THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume VI, Number 04 - April 21, 2002
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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In this issue:
Steven J. Wallace
Undoubtedly, there are people who teach that a person can join any church that he wishes. The attitude is similar to that of buying shoes. Try on many different styles and whatever feels the best, run with it. Another popular expression is, "Many roads lead to the same place." Some problems with these expressions are that we are not buying shoes and the only time and place when all denominations will run together is on Judgment Day. Well, one may ask, "What is wrong with denominational baptism?"
Denominational baptism is of a different faith.
Paul stated that there is, "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4:5). This "one baptism" is a result from preaching the "one faith," which is given by "one Lord" --Jesus Christ. If two people believe in one Lord, but have different faiths (gospel or body of truth; Gal.1:23; I Cor. 15:1-2), how can they both be partakers of the same (one) Lord and baptism (Gal. 3:26-27)? How can both have remission of sins when both differ in faith and practice? Denominationalism perverts the gospel by teaching contradictory baptisms which are foreign to Jesus' lordship. Can we be partakers of the Lord's goodness if we stray from the primitive first-century message? Inspiration plainly presses that we cannot, ". . .if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:9). The Bible is clear that if someone believes a different gospel than what was preached by the apostles, he is turning away from Christ (ibid. v. 6). Since baptism is gospel, those who turn away from baptism
into Christ (for the remission of sins) do not have Christ (cf. Rom. 6:1-18; I Cor. 15:1-4).
Denominational baptism has a different element.
Many denominations are not satisfied with the element in the "one baptism." They try to combine water baptism with Holy Spirit baptism or make it into some metaphorical baptism. People usually turn to such "interpretive tactics" when they do not like what they read. Some teach that a person is supposed to speak in tongues after he is baptized. These apostate bodies are backwards in their combination. First of all, in the two accounts of Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-48), water baptism distinctly followed Holy Spirit baptism. Consequently, the scriptures teach that Holy Spirit baptism was for the purpose of revealing God's plan (Acts 11:18). It was not something to be obeyed nor can it be administered by man; it was administered by Jesus alone (see Matt. 3:11). The "one baptism" is water baptism, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" (Acts 8:36) Also, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized?" (Acts 10:47)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE
Scripture Reading: Genesis 2:18-25
I. BOTH ARE DEEPLY IMPRESSED THAT MARRIAGE IS OF DIVINE ORIGIN - Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-6. A. The Home Was Instituted by God to Cradle, Shape & Maintain Civilization. B. God & His Will are Honored in the Marriage - Mal. 2:14.
II. BOTH KNOW & ARE RESOLVED THAT MARRIAGE IS LIFE-LONG RELATIONSHIP - Mal. 2:14; Matt. 19:6-9; Rom. 7:1-2. A. Overriding Commitment to the Enduring Nature of Marriage ("cleave").
III. BOTH UNDERSTAND THE UNITY OF MARRIAGE - (Amos 3:3) Gen. 2:23-24; Eph. 5:22-25, 28-29, 33; 1 Pet. 3:5-7. A. Those Who Willingly Accept Their Respective Role & Function in Marriage Will Succeed In Marriage.
IV. BOTH TRULY LOVE (& BE IN LOVE WITH) EACH OTHER -Tit. 2:3-5; Eph. 5:25, 28, 33 (1 Cor. 13:4-7). A. When Real Love is Practiced Your Marriage Will Succeed. B. Value Your Spouse. (Honor, respect...)
V. PRACTICE SELF-CONTROL - 1 Cor. 7:5. A. Control Your Tongue - Jas. 1:19-20. B. Control Your Temper - Eph. 4:31-32. C. Control Your Thoughts - Matt. 5:27-28; Phil. 4:8. D. Control Your Flesh - 1 Ths. 4:3-4.
VI. BOTH PURSUE WISE UNDERSTANDING - Prov. 4:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:7.
VII. BOTH WANT TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS THEM TO BE - Matt. 22:37-39; 7:21.
THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS
Scripture Reading: Acts 8:12-17
A common view: "It will be observed that the plural form is used here--baptisms. There are two baptisms whose necessity is taught by the Christian religion--baptism by water, and by the Holy Ghost: the first of which is an emblem of the second." (Albert Barnes, Hebrews, 126)
1. Baptized into Moses - 1 Cor. 10:2
2. John's baptism - Acts 1:5; Acts 19:3-4
3. Baptism of the Holy Spirit - Matthew 3:11
4. Baptism of fire - Matthew 3:11
5. Baptism of suffering - Matthew 20:22-23
6. Baptism for the dead - 1 Corinthians 15:29
7. Baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus - Acts 19:5
There is "...one baptism..." (Eph. 4:5)
One baptism: Water or Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit Baptism & Great Commission Baptism
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Evil and Innocence
Joe R. Price
At this writing we know very little details, but we know this: Michael L. Busby, an eight-year old boy was found dead Friday morning about three blocks from his house in Bellingham, WA. The police are treating his death as a homicide.
I do not know why someone would do harm to this innocent second grader. We cringe in horror and our sympathy is with his family. But, I do know this: evil is in the world and it preys on the weak.
Some will probably question or blame God due to this senseless killing. They shouldn't. His Son was killed, though blameless (Jno. 19:1-16). He knows the heartache of such a crime. God is not the source of evil but our shelter when evil rears its ugly head (Jas. 1:13; Heb. 2:14-15). "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1).
Should his killer be found, some will no doubt say the state should not execute the criminal. "Thou shalt not kill" is often shouted in defense of those who have killed. Yet, in the next chapter the same book of God says "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death" (Exo. 21:12). The state has been granted divine authority to execute the evil-doer as an expression of divine wrath and justice (Rom. 13:4-5; 12:19; see Acts 25:11). The death penalty, when justly applied, is approved by the righteous and just God of heaven and earth.
May justice prevail and divine wrath be applied to the doer of this evil.
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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