And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 20, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to
Saturday at 6:00 PM;
Monday-Wednesday at 7:00 PM
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)
The “perilous times” of which the apostle spoke in 2 Timothy 3:1 are, as one commentator observed, times when the Christian “has to live under a constant sense of hindrance and difficulty of one sort or another” (Pulpit Commentary, Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.), p. 39). The difficulties of living in the world while remaining separate from the world is one of the daily temptations we face (Jno. 15:18-20; 1 Jno. 2:15-17).
Those who abandon the restraints of revealed truth do not live under the trials of faith. They freely give themselves over to the desires and fulfillments of the flesh. They exert pressure on the righteous to compromise morality and yield the high ground of truth for the comfort of inclusion and self-satisfaction. The righteous are tempted to envy the wicked since it appears they escape the hindrances that faith compels (Psa. 73:1-14). However, we must consider the result of their sinful indulgences and continue to trust the Lord (Psa. 73:15-28): “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:38).
In his detailed description of those who exert pressures on the righteous, the apostle begins by observing, “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,” (2 Tim. 3:2-3).
Let us focus on “without self-control” for a moment. These are without the power to restrain themselves from evil. This does not mean that self-control is beyond their ability. It means they have chosen not to exercise control over their passions, their words and their actions. This word is used “here only in the New Testament, not in the LXX, but frequent in classical Greek, in the sense of intemperate in the pursuit or use of anything, e.g. money, the tongue, pleasure, the appetite, etc.” (Ibid, 40). Unwilling to moderate themselves with divine truth, those without self-control throw caution to the wind, spreading the seeds of intemperance while pressuring the righteous to conform to their lustful excesses (2 Tim. 3:6-8).
Self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23). It requires bringing the flesh with its passions and desires under the control of the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:24-26). It requires applying the discipline of faith to one’s heart (its motives, values, and decisions) as well as to one’s body as it carries out the intentions of the heart.
We must control our minds. Since what comes out of our hearts is the essence of who we are, it is critical that we fill our hearts with the truth of God (Matt. 15:19-20; Heb. 8:10; 10:16).
We must control our bodies (1 Cor. 9:27). Faith compels us to practice the faith we profess and use our bodies as instruments of righteousness and holiness instead of sin (Rom. 6:12-16; 1 Thess. 4:8).
Let us add self-control to our knowledge and withstand the perilous times that arise from those who do not follow Christ (2 Pet. 1:6).
Scripture Reading: Genesis 11:1-9
1. Communication is essential to
every healthy relationship and society.
I. CHRISTIANS MUST COMMUNICATE.
A. To God in Prayer and Praise,
Lk. 18:1; Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Col. 4:2.
II. WHEN THERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE (Gen. 11:1-9).
A. Confusion, Disputes and
Division Reign, Gen. 11:8-9; 1 Tim. 6:4-5; 1 Cor. 1:10.
III. GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION.
A. Be Careful How You Listen, Lk.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:124-128
1. This statement is often used to
challenge binding Bible patterns and to advance the broadening of
I. “GOD DIDN’T SAY NOT TO DO IT.” Yes, He did, by necessary inferences. Lk. 12:54-57
A. Noah: God Didn’t Say Not to Use
Oak to Build the Ark, Gen. 6:13-14, 22-7:1; Heb. 11:7.
II. APPLICATIONS FOR US. (Bible silence is not our permission to act.) Matt. 21:23-25
A. “Bible Doesn’t Say Not to Use
Instrumental Music in Worship,” Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; Jas. 5:13.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
This week the New York Times published an anonymous Op-Ed essay under the title, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” (nytimes.com). The byline read, “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” There are several spiritual applications we can draw from this incident.
Anonymity breeds speculation, uncertainty, and chaos. Some prefer to remain anonymous instead of being known as Christian and suffer for it (1 Pet. 4:16). Whether the motive is shame, fear or something else, Christians do not attempt to conceal who they are (Matt. 5:14-16). Some are averse to using “church of Christ” to identify local churches (Rom. 16:16). They advertise that “Christians meet here” (or use some other non-descript appellation), leaving one to speculate exactly who the Christians are who “meet here.”
Anonymity is the haven of the cowardly. We must not be afraid to speak the truth (Acts 4:13; Eph. 6:19). “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord…” (2 Tim. 1:7-8). Let us speak the gospel plainly and boldly, not with rhetorical ambiguity (2 Cor. 1:18-20).
Anonymity is the oasis of the whisperer. The whisperer’s worst nightmare is to be exposed. The whisperer is a talebearer who thinks the veil of secrecy conceals his evil motives and stealthy conduct. But, God hates one who sows discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16, 19). In the judgment, Christ will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts” (1 Cor. 4:5; Eccl. 12:14).
Anonymity is an asylum for deniability instead of accountability. Attempts to remain anonymous can tempt one to become deceptive instead of honest and forthright. We must speak truth, not obscure it (Eph. 4:15, 25). We must accept responsibility for our words and our actions.
Remember, nobody is anonymous to God (Heb. 4:13).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 09/10/2018
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA