And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 18, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to our
May 1 - 6, 2016
Hear these gospel lessons:
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)
Ephesians 2:8-10, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Titus 2:11-14, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
These three passages explain the wonderful Grace of God. Bible students should understand that no one is saved by Grace alone, but rather that without faith it is impossible to please God.
All should see the relationship between self directed works and works that are according to God's will. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Do you see that, "the grace of God that bringeth salvation, teaches us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;"
Grace alone will never save a single soul. God's Grace is a Teacher that guides the believer into the obedience of faith.
Unless one believes they must obey the gospel to be saved, then they will be fooled by the devil into believing that Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world with His own blood, so men and women could continue walking in darkness as they live for themselves. Romans 1:5-6; 16:25-26
The scriptures of the Lord are inspired, but we can see some scriptures reflect the heart of the writer. Paul's statement to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:16, reveals the heart of Paul as he truly imitated Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1
Paul imitated Christ by maintaining an attitude of forgiveness toward many who had wronged him personally, which is not an easy thing for Christians to do. Paul's statement reflects great maturity in the Lord.
If you do feel under attack by your own brethren, please slow down and consider that many times it really isn't all about you. We need to imitate Paul's maturity in such circumstances. We must learn not to take everything so personally. Perhaps it really isn't all about you after all.
"At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them." 2 Timothy 4:16
We need to keep this statement in mind throughout our lives as we walk in the Lord in the light of His word. Such statements will help us guard against bitterness, and a spirit of resentment that has resulted in so many Christians being blinded by senseless hate.
Let us consider James 1:19, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."
These passages help us to guard against the wiles of the devil as he tempts us to repay evil for evil. We must not allow ourselves to be blindly led into an attitude of despair and bitterness over supposed wrongs we hold against others. Sadly, many of these supposed wrongs are a direct result of evil surmising without a cause.
Please remember the words of Jesus when He was suffering on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” What is in your heart today?
The gospel is a simple message. The gospel is not complex. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Faith in Jesus as the Son of God and obedience to His gospel is God's way of delivering sinners from sin's bondage, sorrow and death (Rom. 6:17-18).
The gospel is a saving message. “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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'" (Rom. 1:16–17). Although the "message of the cross" is foolish to perishing souls who are shrouded in the darkness of the world and sin, it is the power and wisdom of God to those who heed its call (1 Cor. 1:18, 23-24). The gospel plan of salvation is to hear and believe the gospel, to confess faith, to repent and to be baptized (Rom. 10:17, 9-10; Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:37-38).
The gospel is a sanctifying message. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (Jno. 17:17). The gospel calls sinners out of sin and death, setting us apart unto God's service (1 Pet. 2:9-10; 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1). Christians are forgiven of their past sins and now live for Christ. The gospel teaches us not to continue practicing sin, but to walk in the light of God's truth (1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Jno. 1:5-10).
The gospel is a satisfying message. The inspired Scriptures thoroughly equip those who serve God to accomplish every good work of faith (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 2:10). Knowledge of the gospel is how God gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-4). With the psalmist we say, "The entrance of Your words give light; It gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments" (Psa. 119:130-131). We urge you to long for God's word. The gospel of Christ will satisfy your soul.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 04/29/2016
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA