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THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume V, Number 25 - September 16, 2001

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


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 In this issue:


Bible Authority:  Standards of Men in Religion

Richard Fox

When people differ on religious questions it has to be because: (1) a failure to see the need for bible authority or (2) an ignorance of how to establish bible authority. In a previous article we discussed the need for bible authority, now let us turn our attention to some false standards men use to establish authority.

In discussing how to establish bible authority we understand that we are answering the basic question of "what saith the scriptures" Rom 4:3 and that we are to speak as the oracles of God 1 Pet 4:11. Faithful people are forevermore interested in what God's word has to say on any particular subject. These people realize that in order to please God they do the things they do because these things are in harmony with God's will as revealed on the pages of His word. 2 Tim 3:16-17. God's people are interested in and follow God's word.

It seems that authority for some who profess to be brethren is, "the church has always done this", or "if the church does a thing then it must be okay". If this is correct, then we must be able to establish that the church did any particular thing by finding the church doing that thing on the pages of the New Testament. If authority for what the church does is not established by the word of God then it must be branded as an unauthorized tradition of men. I sometimes wonder how these brethren think Roman Catholicism started and developed.

Others seem to think authority for anything must be established by majority consent. These fail to realize that the kingdom of God is a monarchy and not a democracy. Jesus has all authority Matt 28:18 and He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords 1 Tim 6:15. You do not have a vote and neither do I. We all must submit to His authority Col. 3:17. In regard to what most people think or do being authority for anything we remember the words of Jesus: "Enter ye in at the strait gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it." Matt 7:13-14.

Authority in religious matters for some is what mama or daddy did or believed. This standard is proven to be false unless and except what parents do is in harmony with the Bible. Jesus said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me". Matt 10:37.

For many others authority rest with what the preacher says or what "I think" or "what seems right". Passages from God's word quickly condemn these methods of establishing authority. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed" Gal. 1:9. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" Prov 14:12. "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" Jer 10:23.

Authority must be established by the Word of God. 2Tim 3:16-17.

-StraitWay, Feb., 2001
http://hendersons.net/straitway/2001/02022001.htm


Part 5

Understanding 1 Corinthians 7

Joe R. Price

Walk As God Has Called You: 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

I have already addressed this passage in the earlier discussion on the context of 1 Corinthians 7:15. Suffice it to say that this passage certainly does not authorize someone to remain in a remarriage which God defines as adultery (even though some sincere, well-meaning brethren have reached that conclusion, the God's word reveals their error, 2 Jno. 9-11; Eph. 5:3-11). Must we let the false explanations and applications of brethren go unchallenged and have fellowship with them in spite of their error? It is troubling to witness brethren teaching and defending positions which lead to this conclusion and practice.

Concerning Virgins: 1 Corinthians 7:25-38

Paul now applies what he has already said about marriage and remaining single (7:7-8) to those who have never been married. The "present distress" bears directly upon the advice he gives to remain single (v. 26, 28, 32, 35).

"Bound" in verse 27 is translated from deo (to be under obligation to) and conveys a "bound by law" concept (cf. 1 Cor. 7:39; Rom. 7:2, where the idea of divine law is noted). It is not synonymous with douloo (1 Cor. 7:15; 9:19).

Paul does not advise divorce to those who are obligated by God's law to a mate. Nor does he counsel the Christian who is not under obligation to a mate (not bound) to seek a mate. In fact, he says "do not seek a mate" (7:27). If, however, the one who is not bound (loosed, not obligated by divine law to a mate) does in fact marry, he has not sinned in doing so.

Although some brethren try to define "loosed" as "divorced," its clear contrast is to "bound." Hence, the contrast being made by the apostle is between one who is not obligated by God's law to another and one who is obligated by God's law to another.

Summary: 1 Corinthians 7:39-40

The life-enduring nature of marriage is here emphatically stated by the apostle, and that liberty from this obligation comes only upon the death of one's mate (7:39) or the appropriate application of Matthew 19:9.

Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 7 has been in full harmony with and by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Therefore, we can only consider 1 Corinthians 7 as authoritative instruction and counsel from the mind of God (1 Cor. 14:37).

Conclusion

Brethren, shall we agree to disagree with men who teach and practice error regarding 1 Corinthians 7 because they are men of sincerity, honesty, integrity and scholarship? Or shall we try to rescue them from the clutches of error which devours souls by keeping the truth of the gospel ever before them? (2 Tim. 2:24-26)

Are we able to say with certainty what the truth is which is taught in 1 Corinthians 7? Are we able to say with certainty that many are now teaching error on 1 Corinthians 7 rather than truth? (Sadly, many are choosing to remain silent instead of speaking the truth.) Are we able to say with certainty that false teaching, when taught and practiced, causes the soul to be lost? (Gal. 1:6-9)

If not, then what scriptural teaching is being followed which allows Christians to have fellowship with the sin of adultery (through sinful remarriages) and the false teachings which give false comfort to those who are committing adultery in those remarriages (Matt. 19:9)?


For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS

 

WHEN EVIL STRIKES

Scripture Reading:  Romans 12:17 - 13:5

Intro.
     The horrible, murderous attacks on this nation & its innocent civilians are a clear & sobering reminder of the presence & power of evil, of the fragile nature of life & of the importance of always being right with God.
     What does God's word say about evil? What has God put into our hands to protect the innocent & punish the guilty? What should all people do in the face of calamity? What can Christians do in the face of evil?

I. EVIL EXISTS IN THIS WORLD.
  A. Evil Is Given Fertile Soil Whenever People Ignore, Forget & Reject God - Rom. 1:20-32.
  B. The Same Evil Which Is Behind Terrorism Is Also Behind Every Other Sin: Satan - 1 Pet. 5:8; Eph. 6:10-13; 1 Pet. 5:9; Rev. 17:14.
  C. All Sin & Wickedness Comes Under The Wrath Of God - Rom. 1:18-19; 12:17-21; 13:1-5; 2 Ths. 1:8-9; Rev. 21:8.

II. WHEN CALAMITY STRIKES - Amos 4:12.
  A. Those In Sin Must Repent & Return To God - Amos 4:6-12; Isa. 45:5-7; 47:11.
  B. Righteousness Exalts A Nation, Sin Is A Reproach - Prov. 14:34; Psa. 33:12.

III. WHAT ARE THE RIGHTEOUS TO DO? - Psa. 94:12-17
  A. Resist Evil & Do Good - cf. Amos 5:14-15; Rom. 12:9.
  B. Pray For Leaders That Peace & Justice May Prevail - 1 Tim. 2:1-2.
  C. Wait On The Lord - Psa. 37:9; Rom. 12:19-21; Isa. 40:27-31.
  D. Support Government's Efforts To Execute Justice - Rom. 13:1-5.
  E. Don't Fear Man, Fear God - Matt. 10:26-28; 2 Cor. 6:2; Matt. 16:26; Psa. 23:4.

-Get right with God, now! 2 Cor. 5:9-11


For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS

 

Psalm 19:  GOD'S PERFECT REVELATION

Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:7-11

Intro.
     Psalm 19 sets forth the complete, perfect nature of God's revelation of Himself (19:1-9) as well as man's utter dependency upon God for direction in life redemption from sin (19:10-14).

I. THE REVELATION OF GOD'S GLORY & POWER - Psa. 19:1-6.
  A. The Heavens Declare The Glory, Power & Righteousness Of God - Rev. 4:9-11; Rom. 1:20; Psa. 50:6 (33:5).
  B. This Has Been Described As "General Revelation" From God - Acts 14:15-17; 17:24 (Psa. 19:4-6); Psa. 19:2-4 (v. 4; cf. Rom. 10:18); Rom. 1:20-23.

II. THE REVELATION OF GOD'S MIND - Psa. 19:7-9.
  A. Only Through The "Special Revelation" Of God's Mind To Us Can We Know What God Expects Of Us - cf. 1 Cor. 2:11 (Gen. 2:15-17); Matt. 4:4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2:15.
  B. Respect For God Is Seen In How Or Whether We Respect His Word - Psa. 19:7-9.
    1. Law - The standard or rule.
    2. Testimony - Pronouncements of God.
    3. Statutes - Precepts, appointments of God.
    4. Commandments - Directives.
    5. Fear - Reverence for God (from His word).
    6. Judgments - Ordinances, measurements.

III. MAN'S PROPER RESPONSE TO GOD'S REVELATION - Psa. 19:10-14.
  A. Desire God's Words - 19:10; 119:127.
  B. Accept The Warnings Of God's Word-19:11.
  C. Obey Them & Be Rewarded - 19:11.
  D. Use Them To Be Saved From Sin - 19:12-13 (2 Tim. 3:16; Jno. 8:31-32; Rom. 1:16-17).
  E. Our Words & Thoughts Must Agree With God's Perfect Revelation - 19:14; Psa. 55:15.


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

Security 'Soft Spots' Exploited

09/14/2001 - Updated 12:43 AM ET
By Blake Morrison and Alan Levin, USA TODAY  

The terrorists who hijacked four airliners Tuesday didn't need to beat the sophisticated security system at U.S. airports, aviation experts say. Instead, they took advantage of it. The terrorists - four on two flights, five on two others - seemed to understand flight protocol that calls for pilots to cooperate with hijackers if the lives of passengers or crew are at stake. That might have allowed the terrorists to gain easy entry to the cockpit and do something none of the pilots expected: fly, then deliberately crash, the jets.

In addition, the hijackers might have done little to fool airport screeners focused on spotting guns or explosives. That's because the terrorists apparently took small knives or cardboard cutters aboard flights - implements passengers have been permitted to carry.

"They obviously knew our procedures. They knew how to take advantage of the soft spots," said Reynold Hoover, an explosives expert who conducts counterterrorism seminars. Copyright 2001 USA TODAY

-Edited for length, complete article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/14/security.htm

 

BIBLE COMMENTARY
Joe R. Price

God's word warns us that if we are ignorant of Satan's devices he will take advantage of us (2 Cor. 2:11). We should be wise enough to remember the spiritual lessons of preparedness and vigilance, even as we see apply these traits with renewed vigor to our nation's airports security systems (1 Ths. 5:1-11).

Satan exploits our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. He uses tricks and evil schemes to destroy our souls (Eph. 6:12). It is no accident that in the garden the tempter was the serpent, "more cunning than any beast of the field" (Gen. 3:1). The Holy Spirit guided the apostle Paul to warn every Christian of Satan's craftiness: "lest…your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity that is toward Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3).

This is why examining ourselves is so important to our spiritual safety (2 Cor. 13:5). Dear Christian, as security officials scrutinize U.S. airport security procedures and implement new guidelines for safety, you should also pause to inspect yourself "as to whether you are in the faith" (2 Cor. 13:5). What are your strong desires? Have you considered that Satan will entice you to unlawfully fulfill them? In succumbing sin seizes us, and its work upon us causes our spiritual death. "Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (Jas. 1:15-16).


The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA

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