And takeÖthe sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17

THE
SPIRITíS
SWORD

Volume 20, Number 24
04/08/2018

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

Location:
  
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Sunday:
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Wednesday:
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price


Elders
Morris Bass
Rich Brooks

Deacons
Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


 

In this issue:


Grieving in My Iniquities
Ralph L. Myers

Iíve been thinking a lot lately about the nearly six decades of my life I lived in sin and iniquity after obeying the gospel and being baptized and forgiven of my sins at an earlier age. For whatever reason, the Lord has seen fit to spare my life and has given me a second chance at correcting the sins and errors of my way. I fervently hope and pray that others who have gone astray will have the chance given to them as I have to ďcome back to the LordĒ by His love for me I feel I am guilty of causing Him to grieve in my iniquities for many, many years. Thankfully, God and His Son Jesus have gotten through to me once again and as I think back about my sinful ways I am grieving in and about my iniquities. I talked about my feelings with brother Joe recently while having a Bible study in my home. He directed me to some useful and soul searching and comforting scriptures, and I want to share some of my thoughts with anyone who cares to read them. I hope those who have become unfaithful to the Lord will come to recognize the error, sadness and grief causing ways of their lives. And I donít mean just the obvious, the loss of their souls to eternal damnation, spending all of eternity in hell, although this should be reason enough.

In the book of I Timothy, Chapter 1, verses 13-17 the apostle Paul speaks of his life before being baptized into Christ, ďalthough I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe in Him for everlasting life.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen.Ē

In my grieving over the iniquities I committed while being absent from the Lordís church, while I didnít persecute and kill Christians like Saul of Tarsus, I nevertheless had no reason to think my sinful life was what God wanted (like Saul thought what he was doing was what God wanted)  I knew better, I had been taught, I had Godís word through Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Apostles, I had been saved through Christís crucifixion and in baptism. in other words, I had no excuse, no reason, I knew better. Because of that, now I grieve in my iniquities even though I have repented and been forgiven by God, I am sorrowful for the life I had lived. But now, in Christ, I can press toward the goal of eternal life in Christ (Phil. 3:12-14.)

Brother Joe, also guided me to the words of David in Psalms 32 as he wrote about the sins and iniquities he had committed and the comfort, and joy of forgiveness. ďBlessed is he whose transgression is forgive, whose sin is covered. The entire eleven verses of this chapter are of great comfort to anyone who is grieving the iniquities they have committed. I found particular comfort in the last two verses of the psalm: ďMany sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he who trusts the Lord, mercy shall surround him. ďBe glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.Ē

For anyone who has believed the gospel and been baptized for the remission of your sins, you will never regret or grieve continuing in the righteous ways of the Lord. However, if you have left the Lord and his church to take a road that only leads to condemnation I pray you will come to your senses, look back on your life and loved ones and return to the Lord. If this is what you have done, you will grieve that you didnít show them the way of righteousness, but instead were a hindrance to their chance at living an eternal life in Heaven.

2 Peter 3:9 English Standard Version (ESV) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

If you have left the church and are not living the life as a Christian that the scriptures teach us we should, then your friends and family will never hear the Gospel from you and will remain lost in their sins. For this, I am grieving in my iniquities. Do not let it be so in your life.

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You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
 

Do You See Yourself in God's Mirror?

Scripture Reading:  James 1:21-25

1. We use mirrors multiple times a day. Why?
2. How often do you really look at yourself in Godís mirror? Jas. 1:21-25
3. When you do, do you remember what you see? 1:21, 22.

I. PAUL: SOMEONE WHO REMEMBERED WHAT HE SAW IN GODíS MIRROR, 1 Tim. 1:12-16.

  A. Paul Remembered Who and What He Was before Conversion, Acts 23:1; 26:9; Gal. 1:13-14; Phil. 3:4-7; 1 Tim. 1:13.
  B. Consider Who and What Paul was after Conversion, Acts 9:8; 22:16; 26:19-20; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:7-11; 2 Tim. 4:6-8.

II. FELIX: SOMEONE WHO DID NOT REMEMBER WHAT HE SAW IN GODíS MIRROR, Acts 24:22-27.

  A. Already had Knowledge, 24:22.
  B. Felix Heard the Gospel, 24:24-26.
  C. Refused to Obey the Gospel, 24:25-27.

III. WHICH OF THESE MEN REFLECTS YOU WHEN YOU LOOK INTO GODíS MIRROR?

  A. Are You Like Paul? 2 Cor. 13:5
    -Self-inspection by the spiritual person, 1 Cor. 2:13-16 (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12).
  B. Are You Like Felix? Acts 24:26-27
    1. Frightened, but fail to act?
    2. Do you allow other motives and concerns crowd it out of your life? Mk. 4:18-19

Conclusion
ďIf you know these things, blessed are you if you do themĒ (Jno. 13:17); Jas. 1:25.

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You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
 

Destroy or Strengthen Your Marriage?

Scripture Reading:  Genesis 2:18-25

1. Marriage has been under attack for centuries, Heb. 13:4. Many enemies.
2. Investigate one specific enemy and contrast it with Godís truth for strengthening marriage.

I. FEMINISM: CALCULATED TO WEAKEN AND DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE.

  A. Defining Feminism and Its Goal. Gen. 2:18-23; Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 11:3, 12.
  B. Feminismís Progressive Evil Influences on Marriage.
    1. The sexual revelation of the í60s & í70s.
    2. No-fault divorce, Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:6.
    3. Sexual perversion normalized.
    4. Same-sex marriage, gender fluidity, etc., Gen. 2:24; 1 Cor. 7:2.

II. GODíS ARRANGEMENT: CALCULATED TO STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE, Gen. 2:18-25.

  A. Intimate Companionship, Gen. 2:18-24a.
    1. Loneliness replaced with a true and faithful life companion.
    2. Leave (2:24): ďto loosen, i.e. relinquish, permitĒ (Strongís).
    3. Unselfishness (one flesh, 2:24); yoked.
  B. Intense Commitment, Gen. 2:23-24.
    1. Bone of bone, flesh of flesh, Eph. 5:28-29.
    2. Cleave (2:24): Cling, adhere, Deut. 10:20.
    3. Protection, security, strength, Eccl. 4:9-12.
  C. Intentional Communication, Ge. 2:24-25.
    1. Inside bedroom, 1 Cor. 7:2-5; Prov. 5:15-20; cf. 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 Cor. 7:3.
    2. Outside bedroom, Ge. 2:25; Jas. 1:18; 3:9-14.
    3. Good communication will help solidify your marriage, Col. 4:6; Jas. 3:5.

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NOTEWORTHY NEWS
(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Walls or Open Borders?
Joe R. Price

Borders define continents, nations, states, counties, municipalities, neighborhoods and private property. While many see the need for border protection and even a wall to facilitate national security, others advocate for open borders (like this weekís now dispersed caravan of immigrants traveling through Mexico toward the US).

     The Bible speaks of various borders and walls from which we learn important lessons for living by faith.

     1) God assigned borders to Israel in Canaan. The land promise God made to their fathers was fulfilled as Israel conquered the land of Canaan (Josh. 21:43-45). The boundaries of each tribeís territorial inheritance are recorded in detail in Joshua 13-19. Borders identify oneís rightful place to live. Borders mattered to God and Israel.

     2) City walls provided fortified protection against enemy invaders (cf. 1 Kgs. 3:1). Watchmen were placed on city walls as lookouts for approaching danger. God used this practice to describe the spiritual watchmen He places on the walls of Zion for His peopleís protection (Isa. 62:6). Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are on Zionís wall to inform, watch and warn of spiritual dangers (Eph. 4:11-12; Heb. 13:17; Acts 20:28-32).

     3) The church is prophetically described as having a wall that separates what is holy from what is profane. In Ezekielís vision of the temple (the church, Eph. 2:21-22), he saw a wall around it ďto separate the holy area from the commonĒ (Ezek. 42:20). Christians live holy lives, separated from sin, because we dwell in the presence of our Father, who is holy (1 Pet. 1:13-16; 2:9; 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1).

     4) Heaven, the eternal city of God, is depicted as having a wall with beautiful gates (Rev. 21:12-21). Why? Because this is a figure of the perfect security Godís people will enjoy there. The enemies of sin, sorrow and death will never invade it. Perpetual peace reigns there. 

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Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  04/09/2018

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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