"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:
Faith has been described as “taking God at His word and doing whatever He says.” This succinct explanation of faith is also scriptural: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). To the interested observer it is obvious that when a person is living by faith he is being faithful to God. He is reliable and dependable toward the things of God. He is trustworthy to the cause of Christ. He can be counted on to obey the word of God. On the other hand, a lack of faithfulness to God shows a lack of faith in God. So, the Christian who walks in the Spirit possesses the quality of “faith” (KJV) or “faithfulness” (NKJV, ASV) (Gal. 5:16, 22).
Faithfulness is often distinguished by how we handle “little” things. Jesus said “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Lk. 16:10). Jesus used our care for material things as illustrative of how we will care for spiritual things. For instance, if an employer can trust his employee to fulfill a simple task, the employer is generally willing to entrust him with more responsibility. The employee has shown himself to be loyal and diligent. He has been faithful, and his employer rewards his faithfulness.
Oh, how faithfulness is needed in the church of Christ. Faithfulness is a matter of loyalty. The “faithful and wise servant” is loyal to his lord, honestly fulfilling his duties as a servant even when his master is not personally present to oversee his work (Matt. 24:45-47).
We may begin to think God does not see and know what we say and do, but we are wrong. If we are unfaithful servants of God (unreliable, negligent and disloyal) when we face our Master we will receive eternal punishment (Matt. 24:48-51). So, be faithful to God and fulfill the tasks He has given you in His house, the church (1 Cor. 4:2; Rom. 12:3-8; cf. Gaius, 3 Jn. 5-8).
Consider what a difference it makes in this world when there is faithfulness in the home. What if every husband and every wife were loyal to each other; if each could totally trust the other to be faithful to the interests and welfare of their marriage? Broken homes would be eliminated. What God has joined together would stay together. Millions of parents and children would not have to face the emotional, financial and spiritual devastation of divorce. The positive impact on society would be tremendous. As it is, we are all witnesses to the effects of unfaithfulness in the home: Infidelity, child and spousal abuse, selfishness, poverty, neglect and chaos – these are but some of the marks of unfaithfulness upon families (1 Pet. 3:1-2, 5-7; Eph. 5:22-33).
Faithfulness will distinguish the Christian on the job. “All good fidelity” is commanded of servants in Titus 2:9-10. Here, the Christian’s faithfulness to his master is set in contrast to insubordination, abusive confrontation and stealing from him. When a Christian is trustworthy at work he beautifies the gospel (v. 10). When he is not, he tarnishes his name and blackens the name of Christ. So, carry your faith with you to work and show “all good fidelity.”
We need faithfulness when confronted with temptations. Withstanding temptation is accomplished through faith (1 Pet. 5:8-9; 1:6-9; 1 Jn. 5:4). Being faithful calls for all our energy to be directed toward heaven (Col. 3:1-3). Faithfulness helps us be deliberate in fulfilling our duties to the Lord (Heb. 6:11-12). Dutiful obedience to Christ increases our faith so that, by and by, we will receive from Christ the victory of faith (Lk. 17:5-10; Rev. 17:14).
Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:23)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:3-11
1. We need spiritual discernment
in order to please God, 1 Cor. 2:14; Lk. 12:56-57; Heb. 5:14; Phil. 1:9-10.
I. WE NEED DISCERNMENT (Judgment) IN OUR LIVES.
Necessity is Obvious – 1 Kgs. 3:9, 11; Lk. 12:54-59.
II. THINGS WE MUST DISCERN.
Must Discern Truth – Jno. 18:38 (14:6; 8:31-32); 1 Cor. 2:13-16; 1 Jno. 4:1;
Acts 17:10-12 (1 Jno. 4:6); Rev. 2:2-3.
1. Israel was to distinguish
(discern) between clean & unclean to be a holy people – Lev. 20:25-26.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Hosea 4:4-10
1. Israel’s changing attitude
toward God’s word led to her destruction – Hosea 4:1, 6; 8:1, 7, 12.
I. TO UNDERSTAND & LIVE GOD’S WORD REQUIRES PERSONAL EFFORT.
Requires Diligence – 2 Tim. 2:15; cf. 2 Pet. 1:5, 10.
II. WHY (HOW) GOD’S WORD BECOMES STRANGE (FOREIGN) TO CHRISTIANS.
are Untaught – (2 Pet. 3:16); 2 Tim. 2:2; 4:6, 11, 16; 5:7; Heb. 4:12.
Conclusion – Result: Sin, negligence, apathy & eventual punishment, Hos. 8:11-12, 14 (4:6).
“You cannot legislate morality” is the mantra of moral relativism. Almighty God didn’t think that way when He spoke from Mount Sinai: “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:13-15).
Earlier this month the Virginia state Senate and this week the state House voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of a man and woman and bans same-sex civil unions (“Virginia House approves gay ‘marriage’ ban,” The Washington Times, Feb. 9, 2005). Sounds like Virginians are saying that sexual immorality is morally offensive to society and they do not approve. Good for them.
The Virginia House spoke on another moral issue this week when it proposed a $50 fine for the intentional wearing of exposed underwear as “lewd or indecent.” The bill’s sponsor said “to vote for this bill would be a vote for character, to uplift your community and to do something good not only for the state of Virginia, but for this entire country” (“Pants to fashion! Virginia to ban ‘indecent’ low-slung jeans,” Independent News, Feb. 10, 2005). Unfortunately, on Friday a Virginia Senate committee did not show the same character and killed the bill. One 17-year old student told the committee, “If people in Florida can wear bikinis, a little underwear showing isn’t going to hurt anybody.” One lawmaker said the bill had become “a distraction” (what about the exposed underwear?!), (“Virginia drops droopy pants bill,” BBC News, Feb. 11, 2005). Virginia, pull up your pants (and Florida, put on some clothes)! (1 Ti. 2:9-10)
And America, return to moral decency! The Bible says “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people,” and “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Prov. 14:34; Psa. 33:12). Any nation that will not honor decency will not long endure.
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA