And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 19, Number
In this issue:
It cannot be denied that we are to worship God, however, I want to suggest some thoughts to consider regarding the question of singing songs of worship to Jesus.
Jesus accepted worship from both men and angels. This both angels and righteous men refused to do. When John attempted to worship an angel, the angle refused (Rev. 22:8-9). Peter refused to accept worship from Cornelius (Acts 10:25, 26). Paul and Barnabas refused worship in Lystra (Acts 14:8-18). The fact that Jesus accepted worship from men and angels indicates that he is God and worthy of such veneration. The Hebrew writer said, “And when he again bringeth in the firstborn into the world he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb 1:6 ASV).
At his birth Jesus was worshiped by the wise men who came from the east to find him (Mt. 2:11). The man who was born blind, whom Jesus healed also worshiped him and Jesus accepted his worship (John 9:38). After the miracle of the calming of the storm on the sea, the Lord’s own disciples worshiped him (Mt. 14:33). Note: though Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith during the storm (vs. 31), he did not rebuke them for worshiping him. After Jesus was raised from the dead, the disciples worshiped him (Mt. 28:16-17). Then again in Luke 24:51-52, in connection with his ascension we read, “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:” ASV.
The scene presented of Jesus in heaven by John shows him worthy of receiving worship. “And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood (men) of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them (to be) unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth. And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things are in them, heard I saying, Unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, (be) the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshipped” (Rev 5:9-14 ASV).
Blood has been an avenue which God has used to demonstrate forgiveness of His creation’s errors. In the Old Testament, we read that God desired the use of animal sacrifices to forgive the people of their iniquities against Him. However, these continual, year to year sacrifices were never adequate to remove sin. As the writer of Hebrews wrote, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins,” (Heb. 10:4). It is the blood of Christ that takes away the sins of man. Again, Scripture says “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” (Heb. 10:10). The blood of Christ accomplished what animal sacrifices could never accomplish. Being that Christ was faultless, and without sin, His blood is able to make the sinner whole (1 Peter 2:21-22). That is the Gospel call; to bring the sinner back to Christ through His shed and redemptive blood. Without this sacrifice, there would be no forgiveness of sin, no church, and no hope. 1 John 1:7 reads, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Christ, in His death on the cross, accomplished three things for all mankind. He purchased His church, (Acts 20:28; John 19:33-34; Galatians 3:13-15; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 1:14-24). He abolished the old covenant as Colossians 2:14 demonstrates. And He established a new covenant, as Hebrews 9:14-15, 16-22 records. This new, “better covenant” of which Christ is the Mediator, “was established on better promises,” (Heb. 8:6). To live according to Christ is to live according to the covenant His death brought into existence.
The blood of Christ has done, is doing, and continues to provide mankind with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). We must not take the blood that Christ shed for us lightly, for He suffered a brutal death. He felt so strongly about the church that He was willing to die for her. It is important that we think twice before we act, or speak, for when we leave or neglect the commandments and precepts of God, we are guilty of the blood of Christ. It is imperative that we remain faithful each day unto the Lord, Revelations 2:10.
A song of praise reminds us there is power in the blood of Christ. By and through Christ’s blood, we have been redeemed (1 Peter 1:18-19). Let us not underestimate the power in the blood of Christ, but rather let us recognize and appreciate the blood of Christ. Let us not consider the blood of Christ as unholy or common by partaking in willful sin, but rather let us seek His blood to cleanse us from all sin. Let us not take the blood of Christ lightly, but rather let us fully meditate, reflect, and appreciate the blood of Christ.
Praise, glory, and honor be to the Son of God, who was willing to die for you and I. I encourage you to thank God for His Son and His powerful and redemptive blood the next time you bow in humble prayer.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: John 8:31-36
1. God’s word is truth; powerful to save and to sanctify, Rom. 1:16; Jno.
I. “IF” – TRUTH IS CONDITIONAL, Jno. 8:31; 14:23.
II. “YOU” – TRUTH IS PERSONAL, Jno. 8:31.
A. Sin is
Personal, Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 5:12.
III. “ABIDE IN MY WORD” – TRUTH IS COMPLETE, Jno. 8:31.
Faithfully Continue in the Truth, Jno. 14:23-24; Gal. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:22-25.
IV. “(THEN) YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES INDEED” – TRUTH IS PRACTICAL, Jno. 8:31; Acts 11:26; Lk. 6:40.
V. “AND YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH” – TRUTH IS KNOWABLE, Jno. 8:32.
A. Must be Teachable, Matt. 13:10-18; Jno. 8:37, 40, 43.
VI. “AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE” – TRUTH IS POWERFUL, Jno. 8:32.
A. Freedom from Sin, Jno. 8:34-36.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-16
Definition - “The moral or Spiritual force, power or capacity by which we
have an effect upon a person, condition, or development”
I. INFLUENCE JESUS SPOKE OF:
Christians are to be the Salt of the earth; different, Matt. 5:13; 1 John
2:15-17; Romans 12:2
II. EXAMPLES OF INFLUENCE.
examples; Solomon’s wives, bad company, etc. 1 Kings 11:3-4; 21:25; Matt.
23:13; 1 Cor. 15:33
III. HOW WE INFLUENCE OTHERS.
IV. IMPORTANT POINTS.
can be lost or gained
Holding All Things Together
Physicists in Geneva, Switzerland, have announced the discovery of a new kind of “heavy” particle. A report in Scientific American says this subatomic particle “could be a tool to unlock a deeper understanding of the fundamental ‘strong’ force that binds quarks together to form protons and neutrons, which in turn form atoms—as well as planets, stars, galaxies and people” (“LHC Physicists Unveil a Charming New Particle,” Lee Billings, Scientific American, July 7, 2017).
Scientists will continue to make such discoveries as they try to unravel the complexities of life and human existence in this vast universe. Whether they investigate subatomic particles, or reach into deep space with great telescopes, the power, order and precision of this cosmos repeatedly comes into greater focus (Psa. 19:1-4).
This does not surprise men and women of faith. Our Creator has designed space and matter to “hold together” through an impressive array of physical forces. Significantly, behind all of the physical forces scientists have and will discover, is the power and intelligence of God Almighty. More specifically, the Scriptures assign the power that maintains and sustains the universe to Jesus Christ: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible... All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17). “Consist” translates a word which means “to cohere, hold together” (Thayer, 605). Jesus Christ holds every particle of this universe together by the strength of His will and the determination of His counsel.
This universe did not come into existence from nothing. God created it. God holds it together by the forces He put in place from “in the beginning.” The supremacy of Christ over this universe demands our honor, loyalty, submission, faith and obedience in everything (Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 3:17).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 07/10/2017
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA