"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Invites you to our
Sept. 25–30, 2005
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
9:30 AM: This man is the Great Power of God
Monday: Recognizing the Tares
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Christianity is practical. It is the practice of a disciple of Jesus to be like the Master (Lk. 6:40). “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God” (1 Jno. 3:10). When one practices the truth he is walking in the light, according to 1 John 1:6-7 – he is following Jesus, the light of the world (1 Jno. 1:6-7; 8:12).
Early Christians practiced their faith by “continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). It is inspired Scripture that thoroughly equips Christians for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The grace of God (by which we are saved and in which we stand, Eph. 2:5, 8; Rom. 5:2) teaches us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). God’s divine power “has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3). Clearly, to practice the life of a disciple of Christ can and will be accomplished by following the word of God.
Why then do some Christians say that living by the Bible just is not practical today? Why do they say that living the Christian life is boring and unfulfilling, or too hard?
At the heart of such thinking is what is in one’s heart: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matt. 12:35). Repentance is taking the bad things (sin) out of one’s heart (Acts 26:20). It is necessary to repent to become a Christian (to be saved in Christ) and to remain faithful to Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:22-24). Having removed the sin, Christians put good things into their hearts, such as “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8
Unless one has the devotion of faith to deny self and follow Jesus, this will not happen (Lk. 9:23). Without a strong faith, Christianity easily becomes negative, a hassle, an inconvenience, a nuisance and a burden. (And, after all, who wants to practice something like that?!) But in fact, Christianity is not “like that” – that is the perception and attitude one develops within a heart that has not implanted within it the word of God (Jas. 1:21).
With God’s word in our hearts we are equipped to think on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, reputable and virtuous things. This is how faith is built (Rom. 10:17). We cannot “walk by faith” without “the faith” (word) in our hearts (2 Cor. 5:9).
Christianity is practical in the home. The Bible teaches how to be a successful husband or wife (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Put God’s word in your heart, practice it and you will succeed.
Christianity is practical at school. The Bible teaches about moral courage and other qualities of faith that will help you do so (2 Pet. 1:5-8). Put God’s word in your heart, practice it and you will succeed.
Christianity is practical at work. Christ teaches us the heart we must have to be faithful on the job (Eph. 6:5-9). To successfully do so, we must put His word in our heart and practice it on the job.
Christianity is practical on social occasions. The Bible teaches us to be examples of godliness at all times (1 Pet. 2:11-12). With God’s word in your heart you will successfully practice holiness.
There are many other applications. Christianity is very practical. But, unless and until we put God’s word in our heart and choose to practice truth (to walk in the light, to be a disciple of Jesus), being a Christian will be a burden, not a blessing (Col. 1:10; 3:16-17; Eph. 4:1).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Numbers 16:1-5
1. History is full of
those who rebelled against God’s arrangements, Jude 5-11 (v. 11, Korah).
I. THE REBELLION OF KORAH (Num. 16).
A. The Complaint was
Against God (rejected the Lord, 16:30; 26:9).
1. A warning for us, 1
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Jude 16-23
1. 1 Sam. 15:22-23:
Rebellion is a companion of stubbornness that rejects the “word of the Lord”
for “a better way.”
I. LESSONS FROM THE REBELLION.
A. God Means what He
Says: God’s Arrangements Stand & must be Respected, Rom. 11:33-36; 2 Tim.
1:13; Col. 3:17.
Jude 16-23: Rebellious will be destroyed, the humble will be saved (and help save others).
Folks in the country just have to do their own carpentry work sometimes. One rule that my Daddy taught me was always to “measure twice, but make one cut.” This may not sound like wisdom, but if you don’t have the money to buy that next piece of wood, because you could hardly afford the piece you are cutting, you tend to approach that costly piece of wood with more respect. Yes, it is true that you will tend to be more careful when you cut a board that cost you twenty five dollars a foot, versus a piece of plywood that cost you twenty five cents a foot.
Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We see how ashamed the workman will be if he gets in a hurry and makes his cuts (rightly dividing) before he measures. Of course, you can see how much the word of God means to you by how carefully you will make that cut, or make that application.
Jesus talked about building a house, and made reference to the kind of foundation one builds on (Matt. 7:24-27). Do you see that you might in fact have the correct foundation and still not make the correct cuts, because you are not measuring with the correct standard? Or worse, you are haphazard in how you are measuring, because you have decided that the material is not that important, or costly. Jesus paid it all that we might rightly divide the word of truth. How precious is God’s word to you? Is it like an expensive piece of wood, or is it just cheap plywood to you?
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA