THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy· Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume IV, Number 23· August 13, 2000
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:
-Resurrection In The New Testament
Now and then zealous Christians run into the above criticism. First of all, if we had nothing to use but our own human wisdom, then it would be wrong to think that we knew the truth (Jeremiah 10:23). But we don't. God has given us the Bible, which gives us everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Jesus said that the Scriptures would give us "all truth" (John 16:13). Paul said that God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). The word translated "knowledge" means "precise and correct knowledge, a full knowledge". David said that the Scriptures can even make the most ignorant and uneducated person into a wise man or woman (Psalm 19:7). He further stated that the Scriptures can make you wiser than the aged and your teachers (Psalm 119:99-100). Was David being self-righteous or arrogant when he said such things? From the fact that the Holy Spirit was speaking through David, we must conclude that the Holy Spirit wants believers to have such confidence when they study. There is nothing wrong with saying, "Yes, I know the truth on this or that subject". If God has spoken on a subject, why shouldn't we be able to understand and apply what He has said? If Jesus commands us to teach new converts everything that He commanded, then we must be able to understand all of His teachings (Matthew 28:20).
When someone brings up this criticism, usually they are bent out of shape on a particular issue. It is easy to make a broad sweeping accusation, so we need to pin them down and ask them, "Specifically what Biblical teaching is impossible to understand?" That is, "Where did God fail to make His will sufficiently clear?"
It seems that knowing the truth has become a crime in some circles, but Jesus promised that if we continue in His word, we would know the truth (John 8:32). The Hebrew writer promised that Christians who exercise their senses in the Word would be able to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).
The above criticism is never applied consistently. Have you noticed that people who rebuke others for thinking that they have a particular issue or teaching figured out, act as if they have the issue figured out? For they don't remain silent, rather, they spend a good amount of time trying to persuade people of their particular point of view.
It is interesting how the above mindset can spread. The cynical attitude, "You think you have everything figured out", eventually leads to an attitude that says, "The more I study the Bible, the less I understand". We eventually come to a point, like many of the denominations, where we have to spend years studying whether or not homosexuality is a sin, and even then, we can't make a final decision. Thank God for the truth that sets us free!
DESTROYING THE FLESH, SAVING THE SOUL
Joe R. Price
The following Bible question was submitted to us some time ago via our Bible Answers web site. It raises an important subject for churches at this present hour.
"Please explain 1 Corinthians 5:5. What does it mean?"
The text says: "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
The context of 1 Corinthians 5:5 deals with church discipline of an unrepentant sinner among them. One of their members was committing fornication with his father's wife, and they had done nothing about this sin being in their midst (1 Cor. 5:1-2). Instead, they had become "puffed up" (arrogant) about his presence among them, probably thinking that his presence among them was not affecting them and that they did not have to do anything about it (1 Cor. 5:2). They had become far too casual about the presence of sin in the church. (1 Cor. 5:6)
Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for its inactivity in dealing with this sinner and his sin, saying he had already judged the man to be living in sin and unworthy of fellowship (1 Cor. 5:3).
In 1 Cor. 5:4-5 the apostle commands what they were to do: By the authority of Christ ("in the name of our Lord Jesus") and in their assembly ("when you are gathered together") they were to "deliver" this man over to Satan in an effort to save his soul. That is, they were to publicly mark his present sin (cf. Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:14). And, they were to cease their social contact with this man (1 Cor. 5:9-13).
The "destruction of the flesh" in 1 Corinthians 5:5 is the destruction of the carnal man. The brother was a fornicator and should be put away from among them so that his spirit would be saved (if he would repent, 5:1, 13). As Galatians 5:24 affirms: "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Please read Romans 8:5-8, 13, where "flesh" refers to carnality, the carnal mind, the fleshly appetites).
The purpose of church discipline is to save the sinner: "that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:5). It is designed to "wake the sinner up" to the eternal death he is facing unless and until he repents! (cf. 1 Tim. 1:20)
This occasion of church discipline in Corinth worked - the sinner repented of his sin. 2 Corinthians 2:1-11 tells us of the man's repentance and that he was forgiven by the Lord, the apostle and the church at Corinth. When a Christian confesses sin and repents of it, we ought to reaffirm our love for him, not tacitly place him on "probation" to "see if he does it again"! (2 Cor. 2:8).
To use church discipline against a sinner calls for a judgment to be made (1 Cor. 5:3). Such judgment of the presence of sin and its need for rebuke is made upon the basis of the inspired scriptures - our only standard for what is morally and doctrinally correct (2 Tim. 3:16-17). To do this is not wrong - it is to properly use truth to save souls! (Jas. 5:19-20) May we be about the difficult but necessary task of disciplining sin to save the lost and protect the saved.
"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance." (Isa. 55:2)
WHAT WILL MONEY BUY?
It will buy a bed, but not sleep.
It will buy books, but not brains.
It will buy food, but not an appetite.
It will buy finery, but not beauty.
It will buy medicine, but not health.
It will buy a house, but not a home.
It will buy amusement, but not happiness.
It will buy preaching, but not the truth.
It will buy a Bible, but not salvation.
All "Brief Exhortations" are being posted at:
http://www.public.usit.net/driggs/brief.htm by David Riggs
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com/ntresurr.htm
RESURRECTION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 15:35-44
I. JESUS IS OUR HOPE OF RESURRECTION - Jno. 11:25.
A. "The Resurrection & The Life," Provides:
1. A spiritual resurrection from the death of sin - Jno. 5:24-27 (Col. 2:12).
2. A bodily resurrection from the grave - Jno. 5:28-29.
B. Jesus Raised The Dead - (Lk. 7:11-17; 8:49-56) Jno. 11:38-45.
C. Jesus Is The "Firstborn From The Dead" - Col. 1:18 ( Rev. 1:18.
D. Jesus Is The "Firstfruits" Of The Dead - 1 Cor. 15:20.
II. ALL THE DEAD WILL BE RAISED - Jno. 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:21-23.
A. One Resurrection Of All At The Same Time (Same Occasion) - Jno. 5:28; Acts 24:15.
B. All Judged According To Our Works - Rev. 20:11-13.
C. The Kingdom Will Be Delivered Up To God The Father - 1 Cor. 15:23-26.
III. QUESTIONS ABOUT RESURRECTION? - 1 Cor. 15:35-49
A. Question #1: "HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED UP?" - 15:35-38; 1 Cor. 6:14; 1 Ths. 4:14.
B. Question #2: "WHAT KIND OF BODY WILL WE HAVE?" - 15:35-49
1. It will be a body which pleases God - 15:36-38.
2. "So also is the resurrection of the dead" - 15:42-44.
3. Bodily resurrection is... - 1 Cor. 15:44-57
1 Cor. 15:58: Therefore, be...Steadfast... immovable...always abounding in the work of the Lord...knowing...your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
WILDFIRES FORCE CLOSURE OF MONTANA FOREST LANDS
FOX NEWS (Thursday, August 10, 2000)
"After wildfires destroyed 300,000 forested acres, scorched dozens of homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in Montana, Gov. Marc Racicot on Thursday closed more than 6 million acres of land to the public.
The governor said placing between 6 million and 8 million acres of state, private, tribal and federal land off limits was necessary to prevent additional fires and to reduce the chance of people being trapped by flames.
"We would not do this if it were not absolutely essential," Racicot said. He encouraged people to pray for relief from the devastation.
Devastating fires such as those sweeping across Montana continue to rage through a dozen other Western states in what's being called the worst fire season in 50 years."
Joe R. Price
Heroic efforts are being made to safe lives and property by valiant and hard-working firefighters throughout the western U.S. We applaud their tenacity and pray for their safety as they undertake their Herculean task.
A news report last week said one of the western wild fires may have started when a grasshopper or other insect shorted out an electrical fence. Seemingly the most innocent of actions, it produced devastating consequences and untold hardship. Truly, "See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" (Jas. 3:5)
But James was talking about the tongue! He went on to say, "the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell." (Jas. 3:6) The tongue can start a tremendous conflagration. When driven by the unrighteous impulses of hell, our tongue does great harm. We must contain and put out this flapping flame before it destroys lives and souls -- ours and others! (cf. Jas. 3:2, 8-12)
Control your heart. Choose your words carefully. Keep the tongue under constant surveillance.
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: email@example.com