Volume VII, Number 01
May 11, 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:

Rejoice in the Lord Always!
Joe R. Price

Philippians is the epistle of joy.  More particularly, its theme is “joy in Christ.”  Ironically, it was written at a time when Paul was imprisoned for his faith (1:12-17).  But, rather than consider his circumstance a hardship (which it certainly was in a variety of ways), he was content to view it as a sharing in the sacrifice and service of fellow saints (Phil. 4:11; 2:17).  He rejoiced in his present trials and the advantage that had been gained as a result (1:12-14).

The epistle to the Philippians teaches us to live in joy and contentment.  Oh, how we need to learn the lesson!  With eyes of faith we learn to see beyond the trials of the moment to the spiritual and eternal benefits they yield the faithful (1 Pet. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 4:16-18).  Like the Philippians, we need the discernment for which Paul prayed, for it will help us live joyful, contented lives (Phil. 1:9-10).  Such spiritual discernment will help us:

1)    Distinguish between right and wrong so that we may live in God’s approval and appear before Christ without offense, 1:10-11
2)    Live for Christ and strive together for the faith of the gospel, 1:21, 27
3)    Have the mind of Christ, 2:1-5
4)    Press on to the heavenly goal, 3:12-16
5)    Always rejoice in the Lord, 4:4

What a worthy example is set for us by the apostle Paul (Phil. 4:9).  Just as he was able to rejoice in his bonds, we can rejoice in the trials we face for Christ’s sake.  And, like him, we are blessed for it (Matt. 5:10-12).

Philippians reminds Christians of many reasons to re­joice in the Lord.  If these reasons do not describe your joy in Christ, they should!

1.    Fellowship in the furtherance of the gospel - 1:3-5
2.    Whenever Christ is proclaimed - 1:18
3.    Because of a life of faith - 1:25
4.    Unity with brethren - 2:1-4
5.    Sacrifice and service for Christ and brethren - 2:17-18
6.    Brotherly safety and companionship - 2:28
7.    The fruits of one’s labors for Christ - 2:16; 4:1
8.    The Lord hears and answers our prayers and grants peace - 4:4-7
9.    Actions of brotherly love and concern - 4:10

May we often meditate on these things, for they are indeed true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Phil. 4:8).  By so doing, we refuse to be distracted from the joy of faith that is in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7, 10-11; 1:25). 

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice!”


The Disputer of this Age
Joe R. Price

On more than one occasion, Christians who “contend earnestly for the faith” are mistaken for those who engage in sinful “contentions” (Jude 3; 2 Cor. 12:20-21).  Without question, we must be able to discern when to contend for the faith and when to not be drawn into “disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth” (1 Tim. 6:4-5).  We must also be able to distinguish between the “disputer of this age” and the “good soldier of Jesus Christ” who is fighting “the good fight of faith” (1 Cor. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:3; 1 Tim. 6:12).  Please note some of the traits of the disputer of this age set in contrast to the good soldier of Christ.  Perhaps these things will help us “prove the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 Jno. 4:1).

In advancing his cause, the “disputer of this age” does not consent to “wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 6:3).  He spurns the “word of the cross” (1 Cor. 1:18-20).  On the other hand, one who contends earnestly for the faith will “hold fast the pattern of sounds words” (the inspired word of Christ’s apostles, 2 Tim. 1:13).

The disputer of this age uses flattery and smooth speech to persuade & deceive unsuspecting hearts.  But, the result of their oratory is division (Rom. 16:17-18).  The contender for the faith straightforwardly speaks the truth of the gospel (2 Cor. 2:17; 4:2).

The disputer of this age inflames strife with foolish and ignorant endeavors (2 Tim. 2:23).  Being ensnared in their ignorance of the truth, they pridefully think themselves wise (2 Tim. 2:24; 1 Tim. 6:4).  On the other hand, the Lord’s servant does not display a quarrelsome spirit, but is gentle and patient, attempting to teach and save some (2 Tim. 2:24-26).  Do not confuse boldness in speaking the truth with a lack of gentleness (some made that mistake concerning the apostle Paul, 2 Cor. 10:1-2).  Boldness exhibits a gentle strength of faith and is not prompted by the flesh to quarrel (2 Cor. 10:3; 2 Tim. 2:24).

The disputer of this age relies on human wisdom to persuade, not the simplicity of the gospel (1 Cor. 1:19-25).  Human intelligence and eloquence impresses many people, but when it will not submit to “the word of the truth of the gospel”, it is not an asset (1 Cor. 2:1, 4; Col. 2:8, 20-23).  The good soldier of Christ will find his wisdom, knowledge and understanding of truth in Christ (Col. 2:2-3).

Do not confuse one who is contending earnestly for the faith with the disputer of this age.  May we always hold up the hands of the former and turn away from the latter (Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 1:8).

“Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”  (2 Tim. 4:2-4)


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

"God Is"

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 146

1.  Most everyone has some concept of God – Acts 17:16, 22-23.
2.  How would you introduce God to someone?  Who is God? Why would God care about me?  And, why should I care about God?

I.  WHO IS GOD? – Heb. 11:6

  A.  Everything We May Understand about God is “By Faith” as a Result of the Evidence that is Set Before Us – Heb. 11:1-3, 6.
  B.  For Anyone to Come to God, He Must (Heb. 11:6):
    1.  Believe “God is” – Obtained by evidence – Rom. 1:20.
      a.  The cosmos, universe (the things that are made):  Evidence of order, design & an intelligent, creative Creator – Psa. 19:1; Acts 14:15-17.
      b.  Power & divinity (the invisible things of God) – Gen. 1:1; Acts 17:24-26; Heb. 11:3.
      c.  Clearly seen, understood by created things!
    2.  Believe that God rewards those who diligently seek Him – Acts 17:27-28, 30 (Jer. 10:23); Heb. 11:6.
    3.  Who is God?  Creative, all knowing & all-powerful Being who has communicated His will to us, His creatures.


  A.  Because He Created You & Sustains You – Acts 17:26-28 (Gen. 1:26-28).
  B.  Because He Wants What is Best for You (He loves you).
    1.  Physical life, Acts 14:17 (Psa. 145:15-16).
    2.  Spiritual life, Gen. 2:17; 3:15; Jno. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 Jno. 4:10.


  A.  Because He Rewards Faithful Living – Heb. 11:6; Acts 17:30-31.  Repent because judgment is coming (Heb. 10:31; 12:25, 29).
    -Goodness of God – Rom. 2:2-6 (11:22).


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

Spiritual and Eternal Life

Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 12

1.  Jno. 1:4 – In Christ, life is found (Jno. 14:6) – Jno. 4:14.
2.  We possess life in Christ while our hope is on eternal life.


  A.  Spiritual Life Means Freedom from the Death of Sin – Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13; Eph. 4:18; Rom. 6:4, 13.
  B.  Spiritual Life Means Fellowship with God - Eph. 2:4-6; Rom. 8:1-2.
  C.  Spiritual Life is Characterized by Sanctification (holiness) – Rom. 6:21-22; 8:6-7, 10, 12-13.
  D.  Spiritual Life is Obtained through the Gospel – 2 Cor. 3:6 (Jno. 6:63); Rom. 1:16.
  E.  Spiritual Life can be Forfeited – 1 Cor. 9:27; 10:12; 2 Pet. 1:10-11.


  A.  Defined:  Glory, Honor, Immortality & Peace - Rom. 2:7, 10; 2:8-9; 2 Cor. 5:1-4 (Rev. 14:13); Mk. 10:30 (Lk. 18:30); 1 Pet. 1:5.
  B.  We Must Lay Hold of Eternal Life (don’t yet have it actually) - 1 Tim. 6:12, 19; 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Jas. 1:12; Matt. 19:17.
  C.  We Have Eternal Life – 1 Jno. 5:11-13.  (Have it potentially) – (hope, Titus 1:2; 3:7; Heb. 6:17-19; Rom. 8:24-25); (promise, 1 Jno. 2:25 (cf. Matt. 19:29; 25:46); (by faith, Jno. 3:14-16; cf. 6:54, 68; 10:27-28).
    -The end (purpose, goal, result) of our faith – Rom. 6:22-23; 1 Pet. 1:9; Jude 21.

    Jno. 10:28 – Christ Jesus gives spiritual and eternal life to all who hear His voice & follow Him (“…whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” – Jno. 11:26).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Got Saints?
Joe R. Price 

On May 4, 2003, in Madrid, Spain, Pope John Paul II proclaimed five new saints.  The open air mass drew about one million Catholics, who applauded as he read the names of the Spanish saints.  John Paul II has canonized 450 saints during his 25 years as pope – a record for the Catholic Church.

Of course, that is no record at all when compared to the New Testament church.  In fact, on one day about three thousand souls became saints (Acts 2:38, 41)!  Nor does it bear any resemblance to how people were named saints in the days of the New Testament. 

In the New Testament, all who are “sanctified in Christ Jesus” are called “saints” (1 Cor. 1:2).  The Corinthian Christians became saints, not by a papal pronouncement, but by hearing the gospel of Christ, believing it, and being baptized (Acts 18:8).  When they became Christians they were not only “washed and “justified” – they were also “sanctified” (1 Cor. 6:11).

All who are beloved of God are called “saints” according to Romans 1:7, not merely a select few.  Since every Christian is to be holy or set apart from sin, every Christian is a saint (1 Pet. 1:15-16; Eph. 5:3).  All citizens of the household of God are “saints” (Eph. 2:19).  Christians are the very “saints” who are equipped to serve and edify the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12, 16).  Faithful brethren are referred to as “saints” in Colossians 1:2, and are qualified to partake of the eternal inheritance (Col. 1:12).  Every saint – that is, every Christian – is an heir of the eternal inheritance (1 Pet. 1:3-5; Gal. 3:26-29).  When Christ returns all the saints – every Christian – will share in His glory (2 Ths. 1:10; Col. 3:4).

The Catholic concept of canonizing saints is an invention of men.  It is the elevation of some about their fellows.  It is the veneration of humans as if they were divine.  Popes name dead people as saints in the Catholic Church, but God calls every living saint “into the fellowship of His Son” (1 Cor. 1:2, 9).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  05/09/2003

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