And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 24, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10–11, NKJV).
Jesus will come from heaven in the same manner the apostles saw Him ascend into heaven – visually, personally, and powerfully (Acts 1:9; 1 Thess. 4:16). The Scriptures plainly tell us what will happen when Jesus returns. We do well to learn and reflect on what will take place when the Lord returns, then conform our hearts and lives to the will and word of the Son of God (Matt. 7:21-27).
These things will happen when Jesus returns:
(1) Resurrection of all the dead (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:20-22).
(2) Change of all the living from mortal to immortality (1 Cor. 15:52-54).
(3) Judgment of every person (Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 9:27; Rom. 2:5-11; Rev. 20:11-12).
The fiery destruction of the material realm (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-12).
(6) The eternal punishment of the disobedient – eternal death in hell (Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:13-15; 21:8).
Jesus has ascended to the right hand of God, and He will return. May the truth convict us to faithfully serve Him and attempt to persuade others to prepare for that great day (1 Thess. 5:1-11; 2 Cor. 5:11). -Sword Tips #2005
Joe R. Price
The apostle Paul referred to and applied an Old Testament prophecy when he said, “For who knows the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16; Isa. 40:13). What did he mean, “we have the mind of Christ?” Is what Jesus thought and taught available to us today? If so, what must we do to have the mind of Christ?
The apostles of Christ received the gospel they preached by divine revelation, “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by men is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11-12). Thus, the context of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 2:16 is applied to the apostles. The good news preached by the apostles is not the product of the mind of man. If it were, then we could rely on human wisdom to instruct, correct, and guide us in spiritual things. Many people rely on human wisdom in spiritual things. Yet, the wisdom of man is foolishness before God (1 Cor. 3:19). We are most grateful that God did not leave us to rely on human wisdom for our understanding of truth and our salvation from sin (cf. Prov. 14:12; 16:25; Jer. 10:23). God revealed the things He prepared for those who love Him. God appeals to mankind to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth by means of the revealed gospel (1 Cor. 2:9-10; 1 Tim. 2:3-4).
The Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to speak and write the mind of Christ. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak... for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you... Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:10-13). The apostles of Christ did not keep “the mind of Christ” (the gospel) to themselves. They went everywhere preaching it as Jesus commissioned them (Mark 16:15-20). When we read the New Testament we are reading the mind of Christ. Imagine that. To be able to read what Christ thinks. When we view the New Testament this way we are more apt to respect it and humbly obey it in our lives.
Could it be that we fail to learn what the New Testament teaches because we have not truly accepted that it is the word of God and not the words of men (please read 1 Thess. 2:13)? The apostle Paul said, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).
What must we do to have the mind of Christ?
(1) Have an enthusiastic desire and commitment to do the will of God (John 7:16-17). You will have very little interest in learning God’s will if you are not eager to do His will. You will flounder around in doubt and uncertainty, tossed about by the doctrines of men (Eph. 4:14). So, be certain you want to know and do God’s will. Do not rely on your feelings or experiences to decide what God wants you to do, but on what God’s word says He wants you to do (Jer. 17:5-8).
(2) Diligently learn God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15). People do not wake up one morning and suddenly find they are full of a knowledge of God’s word (Col. 1:9). Such results from faithful reading, meditation, study, and application of God’s word (1 Tim. 4:13; Ps. 1:1-2; 119:15, 97-104). There is no shortcut to understanding the Bible, the mind of Christ. Now is the time to start reading, meditating, studying, and living the gospel of Christ.
(3) Obey the word of Christ without hesitation (Matt. 7:24-27; John 8:31-32). We do not have faith unless we live what we learn from God’s word (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6). There is no eternal value in learning but not living the truth of God (Luke 6:46). When you learn the truth of Christ it is essential you obey it (2 Cor. 6:2).
God’s word is the revelation of the mind of Christ. We have a magnificent blessing, privilege, and responsibility before us. We can know the mind of Christ by learning and living the word of Christ (the New Testament). We will never learn the gospel unless we first commit ourselves to doing God’s will. We can have the mind of Christ in us by believing and obeying what we learn. This happens as we learn God’s word through diligent study (2 Pet. 3:18). Christ is “formed in you” when you know and obey His gospel (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27).
Do you know God? Are you sure? You can be (1 John 2:3-6). He speaks to you in His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). His Son speaks to you through His apostles (1 Cor. 14:37). They received the mind of Christ through revelation and spoke it by inspiration (1 Cor. 2:6-16). You can have the mind of Christ when you diligently study His word and obey Him in all things (Col. 3:9-10, 16-17; Heb. 10:16). -Reprint edited, The Spirit’s Sword
We sin against God when anxiety consumes us. Anxiety is a distracting care resulting from a lack of faith in God. In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus teaches the futility of anxiety as He emphasizes the need for greater faith in God. In his commentary on the gospel of Matthew, William Hendriksen entitles this section of scripture “Unlimited Trust.” Then, he notes what we will call the ABCs of anxiety. Consider them with me in our quest to eliminate anxiety. Anxiety…
Amounts to idolatry (Matt. 6:24). The distractions that cause anxiety are based in this world. The object of our anxiety becomes of primary importance to us. Hence, it takes the place God should have in our lives, and that is idolatry. Jesus said, “you cannot serve God and mammon.” As Hendriksen noted, “attachment to mammon means detachment from God.” (Commentary on Matthew, 343).
Blurs vision (Matt. 6:22-23). Anxiety obscures our vision. We are not able to focus on God, Christ, and heaven when we are preoccupied with laying up treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19-21). Our eye is no longer single and our faith is weakened (vss. 22-23).
Confuses values (Matt. 6:25). The anxious person lives with the wrong value system. Secondary things become primary, and vice versa. We must remember food is not more important than life and clothing is not more important than the body (v. 25). We must maintain proper values to avoid anxiety.
Defies reason (Matt. 6:26-34). Anxiety makes us forget we cannot add one inch to our life. It borrows tomorrow’s troubles (as if today’s are not enough) and forgets the sovereignty of God. Anxiety wastes our opportunities to trust God for everything by limiting our faith in the Creator who sustains the birds, the flowers, and every living thing.
Anxiety is deceptive. It is an enemy of faith. Let us learn to trust God at all times and not be distracted from serving Him (Phil. 4:6-7).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 05/28/2022
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA