Tim. 1:5). If we wait until they are close to the age of moral capacity and accountability, we have waited far too long (Psa. 78:4-8).
Unless we teach our children about God and Christ, about moral responsibility, accountability and living by faith, no one else will. Then, they must choose whom they will serve.
Scripture Reading: Luke 19:1-6
1. We have
“seen” Jesus in different aspects of His work revealed in Scriptures (Pt. 1
& 2). These inspired portraits of Jesus secure our faith, Heb. 2:9.
I. WE SEE JESUS AS OUR FAITHFUL EXAMPLE, TEACHING US:
Obedience to God, Heb. 5:7-9.
II. SHOW JESUS TO OTHERS WHEN THEY SEE YOU, Gal. 2:20; 1 Cor. 11:1.
Jesus as our Savior and our Exemplar we are saved and we are taught how to
live to the glory of God. Lk. 6:40
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Faith and Bible Authority (Bible Authority, Part 16)
Scripture Reading: James 1:21-25
1. Series on
Bible authority designed to build and reinforce respect for the authority of
God as we live by faith. Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17
I. LIVING BY FAITH MEANS SUBMITTING TO BIBLE AUTHORITY.
Faith Draws Necessary Inferences as it Submits to the Authority of Christ,
Lk. 7:1-3, 6-8, 9 (Heb. 11:1, 6).
II. FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S COMMANDMENT, 1 Tim. 1:3-5.
Authority Establishes the Doctrine We Teach, 1:3-4 (Gal. 1:6-9).
III. GENUINE FAITH RESULT OF RESPECT FOR BIBLE AUTHORITY, Jas. 1:21-27.
Your Heart to Make Room for God’s Word, Jas. 1:21; 4:8.
Conclusion: Gal. 5:5-7: Faith obeys the authority of Christ.
Did Jesus have a Wife?
This week, Harvard professor Karen King presented to the world a 4th century Coptic papyrus fragment identified as “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”. “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” is part of the inscription on the piece of papyrus that smaller than a business card and of unknown authorship.
“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” King said in a statement released Tuesday by Harvard. “This new gospel doesn’t prove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.” (‘Jesus Said to Them, “My Wife...”’, Daniel Burke, Religious News Service, Christianity Today)
According to King’s statement, the silence of the Scriptures about Jesus being married is “Christian tradition” and insufficient evidence to conclude he was not married. Then again, she admits this so called “new gospel” does not provide evidence he was, only proof of the second and third century debate over “sexuality and marriage” (i.e., celibacy and its bearing on Christian virtue). We’ve known about that debate from the writings of the so-called “Church Fathers” along with the development of monasticism, etc. that led to the Roman Catholic doctrine of celibacy. That’s old news.
There is no Bible reason to believe Jesus had a wife. The Scriptures are silent on the subject (and that’s not “tradition”). The silence of the Scriptures does not give us consent to conjecture and concoct doctrines and practices which God’s word does not authorize (Heb. 7:13-14). The Scriptures do present Christ as a bridegroom and His church as a wife who is joined to Him (Eph. 5:22-33; Rom. 7:2-4; 2 Cor. 11:2).
We will not presume upon the silence of the Scriptures. We conclude Jesus was not married (but Peter was, Matt. 8:14). Celibacy is not a mark of greater devotion to Christ (1 Cor. 7:27-28).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/23/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA