And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 22, Number
In this issue:
The Holy Spirit convicts the world (John 16:8)
-Of sin, John
The Holy Spirit does his work by the word of God
revelation (all truth, Jno. 16:13)
the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will
teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said
to you.” (John 14:26)
also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and
gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Hebrews 2:4)
prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they
were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Near my home in central Alabama, there is a church sign which reads: “Faith Plus Nothing Equals Salvation.” I suppose this is a comforting thought and perhaps a lot more attractive to the community than telling the whole truth. Friends, the gospel is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16). When Paul writes about the gospel being that power, he is including everything required of the gospel to reach salvation. Jesus saves, but not by a passive faith. What does Jesus and his apostles say equals salvation? Read on, there is nothing to fear but being mistaken about salvation requirements. We can’t afford to be wrong!
Jesus Christ teaches, faith plus repentance equals salvation (John 3:16; Luke 13:3, 5). Jesus also teaches that faith or belief in Him plus repentance, plus confession of faith equals salvation (Matthew 10:32, 33). Jesus teaches that belief in Him, repentance, confession of faith and baptism equal salvation (Mark 16:15, 16). Jesus teaches belief in Him, repentance, confession of Him, baptism and faithfulness until death equals salvation (Mark 13:13; see also Revelation 2:10). I hope you can see that we must take all of this together, believe it and practice it. Which one can you subtract and still have salvation?
The apostles of Jesus Christ taught the same thing. Peter taught the crowd on Pentecost who asked what to do to be saved, after they were convinced Jesus is the Christ, “Repent and be baptized...” (Acts 2:36-38, 41). Paul the apostle says the only faith that profits is one that “works by love” (Galatians 5:6). These are not works of the Old Law, but works of obedience to the gospel requirements of Christ. Love is the motivator without which anything we do is without profit (see 1 Corinthians 13). Love for Christ should move us to obey all He has commanded. “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15). What have we seen already that Christ has commanded?
James asks the question in James 2:14, “Can faith (alone) save him?” James explains in this text that faith without, or we could say faith minus works, is dead (James 2:17). Without obedient works, there is no proof of your faith (James 2:18). One who boasts of being saved by belief only is in the same company with demons who also believe, but tremble because they are lost (James 2:19). James also says that just as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so is faith without works dead also (James 2:26). This verse alone should be enough to show the need for an active or obedient faith; so, how is it religious organizations continue to tout faith only salvation?
We must not add to nor subtract from the Bible (Revelation 22:18, 19).
What about you my friend, will you stand on your own two feet and believe the scriptures? Don’t you believe the words of Jesus and His apostles?
Keep on studying the Bible because Jesus promises you can know the truth and the truth will set you free from sin (John 8:32).
-Edited for length, jrp
13 A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. 14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:13–14, NKJV)
The word of God makes a clear distinction between spreading rumors about others (gossip) and seeking counsel from faithful souls who respectfully and scripturally advise (without sinfully violating confidences). Gossip and tale bearing are the sins of meddlers who spread information that is not theirs to spread (2 Thess. 3:11-12; 1 Pet. 4:15). Tale bearing exposes impure motives from a heart that is often bitter, resentful, vindictive, and even hateful. On the other hand, there is certainly value in wise counsel, and we are taught to seek it out and follow it (Prov. 1:5; 9:9; 12:15; 15:22; 19:20; 20:18; 24:6; 27:9).
Asking advice from another person is not automatically gossip or spreading rumors. Seeking out wise counsel on how to handle a matter in a godly way may indeed necessitate sharing general information about the situation without revealing confidences. Requesting such assistance must come from a heart set on doing God’s will without being clouded and driven by sinful motives. Seek out sound counsel from trustworthy counselors (“a faithful spirit”). They will not make matters worse by revealing things (tale bearing) that ought to be concealed (Prov. 17:9). -Sword Tips #1869
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
God expects us to have the resolve of faith to stand with Him and His truth – in every relationship, in every circumstance, in every intent of the thought of our hearts, 1 Cor. 15:58.
I. Where We Must Resolve to Stand.
A. Stand Fast
in the Faith, 1 Cor. 16:13; Col. 2:6-7; 1 Cor. 15:1-2; 2 Cor. 1:24; Rom.
16:20; 5:1-2 (1 Pet. 5:12).
II. Where We Will all Stand One Day.
A. Before the Judgment Seat of Christ, Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 6:1-2; Rom. 13:11-14.
III. WHERE WE EXPECT TO STAND ONE DAY, 1 Pet. 1:3-5.
A. Before the
Throne of God and Before the Lamb in Eternal Glory, Rev. 7:9-17 (21:4-7;
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Count Your Blessings and Make Them Count
Ryan Newman was seconds away from winning the Daytona 500 before a catastrophic accident sent his race car careening off the wall and spinning in the air before being struck broadside by another car and skidding down the raceway in a fiery heap of metal. Thankfully, his injuries were not life threatening, and two days later he walked out of the hospital. This was not the first time Newman was involved in a serious crash at Daytona. In 2003 “his car flipped several times on the infield grass before coming to a full stop on its roof. He walked away without injuries from that wreck” (“Ryan Newman walks out of hospital days after horrific Daytona 500 crash,” Ryan Gaydos, foxnews.com).
Newman certainly has blessings to count, including the safety features of his race car and the medical care he received. (Obviously, that he did not lose his life heads that list.) We are thankful he survived, and wish him a full recovery.
Life’s sudden tragedies do not always have a pleasant ending. I got a call Monday telling that brother Jim Lee, gospel preacher in Ohio, suffered a massive stroke Sunday night in Nashville while traveling to Alabama to visit his son and family. With no possibility of treatment or reversal, brother Lee passed away Tuesday. Our prayers and sympathies are extended to his family as they look beyond this moment of loss to expectations of eternal glory.
These tragedies remind us to count our blessings and to make our blessings count. Mr. Newman now has a chance to bless others (Acts 20:35). Brother Lee made his blessings count as a devoted Christian, faithful husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. By sowing to the Spirit he has God’s promise of reaping eternal life (Gal. 6:9).
Count your blessings, and make them count for good.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 02/23/2020
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA