And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 18, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
The first reaction of the humble-minded person to this question is likely an unhesitatingly, “No!” This answer would be entirely correct if one is being questioned about sinlessness. We all have sinned, which forever eliminates sinless perfection from our lives (Rom. 3:23).
But, if the meaning of “perfect” is that which the New Testament primarily uses, then this question could and should be answered, “Yes.” Or at least, that we are pressing toward perfection. Otherwise, Jesus got it wrong when He said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
In the New Testament, “perfect” (Gr., teleios) means “brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness” (Thayer). It means maturity. Christ expects Christians to be mature (Eph. 4:13-16).
It is a false humility to say “I could never consider myself perfect (mature).” The Scriptures teach us that we are expected to press on to perfection. Here are some ways we are to be “perfect” (mature, full-grown):
“Therefore...let us go on to perfection,....and this we will do if God permits.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)
There are myriad quotes today referring to attitude and its importance in the everyday life of each person. As one man has said, "Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it." How true and accurate are these words? The word of God places great importance upon our attitude in all things we may find ourselves doing (Eccl. 9:9-10; Rom 12:2; Col 3:2). You can truly tell a great amount about a person by their attitude, both when things are great, and when the chips may be down.
The importance of a positive attitude coupled with truth that is revealed in the word of God, should always be our focus in worship. In John 4:24, Jesus says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” It is imperative that we have a positive attitude about worshiping the Lord, and about being together as fellow saints as we are practicing truth together. This does not mean we all must smile all the time, or have no room for a bad day, but rather, having a positive attitude in worship means we are worshiping in spirit and in truth with all confidence and enthusiasm, knowing what we are doing, why we are doing it, and to whom our worship is being given. When we are worshiping our Lord and Savior in truth without a correct attitude, we are not serving the Lord as we should be. Similarly, we can have the best attitude in the world, but without truth, we are just as lost as a three dollar bill. Why worship with a poor attitude, having the feeling that one does not want to be present in worship, when he or she doesn’t have an attitude of wanting to grow in the Lord? It is not worth worshiping the Lord with a bad attitude even if we are practicing truth. We must worship Him correctly, with an attitude that is positive and eager to learn, mature, and share with others, coupled with practicing truth as God has defined for us.
Having a positive attitude and outlook on life and in worship can actually make one more joyful and content in life, too. In the twenty-seventh chapter of Psalm, the writer is showing an exuberant declaration of his faith and confidence in the Lord with a positive tone, despite being in tough circumstances. Having a positive attitude in worship is one that is desiring to be worshiping, zealous for our spiritual growth, and eager to practice truth. Philippians 4:8-9 is an adequate representation of meditating on the virtuous things in life, which better explains the part that attitude plays in our lives. I encourage you to read Psalm 27 and apply this very optimistic outlook to your worship and life, of course with truth enjoined in worship.
Our attitude is still immensely important outside of the worship service. Our positive attitude can draw people near, questioning why we are so optimistic and cheerful, and I encourage you to be this person. Our attitude can be of great help in bringing lost souls to Christ. If you were talking to someone about the Lord’s church and salvation, but are not enthused or excited to tell them, rather you are very negative about it, how do you think the lost soul will respond? Not the way the Lord desires. Our attitude is something that others can judge us on, and I encourage you to think about your attitude the next time you are trying to encourage someone to obey the Lord.
Having a positive attitude does not cost anything. It only breeds a more cheerful mood, and a genuinely better life. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Attitude really matters. It can be the difference between a happy life and a destructive life, an honorable marriage and a failed marriage, or good day and a bad one. You are in control of your attitude each day. Have an attitude that Christ would be proud of. You can achieve this by setting your mind “on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2).
Hear Tanner's sermon, "Temptation" from Sunday night, August 07, 2016.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Acts 26:15-20
1. Are you converted to Christ and His
I. BEING CONVERTED LOOKS LIKE:
Conviction, Heb. 11:1; 2 Pet. 1:3; Matt. 6:24.
August 28 is “International Go Topless Day” (Bellingham, WA is participating with a gathering at Maritime Heritage Park). These people claim women have the same constitutional right as men to go bare-chested in public. They want “equal treatment under the law” to appear topless in public. (The organization was formed by a man called Rael, founder and leader of the atheist UFO religion known as Raëlism (advocates nudity and sexual freedom).
Adam and Eve tried to hide the shame of their nakedness with fig leaves, but were unsuccessful (Gen. 3:7). God clothed them with tunics of skin (Gen. 3:21). We properly conclude that covering one’s private parts with such skimpy attire as the modern swim suit and bikini is being unclothed in God’s sight. It is immodest and shameful to expose one’s nakedness in this way (1 Tim. 2:9-10; cf. Isa. 47:2-3).
Without a doubt, many people in our country and around the world have lost their ability to blush – to be ashamed of their sins (Jer. 8:12). Yes, men and women ought to be treated equally under our laws. We affirm public indecency laws (including toplessness) should apply equally to both.
It is shameful for men to appear bear-chested in public. God’s parameter of modesty are not only applied to women. Adam’s nakedness also required clothing in God’s sight. Men who think there is nothing morally wrong with appearing topless in public have lost their sense of shame. Their heart has become hardened by sin (Heb. 3:13).
It is shameful for women to appear bear-chested in public. Appeals to “rights” and “equality” are merely buzz words that distort the real issue. Public nakedness is the sin of lewdness and uncleanness (2 Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19).
Advocating public nakedness for women (and men) is the fruit of a rebellious, libertine attitude that defies decency and godly standards of morality. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret” (Eph. 5:11-12).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 08/08/2016
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA