THE SPIRIT’S SWORD
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
Mt. Baker church of Christ
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In this issue:
Jesus Christ is Lord of All!
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matt. 28:18)
Lord means “master” or “ruler” and conveys the idea of supremacy.
That Jesus has “all authority” is tantamount to saying that Jesus is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; cf. 2:36; Rom. 10:12)
everything, with only one exception to its inclusive application (1 Cor.
Still, here are some of the specific things the NT says Jesus is Lord over:
· The forces of
nature (Matthew 8:23-27)
· Every person (Matthew 28:18)
· Sinners [“enemies”] (Psa. 110:1-2; Acts 2:33-36)
· Christians (Rom. 1:4; 4:24; 2 Thess. 3:18)
· His kingdom (church - Col. 1:13; Eph. 1:21-23)
· The kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5; 19:16)
· Glory (1 Corinthians 2:8; James 2:1)
· The Sabbath (Matthew 12:7; Mark 2:28)
· Our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:13)
· Our spiritual labors (1 Corinthians 15:58)
· The home (Ephesians 6:1-4)
· The workplace (Ephesians 6:5-9)
· Death (1 Cor. 15:24-26)
· Judgment (Acts 17:31; 2 Pet. 3:10; 2 Thess. 1:7-9)
WILL YOU SUBMIT TO
(Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21-23)
by Joe R. Price
Throughout the life of a Christian he will encounter occasions when the renewal of his devotion, commitment and faith will be vital to his ongoing spiritual life. This is evidenced by the presence of sin in our lives and the corresponding need for repentance and its fruits (1 Jno. 1:8-10; Acts 8:22-24). The gospel proclaimed by the apostles bore the marks of renewal as it persuaded men to "repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance" (Acts 26:20). Christians were counseled to "repent and do the first works" (Rev. 2:5). After his sin, David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me" (Psa. 51:10). Our need for renewal is no less urgent than it was for David. Thanks be to God for allowing us to be renewed before Him.
Spiritual renewal begins with repentance. The church at Ephesus had left her first love. Although she was commended by the Lord for the many positive things she had done in His service, her love for Christ was now occupying a secondary position in the lives of her members (Rev. 2:2-6). But it was not time for panic or despair. It was not time to abandon ship. It was time for a spiritual renewal, and that renewal would begin with their earnest repentance from depriving Christ of first place in their hearts and lives (v. 5; cf. 1 Pet. 3:15). With such a renewal they could expect to overcome and partake of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7). It is still possible for a church to find itself in this condition today. When such a condition exists, then we, like the Ephesians, should repent and renew our initial commitment and drive to do the works of God (“first love”).
With spiritual renewal comes a restoration of those things which have been damaged by sin. “Cast not away thy presence; And take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psa. 51:11-12). Through spiritual renewal our relationships with God and men are set in order once more. Such restoration is crucial, since sin separates man from God and man from man (Isa. 59:1-2; 1 Jno. 2:19). How wonderful it is to see the joy of spiritual relationships restored through God's process of renewal. How encouraging it is to others who witness the effects of such renewal. No doubt the church at Philippi was strengthened as Euodia and Syntyche reached one mind in the Lord (Phil. 4:1-2). Renewal brings rejoicing!
Spiritual renewal causes revival (please read Psa. 51:12-15; 2 Cor. 7:11). David's soul was revitalized through God's forgiveness of his sin. He renewed his dedication to teach and convert sinners and to shout aloud the praises of God. We need a similar revival today. A revival of commitment, devotion, and zeal for truth and righteousness (Rom. 12:9-16).
Renewal begins with me. It begins with you. Our calling is clear. We must walk worthy of it (Eph. 4:1). But when we stumble we can renew our walk of faith through repentance, restoration and revival.
"I'm The Exception!"
(Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-5)
Exception - “A
person or thing different from others of the same class;
case to which a rule does not apply” - Webster.
I. “I'M THE EXCEPTION.”
-Attitude of release from our spiritual obligations & responsibilities.
A. Such An Attitude Ignores Personal Responsibility - Gal. 6:5; 2 Cor. 5:10.
B. This Attitude Results From Pride - Jas. 4:5-6; 2 Cor. 13:5; Matt. 23:12;
Lk. 18:9-14; 1 Cor. 10:12; Prov. 16:18; 2 Kgs. 5:9-14.
C. This Attitude Is Motivated By Self-Will (Presumption) - Matt. 16:24-25;
Lev. 10:1-2; Psa. 19:13; Jas. 4:17.
II. THE “EXCEPTION DEFENSE” CAN BE APPLIED TO:
Sporadic Attendance Of Worship Services - Heb. 10:24-25.
B. Prayer - Lk. 18:1; 1 Ths. 5:17; Col. 4:1.
C. Bible Study - 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:16-18.
D. Teaching Others - 2 Tim. 2:2; Acts 8:4.
E. MDR Responsibilities - Matt. 5:32; 19:6, 9; Heb. 13:4.
F. Moral Purity - 1 Tim. 4:12; Jas. 1:27.
III. EXCUSES FOR NOT MEETING OUR PERSONAL OBLIGATION:
“I Didn't Know” - Acts 17:30-31.
B. “I Didn't Have Time” - Eph. 5:16.
C. “I Did Some Good Things” - Matt. 7:21-23.
D. “I Wasn't As Bad As Others” - Gal. 6:4 (2 Cor. 10:12; cf. Matt. 7:3).
Jesus of Nazareth:
The Importance of His Second Coming (Part 18)
(Scripture Reading: 2 Thess. 1:3-10)
The second coming of Christ is central to the Christian's life and hope.
IMPORTANT TO THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE.
A. Watchfulness - 1 Ths. 5:1-11; Matt. 24:42-44.
B. Preparedness Requires: Repentance (2 Pet. 3:8-9); Holiness (2 Pet. 3:11-12); Faithfulness (Matt. 24:45-51).
II. IMPORTANT TO THE CHRISTIAN'S HOPE.
Hope Of Resurrection From The Dead - Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Ths. 4:13-18
B. Hope Of Participation In The Eternal Kingdom - 1 Cor. 15:24-26; 2 Pet. 3:13.
III. THE JUDGE IS COMING TO JUDGE! Acts 17:31; Matt. 25:31-32
Accountability - Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-13.
B. Wrath Upon Sinner - Rev. 20:15; 21:8; Rom. 2:5-6; 2 Ths. 1:7-9; 2 Pet. 3:10-13.
C. Deliverance From Wrath - 1 Ths. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Ths. 1:7; Rom. 2:7, 10.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
expectancy in Africa cut short by AIDS
March 18, 1999 Web posted at: 12:24 p.m. EST (1724 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- AIDS has cut the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe by a quarter-century, besides significantly reducing life spans in other African nations, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
The average Zimbabwean can now expect to live 39 years, down from 65 prior to the AIDS epidemic sweeping the country, the bureau said in a report released Thursday.
“AIDS results in higher mortality rates in childhood, as well as among young adults where mortality otherwise is low,” said Karen Stanecki, a contributing author of the Census Bureau's new report, “World Population Profile: 1998.”
“As a result, AIDS deaths will have a larger impact on life expectancies than on some other demographic indicators in these nations.”
The report estimated that Zimbabwe has 1.6 million fewer people directly and indirectly due to AIDS, while Uganda has 1.3 million fewer, Nigeria has nearly 1 million fewer and South Africa has 900,000 fewer.
By the year 2010, sub-Saharan Africa will have 71 million fewer people than it would have without the effect of AIDS, the report found. The projected population declines are: Nigeria, 11.7 million fewer people; Kenya, 6.7 million fewer; South Africa, 5.6 million; Zimbabwe, 4.4 million; and Uganda, 4.2 million. The Associated Press contributed to this report. (edited for length, jrp)
by: Joe R. Price
Laying aside all that could be said about the AIDS epidemic, I call your attention to the brevity and uncertainty of life which is vividly portrayed in these figures. At 41 I consider myself to be about halfway through life. If I lived in Zimbabwe, I might already be dead! While we are blessed with long life here in America, it is nevertheless brief and unstable (Jas. 4:13-17). Are you ready to die? (Read Phil. 1:21-24) If not, why not? Christ has made all things ready so you can be ready to die whenever it comes. Why do you wait? You will not live forever on this earth....none of us will!
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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