And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 22, Number
In this issue:
The apostle Paul tells us that there is a difference between a child and a man. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). Children need to be children. They grow up too fast and are too soon exposed to the evils of the world. But when childhood days are over, little boys need to put away childish things and become men.
What a sad spectacle it is when grown men act like little boys. Yet many of them do. Men need to mature in the way they “speak,” “understand” and “think.” They must be wise decision makers, hard workers and good providers (1 Tim. 5:8). Men must also be honest, responsible for themselves and respectful of others. Young Christian men need to volunteer their various talents in the work and worship of the church. (We are looking forward to next Sunday night; a worship service which will be conducted entirely by the young men of the congregation.) They also need to make it their aim to serve as elders someday and must begin early working towards meeting the qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Perhaps that is why there are so few men who are qualified to serve as elders today. They failed to make it a goal and to work hard towards it.
A man needs to be the kind of son that his parents can be proud of. “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother... Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Prov. 29:15, 17). Children are a product of their parents. A couple’s grown children can either be their crowning joy or their greatest heartache. One way we honor our parents is by becoming respectable, stable, productive young men.
A man needs to be the kind of husband that his wife can respect. “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33). God commands your wife to respect you. Will she do it out of duty and obligation or out of love and appreciation? Which would you rather have? If you love her as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:25) she will be happy to be your wife.
A man needs to be the kind of father that his children can honor. “‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise” (Eph. 6:2). It is one thing for a young child to honor their father, it is another thing for grown children to do so. Be the kind of man now that your children will want to respect and imitate when they are older.
Jarrod M. Jacobs
Ecclesiastes 4:9 reminds us that, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Solomon says that two are better than one because if one falls, the other can pick him up (v. 10). Two together bring (beneficial) heat (v. 11), and two and even three together can withstand enemies when they come (v. 12).
This section of Ecclesiastes reminds us that man is a social creature. God made man in such a way that he needs the companionship of others. Companionship is one reason for marriage (Gen. 2:18). Some consider it the main reason for marriage, and I would not disagree. Companionship is why we have friends (Prov. 18:24). Refusing friendships and social interaction with others is not normal to our way of life, and is why it is so odd when someone wishes to be a “hermit.” While it is true that men need to be alone at times, this person cannot live like this for months and years at a time and remain healthy.
In his writing, Solomon tells us that there is a need for companionship. We must have those who will support, care, love, and keep us in “check.” Do you have someone like this in your life? If you have more than one person who fills this role, you are truly blessed.
Do you fill this role for others? What kind of friend are you? “Two are better than one” is true, so long as both people have the same goals! We need people that are going to help us go to Heaven. This is necessary with our friends, and it is especially needed when we are choosing a mate (Matt. 19:4-6). We need a spouse who will help us go to Heaven so that we can be “heirs together of the grace of life” (I Pet. 3:7).
Satan tries his best to tempt us and lure us away from the Lord. Peter describes him as a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). One way the lion devours is by finding the weak, the young, the ones who cannot stay with the “herd” and killing and devouring his prey. It is the same today, spiritually. Thus, a reason we need others is that we might help one another fight Satan’s advances. If one would fall (spiritually), his friend can help lift him up and get him back on the right track (Gal. 6:1; Jas. 5:19-20).
Who are your friends?
Is Jesus your friend (Jn. 14:15, 15:14)? Remember, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). Now, read Romans 5:6-8. Christ had shown Himself to be a friend before we ever loved Him. How are you treating Him now?
If Christ is your friend:
“Two are better than one.” Who are your friends?
Joe R. Price
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18–20, NKJV)
Although it is often said that every Christian is an ambassador of Christ, the Scriptures teach that only the apostles were charged with and qualified to be ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is an official emissary of a ruler, given the task of conveying official messages and representing the authority of said ruler.
Christ chose the apostles to be His witnesses to the world (Acts 1:8). They are unique in this capacity (Acts 10:38-42). The apostles were given “the word of reconciliation” (the gospel, v. 19) to fulfill their “ministry of reconciliation” (v. 18), and they proclaimed His gospel to the world. Now, God pleads with the world through them (their writings) to be reconciled to Him (v. 20).
Christ’s ambassadors, the apostles, have revealed the Savior’s message and means of reconciliation to God.
Save yourself (be reconciled to God) by repenting and being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:37-41).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Are We Ready to Suffer?
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-16
Christians were taught to accept and rejoice in suffering for Christ, 1 Pet.
I. WHAT DID PERSECUTION FOR FAITH LOOK LIKE IN THE OT? Heb. 11:35-39
Joseph. Contempt, injustice, lied about, falsely imprisoned.
II. WHAT DID PERSECUTION FOR FAITH LOOK LIKE IN THE NT?
Jesus, Lk. 9:22.
III. ARE WE READY TO SUFFER?
Demands Denying Ourselves, Lk. 9:22-23.
Conclusion: 2 Tim. 3:12; Rev. 6:10-11; 14:11-13; 17:14
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Disrupt, Dismantle, Destroy
Joe R. Price
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday the seizure of nearly 29,000 pounds of methamphetamine coming into the country primarily from Mexico. Officers executing Operation Crystal Shield have made over 1800 arrests and seized $43 million in drug money. In announcing these accomplishments, Attorney General William Barr said, “The trafficking of methamphetamine poses a major danger to our communities and the federal government is determined to disrupt, dismantle and destroy the violent drug trafficking organizations that place profit over human lives” (“Barr announces seizure of nearly 29,000 lbs. of meth under Operation Crystal Shield,” foxnews.com). We applaud this operation to secure our safety.
We must commit ourselves to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy the trafficking of corrupt spiritual forces. This operation is against the devil and the spiritual wickedness of this present age (Eph. 6:11-12). It is a “good fight of faith” that is necessary to “lay hold of eternal life” (1 Tim.6:12).
The mind must be renewed to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy the spread of evil. We must choose to arm ourselves with the mind of Christ to “cease from sin,” and to “no longer live…for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Pet. 4:1-2; Rom. 12:1-2). Interrupting the flow of evil starts in the mind.
Loyalty to the truth and power of God’s word is vital to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy the spread of evil (Heb. 4:12). God’s truth purifies those once stained by sin (Jno. 17:17). The lie that truth is relative, subjective, and individually defined corrodes and undermines trust in the purifying power of God’s word (1 Pet. 1:22-25; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
We must “contend earnestly for the faith” to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy the spread of evil (Jude 3). Truth disrupts, dismantles, and destroys evil so we can “build and plant” holiness (Jer. 1:9-10). Use the gospel of Christ to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy “every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:3-6).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/13/2020
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA