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 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” (Titus 3:1–3, NKJV)
Reminders. We all need them. They reinforce what we already know, encouraging us to persevere, to be on guard, and to grow spiritually. Paul had just exhorted Titus to “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Now he teaches him to remind Christians of sound attitudes and actions of faith.
1) We must remember to be submissive (v. 1-2). Obeying civil authority reflects the submissive lifestyle of the saint, equipping us for good works that cannot be successfully condemned (cf. Titus 2:8; 1 Pet. 2:11-12). Being submissive requires “showing humility to all men.” It takes moral strength to be humble, to be peaceable and gentle instead of speaking evil of others.
2) We must remember we once lived in sin (v. 3). Our salvation in Christ is not a license to be dismissive or condescending toward those who are still captives of sin. Recalling our previous sins (and forgiveness in Christ) is an incentive to remain vigilant in faith and responsive to help others escape evil. Do not be drawn back into foolish disobedience and selfish desires.
The love of God in Christ compels us to be kind and careful to maintain good works that honor God and serve others (Titus 3:4, 8).
Joe R. Price
The October 11, 1999 issue of
discussed the political clout of celebrities and how they use it
(“Stagecraft and Statecraft,”
It contains a statement about what defines candidates and what draws the
public’s attention to them. Though discussing politics, its ring is far too
familiar as it reminds us of some attitudes toward gospel preaching:
Gospel preaching leads to salvation (1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16). Celebrity performances do not.
-The Spirit’s Sword, October 10, 1999 edited (JRP)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:4-7
Little children learn to make excuses for their conduct. Like children, we
make excuses to God, Eccl. 5:4-6.
I. EXCUSES USED FOR NOT MEETING OUR PERSONAL DUTY TO OBEY GOD.
Didn’t Know,” Acts 17:30-31 (Acts 3:17; 1 Tim. 1:12-13; Acts 17:30, 22-23).
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Is Online Giving Bible Approved?
Joe R. Price
Covid-19 restrictions have impacted local churches of Christ, causing the use of new expediencies to accomplish our God-directed activities of worship and edification. Outside worship assemblies and internet-based Bible classes are two that come to mind.
One trend that began before Covid-19 is online giving on church websites. We earnestly pray churches of Christ will not use this approach to giving. (Some already have, including at least two non-institutional churches of Christ.)
Why this objection? The practice fails to follow the Bible pattern of giving on the first day of the week. “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2). Soliciting, giving, and receiving contributions anytime (online or not) rejects this binding example of when to give (1 Cor. 4:16-17; 11:1; Phil. 4:9). If we can ignore this apostolic-approved example, let us also ignore and no longer bind the apostolic-approved example of eating the Lord’s supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Thursday night communion anyone? (For more, see “When Are Examples Binding?” here on bibleanswer.com.)
Are we against convenience? Not when it conforms to Bible authority. Are we opposed to innovation? No, given the same caveat. Are we against using the internet as an aid? No, but aids are used to accomplish authorized activity (1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23). Giving is indeed authorized by Christ, and the day is specified. The pattern to follow is giving on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:2). Do we just like to be contrary? Hardly. But we intend to take Colossians 3:17 seriously: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” This is our common faith, from which we must not depart.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 10/04/2020
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA