Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Studying Bible patterns is equivalent to studying Bible authority. Divinely revealed patterns are not to be taken lightly, but carefully followed by those to whom God gives them (Exo. 25:8-9, 40; Acts 7:44; Heb. 8:5).
How do we determine what God’s pattern is on any given doctrine and practice? It is sort of like using a pattern to make a dress. The seamstress is not left to chance or guesswork in deciding how much cloth should be cut, and how. But, the seamstress must learn to properly use the pattern before her. Similarly, God has left us with guidance on how to establish Bible authority so that we can properly follow His revealed pattern. The seamstress must learn to read her pattern. We must learn to “read” (understand) God’s revealed pattern: “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13).
There are three ways to find the pattern we must hold fast in spiritual matters: direct command, approved example and necessary implication. These are legitimate ways of determining God’s will (or pattern). Christians in Acts 15 used these three means to determine true doctrine and the right course to take concerning the Gentiles and their salvation. Did Gentiles have to be circumcised and obey the Law of Moses in order to be saved (Acts 15:1, 5)? The meeting in Jerusalem determined the answer to that question was no. That answer (the pattern or course to follow) was confirmed by using these three methods of establishing divine authority. First, the apostle Peter recalled the conversion of the Gentiles as an example of the truth that Gentiles are saved without the Law of Moses (15:7-11). Next, Paul and Barnabas told of the miracles God had worked through them among the Gentiles (15:12). Since they preached that Gentiles were not bound to obey the Law of Moses, the necessary conclusion was that God approved of this teaching. Then, James took a direct statement of Scripture from Amos 9:11-12 as corroboration that Gentiles are saved without the Law of Moses (v.13-19).
Since they could use these three means of understanding and teaching God’s pattern on the salvation of Gentiles, it is right for us today to use the same ways of establishing Bible authority – the pattern of sound words – that we are to hold fast and obey. Indeed, God expects us to do so (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:11; Gal. 1:6-10).
Every child needs to learn to practice love. In truth, it is often children who show adults the innocent qualities of love and simple devotion that characterizes kingdom citizens (Matt. 18:1-4; 19:13-14). From a young age, children are able to learn to practice love toward others. There are several different groups of people you see every day that deserve to be loved by you.
Children, your parents deserve your love. God wants you to honor your father and mother (Eph. 6:2). This means to respect them, to obey them and to love them. Why not tell your parents today how much you love them? Then, show them you love them by respecting them with your words and by obeying their instructions. As your parents, they deserve your love and respect, and the Lord wants you to love them.
Children, treat your brothers and/or sisters with love. Sometimes you may not think you love your brother or sister (especially after they have just eaten all the ice cream and you didn’t get any!). But deep down, you know that you do. God wants you to show your love to your brothers and sisters by being kind toward them (Eph. 4:32). Discover some way to help your brother or sister, and then simply do it. When you do, you will be showing your love for them.
Children, remember to practice love toward your friends at school and in your neighborhood. People remember the way you treat them. By being fair and honest toward your friends you can have a great influence for good (Eph. 4:25). This is one a way you can “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Children, be sure to love God. Loving God means we will believe His word and obey His commands (Jno. 14:15). We should never complain about obeying God and worshipping Him (1 Jno. 5:3). To become a Christian and faithfully do His will shows that you love Him (Matt. 22:37).
Love is an action word: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 Jno. 3:18). Remember to show your love for God and others. Yes, grown ups should practice love. And, children should practice love, too.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Looking for Jesus
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:40-52
1. People are
looking for Jesus: Movies, TV, religious holidays, books, history, art,
I. WHERE YOU WILL NOT FIND JESUS TODAY.
Won’t Find Jesus in the Jewish Temple Keeping the LOM – Lk. 2:42; Matt.
5:17; Col. 2:13-17; Eph. 2:14-15; He. 7:18-19
II. WHERE YOU WILL FIND JESUS.
A. You Will
Find Jesus in His Temple (the church) – Lk. 2:46; Matt. 23:37-24:1-2; Eph.
2:19-22; Acts 2:33 (Matt. 28:18).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Works of the Flesh: Envy
Scripture Reading: Psalm 37:1-11
inevitable companion & result of rivalry is envy (Rom. 13:13).
I. WHAT IS ENVY? (phthonos)
II. THE NATURE OF ENVY.
Worldly Reaction to the Advantages of Others – Gal. 5:21; Rom. 1:29; Lk.
III. GOD’S PROHIBITION OF ENVY.
A. Lay it
Aside – 1 Pet. 2:1-2; Jas. 4:5.
IV. HOW TO OVERCOME ENVY.
Love – 1 Cor. 13:1-4."
Damages Jerusalem Temple Mount
The Jews in Jerusalem call it the Temple Mount; the Muslims refer to it at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. Both regard it as a holy site.
On February 11 a moderate earthquake hit the region, causing structural damage to some of the buildings and weakening its outer wall. According to a published AP report, the fate of this compound is one of the most sensitive issues on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Thu Apr 1, 11:17 AM ET). Wouldn’t it be ironic if, after centuries of conflict and dispute, the wall collapses due to an earthquake?
It is fantasy thinking to believe that one day the Temple Mount will be reclaimed by God Almighty on which will stand a rebuilt temple as part of a glorious millennial reign of Christ on the earth.
When Jesus died the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom by an earthquake, an obvious sign that its time had come to an end (Matt. 27:51). The city of Jerusalem was invaded and destroyed (including the temple) by the Roman army in A.D. 70 as God’s judgment against an apostate people (Matt. 23:37-24:2). 1,100,000 Jews were killed and another 97,000 taken into slavery. Truly, Jerusalem’s house was left desolate (Matt. 23:38).
The temple all should be concerned with today is the church of Christ (Eph. 2:19-22). In it (not in a house made with hands) God dwells with His people (Eph. 2:21-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; Acts 7:48-50). You will become a living stone in the house of God when you believe in Jesus as the Christ, repent of your sins and are baptized for the remission of your sins (Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). The Lord will add you to His church, His temple (Acts 2:47). It is a temple that will not be destroyed and that men dare not defile (Dan. 2:44; Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16-18).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA