And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Vol 13, Num 39, 10/31/2010
In this issue:
Preaching Divine Creation stirs the Evolutionist.
Preaching the one true church stirs the denominationalists.
Preaching against liquor stirs the drinker.
Preaching on modesty stirs the immodest.
Preaching on attendance stirs those unfaithful in attendance.
Preaching on pure speech stirs the gossip.
Preaching on dedication stirs the uncommitted.
Preaching on honesty stirs the cheat.
Preaching against sin stirs the guilty.
Preaching on Christ stirs those who love Him.
Preaching on Heaven stirs the hearts of those who want to go there.
Come visit the Mt. Baker church of Christ and hear soul-stirring Gospel preaching!!
(Acts 17:6; Rom 1:16; 2 Pet 1:13; 3:1)
-Adapted from the Southside church of Christ website, Owensboro KY
(With some changes for length, this is an answer recently sent to a woman asking the question, “What is the Church of Christ?” –Joe)
The church of Christ is not a denomination; it is the Biblical description of those who are saved in Christ. The word “church” translates a word that means the called out ones. In its broadest sense, church of Christ identifies those are called out of sin and thus belong to Christ. For example, Jesus said “I will build my church” (Matt 16:18). The Lord adds to the church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). So, “church of Christ” means the church that belongs to Christ. It is a statement of possession: the saved ones who belong to Christ.
“Church of Christ” is also used in the NT in a local sense to describe local congregations (churches). For instance, “the churches of Christ salute you” is a reference to local churches, each belonging to Christ (Rom 16:16). So, we read of the church of God which is at Corinth (1 Cor 1:2), the church of the Thessalonians (1 Ths 1:1), etc. in the New Testament.
The apostle Paul taught that the church of Christ is the body of Christ, and that there is “one body” (Eph 1:22-23; 4:4). This statement does not suggest that one denomination is better and to be preferred over other denominations; Paul did not use the word “church” denominationally. He used it of those who are saved in Christ, who is the “Savior of the body” (Eph 5:23).
There is no denominational usage of the word “church” in the New Testament. Denominations were built by men and are divided based on man-made and endorsed creeds, confessions, etc. These separate believers and contradict the NT teaching about the church of Christ. In the NT, each local church of Christ had its own eldership overseeing its own congregation without any inter-congregational or extra-congregational organization and/or oversight (Acts 14:23; 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Pet 5:2). The Catholic Church (with its bishops, archbishops, cardinals and pope) corrupted the independent, congregational structure of churches of Christ. Protestant reformers did not restore the NT organization, worship or work of the church of Christ; they established competing denominations – all claiming to be part of the church of Christ. Their claim is not supported by the Scriptures, since Christ is not divided (1 Cor 1:10-13).
The plea we make is to go back to the Bible; back to the gospel of Christ for our full and final authority for all we believe, teach and practice (Col 3:17). Unfortunately, some churches of Christ in our generation have turned away from that simple plea just as some churches did in the days of the early church (from Rev 2-3 we learn that even before the first century ended some churches were in danger of falling into apostasy).
The NT teaches us how to be saved in Christ (“he that believes and is baptized shall be saved”, Mk 16:16). The Lord adds those who are saved to His church (Acts 2:38-41, 47). From these and other verses we learn the doctrine of salvation by “faith only” does not save us (Jas 2:21-24). The faith that saves sinners is faith that obeys the Lord in all things (Matt 7:21-23; Heb 5:9).
Like the people in Berea in Acts 17:11-12, we can examine the Scriptures with noble hearts to learn, believe and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. By doing so we will have salvation in the Son and the unity of believers for which Jesus prayed (Jno 17:20-21).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 24:18-25
“The act of offering; then, objectively, that which is offered” (Vine).
I. SACRIFICE OF YOUR FAITH, Phil 2:17.
A. We Present our Faith to
God, Heb 11:6, 4. (cf. Abel, 11:4).
II. SACRIFICE OF OUR BODY (LIVING), Rom 12:1.
A. Present our Bodies to God to Fulfill His Will in Our Lives, 1 Cor 6:13; Rom 6:12-14; 1 Ths 4:1-8; 1 Pet 4:3-4; Mk 7:20-23.
III. THE SACRIFICE OF MATERIAL GOODS TO HELP OTHERS, Phil 4:18.
A. Helping those in Need,
Gal 6:10; 1 Tim 6:17-19; 2 Cor 9:7, 12-15; 1 Jno 3:16-17.
IV. THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE, Heb 13:15.
A. God is Praised when We
Confess Him in our Lives, Matt 10:32-33.
Wars and Rumors of War
At this writing the United States is investigating a series of suspicious packages that have arrived in this country on air cargo shipments. The usual suspects are in play – terrorists looking for another opportunity to disturb, disrupt and if possible, destroy.
Religious prognosticators may seize on this latest threat in another vain attempt to bolster their predictions of the “end times” – that future moment they can never tell with certainty, yet know it “must” be near given the present calamities. They are false prophets with false predictions – do not believe or be afraid of them! (Deut 18:22)
During His life on earth Jesus did give signs of the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew 24:1-35 is a detailed account of observable signs prior to Jerusalem’s house being left “desolate” (Matt 23:37).
Prior to Jerusalem’s demise (by the Roman army in 70 AD) Jesus said they would “hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end (of Jerusalem, jrp) is not yet” (Matt 24:6). This was just the beginning of her sorrows (Matt 24:7-8). As the signs unfolded, culminating in Jerusalem’s destructive punishment, it would be clear that the Son of Man was reigning in heaven and executing His judgment against a rebellious people (Matt 24:29-31).
As for the end of the entire world, we are not told when it will occur. We are not given signs to observe and therefore “flee” as with Jerusalem’s fall (Matt 24:15-25). Jesus Christ will come as a thief in the night (unexpectedly, without warning), 1 Ths 5:1-3; 2 Pet 3:10-11. We must “watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt 24:42). Are you ready for that day to come? Obey Jesus now!
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 10/31/2010
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA