And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume X, Number 42 August 05, 2007
In this issue:
The uncertainty and brevity of life is stressed in James 4:13-17 as the inspired pen impressed upon us our moral responsibility to depend on God and not ourselves as we walk this earth.
13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Instead of making future plans and holding expectations without any consideration of life’s fragility and God’s will, we must respect the overriding will of God in all we do, always trusting and obeying Him.
When we refuse to consider, seek and do the will of God, we show ourselves to be arrogant. “Arrogance” in verse 16 is defined by Thayer as “an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the stability of earthy things” (Thayer, 25). Failure to consider God as we live is an arrogant approach to life. It presumes we are the center and circumference of all things. To increase the sin, to boldly believe that nothing can interfere with one’s plans is to, in effect, “boast in your arrogance.”
The tragedy of the Minneapolis bridge collapse reminds us never to forget God as we live day by day. We have heard the stories of those who barely missed being on that bridge, or of those who had crossed it earlier that day. The dismay in their voices and faces was clear; they could not believe something like this could happen, and that it could have happened to them.
Accidents and unforeseen events come to us all (Eccl. 9:11). Like the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell, the people who lost their lives when the bridge fell were not worse sinners than all other men who live in Minneapolis (Lk. 13:4). The lesson Jesus taught is that “unless you repent” you will also perish (Lk. 13:5).
What will you do with the knowledge that life is uncertain and that death is only a breath away? Will you continue to live with no thought of God and void of obeying His will? To do so is to “boast in your arrogance” – “All such boasting is evil.” (Jas. 4:16)
Are you ignoring God’s will for your life? The duty of all is to fear God and obey Him (Eccl. 12:13). Failure to do what you know is good, is sin (Jas. 4:17). Do not boast in your arrogance; remember God and obey God!
Paul’s words, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world...” are familiar to most students of the Bible. Demas was one of Paul’s friends and companions (Col. 4:14; Phile. 23-24). He associated himself with Paul, and other Christians. Have you ever wondered why Demas “loved this present world”? What was he doing? Paul did not reveal the specifics. However, there are lessons for us to learn from this short verse. Demas is the example of all who have (or will) become unfaithful to God in this life. When Paul said, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” we learn:
He Had Misplaced Love.
The saddest part of II Timothy 4:10 is knowing that Demas was a partaker of all these things and still turned away. Can we understand why this was so foolish? Even in the face of persecutions and death threats, Demas and other early Christians had it better than the richest Roman (II Cor. 4:17-5:1)!!
How many of us in this great nation forget all the great blessings that are showered upon us by God?
He Rejected Christ As King.
Do we truly believe that Christ is King (I Tim. 6:14-15)?? If we believe this, we will not argue or refuse to do what Christ tells us to do!! Who will rule us? We will either serve God or sin (Matt. 6:24; Rom. 6:16). Look at who ruled Demas (II Tim. 4:10)!!
He Crucified Christ Afresh.
His Influence Was Ruined.
Modern-day Demas’ are those who forget who is the master and who is the slave. Some think that they can simply “pick and choose” what they will obey and leave the rest out. These people have forgotten the Lord who bought them (Rom. 6:16-18; II Jn. 9-11)!!
Are you on the verge of being a modern-day Demas? The Bible says it is possible (I Cor. 9:27; Gal. 6:1; II Pet. 3:17). Though the Bible is not more specific than to say, Demas “loved this present world,” it doesn’t have to be more specific. Anything that takes our focus off of God is based in “this present world” (I Jn. 2:15-17)!! An erring child of God can return to God if he or she has been unfaithful (Acts 8:22; I Jn. 1:9). So long as we have this day, it is not too late to return to the Lord! Don’t harden your heart, and turn away from the truth!! (www.southside-churchofchrist.com)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Acts 20:5-12
1. Attend: “To
stretch to,” to stretch the eyes & ears toward anything, to give
consideration. (Synonyms: Be there, concentrate, focus)
I. THE VALUE OF ATTENDING WORSHIP IN LIVES OF CHRISTIANS, Acts 20:6-7.
A. Worshipping with Their
Brethren was Important to them, Acts 20:6; Heb 10:24-25. cf. Psa 122:1;
II. THE PRACTICAL VALUE OF ATTENDING WORSHIP SERVICES.
A. Our Attendance Provides &
Promotes Personal Instruction & Edification (Acts 20:32); 2 Tim 2:15; 1 Ths
2:13; Phil 1:9-10; 1 Pet 3:15; 1 Cor 10:13; Col 2:6-7.
III. WHAT ATTENDING WORSHIP SERVICES DOES NOT DO.
A. Does Not Excuse Sin of the
Past Week (or the next), Acts 8:22; 1 Jno 1:9 (1 Cor 11:30).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: James 4:1-6
1. Conformity to
this world is a major problem among Christians.
I. “THIS WORLD” - WHAT IT MEANS.
A. Various Meanings (Usages)
II. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD.
A. Living like the World: To
Accept & Live by the Standards this World Accepts & Lives by, Eph 2:1-3
III. MISCONCEPTIONS RE. WORLDLINESS.
A. “Only sins like adultery,
drunkenness & homosexuality constitute worldliness.” Gal 5:19-21; Matt
Conclusion Not of this world, Jno 17:14-17; 1 Jno 4:4-6
"Same-Sex Marriage" Survey
“A 2007 Pew Research Center survey found that while a majority of Americans (55%) oppose same-sex marriage, a sizable minority (37%) favor it, figures that have varied only slightly since 2001. A 2006 Pew survey also found that a majority of Americans (54%) favor allowing civil unions, up from 45% in 2003.” (“Same-Sex Marriage: Redefining Marriage Around the World,” The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, July 11, 2007, pewforum.org)
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 08/06/2007
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA