THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume VI, Number 11 - June 09, 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:
Joe R. PriceThere are times when we must make judgments. "Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right" (Lk. 12:57)? By using Gods word as our standard, we can accurately "approve the things that are excellent" so we "may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:10-11).
There is another kind of judging which has no place among the people of God, although such is not always the case. It is characterized, not by objective analysis based upon divine truth, but by prejudice and partiality. James wrote, " have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? ...If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors." (Jas. 2:4, 8-9)
Judges with evil thoughts speak evil of their brethren. These unrighteous judges assume impure motives where they are not only disavowed, but where no evidence of such exists. An "agenda" is insinuated and an ulterior motive is assigned. Thus, a good influence is damaged; a good name is harmed. Accordingly, evil judgments work their destruction. Brethren, this ought not to be so!
Judges with evil thoughts do not hold themselves to the standard they apply to others. Rest assured, the word of God does not condone such hypocritical treatment of others. Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me remove the speck from your eye; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye (Matt. 7:1-5).
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? (Jas. 4:11-12)
Brethren, we must not be "judges with evil thoughts."
|Top||Using Gods Mirror
Joe R. Price
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Most of us used a mirror this morning. In fact, most people use a mirror several times a day. The reasons are obvious. We want to know how we look and we want to look our best. A mirror is a tool we use to improve our appearance. Vanity ought not to place us before the mirror, but good common sense should. For you see, we all need to improve our appearance from time to time!
James says the person who hears Gods word but will not obey it is like a man who looks into a mirror, sees his appearance, but fails to improve himself. He forgets what he saw - it makes no impression on him.
Since we all can make spiritual improvement in our lives, we must not be like this self-deluded man. Consider these comparisons of Gods word, the gospel of Christ, to a mirror:
1. We must know how we look to God (Jas. 1:23). Gods word gives us Gods picture of us. We must see ourselves as God sees us. So, we should examine ourselves with the law of liberty (2 Cor. 13:5). It will show us our sin and teach us what to do about them (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Acts 2:38-42).
2. We should want to improve our spiritual appearance (Jas. 1:24). Nothing is gained by using Gods word to learn of our spiritual condition yet refusing to repent and obey God. One will be blessed by making the necessary improvements revealed by Gods word (Jas. 1:25).
3. Gods word is a reliable mirror (Jas. 1:25). Some mirrors distort images instead of giving off a true reflection. Man-made doctrines are spiritual mirrors of this sort (Matt. 15:1-9; Col. 2:8). Unreliable, they distort truth. But, Gods word is reliable and able to improve our spiritual condition before God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2:15). Let us use Gods mirror to equip ourselves to be blessed and approved before Him.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
|Top||Who is a False Teacher?
Scripture Reading: Matthew 15:1-14
1. A spirit of accommodation, of
unity in moral & doctrinal diversity is spreading among us - 1 Cor. 15:33; 2 Cor.
6:14; Eph. 5:11; 2 Jno. 9-11.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
|Top||The Good Confession
Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:13-20
1. Matt. 16:13-17 - Peter confessed his faith
in Jesus & was blessed for it. Cf. 1 Tim. 6:12-13: The "good confession".
|Top||(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Truth Is Relative, Say AmericansBarna Research Group - February 12, 2002 "In two national surveys conducted by Barna Research, one among adults and one among teenagers, people were asked if they believe that there are moral absolutes that are unchanging or that moral truth is relative to the circumstances. By a 3-to-1 margin (64% vs. 22%) adults said truth is always relative to the person and their situation. The perspective was even more lopsided among teenagers, 83% of whom said moral truth depends on the circumstances, and only 6% of whom said moral truth is absolute.
"The gap between teen and adult views was not surprising, however, when the adult views are considered by generation. While six out of ten people 36 and older embraced moral relativism, 75% of the adults 18 to 35 did so. Thus, it appears that relativism is gaining ground, largely because relativism appears to have taken root with the generation that preceded today's teens."
("Americans Are Most Likely to Base Truth on Feelings," Barna Research Group of Ventura, California, http://www.barna.org )Bible Commentary Joe R. Price The way some Christians challenge the absolute nature of divine truth reminds me of the brother who once said that while Baptists teach "once saved, always saved," brethren live like they believe it! "You, therefore, who teach another, do you not also teach yourself?" (Rom. 2:21)
Moral relativism has "crept in unnoticed" among the saints of God. It is rationalized on the grounds that "we are too strict" or that "not everything is black and white." Brethren, we neither certify nor clarify moral and spiritual truth. The truth of God is not relative, but established: "Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You." (Psa. 119:38)
Divine truth does not ebb and flow according to the winds of human wisdom or the pull of human desire. "Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4). Gods word is absolute truth (Jno. 17:17). If we reject it, rest assured that by our rejection we condemn our souls (Jno.1 2:48).
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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