"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Most parents have heard that question before. Children have a way of testing you to see if you really mean what you say. As parents, we teach our children to understand that we do indeed mean what we say, and that we expect them to do what we say (Heb. 12:9-10). We want them to do what is best for them, what will keep them out of danger and what will help them be better people (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:20; Heb. 12:11).
The commandments of God, our heavenly Father, are in our best interests. They are for our eternal well being. We must not be like little children saying to God, “Do I have to?” when He commands us. Instead, “shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?” (Heb. 12:9) For instance:
“Do I have to be baptized to be saved?” Did you know we never find that question being asked in the New Testament? Instead, people asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37); “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6); and, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) Christ commands the lost to be baptized into Him for the remission of sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:27; 1 Pet. 3:21). It is His means of washing away our sins by His blood (Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4). It is not our place to ask “Do I have to?” It is our place to be in subjection by obeying His will.
“Do I have to attend every worship service of the church?” Early Christians made it a habit to assemble together to worship God and edify each other (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20). Although some made a habit of being absent, this was (is) a willful sin against God (Heb. 10:24-26). When we see the spiritual benefits and blessings of worshiping God it will not be viewed as drudgery (1 Jno. 5:3). Surely, the God who has saved us from our sins should not hear from us the unthinking retort, “Do I have to attend the worship services?”
“Do I have to study my Bible regularly?” What a blessing it is to have a Bible to read and understand (Jno. 8:32; Acts 17:11; Eph. 3:3-5; Heb. 4:12). The God who saves us is the God who has revealed His mind to us through the inspired words of Christ’s apostles and prophets (Jno. 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:10-13). Every person who wants God’s approval will study God’s word so that he can conform himself to the will of God (2 Tim. 2:15). How sad to know of Christians who seldom open the Bible to be thoroughly equipped for every good work of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
“Do I have to?” No, you do not have to obey God. You can choose to disobey Him. But, God will only save those who obey Jesus Christ (Heb. 5:8-9). So, rather than ask, “Do I have to?”, we ought to ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
JESUS: “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’” (Mark 10:6)
EARLY CHRISTIANS: “So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them…” (Acts 4:24)
PAUL & BARNABAS: “We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them...” (Acts 14:15)
JOHN: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
PETER: “...knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water…” (2 Peter 3:3-5)
MEN & WOMEN OF FAITH: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)
HEAVENLY BEINGS: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 1:10-19
I. PEER PRESSURE: KNOWING OUR ENEMY.
Defining Peer Pressure: “Social pressure by members of one’s peer group to
take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order
to be accepted.”
II. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT…DARE TO BE RIGHT!
Courage & Conviction – Josh. 24:14-15; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 6:10-13.
Solution? Seek heavenly approval rather than earthly, to please God before
men – Gal. 1:10; 1 Ths. 4:1.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Bible Question Box: Angels (Dec 2004)
Scripture Reading: Psalms 148:1-6
Questions: Could you explain the purpose of angels? Are they active in our lives today? How would you start a conversation with someone who believes in guardian angels?
I. PURPOSE OF ANGELS: Ministering Spirits, Psa. 103:20-21; Heb. 1:13-14.
Definition of Angel: “Messenger.”
II. ARE THEY ACTIVE IN OUR LIVES TODAY?
Delivered Divine Messages to Man (Heb. 1:1) – Acts 7:38, 53; Gal. 3:19; Heb.
2:2; Acts 5:19-20; 8:26; 10:3-6; Rev. 1:1; Gal. 1:8.
III. WHAT ABOUT GUARDIAN ANGELS?
Catholic Definition: Not in Bible.
Conclusion. Heb. 12:22-23; Lk. 12:8-9; Rev. 7:11-12
More on “Do I
Recently a Utah man, who was given a traffic ticket for driving with a burnt-out headlight, paid his $82 fine with 8,200 pennies. Court officials were not amused and are trying to obtain a different form of payment. The man says “money is money” and coins are legal tender.
This reminds me of the way we may be tempted to handle the sin we commit against others. After wronging someone by word or deed, we may not be entirely convinced we were in the wrong, but, finally we “give in” and “apologize”. If it be suggested that we did not truly repent, but only reported our wrong, we may be heard to reply in frustration, “I did what I had to do!” When in truth, we know our motive for doing so was not godly sorrow, but just to satisfy someone else (2 Cor. 7:9-10). Like the man paying his fine with thousands of pennies, the heart is not in such an “apology”. Do we just “do what we have to do” when confronted with our sin? Or, do we genuinely grieve over our sin and repent from a heart that is contrite and humble before God? (Psa. 51:17; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Matt. 15:8)
Just “doing” what God commands, when it does not come from a heart of faith, will not please God. Faithful Christians do the will of God because they want to, not because they have to.
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA