"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:
Man’s greatest problem is sin. Sin is our greatest problem because it causes our spiritual death – separation from God both now and eternally: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23; see Rom. 2:1-11). The problem of sin is universal: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Many people believe that when we are born we inherit the guilt of Adam and Eve’s sin, and are thus, dead in sin from birth. The Westminster Confession of Faith (accepted by the Presbyterian Church and others) defines the doctrine of “Hereditary Depravity:”
“They (Adam & Eve, jrp) being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation” (Ch. VI, 3; The Book of Confessions, 6.033).
That is, the guilt of Adam and Eve’s sin was charged to every person who has ever been born. That, dear reader, is false doctrine.
The Bible teaches that sin’s guilt and punishment passes to all men “because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). It does not say we die “because Adam sinned.” There is a big difference.
Sin is committed, not inherited. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Ezek. 18:20). That should forever settle the matter for Bible believers. We do not bear the guilt of father Adam’s sin: we bear the guilt of our own sin. Jesus died to cleanse our own conscience from our own sin (Heb. 9:14; Acts 22:16). Paul was “alive once without the law” (Rom. 9:9). When would that have been if not during the moral innocence of childhood? But then, “the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” – he grew to moral capacity and responsibility, he sinned against the law of God, thereby causing him to die (Rom. 9:9). He was not born in sin; he chose sin and it caused his spiritual death.
But someone asks: “Wasn’t David born in sin?” David acknowledged the sin-filled world in which he mother lived and into which he was born (Psa. 51:5). But, David also said he had personally committed sin (Psa. 51:3-4). David’s life illustrates what happens to us all: “God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes” (Eccl. 7:29). Sinful schemes lead to death (Rom. 6:23). To be freed from our own sin, we must be “born again” of water and the Spirit (Jno. 3:3, 5; Acts 2:37-41).
Anyone who has raised children or ever meet one has seen him or her pout. Mommy doesn’t fork over a quarter for the gum ball machine or Daddy tells him to stop hitting his sister with the dog and the pout is on. Lower lip protrudes, chin droops, tears well, spirit disappears.
Children pout when they don’t get their way and often when they are chastened for doing the wrong thing. Sometimes you tell them not to play with their food, and they exclaim, “Fine, I won’t eat at all.” They pout because they think they are punishing their parents, and if parents cave into the pout, they will never see an end to the behavior.
Pouting, however, is not a behavior that automatically ceases on the day of one’s baptism or eighteenth, birthday, whichever comes first. Husbands and wives pout when unwillingly put on the compromising side of some matter. Church members have even been known to pout.
Should an elder or parent make a critical comment to a Bible class teacher, some will exclaim, “Fine, I just won’t teach class anymore.” If their pout is in low gear, they may choose the silent approach instead and just refuse ever to sign up again.
Maybe someone makes a suggestion about the communion preparation, building cleaning or something else. The person responsible for things feels reproved and rejected and throws on the pout face. “Fine, I just won’t do anything anymore!”
Some pouters go so far as to threaten to take their membership elsewhere when they receive the slightest criticism or the sincerest rebuke. Friend, this is not what Jesus had in mind when he admonished people to come to him “as little children.” Childlike trust, yes; childish immaturity, no.
Can you imagine Apollos pouting because of the correction wrought by Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18)? Can you see Peter’s lower lip sticking out after Paul rebuked him for hypocrisy (Gal. 2)?
Spiritual maturity includes the ability to accept suggestions and even corrections without going to pieces and putting on a martyr face. God chastens us because he loves us and our parents have done the same (Heb. 12:1-11). Usually, when a brother in Christ conjures up the courage to suggest or correct, he has the same selfless motive -- to help. Either he is trying to save a soul from death (James 5:19-20) or he is just trying to help me be a more effective steward of God’s gifts and opportunities. Not all suggestions are good, just as not all rebukes hit their mark, but it takes honest meditation to determine what is actually helpful. Rather than resorting to defensiveness and pouting, accept another’s assistance in the spirit it is given and do all to the glory of God, even if that means sacrificing a little of your own.
“Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little
children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17
1. Rom. 12:9-16 – Catalog of the
privileges & functions of friendship.
I. CHRISTIANS NURTURE THE QUALITIES & TRAITS OF FRIENDSHIP – Jno. 15:9-12.
A. The Faith to Love Another,
Prov. 17:17: cf. 1 Sam. 18:1 (Jno. 15:12, 17); Ruth 1:16-18.
II. BEING A BETTER FRIEND.
A. The Faith to be Friendly,
Prov. 18:24; Heb. 13:1-2; Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 12:25.
For more on The Roman Catholic Church, please go to http://www.bibleanswer.com/rcc2.htm
The Roman Catholic Church
Scripture Reading: Acts 20:27-32
I. THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE CHURCH.
A. RCC Claims the
Church is Infallibly Preserved.
II. THE PAPACY.
A. RCC Claims the
Primacy of Peter.
III. THE SACRAMENTS.
IV. OTHER MAJOR DOCTRINES.
A. Priesthood, 1 Tim.
2:5; Heb. 7:25; 1 Jno. 2:1.
V. ORGANIZATION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
A. Hierarchical in
Structure, Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2.
Responsible or Not?
Recently the United States Supreme Court ruled that those who commit capital
murder as juveniles cannot be executed for their crimes (the court ruled
otherwise as recently as 1982). The court cited evolving national and world
opinion on the death penalty and the specious argument that those under 18
haven't yet developed the moral capacity to fully understand all the
ramifications of capital murder as the basis for its ruling. But the same
court continues to strike down laws limiting the right of minors to
unlimited abortions without the consent of - or even informing - their
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA