And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 18, Number
In this issue:
THE VOICE OF GOD
JESUS CHRIST SAID HE WOULD BUILD HIS CHURCH.
"I will build my church..." Matt. 16:18.
THE SCRIPTURES DECLARE HE BUILT ONLY ONE.
"There is one body..." Eph. 4:4.
"He is the head of the body, the church..." Col. 1:18.
DIVINE PROPHECY AND INSPIRED HISTORY AFFIRM THAT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BEGAN IN JERUSALEM, ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST, 33 AD
THE VOICE OF HISTORY
THE RECORD OF THE PAST 19 CENTURIES REVEALS THESE FACTS
CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PROMINENT RELIGIOUS BODIES:
TIME PLACE FOUNDER CHURCH
606 AD Rome Boniface III Catholic Church
1520 AD Germany Martin Luther Lutheran
1534 AD England Henry VIII Episcopalian
1536 AD Switzerland John Calvin Presbyterian
1550 AD England Robert Browne Congregational
1607 AD Holland John Smythe Baptist
1739 AD England John Wesley Methodist
1830 AD America Joseph Smith, Jr. LDS (Mormon)
1830 AD America William Miller Adventists
1866 AD America Mary Baker Eddy Christian Scientist
1872 AD America Charles T. Russell Jehovah’s Witnesses
-From "The One True Church"
So said God to Israel in Leviticus 19:17. What God expected of Israel is magnified under the gospel of Christ (Matt. 5:43-48). Hatred is malicious animosity toward another person. It is a blight upon human relations. It is a cancer that destroys unity and harmony in the world and in the body of Christ. We do well to review the Bible teaching against hatred in order to guard ourselves against this unholy, sinful attribute.
1. Hatred is akin to bearing a grudge (Lev. 19:18). Holding a grudge is but one of the outward manifestations of hatred. When "love your neighbor as yourself" is obeyed, hateful grudges cease.
2. Hatred stirs up strife (Prov. 10:12). Like a spoon stirring a pot, hatred foments contention.
3. The person who hates another and tries to hide his hatred is a liar (Prov. 10:18). “He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; Tough his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickhedness will be revealed before the assembly” (Prov. 26:24-26). We cannot hate a person and hide that hatred without showing ourselves to be a liar.
4. Hatred does not satisfy the soul (Prov. 15:17). Hating someone brings no resolution, no reward. Why not rather sow contentment by cultivating love toward others?
5. Hatred condemns the soul (Gal. 5:20-21). It is a work of the flesh, driven by fleshly lusts. One who hates is not being "led by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:16-18, 22-23).
6. Hatred and its companions must be discarded (Eph. 4:31-32). Hate never works alone. Its partners in evil include bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, railing and malice. All of these must be put away and replaced with kindness, tender hearts and forgiveness (v. 31-32).
7. Hatred is characteristic of darkness (1 Jno 2:9, 11). The Christian who hates his brother is blinded by sin and walking in darkness. Hatred never illuminates the soul. It only plunges one into blackness.
8. Hatred causes one to live in death; the hater is a murderer (1 Jno. 3:14-15). A mark of spiritual life is brotherly love, while hatred is a mark of spiritual death. Hatred murders one's life with God as it murders brotherly relations. Hatred causes spiritual death.
9. The Christian who holds hatred in his heart cannot love God (1 Jno. 4:20). It is completely inconsistent to proclaim love for God while hating a brother in Christ. If we cannot love our brethren (whom we see), how can we love God (whom we have not seen)? God is love and He will not accept those who hate others (1 Jno. 4:8).
Hatred is a menace. It is a destroyer. In Christ, hatred is replaced with genuine love, especially for those we once hated (Matt. 5:43-48).
Scripture Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
I. GOD CHOSE TO ADOPT US IN CHRIST.
A. God Chose Israel when She was Cast Aside, Ezek. 16:1-6.
II. THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION, Rom. 8:14-17.
A. Attitudes of the Father, Heb. 12:4-11; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; Lk. 15:20-32.
B. Attitudes of the Child, Eph. 6:2; Gal. 4:6; Heb. 4:16; 2 Cor. 6:16-17; Mk. 10:26-31; Mt. 12:46-50; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; Prov. 3:1; 6:20.
III. WAITING FOR THE (FINAL) ADOPTION, Rom. 8:23 (18-25); Eph. 1:14.
A. Eagerly Wait in Hope, 8:19, 24-25.
1. God wants more children! His house has room for all, Jno. 14:2.
2. God family will grow when you become a Christian and heaven will rejoice, Lk. 15:7.
3. Become an heir of God through Christ; be adopted by God, Gal. 4:7
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:6-13
1. The Bible is attacked as a myth, ridiculed, marginalized and
disregarded as God's word of truth in this modern era.
I. BECAUSE OF ITS ACCUMULATION.
A. The Unity of the Bible, Psa. 119:160.
II. BECAUSE OF ITS HISTORICAL ACCURACY.
A. The Hittites.
III. BECAUSE OF ITS FULFILLED PROPHECY, Deut. 18:18-22; Isa. 41:21-24.
A. The Nations, Jer. 18:7-10-11.
IV. BECAUSE OF ITS AUTHORITY OVER US, Matt. 28:18-19.
A. Authority to Lead to Salvation, 2 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor.
1:18-21; 2 Pet. 1:3.
Bible is not fables, 2 Pet. 1:16. It is God's revelation of Himself, 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 1 Thess. 2:13.
Christianity and Islam Similar?
According to a new survey by LifeWay Research of 1,000 Protestant pastors, "Although a majority considers Islam dangerous, a small but increasing segment believes Islam is similar to Christianity" ("Pastors Grow More Polarized on Islam", Lisa Cannon Green, lifewayresearch.com). Green continues, "Seventeen percent of pastors characterize Islam as similar to Christianity, nearly double the 9 percent from five years earlier. Although views shifted in both directions, positive opinions rose more significantly. The American public, meanwhile, is twice as likely as pastors to see common ground between Islam and Christianity. In a parallel survey of 1,000 Americans, more than a third say the two faiths are similar" (Ibid).
New Testament Christianity and the religion of Islam are decidedly not similar. Here are a few of the differences:
1. Both claim to be the only true religion. Christ says He is the only way to God the Father (Jno. 14:6). The Muslim says “the Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” (Qur’an 3:19). In Islam, Allah says, “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the hell fire)” (Qur’an 3:85). These are distinct doctrines that do not harmonize. (Acts 4:12)
2. Different belief systems. “A Muslim is one who believes that ‘there is no god but God (Allah, jrp), and Muhammad is the messenger of God (Allah, jrp)” (Understanding Islam, Thomas W. Lippman, 1). Christians are disciples of Jesus, the Son of God (Acts 11:26; Matt. 16:18). Islam says those who say "the Lord of Mercy has begotten a son" preach "a monstrous falsehood" (Qur’an 19:88). Similar? Hardly.
3. The death of Jesus. Islam does not believe Jesus died by crucifixion, but only appear to do so (Qur’an 4:157). Jesus said he would be crucified, and was (Jno. 12:32-33; 19:18). Is Allah's prophet (Jesus) a liar? Jesus is not a liar and He is not Allah's prophet. Islam and NT Christianity are very different.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 11/04/2015
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA