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
Saturday at 6:00 PM;
Monday-Wednesday at 7:00 PM
Bring your Bible and join us in learning God’s word and will for our lives!
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Hosea prophesied during a very dark period in Israel’s history. To show to Hosea and the people how far they had fallen from Him, He had the prophet take a harlot as a wife. The reason? “For the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord” (Hosea 1:2).
Hosea married the harlot Gomer, and she conceived and bore him children. The name of each child was given by God, as a means of emphasizing the broken relationship between God and His people. Hosea’s first son was named Jezreel, “for in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel” (1:4). His first daughter was named Lo-Ruhamah, “for I will no longer have mercy on Israel, but I will utterly take them away” (1:6). Hosea’s second son was named Lo-Ammi, “for you are not My people, and I will not be your God” (1:9).
These harsh words were proclaimed because of the unfaithfulness of Israel. She had been unfaithful to God, and pursued other gods to worship. She was guilty of idolatry.
This separation from the Almighty was not a permanent rift. God’s purpose in judgment was to punish, but also to motivate the people to repent. God made the promise, “Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God’” (2:23).
The Lord knew the end of His chastisement would be renewed zeal for Him. He told Hosea, “Afterward (after His judgment upon the land) the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days” (3:5). These words reveal God’s purpose in the judgments He renders. Hebrews 12 also does a good job of describing why God chastises His children. Consider these words, as he compares the actions of earthly fathers to God. “For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:6).
Focus on the phrase “partakers of His holiness.” Paul recognized that men, without God’s revelation, can’t know what true holiness, or righteousness is. In his day, Israel was in a similar state to that found in the days of Hosea. Consider Paul’s words, “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:2-3).
This is why it is so important to follow God’s commands. He has established a pattern for us to adopt. This pattern includes instructions for worship, service and morality. Every aspect of our day to day lives is informed by God’s revelation of His righteousness. Like Israel, we ignore such instructions at our own peril.
God has created us to worship and serve Him, and to do so in accord with His revealed will. There is great danger in disregarding His directives. Spiritual anarchy leads to dissolution, not edification.
The prediction of Israel’s return after God’s chastisement was realized for a remnant. The sad truth is that such punishment was not necessary. There would have been no need to return to God if they had never left Him. May we all learn this important lesson, and remain diligent in our faithfulness! -The Patternists, Sound Doctrine
Scripture Reading: Romans 1:14-17
1. The persistent endurance and
unwavering determination of the apostle Paul inspire us, Phil. 3:12-14;
2 Cor. 12:10.
I. I AM A DEBTOR, Rom. 1:14.
A. To Preach the Gospel to All
Men, 1 Cor. 9:16 (Jer. 20:7-9); 2 Cor. 5:11, 14; Gal. 1:15-16.
II. I AM READY, Rom. 1:15.
A. To Preach the Gospel, 2 Cor.
III. I AM NOT ASHAMED, Rom. 1:16; Mk. 8:38.
Not Embarrassed of the Gospel.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Luke 5:27-32
Catholic author James Martin, S.J. says the Catholic Church has
obligation to welcome LGBTQ people (they are human beings, and the Pope
said, “Who am I to judge?”). Martin says welcome them because catechism
“calls on Catholics to treat LGBTQ people with respect, compassion and
I. TREATING SINNERS WITH RESPECT.
Treat LGBTQ Sinners No Differently than Other Sinners, Rom. 3:23; Acts
17:30-31; cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-10.
II. TREATING SINNERS WITH COMPASSION.
The Compassion of God, Matt. 9:35-38; Luke 15.
III. TREATING SINNERS WITH SENSITIVITY.
Not by Using Emotion-based Rationale for Accepting Sinners in Fellowship. 2
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
When is a Mormon not a Mormon?
Evidently, from now on (until another prophet changes his mind). The official name of the Mormon Church is presumed to have been given by revelation from Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1838 as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:4). On August 18, 2018, LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson released an official statement that read in part,
“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so” (“The Name of the Church,” mormonnewsroom.org).
We are told, “While the term ‘Mormon Church’ has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use” (“Style Guide—The Name of the Church,” mormonnewsroom.org). Therefore, “When a shortened reference is needed, the terms ‘the Church’ or the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ are encouraged. The ‘restored Church of Jesus Christ’ is also accurate and encouraged” (Ibid).
1. Joseph Smith, Jr. is a false prophet. Neither his life nor his teachings qualify him as a prophet of God (see, “Testing LDS Prophets & Their Prophecies,” bibleanswer.com/ldspart2.htm). Jesus did not speak to Smith. He did not teach the word of Jesus Christ.
2. The church of Christ was built by Jesus, not restored by so-called latter-day revelations (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47).
3. The phrase “church of Christ” is not a title. It is a description of the people who comprise it. Belonging to Christ, they are those called out of sin by the gospel, redeemed by the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:22; Rom. 16:16).
It will be interesting to see how these changes are implemented. (For example, what will “Mormon” elders be called now?) Their name may change, but their error remains the same (Galatians 1:8-9; Jude 3; 2 John 9).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/03/2018
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA