THE SPIRITíS 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:
BY FAITH MOSES WAS HIDDEN A Series on Hebrews
11 (Part 11)
When Pharaoh saw the growth of the people of Israel, he required the Israelites to cast every male son into the river. "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command" (Heb. 11:23). Some parents were afraid of the king's command and many Hebrew children perished in the Nile River. We know very little of the life of Amram and Jochebed (Ex. 6:20), but they were faithful parents of three great spiritual leaders of Israel (Moses, Aaron, and Miriam).
In our society, children are exposed to many things that threaten their lives and their souls. Many Christians who are parents don't have the faith to adequately protect and prepare their children for the world. Paul said, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). Faithful parents give this training a high priority and are deeply concerned for their children's well-being.
Concerning faithful Abraham, the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him" (Gen. 18:17-19). Job was another faithful parent. Concerning his children, "Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, 'It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did regularly" (Job 1:5). These were faithful parents who instructed their children in the way of the Lord and regularly petitioned God for their children's spiritual welfare.
One of the most tragic accounts in the Bible is the life of Absalom. He led a rebellion against his father, King David, and was slain by David's followers. When David heard the news, he cried, "O my son Absalom--my son, my son Absalom--if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!" (II Sam. 18:33). Some Christians face the tragedy of losing a child who has gone the way of the prodigal son and perishes in riotous living. Many more parents see their children drift away from the gospel. Their parents neglect to teach them and they grow accustomed to a life without Jesus. When the parent finally gets around to discussing the gospel, their children are no longer listening. The time you have to spend with your kids is so very short. Like David, you won't be able to change places with your children if you neglect the opportunities you have now. By faith, Moses was hidden for three months by his parents. What about your children?
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." (Prov. 31:30-31).
The following was written by a 12 year old girl, and well illustrates that judging by appearance is instilled in the hearts of people from a very early age.
"To be enormously gorgeous, Sarah says you need to have beautiful long, curly hair like she has. I don't. To be enormously gorgeous, Justin says you must have perfectly straight white teeth like he has. I don't. To be enormously gorgeous, Jessica says you can't have any of those little brown dots on your face called freckles. I do. To be enormously gorgeous, Mark says you have to be the smartest kid in the seventh-grade class. I'm not. To be enormously gorgeous, Stephen says you have to be able to tell the funniest jokes in the school. I don't. To be enormously gorgeous, Lauren says you need to live in the nicest neighborhood in town and in the prettiest house. I don't. To be enormously gorgeous, Matthew says you can only wear the coolest clothes and the most popular shoes. I don't. To be enormously gorgeous, Samantha says you need to come from a perfect family. I don't. But every night at bedtime my dad gives me a big hug and says, 'You are enormously gorgeous, and I love you.' My dad must know something my friends don't."
GO AND SIN NO MORE
(Scripture Reading: John 8:1-11)
I. SIN CONDEMNS - JESUS FORGIVES.
A. Forgiveness Should Be Our "Agenda" Toward Sinners - Jno. 8:3-7.
II. JESUS COMMANDS WE CHOOSE NOT TO LIVE IN SIN - 8:11.
A. Sin Is Not Forced Upon Us, It Is Chosen - Jas. 1:13-15.
B. Put Sin To Death In Your Life - Rom. 6:1-11; Col. 3:5-9.
-Ask these questions:
Will this conduct honor God?
Is it something I would do if Jesus were present?
Is it something I can recommend to others as godly?
Will I draw closer to God by doing it?
C. Put On The New Man - Col. 3:10. (New character)
III. GO AND REPENT (the nature & effect of repentance).
A. Godly Sorrow Produces Genuine Repentance - 2 Cor. 7:9-10.
B. Repentance Is A Change Of Mind Which Causes Us To Live Differently - Jno. 8:11. ("go and sin no more")
IV. GO AND LIVE FOR GOD.
A. Ultimately, We All Live For Either God Or Satan - Matt. 6:24; 12:30.
B. What Will Your Choice Be? - Josh. 24:15
(Scripture Reading: 1 Tim. 1:3-11)
Sound: to be sound, to be well, whole, to be in good health.
I. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE SOUND:
A. In The Faith - Titus 1:13; 1 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 2:7; 1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13.
B. In Personal Faith - Titus 2:2; 2 Pet. 1:3-7.
C. In Speech - Titus 2:8; cf. Col. 4:6; Jas. 1:26.
D. In Moral Conduct - 1 Tim. 1:9-11; 6:3; Eph. 5:3-7; Tit. 2:11-12.
II. DIAGNOSING SPIRITUAL ILLNESS.
A. Recognize, Accept & Use A Common Standard Of Soundness - 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (Col. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:3); 2 Tim. 2:15; Acts 17:11-12; 2 Cor. 13:5.
B. Know The Cause Of Spiritual Illness: Sin! - Rom. 6:23; 1 Jno. 5:17
-Teaching error (Gal. 1:8-9), following error (2 Tim. 2:16-18), failure to obey the truth is a spiritual disease (sin) - 2 Pet. 1:8-9 (Jas. 4:17).
III. CAN WE BE SPIRITUALLY SOUND? Yes!
A. We Are Commanded To Be Sound - Eph. 6:10.
B. We Have Examples Of Soundness We Are To Follow - Phil. 3:16-17.
C. The Objective Of Gospel Preaching Is Our Soundness - Col. 1:28.
D. The Reward Of Soundness Is Heaven - 1 Tim. 4:8.
E. Our Criterion: Apostolic Truth - 1 Jno. 4:1, 6; Rev. 2:2-3.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
PHILIP MORRIS ADMITS SMOKING CAUSES CANCER, OTHER DISEASES
(From Philip Morris website:
Cigarette Smoking: Health Issues for Smokers
Cigarette Smoking and Disease in Smokers: There is an overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other serious diseases in smokers. Smokers are far more likely to develop serious diseases, like lung cancer, than non-smokers. There is no "safe" cigarette. These are and have been the messages of public health authorities worldwide. Smokers and potential smokers should rely on these messages in making all smoking-related decisions.
Cigarette Smoking and Addiction: Cigarette smoking is addictive, as that term is most commonly used today. It can be very difficult to quit smoking, but this should not deter smokers who want to quit from trying to do so.
Additional information from public health authorities on cigarette smoking and addiction is available on this page. Here are a few examples:
"The determination that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting is based on standard criteria used to define drugs as addicting". (U.S. Surgeon General) "The World Health Organization has classified smoking as an addiction". (World Health Organization) "...the nicotine in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco causes and sustains addiction". (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
One of the required cigarette warnings for packages and advertisements in the U.S. is "SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health." To reduce the health risks of smoking, the best thing to do is to quit; public health authorities do not endorse either smoking fewer cigarettes or switching to lower-yield brands as a satisfactory way of reducing risk.
Joe R. Price
FINALLY! After decades of denial, billions in advertising dollars and clamorous conflict, leading cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris tells us what we have known for a long time - smoking is addictive and smoking kills.
These are reasons enough for every Christian to stop smoking! We are to exercise self-control in all things (1 Cor. 9:24-27; 2 Pet. 1:5-6). Our only Master is to be Jesus (Matt. 6:24). Certainly not nicotine. Our bodies are for the Lord and how we use them should glorify God (1 Cor. 6:15, 19-20).
Dear friend, if you smoke you can quit. Do not allow cigarettes to control you and cut short your time here on earth. There is much to do and our time here is short (Jno. 9:4). Live for Jesus - do not die for a cigarette!
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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