And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 16, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
In Matthew 11:25, Jesus thanked the Father for revealing His truth to “babes”. He was referring to those who have humble, receptive and open hearts (cf. “he who has ears to hear, let him hear”, Matt. 13:9, 10-17). Can you see the paradox? The Almighty would rather use the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. He would rather use those whom the world views as fools to exalt His wisdom and expose the foolishness of prideful man. Remember, the Son of God and Prince of peace was not born in a splendid palace, but in a lowly stable (Lk. 2:7).
The gospel demands complete humility of heart and total faith in the Lord in order for the sinner to believe, obey and be saved (Matt. 18:3-4). Yes, God has chosen the simple things of this world to accomplish His great, eternal purposes. Why has God done this?
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
1. To put to shame those who trust in wisdom, might and nobility (1:26-27). As long as one relies on his own wisdom instead of the revealed wisdom of God contained in the inspired Scriptures, he will refuse the gospel. Yet to those with simple hearts prepared for faith, the gospel is “the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:21, 24).
2. To render useless those things in which we would otherwise trust (1:28).People often put their trust in their strength, their station in life and their own imaginations. But, people of faith put their trust in the power of God for salvation (1 Cor. 1:18). The gospel contains the only power to bring those who are dead in sin back to life (Rom. 6:4). It is “the power of God” to those who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18; Rom. 1:16).
3. That nobody should boast before God (1:29).We cannot save ourselves. But, only the humble in heart will acknowledge their dependency upon the Savior and surrender their lives to Him. Will you? “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
The gospel saves those whom the world despises. Don’t forget, the world despises the Son of God, too! (Jno. 15:18)
Of genuine concern to many persons contemplating obedience to the gospel is the question of whether they can remain faithful to the Lord after they do so. Some ponder the question to such a degree that they become convinced that they can’t and use such a decision as an excuse for disobedience.
In studying what the Bible has to say on the subject, it is first necessary to make certain we are speaking of the same thing. Temptation, which our Lord himself suffered on the mount with Satan, and the human desire to yield to temptation are two completely different things. Our Lord was tempted in every manner that we are – YET – without sin, according to Hebrews 4:14.
To the individual who is convinced that it is totally impossible for him to remain faithful, we must quickly direct his attention to 1 Corinthians 10:13 - “There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Also of interest to the concerned sinner is the fact that a developing Christian will find faithfulness a constantly easier thing as he learn and applies the gospel. The Psalmist wrote, “through thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” As a Christian matures, temptations begin to lose their power or may even no longer be temptations.
A noted gospel preacher once listed four activities for the Christian to insure faithfulness. He called them “backsliding preventatives.” To begin he said, let God say something to you every day; that is, read the Bible. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Ps. 1:1-2).
Secondly, he said, say something to God every day. Pray to Him. James points out the value of this advice when he said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
We should also say something for God each day. The usefulness of this practice is boldly expressed in James 5:19-20. “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth and one convert him; let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” The expression of our faith in God can do nothing but strengthen each of us.
Lastly, it was noted that each Christian should do something for God each day. The Bible clearly points this out in 1 Corinthians 15:58. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” The growing Christian will find faithfulness easier in the knowledge that his work here is gaining for him an eternity in heaven, where temptation will not exist and where he can be with the God he is now striving to please.
-Reminders, September 10, 1972
Scripture Reading: Psalm 118:21-26
is swiftly passing; God will teach us to number our days and get wisdom if
we will learn from Him, Psa. 90:10-12.
I. THE DAY OF CREATION, Gen. 2:4. (Finished in 6 literal days, 2:1-2) Acts 17:24; Col. 1:17; Rom. 1:20-22.
II. DAY OF SALVATION, Psa. 118:21-26.
Establishment of the Kingdom of God, cf. Matt. 21:42-45. How?
III. THE LORD’S DAY, Rev. 1:10.
A. First Day
of Salvation in Christ, Acts 2:1 (Lev. 23:15-16), 21, 36-41.
IV. THE DAY OF YOUR DEATH, Heb. 9:27
A. The Way of All the Earth, 1 Kgs. 2:1-2; Psa. 89:48. Ready? Lk. 16:22-23, 30-31
V. THE LAST DAY, Jno. 6:38-40.
A. The Day
of Resurrection, Jno. 6:44-45; 5:28-29.
1. Christians are
“sons of the day” – live watchful, sober lives and obtain salvation through
Jesus Christ! 1 Ths. 5:5-10
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Joe R. Price
Secularism seeks renewal in, of all places, “church”. Well, not really. But, it is fascinating that a growing number of atheists around the world are organizing Sunday assemblies and drawing hundreds of people.
“On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles attracted several hundred people bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual.” (“Atheist ‘mega-churches’ take root across US, world”, Gillian Flaccus, AP, from news.yahoo.com)
As one atheist said, “If you think about church, there’s very little that’s bad. It’s singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?" (Ibid) According to her, the only thing that’s bad “about church” is God.
Listen closely to what she said. Isn’t the appeal for which this atheist yearns what most mega-churches offer to the world today (awesome songs, self-improvement and social action) – with hardly any Bible? People are looking for an “experience” and a “connection”, and the mega-churches (including the atheists) give it to them.
There is another type of gathering each Sunday that is not defined by what people decide they prefer, but by what God says He wants when He is worshiped. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (Jno. 4:24). These assemblies are of Christ’s disciples who gather to worship God (Acts 20:7).
When God is removed from worship, it is vain, empty, self-made worship (Col. 2:23). It pleases atheists, but not God. When God’s word is removed from worship, it too is vain, empty, self-made worship (Col. 2:23; Matt. 15:7-9). It pleases many religious people, but not God. God is seeking true worshipers – not pretenders (Jno. 4:23).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 11/17/2013
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA