THE SPIRITíS SWORD

published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

March 19, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 03

Editor: Joe R. Price

 

  

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In this issue:

 

 

"FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT"

Joe R. Price

The expression, "filled with the Holy Spirit" is used contextually in the NT to describe both miraculous and non-miraculous circumstances. For a miraculous application, see Acts 2:4. When the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit it is said that "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

This expression is can also be used to describe one who never worked a miracle. Of John the Baptist it was said that he would be "filled with the Holy Spirit" from his mother's womb (Lk. 1:15, 41). Yet, John 10:41 affirms that John did not work any miracles. (Please note Luke 1:67 where John's father Zacharias was "filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied" -- a miraculous event.)

So, from this brief comparison we can conclude that to be "filled with the Holy Spirit", whether miraculously or non-miraculously, describes one who is under the influence or control of the Holy Spirit. When applied in a non-miraculous context, one's willing submission to the influence and control of the Holy Spirit is thus described. (For instance, Christians are commanded to be "filled with the Spirit," Eph. 5:18. Surely this means to live under the directives and influence of the Spirit in one's life (Gal. 5:16-26). That is, Christians are to live by the word of truth which the Holy Spirit revealed through the apostles of Christ (Jno. 16:8-13). In a thought parallel to Ephesians 5:18, Colossians 3:16 teaches us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. So, as we bear the fruit of the Spirit we are under His influence and control.

Now, concerning Acts 9:17 and Saul of Tarsus. We cannot ascertain with certainty, merely from the phrase which is used ("filled with the Holy Spirit"), which application is under view here (whether miraculous or non-miraculous). But, by considering the purpose and intent of the Giver (the Spirit) we can reach a conclusion. Given the context of Saul's conversion and appointment by Christ as an apostle (cf. Acts 9:6, 15-16; 22:13-15), we can conclude that Acts 9:17 refers to Paul's miraculous reception of the Holy Spirit (as had been previously received by the other apostles, Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4). When Paul was baptized into Christ he was given the powers granted the apostles by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 12:11-12; 11:5).

Of course, upon Paul's conversion he lived the remainder of his life in submission to the gospel which the Spirit was revealing through him and the other apostles. Hence, it can rightly be said that Paul was "filled with the Spirit" just like present-day Christians should be - under His control by obeying the gospel He revealed (Eph. 5:18).

 

 

 

WHEN THERE IS NO LINE OF MORALITY

(Kent E. Heaton Sr.)

Children kill their fellow students in the classroom and on the campus of our schools. Disgruntled employees kill their fellow workers and many innocent bystanders. Gangs dance through the streets of our cities spreading death in their wake. Homosexuality is viewed as an "alternate lifestyle" and its acceptance is portrayed as normal. Pornography reeks from the airwaves of television and the internet in volumes unchained. School libraries are filled with books describing the degradation of man's thirst for sexual pleasures.

These trends shock and dismay the public at large and yet the public is to blame for the continued rise in these levels of immorality. When immorality rises it is because the moral fiber of the society has been taken away. No longer are there clear lines of morality that will keep these acts from occurring. Because of the cry of "rights," we have given over all authority and ability to regulate the immoral acts of those who would impose their "freedoms" upon all. Freedom of expression has come to mean that I can do anything I want to do and no one can deny me that right. Is it possible for a society to live without law? Is it possible for a society to exist without a standard to live by?

Children kill other children because they have been taught they have the right to express themselves by murdering their fellow students. If you have a disagreement at work, you have the right to kill those who oppose you. The perversion of homosexuality is seen as a lifestyle that is healthy and normal. Television has become the venue of sexual exploitation and viewing pleasure as well as the instrument to show how violence is the means to justify the end. Our school libraries cannot ban certain books because of the "rights" of those who impose their level of immorality upon our children. Is there any question why our society is in so much trouble today?

The sad part about humanity is that it has such a short memory. The most important subject taught in school should be history. Mankind has been around for a few thousand years and yet he can never learn from the past. History shows what happens when men seek their own way and fail to draw a line of morality. Is it any wonder then when we bury our dead children and live in fear of one another because of what is happening in our world?

During the days of the Judges, this statement is made: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6) Does this sound familiar? Is this not what we are seeing today? With no law everyone will do what they please. David tells us what the root of this kind of action is founded upon: "An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not abhor evil." (Psalm 36:4)

Solomon said that nothing was new under the sun. What we are experiencing today is the same lawless mind of man when he sets upon himself to do as he pleases. Until we have the courage to draw the line of morality and stand by it, we will be destroyed as a nation. As a people we must draw the line in our lives and in our words. School officials need to have the courage to draw that line. Our bodies of government must draw the line and have the courage to stand by it. As a people of God, we must draw the line of morality in our lives and let God's Word be the rule by which we measure our lives. If not, we are a lost nation. We shall become as all nations who did what was right in their own eyes. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes." (Proverbs 12:15)

 

 

SERMON OUTLINES

 

For the complete outline of this sermon please visit

http://www.neonocean.com/client/bibleanswer_user/topical/indiffrn.htm

 

SPIRITUAL INDIFFERENCE

Scripture Reading: Psalm 123

Intro.

"Apathy is an attitude of indifference & unconcern toward spiritual things. It generally ignores spiritual matters in order to place a greater emphasis on material things." - Matt. 6:33; Rom.12:1-2; Gal.2:20; Col .3:1-4

I. INDIFFERENCE ROBS CHRIST:

A. Of Souls - Lk. 19:10; Matt. 12:14-15, 22.

B. Of Sacrificial Servants - Lk. 9:23; Jno. 13:12-17.

C. Of Stalwart Soldiers - 2 Tim. 2:1-4; Eph. 6:10-13.

II. INDIFFERENCE ROBS A CHURCH:

A. Of Its Maximum Worship Potential - Psa. 122:1; Heb. 10:24-25; 5:11-12.

B. Of Its Maximum Work Potential - l Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-8.

C. Of Its Maximum Growth Potential - Eph. 4:14-16.

III. INDIFFERENCE ROBS THE CHRISTIAN:

A. Of Spiritual Interest - Acts 2:42, 46; Rom. 12:1l (cf. Eccl. 12:1); 1 Pet. 2:1-2.

B. Of A Tender Heart - Jno. 12:37-40; Heb. 6:4-6; 3:12-14.

C. Of His Soul - cf. Col. 3:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:11-13.

 

For the complete outline of this sermon please visit

http://www.neonocean.com/client/bibleanswer_user/topical/xiandies.htm

 

HOW THE CHRISTIAN DIES

Scripture Reading: 1 Thess. 4:13-18

Intro.

1. How we face death says something about how we live - Heb. 11:35; 1 Ths. 4:13; Psa. 116:15.

2. "If any righteous [one] among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice & offer thanks to God. They escort his [the] body with songs and thanksgiving as if he [she] were setting out from one place to another NEAR BY." (Aristeides, 125 AD).

I. THE CHRISTIAN DIES IN HOPE - Phil. 1:21-23; Col. 1:3-5; l Ths. 4:13-16.

A. With The Joy Of Eternal Salvation - 1 Ths. 1:10; 5:9-11

B. With An Expectation Of The Resurrection Of Life - Jno. 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:20-22, 51-53; 6:14.

C. With A Desire For Heaven - 2 Cor. 5:1; Jno. 14:2-3; Heb. 11:13-16.

II. THE CHRISTIAN DIES IN COMFORT - 1 Ths. 4:16-18.

A. With The Assurance That God & His Christ Are In Control - 1 Cor. 15:24-26; Heb. 2:14-15.

B. There Is Victory Over Death In Jesus - Rev. 14:13; Rom. 8:38-39.

III. THE CHRISTIAN DIES IN FAITH - Heb. 11:13.

A. Confidently Believing In A Future Judgment - Heb. 9:27; 10:26-27; 2 Ths. 1:3-9.

B. Confidently Believing In A Future Reward - 1 Pet. 1:4; Col. 3:4; Matt. 25:31-34, 46; 2 Tim. 4:8.

 

 

NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

Kentucky House passes Ten Commandments bill

Thursday, March 09, 2000 12:19 PM EST

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The state House has passed a bill that could lead to copies of the Ten Commandments being posted on classroom walls, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The Ten Commandments issue has consumed much attention during the Kentucky legislative session.

Supporters insisted the proposal does not promote an establishment of religion in a way that violates the U.S. Constitution.

One proponent, Republican Rep. Bo Ausmus, said: ``This bill is not exclusionary. We're just trying to encourage the teaching of moral codes.''

But other legislators said they did not want to leave religious training to public schools. ``I want my children to receive their religious education at the church of my choice,'' said Democratic Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo.

The bill passed with only three representatives voting no. It now goes to the state Senate, which has already passed a different Ten Commandments measure.

 

COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

The following poem was recently e-mailed to me, and would seem to be appropriate here.

Mary had a little lamb, His fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went, The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school each day, T'wasn't even in the rule.

It made the children laugh and play, To have a Lamb at school.

And then the rules all changed one day, Illegal it became;

To bring the Lamb of God to school, Or even speak His Name.

Every day got worse and worse, And days turned into years.

Instead of hearing children laugh, We heard gun shots and tears.

What must we do to stop the crime, That's in our schools today?

Let's let the Lamb come back to school, And teach our kids to pray!

 

A lesbian student recently addressed the Ferndale, WA High School student body on "Peace Day." She spoke on the value of tolerance. In America today, peace is defined by insisting that schools tolerant immorality while demanding those same schools be intolerant of expressions of faith-based morality! Ironic, isn't it?! (Prov. 14:34) To coin a Biblical warning, "Prepare to meet your God, O America" (Amos 4:12)!

 

 

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

Send all questions/comments to the editor at: ssword@bibleanswer.com