The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

June 19, 2011

 
In This Issue:
It's a War Out There!
by Steve Klein

Christians are Sons and Daughters
by Carrol Sutton

BACK TO INDEX

It's a War Out There!

       As Christians, we are engaged daily, not in a mortal battle, but an immortal one.  It is not a conflict over our physical existence, but over the eternal destiny of our souls.  "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh." (2 Corinthians 10:3).  Like Timothy, each of us must "fight the good fight of faith" in order to "lay hold on eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:12).

  There is no truce in this war.  Satan is ever testing our defenses, probing our weaknesses, and attacking us on every front.  He uses our own worldly desires to develop strategies to defeat us (cf. James 1:14).  He is cunning and subtle (Genesis 3:1).  We are commanded to prepare ourselves to stand against "the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).  The word translated "wiles" refers to "cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery" (Thayer).  Our diabolical enemy must not be given even the smallest opening.

  The Scriptures mention three specific areas where our defenses are potentially weak. It is critical that we give attention to shoring ourselves up in these areas:

  • Our willingness to Forgive.  If Satan can get us to hold a grudge, he's defeated us.  He knows that "if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:15).  And so, he plays on our feelings of pride and self pity to induce us to keep careful count of things that have offended us and to dwell on past mistreatment.  The apostle Paul understood this tactic of Satan's.  He instructed the Corinthians to be sure and forgive a certain brother "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Corinthians 2:10).

  • Controlling our Anger.  Our wrath does not lead us to do what is right in God's eyes, no matter how justified we may feel when we vent it. (cf. James 1:20).   Anger cannot be avoided, but it must be controlled.  "BE ANGRY, AND DO NOT SIN": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27).

  • Abstaining from Fleshly Lusts.  Virtually anything of a worldly nature that we have an inordinate desire for can be used as a weapon against us by Satan.  It doesn't matter if it's money, material possessions, sex, food, fashion, glory, popularity or anything else.  "Beloved, I beg you, as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11).

  We look forward to the coming day when our long enemy Satan is destroyed and we dwell at peace in a place in which nothing can enter that defiles or causes an abomination  (Revelation 21:7).  But until that day comes in which the victory is won and our enemy is defeated, we must not give in, give up or give out in our mighty conflict.

-- Steve Klein


Christians are Sons and Daughters

Disciples (i.e., Christians) are sons and daughters! John declares: "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the SONS OF GOD, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:11-13). In 1 John 3:1-2 we read, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the SONS OF GOD, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." In writing to Christians in Galatia, Paul said: "And because ye are SONS, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (4:6). In speaking of God to saints (i.e., Christians), Paul declared: "And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:18).

As SONS and DAUGHTERS of the Almighty God, we have the blessed privilege of talking to our Heavenly Father in prayer! Others do not have this privilege! (Read and carefully study 1 Peter 3:12; Luke 11:1-4; John 9:31; 1 John 3:22; 5:14 & 1 Thess. 5:17).

As SONS and DAUGHTERS of Almighty God, we will receive chastening of the Lord! This is for our benefit! (Read and carefully consider Hebrews 12:5-11: 1 Cor. 11:31-32; Rev. 3:19; James 1:2-4 and James 1:12.

As SONS and DAUGHTERS of the Lord Almighty, we have a way of escape provided with every temptation! (See 1 Cor. 10:13).

As SONS and DAUGHTERS of Almighty God, we are admonished to "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7)!

As SONS and DAUGHTERS, we are heirs of God! (See Rom. 8:15-18; Gal. 4:4-7; 3:26-29; Heb. 1:14 & Titus 3:7).To be a true CHILD OF GOD one must be led by the Spirit of God! (See Rom. 8:14).

-- Carrol R. Sutton