THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume V, Number 17 - July 22, 2001
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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Link of the Week: THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF GOD, Joe R. Price
In this issue:
I Would Die For The Lord
J. S. Smith
It is indeed rare in these enlightened days that anyone is asked to die for something.
Firefighters and police officers and soldiers sometimes die for their noble efforts. Freedom fighters in China and Chechnya have died for their political beliefs. Occasionally, a "good Samaritan" dies while trying to save a person who is drowning. Such dire religious persecution of Christians is surely a diminished evil in the twenty-first century. It is unlikely that you will ever be called upon to die in the line of faithful duty for Christ.
Still, we must all be prepared should that moment come. The New Testament is marked by several martyrdoms of Christians. The first that is mentioned is Stephen, who was killed because he accused the crucifiers of Christ of violating God's will and continuing a history of persecuting men of truth. The martyrdom of Stephen occupies more than two chapters in the Acts of the Apostles and he was not even an apostle! Stephen was the first to put his life on the line for Christ and submit to death at the hands of unbelievers. His faith earned him a standing ovation from the Lord in heaven and it showed every other Christian how valuable this faith was. Others followed him into martyrdom, including the apostles and a brother named Antipas.
It is unlikely, however, that you will be called upon to recant or die. Still, take that unproved zeal and apply it to something far more likely. If you are so willing to die for your Lord, may we ask you to live for him in the mean time?
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength."
Honestly, that is the kind of attitude that got Stephen killed and may land you in some unpleasant situations as well. But you said you would be willing to die for Jesus right? Didn't that imply that you would also suffer for his cause, short of death?
-The Woodmont Beacon, July 22, 2001
The Bible on Apostasy
Joe R. Price
The Bible teaches that a child of God can so sin as to be eternally lost. Many men teach they cannot. Use your Bible to study more about these important facts on falling away from God.
POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY: Ezek. 18:24; Luke 8:13; 1 Cor. 9:27; 10:12; Gal. 5:2-4; 2 Ths. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; Heb. 3:12-13; 6:4-6; Jas. 5:19-20; 2 Pet. 1:10; 2:20-22; 3:17.
EXAMPLES OF APOSTASY:
-Israel, Jeremiah 3:6-14, 22.
-Simon Peter, Luke 22:31-34, 54-62; Gal. 2:11-14.
-Simon the sorcerer, Acts 8:12-13, 18-24.
-Elders in Ephesus, Acts 20:29-30.
-Corinthian, 1 Cor. 5:1-5,13; 2 Cor. 2:5-8.
-Hymenaeus and Alexander, 1 Tim. 1:18-20.
-False prophets, 2 Peter 2:1.
-Ephesians, Rev. 2:4-5.
-Laodiceans, Rev. 3:15-19.
SOME CAUSES OF APOSTASY:
-Spiritual immaturity, Luke 8:13.
-Worldliness, Lk. 8:14; Jas. 4:4; 2 Pet. 2:20-22.
-False doctrine, Acts 20:29-30; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 6:3-5; 2 Pet. 2:1.
-Seeking justification by the law of Moses, Gal. 5:4.
-Hardness of heart against God's will, Heb. 3:12-13.
-Deceitfulness of sin, Heb. 3:13.
PREVENTION OF APOSTASY:
-Spiritual growth and maturity, 1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
-Do not love the world & seek heavenly things, 1 Jno. 2:15-17; Col. 3:1-3.
-Abide in the doctrine of Christ, 2 John 9; 1 Tim. 6:3; 1:3.
-Justification is only found in Christ, Gal. 2:16; Acts 4:12.
-Do not harden your heart, Heb. 3:7-8.
-Learn Satan's devices and avoid them, 2 Cor. 2:11; 2 Tim. 2:19-23.
REMEDY FOR APOSTASY:
-Repentance, Acts 8:22; 17:30.
-Confess your sin to God, 1 Jno. 1:9.
-Pray to God for forgiveness, Acts 8:22; 1 Jno. 1:9.
-Be converted! (Jas. 5:19-20; Gal. 6:1; Rev. 2:5)
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
WHY WE LIVE HOLY LIVES
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:13-21
Children of God have traits which mark them as belonging to God' family. A vital family trait is holiness.
I. BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY - 1 Pet. 1:14-16.
A. God Has Called Us To Salvation - 1:15; 2 Ths. 2:13-14; 1 Ths. 4:7; 2 Pet. 2:20-22; 1 Cor. 1:2
B. As Obedient Children We Are To Respect & Honor This Call - 1:14; 4:2-3; 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1.
C. Practical Application: Be Holy In All Your Conduct - 1:15-16.
II. BECAUSE GOD SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD - 1:17.
A. We Must Live Reverent, Holy Lives If We Call God Our Father - Matt. 6:30-33; 7:7-11; Lk. 12:48 (Matt. 25:14-30).
B. God Is An Impartial Judge - 1 Pet. 4:16-18; Matt. 7:21-23; Jno. 8:5.
C. Because God Is Our Father & Impartial Judge, We Should Live Reverently Before Him - Eccl. 12:13-14.
III. BECAUSE OF OUR REDEMPTION PRICE - 1:18-19.
A. When We Live Holy Lives We Show That We Recognize & Honor What It Took To Save Us When We Live Holy Lives - 2 Cor. 8:9; Eph. 2:4-5; Rom. 5:8-9; 12:1-2; Eph. 5:25-27.
1. 1 Pet. 1:13 - Set your hope on the grace to be received when Christ returns.
2. Are you ready for His return? - 2 Pet. 3:11-13
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
ASHAMED OR NOT ASHAMED: THAT IS THE QUESTION
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:7-12
Ashamed: Lit. to be disfigured by; disgraced, dishonored, embarrassed; to be restrained by reason of shame; Opposite of shame is boldness, confidence - cf. Phil. 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:7.
I. BE ASHAMED:
A. Of Your Past Life In Sin - Rom. 6:21.
1. Shame of the past keeps us focused on righteousness - Rom. 6:18-22.
2. Shame via applied discipline can prompt repentance - 2 Thess. 3:14.
B. Of Present Fellowship With Sin - Eph. 5:8-12 (cf. 1 Cor. 15:33-34).
1. Because it contradicts who you are (children of light) - 5:8, 11.
2. Because it bears contradictory fruit - 5:9-10.
3. Because sin is shameful in God's sight! - 5:12.
II. DO NOT BE ASHAMED:
A. Of Christ - Mk. 8:38 (Lk. 9:26).
1. He is not ashamed of you - Heb. 2:11.
2. He will not be ashamed of everyone who lives by faith - Heb. 11:16.
3. We have bold access to God - Eph. 3:12.
B. Of Being A Christian - 1 Pet. 4:16; cf. Acts 5:41; 2 Tim. 1:12 (Dan. 3:17-18).
C. Of The Gospel Of Christ - Rom. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:8.
D. Of The Church Of Christ - Eph. 3:10, 21.
E. Of Faithful Brethren - Heb. 2:11 (Phil. 3:17; Eph. 3:13).
F. Of Sound Preachers & Their Preaching - 2 Tim. 1:8, 16-18.
G. Of Being A Worker For Christ - 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Cor. 10:8.
H. Before Christ When He Returns - 1 Jno. 2:28-29; 1 Jno. 4:17-18.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
City Makes Gossip Punishable Offense
Thursday, July 19, 2001 8:14 a.m. EDT
SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Rumor, the great ill born from small beginnings, has been banned among municipal employees in the Brazilian city of Cascavel, the city councilman who drafted the law said on Wednesday.
Public servants who gossip may now face official reprimands, obligatory professional sensitivity training and even suspension or dismissal in certain cases.
"Public employees have moral rights such as the right to work in a professional environment. The law merely helps define this. So, if someone unjustly accuses or spreads rumors that cause injury or harm to another, it will be punishable under the idea of professional moral integrity," said the law's sponsor Councilman Alcebiades Pereira da Silva.
A 16-year employee of the city, Silva said he drafted the law as part of a project to promote moral integrity of mayoral administrations that have in the past persecuted public workers left over from previous city governments. (Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited.)
Joe R. Price
Wow! Moral integrity in a professional environment, now that's a novel idea (Eph. 6:5-9)! Seriously though, this Brazilian councilman seems to understand what we may forget: our tongue is a powerful instrument which will do great good or great damage to oneself and others, depending on how we choose to use it (Jas. 3:1-12).
So, to promote moral integrity in the workplace, gossip is being made a punishable offense in one Brazilian city. Truly, the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light (Lk. 16:8)!
Gossip is a plague which demolishes the landscape of unity and peace (Prov. 16:28). Meddlers in other people's matters condemn themselves before God (Rom. 1:29-30; 2 Cor. 12:20-21; 1 Tim. 5:13; Jas. 4:11; 1 Pet. 4:15). God hates gossip (Prov. 6:16-19).
God has established divine law against gossip and rumor-mongering. He does not tolerate and will certainly punish the sins of gossip and backbiting. So, instead of tearing down and hurting others, use your tongue to encourage, strengthen and exhort one another (Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29, 31-32; Jas. 3:13-14).
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