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THE SPIRITíS SWORD
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)

                        published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ
                  Bellingham, WA
Volume III, Number 39 ∑ November 14, 1999
Editor..................Joe R. Price


Visit our Web Sites:

Mt. Baker church of Christ: http://www.bibleanswer.com/mtbaker
BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com


 In this issue:

-- By Faith The Walls Of Jericho Fell Down (Jeff Herrin) -- A series on Hebrews 11: Part 15
-- A Question About The Death Of An Apostle
--Sermons:
----Count Your Blessings
----Adam: The First Man
--Noteworthy News: Baptists Tell Wives Not To Be Submissive


By Faith The Walls Of Jericho Fell Down -- A series on Hebrews 11: Part 15

Jeff Herrin

The fall of Jericho stands as a testament to the power of faith. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down" (Heb. 11:30). Jericho was an ancient, fortified city located just a few miles from the Jordan River. Here Joshua led Israel to face a challenge which had frightened their fathers. It was an untested army against a city with walls. They never stormed the walls. Instead, "The LORD said to Joshua: 'See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor'" (Josh. 6:2).

The faith of Israel pleased God who, in turn, caused the walls of the city to collapse. The Hebrew writer shows us cause and effect. The cause was the peoples' faith and the effect was the collapse of the walls. Hebrews 11 shows several examples of things people did in faithful obedience to God's instructions (Abel offered, Noah prepared, Abraham obeyed, Moses forsook, etc.). Now consider the marvelous things which God has performed because the Almighty was pleased with the faith of men. If you have faith, God will be pleased with you. Have you thought about the power of having God's favor in your life?

Now, consider the last part of the verse. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days" (Heb. 11:30). The walls fell down "after" the people had completed all of the conditions God had revealed. Admittedly, they could have marched around the city for the rest of their lives and the walls would not have fallen down without their faith. Nevertheless, the walls did not fall down until the marching and shouting of the seventh day was completed.

God has promised us a city, but He has told us to perform certain things to receive it. People need to understand that they can only receive the city "after" they have faithfully completed what God has set before them. Consider yourself. Have you completed what God wants you to do to become a Christian? Are you an incomplete Christian? Many have stopped marching prematurely. Some are too busy, some are intimidated by the strength of the enemy, and others would rather make peace. Israel was convinced that they wanted the city and that God could give it to them. Can we afford to be any less convinced?


A Question About The Death Of An Apostle

Joe R. Price
(Sent in via the BIBLE ANSWERS web site)

Question: "In the Bible which apostle was crucified upside down?"

The Bible nowhere records the upside down crucifixion of an apostle. History affirms that the apostle Peter was crucified in Rome under the death of the emperor Nero, but the exact nature of that crucifixion (i.e., upside down) is less certain.

In John 21:18-19 the Lord signified to Peter that he would die a martyr's death by crucifixion. Here is a reference I found on the internet which provides some interesting information on this matter (the link to this web page is: http://www.new-life.net/faq800.htm):

Q: Was Peter crucified upside-down? A: It seems absolutely certain that Peter was executed in Rome sometime during the persecutions under Nero (AD 64). Whether he was crucified upside-down is a little less certain. Here is the evidence and documentation:

The earliest mention that we have of Peter's death is in a letter from Clement, bishop of Rome (AD 88-97), to the Corinthians. He mentions the suffering and martyrdom of Peter and Paul in Rome.

Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, bears the following testimony (about AD 180) referring to Peter and Paul: "Both of these having planted the church at Corinth, likewise instructed us; and having in like manner taught in Italy, they suffered martyrdom about the same time."

About AD 200, Tertullian, a Christian teacher, mentions the deaths of Peter and Paul as occurring in Rome under Nero.

Peter's death is also found in Caius, an ecclesiastical writer (3rd century), who says that Peter and Paul "suffered martyrdom about the same time."

Eusebius in his book entitled Ecclesiastical History (written AD 325) says: "Thus Nero publicly announcing himself as the chief enemy of God, was led on in his fury to slaughter the apostles. Paul is therefore said to have been beheaded at Rome, and Peter to have been crucified under him. And this account is confirmed by the fact, that the names of Peter and Paul still remain in the cemeteries of that city even to this day" (Ecclesiastical History 2:25).

This tradition of Peter's death was not localized in Rome alone, but was apparently widespread throughout the Church.

There are also a large number of written stories about Peter. These stories are highly questionable as history, but they all agree when speaking of Peter's death: he was crucified in Rome during the time of Nero. Some of these stories are quite early -- for example "The Acts of Peter" (2nd century AD). It is from "The Acts of Peter" that we get the story of Peter being crucified upside-down. Supposedly Peter requested that he be crucified upside-down because he was "unworthy to die in the same manner as my Lord."

Eusebius also records this story, but says his source is from a church theologian named Origen (who wrote about AD 230): "Peter appears to have preached through Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia, to the Jews that were scattered abroad; who also, finally coming to Rome, was crucified with his head downward, having requested of himself to suffer in this way" (Ecclesiastical History 3:1).




Count Your Blessings
(Scripture Reading: Psalm 100)


I. COUNT YOUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS - Eph. 1:3.
A. Salvation - Acts 4:12.
B. The Word of God For Guidance - 1 Ths. 2:13; Psa. 119; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
C. Prayer - Phil. 4:6-7; Jas. 5:16.

II. COUNT YOUR PHYSICAL BLESSINGS.
A. Our God Rules & Provides - Acts 14:17.
B. Life Itself - Matt. 6:25-34.
C. The Necessities Of Life - Matt. 6:25-34; 6:11.

III. STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH.
-Eph. 3:20; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 13:5-6; Phil. 4:13


For the complete text of the following sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS at: http://www.bibleanswer.com/adam.htm
(Scripture Reading: Psalm 139:1-6)

Adam: The First Man

I. SOME "FIRSTS" OF ADAM'S LIFE.
A. First Man - Gen. 2:7; 1 Tim. 2:13; Acts 17:26; Lk. 3:38.
B. First Position - Gen. 1:28; Psa. 8:6-8; Gen. 2:19.
C. First Fellowship With God - cf. Gen. 2:15; 3:8.
D. First Job - Gen. 2:15; 3:17-19; 2:8; 2 Ths. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:8.
E. First Marriage - Gen. 2:18-24; Matt. 19:4-6; Heb. 13:4.
F. First Sin - Gen. 3:1-10; Rom. 5:12; 1 Tim. 2:14; 1 Jno. 3:4.

II. ADAM AND CHRIST - Rom. 5:14.
A. Adam Is A Figure Of Christ ("A figure, pattern," Heb. 8:5; Acts 7:44).
B. The Spirit Of Man: Adam & Christ Contrasted In Romans 5:14-19.
C. The Body Of Man: Adam & Christ Contrasted In 1 Cor. 15.

III. LESSONS TO LIVE BY FROM ADAM.
A. Our Responsibility To God Mirrors The Privileges We Have Received From Him - Psa. 8:4-9 (Rom. 1:18-25).
B. Fellowship With God Is Precious: Don't Take It For Granted - 1 Jno.1:7.
C. Marriage Is Special: Don't Defile, Discard Or Disrespect It - Heb.13:4
D. God Always Sees & Knows Our Sin - Heb. 4:13.
E. Don't Blame Others For Our Sin: Accept Responsibility & Repent! - Psa. 51:4; Ezek. 18:4; Lk. 13:5.
F. A Good Beginning Must Be Followed By Faithful Living - Gal. 5:7.


Noteworthy News
(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Baptists Tell Wives Not To Be Submissive

BAPTISTS TELL WIVES NOT TO BE SUBMISSIVE
Women no longer must 'submit graciously' to husbands, group says By Michelle Koidin / Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas -- Texas' Southern Baptists on Tuesday repudiated the denomination's call for women to "submit graciously" to their husbands.

It is the first state affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention to reject the "submit graciously" stance.

"The Bible doesn't teach that the husband is the general and the wife is a private, but yet that's how it gets interpreted," said the Rev. Charles Wade, the executive director of the Texas group.

All but a couple dozen among about 2,200 delegates to the Texas group's annual meeting voted in favor of affirming the Baptist Faith and Message Statement of 1963 -- without an amendment added in 1998.

The amendment marked the first change in the statement of beliefs by the Southern Baptists in 35 years. It defines marriage exclusively in heterosexual terms and says that husbands and wives, while equal before God, have different roles.

"A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband, even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ," it says.

During a brief debate on the proposal, only two representatives spoke in favor of following the national group's lead. Paul Taylor, representing a church in Mauriceville, 20 miles northeast of Beaumont, said he believed the amendment "speaks to the family."

However, the Rev. Clyde Glazener, the newly elected president of the 2.7 million-member Texas organization, and Wade urged Texans to ignore the amendment.

"There's a partnership in Christian marriage," Wade said. "We're trying to say, in our day, any attempt to put women 'in their place' or somehow limit the contribution that women might have in church goes against the whole spirit of Christ."

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention denounced the decision and noted that the "submit graciously" amendment had passed with overwhelming support. They said it is little more than a paraphrase of the apostle Paul's teachings.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., called the vote "an intentional rejection of a clear teaching of the Bible."

"This is another lamentable sign of the determination of some Texas Baptist leaders to alienate Texas Baptists from the Southern Baptist Convention," he said. (Copyright 1999, The Detroit News)

COMMENTARY Joe R. Price

The rhetoric is flying within the Southern Baptist Church. Church politics appears to be the order of the day.

The Bible does indeed give men and women different roles in the home: the man is head of his wife and the wife is to submit to her husband (Eph. 5:22-33). To teach or practice otherwise is a rejection of clear Bible teaching.

Christians must continue to oppose society's norms in favor of Biblical truth. Do not be ashamed of Christ or His will (1 Pet. 4:16; Mk. 8:38). God's arrangement for the home works when lovingly followed in the fear of the Lord.


The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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