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)
Dear friends and neighbors, I wanted to extend a personal invitation to you to attend our gospel meeting that begins today.
What is a gospel meeting? Well it is a special occasion where Christians and non-Christians gather together to worship God (John 4:24) and to hear Bible teaching (2 Timothy 4:2; I Peter 4:11). Our gospel meeting will continue through Friday evening with a special guest speaker addressing important subjects from the Word of God.
Why is it so important to hear the gospel message?
(1) The gospel contains the “good news” of salvation (Romans 10:13-17). All are sinners, thus all are in need of salvation (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). As the apostle Paul declared: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
(2) Jesus gave the command to His followers to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Then He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
(3) All men will be judged by the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote to the saints in Rome: “in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16). Thus we would be wise to know the gospel and obey it, rather than reject it (John 12:48).
(4) When Christ returns, He will take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel (2 Thess. 1:8). “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:9). Of course, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:3-4).
What should you expect? You will receive a very friendly welcome. You will not be embarrassed. We will not take up a collection at each service, but only on Sunday. The New Testament gives saints the command: “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (I Cor. 16:1-2). Even then, no offering is requested or required from our visitors.
We only ask that you come with an open Bible and an open heart. Search the Scriptures with us, and determine if the truth of God is being taught (Acts 17:11; John 17:17). If it is, then believe and obey it (John 8:32). If it is not, then reject it (Gal. 1:6-9; I John 4:1). If you have Bible questions, we would be more than happy to sit down and study.
So we hope to see you this week at our gospel meeting. Call us if you have questions, or need the times and directions at 360-752-2692.
1) When you feel like giving up because of the trials you are suffering, remember righteous Job. He lost everything: his children, his wealth, and his health (Job 1:13-2:8). In spite of all this unimaginable grief and loss, Job held to his faith in God (Job 13:15). As James wrote of him: “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (5:11). Indeed we may suffer great trials in this life, yet we must never forget that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Like Job, let us endure.
2) When you feel like giving up because it seems like your righteous efforts are to no avail, remember Elijah. This faithful prophet of God boldly condemned the evil ways of Ahab and Jezebel. Demonstrating great courage and faith he took on the 450 prophets of Baal, proving them to be completely false (I Kings 18:17-40). In spite of all his courageous efforts for good, he had to flee for his life from Jezebel. In his great discouragement and distress he expressed how he felt no better than his fathers, and that he was the only man left in Israel that had remained loyal to God and His covenant (I Kings 19:4, 10). Elijah had done much good, and it was not in vain. Seven thousand in Israel had not bowed the knee in allegiance to Baal. He was not all alone. Furthermore, God still had important work for him to do (19:15-18). In spite of disheartening set backs, we must remember that we have work to do - the Lord’s work. So “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
3) When you feel like giving up because you’re weary and discouraged in your soul, remember Jesus. Although one can receive much strength and inspiration from the likes of Job and Elijah, there is no better example that we can look to than Jesus Christ. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Look to Jesus every day. When you feel weary and discouraged look to Jesus even more. Consider all that He endured on our behalf that we might be saved from our sins. So let us run this spiritual race with endurance never losing sight of the joy that is set before us!
When you feel like giving up, remember Job, Elijah, and especially Jesus. When you feel like giving up, don’t! It will all be worth it in the end (Rom. 8:18; Rev. 21:1-7)!
-The Word of Life (Dec. 19, 2010)
Did you know that friendship with Jesus Christ is conditional? Many today call Him ‘Lord, Lord,’ and convince themselves they are His friend, and He is theirs, when that is not actually the case at all (Matt. 7:21-23). One can claim friendship with Jesus until they turn blue in the face, but if they do not meet the condition He set forth, then they are not His friend.
In John 15:14, Jesus taught His disciples: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Not even the Lord’s closest companions would be considered His friends if they did not obey His commandments. Notice other similar passages.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15; cf. 14:21, 23-24).
The teaching of the Christ is very simple, isn’t? If we love Him we will keep His commandments. And if we keep His commandments, we will be His friend.
So, what’s the application for us? Have you obeyed the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16)? Have you kept His commandments (demonstration of our faith) to receive salvation by God’s grace (Eph. 2:8-10)? Do you believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 3:16; 8:24)? Did you repent of your sins (Acts 17:30)? Did you confess the name of Christ (Rom. 10:9-10)? Were you baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38)? If you kept these commands of Jesus, you were saved and became His friend.
As a Christian, are you keeping the Lord’s commandments as a husband or a wife (Eph. 5:22-33; I Peter 3:1-7)? As a member of this local church, are you keeping His command to faithfully assemble (Heb. 10:25)? As an older saint, are you obeying His command to teach the younger (Titus 2:1-8)? Do you keep the command to not love the world or the things in the world (I John 2:15-17)? Do you obey Jesus in teaching the lost (Mark 16:15)?
In other words, you are the friend of Jesus if you do whatever He commands you (Jn. 15:14). Be honest now, are you Jesus’ friend?
-The Word of Life (Aug. 14, 2011)
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/20/2013
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA