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THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume VI, Number 12 - June 16, 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:


Top

The Priesthood of Christ

Joe R. Price

Man, because he has sinned, needs someone to represent him before God in order to obtain the divine blessing of forgiveness. This person must understand the needs of men and at the same time be approved by God to approach Him regarding man's sins (cf. Heb. 5:1-3). Under the Old Testament worship system, God appointed Aaron and his sons to serve as priests on behalf of Israel (Heb. 5:4; Exo. 28:1; 1 Chron. 23:13). Even before the Law of Moses was instituted, men served as priests before God (cf. Melchizedek, Gen. 14:18; Heb. 7:1). As men approached God through God-ordained priests, their sacrifice and service was accepted by God.

In like manner, Jesus Christ now serves as high priest over the house of God (Heb. 10:21). He was ordained high priest by the oath of God (Heb. 7:15-21, 28). He ever lives to make intercession for those who will draw near to God through Him (Heb. 7:25). We approach God through Him.

The priesthood of Christ is said to be "according to the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20). That is, it is "in the likeness of" his priesthood (Heb. 7:15). Melchizedek's priesthood is typical of Christ's priesthood. The comparison between Christ and Melchizedek is not mysterious nor beyond comprehension. These comparisons are discussed in Hebrews 7, and serve to assure our hope in the value and superiority of Christ's priesthood.

Just as Melchizedek served simultaneously as priest and king, so does Jesus Christ (Heb. 7:1; cf. Zech. 6:12-13). Our high priest sits at God's right hand, enthroned in the heavens (Heb. 8:1). His power as high priest is therefore preeminent. Our high priest is King Jesus!

His priesthood was not obtained upon the basis of genealogy. This is also said of Melchizedek (Heb.7:3). Herein we see the superiority of Christ's priesthood over the Levitical priesthood, which descended from Aaron. Parentage did not determine Christ's priesthood. This could not be said of the Levitical priests (Heb. 7:6, 11, 14). And, since Abraham (the ancestor of Levi) paid tithes to Melchizedek, the superiority of Melchizedek's priesthood over the Levitical priesthood is established (Heb. 7:4-10). We deduce with the Hebrew writer that Christ's priesthood is therefore superior to the Levitical priesthood. Christ is greater than Abraham, Levi and Aaron and Melchizedek (Heb. 7:6-7, 9-10, 11-17).

Christ's priesthood is unbroken, uninterrupted and perpetual. He "remains a priest continually" (Heb. 7:3). His priesthood is "unchangeable" (Heb. 7:24). This was not true of Old Testament priests (Heb. 7:23). But, Jesus Christ "always lives to make intercession" for us (Heb. 7:25).

His priesthood is superior and sufficient in every way (Heb. 7:26-28). We must approach God through Him in order to be saved from our sins (Jno. 14:6). He is a "merciful and faithful high priest" (Heb. 2:17).

Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus Christ… (Hebrews 3:1)


You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS

Top

Knowing God

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:1-11

1. To "know" God is eternal life – Jno. 17:3.

2. To not "know" God is eternal punishment – 2 Ths. 1:8-9.

I. KNOWING GOD MEANS HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM WHICH IS BASED ON AN UNDERSTANDING OF GOD.

A. One Can Have Knowledge about God, yet Not Know God - Jno. 8:19; 15:18-21; 16:1-3; l Tim. 1:12-14.

B. Jesus Came to Earth Was to Reveal God to Man - Jno. 1:18; Col. 1:15.

C. When We Know Christ, We Know the Father - Jno. 14:6-9; 6:45; Heb. 11:6 (Rom. 1:20; Acts 14:17; 1 Cor. 2:1, 13); Rom. 1:21-22.

II. TO KNOW GOD MEANS TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF GOD & TO BE OBEDIENT TO GOD.

A. When We Obey God We Know God – 2 Ths. 1:8; 1 Jno. 2:3-6 (Jno. 14:23).

B. When One Knows God He Accepts the Apostles’ Teachings – 1 Jno. 4:6 (2 Jno. 9); 1:3-4; 2:5-6.

C. To Know God Means to Be in Christ – 1 Jno. 5:20 (Gal. 3:26-27).

III. IN THIS UNDERSTANDING, OBEDIENT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WE SHOULD KNOW THAT:

A. God Knows Us - Psa. 139:1-4; Gal. 4:8-9.

B. God Loves Us – 1 Jno. 4:9-10 (7-8).

C. God Sees Us (our every need) - Matt. 6:8, 32; Heb. 13:5 (Matt. 7:7-8, 11).


You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS

Top

The Gates of Hades

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:18-29

1. Gates of ancient cities were very important (Neh. 13:19; Deut. 28:52; 1 Chrn. 19:9).

2. Symbolize strength, power & glory (Jgs. 16:2-3; Psa. 147:13).

3. Jesus promised to build the church in spite of the gates of Hades – Matt. 16:16-18.

I. ESTABLISHMENT & PERMANENCE OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.

  A. A Matter of Prophecy - Dan. 2:31-35, 44; Mk. 1:14-15; 9:1 (Acts 2); Heb. 12:22-23, 28.

  B. Matter of Promise - Matt. 16:18.

II. GATES (Strength) OF HADES FACED BY CHRIST ON BEHALF OF HIS CHURCH

  -Death (cf. Matt. 16:21) - Acts 2:23-28, 31; Heb. 2:14-16 (Eph. 2:5); Acts 8:1-4; Phil. 1:21.

III. OTHER STRENGTHS USED BY SATAN AGAINST THE CHURCH.

  A. Persecution from Without - Jno. 15:18-21 (Matt. 24:9-10); 2 Tim. 3:12 (Acts 8:1, 3-4).

  B. Apostasy from Within - 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 1 Pet. 1:22-25.

  C. Corruption from Within – Acts 20:28-30.

   1. Compromise with error – Jude 3-4; Gal. 2:5.

    2. Loss of faith – 2 Tim. 2:18.

    3. Lack of self-control – 1 Cor. 9:25-27.

    4. Lack of bro. love – 1 Jno. 3:13-16; 4:12, 19-21.

  D. Discouragement & Apathy – Gal. 6:9; Heb. 6:9-12.

    1. Due to circumstances – Num. 13:32-33.

    2. Strength & courage; Reverence & obedience – Josh. 1:7-9.

    3. Consider Jesus - Heb. 12:3-4.

Conclusion  Rom. 8:37; 1 Jno. 5:4; Matt. 10:22


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

Top (Current events in the light of Scripture)
Gay-rights Activists Protest Southern Baptist Annual Meeting ...  AP reports that James Merritt, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, "condemned" homosexuality in his keynote address Tuesday, "More and more we’re being told sit down, shut up, go along, get along, be inclusive, be tolerant, be nice and be quiet," he said. But Merritt said Southern Baptists have a "biblical responsibility" to preach against such things.

Meanwhile, gay rights protesters shouted slogans as they marched through the convention hall. Twelve protesters were arrested inside and 38 more were taken into custody outside, where riot police stood near the main doorway. "Stop killing us! Stop the spiritual violence!" one man shouted as police pulled him away. A woman from the group Soulforce, which claims Southern Baptist teachings lead to violence against gays, shouted: "God loves his gay children!"

http://news.crosswalk.com/CC_Content_Page/0,,PTID74088|CHID471280|CIID,00.html

Bible Commentary

Joe R. Price

The Baptists are not killing homosexuals, and neither are we when we preach against the sin of homosexuality. The apostle Paul, inspired by the Spirit of God, preached against this sin in Romans 1:24-32, where God’s word explains and vindicates the "righteous judgment of God" against all sinners (including homosexuals). 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 assures us that such unrighteousness will prevent one from inheriting the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived (1 Cor. 6:9). God does not hate homosexuals. Like every other sinner, God has shown His love for them by sending His Son to the world to save them (Jno. 3:16). But, the homosexual who will not repent of his sin is under the wrath of God, as are those who consent with their sinful conduct (Rom. 1:18, 32-2:1).

There is another lesson we can take from this SBC meeting. The winds of moral and religious tolerance continue to sweep our country. This blustery tumult can also be felt in the Lord’s church. On any number of Bible subjects (cf. mdr, days of creation, worldliness, fellowship, etc.) our well-meaning but misguided brethren are telling us, in effect, to "sit down, shut up, go along, get along, be inclusive, be tolerant, be nice and be quiet." If we follow that path, our hands will surely be stained with blood (Ezek. 33:2, 6-7; Acts 20:26-27). When we compromise with the world and its error, we identify ourselves with "that serpent of old" and will surely and finally be trampled in the winepress of the wrath of God (Rev. 12:9; 14:9-11; 19:15).

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

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