And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17

THE
SPIRIT’S
SWORD

Volume 19, Number 14
12/11/2016

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

Location:
  
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Sunday:
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Wednesday:
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price


Elders
Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Deacons
Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


 

In this issue:


The Innocence of Jesus
Heath Rogers

The death of Jesus on the cross was the greatest injustice this world will ever know. On that dark day, the innocent Son of God was put to death as a common criminal in the most painful manner ever devised by man.

One thing that makes the Lord’s death so tragic is the number of times He is actually pronounced “innocent” before, during, and after His execution.

His betrayer, Judas, proclaimed His innocence (Matt. 27:4).

The wife of Pilate referred to Him as a “just Man” (Matt. 27:19).

Upon examination, Pilate said he found no reason for Jesus to be put to death (Luke 23:22) and then washed his hands before the Jews, symbolically rendering himself “innocent of the blood of this just Person” (Matt. 27:24).

The thief on the cross said Jesus had “done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41).

The centurion, after watching how Jesus had suffered and died, said “Certainly this was a righteous man!” (Luke 23:47).

Paul said the Jews “found no cause for death in Him,” but still asked Pilate to put Jesus to death (Acts 13:28).

What is the significance of the innocence of Jesus? Under the Law of Moses, all the animals that were sacrificed to God had to be spotless and without defect. Jesus was a perfect, sinless sacrifice. It is His innocent blood offered on the cross which washes away our sins.

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

-Knollwood Reminder, Dec. 4, 2016

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"Why Do You Rely On The Bible That Much?"
Jarrod Jacobs

I received the above question recently from someone who has been watching our YouTube videos. Answering the first question led to a larger conversation that I have included below. I have not edited the spelling, etc., but have edited the thread for space. I hope what is printed below will help us when we are asked why we do what we do religiously.

Question #1 – “Why do you rely on the bible that much?”
Answer– Hello -- you have asked a great question. Here are some reasons why I rely upon the Bible so much. 1) It is the inspired word of God (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21). This means God “breathed out” the words to certain folks through history, and they wrote God’s word down so we can know what God’s will is. 2) It is God’s word that reveals the gospel that saves us (Rom. 1:16). 3) God’s word is what will be the standard by which we are judged at the end of time (Jn. 12:48).  4) It is God’s word that instructs us on how to act from day-to-day (Matt. 7:12; I Pet. 3:10-13). For these reasons, I want to live by what the Lord has revealed. Also, I want to teach the Bible to others so they know what to do to be saved and have a home in Heaven when this life is over. Thanks for writing ….  

Question #2 – I agree. However, we much not rely on the bible as if it is Jesus. We should go to the source, which is Jesus himself. We should be able to hear his voice. I hope this helps. Pray to Jesus and ask him for yourself though. God bless you….  

Answer – To read the Bible is to hear the words of Christ (I Cor. 14:37; II Pet. 3:1-2). Christ does not speak to us independently of what the Bible says. Yes, the Holy Spirit inspired men (II Pet. 1:20-21; I Cor. 2:9-13). Yet, the point was they were to write down the things the Holy Spirit said so that future generations would know the Lord’s will (Ex: Revelation 1:11, 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14)! It was not true that God would keep speaking to people over and over again. He has already given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” in His word (II Pet. 1:3). Thanks.  

Question #3 – No Jesus speaks to us. How are going to know what he wants you to do if you cant (sic) hear him daily. He said that my sheep hear his voice. Your knowledge of the bible, or your nice idea’s is not Jesus speaking to you. His sheep hear his voice, and if you don’t hear his voice than your’e (sic) not his. I haven’t heard his voice, but I’m seeking to. God bless you….  

Answer – Please go back and read the verses I provided. They answer your questions. The Bible has been “once and for all delivered” to us (Jude 3). If Christ spoke to you personally, what would He say that hasn’t already been said in His word? That is what we need to understand. His will is already revealed, and in such a form as we can have access 24/7. Yes, the sheep of Christ hear the shepherd’s voice, and since Christ has ascended back to God's right hand (Acts 1:9-11), we need to listen to His recorded words in Scripture. If you have yet to hear the audible voice of Jesus, this ought to tell you something. We need to listen to the words that are recorded in Scripture. These are the words that save (Rom. 1:16) and give us spiritual life (Jn. 6:63b). Thanks.  -The Old Path

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You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
 

O Come, Let Us Adore Him

Scripture Reading: Psalm 134

1. What does it mean to adore Christ?
2. How does God’s word say we should adore Christ so that He accepts our adoration?

I. TO ADORE: TO LOVE, HONOR, ESTEEM, WORSHIP, RESPECT, ADMIRE.

  A. “To Love and Respect Deeply.” Rev. 5:8-13.
  B. Wise Men Worshiped the Child as a Newborn King, Matt. 2:2, 11; Lk. 9:23.

II. O COME, LET US ADORE HIM.

(How are you adoring Christ in your life?)
  A. With Genuine Faith in Who Jesus Really Is? Matt. 1:21-23; Lk. 1:30-35; 2:11
    1. Savior, Immanuel..., Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7.
    2. Son of the Highest (God).
    3. Christ, the Lord, Psa. 110; Jer. 23:5-6.
  B. With True Worship? Jno. 4:23-24; Isa. 1:10-15; Matt. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:26; 11:20-21; Mal. 1:6-8.
  C. With Faithful Living? Eph. 4:1; 5:1-2; 1 Cor. 11:1.
  D. With Careful Obedience? 2 Tim. 3:10-12 (1 Tim. 4:6); Heb. 5:9; 10:26-29.

Conclusion
1. We not only go to Bethlehem to adore Christ, we go to Galilee, Samaria, Jerusalem, Calvary and to His throne in heaven.
2.  Adore the Son in every goal you set, every attitude you hold, every decision you make, every word you speak and every action you take, Psa. 2:10-12.

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You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
 

Word of the Year: "Post-Truth"

Scripture Reading: Psalm 26:1-5

1. Oxford Dictionaries’ word of year: Post-truth.
2. “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” (theguardian.com) John 8:31-32

I. GOD’S WORD IS TRUTH, Jno. 17:17.

  A. The Gospel is Truth, Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5.
  B. We Can Know its Facts, Commands and Promises, Eph. 5:17; Jno. 8:32; 2 Pet. 3:18.

II. THE WORLD CANNOT PROPERLY DEFINE TRUTH. Jno. 18:38

  A. Feelings, Emotions, Experiences and Traditions, Prov. 14:12; 28:26.
  B. Academia, 1 Cor. 1:18-25.
  C. Majority Defines Truth, Matt. 7:21, 13-14.

III. CONTRAST THE WORLD AND JESUS REGARDING TRUTH, Jno. 8:32.

  A. World: “A” Truth; Jesus: “The” Truth.
  B. World: Partial Truth; Jesus: Fullness of Truth, Jno. 1:14, 16 (16:13).
  C. World: Truth is Relative (changing); Jesus: Truth is Constant, Enduring, 1 Pet. 1:22-25.
  D. World: Truth not Fully Knowable; Jesus: Know the Truth, Eph. 3:3-5.
  E. Denominations: “Essential” Truth; Jesus: All Truth Essential, Jno. 12:48; 16:13.

IV. CHRISTIANS ARE DEVELOPING SIMILAR ATTITUDES TOWARD TRUTH. Matt. 7:24-27

  A. By Confusing Opinions with Truth, Matt. 22:29; Acts 17:11-12 (2 Tim. 2:15).
  B. By Accepting Worldly Values & Attitudes toward Truth, 1 Cor. 1:10; Jno. 7:24; 12:48.

Conclusion - Psalm 25:4-5; 33:4

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NOTEWORTHY NEWS
(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Life Expectancy Rate Flatlines
Joe R. Price

The National Center for Health Statistics reports U.S. life expectancy has dropped one-month since 2014, to 78.8 years. “It's the first decline in more than two decades. And after years of gains, U.S. life expectancy has been essentially flat for a few years, which means an inauspicious trend could be in the works” (“Has U.S. life expectancy maxed out? Decline is first in decades,” John Bacon, usatoday.com). What grabbed my attention was was the following comment by Jonathan Skinner, professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice: “mortality is rising across a wide variety of illnesses...It’s not entirely easy to figure out what to do about it” (Ibid).

What are we to do about dying sooner than expected? While bureaucrats and insurance companies adjust monetary policies and insurance rates based on life expectancy, what must we do as we consider the length of our days on earth?

1) Prepare yourself for your death. Life is short, at best (Psa. 90:10). God’s counsel from Isaiah to King Hezekiah is relevant for you and me: “Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live” (Isa. 38:1). Examine your life priorities. Do they match with the Lord’s will (Matt. 6:33)? Do not waste the time you have on yourself by forgetting God and His will (read Lk. 12:15-21).

2) Live each day faithfully and fully to the Lord. Life is uncertain, so James teaches us to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (Jas. 4:15). Make God’s will your guiding light every day. Your day is not wasted when you fill it with thanksgiving to God and service to others. Live your life outwardly, not inwardly, and imitate the love of Christ (Eph. 5:1-2).

3) Remember, Judgment Day is coming. Rejoice in youth and be thankful for old age, but know God will bring all our years into judgment (Eccl. 11:9). 

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Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  12/11/2016

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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