THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy· Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume IV, Number 19· July 16, 2000
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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Mt. Baker church of Christ: http://www.bibleanswer.com/mtbaker
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In this issue:
Which "Adam" Is Not Essential?
(Steven J. Wallace, 1002 Bloom Ave., Grandview, WA 98930)
"And so it is written, The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit" (I Cor. 15:45).
Some have the idea that preaching the essentials is preaching Jesus Christ crucified and not bothering with those things recorded in Genesis. But how can we preach the last Adam without preaching the first man, Adam? Which "Adam" is not essential to the gospel message? Can we preach the "Adam" that was nailed to the tree without preaching the Adam that ate of the tree? Paul was not of any such persuasion, for both stand and fall together as components of the gospel. If we mythologize Adam of old, why not mythologize Jesus too?
In preaching the gospel Paul appealed to the Scriptures (see I Cor. 15:1-4). Do these Scriptures encompass Genesis? Absolutely (I Cor. 15:45; Gen. 2:7). Paul alludes to the Genesis scripture again in I Corinthians 15 regarding sin and death, "But now Christ is risen from the dead. . .For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (vv. 20-23).
The fallacy of saying, "Preach the essentials; preach Christ crucified and not Genesis" is manifestly evident. Why was Jesus crucified? He was crucified because of sin. What is sin and how can we really know for sure without the Genesis narrative? Stripping Genesis from the gospel is like cutting the bottom out of a bucket. Jesus' death is the solution and payment for the problem of sin, the problem that is introduced in Genesis 3.
Adam is very much a part of the gospel message as Paul wrote, "The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (I Cor. 15:47-49).
These notes from the funeral of Reuben Shaver, a faithful Christian who died in 1995, remind us that "blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on and their works follow them." (Rev. 14:13) -JRP
LET ME DIE THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS
1. Words do not ease the present sorrow as we gather to remember our beloved husband, father, friend & brother in Christ, Reuben Shaver.
2. But God's word fills us with expectant hope & promise in this hour of sadness & grief. So, to God's word we turn to find God's comfort & grace to sustain us. (Psa. 116:15)
3. We honor these notable qualities of brother Reuben:
a. Christian - He became a Christian late in life. He grew in God's word, & even though older, he learned much and served many.
b. Husband - Loving & devoted, always attentive to Helen's needs and wants. He always put her first. He worked hard & was never lazy.
c. Father - He was loving & supportive.
d. Papa - A loving, patient grandfather.
e. Friend - You could always count on him to be a true friend.
3. "Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my last end by like his!" - Num.23:10
a. Reuben Shaver was a righteous man. He was kind & gentle, generous & considerate of others before himself, good-hearted).
b. He loved the right things in his life: His God, his family, his fellow-Christians, his neighbors, his country.
c. His righteous example has strengthened us in the past & will continue to influence us.
I. BRINGS HIM REST FROM HIS LABORS - Rev. 14:13.
1. Brother Reuben worked hard all his life.
2. A spiritual worker in the Lord's church.
3. Rest with the Lord is his reward. He would want you to share in that rest, too.
II. BRINGS HIM ENTRANCE INTO ETERNAL COMFORT - Lk. 16:22, 25.
1. Reuben found comfort in life through fishing - He shared this comfort & joy with his grandsons & others. Reuben often said he also hoped he lived long enough to have grandchildren & to catch a big fish! He lived to do both!!
2. A far greater comfort is now enjoyed by our brother in Christ - Freedom from every pain & sorrow of this life! (Rev. 21:4)
3. He would want you to share in eternal comfort, too!
III. MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO BE AT HOME WITH THE LORD - 2 Cor. 5:7-8.
1. Brother Reuben traveled much & lived many places in his life.
2. The one place he desired to live that we are confident he now enjoys is heaven, his eternal home. (Heb. 11: 13, 16)
3. That blessed home of the soul is the reward of the righteous...He wants to share that home with you!
1. 1 Thess. 4:13-18 - Hope & comfort to every Christian who has loved Reuben Shaver in this life - Expect to be with him in eternity before the throne of God! 2 Tim. 4:6-8
2. "Weeping may tarry for the night, But joy cometh in the morning." (Psa. 30:5)
3. "Wherefore, comfort one another with these words."
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com/1ths1_3.htm
NOW ABIDE FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
Scripture Reading: 1 Thess. 1:1-10
How do we have faith, hope, love in our lives?
I. WORK OF FAITH - 1:3.
A. Faith Is Active: It Is A "Work" - Jno. 6: 25-29; 33-35, 44-48; 57-58, 63, 68; Jas. 2:20-22
a. Conversion - 1:8-10.
b. Continuation - 2:13-14
c. Commitment - 3:6-8 (Phil. 1:27; 4:1)
a. How strong are we? (Gal. 4:8-9, 19-20)
b. How active when opposed? (Heb. 10:36f)
c. How committed to gospel! (Gal. 2:20)
II. LABOR OF LOVE - 1:3.
A. Love To The Point Of Fatigue. - Gal. 5:6; Mk. 12:30-31; 2 Ths. 2:10; 1 Pet. 2:17.
a. Blameless hearts - 2:12-13 (5:25-26).
b. Bountiful deeds - 4:9-12.
c. Beneficial service - 5:12-15.
a. Are our hearts blameless? (Rom. 12:10)
b. Our love must abound . (1 Ths. 4:10)
c. Does our love benefit others (Gal.5:13ff)
B. God Remembers Our Labor Of Love - Heb. 6:10.
III. PATIENCE OF HOPE - 1:3.
A. Hope Produces A Patient Lifestyle - Rom. 8:24-25 - 1:10; 2:19-20; 3:13; 4:13ff; 5:23.
a. Perseverance - 1:6; 2:14; 5:8, 14 - Resolve.
b. Praise - 2:19-20; 5:16 - Rejoice in hope.
c. Prayer - 1:2; 3:11-13; 5:17, 25.
a. How deep is our resolve? (Rom. 5:2-4)
b. Does hope produce praise? (Rom. 5:2)
c. Pray with confidence? (Rom. 5:5)
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com/2pe15_11.htm
SUCCESSFUL SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 1:5-11
We are to make definite progress in the Christian life (steady moral & spiritual advancement).
I. GIVE ALL DILIGENCE TO GROW - 1:5, 10.
A. Earnest Zeal, Exertion, To Endeavor. (Eph. 4:1; Rom. 12:1l) Rev. 3:2.
B. We Must Choose To Make Our Calling Sure (firm) - v. 10; cf. Phil. 2:12.
II. INCREASING IN SPIRITUAL QUALITIES IS SPIRITUAL GROWTH - 1:5-7.
A. Faith Is The Foundation Of All Other Spiritual Qualities - Heb. 11:6.
B. Add (Supply) To Your Faith:
1. Virtue: "Moral goodness," excellence. Courage (manliness, l Cor. 16:13) of faith; cf. Jno. 12:42-43
2. Knowledge: Understanding of truth - Hosea 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; Eph. 5:15-17
3. Self-control: Temperance, self-government or regulation - 1 Cor. 9:25-27; Jas. 1:13-15.
4. Perseverance: Patient, endurance, steadfastness, (Jas. 1:3-4; 5:7-8; Heb. 12:1, 3; cf. Mk. 4:16-17).
5. Godliness: Piety, reverence, devotion - Tit. 2:11-12 (2 Tim. 3:4-5).
6. Brotherly kindness: Brotherly affection, respect & concern (Rom. 12:10; Eph. 4:31-32; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8).
7. Love: Active goodwill, charity toward others. "Unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable goodwill" (Barclay). (Matt. 5:43-48). 1 Jno. 4:7-11; 3:17-18; 1 Cor. 13:1-8a, 13.
III. THE BENEFITS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - 1:8-11.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
BISHOPS VOTE DOWN SAME-SEX UNION
(The Bellingham Herald, A8, July 13, 2000)
DENVER Episcopal bishops voted against ceremonial rites for same-sex unions Wednesday, a day after the provision was narrowly rejected by clergy and lay delegates at the churchs national convention.
The votes dont mean the debate is over, though.
Today, the bishops plan to discuss a proposal calling for further study of the theological basis for consecrating same-sex unions, with the findings to be presented at the next General Convention, in 2003.
The House of Bishops, which along with the House of Deputies makes up the churchs governing body, also must vote on the rest of the resolution, which calls on the church to support unmarried couples in monogamous relationships.
"What we are really being asked to bless is to bless love, and nothing more," said Steven Charlston, former bishop of Alaska.
Approval of the measure would signal an enormous change in doctrine "and it will tear us apart," said Bishop Edward Little of northern Indiana.
Other bishops said the church is moving toward more acceptance of gays and lesbians but shouldnt move before congregations across the country are ready to follow.
Joe R. Price
We are always glad to see morality and decency win the day. Sadly, the battle over "same-sex unions" (a.k.a. "marriages") is far from over, both in the Episcopal Church and in our nation generally.
There is no "theological basis for consecrating same-sex unions." One check of the Bible confirms that (read Romans 1:24-27). Marriage was instituted by God for man and woman (Gen. 2:24). All who dishonor the marriage bed will be judged by the same God who gave marriage to mankind (Heb. 13:4). We must stand for moral certainty and decency in our society - and in the Lord's church!
Some other things caught my eye in this news article. Where, in all the pages of the NT, do we read of a "House of Bishops" and a "House of Deputies" to govern the church? And while you are at it, where does Scripture condone a clergy/laity distinction? Nowhere. The inventions and innovations of man's ingenuity have corrupted the purity of the church, and many have fallen from the faith (Acts 20:28-30; 1 Tim. 4:1-3). No wonder the Episcopalians are in a quandary over whether there is a "theological basis" for homosexual unions -- the Bible was long ago laid aside as their final standard of authority (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 4:11; 1 Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Jno. 9). If we forfeit scriptural authority for the things we do, will our fate be any different? No. (Rom. 2:1-2, 21-24)
Please notice that when Episcopal congregations are ready to accept same-sex unions their denomination will lead the way. Up with the people, down with revealed truth!! Will we ever learn??
The Spirit's Sword is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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