And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 22, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. (Isaiah 53:1–2, NKJV)
No doubt, many are drawn to others based on the attractiveness of their physical features. Yet, we can fairly say that Jesus Christ was not particularly handsome. He had “no form or comeliness…no beauty that we should desire Him.”
Unlike Saul, who was tall and handsome, God’s Anointed did not draw people to Himself because of his outward appearance (1 Sam. 9:1-2; 10:23-24). Christ does not gather a following like Absalom, who “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” with false humility and flattery (2 Sam. 15:5-6). It was David, a man after God’s own heart, who typified God’s suffering servant (1 Sam. 13:14; Psa. 89:3-4). God looks on the heart, not physical appearance (1 Sam. 16:7).
So, what draws your attention to Christ and the gospel? Is it a large church building full of wealthy people? Maybe it is cathedrals or temples built by human hands. Maybe it is the social program of the church.
Furthermore, what are Christians using to draw people to Christ? It must always be the gospel, not things that appeal to the pride of the flesh.
The Father draws sinners to Christ and salvation by hearing and learning His word, and so must we (Jno. 6:44-45).
Joe R. Price
In Romans 1:18-32, the Holy Spirit-inspired apostle described the progression of sin in the Gentile world that placed them under the wrath of God. Sin always places the sinner under God’s wrath, and it will “proceed further in ungodliness” unless the sinner repents (Rom 2:1-5; 2 Tim 2:16). Because “all have sinned,” all need to repent and obey the gospel to be saved (Rom 3:23; 1:16; 6:1-4). The degradation of the Gentile world, as reviewed in Romans 1:18-32, is a sobering reminder of the raging, soul-destroying effects of sin on people and society.
Sinners who ignore God and sin against Him are without excuse for being under wrath since the evidence of God’s eternal power and His deity are “clearly seen” (Rom 1:20). Not only has God revealed His presence in creation, but He has also revealed His mind through His word of truth (Rom 1:16-19). Yet, many people refuse this evidence and reject God. When this happens, the destructive power of sin takes over in the sinner’s life. Things have not changed to this present moment. The progression of sin still occurs and is a warning to Christians: “And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Rom. 2:3)
We should soberly take note of the progression of sin in Romans 1:18-32.
1) The choice is made to disregard God and live in unrighteousness. Sin begins to occupy a place in his life (Rom. 1:18-20; cf. Eph. 2:1-3).
2) The sinner stops worshiping and thanking God. His heart becomes darkened, producing only futile thoughts (Rom. 1:21).
3) The sinner turns to human wisdom, which invariably changes the glory of God into profane things. Man becomes an idolater, worshiping his creations rather than his Creator, the true and living God (Rom. 1:22-23).
4) Exchanging the truth of God for a lie, the sinner follows the lusts of his heart, producing unclean and dishonorable conduct (Rom. 1:24-25).
5) Sin continues to consume the sinner, often leading him into shameful, vile, and unnatural passions such as homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-28).
6) As the sinner refuses to have God in his knowledge and refuses to be guided by the truth of God, his life is filled increasingly with all sorts of unrighteous attitudes and conduct (Rom. 1:28-31).
7) The person who lives in sin is worthy of death yet continues to practice it while approving of it in others (Rom. 1:32; 6:23).
Left unattended, sin overwhelms one in the depths of wickedness. Sin does not turn a person toward God; it produces eternal death. It is God’s “goodness, forbearance and longsuffering” that can lead sinners to repent (Rom. 2:4). We cannot provide a remedy for our sins, but God has through Jesus Christ, His Son (Jer. 10:23; Acts 4:12; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-26). Christ saves us from “the wrath to come” when we will believe, repent, and obey His gospel (1 Thess. 1:9-10; Matt. 7:21-23; Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-41; Heb. 5:9).
If you are living in sin’s progression of spiritual destruction, we urge you to repent now, without delay (Acts 2:41; 2 Cor. 6:2). Start obeying God instead of living in ways that lead to your eternal death. Do not let sin destroy your soul.
-Reprint, edited (jrp)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Church: The Pillar and Ground of the Truth
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:14-16
church is God’s house, 1 Tim. 3:15.
I. INERRANCY OF SCRIPTURE.
of God, 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Cor. 2:13.
II. HUMAN REDEMPTION (1 Tim. 3:16).
Problem of Sin, Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 6:23.
III. THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Promised, 2 Samuel 7:12-13.
IV. TRUE WORSHIP.
Spirit and Truth, John 4:23-24.
V. LIFE IN CHRIST.
in the Light, 1 John 1:6-7.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Abortion and Sex Selection
Joe R. Price
The World Health Organization estimates 40-50 million abortions worldwide every year (approx.. 125,000 per day). This is barbaric immorality. Christians stand foursquare opposed the shedding of innocent blood.
One reason for this slaughter is the practice of choosing the sex of the child, especially in countries where inheritance rights (or even survival) can be measured in having baby boys, not baby girls. Here is one example:
“Alliance Defending Freedom International and a coalition of human rights groups have launched a campaign aimed at combatting the problem of sex-selective abortions in India” (“Groups launch ‘celebrating girls’ campaign to combat sex selective abortion in India,” christianpost.com).
The director of ADF India said, “India has lost 12 million girls to sex-selective abortion in the last three decades. It is time to address this issue, especially as International Day of the Girl Child approaches” (Ibid).
Indeed. Yet, sex-selection abortion is not limited to India. We pray people will open their eyes to the sanctity of life (including unborn life), and refuse to kill the unborn on the altar of tradition and economic advantage.
This is just one example of why people promote, provide, and practice abortion. When life is devalued, selecting who lives and who dies will inevitably occur. God has ordained a time to be born and a time to die (Eccl. 3:2). Life and death are in His hands, not ours. We are to honor all human life. Abortion fails horribly to do so.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/27/2020
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA