And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 16, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to our
September 22-27, 2013
Bring your Bible and join us in learning God’s word and will for our lives!
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
The Bible is a unique book, to be sure. While not a science book, it is scientifically accurate. Though it is not a geography book, it is geographically accurate. It is historically true, and is obviously a spiritually-focused book. Within the pages of inspiration, we learn that God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (II Pet. 1:3). The inspired Scriptures are “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (II Tim. 3:16-17). The word Christ spoke ought to take first place in our lives because it is this word that will judge us one day (Jn. 12:48). Knowing these things are true, is it any wonder that Peter would, by inspiration, write to Christians and say, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (I Pet. 4:11).
I cite the passages above to make it clear that God has provided all the information necessary for us to get from earth to Heaven! The Bible has been written; the word is true (Jn. 17:17); and the gospel will save us (Rom. 1:16). The question now is whether or not we will apply the information to our lives! James wrote that a man who hears and does is considered a “blessed” man (Jas. 1:25). He further writes that “faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:17, 20, 26). Jesus said the one who will see Heaven is the one who “does the will of my father who is in Heaven” (Matt. 7:21). In other words, we do not lack the information, but we often lack the application!
Throughout history, this fact is what has separated God’s children from the world! Many people have heard God’s word in various ways (Heb. 1:1-2). In the book of Exodus, we see Pharaoh heard God’s word, but he “hardened his heart” (Ex. 7:14, 22, 8:15, 19, 32, 9:7, etc.) and was punished as a result of his pride. Others who knew the truth but refused to obey were many of the “chief rulers” in Christ’s day. They knew who Christ was, but refused to confess Him because they feared what the Pharisees would say (Jn. 12:42-43).
Another person who knew the truth was Agrippa. He knew the truth, but would not confess Christ, nor be baptized (Acts 26:27-28). This list could be extended, but the point is that God did not leave them ignorant of the truth! Yet, they were condemned because they did not act upon what they knew!
What about us? We have the Bible at our fingertips. Yes, some know more than others, but is this really what is stopping us from being what God would have us to be? Is this really what is stopping us from obeying the Lord and living as He wants us to live? I suggest that it is not so much a matter of information, but it is a matter of application! We do not want to do those things Christ has said! Shame on us for being that way! Let us listen to the Lord, who tells us to be obedient to Him (Jn. 14:15; I Jn. 5:3) and prepare ourselves for Heaven by applying the information God has revealed! In so doing, we will be a blessed people! (Jas. 1:25) -The Old Paths
Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:13-20
Pride prevents many souls from believing and following Jesus Christ.
4. Christ’s preeminence and fullness compel us to totally surrender to Him: “I surrender all” (Lk. 6:46; 18:28).
I. THE FULLNESS OF DEITY, Col. 1:15; 2:9; Heb. 1:3. (I surrender all: John 20:28)
Faithfully Worshiping Him, Jno. 4:23-24; Psa. 5:7; Psa. 138:1-3.
II. THE FULLNESS OF POWER, Col. 1:15-17 (Matt. 28:18; 1 Cor. 15:27). (I surrender all: Col. 3:17)
A. Over all
Creation, 1:15-16; Jno. 1:1-3.
III. THE FULLNESS OF REDEMPTION, Col. 1:20-22; cf. Gal. 4:4.
A. By His
Blood, Col. 1:14.
Conclusion The fullness of Christ compels us to surrender to Christ, Col. 1:9-12.
The Macedonian Call (Acts 16)
Scripture Reading: Acts 16:6-10
the dispute over taking John Mark on a second trip, Paul and Silas go
through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches, Acts 15:41.
I. GO WHERE THE GOSPEL IS WANTED, Acts 16:1-10.
A. Go with
Faithful Men, Acts 15:40; 16:1-2 (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15).
II. CONVERSIONS AND PERSECUTION IN PHILIPPI.
A. Lydia and
her Household, 16:13-15; Acts 2:39.
III. THE GOSPEL IS THE SAME IN EVERY NATION AND CULTURE.
Gospel is Defined by Revelation, not Culture, 16:21.
4. Same blessings: Salvation (16:15, 30, 34)
C. The Culture in which One Preaches may Call for Certain Expediencies, but it does not Define the Truth, 16:3.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Joe R. Price
Teen unemployment is at a record low in America. According to Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, we are living through a “Great Depression for teens” (“Lost generation? Teen employment hits record lows across U.S.,” Kevin G. Hall, The Bellingham Herald). In 1999, 52 percent of teens ages 16 to 19 worked a summer job. This summer, that number was 32.25 percent. Seven out of ten teens (ages 16-19) did not have a paying job this summer.
Our concern here is more than economic. Even if teenagers did not have a paying job this summer, we hope they were being taught the importance and value of work – at home. There are plenty of jobs for teenagers around the house and neighborhood. Learning how to work, as well developing proper attitudes toward work, begins in the family (and, should be taught long before the teenage years). The home provides the structure in which to teach children about honest labor (Eph. 4:28; 1 Ths. 4:11-12). Regular chores that help the family also teach responsibility and dependability. Children must learn they are not “entitled” to have whatever they desire. Instead, teach them the blessing of being able to work and benefit from it. This lesson will serve them well when, as adults, they face the challenge of providing for themselves and others (2 Ths. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:8).
God created us to work! “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor...for it is his heritage” (Eccl. 5:18). An entitlement society produces expectation from others instead of personal labor. A society built upon honest labor satisfies the God-given ability to work and brings blessings to the worker as well as others. Parents, teach your children how to work – and why.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/08/2013
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA