Volume VII, Number 11
August 10, 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:

Did Jesus Die Spiritually?
Joe R. Price

This question causes some brethren cause to pause and ponder.  Some have evidently concluded that yes, Jesus did die spiritually.  We cannot entertain much less affirm such a conclusion.

The Bible does not teach that our Lord died spiritually.  The implications of such a premise are too awful to contemplate.  Some of these implications would include the following:

1.  If Jesus experienced spiritual death it means that Jesus was a sinner (Eph. 2:1).
2.  Jesus would not be our redeemer, for one sinner cannot redeem another (Rom. 5:8; Rev. 5:9).
3.  Jesus would have to have a redeemer (Eph. 1:7).  If Jesus died spiritually, whose blood redeemed His soul from eternal death?  (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 10:22).
4.  We need and must look for another Savior, not Jesus (Acts 4:12).
5.  Jesus is now, at best, a glorified sinner, saved from spiritual death by the Father (Jno. 17:1-5).
6.  God is a sinner, since “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” through Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-19).

Spiritual death never had dominion over our Lord.  In Romans 6:9-10, Paul said, ”knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.  Death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God” speaking of the death of Jesus on the cross, not of His spiritual death.  It is His death on the tree, inflicted by ”stripes” which heals us from our sins, from which Jesus was raised by God’s power and glory (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).  Jesus was never raised from spiritual death, because He never died spiritually.  (If Jesus did die spiritually, what constituted His spiritual resurrection from that death?)

When Jesus died on the cross he committed His spirit to the Father (Lk. 23:46).  Yet, the spirit of one who is spiritually dead is committed to torments (Lk. 16:22-23).  The very reason it was impossible for death to hold (restrain, have power over) Jesus is because He was (and is) the sinless Son of God (Acts 2:24).  Sinners, the spiritually dead, fear death and are held captive by that fear.  The death of Jesus destroyed the power of sin, and His resurrection destroyed the power of death -- the very tools used by Satan to hold sinners captive (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:55-57).  Thus, Jesus was “delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).

God’s eternal plan for the redemption of sinners is stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21:  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  This passage has been the source of trouble for some, but it need not be the case.  First, since Jesus “knew no sin” He was indeed sinless -- spiritually alive -- not spiritually dead.  God made Him to “be sin” does not mean that Jesus was made a sinner.  It means that Jesus bore the punishment due our sins (death) when He died on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24 - His stripes heal us; Heb. 9:22 - the shedding of blood is the redemption price for sins).  Isaiah 53 makes it abundantly clear that the Messiah’s death on the cross is the death by which He bore our iniquities (Isa. 53:4-8, 10-11). 

Thus, 2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches that the sinless Son of God bore the penalty of our sins (see 1 Pet. 2:24, where this truth is confirmed).  He bore the stroke we were due (Isa. 53:5).  By His death He “made intercession” for the transgressors (Isa. 53:12) -- not by becoming a sinner (dying spiritually), but by bearing the penalty of sin (death).  His death on the cross was the “cup” He drank in fulfillment of the Father’s will (Matt. 26:36-44; Heb. 5:7-8; Isa. 53:10-12). 

Please recall 1 Peter 1:18-19, which teaches we have been redeemed from our sins by “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”.  If Jesus died spiritually He was not like an unblemished lamb and therefore could not enter the Most Holy Place (heaven) to offer Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of the world (Heb. 9:26-28; 10:10-12, 19-20).

Some appeal to Matthew 27:46 as proof that Jesus died spiritually.  We have already adequately shown the folly of that thought.  Since God’s word harmonizes, there must be (and is) an explanation of this passage that does not contradict God’s word in other places.  Like David (Psalm 22), who endured suffering at the hands of his enemies, Jesus suffered at the hands of His enemies.  And, like David, although God allowed the suffering to occur He did not let the sinners go unpunished.  His cry in the moment of agony (“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me”), like the cry of David, evinces His desire for the nearness of the Father who, though with great love for His Son, must allow Him to suffer even to the point of death on the cross.  But, God did not abandon Christ.  He was “heard because of his godly fear” and by death He was perfected as an offering for sin and became the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Heb. 5:7-8; Heb. 12:2-3; Psa. 22:21, 24).  Jesus did not become a sinner on the cross.  He bore the penalty of our sins on the cross and became “a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6; Matt. 20:28).

What about 1 Peter 3:18?  Well, it plainly says “the just for the unjust,” not “the just became unjust.”  The death Jesus “suffered once for sins” that by it “he might bring us to God” was “in the flesh” – it was not a “spiritual” death.  In His death that shed His blood he “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24).  On the cross He suffered the penalty of death “for the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (Isa. 53:8).  His bodily resurrection is then referred to inasmuch as He was “made alive by the Spirit”.  Jesus was resurrection from physical death, not spiritual death.  His body was not left in the grave, nor did He remain in Paradise where the thief was with him after death (Lk. 23:43; Acts 2:24-31).

The Scriptures affirm that Jesus Christ bore the penalty of our sins on the cross.  By His death we have redemption.  The Scriptures do not attribute the condition of spiritual death to Jesus Christ.


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

Little Gods
(What God do you carry with you?)

Scripture Reading:  Amos 5:21-27

   What secret gods (pocket idols; little gods) have we brought with us out of the world & carry with us as we travel to the Promised Land?

I.  THE SECRET GOD OF MONEY – 1 Tim. 6:6-10 (Col. 3:5)

·    Cannot serve two masters – Matt. 6:24; Mk. 10:21-27; 1 Tim. 6:17-19

·    Whenever material things take 1st place in our hearts & lives! – Matt. 6:21; 1 Tim. 6:6; Deut. 8:11-20 (Amos 6:1-8; 1 Cor. 16:2)

·    Carry priority of righteousness! (Mt. 6:33)


·    When “wisdom” of words (rhetoric) convinces us – 1 Cor. 1:17; 2:1-5 (Rom. 16:18)

·    When the “wisdom” of academia persuades us – Col. 2:8 (Jno. 8:32; 17:17); Rom. 1:22

·    Carry the wisdom of God!  (Rom. 11:33-36)


·    When things men hand down are & taught as commands of God – Matt. 15:7-9

·    Carry the divine traditions! – 2 Ths. 2:15 


·    When we take pleasure in unrighteousness – 2 Ths. 2:11-12 (1 Pet. 4:1-3; Heb. 11:25)

·    When pleasure in good things comes before (take place of) God, 1 Ti. 4:7-8; Mt. 10:37-39

·    Carry what pleases God!  2 Cor. 5:9; Phil. 2:13


·    When we refuse to sacrifice for Christ – Lk. 9:23; Lk. 9:24; cf. Jno. 12:25-26

·    When we refuse to be humble before God & man – Jas. 4:6-8 (Dan. 4:30-32; 1 Jno. 2:15-16; Jno. 12:42-43)

·    Carry self-denial & humility before God

Conclusion – Josh. 24:15 (1 Pet. 2:5)


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

Overcoming Discouragement
(Lessons from Elijah)

Scripture Reading:  1 Kings 19:1-10

1.  Maybe you are struggling with discouragement & doubt. 
2.  Elijah’s life is a potent lesson on overcoming discouragement.
3.  Like Elijah, your faith can be strengthened & our spirit renewed.


  A.  Remember What God has Done for you in the Past – 1 Kgs. 17-18.
    1.  Provisions for life – 1 Kgs. 17:1-7, 8-16 (Psa. 37:25; Matt. 6:31-34).
    2.  Victories over evil & error by His power – 1 Kgs. 18:36-40.
    3.  Saved you in Christ (2 Tim. 1:9); Victory over sin & death (1 Cor. 15:55-57); Labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).
  B.  See God’s Present Care & Keeping – 1 Kgs. 19:5-8 (1 Cor. 15:10; Rom. 5:1-2, 5; Eph. 1:3).
  C.  Strengthen Personal Faith – 1 Kgs. 19:4 (Deut. 31:6-8).
  D.  Keep Focused on the Right Things – 1 Kgs. 19:9-10 (Matt. 14:25-33; Heb. 12:1-2; Col. 3:1-4).
  E.  See the Power of God at Work in Your Life – 1 Kgs. 19:11-14.
    1.  Power of Christ over sin & death (Matt. 28:18; Heb. 2:14-15).
    2.  Power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16).
    3.  Power of obedient living (Phil. 2:12-13).
    4.  Power to do all things God wants of you – Phil. 4:13.
  F.  Realize that God Still has Work for You to Do – 1 Kgs. 19:15-16 (Phil. 3:12; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 6:10-12; 1 Cor. 15:58).
  G.  Understand that You are Not Alone – 1 Kgs. 19:18 (Rom. 11:4; 8:31; Heb. 13:6; Num. 14:9).
  H.  Keep Faith that God Will Avenge Every Wrong – 1 Kgs. 19:17 (Rom. 12:17-21).
  I.  Don’t Forget to Rejoice & Pray – Phil. 4:4-7 (Jas. 5:16-18).


1.  Discouragement is the devil’s tool – 1 Pet. 5:6-8
2.  Discouragement is futile & fruitless – 1 Kgs. 19:9


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

The Progression of Error
Joe R. Price

     This past week saw the Episcopal Church elect its first openly homosexual bishop.  Then, on Wednesday it took another step on its morally downward spiral as its House of Bishops approved a resolution giving each diocese the option of blessing same-sex unions.  Can homosexual “marriage” be far behind?

     The irony of these events in the Episcopal Church included an allegation that V. Gene Robinson, the homosexual bishop, had been guilty of “sexual misconduct” years earlier!  In their minds, homosexuality is not misconduct.  The Scriptures say differently:  “Do you not know hat the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10; cf. Rom. 1:26-29).

     The Lord told us such things would be so.  Long ago his apostle wrote, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).

     Why are people deceived into thinking that homosexuality is acceptable to God?  One answer is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12:  “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  The deceptive work of Satan is active in the world, and his agents deceive those who do not love the truth (Jno. 8:44; 2 Cor. 11:13-15).  Deluded by the lies of those who have pleasure in unrighteousness, others are led into condemnation.

     God ordained marriage for male and female from the beginning of the creation (Mk. 10:6-8).  To redefine marriage and then call it holy is among the devil’s lies (Heb. 13:4).  Just as the apostle teaches in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, we must love the truth and not take pleasure in unrighteousness, or we will also be deceived and perish.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  08/08/2003

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