And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 30 August 02, 2009
In this issue:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, have you read through and thought hard about what you are so quickly forwarding on to others?
We face difficult challenges in this “New Age” of electronic communication. Instant messages fly around the world in a matter of seconds. If we have to wait a minute we are outraged with the slow response of our network provider or our telecommunications company. We are living hectic lives in which we are not taking the time to think through what we just read on the internet and then immediately forwarding to others before thinking about what we just read. We seem to seize upon those witty and cute stories and sometimes personal testimonials that gradually lead readers into a false since of security about concepts which directly oppose the word of God. These include false doctrines such as “Faith Alone” and an array of denominational teachings that are offered in the place of God’s truth. Are you forwarding this kind of poison to fellow Christians and to those outside of Christ that do not know to beware?
Sadly, many Christians are not thinking about the evil teachings they are spreading through cyberspace. In fact, many are spending more time reading email posts, playing games, and other internet offerings than they are studying God’s word.
In the midst of this technological advancement, Christians are faced with a new kind of problem that is very old in origin. The devil’s work is being promoted by sincere and honest Christians who are either untaught or unstable in their handling of the scriptures when they forward stories and testimonials that are at best a human interest story, but at worse promotes false doctrine hidden in a “good feeling” story. 2 Peter 3:14-18
These well meaning souls read a post they have received from another source (many times a source unknown to them personally) and forward it on to multitudes of people without thinking about what they are passing on to be read. These well meaning Christians read the post and decide that it has some good points in it and that it would be uplifting to a fellow Christian or Christians, or even a friend that is not a Christian.
But what they forward, unless they point out the error contained in it to the one receiving the post, will leave the impression that the sender agrees with all that is contained in the post. It appears that a form of “going along to get along” has found a new way to enter the lives of Christians.
Unfortunately, they do not consider the overall teaching or attitude of the post they have mindlessly passed on to an individual or a host of brethren. Included in the forwarded messages are often those who are not even Christians, thus leaving the impression that the post is what they personally believe and hold to be true. We see this new age “Internet Stumbling Block” developing in the church.
We can see the device of the devil in this because Christians are being fooled into thinking that as long as the message conveys a good feeling, it must be alright to forward it on to others. But brethren, what are we really doing when we mindlessly forward something that is not true to the word of God?
Christians ought to listen to the Apostle Paul as he warns the Corinthian brethren in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God’s word. How many of these well meaning posts do we see that are not Bible teachings, but rather are emotional appeals that pander to the based desires of the world? 1 John 2:15-17
Brethren, we need to awake out of the stupor into which the devil has lulled many of us to sleep. We need to learn the hard lesson that young people have to learn at an early age, “just because something is in a written form doesn’t make it true.” Christians need to learn the lesson of 1 Corinthians 4:6 in regard to putting their faith into something just because a recognized “Brother So and So” wrote it. Of course this does NOT make it Bible based, nor does it mean that the forwarded post is grounded in the truth of God’s word. Please consider Paul’s stated fears for his Brethren in 2 Corinthians 11:3. We also need to learn the lesson that 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 also applies to forwarded emails, regardless of how sincere and well meaning one might be about sending them.
Above all else, it seems that good feelings have become the determining factor of our day among our brethren and the sad part is they are forwarding on error with no thought whatsoever to whom they are sending this post of error. We can only pray that Christians will think twice before clicking on that “forward” button that will send a message that promotes the cause of the evil one.
My hope and prayer can only be that you will read this article carefully and finding it to be so, forward it to all you know and love, so that they too might be warned not to forward “good feeling” errors and false teachings from the devil to the destruction of precious souls.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Titus 3:4-8
1. When a
person knows he is in trouble he cries out for help.
I. BAPTISM IS AN APPEAL. (Plea, petition, call)
is an Appeal made by Sinners to God, Acts 2:21, 36-41.
II. THE APPEALS OF BAPTISM.
is an Appeal of Faith, Acts 8:30-38; Mk 16:15-16; Lk 7:48-50 (Acts 18:8);
Acts 16:14-15 (Jas 2:14-17).
it is left for you to decide whether you wish to appeal to God for His grace
and the salvation that is in Jesus Christ, Acts 8:36-37; 22:16; Acts 2:41.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:19-26
The “righteousness of God” speaks of the means by which God declares sinful man righteous or just.
I. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD: HOW GOD COUNTS MAN RIGHTEOUS.
God, by His Very Nature, is Totally Righteous, Psa 48:10; 50:6; 71:15-16;
Rom 1:17; 3:21; Rom 3:25-26; 1:18.
II. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IS HOW GOD ACQUITS SINNERS, Rom 1:16-17; 3:19-26.
How Does the Righteous God Count Sinful Man Righteous? Rom 3:21 (9,12,23);
Phil 3:9; Rom 4:14-15; Gal 2:16; Acts 13:38-39.
III. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS FROM GOD BY FAITH, Phil 3:8-11.
Without it You Cannot Be “In” Christ, 3:9 (Gal 3:26-27).
400 Years of the Baptist Movement
According to the Baptist World Alliance, this week marked the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Baptist movement. Amsterdam 400 was the celebration hosted by the European Baptist Federation in Amsterdam, where many Baptists claim the movement was founded. Notably, the Southern Baptist Convention, composed of 42,000 churches with over 16 million members, is not marking this anniversary. (“BWA to Celebrate 400th Anniversary of Baptist Movement”, christianpost.com, 23July09)
There are a number of glaring problems with a beginning 400 years ago. For one, it is roughly 1600 years too young to be the Lord’s church. The church of Christ was built by Jesus, beginning in Jerusalem (Matt 16:18; Lk 24:47-48; Acts 2:41, 47). The place, the time and how the Baptist movement started do not conform to the Bible.
Another glaring problem is the church of Christ is not a denomination. Yet, Amsterdam 400 honors a division that occurred among men (organized out of the Reformed Churches and the Mennonites). Today there are more than 50 separate Baptist subgroups in the Baptist Church (denomination) (Ibid.). Yet, none of them can be found in the New Testament; not their name, not their organization, not their plan of salvation, not their worship, not their work.
In the New Testament we read of local congregations; these are the “churches of Christ” of Romans 16:16 (see Gal 1:2; Acts 9:31; 2 Cor 8:1). Today, these kinds of churches (local congregations) can be found around the world following the New Testament pattern in all things (how to be saved, how to worship, how to organize, what work to do and how to live the Christian life, 2 Tim 1:13; Col 3:17).
How could people living in Amsterdam 400 years ago have been added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:47)? The same way they were on Pentecost and the same way it happens today. When sinners hear and believe the gospel, repent and are baptized they are saved (Acts 2:21-22, 36-41; Mk 16:15-16). They would have been added to the church of Christ, not a denomination built by men (Acts 2:47; Matt 16:18).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 08/03/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA