And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 41 October 18, 2009
In this issue:
writer for Christianity Today (a denominational magazine founded by
Billy Graham) wrote about his experiences while visiting churches in his
area (November, 2008). While visiting a church of Christ, he was confused by
their “inconsistency” in refusing to worship with instrumental music while
using PowerPoint, since neither one is mentioned in the New Testament.
answer is because the New Testament contains God’s permission to use
PowerPoint but lacks permission to worship by playing musical instruments.
“How so?” many ask. Consider:
-No permission exists in the New Testament to worship God with instruments today. It is not in the worship of the church in the New Testament, despite the Jewish background of many who became Christians in the first century.
-We have God’s permission to worship by singing music (1 Corinthians 14:15). No one today has God’s permission to worship by playing music.
limit ourselves to doing the revealed will of the Father in order to avoid
lawlessness (Matt. 7:21-23).
The tongue is a powerful thing. It can comfort the grieving with kindness and concern, and it can destroy a person’s credibility and good reputation. It can build up brethren and it can destroy churches. "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell" (Jas 3:5).
We must learn to restrain our tongue by controlling our heart. Jesus said what comes out of the mouth defiles the man because it comes from the heart (Matt 15:11, 18). One such defilement is gossip. Consider why we must not gossip.
Gossip is a sin. It does not show love for one’s neighbor, nor does it show evidence of tongue-control (1 Cor 13:4-7; Matt 22:39; Jas 3:8).
The person who gossips is a talebearer. "He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends" (Prov 17:9). To the gossip – and the person who listens to it – a morsel of information about somebody else is delightfully feasted upon: "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body" (Prov 18:8). The person who gossips needs to realize that partaking of gossip poisons his or her soul. For the sake of our souls we must not gossip!
The person who gossips sows strife. "The person who gossips is a slanderer" (Prov 16:28). One who "sows discord among brethren" is an abomination to the Lord (Prov 6:16, 19).
The person who gossips is a slanderer. "Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure" (Psa 101:5).
The person who gossips is a busybody. "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters" (1 Pet 4:15; see 2 Ths 3:11). The gossip is a meddler.
Idleness invites gossiping: "And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not" (1 Tim 5:13). If you are tempted to gossip about others it could be you have too much time on your hands. Use your time productively to bear the fruit of righteousness instead of the fruit of destruction.
The tongue requires constant surveillance: "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (Jas 3:8) We cannot turn our back on the tongue for a second! Keep constant vigilance over it to use it for a blessing rather than a curse (see Jas 3:9-12). By keeping a pure heart we help prevent gossip (Phil 4:8).
If you have something to say about a person, go to them and say it in love; this will eliminate the sin of gossip and strengthen the bond of brotherhood.
-Revised and Reprinted
The Spirit’s Sword, June 2, 2002
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: John 20:24-29
Experience, logic and wisdom will never satisfy as legitimate assessment of
why we should have faith in God, in Jesus Christ and in the Bible as God’s
word. Isa 55:8-9; Rom 1:21-22; 1 Cor 1:21.
I. THE DILEMMA: “I was not there!” Jno 20:24-25
A. We were
not there when Jesus Arose/Appeared, 20:24, 19-20, 8-10; Mk 16:11-13 (cf.
Job 38:4; Psa 19:1; Rom 1:20).
II. JESUS MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO BELIEVE, Jno 20:26-27.
A. Thomas Wanted to Examine the Evidence that Jesus was Alive from the Dead, cf. 20:19-20; Acts 1:22; Mk 16:15-20; 1 Jno 1:1-4; Eph 3:1-5; 1 Cor 2:13; 2 Cor 4:7-15; Luke 1:1-4.
III. CONFESSION OF FAITH, Jno 20:28.
A. “My Lord and My God!” Acts 8:37
IV. THE BLESSING OF FAITH, Jno 20:29.
will Bless Faith, Heb 11:6; Acts 17:2-4, 10-12; 1 Pet 1:6-9.
is fullness of joy in faith. Without faith there only fear and finally,
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:34-36
excitement generated by the events of the previous day (Matt 14:1-33) is met
with the sober teaching from the Bread of Life, and many turn away from
Jesus (Jno 6:22-66).
I. THE PEOPLE RECOGNIZED HIM, Matt 14:35; Mk 6:53.
A. Do You
Recognize Jesus? Jno 14:9
II. THE NEWS OF JESUS SPREAD, Matt 14:35; Mk 6:55.
A. We Must
Spread the News about Jesus, Acts 8:4; Jno 4:27-30, 39-42.
III. THE SICK PLEADED WITH JESUS AND HE HEALED THEM, Matt 14:36.
Hand is not too Short to Save Any Who Come to Him, Isa 59:1-2; 1 Tim 1:15;
Heb 2:17-18; 10:19-22; Acts 13:47-49; 1 Cor 10:13. Ways of escape…
In Jesus we come to fully know the heavenly Father, Jno 14:7-9.
In the beginning, God “separated” the heavens and the earth?
According to Old Testament scholar and author Professor Ellen van Wolde, the first verse of the Bible has been mistranslated for hundreds of years. Instead of saying, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, she says Genesis 1:1 ought to read, “In the beginning, God separated the heavens and the earth. (“God is not the Creator, claims academic”, Richard Alleyne, The Telegraph, 08Oct09).
Professor Wolde says the Hebrew word translated “create” (bara) means “spatially separate”, not to create something from nothing. Drawing upon her study of other Mesopotamian creation stories, she has concluded the Bible is the beginning of a narration – not the beginning of time. “It is meant to say that God did create humans and animals, but not the Earth itself”, she said. She believes “the traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now” (Ibid.).
The Bible says the world did not exist prior to God’s creation (bara) it. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11:3).
Bara means to give being or existence to something new. Bara is used in Number 16:30: “But if the Lord creates (bara) a new thing…” New things were indeed created in Genesis 1:1 - “the heavens and the earth” – which had not previously exist (Professor Wolde and Mesopotamian creation stories, notwithstanding).
This Netherlands professor (Radboud University) may think she has made a profound discovery. In fact, she boldly denies the word of God.
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 10/19/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA