And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 17, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to our
September 25 - 30, 2016
Hear these gospel lessons:
Bring your Bible and join us in learning God’s word and will for our lives!
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
In such a sinful and self-seeking world, because it is prevalent everywhere, it can be easy to get sucked into actions and thoughts that are not pleasing to God. This is not an excuse, simply a fact. Being Christians, we are told to “be imitators of God as dear children.” (Eph 5:1) This world in which we live is a morally impure place, full of wickedness, sin, and ungodly behavior. In the life of a Christian, there is no room to give in to this wickedness, rather, we are called to be different, set apart, and an exceptional example to all men (Matt 5:13-16; Titus 2:7).
Ephesians 5:3-4 speaks to behaviors that are “not fitting for the saints,” which include fornication, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, and coarse jesting. This list of course is not exhaustive and could be added to, such as pornography, scanty dress, and dancing. Verse 5 tells the reader that the one who acts in this disobedient way has no chance of the “inheritance of the kingdom of Christ and God.” It is very clear that remaining moral pure not only is an essential part of the Christian lifestyle, but also is how we will be judged according to God’s standards (Eph. 5:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). We are told to let no one deceive us, “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them.” (Eph 5:6-7).
We are also told directly from Paul’s epistle to Titus to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and, “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking for the hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:11-15). Living soberly, righteously, and godly is not a suggestion here. It is commanded from each and every individual who is seeking to have eternal life. Both in Ephesians and Titus, at some point in the passage regarding moral purity, we see Paul repeat himself in saying to not let anyone deceive us. This is a very important point or else he wouldn’t have repeated it. In Paul’s repetition, we can understand that people of this world will try to deceive us and it is our duty not to give in. “One sip won’t kill you; One time doesn’t make you a bad person,” and the list continues, are examples of the world (and Satan) doing their best to deceive us. Worldliness can be deceiving, too! We are in a battle each day to say “no” to the world, and running a race for God each day to say “yes” to Him. Our moral purity helps define where we spend eternity.
Do not be deceived brethren. Rather, remain morally pure and keep your soul. Become and stay unspotted from the world, James 1:27. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:7, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” We were called to be righteous and godly, serving the Father, not man or ourselves. Stay morally pure, it will save your soul. Satisfaction is guaranteed on the Day of Judgment for Christians who continue a morally pure life.
Hear Tanner's sermon, "Beatitudes" from Sunday night, August 21, 2016.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).
Sanctification is “holiness” in the KJV, and means separation or to be set apart. It conveys the idea of purity. Christians (those sanctified in Christ Jesus) are “called saints” (1 Cor. 1:2). The apostle makes a sharp contrast in this passage between the pagan practice of sexual immoralities as a form of service to idols and “the will of God.” The Thessalonians had previously honored the idols by walking in fornication and the “passion of lust” (1 Thess. 1:9; 4:5). But now, because they lived to please God, they abstained from uncleanness and lived in purity and holiness (1 Thess. 4:1-2, 7).
We, like they, must “know how to possess” our bodies in holiness and purity (1 Thess. 4:4). Living pure lives comes by learning and then doing God’s will (Phil. 1:9-11). In our passage, the Holy Spirit demands sexual purity. Such purity brings honor to the marriage bed (Heb. 13:4).
Some brethren say a person cannot “live in adultery.” But, our text shows this can indeed occur. One will either “walk” so as to “please God” (v. 1), or walk in “fornication,” the “passion of lust” and “uncleanness” (v. 3, 5, 7). Colossians 3:5-7 directly says one can “live in” fornication (which includes adultery). We must reject such false teaching that twists the Scriptures and return to sanctification to which God has called us (1 Ths. 4:7-8).
How do we do this? By deliberately presenting our bodies as the slaves of righteousness (Rom. 6:19-22). We make up our minds to serve the holy God and not the lusts of the flesh (1 Pet. 1:15-16). That may require our repentance like it did at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 1:9). If so, why should we object and reject God? (1 Thess. 4:8)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Problem with Confrontation (continued)
Scripture Reading: Luke 12:49-53
1. Some confrontation to be avoided, and other is unavoidable, Prov.
I. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF CONFRONTATION FOR THE SAKE OF THE TRUTH AND SAVING LOST SOULS?
because We have Minimized Sin.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
After School Satan Club
Just thirty miles down the road, “The Satanic Temple of Seattle has asked the Mount Vernon School District for permission to start an after-school program at Centennial Elementary School” (“Satanic Temple seeks after-school Satan club in Mount Vernon,” The Seattle Times, Aug. 10, 2016). This action is, by their own admission, a counterpoint to the Good News Bible Club run at the school by the Child Evangelism Fellowship. (In 1991, the Good News Club won access to school property for use by all organizations, religious and secular, if access is granted at all.) “The temple has aspirations to open an After School Satan Club at every school that has a Good News Bible Club,” according to Tarkus Claypool, spokesman for the Satanic Temple of Seattle” (Ibid). They want to start clubs in almost a dozen other states (“An After School Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s elementary school,” The Washington Post).
TST is a religious organization according to their own statement (Letter, The Washington Post). They are liberal political activists focused on the separation of church and state in schools. Of course, they are atheists. “We don’t worship a deity,” Claypool said. “We only see Satan as a metaphor for fighting religious tyranny and oppression.”
The curriculum for the After School Satan Club is about teaching children “logic, self-empowerment and reasoning... the most Satanic thing about it is in the healthy snack–we have an apple” (The Seattle Times, op. cit.). Right.
Remember, Satan is a liar (Jno. 8:44; Rev. 12:9). He loves to be thought of as only a metaphor, logical and reasonable. Children are already being educated by too many secular humanists. Now, TST wants to indoctrinate them after school, telling them it is unreasonable to believe in God; believe in yourself. How long before they teach children it is “logical” and “reasonable” to question their gender, experiment with homosexuality and premarital sex, and to question parental authority? Wake up! It is already happening. Parents, teach your children well (Eph. 6:4). Guard them from the evil one. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 08/22/2016
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA