Volume VI, Number 49
April 13, 2003

Published by

Mt. Baker
church of Christ
Bellingham, WA
(1860 Mt. Baker HWY)
(360) 752-2692

Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship............10:30 & 6:00

Bible Classes...........7:00 PM

Web sites:

Editor................Joe R. Price

"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)

In this issue:

Reactions to Rebuke
Joe R. Price

Rebuke means “to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely…to admonish or charge sharply” (Thayer, 245).  The instrument of any wise and justifiable rebuke is the word of God (2 Tim. 4:2).  To rebuke another on the basis of human wisdom is to “mind the things of men” and thereby serve the bidding of Satan (cf. Matt. 16:22-23).

Rebuke from the word of God is a blessing both to the one who receives it and to the one who gives it.  To the one whose sin and error is rebuked by truth, the blessing is clear:  by heeding the rebuke given the sinner will repent, be forgiven and blessed in Christ.  To the one who gives the rebuke there is the blessing of turning a sinner from error and death:  “But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them” (Prov. 24:25; cf. 11:30; Jas. 5:19-20).

Jesus teaches us to use rebuke to save the lost.  “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him” (Lk. 17:3).  But, some have no stomach for either giving or receiving needed rebuke from the word of God.  Like the blind watchmen of ancient Israel whom God rebuked with words of condemnation, some today are “dumb (silent, jrp) dogs” who “cannot bark” because “they look to their own way” and their “own gain” instead of the salvation of lost and dying souls (Isa. 56:10-11).  There is no virtue in failing to rebuke sin and error, only more sin and death.

Neither is there virtue in improperly rebuking the sinner.  The censuring of sin must be wisely spoken to benefit the recipient as well as the giver.  “A word fitly spoken” can do great good:  “Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear” (Prov. 25: 11-12).  But, we render rebuke powerless when we speak it rashly, angrily or self-righteously.  A brother overtaken in a trespass is more likely to be restored by rebuke which is clothed with “a spirit of gentleness” instead of wrapped in a harsh spirit of superiority (Gal. 6:1).

The person overtaken by sin will react one of two ways when rebuked with God’s word:  “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you” (Prov. 9:8).  The person who is intent on continuing in sin will not listen to rebuke, but will instead despise both the rebuke and the rebuker (Prov. 13:1; 1:25, 30).  On the other hand, the wise person loves the person whose love for his soul prompted the needed rebuke.  He benefits from godly rebuke, for in heeding it he gains understanding and salvation (Prov. 13:1; 17:10; 15:32; 19:25).

May we ever be wise in both the giving and the receiving of divine rebuke, for by it we shall “discern knowledge” and “get understanding” (Prov. 19:25; 15:32).


Obeying God in One's Youth
by Heath Rogers

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Eccl. 12:2). It is sad to see young people choose the world over the Lord. The Bible offers some compelling reasons for one to obey God in their youth.


1. Habits are formed in our youth. (Proverbs 22:6) The older we get, the harder it is to break out of our routine. If we make serving God a way of life in our youth it will stick with us through life.


2. Avoiding the regret of a wasted life. Peter tells us, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles - when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:3). Regardless of what age we are when we obey the gospel, the life we have lived up to that point is enough time spent in sin. Even if we live to an old age we’ve still really only had a few years to make a difference in this world (Eph. 5:15-17). Many people have to live with the consequences of the sins they committed in their youth. We do reap what we sow - “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:7-8).


3. We are not to test God’s patience. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The acceptable time to be saved is when we hear the gospel. “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2; see also Acts 22:16). The devil will make sure that we never have a convenient time to become a Christian (Acts 24:25; Luke 8:12).

4. We aren’t promised tomorrow. “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away… Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:14, 17). On any given day, the obituary page contains the names of people who didn’t even make it out of their teens! Are you willing to take that chance?

-Margaret Street church of Christ Bulletin
April 13, 2003


You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS

Sweet Will of God

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 11:25-30

   The will of God is His counsel (or purposes) for us & His desires (intentions) commands of us (1 Jno. 2:17)

I.  SWEET WILL OF GOD:  HIS ETERNAL PURPOSES – Isa. 46:10; Psa. 33:11.

  A.  Examples of God’s Purposes:
    1.  Redemption in Christ – Eph. 1:5, 9, 11.
    2.  The choices He made to accomplish it – Rom. 9:10-23; 11:29-36.
    3.  Nations (Dan. 4:17, 25, 31-32); Kings (1 Sam. 16:12); Prophets (Jer. 1:5); Apostles (1 Cor. 1:1).
  B.  What is Good in His Sight – Matt. 11:25-26.
  C.  Superior to the Will of Man – Prov. 19:21 (Job 42:1-6); Acts 5:39 (11:17).
  D.  Can Know Will of God - Ac 22:14; Eph. 5:17.


  A.  The Nature of God’s Will - Rom. 12:2; 1 Jno. 5:3; Psa. 19:7-11.
  B.  Will of God is Doable – Mk. 3:35 (Jno. 7:17); Eph. 6:6 (Acts 13:22); Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 4:12; Matt. 7:21; Heb. 10:36.
  C.  Can be Rejected, but with Terrible Results – Lk. 7:30; 2 Ths. 1:8-9.

III.  SWEET WILL OF GOD:  “THY WILL BE DONE” (IN MY LIFE) – Matt. 6:10; cf. 18:14.

  A.  Surrendering Self – Matt. 26:39, 42; Jno. 5:30; Heb. 13:5-6.
  B.  Faith in our Father – Acts 18:21; 21:12-14; cf. Isa. 25:1; Heb. 6:13-18.
  C.  Peace & Joy in Christ - Rom. 8:28; 15:32.


·   It is God’s will that you be saved, 1 Tim. 2:3-4.

·   It is God’s will that none should perish, 2 Pet. 3:9 (Matt. 18:14).

·   It is God’s will that we be morally pure, 1 Ths. 4:3, 7 (sanctification).

·   It is God’s will that ignorance be silenced, 1 Pet. 2:15.


You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS

Perfect Hatred

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 139:17-24

1.  Hate is destructive – Prov. 10:12.
2.  Yet, there is a time to hate! – Eccl. 3:8.
3.  Different kinds: Lk. 14:26; Titus 3:3; Heb. 1:9.


  A.  God Hates (abhor, loathe) Sin – Psa. 45:6-7 (Heb. 1:9); Prov. 6:16-19; Mal. 2:16; Rev. 2:6.
    1.  Love God / hate evil, Psa. 97:10; Amos 5:15; Rom. 12:9.
    2.  Reject evil in our life, Psa. 101:3.
    3.  Esteem God’s law, Psa. 119:104, 128, 163.
  B.  A Sense in Which God Hates (has no pleasure in) the Sinner - Psa. 5:4-5; 11:4-5.  [Psa. 26:4-5 (Psa. 1:1); Psa. 31:6; 139:21-22.
  C.  There is a Time to Hate! – Eccl. 3:8; Prov. 8:13 (3:7).


  A.  Hate is of the World – Gal. 5:19-20; Jno. 15:18-19.
  B.  One Who Hates Another Person - 1 Jno. 2:9, 11; 3:13-15; 4:19-20.


  A.  God Has! – Matt. 5:43-48; Jno. 3:16-17
  B.  We Must Love the Evil Doer, Even When His Evil is Against Us – Matt. 5:44; Lk. 6:31.
  C.  God has Not Given Us the Right to Take Vengeance upon Evil – Rom. 12:17-21.


1.  Hatred is a strong emotion, causing strong reactions of heart & deed.
  a.  God hates sin (incl. Hatred), & sinners have no place in His presence (nor pleasure from Him).
  b.  When we hate sin & refuse the counsel of sinners, we show reverence for God.
2.   So, we must seek to overcome evil with good, & not be consumed with hatred when evil is committed against us!
3.  Will you love Jesus & obey Him (Jno. 14:15)?  Or, hatred Him by denying Him in your life?  (Jno. 15:23; cf. 1 Jno. 2:23)


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

That Knife is Sharp!
Joe R. Price 

     A circus performer and record-breaking knife thrower was demonstrating his skills earlier this month when, as Reuters reported, “one of his daggers sliced into the head of his assistant on live (British) TV.” The man’s assistant and girlfriend was not seriously injured.  But, it reminds us that we should not be throwing knives around!

     Sadly, many folks do “throw” sharp things at others, and with deadly accuracy.  The Bible warns us of one such object:  “A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Prov. 25:18).  Speaking lies against others leave hurtful, bleeding wounds upon the heart, health and happiness of the innocent.  Untold misery and pain has been caused by those who hurl lies and deceitful words toward (and against) others.  “Their tongue is a sharp sword” or “razor” which “devises destruction” because they “love evil more than good” and “devouring words more than speaking righteousness” (Psa. 57:4; 52:2-4).  But, those with lying lips and deceitful tongues will themselves experience the “sharp arrows of the warrior” when God judges their sin (Psa. 120:1-4).

     Thus, it is not strange that Christ is portrayed as the Warrior-King in the book of Revelation, conquering all the opponents of righteousness and truth (cf. the prophecy of Messiah in Psa. 45:3-5).  With a “sharp two-edged sword” proceeding out of His mouth He fights against and judges those among His people whose false and deceptive teachings deny His faith (Rev. 1:16; 2:1-2, 16).  With His “sharp sword” of truth He is also pictured as striking the nations in judgment as He rules over them as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:11-16).  Christ rules in truth and reigns in righteousness!

     Knowing that the Lord judges every lie and deceitful word, should we not rather allow His powerful and sharp word of truth to cut away every sin from our hearts and lives (Heb. 4:12)?  Better to be “cut to the heart” by the convicting power of the gospel than to be slain by the powerful word of God in the day of judgment (Acts 2:37; Jno. 12:48).  When the word of God cuts our heart it has the power to heal our soul (Acts 2:38-41; Rom. 1:16).  When the word of God judges sinners in the last day, all liars will suffer the second death (Rev. 21:8).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  04/11/2003

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