And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 45 November 15 2009
In this issue:
“A startling coincidence” and “amazing almost beyond belief.” These are the words which evolutionary scientists use to describe the similarity between the eye of the octopus and the eye of man. According to evolutionists, the octopus and the human are about as far apart on the evolutionary tree as two species can get. Supposedly, their only common ancestor was some primitive organism that existed millions and millions of years ago. Yet their eyes are amazingly similar. What are the chances of that happening? Just imagine -- the marvelous human eye, evolving from pond scum, not once, but twice!
It is interesting to see the way evolutionists ignore facts and mathematical probability when it comes to things like the eye of the octopus. In The Life of the Ocean, a book published by McGraw Hill and written by evolutionists, the authors admit that the eye of the octopus and the eye of man “are more than just similar--they are virtually identical in every detail.” They say that “either of these eyes, considered by itself, is one of the most wonderful of all objects in the natural world. That evolution could produce such an object twice is amazing almost beyond belief” (pgs. 68-69).
Evolutionists indeed believe that the creation of a human-like eye occurred
twice through evolutionary chance. They admit that this is “amazing almost
beyond belief,” and yet they believe it anyway. Then they turn around and
accuse Christians of having “blind faith.” Whose faith is really blind? If
the evolutionist would open his eyes to the facts, he could see the plainly
visible holes in the general theory of evolution. Even an octopus could see
Bitterness is a sin of the heart that will cause you to be eternally lost. The seriousness of this sin is seen in the effects it has on the person who is captured by it. The inspired apostle of Christ commands us to “put away” “all bitterness” and “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:31-32). Observe in this passage the companion sins of bitterness: wrath (thumos, outburst of anger); anger (orge, angry agitation of the soul); clamor (krauge, to cry out in a loud voice, it is the tumult of controversy); evil speaking (blasphemia, slanderous detraction, impious reproach). Bitterness deforms and hardens the heart. We are deceived by the devil if we believe bitterness does not hurt us now and eternally.
The sinfulness of bitterness is also seen in its impact on others. The word of God says, “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Heb 12:15). Other people are caused to stumble and be defiled when our bitterness touches them. Instead of infecting others with the venom of bitterness we must cautiously “strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for our feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:12-14). Therein lies the formula to put away bitterness: 1) help strengthen others (12:12); 2) walk in the path of truth so others will be healed, not harmed (12:13); 3) swiftly seek for peace and holiness so the heart is turned toward God (12:14); and 4) be watchful not to fall from God’s grace through bitterness (12:15).
A root of bitterness can spring up…
1. When we are sinned against. The pain of another’s hurtful words and deeds can provoke us to reaction sinfully. If we are not careful we can render evil for evil. We must follow the example of Christ who was sinned against, yet did not revile in return. The answer is to do as He did and commit ourselves to God who judges righteously (1 Pet 2:22-23).
2. When sinners appear to prevail. We see sinners at ease while the righteous struggle to survive and we wonder why it is so. The psalmist almost stumbled when he saw the wicked prosper. It seems they often escape justice which the innocent are oppressed. Yet, he decided to continue to trust God and commit himself to Him, knowing the Lord will preserve the righteous and destroy the wicked (Psa 37; 73). We must do the same and not grow bitter in heart; sin will be defeated.
3. When persecution for your faith occurs. Trials of faith discipline us and yield peaceable fruit when we will accept the training (Heb 12:11; Jas 1:2-4). Rejoice instead of growing bitter when others reproach you for standing up for truth (Matt 5:10-12). The people of God have always faced rejection from unbelievers.
is an acid that eats away at the soul. Allowing it to take root will cost
your soul and defile others. Put it away!
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:23-33
1. What is
a necessary inference? Do they have any part to play in knowing the Bible?
I. DEFINING NECESSARY INFERENCES.
Definition of Necessary Inference.
II. BIBLE GUIDANCE ON USING NECESSARY INFERENCES.
Necessary inference (NI) is a matter of judging “righteous judgment” (that
is derived) from revealed truth, Jno 7:24; Matt 22:31-32; Jno 21:20-23.
conclude that NI is merely based on human logic and therefore we must accept
differences is NOT a NECESSARY INFERENCE – it is ERROR.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 18:1-6
1. Num 21:4-9; 2 Kgs 181-4: What had been used by God to
give mercy became an object of worship (cf. cross).
I. BASIS FOR RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE OF CHRIST’S BIRTH: MAN OR GOD?
A. The Bible Affirms the Virgin Birth of Jesus, Lk 1:31-35
(2:1-7); Jno 1:14.
II. THE ORIGIN OF CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST.
A. Definition of “Christmas” – “Mass of Christ”.
III. WHAT IS THE CHRISTIAN TO DO?
A. The Christian Cannot Participate in the Religious
Additions of Men, 2 Jno 9-11 (1 Cor 10:20-22); Gal 4:8-11.
Compromise with Sin
Christians live in the world and yet are not of the world (cf. the apostles, Jno 17:14-16). We engage in commerce, civic enterprise, recreation and many other activities with those who live in sin; this is unavoidable (1 Cor 7:9-10). Yet, we are to make choices so that we are not unequally yoked with unbelievers; we are not to be controlled by the ungodly (2 Cor 6:14-7:1). Being a light in the world means we make distinctions in life that shows the way to God (Matt 5:14-16). Christians are to boldly stand for truth and against the progress of sin. Compassion for sinners is not compromising with their sin.
The Mormon Church has compromised – again – in the name of fairness. The LDS Church announced its support of an ordinance that was unanimously passed by the Salt Lake City Council designed to protect gay and transgender residents from discrimination in housing and employment. “The church supports these ordinances,” spokesman Michael Otterson told the council, “because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage” (“Salt Lake City adopts pro-gay statutes -- with LDS Church support”, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11/11/09). The LDS Church seems to be looking for compromise after supporting the ban on gay-marriage proposition in California (Prop 8) – and after the SLC gay community had “kiss-in” protests. (Utah has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.)
Are we really to believe the housing and employment practices of gay and transgender has no impact on marriage? Why not remove restrictions on strip clubs and pornography using the same rationale?
The rights of all citizens are protected in a democracy. That does not and must not silence the voice of righteousness, the Mormon Church notwithstanding. Then again, it is nothing new for the LDS Church to do this. It officially ended polygamy in 1890 (statehood was at stake) yet maintains it will be part of their expected godhood in the “celestial kingdom”. Talk about doing “violence to the institution of marriage”! Adultery and homosexuality are equally abominable to the Lord Rom 1:26-29). We must not compromise with either (Eph 5:8-11).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 11/15/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA