THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume IV, Number 43 December 31, 2000

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


Visit our Web Sites:

Mt. Baker church of Christ: http://www.bibleanswer.com/mtbaker

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 In this issue:


In Grave Danger

(Anonymous)

 

Anyone who professes to be a Christian is in grave danger:

When he rejects the clear statements of the Bible because "they don't speak to me."

When he substitutes the opinions of others for the revelation of God.

When he thinks it possible to be a Christian without Bible doctrine the content on which Christian faith is built.

When he substitutes activities in the church for personal spiritual nurture.

When he gets so busy with the affairs of life that prayer and Bible study are pushed aside by pressing duties.

When he thinks he can believe in Christ but reject what the Bible teaches about His person and work.

-Author Unknown (edited, jrp) via THURSDAY'S THOUGHT


Hear and Understand
Joe R. Price

Brethren used to teach that if we can understand the Bible at all, we can understand it alike. But now, more and more Christians are concluding that such a view is an arrogant and intolerant approach to the Scriptures.

Should we believe and teach that a full understanding of and compliance to truth is within our grasp? Yes, we should and we must! (Col. 1:9-10; 2:2-3) It is not arrogant to teach that we can understand revealed truth and live in that knowledge so as to please God. It is not arrogant to study, learn, understand, obey and teach the truth of God's word (Jno. 8:31-32; Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; Eph. 3:3-5; 1 Tim. 2:3-4). In fact, it takes humility to submit to the truth of the gospel instead of the wisdom and wants of men. (Gal. 1:10-12)

This principle of knowing truth also holds true on moral issues such as adultery. God has said that when one lives in contradiction to His revealed truth, that person is lost and not in fellowship with God (Eph. 3:2-4; 5:17; Matt. 7:21-23; 2 Jno. 9). But, praise God, we can know and obey God's revealed truth (thereby making correction of our sin, read 2 Tim. 3:16-17). And, we can teach that truth to others so that they may also share in the blessing of eternal salvation. (2 Tim. 2:2, 15)

Was Paul calling us to arrogance when he said, "by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ" (Eph. 3:4)? No. Was Paul advocating arrogance when he commanded, "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17)? No.

Was Jesus teaching us that arrogance is a part of conversion when He said, "For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them" (Matt. 13:15)? Certainly not. Yet, He said they could understand with their hearts. Therefore, to advocate understanding God's truth is not arrogant - it is essential to the conversion of the soul.

Did Jesus teach that the honest and good heart is arrogant (in as much as it is he who understands the word of God): "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Matt. 13:23)? No, Jesus did not advocate arrogance. Yet, Jesus said it is possible to understand the word of God. Therefore, it is not arrogant to advocate understanding God's word today.

When Jesus "called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, Hear, and understand" (Matt. 15:10). Was Jesus calling them to arrogance? Never. But He did call upon them to understand His teachings. Like Jesus, may we always call upon ourselves and others to "hear and understand" the word of God. We must humbly approach the word of God as the only adequate standard for obtaining and maintaining unity in the Lord, and therefore obey it in all things (Eph. 4:3-6; Col. 3:17).

Excerpt from:  "BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF UNITY AND FELLOWSHIP," Part I http://www.bibleanswer.com/fellow01.htm


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

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

THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-5

 

1. Christians stand in the true grace of God - Rom. 5:1-2; 1 Pet. 5:12.
2. What is the true grace of God? How does standing in grace affect our lives?

The true grace of God…

IS UNIVERSALLY AVAILABLE, BUT NOT UNIVERSALLY RECEIVED - Titus 2:11; Rom. 5:15 (12).

IS ACCESSED THROUGH CHRIST BY FAITH - Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:8.

TEACHES US TO OBEY THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST - Titus 2:11-12 (Noah - Gen. 6:8-9, 14, 22; Heb. 11:7); 1 Pet. 5:12.

DOES NOT TOLERATE SIN -- Rom. 6:1-2, 15, Mk. 10:21; Col. 3:9; 1 Jno. 1:8-9.

DOES NOT MAINTAIN FELLOWSHIP WITH FALSE DOCTRINE - Heb. 13:9; Gal. 1:6-9; Jude 3-4; 2 Jno. 9-11.

Conclusion

Acts 20:24, 32 - The gospel is the word of God's grace. In order to stand in grace one must believe & obey the gospel!


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

http://www.bibleanswer.com/church 10.htm

(Part 10)

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:

The Work of Edification

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 2:1-10

Edify - "To build…promoting the spiritual growth & development of character of believers…" - Col. 2:6-7; 1 Cor. 14:26.

I. THE EDIFICATION OF CHRISTIANS IS VITAL - Acts 14:21-22.
A. Edification Helps Us Withstand Temptation & Sin - Eph. 4:11-15; 6:11; Heb. 5:13-14.
B. Edification Helps To Properly Develop Character - 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
C. It Is Important To Edify (Strengthen & Encourage) Our Brethren - 1 Ths. 5:11; 2 Cor. 12:19; Eph. 4:16 (Gal. 6:1-2; Rom. 14:19; 15:1-2); 1 Pet. 2:1-2.

II. EDIFICATION IS INDIVIDUAL.
A. Only When The Individual Grows (Is Strengthened) Will The Church Be Edified - Col. 2:5-7; Eph. 4:16.
B. Note These Individual Admonitions Which Will, When Obeyed, Cause Personal Growth (Edification) - 2 Tim. 2:15; 1:13; 2 Pet. 1:8.
C. We Will Not Be Able To Edify Others Unless We Strengthen Ourselves - Eph. 4:29; Heb. 10:24-25.

III. CONGREGATIONAL.
A. Through Worship (Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Cor. 14:26) Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:27-30, 34.
B. Through Bible Teaching - Acts 20:28, 32.
C. Through Proper Discipline - Rom. 16:17-18 (1 Cor. 5:7).
D. By Encouraging Participation In Good Works, Thereby Promoting Love & Concern For Others - 1 Ths. 5:14-15.


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

Church of Scientology comes to Bellingham

Joe R. Price

(Summary of introductory letter dated December 10, 2000)

Diane Gagon, President of the Church of Scientology Mission of Bellingham, in a letter dated December 10, 2000 announced a "new church opening in the area to serve you and the community."

According to Gagon, the CSM will be involved in a wide range of activities in our city including "food and clothing drives, drug education and prevention programs, environmental projects such as street and park cleanups and graffiti paintouts and tutoring underprivileged youth, among others."

The grand opening of the Bellingham church is set for February, 2001. They will be located at 722 N. State Street and will offer "regular church services" as well as "free tutoring programs" designed "to increase literacy and study skills of both youth and adults using the study methods developed by philosopher and educator, L. Ron Hubbard."

BIBLE COMMENTARY

Joe R. Price

One thing is for sure, the Church of Scientology is no church of Christ! Consider this summary:

"Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950) first set forth the basis of his philosophy, offering an alternative path to overcoming physical and mental stress. The church believes that a person's spirit can be cleared of past painful experiences through a process called "auditing," freeing the person of the burdens that interfere with happiness and self-realization. The first church was established in Los Angeles in 1954…In 1996 there were more than 3,000 churches, missions, and groups worldwide, with headquarters in Los Angeles." (Ibid.) (Infoplease.com)

Those who undergo their "auditing" process will eventually be indoctrinated with what their founder taught, namely, that Jesus is not Christ, that there is no God (as the Bible reveals), that heaven is a false memory given to man by an evil "Creator of Heaven," and that man is reincarnated. (Do I have to go on?!) Scientology is a philosophy of man which denies the gospel! (Col. 2:8)

[For more information about scientology, go to www.bible.ca/scientology-christianity-compared.htm]


 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