THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume IV, Number 38 November 26, 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:


Slow Down And Live?

Ernest A. Finley

The bit of advice contained in the title above is directed by safety-minded people and organizations toward those who operate automobiles on American highways. "Slow down and live" is observed on small sign boards as one drives along our highways. Another says "Speed kills." All of which is very true as our accident and death statistics well verify. We have been told with convincing logic and even time tests that one may arrive at his destination almost as soon driving at a moderate speed as he may if he drives at break-neck speed--and if he drives at break-neck speed he just might not get there at all. So very true!

But look at this bit of advice "Slow down and live" from another

viewpoint. It may also contain its spiritual implications.

Many people are too busy to take time to read their Bibles or pause for a period of prayer. They just do not have time. They can't find time to assemble with God's children to worship Him and study His will. They seldom find time to associate with and be a pal to their children. Before they realize it their children will be out on their own and what they make of themselves may well be determined by the kind of training they received from their parents. But not only are moral and spiritual values ignored or slighted but we mortals sometime wear ourselves out physically before the time by burning the candle at both ends. Men may get too busy for a lot of things but they never get too busy to die. We should "Slow down and live."

When I see young people, just in their teens, running to catch the merry-go-round of pleasure, I want to say "Slow down and live." Youth fears that life may pass them by--that they may miss something that this world has to offer--so they rush frantically and breathlessly about and so many, many times allow pleasures to become their master and they destroy themselves through dissipation and excess--which is sinful in God's eyes. Young people, in too big a hurry, rush into marriage before they mature sufficiently to face the problems and challenges of life and a high percent of such marriages end up on the rocks--divorced at sixteen or eighteen. They would have been wise to have slowed down. Marriage and many other wholesome and good things in life would have come to them if they had been more patient. Good advice to them would be "Slow down and live." "Speed kills." How true--in spiritual things as well as temporal.

-The Preceptor-


Fellowship With Error?

Joe R. Price

Here is another Bible question we have received and answered from the BIBLE ANSWERS web site:

"Can I be in fellowship with one who has an unscriptural position on MDR if they are not in an unscriptural marriage and they don't teach their position?"

My question might be, "how do you know he has an unscriptural position if he is not in an unscriptural marriage and if he doesn't teach his position?" Do you see my point?

Maybe through casual conversation, maybe through Bible study comments or some other way, but at some point one must communicate his view on MDR for you to know of the existence any unscriptural position.

When an unscriptural point becomes known it is an opportunity for us to teach the way of God more accurately (Acts 18:26). It is a time for patient instruction and forbearance as we study, etc. (Eph. 4:1-6). There are a variety of knowledge levels in any congregation, and therefore we must help each other grow in our knowledge and spiritual discernment (Col. 1:9-11).

Practically speaking, if one is not promoting (teaching) error, practicing error or endorsing error, then you are not having fellowship with him in error (as per 2 Jno. 10-11) -- even if his thinking on a subject (such as MDR) is not fully developed, or even mistaken. This is one reason why we must "grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord" (2 Pet. 3:18; cf. 2 Tim. 2:15). We all have plenty of room to grow and overcome mistaken views. This is why we must be preaching the whole counsel of God and speaking the truth in love - so that we may all grow to spiritual maturity (cf. Eph. 4:11-16).

If, however, one with wrong thinking on MDR begins to teach his error - or practice error - then there is basis to object and oppose him (2 Jno. 9-11; cf. Acts 15:1-2).

The questioner continued by asking:

"To what lengths should/must I go to determine a brother's position on MDR?"

To no greater length than you would go to determine any other belief he may have. But as we study the Bible together, teaching the whole counsel of God, opportunity will surely arise for us to discuss MDR and many, many other scriptural subjects. If you have reason to believe one holds an erroneous view then you ought to try to teach them (Acts 18:26; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).

The best thing we can do is to fully teach the gospel of Christ on MDR and all other topics so that each Christian can "examine himself, whether he is in the faith" (2 Cor. 13:5). If a brother teaches, endorses or practices error, then we must try to restore the erring brother rather than silently stand by as he loses his soul (Gal. 6:1-2). If he persists in his error it will then be needful to our cease fellowship with him (Rom. 16:17; 2 Jno. 10-11).


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

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

 

REVERENCE FOR GOD

Scripture Reading: Psalm 111

 

"Fear, awe, dread of displeasing Him;" a "falling down" before one who is superior (honor & homage, respect & deference). Profound respect mingled w/awe; honor & adoration; godly fear, awe.

I. WHY SHOULD WE REVERENCE GOD?

A. Because He Is Our Creator - Psa. 8:3-4; Acts 17:28-29.

B. Because, Being Christians, He Is Our Spiritual Father - Jno. 3:3; Gal. 3:26-27; Heb. 12:9.

C. Because He Is Our Lawgiver, Master & Judge - Matt. 4:10; Heb. 10:30-31; 12:28-29.

 

II. WHERE SHOULD GOD BE REVERENCED?

A. The Presence Of God Makes Any Place Holy Ground - Exo. 3:5-6; Lev. 26:1-2.

B. God Must Be Reverenced In His Temple - 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20; Heb. 12:28.

C. Example: Our Assembled Worship: Holy Ground - Psa. 89:7; Matt. 18:20 (Jno. 4:24); Neh. 8:3, 5-6.

 

III. HOW DO WE SHOW REVERENCE FOR GOD?

A. Live With Humble Spirit - Titus 2:3; Jas. 4:10.

B. Keep A Modest Approach To Life - Heb. 12:28 (grace); Phil. 4:8; Eph. 5:15-16.

C. Submit To God In All Things - Heb. 12:9 (Col. 3:17, 23); Psa. 111:10.

D. Obey His Word - Psa. 119:161; Eccl. 12:13.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (Heb. 12:28)


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

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

 

(Part 5)

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:

The Work of the Local Church

Scripture Reading:  2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

 

I. AUTHORITY FOR THE WORK OF THE LOCAL CHURCH.

A. Edify, Relieve Needy Saints & Evangelize.

1. Edification of the saints - 1 Cor. 14:26.

2. Relieve needy saints - 1 Tim. 5:16.

3. Spread the gospel - 1 Ths. 1:7-8.

B. Specific Authority For Work Of The Local Church - 2 Jno. 9; l Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:13; Phil. 3:17.

 

II. APPLYING SPECIFIC AUTHORITY.

A. Playing Mechanical Instruments Of Music In Worship Is Excluded Because The NT Pattern Is Sing.

B. Additional Organizations To Do The Work Of The Church Are Excluded Because The NT Pattern Is The Local Church!

C. Both Subjects Stand Or Fall Together! - 1 Cor. 4:6; Heb. 7:13-14.

 

III. WHICH ORGANIZATION IS AUTHORIZED TO DO (PERFORM) THE COLLECTIVE WORK GIVEN CHURCH?

A. To Edify? ( Local Church - Acts 20:28-32.

B. To Relieve Needy Saints? ( Local Church - Acts 11:29-30; Rom. 15:25-26.

C. To Preach ( Local Church - Phil. 1:5; 1:15; 2 Cor. 11:8.

 

IV. AIDS AND ADDITIONS - 1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23 (Gal. 1:8-9; Rev. 22:18).

 

V. AIDS VERSUS ADDITIONS.

A. Distinguishing Between Aids & Additions.


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

Top Court Takes Bush Case

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into the bitter, overtime struggle for the White House on Friday, agreeing to consider George W. Bush's appeal against the hand recounting of ballots in Florida, the state that will decide whether he or Al Gore becomes president. But first, on Sunday, Florida's secretary of state plans to certify a winner.

At this point, Bush leads an incredibly close count. His unofficial margin as of early Friday evening was 675 votes.

The recounting went on into the holiday weekend, a wearing process that could be moot should the Supreme Court decide not to include the hand tallying of ballots originally cast in voting machines.

These striking turns in the disputed election mean that the longest, closest contest in 124 years may not be settled before early December, nearly a month after Americans voted.

The court will hear arguments next Friday, Dec. 1, from lawyers for Democrat Gore, who wants the recounts, and Republican Bush, who barely led the original vote and initial recounting of the voting machine totals.

-(The Bellingham Herald, A-1, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2000)

 

BIBLE COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

Our desire for peace and godliness in this country should compel us all to be praying for our Supreme Court Justices as directed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. The "court of last appeal" hears important matters which effect many, many lives. The need for equity under the law ought to prevail in every case tried by the courts of men. We call it "justice." Our present election controversy is no exception.

God expected the judges of ancient Israel to be just and impartial in adjudicating the law between men because "the judgment is God's" (Deut. 1:16-17). It was His law they were applying to the lives of men. His will was to honored in their judicial process.

While it is man-made laws that will be judged upon by the highest court of the land, it is God who grants its authority (Jno. 19:10-11; Rom. 13:1). When judges fail to equitably decide among men, based upon the law governing them, the injustice of men is seen and judged by the Almighty (Amos 5:12-15).

We can take comfort in this. We will all one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ. His judgment will be righteous, fair and eternal. Every wrong will be righted. Every injustice will receive just recompense. All mercy will be granted to the innocent. (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:1-6; 2 Ths. 1:6-10; Matt. 25:31-46). Appeal to the highest court of all - to the throne of grace occupied by the Judge of all (Heb. 4:15-16; 12:23).


 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