And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 15, Number
In this issue:
September 30-October 5, 2012
lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
"Practical Lessons for Every Christian"
Sunday Class - Salvation and Blood
Sunday AM – Putting the Past--In the Past (1)
Sunday PM – Putting the Past--In the Past (2)
Monday - Storms of Life
Tuesday – Prayerlessness--What Happens When We Fail to Pray?
Wednesday – Rekindle the Fire
Thursday – Preaching What We Practice
Friday - Taking Up My Cross
Learn about New Testament Christianity!
The gospel is God’s power to save us! (Romans 1:16)
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! ’I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”‘ (Luke 15:17-19)
What poignant, powerful words. Each of us has sinned against God (1 Jno. 3:4; Rom. 3:23). The gospel of Christ reveals the remedy for our sins and the conditions upon which God’s grace and mercy are obtained (Rom. 1:16; 5:8-10; 6:15-18; Mk. 16:15-16).
Still, every sinner must be convinced that he needs a Savior before he will actually believe and obey the gospel to be saved (1 Tim. 4:10). Yes, Jesus died for all men. Yes, His sacrificial death is sufficient to redeem the sinner from spiritual death. But the sinner must want to be saved. He must come to the Savior to find rest (Matt. 10:28-30). Like the prodigal, the sinner must go to the Father.
The words of the prodigal son teach us the attitude of heart the sinner must have to be forgiven of his sins. When these attitudes are coupled with obedience to God’s plan of salvation (His terms of pardon) one is assured of God’s forgiveness. We cannot go to the Father and receive His forgiveness without both the proper heart and the proper actions.
Like the prodigal, the sinner must be convicted of his sins. He must be convinced he is a sinner. The wasteful son “came to himself,” implying he fully realized his conduct had been reprehensible (Lk. 15:17). Finally, he felt the full weight of his sin (cf. Psa. 51:3). Only when the sinner is overwhelmed with the burden of sin will he go to the Father seeking forgiveness on the Father’s terms (instead of his own). Acts 2:37 represents such a group of sinners. Being convinced by the gospel they had murdered their Messiah they cried out in an anguished plea, “What shall we do?” The inspired apostle told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). The sinner’s reaction to his sin must be the same today. To be convicted of one’s sin is a sobering, humbling moment for the person who wants to live with God’s approval instead of die in the darkness of sin. For that person, being convicted of one’s own sin is a crucial step to go to the Father.
Like the prodigal, the sinner must know who his sin is against (Lk. 15:18). Ultimately, all sin is against God (Psa. 51:4). Although the prodigal’s father had not personally seen his wasteful conduct, the son realized that his actions were “before” him (“in his sight”, ASV). We would do well to always remember that God sees all our actions and knows all of our thoughts (Heb. 4:13). To obtain forgiveness from God, the sinner (like the prodigal son) must willingly admit and acknowledge that his sin is against the God of heaven. Without such godly sorrow there can be no repentance (2 Cor. 7:10). Only the contrite heart will make the journey back to the Father; only the contrite heart will find a merciful reception (Psa. 51:17; Isa. 66:2).
Like the prodigal, the sinner must approach his Father in utter humility (Lk. 15:19). Only the humble in heart comes to God confessing sin and pleading for mercy. The tax collector of Luke 18:13 possessed this trait. If one has a problem admitting his sin he has a problem with pride. Remember, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6).
Like the prodigal, when we sin against God we must determine to “go to (our) Father.” Like the prodigal’s father, our heavenly Father is longsuffering, merciful and forgiving (Lk. 15:22-24; 2 Pet. 3:9; Rom. 2:4). Our heavenly Father shows us how to come to Him to be forgiven of our sins. The gospel teaches lost sinners how to be saved. The sinner must hear the gospel and believe in Jesus as the Christ, confess his faith in Christ, repent of his sins and be baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins (Jno. 6:45; 8:24; Rom. 10:9-10; Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). Now saved, he lives a faithful Christian life in service to Christ (Rom. 12:1-2). Christians who sin must repent and pray to be forgiven (Acts 8:22-24; 1 Jno. 1:9).
For the sake of your salvation, come to yourself and go to your Father. He will forgive you and give you eternal life. “…for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Lk. 15:24).
Scripture Reading:Hebrews 2:5-9
Review Part 1. Gentiles wanted to see Jesus, Jno. 12:20-21. We must see Him by faith, Jno. 20:29; 1 Pet. 1:8-9 (Rom. 10:17).
I. WE SEE JESUS:
D. As Our Great High Priest, Heb. 3:1-3; 9:24-26 (11-12).
Conclusion Do you see Jesus? He has been preached to you today, Acts 8:5, 35.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Work of the Local Church: Evangelism (Bible Authority, Part 15)
Scripture Reading: Acts 11:19-23
1. Desperate need for evangelism, Jno. 4:34-35; Matt. 9:35-38.
I. GOD’S PLAN IS TO SAVE THE WORLD BY THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL,
Rom. 16:25-26; 1 Cor. 1:18-21; 2:6-9.
D. Every Congregation has Bible Authority to Use its Resources to Preach the Gospel to the Lost, Phil. 1:5, 7; 4:14-16.
II. CONGREGATIONAL WORK OF EVANGELISM (1
Slipping the Surly Bonds of Earth
The sonnet, “High Flight”, was “written by John Gillespie Magee, a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of nineteen on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield near Scopwick” (High Flier, I:2, April 1992). Its first and last lines were adapted by President Ronald Reagan to memorialize the shuttle astronauts who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion. The sonnet begins, “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth” and ends with “Put out my hand and touched the face of God”. This past week Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was memorialized with similar language (USAToday.com).
You and I can only imagine the thrill of walking on the moon as the earth hovered overhead. What an amazing moment that must have been. But it is nothing to compare with the moment we will see Jesus in His splendor, power and beauty around the throne of God. “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads…They sang as it were a new song before the throne…These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev. 14:1-5).
The joyous gathering of the redeemed before God’s throne is only possible because of the Lamb of God, whose sacrifice saves us (Jno. 1:29). God’s love and Christ’s victory over sin and death assures Christians we will see the face of God (1 Jno. 3:1-2). Our hope compels us to purify ourselves, looking forward to a far greater moment than Armstrong’s walk on the moon (1 Jno. 3:3). “They shall see His face…there shall be no night there…And they shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:4-5). Are you ready to “slip the surly bonds of earth”?
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/16/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA