THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume IV, Number 33 October 22, 2000

Editor..................Joe R. Price

 


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 In this issue:


"Speaking In Tongues" Phenomenon Growing In Popularity

Joe R. Price

The phenomenon of tongue speaking is growing in this country. By its advocates it is regarded as the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is viewed as a "personal prayer language" by those who claim its power and presence. What does the Bible say about speaking in tongues?

* Speaking in tongues was always a language known by men and was spoken by one who was untaught in that language. (Acts 2:4, 6-8, 11)

It was not the gibberish of an undecipherable collection of consonants and vowels, rhythmic cadences and onomatopoetic sounds. The tongue spoken was unknown to the speaker, but understood by the hearer (Acts 2:4, 6). Hence, the miracle of tongue speaking proved the presence of divine power so people would listen to the message of the gospel the tongue-speaker spoke. (Acts 2:14-21, 22)

* Speaking in tongues was always in the presence of either those who understood the language being spoken or an inspired interpreter. (1 Cor. 14:9, 27-28)

The gift of speaking in tongues was not an angelic language spoken y man. Neither was this gift given to men as a "personal prayer language." (God knows our hearts and needs before we pray - do we really believe He must give man a special language for prayer to be heard, Matt. 6:8?) If nobody was present who understood the language being spoken or there was no interpreter present, the speaker was to be silent (1 Cor. 14:27-28). It was to be used in an orderly way (1 Cor. 14:27). Its use was not a chaotic display of unrestrained spiritual ecstasy (1 Cor. 14:28).

* Speaking in tongues served the purpose of teaching and edification. (1 Cor. 14:6, 19, 26)

It was not a display of holiness or spiritual superiority. It was not a way of "exciting" the people to greater faith. It was a gift intended to benefit those who heard the teaching. The ability proved that God was sending the message and it ought to be received and obeyed. The present-day phenomenon teaches error about tongue-speaking and the true gospel of Christ!

* Speaking in tongues ended when the gospel of Christ was fully revealed and recorded. (1 Cor. 13:8-10)

The Holy Spirit speaks to every person today by means of the scriptures He revealed, confirmed and inspired. We would all to well to hear and obey His written word instead of longing for the delusions of error (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Ths. 2:10-12).


Why Do You Wait?

Joe R. Price

An oft sung phrase is "Why do you wait, dear sinner, Oh why do you tarry so long?" Christians should see the urgency of obedience and godly living. Perhaps we can understand why someone who has no spiritual training does not urgently obey Christ. Yet strangely and sadly, some Christians never see the urgency, either. Why is it that the very ones who have "every spiritual blessing" in Christ must be pushed and prodded to love Him above all else (Mk. 12:29-31)? Why do you wait...

...to give your best to the Master? God is deserving of the very best we have to offer Him, whether it is our time, our energy, our attitude or our possessions. We are to present ourselves as living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1).

"Why do you wait?!"

...to get involved in the work of the congregation? There is plenty of work to do in this congregation, and not just by the preacher! Every member can make positive contributions toward the spiritual strength and wellbeing of this church (Eph. 4:16). Everyone can pray for this church. Everyone can come to worship God together. Everyone can show brotherly love and kindness. "Why do you wait?!"

...to forgive one who has sinned against you? None of us are without sin. Why then do we demand that everyone must always be perfect in their treatment of us? And when they aren't, our attitude toward them is forever changed: hesitant, reserved, suspicious. Such unmerciful treatment of others will surely reap a lack of mercy for us in the day of judgment (Matt. 5:7; Jas. 2:13). When your brother sins against you, or when you know your brother has something against you, reconcile quickly! (Matt. 5:23-26; 18:15). "Why do you wait?!"

...To develop godliness in thought and deed? Spiritual growth comes through dedicated effort. We must choose to be nourished by the gospel of Christ (1 Pet. 2:1-2; Heb. 5:12-14; 2 Pet. 3:18). "Why do you wait?!"

...to become a Christian? There is no greater joy to be had than having your sins forgiven in Christ. Seize the moment to be saved and no longer lost in sin. Your sin will only bring you to eternal death. You have no guarantee of tomorrow. Now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). "Why do you wait?!" Tomorrow may be too late!


For the complete outline of this sermon please visit BIBLE ANSWERS:

http://www.bibleanswer.com/bestrong.htm

 

BE STRONG IN THE LORD

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-17

 

How do we resist the devil? (Jas. 4:7) Eph. 6:10-17 teaches us a vitally important way.

 

I. THE CHRISTIAN'S STRENGTH COMES FROM CHRIST - 6:10; Phil. 4:13; Rom. 8:37.

A. What Do I Need The Strength To Overcome? - 1 Pet. 2:24; Heb. 4:14-16; Rom. 8:35-39.

B. We Must Be Humble Enough To Accept His Strength! - 2 Cor. 12:7-10.

 

II. WHY WE MUST RELY UPON HIS STRENGTH FOR OUR SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING - 6:11-12.

A. Our Adversary Is The Devil - 1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Cor. 2:11.

B. Our Battleground Is In The Spiritual Realm - cf. 2 Cor. 10:3-4.

 

III. BE STRONG IN THE LORD BY PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD - 6:13-17.

A. Each Christian Must Put On God's Armor.

B. The Whole Armor Must Be Worn:

  1. The girdle of truth (v. 14).

  2. The breastplate of righteousness (v. 14).

  3. Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (v. 15).

  4. The shield of faith (v. 16).

  5. The helmet of salvation (v. 17).

  6. The sword of the Spirit...the word of God - (v. 17).

_________________

For the complete outline of this sermon please visit BIBLE ANSWERS:

http://www.bibleanswer.com/knowledg.htm

 

A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:12-14

 

When we give up the proposition that we can understand and obey "the whole counsel of God" we have undermined faith in Christ & His gospel to save us! (Rom. 1:16; Acts 20:27)

 

I. WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT JESUS AND HIS TEACHINGS - Matt. 22:16

A. We Know Jesus Is True - Jno. 7:18.

B. We Know Jesus Teaches The Way Of God In Truth - Jno. 12:49-50; 14:6.

C. We Know Jesus Teaches Without Partiality - Lk. 20:21.

D. We Know Jesus Gave His Teachings To His Apostles - Jno. 16:12-15.

 

II. WE CAN CERTAINLY KNOW THE TRUTH JESUS TAUGHT - Jno. 8:31-32.

A. We Can Be "Established In The Present Truth" - 2 Pet. 1:12 (1 Pet. 1:22-25).

B. Like Paul, We Can Be "Teachers...In Faith And Truth" - 1 Tim. 2:7.

C. We Can Understand The Knowledge Of The Apostles - Eph. 3:3-5.

D. We Can Know The Truth Like The Early Saints Did - 1 Jno. 2:21.

E. By Our Conduct We Know If We Are "Of The Truth" - 1 Jno. 3:18-19.

 

III. THINGS WHICH OCCUR BY A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.

 

IV. TO SAY WE CANNOT BE CERTAIN OF GOD'S TRUTH IS TO DEMONSTRATE A LACK OF FAITH.

1. Truth directs our path - Psa. 119:105.

2. Beware uncertain sounds of unbelief which undermine faith in the truth and understanding of God's holy word! - Psa. 119:104, 130


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

CARDINAL PREDICTS POPE WILL RESIGN IN 2001

Vatican denies hunch of possible successor, who says ill, aging pontiff to step down

 

By Victor L. Simpson / Associated Press (http://www.detnews.com/2000/religion/0010/20/a05-136999.htm)

VATICAN CITY -- An influential European cardinal has added his voice to speculation that Pope John Paul II, burdened by age and illness, may resign.

Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium suggested John Paul might step aside next year, now that he has achieved his dream of leading the church into the new millennium.

Mere mention of the issue has angered the Vatican, which sees such suggestions as seeking to weaken the papacy.

"This is the personal opinion of Cardinal Danneels, which we do not confirm," said a one-line statement issued Thursday by the pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

Danneels, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to John Paul, is the highest-ranking churchman to go public, which has been on the minds of many given the pope's frail condition.

A top German bishop, Karl Lehmann, broke the ice in February when he said he thought the pope would step down if he thought he could no longer lead the church.

John Paul will be 81 in May. His speech is slurred and his hands tremble, both symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological disorder.

He looked weak when he received Queen Elizabeth II at the Vatican on Tuesday, needing a cane for support.

While the queen's voice rang clear, the pope's was barely audible.

Speaking about the retirement age for bishops of 75, Danneels said, "I wouldn't be surprised if the pope also retired after 2000. He absolutely wanted to reach the Jubilee year, but I believe he would retire afterward."

There is precedent -- Pope Celestine V, who abdicated in 1294.

He spent the last two years of his life in confinement because his successor feared he could become the rallying point for a schism.

While church law provides for a papal resignation, there is no procedure to declare incapacity.

 

COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

According to the Bible there is no "precedent" for a pope, much less his resignation due to "incapacity." Christ the head of His church, and His gospel gives no position or authority to any man to be His "Vicar" (substitute) on earth. He reigns from heaven (Eph. 1:20-23). His word is His declaration of truth (Jno. 12:48; Col. 3:16). We rely upon it to direct our lives, not the declarations of men who have no greater authority than church tradition and the will of men (Col. 3:17).

We hold no ill will toward John Paul II or any other Catholic. But we very much oppose the doctrine which teaches that he or any other man is the head of the church of Christ on earth. Such a doctrine is not in the Bible. If it were from God it would be there. Thus, we urge you to give up this man-made doctrine and follow the simple gospel of Jesus Christ.


 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