And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 20, Number
In this issue:
Spiritually minded people want to experience God, and to that end, God speaks to you, revealing Himself, His purposes, and His ways. The most obvious questions people ask about God’s speaking are, “How does God speak to me?” and “How can I know when God is speaking?” Although it is hard to get people to believe, the answer is easy: God speaks through the Bible! You may say, “That is too easy!” But God can do whatever He pleases, and the scriptures say He speaks through them to us.
Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In short, the scriptures are God’s revelation of Himself to humanity. It is a record of God’s dealings with humanity and His words to them. God speaks to you through the Bible!
When you think of this, it makes sense. What if God literally “spoke” to each of us? There are lots of people who make this claim, but they all act in different ways. How could God speak to people in contradictory ways? We know that God does not change (Malachi 3:6), does not lie (Titus 1:2), and does not respect one person over another (Acts 10:34). The only way to reconcile all of this is to admit that maybe God does not “speak” directly the way people claim. Perhaps they are not willing to accept the truth so God sends them a “strong delusion” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). If someone will accept the fact that God only teaches through His word (John 6:44-45), then they can get on with learning God’s will and obey Him through repentance, confession, and baptism.
-The Gospel Teacher (May 13, 2018) lawofliberty.com
8 Love never
fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are
tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when
that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done
The abiding superiority of love over the temporarily miraculous spiritual gifts (a discussion of which Paul had introduced in 1 Corinthians 12:1) is the “more excellent way” that was to control the use of those gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31). The partial things in this passage are the miraculous gifts given by the apostles through the laying on of their hands (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6). In this context, that “which is perfect” is the completed result of those gifts, namely, the full and final revelation of the gospel of Christ. When the miraculous gifts served their purpose of revealing, inspiring and confirming the gospel of Christ, they were “done away” with, like so much scaffolding around a building whose construction is complete. The “perfect” in this text is not Jesus, nor is His second coming in view (that is a forced and arbitrary interpretation). The Corinthian Christians needed to learn and use love as they exercised their miraculous gifts. The gifts would cease but love never ends. Love must be the compelling motive of all we do. Always. Because love never fails. It never vanishes away.
-Sword Tips #1345, April 10, 2018
turning you from worldly foolishness and sin.
Are warning words when you go astray.
Are abiding words of love and devotion.
Mothers are a blessing from God! Thank God for your mother, and thank your mother for the blessing she is in your life.
20 “My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. 21 Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck.” (Proverbs 6:20-21)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 31:25-31
mothers, 1 Thess. 2:7; Prov. 19:26-27.
I. GOD-FEARING MOTHERS.
their Children are Gifts from God, 1 Sam. 1:20; 2:1.
II. THE LOVE OF A GOD-FEARING MOTHER IS ALWAYS ACTIVE, 1 Cor. 13:4-8.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:24-28
Housetops in ancient Palestine.
I. A PLACE OF PERSISTENT (UNYIELDING) FAITH, Mk. 2:1-5.
at Work Blessed the Lame Man, Jas. 2:14-18.
II. A PLACE OF PREACHING, Matt. 10:26-27.
Housetop Signifies an Open and Public Opportunity, Rom. 10:13-15.
III. A PLACE OF PRAYER, Acts 10:9-10.
A. Make Time to be Alone with the Lord, Mk. 1:35; Lk. 5:17; 6:12; Jas. 5:16.
IV. PLACE OF SINFUL PASSION, 2 Sam. 11:2-5.
A. An Isolated Place can also become a Stumbling-Block (Occasion for Sin); 2 Sam. 12:7, 13 (Psa. 32:3-5); Heb. 4:13; 1 Cor. 4:5.
V. A PLACE OF PAINFUL PRIVACY, Prov. 21:9; 25:24.
Husbands and Wives Need to Overcome Contentiousness and Strengthen their
Let Freedom Ring
Three Americans returned home this week from North Korea, where they had been held captive for alleged subversion, espionage and other unspecified hostile acts. When they landed in Alaska they released a statement which said, “We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home. We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world.” (“Trump says he will meet freed Americans when they land in DC area early Thursday morning,” foxnews.com). We are also thankful for their release.
Let me pose a question about their freedom. Does their freedom now mean they are not under answerable to the laws of America? Because they have graciously received freedom, can they violate U.S. laws with impunity? You would rightly say, “Of course not!”
Yet, this illustrates the concept some have concerning spiritual freedom in Christ. They mistakenly think they are free from (any) law because they have obtained liberty from sin in Christ. They twist Galatians 5:1 to justify their broadened view of grace, while conversely vilifying obedient faith (Rom. 3:27; 1 Cor. 9:21). Paul wrote, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). The bondage in view is sin’s bondage, a bondage that was amplified (not remedied) by the law of Moses (Gal. 3:10-14; Rom. 3:20). Freedom from sin in Christ does not give one liberty to abandon obedient faith to Christ. Being “under grace” frees us from sin’s bondage and its reign over us. Thus saved by grace through faith, we are now “slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:14-18).
Freedom in Christ is not liberty from careful obedience. And, careful obedience is not legalism. Indeed, our liberty from sin enables us to be blessed by carefully obeying our Master’s teachings (1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 3:10; Heb. 5:8-9).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 05/13/2018
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA