"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:
Peace is a much desired commodity in our world. Yet, it can be the most elusive of desires. Our country sends troops around the world to fight and “win the peace” (as politicians like to say). Warfare insures peace in this world of sin – a peace that is obtained and maintained by force. Here is the irony of the world’s definition of peace: Violent confrontation is a vehicle of peace.
But, this is not so when it comes to man’s peace with God. Sin disrupts peace. Sin introduces hostilities into one’s life. Sin produces animosity with God and with man. Peace with God is obtained through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ and our faith in Him (Rom. 5:1). The apostle confidently affirms that Jesus “is our peace” (Eph. 2:14).
Having received peace from God through our forgiveness in Christ, we are called upon to exercise peace toward others: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18); “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9); “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...” (Col. 3:15); “…endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Christians hold peace as an objective of life as they live among sinners as well as saints.
This thing called peace is not merely the absence of hostility. You are not truly at peace with your neighbor while harboring resentment, ill will and suspicion toward him. Genuine peace includes the presence of serenity, tranquility, contentment, security and safety (cf. Isa. 32:17-18). Peace describes the perfecting of one’s relationship with men and with God.
We need peace among us. Every home will prosper where peace exists. How many souls have been lost because peace in the home was lost? A peaceful church is a blessing from God. Peace amplifies our unity and enhances our possibilities of service. So, we must diligently guard it, maintaining it as our bond (Eph. 4:3). How many wars could be averted if peace ruled in the hearts of world leaders? Remember to pray for them as we pray for peace (1 Tim. 2:2).
Every Christian must pursue peace (Heb. 12:14). By so doing one is walking after the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 22). “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Rom. 14:19).
Deadlines and appointments; getting the car repaired; hanging wallpaper; balancing a checkbook. These are just a few of the things I will not miss in this life. Heaven will be free of the drudgeries of life “under the sun” (Eccl. 2:17, 20). Why should we anticipate heaven? Why should we live with hopeful eyes, patiently waiting for what we do not now see (Heb. 11:13-16; 1 Pet. 1:3-9)?
There are many Bible answers that satisfy and secure the Christian as he or she explores the reasons for looking forward to heaven. For example, one reason is the absence of sin. For every person who has obeyed Christ in faith and separated themselves from living in sin, the thought of finally being free from its incessant presence is most appealing and promising (Rom. 6:1-4; 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1). “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie,” (Rev. 21:27). Oh for the day when temptations shall end, when the trials of faith have passed, when finally and forever the presence of sin is removed. “O happy day!”
We anticipate heaven because there we will have the supreme privilege of coming into the presence of my God and Father. What glorious expectation; what unspeakable love shall that moment hold! To praise the Lamb for His soul-saving sacrifice, to extol the Spirit of God for His careful revealing and confirming of eternal truth, to magnify the Father for His constant care and keeping – these reasons drive us toward our heavenly home (Rev. 5:8-14; 14:1; 15:2-4; 19:1-10).
Heaven is our anticipation because of its restful reward. Paul envisioned the end of his fight, the finish of his course and the victory of his faith as his death approached (2 Tim. 4:6-7). With hopeful expectation he longed for the crown of righteousness that we too shall receive (2 Tim. 4:8). Rest from our labors and the reward of the faithful; these are reasons to long for heaven (Rev. 14:13; 2:7, 10; 3:21).
Are you ready to go
to the wonderful home of the soul? Jesus invites you to come (Rev. 22:17).
Prepare for the joys by putting Christ first and keeping your eyes on
heaven. Onward and upward (Phil. 3:13-14)!
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psalms 38:15-22
1. Do you see Christ as the
practical solution to the issues of your daily life?
I. CHRIST IS THE ANSWER:
can a Holy God Justify Unholy People?” – 1 Tim. 1:12-16; Rom. 3:23-25.
II. PROBLEMS TO WHICH CHRIST IS THE ANSWER.
Solves the Problem of Error (Jno. 18:38); Jno. 14:6; 1:14, 16-17 (Eph.
4:20-21); Rom. 1:16 (1 Cor. 2:1-5); 1 Cor. 1:18.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Revelation 12:7-12
1. How real is Satan to you? (1
I. SATAN HATES GOD AND MAN.
Accuses God before Man, Gen. 3:4-5.
II. HOW SATAN WORKS – 2 Cor. 2:11.
Operates through Enticements – Jas. 1:14; Matt. 4:1ff; Jno. 8:44; Jas. 1:15.
III. HOW WE CAN BE VICTORIOUS OVER SATAN – Rev. 12:10-12.
Remember, Satan is a Liar – Jno. 8:44.
The outcry over Britain’s Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party has been loud and boisterous. No doubt the young prince has been reminded of the life and death struggle for freedom his countrymen and the world fought and prevailed in 60 years ago. The stench of millions of innocent people murdered in the name of racial purity and supremacy continues to be repugnant in the nostrils of descent people everywhere (a lesson even 20 year-old princes can learn).
There are other lessons to be learned as we observe this incident from across the pond. One is the utter failure of the rationale that says clothing is of no consequence and says nothing about the sensibilities of the person. Why all the fuss over Harry’s swastika if clothing doesn’t matter? The truth is that what we wear does say something about who we are and what attitudes and values we hold. For instance, clothing can reflect respect and honor or disgrace (Lk. 15:22; Prov. 7:10). What does your clothing say about you?
Some brethren are heard to say in defense of immodest clothing that regardless of what they wear, their mind remains pure. The responsibility, they say, falls only upon the person who looks with lust upon their exposed bodies (Matt. 5:28; 1 Jno. 2:16). Yes, each person must “make a covenant with (his) eyes” not to look lustfully upon another (Job 31:1). But, this does not relieve each person of the responsibility to dress modestly, thereby professing godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Clothing says something about us. It either supports a profession of godliness or damages it. If not, then why all the fuss over Harry?
What we wear (or do not wear) matters to God. It ought to matter to us (1 Pet. 3:3-5).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA