And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 19, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to our
APRIL 01 - 05, 2017
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)
Becoming a Christian is the beginning of a new life in Christ, a life lived for heaven, and not for this earth. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Now that you are a Christian, saved from your past sins, what does God expect of you?
1. God expects you to live a new life, serving righteousness instead of serving sin. Since a new birth has occurred, you are now to live a new life that conforms to the will of Jesus (Jno. 3:3-5; 2 Cor. 5:17). On Pentecost, evidence of this is seen in the lives of those who became Christians in Jerusalem, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). The decision you made to be saved from your sins by becoming a Christian includes the decision to follow Jesus, instead of continuing to do sinful things.
2. God expects you to grow spiritually. The apostle Peter declares we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). You are a babe in Christ when you become a Christian, but, just as parents feed their children so they will grow up, the Lord feeds us His word in order for us to become strong, mature Christians. We must learn and obey His word in order to grow up from spiritually immaturity to full growth. We must practice what we learn in order to discern good and evil, do what is good and turn away from evil (Heb. 5:13-14; 1 Thess. 5:21-22).
3. God expects you to be a faithful member of a local church of Christ. When people became Christians in the New Testament, they gathered with other Christians to work together and serve the Lord in their common faith. “Now all who believed were together...” indicates this communion of saints as they banded together to worship and work at the command of Christ (Acts 2:44). With the New Testament as our guide, we learn that Christians in the first century did not float from church of church with a “membership-at-large” mentality or practice. They joined themselves with a local church of faithful Christians (Acts 9:26-28). Now that you are a Christian, God expects that of you.
4. God expects you to worship faithfully. Faithful worship involves spirit and truth. That means we are to worship with the right heart (right attitudes), and we are to worship the way truth instructs. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jno. 4:23-24). Our worship becomes vain and false when we follow our own dictates and the directives of men’s doctrines instead of the worship revealed in Scripture (see Matthew 15:7-9). Faithful worship means we are actually worshiping God with our brethren, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). Christians seize their opportunities to worship the Lord with enthusiastic faith. Now that you are a Christian, you should anticipate worship, not look for reasons not to do so.
5. God expects you to set godly examples. As others observe your life, your influence should help them follow God. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:11-12). Christians are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-16). Now that you are a Christian, use your influence to help others follow Christ, not hinder their faith (Matt. 18:6-7).
6. God expects you to lay up treasures in heaven. “...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:20-21). Now that you are a Christian, your priorities, goals values and faith will be defined by the word of Christ. Material things will not be the goal of your life, but tools by which you accomplish good (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Contentment, with godliness is now the most vital investment you make (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
Without a doubt, to be a Christian is the most important decision you have made. Now, “seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:9-16
“Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming
substance”; “the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with
or involved in something.” Rom. 6:16
repeated over and over:
3. Fruit of the Spirit: Self-control, Gal. 5:23.
I. ADDICTED TO SIN, Eph. 2:2-3; Rom. 1:29.
Eph. 4:31-32; Prov. 15:1, 8.
Creating the Bible in their Own Image
The “first LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, jrp) Bible app” is set to debut in June 2017. Ourbibleapp.com is advertised as “uplifting believers of ALL stripes” by “creating devotionals for progressive Christians.” Its stated mission is to provide “devotionals and the Bible for the outsiders” in order to “build a worldwide community of progressive believers.”
The Bible is clear; Homosexual behavior is sin (Jude 7; Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19; Heb. 13:4). When people reject the true God, they create false gods for themselves, and plunge into all manner of moral defilement (Rom. 1:18-32). Notably, as the apostle Paul described this descent into spiritual and moral decadence, he observed that those driven by lust to dishonor their bodies through homosexual activity, have “exchanged the truth for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 1:24-25). The ourbibleapp.com blatantly does exactly that. It will undoubtedly “exchange the truth of God for the lie” and say that LGBT is normal and natural love. The Bible remains plain: “men with men committing what is shameful” as they “burn in their lust for one another” is “leaving the natural use of the woman” and “vile passions” (Rom. 1:26-27). It is sin. Self-defined truth is no truth at all; it is a lie that deceives.
We are not surprised that the LGBT community and their supporters would pervert the Bible as they support their behavior and try to carve out a place that helps them feel good about their sinful choices and practices. Sinners of “all stripes” have been doing that for centuries; Again, nothing new. In their yearning for acceptance and approval, the LGBT people have created a facade that will come crashing down on them for all eternity. May some yet see their sin, repent and be saved (Rom. 2:1-11).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 03/30/2017
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA