THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume IV, Number 35 November 5, 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:


Jesus, The Savior Of All

Steven F. Deaton

The Bible affirms time and again that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men. For instance, John wrote, "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (1 Jn. 2:2). Jesus, in His death and by the shedding of His blood, paid the price for sin. Again, John records the words of John the Immerser, "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (Jn. 1:29). Yet, when the Bible declares Jesus to be the Savior of all men, let us understand that not all men will be saved.

The Bible teaches that some will be saved and some will be lost. As a matter of fact, it teaches that few will receive salvation while many will be condemned to damnation (Matt. 7:13-14). Now, God does not arbitrarily pick and choose those who will go to heaven and those who will go to hell, as the Calvinist says. God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34). God loves the whole world and is not willing that any should perish (Jn. 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9). He wants all men to come to the knowledge of truth--truth that sets free (1 Tim. 2:4; Jn. 8:32). So, some will be saved and some lost, not due to God's partiality or inadequacy. Rather, the reason some will be redeemed and many others doomed is because of each man's choices and response to God's love.

God made man with a free-will; He gives man a choice of whether or not to serve Him (Josh. 24:15). Man can chose to submit to God's will and be blessed, or to reject God and be condemned. Therefore, though Jesus is the Savior of the world, only those who accept His grace, and the terms of it, will be saved. Jesus said that a man must believe in Him or die in his sins (Jn. 8:24). He commanded men to repent of their sins (Lk. 13:3, 5). He requires men to confess Him (Lk. 12:8-9). He also said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk. 16:16). These are the terms of His grace--for man to receive forgiveness. These are not things a man does to earn his salvation, but what God requires of him. When a man obeys the Lord, he receives the blessings of obedience (cf. Heb. 5:9).

Do you recognize Jesus as the Savior of all? Have you submitted to His conditions for salvation?

(Loop 287 Newspaper Art. Nov. 4, 2000)


How To Combat "Falling Away"

Joe R. Price

Question:  How do I combat "falling away?"

First, it is good that you understand the danger of falling away from God (Gal. 5:4; Heb. 3:12-13; 6:4-6; 10:26-27). We must be vigilant lest our hearts are hardened against God and His truth (1 Cor. 10:12-13; 9:24-27).

We also need to understand that our feelings can deceive us. When God's word teaches us His truth - about any subject - we can and should accept it as true even if our feelings do not immediately conform. I suggest you read Psalm 32 and 51. These psalms were written by king David following his sin with Bathsheba and his subsequent repentance and God's forgiveness of his sin. When David confessed his sin to God he was able to be renewed in heart and return to faithfully serving God. We can do the same thing when we find that we have fallen into sin.

A key to spiritual renewal is repentance. Repentance is a change of one's mind that is produced by godly sorrow over one's sin (2 Cor. 7:9-10). The result of repentance is a changed life which reflects the forgiven sinner's change of mind toward his sin (cf. Lk. 3:8; Acts 26:20; 19:18-20).

Prayer is important. Strengthening your practice of prayer will strengthen your faith (Phil. 4:4-7; Heb. 4:15-16). The Christian is assured that God hears and answers his prayers (1 Jno. 5:14-15). Set aside time to pray - make it a priority in your life and you will find it having more meaning and purpose. (1 Thess. 5:17; Lk. 18:1-8)

Also, stay close to the word of God. Spend time reading, studying, meditating upon His truth (cf. Psa. 119:9-11). By learning God's word we can live God's will in our own lives (2 Tim. 2:15). Knowing and living God's word helps keep us from falling away from Him (2 Pet. 3:17-18).

Continue to stay close to God through prayer, by reading and meditating on God's word, and by living the truth of the gospel.


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

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

 

CASTING STONES

Scripture Reading: John 8:1-7

 

Why do we unrighteously cast stones at others? (Jas. 4:11-12)

I. HYPOCRISY CAUSES THE HYPOCRITE TO CAST STONES...

A. At Sinners While Committing The Same Sort Of Sins - Jno. 8:7-9; Matt. 23:29-35; 7:1-5.

B. At The Innocent While Also Guilty Of Sin - Matt. 15:1-3; 12:1-2, 7; Rom. 2:21-24.

C. Why Does The Hypocrite "Casts Stones" At Others? - cf. Matt. 23:23, 27-28; Matt. 23:24-25, 5-7, 12. (pride)

 

II. PRIDE CASTS STONES AT THE HUMBLE (Lk. 18:14; Psa. 10:2; Jas. 4:10-12).

A. Out Of Self-righteousness - Lk. 18:9; Deut. 9:4-5; Prov. 30:12-14; Jno. 11:49-50.

B. Out Of Envy - Matt. 27:18; Jas. 3:14; Gal. 5:26.

 

III. ERROR CASTS STONES AT TRUTH & THOSE WHO WALK IN IT.

A. To Destroy Your Confidence In the Word Of God - Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 14:37 (cf. Gen. 3:1; Matt. 4:5-6).

B. To Make Room For Error - 2 Pet. 3:1-4; Jude 4 (Acts 7:54).

C. To Shield Itself From Exposure - 3 Jno. 9-10; Jno. 3:19; 1 Kgs. 18:17-18.

 


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

http://www.bibleanswer.com/church 02.htm

 

(Part 2)

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:

Universal and Local

Scripture Reading: John 15:1-8

 

I. USAGE OF "CHURCH" IN THE NT.

A. Used & Applied Universally - Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 15:9.

B. Used & Applied Locally - 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:2; Rom. 16:16; Col. 4:15-16.

C. "Church" Never Used Denominationally In The Bible! (cf. Jno. 15:1-8) 1 Cor. 4:6; 1 Pet. 4:11

 

II. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UNIVERSAL & LOCAL CHURCH.

A. Universal: Heb. 12:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:27.

1. A spiritual relationship, not a collective, a functioning organization.

2. No functional organization of univ. church.

B. Local: 1 Cor. 3:16-17.

-It also is a functional organization, a group or collective which functions together - Acts 11:22; 15:22.

 

III. ALL OF THE COLLECTIVE WORK OF THE CHURCH IS ENACTED & ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH.

A. Organization (local in scope) - Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28.

B. Worship & Work (local in scope) - Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18-20.

C. Membership/Fellowship (locally controlled) - Acts 9:19, 26-28.

D. Discipline (locally applied) - 1 Cor. 5:4, 13; 2 Ths. 3:6.

 

IV. THE CHRISTIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY TO THE LOCAL CHURCH.

A. To Identify With A Local Church - Acts 9:26; 1 Ths. 5:12-15; 1 Cor. 1:10; 3:3, 16-17


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

Moderate Baptists Withhold Their Money

Religion Today.com

Jimmy Carter isn't the only Baptist upset with the Southern Baptist Convention. Texas Baptists have decided to no longer give $5 million annually to the SBC, saying the nation's largest denomination is too conservative.

...The 6,000 representatives of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, meeting in Corpus Christi, approved the move by a large majority Oct. 30, according to news reports.

...The 2.7 million-member group will stop giving $4 million annually to six Southern Baptist seminaries, which it says are being required to teach the SBC's conservative doctrine. It also cut the $1 million it gives to SBC headquarters agencies and its social-issues agency. The money will be redistributed to three moderate Baptist seminaries within Texas.

...The Baptist General Convention of Texas still will send $19 million to the denomination, mostly for missionary work in the United States and abroad, according to the Associated Press.

...The conservative-moderate dispute has been developing for years. Moderate Baptists in Texas have been distancing themselves from the national denomination, which has taken a sharp turn toward conservatism in the last 10 years. They have been at odds with national leaders over changes in the SBC faith statement, called the Baptist Faith and Message, including an addition declaring that wives should submit to the servant-leadership of their husbands. Texas conservatives say the moderates are misrepresenting the faith statement.

...The Bible is at the center of the dispute. Leaders who are in power in the SBC are strict biblical literalists. They say that the Bible contains no errors in spiritual teaching or historical detail and insist that those who teach at SBC schools uphold this doctrine in order to keep their jobs.

...Moderates say Baptists should have more freedom in interpreting Scripture. They say they do not believe in imposed creeds, but emphasize the priesthood of the believer and freedom of conscience. Differences between the factions exist on issues such as abortion, female pastors, and homosexuality.

See complete story at... http://www.religiontoday.com/Archive/FeatureStory/view.cgi?file=20001031.s1.html

 

COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

The Baptists have no Bible precedence or authority for their Southern Baptist Convention, their General Convention of Texas or their Baptist Faith and Message. They are arguing over unscriptural matters. When the blind lead the blind they both will fall into the ditch (Matt. 15:14).

It is worth noting that the battle over how to view the Bible has been raging among denominationalists for some time now. How one interprets scripture is key to his faith (Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 2:15). A similar battle over how to interpret the Bible is being waged among brethren today. Some offer us a "new hermeneutic" which conforms to the subject impressions rather than the objective truth. Others offer us "unity in diversity," a way of saying we will agree to disagree on at least some important doctrinal subjects. Some churches of Christ now have female preachers. They have lost the battle already. Will we continue to demand a "thus saith the Lord" in all things? Some may pull their support of us and fellowship with us when we do. But remember, we seek to please God and not man (2 Cor. 5:9; Gal. 1:10).


 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