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
Visit our Web Sites:
Mt. Baker church of Christ:
BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com
In this issue:
DO YOU DISAGREE?
by Greg Gwin
It is inevitable that in the course of dealing with other people certain disagreements will arise. It happens in business, among friends, in the home, at school, and it certainly happens in the church. So, the question is not: Will we disagree with other Christians from time to time? Of course, we will. The real question is: How will we handle these disagreements? Here are some suggestions.
First, analyze the problem. Do you disagree with some decision the elders have made? Is it something that the preacher taught that has you concerned? Have you had some problem with a particular Bible class teacher? Is there some brother or sister in the congregation with whom you have a difference? No matter who it may be, take care to be sure that you are being fully objective in the matter. Too often we allow our own prejudices and preconceived ideas to interfere with our evaluation of a given matter.
Next, ask yourself if the difference is a matter that relates to scriptural soundness. If so, yield not an inch. When false teachers were involved, Paul "gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour" (Gal. 2:5). We should imitate his example. But, be honest enough to admit if your problem is not a scriptural one, but rather simply a matter of judgment. Perhaps you would not have made the same judgment, but no sin has occurred. If this is the case, then we urge you to "be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:32). Far too many church problems have gotten completely out of hand because brethren were willing to fight when they should have been longsuffering with one another. In matters of judgment, "let each esteem other better than themselves" (Phil. 2:3).
If you determine that this disagreement must be pursued, then be sure that you follow the proper procedure as outlined in God's word (Matt. 18:15-17). Do not compound the problem by backbiting, rumor spreading, or gossip. Go directly to the parties involved and work tirelessly for a resolution of the disagreement. If you are unwilling to do this, you are violating God's law and you have no right to even open your mouth. In other words, do what's right or keep quiet!
Finally, pray that God will give you wisdom to do the right thing (James 1:5). If all Christians will follow these Biblical principles, there is no problem that can not be resolved according to God's will. Let's have enough faith to follow His plan.
"WHAT JESUS IS NOW"
What Jehovah's Witnesses believe about Jesus
Joe R. Price
This is the title of an article in Awake! (Dec., 8, 1998, p. 8-11), a publication of the Watchtower Society. I received it last week from a Jehovah’s Witness who has frequented my doorstep of late.
Jehovah’s Witnesses to do believe in the Jesus we read about in the Bible. Of course, they would say that they do, but the “proof is in the pudding” as we test whether these teachers are from God (1 Jno. 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:21-22). Here are some of the things this article says about Jesus, followed by Bible answers:
“Jesus was the first and only direct creation of God in heaven countless ages ago, before the angels and the physical universe. This is why he is called God’s ‘only-begotten Son.’ All other creations were made through this Son, God’s ‘master worker,’ in his prehuman existence.” (page 8)
BIBLE ANSWER: Jesus is eternal God - not a created being. He is “God with us” (Matt. 1:23) - the I AM (Jno. 8:58), and one with the Father (Matt. 1:23; Jno. 8:58; 10:30-33). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.” (Jno. 1:1, 14) The Watchtower Society had to rewrite John 1:1-3 in their “New World Translation” of the Bible to avoid and evade the force of its truth! Their Bible says the Word was “a god.”
Jesus described Himself as “the first and the last” in Revelation 1:17. Isaiah 44:6 gives the very same designation to Jehovah: “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; Besides me there is no God.” Now, either Jesus is the God who was Israel’s Redeemer in Isaiah 44:6, or he is a blasphemer in Revelation 1:17! The Jesus of the Bible is wholly, eternally God. The Jesus of the Watchtower was created in their false interpretations and twisting of the scriptures.
“About 2,000 years ago, God transferred the life of Jesus to the womb of a Jewish virgin, to be born as a human. Even now, by the process of artificial insemination, humans can do something that is in some ways comparable.” (page 8)
BIBLE ANSWER: Incredible!! Jehovah’s Witnesses say the virgin birth of Jesus is comparable to artificial insemination! The Bible says that Mary was told that “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Lk. 1:35) His birth was a miracle of God - artificial insemination is not.
Colossians 2:9 says that “in Him (Jesus, jrp) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Jesus’ divinity was not lessened by His humanity. Miraculously, deity inhabited flesh (Jno. 1:14). Jesus is called the “Son of God” not because His existence because due to a creative act of God. He is the “Son of God” because this appellation describes His nature - His fullness of deity. The people of Jesus’ day understood that to call God your Father was to “make yourself God” (Jno. 10:30, 33, 35). Jesus concurred with their assessment by calling Himself “the Son of God” in John 10:35-36). Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe Jesus is fully God. The Jesus of the Watchtower is not the Jesus of the Bible!
I BEG YOU!
(Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:14-21)
The apostle Paul begged Christians....
I. TO BE LIVING SACRIFICES - Rom. 12:1.
A. Because Of Mercy & To Be Acceptable - Rom. 5:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:10; Lk. 6:46; 2 Cor. 5:9.
II. TO JOIN HIM IN PRAYER - Rom. 15:30-32.
A. We Should Be Praying For Each Other! - cf. Eph. 6:18-20; Col. 4:2-3; 2 Ths. 3:1-2.
III. TO MARK & AVOID FALSE TEACHERS & DIVISIVE BRETHREN - Rom. 16:17.
A. Mark & Avoid Such People - cf. Titus 3:10-11; cf. 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
IV. TO BE UNITED IN CHRIST - 1 Cor. 1:10; (Phil. 4:2).
A. Requirements Of Unity - Eph. 4:1-6.
V. TO IMITATE HIM - 1 Cor. 4:14-16 (Gal. 4:12).
A. Mark Out Those Who Follow The Pattern Of The Apostles - Phil. 3:17; 4:9; 1 Cor. 11:1.
VI. TO NOT RECEIVE GOD’S GRACE IN VAIN - 2 Cor. 6:1-2.
A. Faithfully Obey (Gal. 5:4-7), Reject False Gospels (Gal. 1:6-7) & Don’t Turning Back - Heb. 10:39.
VII. TO ABOUND IN LOVE FOR EACH OTHER - 1 Ths. 4:9-10.
A. Every Christian Deserves To Be Loved By His Brethren! 1 Jno. 3:14-15; 4:7-11.
PEDDLING THE GOSPEL
(Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:12-17)
Modern marketing efforts corrupt the gospel - cf. 2 Cor. 11:3-4!
I. MARKETING THE WORD OF GOD.
A. Offer Food, Fun & Frolic & They Will Come - Jno. 6:44-45; 1 Cor. 2:1-5.
B. Change The Name & They Will Come - Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 1:2.
C. Touch Their Emotions With Nostalgia & They Will Come - Jer. 17:9-10; Prov. 14:12.
D. Dramatize It & They Will Come - 2 Tim. 4:2; 1:11; Acts 13:42-44; 14:21-22.
II. WHY ARE SUCH THINGS BEING DONE?
A. Because It Is What People Want (Peoples’ Felt-Needs) - 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Lk.
B. Because Of The Misconceptions People Have About The Church.
C. Because Of Their Popularity (The Bandwagon Mentality) - 1 Sam. 8:5-7; Num. 14:6-10.
D. Because You Can’t Argue With Success. -cf. 1 Sam. 15:22-23
III. DEFENDING THE “MARKETING” OF THE GOSPEL.
A. “We Are Just Being Wise About Spreading The Gospel” - Matt. 10:16; Gal.
1:6-9; 1 Cor. 1:21.
B. “These Are Just Expediencies (Methods) To Spread The Gospel” - 1 Cor. 10:23.
C. “You Are Just A Traditionalist & An Alarmist!” - Jer. 6:16; 1 Pet. 5:8; Jude 3
D. “You Are Too Negative & Condemning!” - Lev. 10:1-2; 2 Sam. 6:6-7 (Jesus - Matt. 22:29)
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
EARTHQUAKE SHAKES PUGET SOUND HOMES
was an earthquake at 4:45 this morning under the Pacific Ocean off Vancouver
The U-S Geological Survey says it had a magnitude five-point-seven and was located 115 miles southwest of Port Hardy, British Columbia.
information center in Golden, Colorado, says it was unrelated to last night’s
quake that rattled the Puget Sound area.
Residents from Tacoma, Puyallup, Bremerton, Seattle and Redmond reported feeling last night's quake when it hit at 10:20 p.m. pacific. No damage or injuries have been reported.
The Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network at the University of Washington estimates the quake was a magnitude 3. Researchers there say it was centered about nine-and-a-half miles north of Tacoma and started about 14-and-a-half miles underground.
U-W seismologist Bill Steele says the quake was widely felt probably because it was so deep. He describes the jolt as "a little thing." (Northwest Cable News website, 7/2/99)
by: Joe R. Price
Cataclysmic events such as earthquakes are attention-getters. They remind us how small and powerless we humans really are. They remind the thoughtful that at any moment one’s life on this globe can be forever changed -- or ended. Fortunately, this recent shaker did not damage life or limb.
God has used the figure of earthquakes to warn mankind of His judgment against sin (Isa. 29:6; Rev. 6:12-17). Earthquakes are forceful and inescapable. The last great day of God’s judgment will also be forceful and inescapable (2 Pet. 3:10-12; Rev. 20:11-15).
If you live in an earthquake zone, it is prudent to be prepared for what will inevitably occur. You can buy 72-hour preparedness kits to help save your life in the event of a natural disaster. Salvation in Christ is free to all who obey His gospel in faith (Isa. 55:1-3; Jno. 4:14; Matt. 11:28-30). It is wise to be prepared for an earthquake, but far wiser to be prepared for the Lord’s day of judgment (Matt. 24:42-51). Are you prepared? (2 Cor. 5:9-11)
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
Send all questions, comments and subscriptions to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org