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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 43 - January 20, 2002

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


Visit our Web Sites:

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

BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com


 In this issue:


Vatican Says Jewish Wait for Messiah "Not in Vain"

Joe R. Price

The Vatican has published a document by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, regarded as the Vatican's "most important theologian," in which Christians are urged to respect the Jewish wait for a messiah.

The Ananova news service reported Friday the document says both Christians and Jews share the wait, "although Jews are waiting for the first coming and Christians for the second."

This is an obvious denial of the truth of God's word! The evidence overwhelmingly convinces us that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, not a Galilean magician (fulfilled OT prophecy, His miraculous works and the empty tomb, Jno. 5:39; Rom. 1:1-4). Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, in spite of what Judaism says (Matt. 16:1316). Yet, the Vatican is willing to ignore the truth that Jesus is the Messiah in order to gain Jewish favor.

If Jesus is not the true Messiah he is a false Christ (Matt. 24:24). If Jesus is not the Messiah, there is no gospel (Rom. 1:16-17). If Jesus is not the Messiah, the law of Moses is still in force (Matt. 17:5; 26:28; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 8:6-13; 9:13-15) If Jesus is not the Messiah, there is no salvation from sins (Acts 10:43). If Jesus is not the Messiah there is no church of Christ, no house of God (Matt. 16:16-18; 1 Tim. 3:15). If Jesus is not the Messiah the New Testament is not the word of God, but cunningly devised fables (1 Pet. 1:22-25; 2 Pet. 1:16-21). We could go on and on with the consequences if Jesus is not the Messiah (1 Cor. 15:12-20).

Christians and Jews cannot both be right about the coming of Messiah. It was this very Jewish objection which brought persecution upon Christians in the first century (Acts 7:51-53; 17:1-6)!

The truth is, the Jews are wrong. The Messiah came and He was rejected by His people (Jno. 1:11; Matt. 23:37-39). Whether Jew or Gentile, one is only saved through Jesus the Christ (Rom. 1:16-17; 10:12-13).


What Children Can Do

Joe R. Price

For our size, we are blessed with a lot of children at this congregation. We are thankful for every one, and we want to help you grow up to be faithful Christians. As you learn more about Jesus and His word you will be helping yourself and the Mt. Baker church. There are a lot of things you can do to help the church and yourself become stronger in the faith of Jesus Christ. Here are a few of them. If you are already doing these things, keep up the good work! If not, start today, and you will become stronger in your life for God.

1. Come to all the worship services - God wants you to! (Heb. 10:24-25)
2. Get ready for your Bible class by studying your lesson ahead of time. (2 Tim. 2:15)
3. Pay attention to the sermons and classes being taught from God's word. (Lk. 2:46)
4. Sing with the congregation, learning the words and what they mean. (Eph. 5:19)
5. Take notes of the sermon charts and study them later. (Acts 17:11-12)
6. Be quiet and respectful in all our worship services and Bible classes. (Acts 10:33)
7. Invite a friend to come with you to learn about Jesus. (Jno. 1:43-46)
8. Read the bulletin each week and use it to learn more about Jesus and how to obey Him. (1 Ths. 2:13)
9. Talk about Jesus and His word with your parents every day. (Deut. 6:6-9)
10. Read a chapter from the Bible every day, or ask your parents to read to you from the Bible every day. (Acts 8:28)
11. Pray for your family, for your friends, for your Bible class teacher, and for every Christian (1 Ths. 5:17).
12. Help your brothers and/or sisters learn what you have already learned about God's word. (Jno. 1:40-42)
13. Memorize the books of the Bible, the plan of salvation, the apostles of Jesus, and so on. Then, use what you learn in your own life! (Matt. 7:21)

This is not a complete list. Think of some more things that will help you and the church. Ask your parents to help you. And as you do these things you will grow stronger in your own faith. And, you will be like Jesus when He was growing up (Lk. 2:52).


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

 

TELL US PLAINLY!

Scripture Reading:  John 10:22-31

I. HOW THE GOSPEL MUST BE SPOKEN:  PLAINLY.
  A. Without Reservation, Completely - Acts 20:20, 27 (2 Tim. 4:3-4; Ezek. 2:3-8).
  B. With Openness & Frankness - cf. 2 Tim. 2:2 (Eph. 3:3-5; cf. Acts 7:51-53).
  C. Without Ambiguity ("wordiness") - 2 Cor. 1:19; 1 Cor. 2:1-3; cf. Rom. 16:18 (Col. 2:4).
  D. Without Fear Or Favor - Acts 4:18-20 (Gal. 1:10).
  E. With Bold Confidence - Jno. 7:26; Acts 4:13, 29, 31; cf. Phil. 1:28.
  F. Conspicuously, Publicly - Acts 26:24-26.

II. WHY THE GOSPEL MUST BE SPOKEN PLAINLY (Acts 20:20).
  A. Belief & Salvation Come From Plain Bible Teaching - Jno. 10:25-28; Acts 8:35-37.
  B. Spiritual Growth & Strength Come From Plain Bible Teaching - 1 Cor. 14:6-9, 26, 10-16; Neh. 8:7-8, 12; Heb. 4:12; 5:14; Jno. 14:1-3.

III. WHAT WE MUST PLAINLY SPEAK.
  A. Everything Profitable - Acts 20:20.
  B. The Whole Counsel Of God - Acts 20:27.
  C. The Words Of Faith, The Good Doctrine - 1 Tim. 4:6 (1:3; 6:3).
    -For example…
    1. Jesus Christ - Jno. 8:24; Heb. 1:1-4.
    2. Sin & salvation - Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Mk. 16:15-16
    3. Faithful, godly living - Rom. 12:1-2; Tit. 2:1-12.
    4. Bible authority - 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Col. 3:17.
    5. The church of Christ - 1 Tim. 3:15.
    6. The errors of men - 1 Tim. 4:1-3.
    7. The Christian's eternal life - 1 Pet. 1:3-5.
    8. The sinner's eternal death - 2 Ths. 1:8-9.

IV. HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR! - Lk. 8:8, 16-18
  A. Be Attentive & Obedient To The Word Of God - Neh. 8:2-3, 5-6, 18; cf. Lk. 7:29-30.


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

Part 4

OVERCOMING WORLDLINESS: Shall We Dance?

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 5:11-16

I. DANCING FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
  A. Dancing Which Expressed Worship & Joy - Psa. 149:1-3; 150:4. -cf. Exo. 15:20-21; 1 Sam. 18:6-7; Jer. 31:4, 13; Lk. 15:25.
  B. Dancing Which Is Associated With Lustful & Idolatrous Activities - Exo. 32:6, 19, 25; Mk. 6:21-22.

II. DANCING FOUND IN THE WORLD.
  A. A Lack Of Moral Decency - Rom. 13:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:11-12.
  B. Lasciviousness: The Absence Of Moral Restraint - Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:19; 1 Pet. 4:3.
  C. Revelry: Riotous Partying & Lustful Excesses - Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3; Gal. 5:21, 16-17.

III. MODERN, SOCIAL DANCING IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIAN PURITY - 2 Cor. 7:1 (cf. Amos 3:3).
  A. Dancing Contributes To Worldly Lusts - 1 Pet. 2:11; Mk. 6:21-22; 7:21-23; 1 Jno. 2:16; 1 Ths. 4:4-5; 2 Tim. 2:22.
  B. Dancing Destroys Your Godly Influence - 1 Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:6-7, 11; Matt. 5:13-16.
  C. Other Sinful Fruit Is Often Present At Dances (cf. Matt. 7:16-18) - Jas. 1:27.

IV. ATTEMPTS TO JUSTIFY & DEFEND DANCING.
  A. "The dance will be chaperoned."
  B. "Dancing is good exercise."
  C. "I just enjoy the rhythm of the music."
  D. "I go to be socially popular." - 1 Pet. 4:4
  E. "I don't lust when I dance. I can control myself and not have lustful thoughts." - 1 Cor. 9:27; Matt. 18:6-7
  F. "No one is going to tell me what to do!" - 1 Ths. 4:8


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

More on The Vatican, The Jews and the Messiah
Joe R. Price

In the pronouncement that Christians and Jews share the wait for Messiah, the scholars of the Vatican have given us a classic example of unity in diversity. We can clearly see the inconsistency of their mistaken conclusions. The word of God makes clear their error. Yet, when similar things happen among brethren we may fail to see the similarity - or the error. Some even commend the diversity that results from doctrinally distinct views and practices. How can this be?

For instance, some brethren now oppose the Biblical record of creation, saying the "days" of Genesis 1 are "ages" and not 24-hour periods of time. Others rightly reply that "day" means "the evening and the morning" (Gen. 1:5). God has spoken on the matter and both cannot be right. Still others tell us we should receive each other regardless of how we interpret and apply "day" in Genesis 1. Can we take the Vatican's lead and conclude that we all believe in divine creation - in spite of how we interpret Genesis 1? Move over there brother, and make room for the Jew who is waiting for the first coming of the Messiah! Or, is there in fact a denial of divine truth (Gen. 1) occurring which we cannot condone or receive (2 Jno. 9-11; Jude 3)?

Again, some brethren reject the universal application of Christ's marriage law. They teach people to remain in unlawful remarriages when they are baptized into Christ. Others rightly object, this writer included, showing from scripture that repentance demands the ceasing of all sinful relationships and deeds, including adultery (Matt. 19:4-9; 28:18; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 9:20-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Some brethren will announce their disagreement with the false doctrine while continuing to encourage, comfort and support those who teach this destructive doctrine! Following the Vatican's lead, they have concluded we can agree to disagree on the subject of who is under Christ's marriage law. "We all believe in the sanctity of marriage", they say. To them, that is enough. But, not to the Lord (Gal. 1:6-9).

Shall we receive those who go beyond the doctrine of Christ (2 Jno. 9-11)? In practice, some brethren say "yes". When will they make room for devout Jews in their congregations?

Undoubtedly some will say we are being too harsh, too judgmental, with these comments. If so, are they being too harsh, too judgmental, of Jews who still wait for the Messiah (thus rejecting Jesus as the Christ)?

We are merely discerning truth from error so that we may walk in truth and bear righteous fruit (Phil. 1:9-11). We are but making righteous judgment based upon the infallible word of God (Jno. 7:24; Lk. 12:54-57). Isn't it strangely sad that such an effort as this will be viewed by some brethren as intolerant while they commend the toleration of error among brethren? Should we also commend the Vatican and its toleration of error? No, and neither can we afford to do so among God's people.


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

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