And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 20, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to
April 1st at 9:30 and 10:30 AM; 6:00 PM
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)
Jesus issued His great invitation to every sinner who desires relief and freedom from sin’s burdensome load: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). His salvation blessings are offered; You must come to Him and put on His yoke for the yoke of sin to be lifted (Matt. 11:29-30).
Throughout God’s dealings with humanity, He called on men and women to come near to Him to receive His blessing, His guidance, or to do His will. The responses people gave God’s call instruct us on how we should respond to God’s will in our lives. Consider a few of these.
Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation” (Gen. 7:1). God called Noah to come into the ark he had built according to God’s command (Gen. 6:14-16, 22). Sinners are saved from sin in the same manner Noah was saved from the flood; by grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 11:7). When you come to Christ in obedient faith and are baptized, you are saved by God through water, like Noah (1 Pet. 3:20-21).
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt (Exo. 3:10). When God called Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage, Moses responded with the excuse, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exo. 3:11). Like Moses, we are tempted to give God excuses when called to do the work He gives us. Whether an elder, a deacon, a preacher, a teacher, a parent, a young person, etc. – God calls Christians to meet our responsibilities with faithful diligence (see Rom. 12:3-8). Making excuses will not do (Lk. 14:18-24).
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price (Isa. 55:1). And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17). By the gospel, God calls sinners to come to salvation in His Son Jesus Christ (Acts 2:39; Rom. 1:16-17). The gospel is designed to cut to our heart and convict us of our sin and our need for salvation (Jno. 16:8; Acts 2:37). When God’s word convicts you of sin, heed God’s call and come to Him by repentance and conversion for the spiritual refreshment of salvation only He can give (see Acts 3:19; 2:38). Do not refuse His call to come and be saved.
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Matt. 19:21–22). Some refuse Christ’s call to come follow Him, because the cost is too high a price to pay. How tragic to turn away from the One who paid the price of our redemption by giving His life on the cross.
After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he left all, rose up, and followed Him (Lk. 5:27–28). Some will leave everything to obey Christ’s call to come follow Him. We must make everything in our lives secondary to follow Jesus (Matt. 6:33).
In Christ, God calls us to come to Him for salvation and eternal blessings. He calls us to come and do His will and to live in His fellowship. Let us be among those who joyously say, “Come, and let us to up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His way, and we shall walk in His paths” (Isa. 2:3).
Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:20-23
1. Men have
developed a contradiction between being spiritual and being religious.
I. WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL THINGS?
Understood by Contrasts:
II. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL?
God with All Your Being, Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37; Josh. 22:5; Lk. 6:46.
Scripture Reading: James 1:21-27
1. Part 1:
Those who are spiritual shape their minds and lives into the image of
Christ, Rom. 8:28-29; Gal. 4:19; Col. 3:10 (Lk. 6:40).
I. WHAT IS RELIGION?
II. WHAT IS TRUE RELIGION? James 1:26-27
Religion is not Hypocritical, Jas. 1:26.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Ruling the World
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, recent tension between Russia and western nations is the “very nervous reaction” to the rise of Russian power over the past two decades. Lavrov recently said these tensions are the “categorical reluctance of the United States and its western allies to agree that the 500-year-long period of western domination in world affairs is coming to an end,” and that such a transition is difficult for those who “are in the habit of ruling the world for centuries” (“Russia Says U.S. No Longer Rules the World as Tensions Mount…,” Tom O’Connor, Newsweek).
The ancient truth that God dramatically impressed upon Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar continues to be relevant: “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” The king would “come to know that Heaven rules” the world (Dan. 4:25-26).
Christians pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” and submit to men’s ordinances “for the Lord’s sake” (1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Pet. 2:13). We believe God answers prayer and rules the nations. Should hardship come upon the righteous from an oppressive regime, in due time God will right the wrong (Hab. 1:1-2, 5-11; Rom. 12:17-13:7). God’s prophets repeatedly show how God used nations to execute His purposes and judgments upon nations that defied Him (Isa. 10:5-12; Lk. 21:20-24). We have no biblical reason to conclude He has abandoned His sovereignty over the nations to human ambition. Indeed, Jesus Christ now exercises all authority on earth as well as in heaven (Matt. 28:18). Heaven still rules.
Shifts in geopolitics are inevitable; Kingdoms rise and fall. Our faith remains unshaken, for “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psa. 33:10-12).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 03/19/2018
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA