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 KEPT THE PASSOVER A Series on
Hebrews 11 (Part 14)
Earlier the Hebrew writer warned, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6). This truth is vividly illustrated in verse 29, "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned."
Notice carefully that the Egyptians "attempted" to do exactly what the Israelites had done. The faith of the Israelites was the difference between life and death. The path to the promised land had many dangers and their safety in crossing the Red Sea was wholly dependent upon God. Only God could hold back the waters. God instructed the people to go forward and they had to trust in God to deliver them. Trusting obedience brought them safely to the other shore. The Egyptians tried the same without faith and perished.
Nobody can obey the gospel without faith. You dare not pretend to be a Christian without faith. Faith is an essential ingredient in our lives and we need to realize its importance. Don't try to evangelize, minister to the brethren, or anything else God asks of His servants at the expense of your faith. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to worry about these particulars more than we do our faith. Our faith grows weak and no fruit is seen in our lives. We recognize the absence of fruit because it gives us a sense of accomplishment, but the absence of faith goes unnoticed. As a result we have a lot of frustrated Christians trying to be fruitful without being faithful and they can't understand why that is so hard. Make the development of your faith a priority (Rm. 10:17).
It is so easy to
find yourself attempting to do everything a Christian does, but leave faith out
of your life. This can only lead to ruin. Faith is the key ingredient. With
faith Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil.
THE BENEFITS OF REPENTANCE (2
Warren E Berkley
"For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter."
This passage is about the elements of repentance; or it might be stated - the products of repentance. And once we become acquainted with this, we understand the importance of this act and the joy it causes in heaven and in God's kingdom here.
In the church at Corinth there was an individual offender who needed specific attention (see 1 Cor. 5). But also, any who were guilty of the misbehavior named in the First Corinthian letter needed to repent. When Paul, through Titus, learned that some had repented, he expressed his joy. And in that celebration he names some of the key elements in genuine repentance:
DILIGENCE - one good result of repentance is more diligence. It was carelessness that got us into sin. When we regain a sense of wisdom and humility with godly sorrow, leading to repentance, we are then more careful or diligent about our thoughts and behavior before God. Genuine repentance produces this good fruit - diligence.
A CLEARING OF YOURSELVES - in order to be cleared (forgiven, justified), we must repent. Time has no redemptive value. When the misdeeds of public figures are brought to light, the argument is often made that "it happened so many years ago." Yet time has no redemptive power at all. In order to be cleared, we must repent. It is a great benefit of repentance to be cleared of wrongdoing.
INDIGNATION - disapproval of sin. In sin, we suffer a loss of shame and indignation. But upon repentance, we regain that healthy sense of disdain and indignation toward everything that offends God.
FEAR - a healthy fear we need to have about offending God. Do you know one problem today is, people have a fear of fear!! Fear gets a lot of negative, undeserved press these days. Books are written and seminars are conducted to help you eradicate fear. Well, there are some fears we shouldn't have - but let's not just get down on fear all together. In the Bible, there is a healthy, godly, constructive fear that pleases God, builds character and is part of saving faith! This kind of fear is renewed in us when we repent.
So let us repent
when we sin. For repentance works in us these great things. "For observe this
very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in
you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement
desire, what zeal, what vindication!"
For the complete text of the following sermon, visit
BIBLE ANSWERS at:
(Scripture Reading: James 4:1-10)
-Are we guilty of worldliness?
I. GOD'S DEFINITION OF WORLDLINESS.
A. World: System Of Evil In Opposition To God - 1 Jno. 2:15; Jas. 4:4;Rom. 12:2; Jno. 16:33; Rom. 8:37.
II. THE THINGS OF THE WORLD - 1 John 2:15-17.
A. All Sinful Things Of The World Fall Under These Three Categories.
1. The lust (desire) of the flesh: Carnality.
2. The lust of the eye (wanting things the eye can see): Covetousness.
3. The pride of life (want to impress, be noticed, admired): Conceit.
III. THE CARES OF THE WORLD - Luke 8:14 (Mk. 4:18-19).
A. As Thorns Choke A Good Plant, There Are Things Which Choke Our Spiritual Life.
1. Anxiety ("cares") over physical needs. Matt. 6:25-33; Phil. 4:6-8.
2. Riches (Deceitfulness of riches, Mk. 4:19); Ezek. 33:31-32; 1 Tim.6:10.
3. Pleasures of life - 1 Tim. 5:6 (Heb. 11:25); 1 Pet. 4:3-4; 2 Tim.4:10; Josh. 24:15.
IV. VICTORY OVER THE WORLD.
A. We Have Control Over Our Minds - Rom. 8:5; Col. 3:1-3.
B. We Have Control Over Our Bodies - Rom. 6:13-14; 1 Jno. 2:17; 1 Cor.6:19-20.
C. Take Inventory Of Ourselves - 2 Cor. 13:5.
GOD'S CREATION: Genesis 1
(Scripture Reading: Psalm 8)
-SUMMARY STATEMENT: Gen. 1:1
-In the beginning: The starting point. Matt. 19:4; 2 Pet. 3:4.
-God: (Elohim), Deity; Supreme, Eternal - Psa. 90:2; 93:1-5; Rom. 1:20.
-Created: Bara (1:1, 21, 27; Heb. 11:3); Asah (make - 1:7, 16, 25, 31);
Yatsar (form, 2:7). -Psa. 33:6-9; Jer. 51:15
-The heavens & the earth: Celestial and terrestrial - Job 38:4-11, 31-33.
-THREE DISTINCT CATEGORIES
-God: The Creator
-Nature: The physical cosmos
-Man: God's spiritual creation - Gen. 1:26-27; Eccl. 12:7; Isa. 42:5.
-AFTER ITS KIND: God's Law Of Propagation and Increase of Living Things
-THE DAYS OF CREATION: SIX - Gen. 2:1-2; 1:5; Exo. 20:8-11; 31:17.
-SOME ERRONEOUS VIEWS (Theistic Evolution, Progressive Creation)
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
New Ruler Stops For Lights
Updated 9:38 AM ET October 29, 1999
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's new army ruler, who came to power promising to clean up high-level abuse, stops for traffic lights, the official APP news agency said.
A motorcade carrying General Pervez Musharraf in Lahore stopped at every red light on the way to the applause of onlookers used to the high-speed caravans of limousines and outriders that accompanied ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
"According to eyewitnesses, the people were pleasantly surprised to see the general's motorcade stop at the traffic lights and appreciated his gesture by clapping," APP said.
"The traffic police were instructed that neither traffic signals be switched off nor any vehicle be stopped for the VIP movement." Sharif, toppled by the army in a bloodless coup on October 12, was known for his taste for the trappings of power and was frequently accused by stranded air passengers of borrowing Pakistan International Airlines aircraft for his own use.
COMMENTARY by: Joe R. Price
It has been said that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." People are more willing to follow leaders who show a genuine interest in their lives, needs, struggles and experiences.
If you are an elder among God's people are you being careful to take time to understand the daily spiritual needs of your flock? (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2) Unless you do, you will not be able to feed them the spiritual nutrition they need. And, they will eventually come to see you as either a figurehead, a spiritual "overlord" and one who does not care a great deal for their spiritual welfare (cf. Ezek. 34:1-10; 1 Pet. 5:2-3; Heb. 13:17).
If you are a husband you are the head of your wife (in spite of what feminism and "political correctness" says, Eph. 5:23). Remember that being her "head" does not mean "rule or ruin" - it means having her best interests at heart as you lead your family (Eph. 5:25-29). Neither should it be a power struggle - the wife should learn willing submission, as the church submits to Christ (Eph. 5:22-24).
A key to leadership is service: "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (Jno. 13:14; read Eph. 5:21; Matt. 20:26-28). Let us serve one another.
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