THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume V, Number 33 - November 11, 2001
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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In this issue:
How did you like the sermon? This has become habitual as we inquire of visitors and members their impression of the worship service. The "likes" of individual listeners vary amazingly. It is fine to "like" the sermon, but is that really the important thing?
Sermons are preached, not to be liked, but to be lived! Suppose you do not like the sermon. What of it? Suppose that the hypocrite sitting in the audience went away in a rage. When the arrow of truth pierces the heart, curses often come out. John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and John were not anxious that their sermons should be liked.
The crucial question is not, "Did you like it?", but "Did it help you?" "Did it give you new visions of duty to God?" "Did it bring you nearer to the Lord?"
The sermon may be measured, not by the pleasure of the people, but by their response in action and practice.
-Author unknown, Clarksville Beacon, April 29, 2001
Modesty and the National Geographic Syndrome
Kent E. Heaton, Sr.
The Christian lives on a higher level of responsibility than one who is of the world. The law of Christ elevates every aspect of life to an obedience that serves the word of God. Being separate from the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) shows the pattern of allegiance to be sanctified unto God rather than following after the world. As in all phases of life, the importance of modesty is found to be on a higher calling for the Christian.
Modesty has to do with the manner the Christian dresses. The apparel of the child of God is based upon the teachings of the word of God. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, "In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works." The exhortation is for modesty, shamefacedness and sobriety.
Christian women will profess godliness in the clothing put upon their bodies. The Christian will seek to follow the pattern of the virtues that show them to be subject to the law of Christ. This must be in accordance with the word of God and not the whims of society. The body of Christ has been influenced too greatly by the "nations around us" in the kind of modesty we find everyday. Modesty is governed by the law of God alone. Society has a twisted view of modesty. The National Geographic Society can find a primitive people, deep in the jungles of some far off continent, study them and analyze them and conclude the norms of their society allow for the body to be naked. They call this "anthropology" -- a study of man and his environment -- and nudity is accepted as part of their society. What they call anthropology in a primitive world, we call pornography in a civilized world. What is the difference? One is labeled primitive and one is labeled civilized. The way most are dressing today, we are becoming a primitive society.
How does God view modesty? We find this answer in the Bible. His first lesson of modesty comes from Genesis 3. Adam and Eve are placed in the garden and Genesis 2:25 says they were naked and were not ashamed. The reason is made clear in chapter three. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the first thing that is recorded is: "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings." (Genesis 3:7) They knew they were naked and they knew they must do something about it. However, God viewed their apparel as lacking as we find in verse 21 that God made "coats of skin, and clothed them."
In the Law of Moses, God consider the exposed thigh nakedness. "And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs." (Exodus 28:42) See also Isaiah 47:2,3. The thigh is the part of the leg from the hip to the knee and if the part of the leg from the hip to the knee is exposed, God said it is nakedness.
The law of modesty for the Christian is to cover the body. This applies to men as well as women. Men who uncover the body above the waist are as naked as a woman would be. When the body is exposed above the knee, God calls this nakedness. The exposure of the body is not fitting with godliness for men or women. Clothing that reveals the body in a suggestive and appealing manner is ungodliness. "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore, he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 4:7,8)
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
TRUTH AND THE KING'S PENKNIFE
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 36:1-8
1. Judah was being ruled by wicked king Jehoiakim, son of Josiah - 2 Chrn. 36:5.
2. God commanded His words be written - 36:1-2.
3. How people received God's word then is a commentary on how men respond to God's word today.
I. WHY GOD SENT SCRIPTURE TO MANKIND - 36:1-8.
A. Please Note: Scripture Is From God, Not Man - 36:2, 4, 8, 10-11, 29; 2 Pet. 1:21; Heb. 1:1-2; 1 Ths. 2:13.
B. God Sent Scripture To Expose Sin-36:2-3.
C. God Sent Scripture To Produce Repentance - 36:3, 7 (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
D. God Sent Scripture To Command Godly Living - Tit. 2:11-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
II. HOW PEOPLE REACT TO GOD'S WORD:
A. Baruch: Obeyed - 36:8. Matt. 7:21, 24-27
B. The People Of Jerusalem: Heard But Unresponsive - 36:10 (cf. Isa. 6:9-10); 4:4.
C. Princes: Fear W/o Repentance - 36:13-19.
D. King Jehoiakim: Utter Contempt-36:20-26.
A. God's Word Survives Every Onslaught & Rejection - 36:27-28, 32. [1 Pet. 1:23-25]
B. Transgressors Will Be Destroyed - 36:30-31 (2 Chrn. 36:5-6; Jer. 22:18-19). [Rom. 2:5-6]
1. Shall we be like Jehoiakim?
2. This will surely cost us our souls! - Jno. 8:31-32; 12:48
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:69-75
1. 2 Pet. 1:5 - "Virtue" - Moral excellence (courage) to stand for what
is right against all opposition & every adversity. - Matt. 5:10-12; Rev. 6:9-11; 20:4.
2. Being a Christian demands backbone - 1 Cor. 16:13.
I. EXAMPLES OF AN ABSENCE OF MORAL COURAGE.
A. Pilate - A Man Who Failed To Use His Authority To Free The Innocent (Jesus).
1. Moral cowardice knows what is right, but will not do it - Lk. 23:4-25; cf. Jas. 4:17.
2. Moral cowardice seeks to justify itself before it peers - Matt. 27:24.
B. Peter - A Man Who Knew The Truth But Didn't Acknowledge It - Matt. 26:69-75.
1. Moral cowardice values safety over truth.
2. Moral cowardice fears the consequences of standing for truth - Gal. 2:12-14; Jno. 12:42-43.
II. EXAMPLES OF MORAL COURAGE.
A. Paul - One Who Publicly Resisted Sin.
1. Moral courage takes a public stand for truth - Gal. 2:11, 14, 2:3-5.
B. Daniel & His Three Companions - Commitment To The True God.
1. Moral courage is purpose of heart - Dan. 1:8.
2. Moral courage trusts in God - Dan. 3:16-18.
3. Moral courage will not compromise with sin - Dan. 6:7-10.
III. THE NEED OF MORAL COURAGE.
A. Christians With The Courage To Suffer Isolation Because They Practice Moral Purity - l Pet. 4:3-5.
B. Preachers With The Courage To Preach What Is Needed - 2 Tim.4:1-5
C. We All Need The Moral Courage To Confess Jesus In Our Lives - Mk. 8:38.
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