And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 23, Number
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APRIL 05 - 09, 2021
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Joe R. Price
I was asked recently, “Should the church be involved in political matters? Should the church tell people from the pulpit how to vote in matters concerning laws of the state? Should the church tell the members to vote yes on the abortion matter in the state?” What does the Scripture say?
First, one must understand what the church is and is not. The church is not an ecclesiastical organization that pronounces edicts to its laity. The church of Christ is composed of saved people (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22-23; Heb. 12:22-23). The Lord has arranged these saved people into local churches, organized and functioning in worship and work according to God’s revealed pattern (Acts 14:22-23; 20:17, 28; 1 Pet. 5:2). The work of local churches is not to be a political action committee.
According to the Scriptures, the church does not tell anybody anything “from the pulpit.” The gospel preacher does not speak “for the church,” he preaches the word of God to the church as well as to the lost (2 Tim. 4:2-4; 1 Tim. 4:6; Rom. 1:15-16; 10:14-15).
Christ’s kingdom is not of this world (Jno. 18:36). It is also clear that God ordained civil government to protect the innocent and the punishment of criminals (Rom. 13:1-6). Some governments allow their citizens to participate in their political decisions (for example, the representative republic of the U. S.); others do not (for example, a ruling monarchy). To whatever degree each Christian chooses to participate in or abstain from politics is entirely their choice and right as a citizen of society, depending on the form of government under which they live. Of course, such participation must honor God and man (1 Pet. 2:17).
May we preach God’s word on topics that find application in the political arena? Absolutely. Otherwise, we must immediately stop preaching on all Bible subjects that find their way into politics. For example, we would have to cease teaching God’s word and its political ramifications on such topics as paying taxes (Matt. 22:15-22), capital punishment (Acts 25:11), protecting the innocent from oppression (Jas. 5:1-6; 1 Tim. 2:1-2), and the sin of same-sex marriages (1 Cor. 6:9-10). It would mean no more bulletin articles like this one. Preaching the whole counsel of God means we speak God’s word on “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3; Acts 20:27, 20).
In countries where citizens are allowed to vote, Christians should support candidates who promote godliness and virtue (1 Tim. 2:1-2). As for abortion, it is the taking of innocent life; it is a sin (Rom. 13:9). How can Christians support such unholy conduct and vote for those who do without involving themselves in sin (Eph. 5:11)? Remember, we will answer for our conduct while on earth (2 Cor. 5:10). That includes whether we stand up for the will of God by our politics.
Individually, we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16). Christians must be influencers for good in this dark world of sin. Our politician decisions are one way to do so (1 Pet. 2:11-12).
-Reprint, The Spirit’s Sword (Oct. 15, 2006)
Joe R. Price
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3–4, NKJV)
Combative attitudes and contentious conduct permeate society. The works of the flesh (“adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like”) are producing devastating results all around us (Gal. 5:19-21).
Look at the contrast in today’s passage with the works of the flesh. Selfish ambition thrives in the arrogant heart that sees others as “less than” we are. Pride feeds the desire to look out for ourselves first – before others. When we estimate others to be better than ourselves, it follows that we will not injure and harm them through the works of the flesh. (Look at that list again and see how often our sins hurt others.)
By developing hearts of humility, we become servants of others instead of users and takers. Living for others instead of ourselves protects us from sin as it spreads the influence of righteousness. Be the salt of the earth by maintaining a humble heart that values others and becomes a blessing in their lives (Matt. 5:13). -Sword Tips #1632
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
This Present Evil Age
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
Every age since man’s fall has had its share of evil, Gen. 6:5-6.
I. WE MUST FIGHT AGAINST ITS DARKNESS, Eph. 6:12.
Arm Yourself with Truth and Its Protection, Eph. 6:17 (11-17); Jer. 4:22; 2
II. WE MUST NOT BE CONFORMED TO IT, Rom. 12:1-2 (Eph. 5:11).
If Allowed, the Forces of this Age Will Infiltrate our Minds and Blind Us to
the Gospel, 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 1 Pet. 4:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:33.
III. WE MUST NOT BE DECEIVED BY THE WISDOM OF THIS PRESENT AGE, 1 Cor. 1:20; 2:6; 3:18.
The Present Evil Age Redefines Truth.
IV. WHAT SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS DO?
Wake Up, Rom. 13:11; Eph. 5:14; 1 Co. 15:34.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
"God Cannot Bless Sin"
“The Vatican decreed Monday that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a formal response Monday to a question about whether Catholic clergy can bless same-sex unions” (cbsnews.com).
Singer Elton John called the refusal hypocrisy. He wrote, “How can the Vatican refuse to bless gay marriages because they ‘are sin,’ yet happily make a profit from investing millions in “Rocketman” — a film which celebrates my finding happiness from my marriage to David??” (cbsnews.com)
John’s question is valid. The two-page explanation approved by the pope distinguished between blessing gay people and blessing gay unions. It said in part, “The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated” (foxnews.com). “Pope Francis has endorsed providing gay couples with legal protections in same-sex unions, but that is in reference to the civil sphere, not within the church” (Ibid). Duplicity, if not hypocrisy. (It’s ok to have a civil union, just don’t expect the RCC to make it religious!)
God’s word could not be plainer. 1) Marriage is for man and woman (Gen. 2:18-25). 2) Marriage is not “blessed by the church.” It is sanctioned and blessed by God (Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:6). 3) Homosexuality is sin (Rom. 1:24-28; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Jude 7). 4) Same-sex unions are not marriages in God’s sight ( Heb. 13:4).
True, God cannot bless sin (James 1:13). Therefore, He cannot bless the Catholic Church (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 03/25/2021
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
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