And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 23, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4, NKJV)
Jesus emphatically declared He glorified the Father and accomplished the work His Father gave Him. Jesus lived each day by God’s word to do God’s will. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jno. 4:34). Jesus used every day to “work the works” of the Father who sent Him, thus teaching diligence to His disciples (Jno. 9:4). With His dying breath, Jesus said, “It is finished” (Jno. 19:30).
What work did the Father give Jesus? Summing it up in one sentence, He gave Jesus the work of accomplishing human redemption from sin and death. “The Father sent the Son as Savior of the world” (1 Jno. 4:14).
The work Jesus accomplished is understood by how the Scriptures describe His work. Jesus came
1) To fulfill the law and the prophets (Matt. 5:17);
2) To seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10);
3) To give His life a ransom for us all (Matt. 20:28; 1 Tim. 2:6; Jno. 10:17-18);
4) To preach the gospel of the kingdom (Mk. 1:14-15, 38-39; Acts 3:22-23);
5) To be a king (Jno. 18:37; Mk. 9:1);
6) To bring division (Matt. 10:34-38; Lk. 12:49-53);
7) To bring light, life, and judgment (Jno. 1:4-9; 9:39);
8) To destroy the works of the devil (1 Jno. 3:8);
9) To do the will of the Father (Jno. 6:38).
This list is not exhaustive. Each item identifies work Jesus did and the honor it gave the Father (Jno. 17:4). If Jesus failed to finish even one of these works, then He also failed to glorify the Father fully.
Which of these works are you willing to say Jesus did not accomplish?
People have devised doctrines that effectively deny the truth that Jesus finished His redemptive work. Consider the following:
1) Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matt. 5:17). Yet some churches (like the Seventh-day Adventist Church) listen to Moses and the prophets for their faith practices instead of hearing Jesus. This is false (Matt. 17:5; Heb. 1:1-2).
2) Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10). Yet some churches (like the Baptist Church) reject His salvation by refusing the necessity of water baptism to be saved. This is false (Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).
3) Jesus came to give His life for all sinners (1 Tim. 2:6). Yet some churches (like the Reformed Church) teach limited atonement (Christ’s death only reaches those God elected for eternal life). This is false (Jno. 3:16; 1 Jno. 4:14).
4) Jesus came to preach the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23; Mk. 1:14-15). Yet some churches of Christ teach Jesus was only teaching Jews how to be good Jews. This is false (Matt. 9:35; Lk. 16:16; Matt. 5:31-32; 19:8-9).
5) Jesus came to be a king (Jno. 18:37). Yet many churches teach the premillennial doctrine that because the Jews rejected Jesus as their King, God withdrew the kingdom promise and substituted the church. They believe Jesus will return to earth in His kingdom in the future. This is false (Matt. 16:18-19; Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Col. 1:13; 1 Cor. 15:23-24).
One denies the truth that Jesus finished His work by accepting doctrines that contradict His work and word. Let us go back to the New Testament of Jesus, to a time before the doctrines and creeds of men corrupted the purposes and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and please God by remaining in its truth (Gal. 1:6-10). It is possible. Christians are doing it today.
For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. (Rom. 16:19, NKJV)
Do others know you obey God? The Bible indisputably teaches obedience is the expression of one’s faith. For example, Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jno. 14:15). James put it this way: “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas. 2:18). Earlier, Paul noted the Romans’ faith was spoken of by others throughout the world (Rom. 1:8).
People were talking about their faith because they knew about their obedience. Their faith was genuine because they obeyed the Lord. Obedience proclaims our faith, too. Just saying we believe is insufficient to save us (after all, “even the demons believe—and tremble,” Jas. 2:19). Our obedience to the Lord must be good and innocent (Rom. 16:19). The wisdom of the world calls evil good, and good evil (Isa. 5:20). Conversely, Christians shun such folly and choose to live by the wisdom from above (Jas. 3:17-18).
We influence the world for righteousness when others see our faith by our obedience (Matt. 5:13). -Sword Tips #2081
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Why Obedience Pleases God
Scripture Reading: Luke 5:1-6
Obedience is voluntary, humble, willingly submissive to God.
I. BECAUSE OBEDIENCE SHOWS WE RESPECT GOD’S LOVE, 1 Jno. 5:3.
Principle is Taught and Learned in the Family, Eph. 6:1-2; Prov. 23:22.
II. BECAUSE OBEDIENCE SHOWS WE TRUST GOD’S GRACE, Eph. 6:24.
God’s Grace Teaches Us Obedient Living, Tit. 2:11-14.
III. BECAUSE OBEDIENCE SHOWS WE HAVE FAITH IN GOD.
Obedience Trusts God’s Way is Right, Heb. 11:8-10 (13-16); 2 Cor. 5:6-8 (Lk.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Seeking Pain Relief
Joe R. Price
A16-year-old girl died in Bellingham this week from a drug overdose. KGMI Radio reported relatives posted online that “she had been feeling anxiety and tried to augment her prescription medication with Percocet she bought on the street in Bellingham. The pills turned out to be counterfeits that contained the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl” (“Fentanyl-laced pills lead to overdose of Bellingham teen,” kgmi.com). Whatcom County Health Department spokesman Perry Mowery said there is an increasing amount of fentanyl on Bellingham streets (Ibid).
Pain has been around since the first sins (Gen. 3:16, 19). Medicine brings relief, sometimes. Doctor-prescribed medications can help, yet harm when abused. Seeking relief from physical or emotional pain leads many to the streets where illegal drugs can not only addict but kill. This girl’s death saddens us.
Jesus was familiar with physical and emotional pain (Isa. 53:3-5; Matt. 26:37-38; 27:26, 35; Lk. 22:43-44). So was the apostle Paul (2 Cor. 11:23-25; 12:7-8). Neither escaped their pain, and often, we cannot escape ours. But Jesus and Paul endured their painful sufferings and, in weakness, were made strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10; Matt. 27:34; Lk. 23:34, 43, 46).
Pain can have a focusing and purifying effect when we learn how to deal with it (1 Pet. 1:6-9). Doing that is not easy. Jesus faced His pain with trust in and obedience to His Father (Matt. 26:39, 42; Heb. 5:7-9). So can you. Paul met his pain with prayer and faith in the power of Christ (2 Cor. 12:8-10). So can you.
Watch and pray (Matt. 26:41). Do not lose heart in your afflictions. Fix your gaze on heaven (2 Cor. 4:16-5:4). For the faithful, the pain will end in glory (Rev. 21:4).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 02/07/2021
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA