And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 20, Number
In this issue:
The church of Christ was built by Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:18).
The church of Christ belongs to Jesus Christ and not to any human being (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28).
The church of Christ is composed of those who are saved from sin by the blood of Christ (Acts 2:47; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:8-9).
The church of Christ was established in Jerusalem on Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4, 36-41, 47).
The designation “church of Christ” denotes possession and is not a denominational title (Romans 16:16).
The church of Christ is the kingdom of Christ into which saved souls are transferred upon their conversion (Matt. 16:18-19; Col. 1:13; Acts 2:47; Rev. 1:6, 9).
The church of Christ is the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:6).
The church of Christ reveals the matchless wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10).
The church of Christ is central to God’s eternal purpose of human redemption that He accomplished in Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:10-11).
The church of Christ was purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
The church of Christ is the body of Christ and He is its head (Eph. 1:22-23).
The church of Christ is the one body that Christ saves (Eph. 4:4; 5:23).
The church of Christ is registered in heaven (Heb. 12:22-23).
The church of Christ is important and necessary. To deny it is to deny the inspired word of God.
Philippians is the epistle of joy. Its theme is “joy in Christ.” Ironically, it was written at a time when Paul was imprisoned for his faith (1:12-17). But, instead of considering his circumstance a hardship he was content to view it as a sharing in the sacrifice and service of fellow saints (Phil. 4:11; 2:17). Paul rejoiced in his present trials and the advantages that resulted from them (1:12-14).
The epistle to the Philippians teaches us to live in joy and contentment. Oh, how we need to learn that lesson! With eyes of faith we see beyond the trials of the moment to the spiritual and eternal benefits they yield the faithful (1 Pet. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 4:16-18). Like the Philippians, we need the discernment for which Paul prayed that helps us live joyful, contented lives (Phil. 1:9-10). Such spiritual discernment helps us:
1) Distinguish between right and wrong so that we may live with God’s approval and appear before Christ without offense (1:10-11),
2) Live for Christ and strive together for the faith of the gospel (1:21, 27),
3) Have the mind of Christ (2:1-5),
4) Press on to the heavenly goal (3:12-16),
5) Always rejoice in the Lord (4:4).
The apostle Paul (and others) set a worthy example for us to follow (Phil. 4:9; 3:17). Just as he was able to rejoice in his bonds, we can rejoice in the trials we face for Christ’s sake. And, like Paul, we are blessed when we do (Matt. 5:10-12).
The letter to the Philippians gives us many reasons to rejoice in the Lord. If these reasons do not presently describe your joy in Christ, you can change that. Increase your personal involvement in spiritual things and your joy for them will also increase. This epistle teaches us to find joy in:
1) Fellowship in spreading the gospel (1:3-5),
2) Proclaiming Christ (1:18),
3) The growth of faith (1:25),
4) Unity with brethren (2:1-4),
5) Sacrificial service for Christ and brethren (2:17-18),
6) Brotherly safety and companionship (2:28),
7) The fruit of one’s labors for Christ (2:16; 4:1),
8) The Lord hears and answers our prayers and grants peace (4:4-7),
9) Actions of brotherly love and concern (4:10).
Meditate often on these virtuous, praiseworthy things, for they are certainly true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Phil. 4:8). Such meditations protect us from being distracted away from our joy in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7, 10-11; 1:25).
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice!”
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:8-12
Discipleship to Jesus demands surrender/sacrifice, Lk. 9:23; 14:33; Gal.
I. ABRAHAM SURRENDERED HIS COUNTRY, Acts 7:2-4.
is Great, but Our Heavenly Home is Greater, Phil. 3:20; Acts 5:29.
II. ABRAHAM SURRENDERED HIS KINSHIP, Acts 7:3.
A. Sometimes Your Greatest Enemy is in Your Own Family, Matt. 10:36; Josh. 24:2.
III. ABRAHAM SURRENDERED HIS JUDGMENT, Heb. 11:8.
in God’s Way and Word.
IV. ABRAHAM SURRENDERED WHAT WAS MOST PRECIOUS TO HIM IN ORDER TO OBEY GOD, Heb. 11:17-19.
Obeyed by Faith (surrendered), Gen. 22:2; Jas. 2:21-22.
Conclusion Phil. 3:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:15
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:6-9
can weaken our faith, making it difficult to fight the good fight (1
I. MEDITATE, Phil. 4:8. (Ponder)
Finally: There is Something Remaining to be Done. (that which remains, Phil.
3:1), Heb. 12:1-2; Jas. 4:3.
II. DO, Phil. 4:9. (Practice)
Apostolic Teaching, 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:4, 7, 9. cf. Phil. 2:12
Conclusion Anxiety cannot overtake faith when the mind is set above, and truth is obeyed, 1 Jno. 5:4.
American Bible Society Under Fire
The American Bible Society (ABS) is a nonprofit organization that has translated and distributed Bibles around the world for over 200 years. Soon it will “require all employees to adhere to orthodox Christian beliefs and heed a conservative code of sexual ethics.” Some employees have already resigned in protest of the new policy which expects employees to “pursue the God of the Bible” and their “identity in Christ as described in the Bible” (“Employees quit American Bible Society over sex and marriage rules,” Yonat Shimron, religiousnews.com). The policy requires employees to have regular Bible engagement, be involved in a local church, and resist temptations of “deception, malicious speech…and dishonoring my body through substance abuse” (“American Bible Society Requiring Employees to Adhere to Biblical Behavior; Some Quit,” Jeannie Law, christianpost.com). It also requires them to “refrain from sexual contact outside the marriage covenant” which it defined as man and wife (religiousnews.com). A 34-year-old gay man has resigned, saying the policy “specifically excludes me” from employment (christianpost.com).
Can you imagine that? A Bible-based organization requiring its employees to believe the Bible! How scandalous! How deplorable! (Or, is it?)
The Bible certainly does not condone dishonesty, substance abuse or fornication (which includes homosexuality), 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 4:25-5:7; Galatians 5:19-21. Anyone who thinks such conduct is not sin has not read the Bible or has deliberately chosen to reject it. The decision by ABS to require its employees to follow basic moral principles is both reasonable and preventative. The policy is reasonable because it aligns with God’s word (Rom. 12:2). It is preventative because it helps curb immorality in the lives of its employees. Now then, I wonder how long it will be before someone files a discrimination lawsuit against the ABS? (You can’t have a Bible organization believing in the Bible, now can you?!)
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 06/04/2018
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA