And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 23, Number
In this issue:
On Wednesday evening, as we were studying Colossians, I got to thinking about the times the word love shows up in this short epistle. Love is not a major theme in this book, but the word occurs six times, and its occurrences teach us some important lessons.
1. The Colossians were known for their “love for all the saints” (1:4). Local congregations are known for different things, some of them good and some of them bad. The Colossians had a genuine love for all Christians, not just those of their own congregation. This commendable trait of the church was declared to Paul by a man named Epaphras (vs. 7-8).
2. The Colossians were now a part of “the kingdom of the Son of His love” (v. 13). No longer enemies of God, lost in the domain of the wicked one, they were redeemed by the blood of Christ and conveyed into His kingdom. It is interesting that Paul refers to Jesus as the Son of God’s love. This description only intensifies the greatness of the sacrifice that made our salvation possible. God didn’t give just anything for our sins. God gave the Son that He loved!
3. The Colossians enjoyed an impressive level of unity. Paul says their hearts had been “knit together in love” (2:2). The word knit means “to join together closely and firmly” (Webster’s Dictionary). While God supplies the means of Christians enjoying close unity, it is up to the members to join themselves to one another closely and firmly. The Colossians had done this, using their genuine love for one another as “the bond of perfection” (3:14).
4. Paul admonished the husbands to love their wives (3:19). This is the same instruction he had given to husbands in the letter to the Ephesians. This love is the husband’s response to the wife’s submission and respect for her husband (v. 18; Eph. 5:33).
This congregation faced a great challenge. They were being bombarded with various false doctrines. They had to stand complete in Christ to overcome these errors. Paul spoke of the role that love was to play in this effort.
Are we known for our love? Are our hearts knit closely together in love for one another? Are we thankful that we are part of a kingdom of saved people because God loved us enough to send His Son to die for us? -Knollwood Reminder, March 2021
Joe R. Price
Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, wanted to go to war against the Syrians. Judah’s king Jehoshaphat allied with him, but wanted to “inquire for the word of the Lord” about the matter (1 Kings 22:5). Four hundred prophets gathered before them. To a man they said, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king” (1 Kings 22:6). Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?" (1 Kings 22:7) Ahab replied, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22:8). Micaiah was urged to agree with the four hundred who had “with one accord” encouraged Ahab (1 Kings 22:13). But Micaiah charged the four hundred prophets with lying to the king. They were false prophets; their word was not from the Lord (Yahweh). Micaiah prophesied disaster upon Ahab and his army (1 Kings 22:14-24). Micaiah was put into prison and fed bread and water for his bold proclamation of God’s word (1 Kings 22:25-28). Still, his word was true and came to pass. Ahab was killed by the Syrians and the army of Israel scattered (1 Kings 22:29-38).
We must not be like Ahab, searching for men who will tell us what we want to hear (instead of what we need to hear). We must be people of faith who love the truth and desire it, even when it calls on us to repent of our sin and error. We are not being faithful when we “heap up for (our)selves teachers” to satisfy our own desires and lusts (2 Tim. 4:3).
How does this happen in our time? One way is by going around the country looking for preachers who agree with them. Instead of an open examination of a subject in the light of God’s word, these modern Ahab’s scour the brotherhood for polemists who will justify their headlong rush into error, claiming a “thus saith the Lord” when God has not spoken. And, they still find them, just like Ahab did.
Ahab’s itching ears were scratched by four hundred false prophets. These sorts of men still exist today; men who serve as elders, stand in pulpits, or sit in front of computers, preaching and writing what the people want to hear instead of a genuine “thus saith the Lord” (2 Tim. 4:2-5). These are among those who present popular consensus of what they preach as proof that they do not hold some “weird” position. (Since when did how many people teach and believe something make it true? Remember Noah, 2 Pet. 2:5.)
Will you rest the future of your soul on the word of men or the word of God? You may find four hundred men to agree with you, but if they do not agree with the inspired Scriptures, they do not have God’s approval. They are false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1-3). We are sanctified in truth, not the baseless assurances of men who say, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace (Jer. 6:14; John 17:17). -The Spirit’s Sword, August 2010
1 You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2 You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. (Exodus 23:1–2, NKJV)
Israel was strictly charged not to (1) Spread falsehoods, (2) Support unrighteous witnesses, (3) Join others in committing evil, and (4) Affirm what is false to influence the perversion of justice. Honest people still avoid speaking and promoting falsehoods against others. So, shouldn’t we be just as concerned with not advancing falsehoods about God? Yet, untold millions of otherwise honest people see no problem with accepting and spreading false teachings as if they belong to God. By affirming doctrinal error as God’s truth, they influence others to twist His word. False teaching in the name of God is a sin of injustice against God. We are sure this does not go unnoticed by the Almighty (Matt. 7:21-23). Be sure His word supports it before assigning a doctrine and practice to “the will of God” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Examine the Scriptures to see if what you and others are saying about God and His will is accurate (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1, 6). Accept no counterfeit gospel. They are false reports that bring souls under divine condemnation (Gal. 1:6-10). -Sword Tips #1656
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Emotions and Living by Faith
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:1-6
extremes regarding faith:
I. THE ROLE OF EMOTIONS IN OUR FAITH.
Emotions do not Determine True Doctrine, 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (2:7); Rom. 10:17.
II. EMOTIONALISM RESULTS WHEN EMOTIONS RULE (Rom. 10:2-3).
Emotions Rule Us, the Authority of God’s Word Becomes Clouded & Minimized:
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
What's in a Name?
Joe R. Price
Our religious friends repeatedly tell us the name of the church doesn’t matter (to defend denominational differences). We believe the following news item illustrates the fallacy of this way of thinking.
The US border with Mexico saw 172,000 illegal aliens enter our country in March. Earlier this month the Biden administration instructed “CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make several changes on terminology relating to immigration:
“Alien” will now be “noncitizen” or “migrant.”
“Alienage” will be changed to “noncitizenship.”
“Unaccompanied alien children” will be “noncitizen unaccompanied children.”
“Undocumented alien” and “illegal alien” will be “undocumented noncitizen, undocumented individual or migrant.”
“Assimilation” will be “integration or civil integration.”
“Immigrant assimilation” will be “immigrant integration.”
“Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott has informed the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that he will not endorse a new language policy” (“Border Patrol chief tells CBP he won’t endorse language policy that stops use of ‘illegal alien,’” foxnews.com).
If there is “nothing in a name,” then why change the language? Of course, there is something in a name.
Identity is in a name. Disciples of Christ are “Christians” (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16). We belong to and follow Christ. We are not “Church of Christ” (as opposed to being “Baptist,” “Reformed,” etc.). We are simply Christians. Do you only wear Christ’s name?
“Church of Christ” is descriptive of possession. It is not a title. The church (the redeemed) belongs to Christ (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47). Do you (Gal. 3:26-27)?
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 05/02/2021
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA