THE SPIRITíS SWORD

published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

April 2, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 05

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:

 

 

Respecting Our Elders

Joe R. Price

The Bible says, "Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers..." (1 Tim. 5:1-2). How we treat our elders says something about our values. And, it says something about our regard for God.

Our nation is obsessed with youth. But alas, Ponce de Leon did not find the fountain of youth and neither will this generation. The youth of today, just like all those before them, will grow old and die (Heb. 9:27).

We are alarmed by the disrespect shown to older people by the youth of today. Not all young people are guilty. There are many young people who still show respect to their elders. But there are many others who disdain the aged. They have learned disregard and even contempt for the older generation. They see them as "in the way," nuisances and inconveniences. Such attitudes and the conduct they cause are deplorable to God and shameful to those who do such things.

Showing disrespect toward the aged displays an irreverent heart. Israel was commanded to "rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD" (Lev. 19:32). We all live in the presence of God. If we are unwilling to show kind regard and respect for those who are older than we are, how shall we ever have a reverent attitude toward God? We are not loving God if we are despising our neighbors, including our elders (cf. Matt. 22:37-39).

To treat your elders with disrespect is a sign of prideful arrogance. One should remember that with age generally comes experience and wisdom. It is wise to listen to the counsel of those who have fought the battles against sin and error we now face. Rehoboam's arrogant refusal to accept the counsel of his father Solomon's wise men lead to turmoil and division in Israel (1 Kgs. 12:6-15). Youth can learn much from age. Avail yourself of their wisdom and do not be arrogant in your own conceit.

Respect for our elders begins at home. Children must be taught and be expected to respect their parents. God expects children to "honor your father and your mother," and He expects parents to train their children to be respectful (Exo. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4). Rest assured that when disrespect for mother or father is tolerated in the home it will also be on display at school, at work and eventually throughout a nation. If we sow the wind of disrespect we shall reap the whirlwind of despair and destruction!

Respecting our elders does not mean we follow them into sin and error. We must obey God rather than men, even when it is our own father or mother (Acts 5:29; Matt. 10:37). We cannot allow our loyalty to any person keep us from respecting and obeying God!

 

 

 

What Does God Want Of Us In This Life?

Ron Halbrook

As we struggle with the challenges of life and death, the most challenging question of all is this: What does God want of us in this life? God answers that question in the Bible. He has made it clear from the beginning until now that He wants our love, trust, and obedience.

Adam and Eve were commanded to care for the Garden of Eden, to enjoy its fruit, but not to eat "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"-a tree which drew the boundary between good and evil. When they ate of that tree, they were driven in shame from the Garden and suffered the ravages of death (Gen. 2-3). Later, God commended Abraham as one who "will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment" (Gen. 18:19). That is what God wants of all men.

The Bible is full of passages summarizing what God wants of us. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13). Our love, trust, and respect for God are shown by obeying his Word. Though God commands formal worship, He also teaches us to translate our worship into daily action. At all times and in all situations, we are to "hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate....let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream" (Amos 5:15, 24).

When God taught the Jews to bring animal sacrifices for sin, He made it clear that "thousands of rams" were no substitute for sincere, daily submission to His will. "He hath showed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Mic. 6:6-8). Life is brief and uncertain, filled with "labor and sorrow." Knowing our time is short, our prayer should be, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Ps. 90:10-12). We find God's wisdom in God's Word.

Jesus summed it all up in these words: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Mt. 22:37-40). All the commandments of God teach us the true meaning of love for God and for our fellowmen. To violate God's Word is to violate that love.

Knowing we have sinned and yet wanting us to be saved, God desires all men to hear, believe, and obey the gospel of Christ. Christ died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. On the basis of that faith, we must repent of all sin, confess Christ as God's Son, and be immersed in water to receive pardon through his atoning blood. Truly, God "is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9; Acts 2:38; 8:37-38).

When we obey these first steps of the gospel, God adds us to the church of Christ and then teaches us how to worship him and how to live for Him each day. Thus, lie redeems us from the destiny of hell and leads us to an eternal home in heaven. Ultimately, that is what God wants-for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven!

 

 

 

 

SERMON OUTLINES

 

For the complete outline of this sermon please visit

http://www.bibleanswer.com/topical/backsliding.htm

 

PREVENTING BACKSLIDING

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 3:6-13

1. Backsliding from the faith a terrible thing (1 Tim. 4:1):

-Severed from Christ (Gal. 5:4).

-Headed for eternal destruction (Heb. 10:36-39).

-Worse off than before (2 Pet. 2:20-22).

-Can reach the "point of no return" (Heb. 6:4-6).

2. Spiritual infidelity is adultery against God (Jas. 4:4).

3. How can we prevent backsliding in ourselves?

I. EVERY DAY, LET GOD SAY SOMETHING TO YOU!

A. How? Through The Bible - 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Heb. 1:1-2; Jno. 13:20; Eph. 3:3-5.

B. Why Let God Speak To Us Every Day? - Psa. 119:105; Jno. 8:12; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; Jno. 6:63, 68.

C. We Should Delight In God's Word - Psa. 119: 97-104.

II. EVERY DAY, SAY SOMETHING TO GOD (Pray)! - Lk. 18:1

A. Prayer Helps Us Conquer Sin - Acts 8:22; 1 Jno. 1:9; Jas. 5:16.

B. Prayer Helps Us Prevent Sin - Matt. 26:41.

III. EVERY DAY, SAY SOMETHING FOR GOD.

A. By Your Speech - Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:6.

B. By Your Manner Of Life - Phil. 1:27; 2:14-16.

IV. EVERY DAY, DO SOMETHING FOR GOD.

A. Look For Opportunities - Gal. 6:10; Col. 4:5; Matt. 25:37-40).

B. Work For The Lord - Jno. 9:4 (1 Cor. 15:58); Prov. 24:30-34 - Spiritual sluggard is spiritually impoverished! Rom. 12:11.

Conclusion

1. Backsliding is adultery against God!

2. Prevent falling away through the wise use of our time, words & our opportunities: Live by faith & live holy lives!

 

 ________

 

For the complete outline of this sermon please visit

http://www.bibleanswer.com/topical/evidenc1.htm

(Part 1)

WHY WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD

Give An Answer For Your Hope

Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:7-11

1. Why do you believe the Bible is the word of God?

2. Is there sufficient evidence to support Bible's claim & our belief in it? (1 Pet. 3:15)

I. PROPOSITION: THE BIBLE IS A SPECIAL, DIVINE REVELATION.

A. Special: Opposite Of General Revelation - cf. Rom. 1:20; 1 Cor. 2:10-11.

B. Divine: From God And Not Man - Gal. 1:11-12; Eph. 3:3-5.

C. Revelation: An Unveiling / Uncovering By God - 1 Cor. 2:9-10.

II. BRIEF EXAMINATION OF THE BIBLE'S CLAIMS.

A. The Investigation Of The Bible's Internal Evidences: Circular Reasoning Or The Logical Starting Place? {Jno. 5:39, 46; 20:30-31}

B. That God Verbally Revealed Himself To Man: "The Word Of God" - 1 Sam. 3:21 (OT: >3,800); Deut. 18:18-19; Zech. 7:12; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; cf. Matt. 10:19-20.

C. That God's Revelation Of Himself Has Been Recorded In Inspired Scripture - 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 14:37 (1 Pet. 1:23-35); 2 Pet. 1:20-21.

III. DOES IT MATTER?

A. Yes, If You Want A Strong Faith - Heb.11:1; Rom. 10:17.

B. Yes, If You Want To Follow God, Not Man - cf. 2 Pet. 1:16-21.

C. Yes, If You Want To Be Ready To Give An Answer For Your Hope - 1 Pet. 3:15; Phil. 1:16 (cf. Acts 17:2-3; 19:8); 1 Ths. 5:21.

Conclusion: We can be sure the Bible is from God!

 

 

NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Report: Index Finger Size May Indicate Homosexuality

By Susan Rubinowitz, N.Y. Post [10:12 a.m. ET (1512 GMT) March 30, 2000]

 

Researchers say they've put their finger on how to tell if someone might be gay.

A stunning new study, published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, found that gay men and lesbians tend to have shorter index fingers than heterosexual men and women - thanks to a larger amount of male hormones they received in the womb.

Overall, most men typically have a shorter index finger than ring finger. In women, the two fingers are usually about the same size.

But researchers at the University of California at Berkeley - who studied 720 people in San Francisco - found that homosexual men had even shorter index fingers than heterosexual men. And lesbians had shorter index fingers than ring fingers - just like the men.

The study also found that men with older brothers were more often gay, possibly because male hormones escalated in the womb as each boy was born. The men with older brothers also had shorter index fingers than other men.

The evidence linking greater amounts of male hormone to gays should help fight the stereotype that gay men are more effeminate, researchers said.

"This calls into question all of our cultural assumptions that gay men are feminine," said psychologist Marc Breedlove, who led the Berkeley study.

But he said people shouldn't be quick to categorize themselves sexually based on their finger lengths - the difference in lengths was just a fraction of an inch in some cases.

The Berkeley study strengthens the argument of a hormonal root, some researchers said.

"[It] is among the better lines of direct evidence of a possible hormonal cause of homosexuality," said psychologist Ray Blanchard, a sexuality researcher at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. (edited for length, jrp)

 

COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

Quick, everybody look at your fingers to find out if you are a homosexual. A "stunning new study"? Please! This is yet another "scientific" attempt to prove homosexuals were "made that way," that they "can't change" their sexual behavior, so we must accept their lifestyle as normal. What utter nonsense!

Sexual conduct is chosen, it is not forced upon us by our hormones. Homosexuality is caused by people choosing to change "the natural use (of the body, jrp) into that which is against nature...men leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust one toward another...men with men working unseemliness..." (Rom. 1:26-27). Homosexuality is not natural and normal. It is abhorrent to God and should be to man!

 

 

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