THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume V, Number 15 - July 8, 2001
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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In this issue:
Question: What is biblical peace?
Answer: It was prophesied that Jesus would be "the Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6). True peace emanates from God to the point that God is said to be "the God of peace" (Rom. 15:33). The peace of God is such that it "passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7). God's peace is able to "keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Ibid.).
Peace is peculiarly identified with Jesus. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (Jn. 14:27). The instrument of peace was, "Preaching peace by Jesus Christ" (Acts 10: 36). Even plainer is Paul's statement to the Romans, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1).
Peace is internal and involves man's participation. The early Christians were able to enjoy peace amid turmoil because peace is internal and does not depend on the external circumstances (Paul extended peace while in prison, Eph. 1:2, 4:1). Peace is obtained through the gospel; hence, we read, "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6:15). Peace is in knowing that sin is forgiven and that all is well with our soul (Acts 2:38, I Jn. 1:7). Hence, division can prevail, but inwardly there can be peace (cp. Matt. 10: 34-39). However, peace does not come without effort. The scriptures admonish the Christian thus, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace" (Rom. 14:19).
It is tragic that even though peace is available through Christ, "And the way of peace have they not known" (Rom. 3: 17). There is also a false peace that deceives some (I Thes. 5:3). Biblical peace involves and is a product of being spiritually minded. "For to be carnally minded is death," Paul wrote, "but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).
BE A MAN
The apostle Paul tells us that there is a difference between a child and a man. "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11). Children need to be children. They grow up too fast and are too soon exposed to the evils of the world. But when childhood days are over, little boys need to put away childish things and become men.
What a sad spectacle it is when grown men act like little boys. Yet many of them do. Men need to mature in the way they "speak," "understand" and "think." They must be wise decision makers, hard workers and good providers (1 Tim. 5:8). Men must also be honest, responsible for themselves and respectful of others. Young Christian men need to volunteer their various talents in the work and worship of the church. (We are looking forward to next Sunday night; a worship service which will be conducted entirely by the young men of the congregation.) They also need to make it their aim to serve as elders someday and must begin early working towards meeting the qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Perhaps that is why there are so few men who are qualified to serve as elders today. They failed to make it a goal and to work hard towards it.
A man needs to be the kind of son that his parents can be proud of. "The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother... Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul" (Prov. 29:15, 17). Children are a product of their parents. A couple's grown children can either be their crowning joy or their greatest heartache. One way we honor our parents is by becoming respectable, stable, productive young men.
A man needs to be the kind of husband that his wife can respect. "Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Eph. 5:33). God commands your wife to respect you. Will she do it out of duty and obligation or out of love and appreciation? Which would you rather have? If you love her as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:25) she will be happy to be your wife.
A man needs to be the kind of father that his children can honor. "'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with promise" (Eph. 6:2). It is one thing for a young child to honor their father, it is another thing for grown children to do so. Be the kind of man now that your children will want to respect and imitate when they are older.
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:15-17
We must cast off the world & its darkness (Rom. 13:12-14).
I. WHAT IS "THE WORLD" & WORLDLINESS? - 1 Jno.
A. The World Is That System (Realm) Of Evil Which Is In Opposition To God (Gal. 1:4) - 2: 15-16; 2 Cor. 4:4; Jas. 4:4.
B. Disciples Of Christ Are Not "Of This World" - Jno. 15:18-19.
II. HOW DOES WORLDLINESS PRESENT ITSELF TODAY?
A. Worldliness Begins In The Mind (Heart) - Mk. 7:14-23; 2 Tim. 2:22; Rom. 12:2.
B. Worldliness Is Expressed Through The Flesh To Sin - Mk. 7:21-23; 1 Jno. 2:16.
C. We Must Open Our Eyes To See & Avoid The Worldliness Which Can So Easily Ensnare Us - Heb. 12:1; 1 Cor. 15:34.
1. Entertainment is full of it (every media; internet, etc.) - cf. Eph. 5:3.
2. Success in business, school & play is defined by worldly standards - cf. Matt. 16:26.
3. Recreation often reflects worldly pursuits, attitudes & activities.
4. Fashion often driven by worldliness - 1 Pet. 3:3-4
5. Language reflects worldliness - Eph. 4:29.
6. The home is racked & worldliness - Eph. 5:22-27.
III. OVERCOMING THE WORLD: OUR CHALLENGE OF FAITH - 1 Jno. 5:4.
A. We Must Keep The Proper Love In Our Lives - 1 Jno. 2:15; Mk. 12:29-31.
B. We Must Properly Identify Sin & Turn Away From It - 1 Jno. 2:16; 1 Ths. 5:21-22 (1 Pet. 2:11).
C. We Must Resist Temptation - Jno. 17:14-16; Jas. 1:12-16; Jas. 4:4-10.
D. We Must Set Our Affections (Mind) On Heavenly Things - Col. 3:1-4.
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
WE SHOW OUR FAITH BY WHERE WE GO
Scripture Reading: Psalm 1
Our aim is to be circumspect wherever we go (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 5:15).
I. WE SHOW OUR FAITH BY WHERE WE GO & WHY WE GO THERE:
A. We Go To Christ - Matt. 11:28-30 (Jno. 6:44-45); Acts 4:12; Jno. 10:25-29; 2 Tim. 1:12; Jno. 8:12; 1:4-5.
B. We Go To His Word of Truth - Psa. 119: 105; Jno. 8:12, 31; Gal. 1:6-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3; Rom. 12:1-2; Phil. 4:8.
C. We Go Before God To Worship Him - Jno. 3:23-24; Eph. 3:14-21; 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 4:11-16; Acts 2:42; 20:7.
D. We Go To The Spiritual Battles of Faith - 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-4; Jas. 4:1-4; Gal. 2:4-5; Phil. 1:17; Jude 3.
-Fight with spiritual weapons - 2 Cor. 10:4-5:
a. Offensively: The moral persuasion of truth - Heb. 4:12.
b. Defensively: The protection from the armor of God - Eph. 6:10-17.
II. WE SHOW OUR FAITH BY WHERE WE DO NOT GO & WHY WE AVOID THEM
- Psa. 1:1.
A. We Do Not Go To The Wisdom of Men For Our Moral & Spiritual Guidance ("the counsel of the ungodly") - 1 Cor. 1:18-24; Col. 2:8.
B. We Do Not Go To The Conduct Of The Worldly To Find Purpose & Meaning In Life ("the path of sinners") - cf. Prov. 1:10-19; 1 Cor. 15:33-34.
C. We Do Not Go To The Judgment Of The Wicked For Establishing What Is Right ("the seat of the scornful") - cf. Psa. 26:5; Isa. 5:20; Prov. 17:15.
-"Let God be true but every man a liar" - Rom. 3:4.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
S. D. Man Gored to Death by Buffalo
Saturday, July 07, 2001 2:42 p.m. EDT
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - A man was gored to death by a buffalo in Custer State Park while photographing a free-roaming herd.
Ernest Barna, 76, of Allen Park, Mich., was with a group of visitors viewing the animals on Thursday when a large buffalo bull approached. All the visitors except Barna retreated to their cars, Park Superintendent Rollie Noem said.
The bull walked past, nudged Barna, then turned, gored him in the side and threw him, Noem said. Barna underwent surgery Thursday evening, but died Friday at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
In another incident at the park, a Texas man suffered a deep cut to his arm in a buffalo attack on Thursday and needed stitches. Jack Knight, 87, was treated at a hospital and released.
Noem said the two attacks happened in different areas of the park and were not connected. Copyright (c) 2001 Associated Press
Joe R. Price
The agility, speed and strength of buffalo are well known. Still, the appeal of their grandeur and mystique of their history causes more than a few to take for granted the very traits which endanger - and even kill - the unsuspecting observer.
Like buffalo, our adversary is agile, strong and swift. Unless we use great and constant care we will be deceived into forgetting how dangerous it is to be near him: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8).
Do you view sin as thrilling, provocative, attractive, or even innocent? If so, remember the buffalo.
A word of warning to the wise ought to be sufficient.
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