And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 18, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to our
September 20-25, 2015
Bring your Bible and join us in learning God’s word and will for our lives!
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Doctrine is teaching; that which is taught (Acts 2:42). Some brethren (not unlike the denominations) believe (some) doctrine does not affect a person's salvation. Consequently, they see little urgency to warn against false doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2-4). By challenging (and even opposing) the belief that what a person teaches impacts his salvation, one puts himself in the unenviable position of having to define exactly which parts of the word of Christ will judge us in the last day, and which may be viewed as optional (Jno. 12:48). Any doctrine that allows men to become judges over God's law is patently false (Jas. 4:11).
The Holy Spirit-inspired apostle Paul said we remove ourselves from the grace of Christ when we believe and receive teaching (doctrine) that differs from what Christ's apostles preached and from what Christians received in the first century:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9).
Perverted gospel teaching does not grant access to the grace of Christ, nor does it secure one in His grace (cf. Rom. 5:1-2). We would ask those who reject doctrine affecting salvation, with how much of the apostolic doctrine may one differ and remain in the grace of Christ: 1%? 5%? 30%? 50%? 80%? 90%? Who will tell us?
Must a person be in error on every point of doctrine before God’s grace is forfeited? Not according to Galatians 5:3-4, where one error - the binding of circumcision upon Gentiles as a condition of their salvation - was all it took to be severed from Christ and fallen from grace. Without equivocation, Paul taught doctrinal error (false teaching) causes one to fall from grace. Therefore, doctrinal error (false teaching) is sin against God, producing eternal death (Rom. 6:23).
How much of God’s will did Nadab and Abihu have to violate before they died before God (Lev. 10:1-2)? One thing God had not commanded. One error by Uzzah cost him his life (1 Chron. 13:9-10). Was straying from one point of truth enough to jeopardize the salvation of Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17-18; cf. 1 Tim. 1:18-20)? Yes.
Rather than helping people feel content in the sin of error, we call on all to believe and obey "the word of the truth of the gospel" that teaches "the grace of God in truth" (Col. 1:5, 6). Abiding in the doctrine of Christ assures fellowship with God and the hope of heaven (2 Jno. 9). But, any other doctrine leaves one groping in the darkness of sinful error, lost without God and without hope.
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 6:3-5
1. Review Part 1: Defining
godliness and its power in the Christian's life, 1 Tim. 4:7-8.
--THE POWER OF GODLINESS...
I. IN THE CHURCH.
A. Godliness Affected by our Knowledge of the Truth, Titus 1:1; 2 Pet.
II. IN THE HOME. 1 Tim. 5:4.
A. Obedience to Parents (3:2), Rom. 1:30; Eph. 6:1-2; Prov. 1:8; 23:22.
III. IN SOCIETY, 1 Tim. 2:1-2.
A. Nations Fall when Godliness Evaporates, Prov. 14:34; Psa. 144:15; Dan. 2:21; Matt. 5:13.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1. The influence of Calvinism's
predestination is felt whenever someone says "God has a plan for you"
(meaning every detail of your life is arranged and directed by God).
I. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU: TO USE YOUR FREE MORAL AGENCY TO FEAR AND OBEY HIM, Eccl. 12:13.
A. God Created Us with Free Will and Moral Agency, Gen. 2:16-17; Josh.
II. GOD'S PLAN FOR YOU ALLOWS FOR "TIME AND CHANCE", Eccl. 9:11-12 (1).
A. Life is Common to Us All, Eccl. 3:1-15.
III. GOD'S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE ON EARTH IS ABOUT ETERNITY.
A. God's Plan for Us Involves the World to Come, Titus 2:9-14.
The Indignity of "Right-to-Die"
California legislators moved closer this week to passing a "Right-to-Die" bill that would make it the fifth state (joining Washington, Oregon, Vermont and Montana) to legalize the terminally ill obtaining life-ending medication ("California Assembly Passes Controversial Right-to-Die Bill", Josh Sanburn, time.com).
Assisted suicide is a selfish act. Although it is defended as a supreme act of compassion (aka "mercy killing"), the euphemistic phrases describing assisted suicide reveal its self-centered nature.
1) "Right-to-die" and "end of life" decisions. These phrases suggest life and death are entirely up to the individual. The will of God, who gives life and sustains it, is not consulted (Gen. 2:7; Deut. 32:39; Psa. 139:13-16). Who gave a person the "right" to terminate what God gave? Not God. We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to God. It is inconceivable to think a person glorifies God by ending his God-given life (1 Cor. 6:19-20). The end of life decision to commit assisted suicide glorifies self, not God (1 Cor. 10:31).
2) "Death with Dignity". This phrase also suggests the selfish intent of assisted suicide. Self-defined and assigned dignity does not make it genuine. The greater dignity is found in accepting torture for one's faith instead of deliverance (Heb. 11:35). Yet, delivering self is what "right-to-die" is all about. What about the dignity of the courageous person who endures the painful trial of terminal illness with grace, hope and faith in the Lord? True lessons on dignity are extinguished by the counterfeit "death with dignity".
I venture to say many of those who support "right-to-die" also support abortion. (Politically, at least, this is often the case.) Why don't those who advocate for abortion and for assisted suicide use these expressions to defend a woman's "right-to-choose"? Why not say, "Every baby has a right-to-die"? Or maybe, "the unborn child should experience death with dignity". Or, "abortion is an end of life decision that empowers the child". Or, "abortion is such a compassionate choice for the child". Outrageous!
Life is being devalued in America by abortion and by assisted suicide laws. A society can be measured by how it treats its most helpless and vulnerable. "Right-to-die" convinces people to feel good about murder. Truly, evil is being called "good" to the shame of our nation (Isa. 5:20).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/14/2015
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA