THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy· Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume IV, Number 39· December 3, 2000
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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Mt. Baker church of Christ: http://www.bibleanswer.com/mtbaker
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In this issue:
How To Treat Others
A young lady named Sally relates an experience she had in class, given by her teacher,
whom we'll call Brother Smith.
She says Brother Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons. One particular day, Sally walked into class and knew they were in for another fun day. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Brother Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry . . .and he would allow them to
throw darts at the person's picture.
Sally's girlfriend (on her right), drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend (on her left), drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of Brother Smith, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing. Sally was pleased at the overall effect she had achieved.
The class lined up and began throwing darts, with much laughter and hilarity. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Brother Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats.
As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target, Brother Smith began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus....
A complete hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced out.
Brother Smith said only these words, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." (Matthew 25:40)
No other words were necessary; the tear-filled eyes of each student focused only on the picture of Christ. The students remained in their seats even after the bell rang, then slowly left the classroom, tears streaming down their faces.
[May the story above serve as a reminder that our attitude toward Jesus Christ is demonstrated in the way we treat people around us.]
Man's Sincerity, God's Grace
Joe R. Price
A thoughtful question was posed which deserves careful Bible study. The question
was this: "There are many liberal brethren that maintain that if a person is taught
that sprinkling is an acceptable baptism, and has a pure heart in truly seeking to please
God that Gods' grace may cover that error. They often use Romans 2:12-15 as their
proof-text. Please comment."
Romans 2:12-15 makes a comparison between the condition of the Gentile world (cf. Rom. 1:18-32) which did not a written law with the Jewish world which did (Rom. 2:1-11). Remember, "where there is no law there is no transgression" (Rom. 4:15). So, whether Gentile or Jew, "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23) - nobody is beyond the reach of divine law and its requirements
Once we understand that all men are now under the authority of Jesus Christ, the question of whether one who has not be Scripturally baptized is answered easily enough (cf. Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; Gal. 1:6-9). Sprinkling, by definition as well as by practice, is not Bible baptism (baptizo means to "immerse, to dip, to plunge"). Therefore, even after a person has been
sprinkled he has not practiced what Jesus commanded - his sincerity notwithstanding.
All the sincerity in the world will not change the fact that sprinkling is not the baptism of the great commission. (Cornelius was an extremely sincere man, yet lost in his sincerity because of his sin, Acts 10:22; 11:14).
Divine grace is not dispensed to sinners on the basis of man's sincerity or desires. One can only expect God's grace to be applied when he expresses genuine faith in God and Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). Since faith is produced by hearing the word of God, we cannot alter His word and expect grace to be given to us in spite of our mishandling of God's word (Rom. 10:17; 2 Pet.
3:16-18). Carefully read Galatians 1:6-9 and see that by accepting and following a different gospel one in fact turns away from the grace of Christ!
God has not given us the prerogative to extend His grace - only He has the power and right to do so. And, we can be sure that He will do so - but only in harmony with His divinely revealed will - the "word of His grace" (Acts 20:24, 32).
Baptism is not the only doctrine on which some brethren try to incorrectly dispense God's grace. Another prominent one is divorce and remarriage. Suggesting that the complexity of the subject prevents conclusive understanding of God's word, so brethren call for sincerity in the so-called "gray" areas, certain that grace will prevail as long as one is "fully persuaded in your own mind." And so, by misapplying scripture and undercutting confidence in the word of God, some accept those in
unscriptural remarriages, concluding that God's grace will cover the entire matter.
No, any doctrine which gives people comfort in their sin is not the gospel of Christ! Those who teach that divine grace will somehow nullify divine law are mistaken. The gospel does not condemn people, sin does that (Rom. 6:23). The gospel is God's gracious lifeline of salvation to all who will live by faith (Rom. 1:16-17; 6:17-18, 22-23; Titus 2:11-12).
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS:
Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:24-29The Christian's goal is to be like Christ in all things (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27; 3:10; Gal. 2:20).
Individual and Church ActionScripture Reading: James 1:21-27 Two wrong extremes about local church action:
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
For Obscure Reasons, Men Use Half of Their Brains to Listen
By Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press
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).
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