And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 16, Number
In this issue:
This question is a little different from the oft-asked question “What would Jesus do?” It is true that asking what Jesus might do in a situation is a righteous question to ask. Such a question is consistent with Bible teaching (Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:11; etc.). However, in this article, let’s put this question in a different light by asking if Jesus would be doing what we are currently doing. Would He be practicing what we are practicing? Would Jesus…
Make Excuses For Not Attending Worship Services? Would it be a logical thing to assume that if Jesus were on earth today He would not be present to worship God and study His word every time He could? Jesus gave His body and His life’s blood to purchase the church (John 19:33-34; Acts 20:28). The church’s work includes spreading His word, the gospel, and worshipping God “in spirit and in truth” (1 Thess. 1:8; John 4:24). Therefore, would Jesus do what many do today and not attend every worship service, offering lame excuses as to why He thought it necessary to neglect this time with brethren in worship to God (Heb. 10:24-25)? It is unthinkable to suggest that Jesus would not regard His church any more than one does a social club!
Do Just Enough To Get By? We have some who want to do “just enough” of the Lord’s work to get by or be considered “faithful” by men. Some seem unconcerned about what God thinks, so long as men consider them faithful (Rev. 2:10; 1 Cor. 15:58; Matt. 6:2, 5, 16). Would Jesus do what we do? In 1 Peter 2:21-22, we learn the answer when we read, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” Jesus certainly kept all the law of Moses. He did not just do enough to “get by,” but did all! No, we are not under the law of Moses today (Col. 2:14); but we are under the Law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). As Christ did, so let us do all we are commanded so that we may have “the right to the tree of life” (Rev. 22:14)!
Act Hypocritical? Knowing that some Christians are hypocrites, would Jesus be a hypocrite? The Bible reveals the answer. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for being hypocrites. They said one thing and did something else (Matt. 23:13-36). In contrast, Jesus practiced what He preached (Acts 1:1)! Notice that in Matthew 23:3-4, Jesus told His disciples to “observe and do” what these people said. Jesus did not exalt Himself, or act in a hypocritical way to those He was teaching. Knowing this truth, why do we think we can get away with acting one way on Sunday, and living another way the rest of the week?
Rely On His Opinions Rather Than The Word Of God? We do not have to look far to see people who will try to justify themselves by their opinions instead of submitting to God’s Word. Too many live their lives based upon what they feel rather than what has been taught in Scripture. Would Jesus do this? No! While upon this earth, Jesus never relied on what He wanted to do. He did what God told Him (Luke 2:51; John 12:49-50; Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). Jesus kept the law without fail (1 Pet. 2:22). Knowing that this is the case, would Jesus be doing what we are doing? Who are we to think we can do something that the Son of God did not do?
Teach In Such A Way So As To Not “Offend” Anyone? There is a cry today from men who say that we ought not offend anyone by our teaching, but “be as Jesus was.” So, let us find out how Jesus was! One example of how our Lord taught is seen in Matthew 15. After Jesus condemned the Pharisees for honoring their traditions more than God’s commands, the disciples said, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” (Matt. 15:12). Jesus answered by saying, “Let them alone…” (Matt. 15:14). Some men allow hurt feelings, angry looks and the like (or the potential for such) to keep them from spreading the truth. Would Jesus do as we do? No, Jesus did not allow these things to get in the way of teaching and preaching the Truth! It is a sad commentary on brethren when we see them refuse to spread the gospel because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Beware of those who act like this, and let us act and speak as Jesus did (Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:21-22). There is something that is far worse than “hurt feelings”, and that is lost souls!!
Conclusion. “Would Jesus Do What We Do?” is a very serious question to ask. Let us take some time to examine ourselves, how we act, what we say, etc. (2 Cor. 13:5). Perhaps it is that we do not want Christ doing what we have been doing!!
-The Old Paths, 3/9/14
Scripture Reading: Psalm 89:11-18
1. Some offer
philosophical arguments as their reason to deny God. Many reject God due to
suffering and death near them. Others do so because they see abuse in
I. Because I am in awe of God’s power and blessings, Psa. 8:3; 33:6-9. Rom. 1:19-21; Heb. 11:3; Acts 14:13-17
II. Because I want to live a thankful life, Rom. 1:21; Psa. 8:1-2. 1 Chrn. 16:7-13, 28-36; Psa. 106:1; 30:4-5
III. Because I do not want to live in darkness, Jno. 8:12; 1:4-5; Psa. 89:15 (1 Jno. 1:5).
IV. Because there is sin and suffering in the world. Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16; Gen. 3:17-19; Eccl. 9:11-12); 2 Cor. 4:16-18 (2 Cor. 5:7)
V. Because I have a choice and I choose what is good, Isa. 55:6-7; Josh. 24:15, 20-24; Lk. 12:48; Lk. 10:41-42.
VI. Because I believe I can make a difference, Matt. 5:13-16.
VII. Because I am going to die, Jas. 4:13-17; 2 Tim. 4:6-8, 18; Phil. 1:21, 23; 1 Cor. 15:58.
1. You may have other reasons for
being a Christian, but salvation is only in Jesus, Acts 4:12.
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:21-26
In Luke 9:21-26, Jesus used his suffering and death to teach what it means to follow him.
I. “He said to them all...” Luke 9:23.
A. Jesus’ Words Apply to All Mankind, Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:18-20. Rom. 1:16; Acts 10:34-35; 1 Cor. 6:9-11.
II. “If anyone desires to come after me...”
A. You Must Desire to Come to
Jesus, cf. Jno. 8:44; Gal. 5:24; Lk. 9:24; 1 Jno. 2:15-17; Rom. 13:11-14;
Acts 2:21, 37-41.
III. “...let him deny himself...” Lk. 9:23.
A. Self-Denial, 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Eph. 4:17; 1 Pet. 4:3; Phil. 3:7-8; Matt. 5:10-12; Mk. 10:22.
IV. “...and take up his cross daily...”
A. What does it mean to Bear Your Cross? Lk. 9:22; Matt.26:39, 42; Heb. 13:13; 12:2-3.
V. “...and follow Me.”
A. We Must Follow Jesus in His Way, not Ours, Jno. 14:6; 8:12; 12:35.
VI. WHAT YOU DESIRE DETERMINES WHETHER YOU FOLLOW JESUS, Lk. 9:24-25.
A. Trying to “Save” Yourself
without Christ means being Lost, Lk. 9:24.
To be a disciple of Jesus demands:
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
You Call this Peaceful?
An eight-month pregnant mother of a 20-month-old son was sentenced to death by hanging Thursday in Sudan, convicted of “apostasy” for converting from Islam to Orthodox Christianity. After three days the presiding religious cleric offered Meriam Yehya Ibrahim a chance to recant her faith, but she affirmed, “I am a Christian.” She was also sentenced to 100 lashes for “adultery” because she married a Christian man from South Sudan – an action forbidden under strict Islamic law and part of the Sudanese constitution. This is not the first such verdict in Sudan since 1991, but all the others have recanted and lived. As for this practice, “Ahmed Bilal Osman, Sudan’s Information minister, told the AFP news agency before the verdict: ‘It’s not only Sudan. In Saudi Arabia, in all the Muslim countries, it is not allowed at all for a Muslim to change his religion.’” Her conviction is being appealed. (“Pregnant Christian Woman in Sudan Sentenced to Death for Apostasy”, Alexander Smith, nbcnews.com)
The origin and spread of Islam was by the sword. Although “Islam” is from a root word meaning “peace” and hence, “submission to God”, its history shows it spread by force and violence (those who did not submit received the sword!) Please note these are not Islamic extremists handing down this verdict of death; it is the judicial system of Sudan, a constituted Islamic state.
In striking contrast to Islam, the Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, commanded that his gospel be spread through the world by preaching (Mk. 16:15). The “sword of the Spirit” is the word of God, not the scimitar of the Ottoman Empire.
To Muslims, Jesus is a prophet, but not the Son of God. As unbelievers, they need salvation from their sins through the gospel of Jesus Christ (not the Qur’an of the prophet Mohammed, Acts 4:12; Rom. 1:16).
We are impressed by this woman’s conviction. If you were sentenced to death for your faith, would you die rather than deny Christ? It brings new meaning to confessing Christ, doesn’t it (Matt. 10:32-33)?
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 05/18/2014
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA