THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume IV, Number 37 November 19, 2000

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


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 In this issue:


The Vote For President

Larry Ray Hafley

Undoubtedly, the 2000 vote for President between George W. Bush and Al Gore will go down in history as one of the most memorable, the most hotly contested, of all time. Unless you have been in a coma this past week, you know what I am talking about! As I write, the uncertain drama is still being played out.

Yes, it is good if we have an interest, even a concern about such matters. However, let us remember that "our citizenship is in heaven" (Phil. 3:20 ASV). As important as such events may be in our earthly lives, they must not be allowed to distract us from our real Ruler and King! True, we have an obligation toward civil government and human authority (Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:17). "Render unto Caesar," said God's eternal "Caesar" and Savior of men (Matt. 22:21). Again, though, we must not get caught up in temporal times to the extent that we forget who is in charge and who truly reigns in the kingdoms of men (Dan. 2:21).

Neither candidate, indeed, no candidate for any public office, can effect the divine dominion. No legislator, nor executive, nor judicial official can change the constitution of heaven! If we be lead by a Lenin or a Lincoln, in the final analysis, it makes no difference to kingdom citizens, for "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). Our concerns are not presidential politics along the Potomac, but the priesthood of the Prince of Peace. Our ultimate pledge of allegiance is not to the flag of country but to the faith of Christ. Let us never forget that.

History records the upheavals and strife of governments and nations while the New Testament was being composed. It was a time when slavery was at its zenith. The nineteenth century of our country cannot be compared to the bondage of Rome! Women had few rights. Dictators cast men of their country because of their race (Acts 18:2). Good men were needed in human affairs, but do we ever see the apostles leading a protest march against slavery? Do we hear them urging the overthrow of the nefarious Nero? No, rather, we hear them preach the gospel by whose inherent principles fetters would fall, womanhood would be exalted, and society would be given its salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16; Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).

So, during this tumultuous time, should not all Christians remember these timeless truths? Whoever wins the current election, Jesus still will reign in heaven at the right hand of God, and, whether it be Mr. Bush or Mr. Gore, he can have "no power at all except it were given (to him) from above" (Jn. 19:11).


Good and Evil

Joe R. Price

The power of goodness is a force which every Christian acknowledges. As the light of the world and the salt of the earth, disciples of Christ can and must impact their environs for righteousness and truth (Matt. 5:14-16).

Too many for too long we have bought into the thinking that "there is nothing we can do" about the evil and corruption around us. By accepting this notion we console ourselves in our inactivity and negligence, convinced that we are powerless to face evil.

This is as Satan wants it. Salt that has lost its flavor cannot season food. Light that is extinguished cannot shed light. Inactive soldiers will be defeated. Silent teachers will not spread the saving gospel. Thus, through negligence, apathy and weak faith we play into the devil's hand.

The power that overcomes evil is good. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom. 12:21) Without dispute it is the power of God, exercised by means of walking in His good works, which mightily gain victory over evil: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5). As we walk in the "good works" which God prepared for us it is His power which defeats the evil of sin and error (Eph. 2:10). Thus, we can confidently say with Paul, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:35-39)

How do we apply this principle? These are just some of the verses which teach us how.

Romans 12:17-21:

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.

Matt. 5:38-42:

38 "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Goodness is militant. It overcomes evil. Did not Christ overcome evil with good? (1 Pet. 2:21-24) By walking in the good works of God, so can we!


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

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

 

KEEPING MARRIAGES STRONG

Scripture Reading: Matthew 19:1-9

 

1. It is sin to put asunder our marriage (Matt. 19:6).

2. We must work diligently to strengthen marriage. (Heb. 13:4; Gen. 2:21-24)

 

I. Character is more important than technique. (2 Cor. 8:12)

-The Character Of Christ (Gal. 2:20):

1. Love - Eph. 5:25; Titus 2:4; Eph. 5:2.

2. Humility (not selfish pride) - Phil. 2:3-4.

3. Honesty - Eph. 5:25.

 

II. Love keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Cor. 13:5-7; Eph. 4:31-32.

 

III. Being in a marriage carries an obligation to communicate.

-Be honest & open - Jas. 1:19-20; 3:9-12; Prov. 19:20; 8:32; 14:3; 12:25.

 

IV. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.

-Constantly choose from the heart to be merciful to each other - Matt. 18:21-22, 35; 6:14-15.

 

V. Love is a commitment, not a feeling.

-Love is a decision of will - Matt. 5:44-45; Eph. 5:24-29.

VI. Reading Minds Is Not Something Human Beings Do Well.

-Therefore, do not assume things! - 1 Cor. 2:11; 1 Tim. 6:4; Matt. 5:23-24.

 


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

http://www.bibleanswer.com/church 04.htm

 

 

(Part 4)

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:

How To Establish NT Authority

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 8:1-6

 

1. "God's ways, revealed in God's word, are sufficient to accomplish God's purposes."

2. Col. 3:17 - Work of edification, benevolence & evangelism. How shall we know what is authorized in these areas, & what isn't?

 

I. WAYS NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORITY IS ESTABLISHED.

A. Command Or Express Statement - Mk. 16: 15-16; 1 Cor. 11:24-25

B. Approved Example From The New Testament - l Cor. 4:16-17; Phil. 4:9.

C. Necessary Implication (conclusion) - Jno. 21:21-23; Matt. 3:16.

D. Are These Rules Of Men, Or A Divinely-Approved Pattern? - Acts 15:6-21

 

II. THE NATURE OF AUTHORITY.

A. General Authority.

B. Specific Authority.

C. These Two Kinds Of Authority Illustrated:

1. Everything authorized both general & specific in some respect.

2. cf. Ark - Gen. 6:14 - General (Build: tools, location); Specific (gopher wood, pitch, dimensions).

 

III. TWO EXTREMES IN APPLYING THESE BIBLE-BASED RULES FOR ESTABLISHING AUTHORITY IN RELIGIOUS PRATICES.

A. Everything Is Acceptable Which Is Not Specifically Condemned. Heb. 7:14; 1 Cor. 4:6

B. A Thing Must Be Specifically Mentioned To Be Acceptable.

C. All Things Stand Condemned Unless There Is Either General Or Specific Authority Revealed For It - Col. 3:17; l Cor. 4:6; 2 Jno. 9; l Ths. 5:21.

 


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

The Chad Controversy

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Fox News

The word "chad" was relatively unheard of before this election. But over the past few days it has become perhaps America's most important new vocabulary word and is surrounded by controversy - especially when chads are found all over the floor.

A chad is simply a small piece of paper produced by punching a paper ballot.

Yesterday, Republicans monitoring the recount process found chads scattered on the floor where the recount is taking place in Broward County. The GOP asked Broward County sheriffs to pick up the fallen chads as evidence of how ballots are being handled and tainted.

The Republicans cannot prove the 78 fallen chads came from freshly punched holes in the presidential ballots, but they plan to use them as evidence if they are challenged in court.

For complete story go to:

http://foxnews.com/election_night/111600/fallen_chads.sml

 

COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

The hand counting of votes in Florida reminds me of how many people approach the Bible. Some folks quite effortlessly decide what they believe the Bible says before they study the Bible for themselves. Then, when they do open their Bible it becomes a fishing expedition to defend their preconceived idea. Others will attempt to tell us what the intent of the inspired writer was, instead of just accepting what he clearly wrote on an given topic. These are two ways we can twist the scriptures (2 Pet. 3:16). Be careful that you do not go to the Bible to only see what you want to see, but what God wants you to see! (Jno. 7:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:15)


 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