And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 16, Number
In this issue:
April 27 - May 2, 2014
lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
Back to the Bible Preaching!
Sunday Bible Class: Faith Learned Early
Proverbs 14:16, “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” (ESV)
Evil is all around us and manifests itself in many ways. Therefore, all people will be tried and tempted by its allurements. Lists of sins can be helpful in identifying it (Rom. 1:20-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Pet. 4:3). Inspired records of sinful actions and their consequences are intended to inform and educate (Rom. 11:20; 1 Cor. 10:1-12; Heb. 3:7-12). All people will show themselves wise or foolish by their reaction to the presence of evil. These two contrasting reactions are described in the above proverb.
Fear of the Lord leads one to depart from evil (Prov. 16:6). Thus, fear encourages caution in the godly person. The wise are educated about the dangers of evil and foresee it (Prov. 22:3). They are apprehensive of this world, the things common to it, and are on guard (Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Tim. 3:1-5). They tremble at the word of God and fear of coming short of its promised blessings (Isa. 66:2; Heb. 4:1). Their reaction to evil is a decisive ‘turning away’ from it.
Fools’ reaction to evil is pictured as being quite the opposite of the wise. They are either untrained or have forgotten the right ways they have learned (Prov. 1:7, 22; 15:5; 17:10). They do not know God’s ways (Jer. 5:4). In such a state they enter each situation in life guided by nothing more than their own foolish heart and the folly which they have fed it (Prov. 28:26; 15:14). As they behold evil they may be gullible, passionate, hasty, and even bold. What is vitally important to all is what God’s word reveals about their end. They fall. Their ways destroy them. They die for lack of understanding (Prov. 10:8; 1:32; 10:21).
As we contemplate the thoughtful, prudent person and the self-confident, daring, presumptive fool we must ask ourselves, What is our reaction to evil? What is our reaction to filthy talk, whether it be from neighbors and work colleagues or professionals from the entertainment media? How do we respond to opportunities to steal or deceive? What is our response to titillation, lust, and open opportunities to fulfill the lusts of the flesh? What do we do when given the chance to drink modern intoxicants or participate in recreational drug use? The evil in this world tests the character of us all. Do we appear as wise or foolish in our reaction to it?
-The Way of Truth and Life, January 5, 2014
Scripture Reading: John 3:1-5
1. Sign at the
Christ Lutheran Church (Ferndale WA): “Jesus includes you unconditionally”.
I. JESUS UNCONDITIONALLY INCLUDES YOU IN…
Condemnation of Sin, Rom. 3:9-19, 23; 6:23. Ezek. 18:32
II. JESUS DOES NOT UNCONDITIONALLY INCLUDE YOU…
A. In the
New Birth, Jno. 3:3-5. Matt. 7:13-14, 21; Lk. 13:23-24; 1 Pet. 1:22-23;
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
1. Why did
Jesus have to die on the cross? Simple question which all must ask and find
an answer. Yet, answer sums up whole Bible.
I. GOD MADE THE CROSS AN OBJECT LESSON LIKE NO OTHER, 1 Cor. 1:17-25.
A. Cross Seems
Like a Strange Object to Teach Greatest Message Ever Heard; 1 Cor. 1:17-23;
II. THE MESSAGES OF THE CROSS.
A. The Power
and Awfulness of Sin, Isa. 53:10; Heb. 10:4-10.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Jesus and Mao
Researchers at Tea Leaf Nation, an E-zine that addresses current events in China, say Jesus is more popular on Weibo, China’s social media version of Twitter, than Mao Zedong (former leader of the Communist Party in China). “For example, a search for the word ‘Bible’ yielded over 17 million recent results, while the iconic Quotations of Chairman Mao, a widely distributed collection of writings by the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party known in the West as the Little Red Book, received fewer than 60,000 mentions” (“Infographic: Jesus More Popular Than Mao on China’s Twitter”, Bethany Allen, tealeafnation.com).
This is not a scientific study, and factors such as censorship likely distort these figures. Nevertheless, here are some brief, Bible-based observations:
Talking about Jesus does not mean one has faith in Jesus as the Son of God (see Jno. 6:40-44). The devil is happy to have you talk about Jesus as long as you do not believe and obey Jesus (see Jno. 12:42-43).
Talking about Jesus does not make one a Christian. One becomes a Christian by hearing and believing the gospel, confessing faith, repenting of sins and being baptized into Christ (Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:37-38).
Talking about Jesus but not obeying Jesus means one remains lost in their sins. Jesus said, “not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
The word of God lives and abides forever (1 Pet. 1:23). The words of Mao, which prop up a failed economic system, continue to fade with time. The gospel continues to save souls 2,000 years since it was first recorded; it “endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 04/14/2014
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA