Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume VI, Number 25 - October 06, 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. Price
As Pharaoh increased Israel’s burden by compelling them to find their own straw for brick-making, the officers of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron (Exo. 5:1-21). But God was to use this new trial as His great occasion to bring Israel “out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Exo. 6:6-7). What mighty deliverance from bondage God gave the children of Abraham!
The Lord Jesus Christ, by His blood, redeems sinners from the greater bondage of sin (Rom. 3:21-26; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14). Tremendous spiritual burdens are lifted when one becomes a Christian.
The burden of sin is removed when one becomes a Christian. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Sin burdens the soul with alienation from God, darkened understanding and spiritual insensitivity (Eph. 4:17-19). In Christ is found reconciliation with God, the enlightenment of truth and the hope of glory (Col. 1:20-21; Eph. 1:18; Col. 1:27). When the sinner is “baptized into Christ” he “put(s) on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). Has your burden of sin been lifted by being baptized into Christ?
The burden of past ignorance is lifted in Christ. Paul committed many sins “ignorantly in unbelief” before they were washed away by the blood of Christ (1 Tim. 1:12-16; Acts 22:16). All who will obey the gospel are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). The Christian lives in the light of truth and does not continue in his or her past sins (Eph. 4:20-24). What blessed relief the truth brings to all who will believe and obey!
The burden of death is removed in Christ. Oh, Christians will experience death just as do unbelievers. But, death is not full of sorrow for God’s people (1 Ths. 4:13). In His resurrection, Jesus Christ defeated death and became our means of eternal life (Jno. 11:25-26). Physical death is but a passage into everlasting glory for the Christian (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
We have been brought “out from under the burdens” of sin and death! Since such great burdens have been lifted from us, it ought not be burdensome for us to keep the commandments of God (1 Jno. 5:3). Dear Christian, consider the great burdens the Lord has lifted off your shoulders, and love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk. 12:30)
Larry Ray Hafley
From the Asheville, NC, Citizen-Times comes this striking statistic: “By the time students are in the ninth grade, 34 per cent have had sexual intercourse. That rises to 60 per cent by 12th grade” (A2, 9/26/02). According to that, by the age of 14, or 15, more than a third have committed the sin of fornication. What a horrible commentary on the morality of our society! Worse yet, consider the souls that are wounded, scarred, and condemned because of it (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21).
What do these facts tell us? They tell us:
(1) That moral sins are worse than we imagined.
(2) That, indeed, “evil men and seducers” have become worse and worse, deceiving and corrupting the hearts and minds of our youth (2 Tim. 3:13).
(3) That we may expect “more ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:16). Sin is not static. It grows and abounds and spreads like cancer. "A little leaven..." (1 Cor. 5).
(4) That our nation is beginning to reap what it has sown (Gal. 6:7). We have sown “freedom” without discipline; we have sown a “do your own thing” morality, one that is divorced from a divine source and devoid of a threat of divine judgment (Eccl. 11:9). “Non judgmental” permissiveness, sailing under the banner of “individual rights,” has produced a precipitous promiscuity. The full harvest has not developed, but the early fruits tell us that, when it is does, we will not like what has been sown and grown.
(5) That parents must be more diligent and determined to teach and train their children in the ways of purity and virtue. (Proverbs, chapters 5-7, is a good start.) Knowing the dangers of the Internet and television, especially “MTV” and nightly comedy shows, parents must monitor their children’s viewing habits. If we are careful regarding the outer man, and what they eat, should we not be even more concerned about the inner man and what they feed it?!
(6) That preachers and Bible class teachers, with responsible, sensible directness, with all holiness of speech, often must address such issues, basing their appeal and restraint upon the word of God (Titus 2:1, 6-8; Heb. 4:12).
(7) That though we have a wonderful group of young people, they are not immune to fleshly allurements and enticements to such sins. None of us are. Therefore, “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
The following is from Foy E. Wallace Jr., BULWARKS OF THE FAITH, pages 245-246.
The subjects that have been handled in this meeting are weighty, dealing with issues of vast importance to the church, to society, to all individuals, young or old, great or small. I have felt an appreciation of your interest in them, and your forbearance with me in the extra time required to discuss them.
The subjects that have had to do with denominational dogmas and doctrines involve issues and controversies that have been debated through the years; but concerning which he young generation has not had the advantage of the thorough indoctrination, such as had our fathers before us, under the early preachers of the church, preachers under whom some of you were reared, and under whose preaching I was tutored. They indoctrinated us. We knew what it was all about. I am firmly convinced that the rising generation should have the opportunity of hearing these issues thoroughly discussed and debated, that they may be anchored to the truth and able to meet “every wind of doctrine” in modern forms of error.
I was brought up under the preaching of men in Texas well known to many of you, who baptized many more people than are being baptized today; men who debated; men who “called names,” whether in the polemics of debate or preaching in the pulpit. They were men of fervor and faith. We should not forget their crusading spirit. I want to see their spirit revived. Like the spirit of Elijah in John the Baptist, and the spirit of Huss in Luther, I want to see the spirit of the early gospel preachers revived in the young men of today. They put power in their preaching. They moved men. The did not preach sermonettes; they were not preacherettes.
I can remember when preachers wore cuffs attached to the sleeve by a device of some sort, stiffly laundered cuffs. That way the preacher could wear the same shirt the whole meeting, just change the cuffs! In these difficult days of the rationing of laundry it would be rather convenient for that system to be in vogue. But some of the early preachers preached with such force that they would send a stiffly laundered cuff sailing out over the crowd! It is a bold contrast with some of the milquetoast elocution heard in pulpits today.
A young man once came to A.J. McCarty, and asked him how to go about making a preacher. Jack McCarty said, in all bluntness that characterized him, “Young man, get brimful and running over with the word of God and it will come out”! And it will come out. It may be spontaneous combustion, but it will “bust” everything it hits. That is the preaching needed today, rather than this “go away around by the Joneses” sort of a preaching; this speak softly, tread lightly, step careful, kind of preaching. I do not believe in croaking out insults against people, but I do believe in the kind of preaching that draws the issue, and draws the blood when the occasion requires it. The purpose of this meeting has simply been to call us back to these old principles.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
It Did Not Come Into My Mind
When man abandons a knowledge of the true God and a willingness to submit to His revelation of truth, they will surely spiral deeper and deeper into moral degeneracy and religious abomination (see Rom. 1:18-32).
Such appears to be have been the case of the Chimu people who inhabited the coastal region of modern-day Peru some 650 years ago. This past week the largest find of human sacrifices yet discovered in South America were unearthed on a beach about 170 miles north of Lima, Peru. The remains of 200 fishermen were found stabbed through the collarbone straight into the heart, their hands bound behind them; an apparent mass human sacrifice to the sea god Ni. (“Peru Finds 200 Fishermen Sacrificed to Sea God,” Missy Ryan, http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=humannews&StoryID=1519150)
Ancient Judah fell into the practice of similar abominations when they caused “their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech”, the Ammonite fire-god (Jer. 32:35). How people could conclude that human sacrifice honored deity indicates a dramatic lack of respect of human life as well as a warped and perverted sense of deity. The Lord God said that the sacrifice of human life in the form of innocent children was not commanded by Him, “nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jer. 32:35).
Although God made man upright, man has “sought out many schemes” (Eccl. 7:29). We must be constantly vigilant to fear God and yield to His word of truth rather than follow the wisdom and will of men (Col. 2:8-10). Otherwise, by forsaking divine truth for human wisdom (not unlike the ancient Chimu), we will surely find ourselves worshipping in ways which never entered the mind of the true and living God. (Jno. 4:23-24)
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 10/07/2002
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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