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

Editor/Evangelist  Joe R. Price
Volume VII,  Number 34
  February 01, 2004

Times of services:

Bible Classes............9:30 AM
Worship......10:30 & 6:00 PM
Bible Classes............7:00 PM

Web sites:

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

In this issue:

"The Conviction of Things Not Seen"
Steven F. Deaton

Faith is not “blind” as some in the world believe.  Rather, faith is a conviction based on evidence.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, NASB).  Faith comes from the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). The creation account is given in the word of God (Gen. 1, 2).  We are told God made all things, heaven and earth, sun, moon and stars, plants and animals, fish and fowls.  God also made man.  We know this to be true by faith.

We did not see the creation of the world, but there is plenty of evidence to prove it happened.  The universe is not an accident as the atheist and evolutionist argue.  It was created.  “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Heb. 3:4).  By faith we are convicted that Jehovah created the world.

By faith we understand Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God.  Paul said Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4).  Paul did not see the resurrection, nor did any other human.  However, Paul, the other apostles, and more than 500 brethren at once, saw the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-8).  Evidence was presented to these men that proved the resurrection.  This evidence is recorded for our benefit.  We believe, though we have not seen (cf. Jn. 20:29).

By faith we understand our sins are remitted when we believe, confess Christ, repent of our sins, and are baptized (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9, 10).  No man has seen sins washed away in the waters of baptism (cf. Acts 22:16).  Yet, sufficient evidence is given to prove it to be true.  The miracles performed by the apostles show their words are from God, not man (Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:3, 4).  Remember, Jesus proved His ability to forgive sins (unseen) by healing a paralytic man (seen) (Mk. 2:1-12).

-The Gospel Teacher, 34:29, January 25, 2004


The Christian's Inheritance
Joe R. Price

Things wear out.  Take car tires, for instance.  Sometimes, they wear out before you know it.  If you wait too long to change a worn-out tire a blow out is likely.  So, check your tires.  And, so it goes.  Things like worn out tires can creep up on us, giving us another example of the temporal nature of life “under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9-11).

Such mundane things as worn-out tires caused me to remember a wonderful passage in the Bible that is filled with assurance and confident hope for the Christian:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”   (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The Christian’s life is filled with hope and joy because of God’s mercy and the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus for our sins (Eph. 1:7; 2:12-13; Rom. 5:8-11).  Not only is our hope secured by the death of Christ, it is made alive by His resurrection (1 Pet. 1:3; cf. Rom. 4:25; 5:10). 

The Christian’s joyful hope is due in part to the nature of the inheri­tance that has been reserved for him.  Peter gives us three descriptions of the heavenly reward.  Each one helps to secure our faith and strengthen our resolve to live by faith and thus be protected by the power of God until our salvation is revealed (1 Pet. 1:5). 

Our inheritance:

Is incorruptible.  That is, our inheritance is “not liable to corrup­tion or decay” (Vine, I:244). Everything around us is decaying:  buildings, roads, food, and our bodies, ad infinitum.  By contrast, what a glorious truth that our heavenly home is immune from corruption (2 Cor. 4:16-5:1).  For this reason we are urged to “lay up treasure in heaven,” since heavenly things are forever resistant to rust and decay (Matt. 6:19-21).

Is undefiled.  Our heavenly inheritance is “free from contamination” (Vine, IV:168).  Environmental science brings to our attention many contaminants that pollute our air, water and food supply.  We all know the benefits of maintaining fresh sources of these essential elements.  Now, imagine a place that is forever pure and clean:  no sin, no stain, no defilement (Rev.21:7-8). What a sure and living hope!

Does not fade away.  Some things just wear out, like car tires.  Our hope, though, is focused on an inheritance which is “unfading” (Vine, II:68).  Isaiah reminds us that “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever”  (Isa.40:8).  We have all purchased something brand new only to watch what first shined with luster become dull and faded by time and use.  Everything grows old and finally loses its vitali­ty, strength and usability.  Things wear out.  But, our heavenly inheri­tance is different.  It shines perpetually in brilliant array, always fresh and new, never to spoil with time (for it is eternal, Rev. 21:9-27; 2 Co. 5:1).

As we deal with the corruptible nature of earthly life, our hearts are turned toward heaven, longing for our eternal home.  Christian, live in your living hope.  If you are not a Christian, what are you waiting for?  Do not let death creep up on you without possessing this living hope of an eternal inheritance.  Eternal corrup­tion is in store for those who do not obey the gospel of Christ (2 Ths. 1:8-9).  “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).  Become a Christian now!


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

The Appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ

Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

1.  God appeared & spoke to men in times past in various ways (Heb. 1:1; cf. Acts 7:2, 30).
2.  Never as when God appeared to the world in the flesh (Isa. 7:14; Jno. 1:1-3, 14).  To see (know) Jesus is to see (know) the Father – Jno. 14:7-9.
3.  The past & future appearance of Christ should change who we are & the way we live.

I.  HIS FIRST APPEARANCE – Jno. 1:1-3 (Matt. 1:21).

  A.  Jesus Revealed God’s Eternal Purpose & Grace – 2 Tim. 1:9-10; Tit. 3:4-7; Acts 4:12.
  B.  Jesus Abolished Death by His Death & Resurrection – 2 Tim. 1:10;
    1.  Overcame spiritual death – Heb. 2:14-15; 9:26.
    2.  Overcame physical death – Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15: 21-22, 50-54.
  C.  Jesus Brought Life & Immortality to Light through the Gospel – 2 Tim. 1:10. 
  D.  Because of His First Appearance…Mk. 16:15-16; 2 Tim. 1:8; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Tim. 4:8.


  A.  A Hopeful Coming – Titus 2:13 (1 Ths. 4:13-14, 18).
  B.  A Powerful Coming – 1 Ths. 4:15-17; 2 Ths. 1:7-9; Phil. 3:20-21; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Cor. 15:23-24;  2 Ths. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 3:10.
  C.  A Glorious Coming – Phil. 3:21 (Col. 3:4; 2 Ths. 1:10).
  D.  Because of His Second Appearance…
    1.  Become a Christian now! – 1 Tim. 6:12
    2.  Obey God with a pure heart – 1 Tim. 6:13-14.
    3.  Look for His coming with holy living – Tit. 2:13; 2 Pet. 3:11-12.
    4.  Get ready for judgment (to appear before Him) – 2 Cor. 5:10.

Conclusion:  Jno. 10:10; 1 Jno. 5:11-13


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

"I Sought for a Man"

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 15

1.  Ezek. 22:30 – God looked for a man.
2.  God looks for godly men in a godless world.
3.  Christian man is God’s man in today’s world – Titus 2:1-2, 6-8.
4.  Don’t be fooled into believing the world’s definition of a “real man” – it is not God’s man!


  A.  “Legal Age” (21 yrs old; cf. 1 Kgs. 12:6-8).
  B.  Physical Strength (virile, muscular, fit, “might makes right” – Psa. 71:9; Prov. 20:29).
  C.  Wealth (Lk. 12:15; cf. 9:58).
  D.  Machismo (Prov. 21:4; 16:18).

II.  SHOW THYSELF A MAN – 1 Kgs. 2:1-3.

  A.  God’s Man is Strong in Faith – 2:2 (cf. Josh. 1:6, 7, 9); 1 Cor. 16:13 (2 Pet. 1:5; Eph. 6:16).
  B.  God’s Man is Obedient – 2:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17;  Matt. 7:24-25.
  C.  God’s Man is Responsible – 2:3; 1 Cor. 4:1-2.
  D.  God’s Man is Honorable – 2:4 (Psa. 51:10).

III.  GOD IS LOOKING FOR REAL MEN – Jer. 5:1; Isa. 66:2.

  A.  God’s Man is Just & Fair – Jer. 5:1.
    1.  Toward his wife – 1 Pet. 3:5-7.
    2.  Toward his children – Col. 3:21.
    3.  His integrity in business, etc. – Psa. 15:4-5.
  B.  God’s Man is a Seeker of Truth – 5:1; 1 Tim. 6:11-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (2 Tim. 2:15).
  C.  The Conduct of God’s Man Blesses Others – 5:1; Gal. 6:1-2 (1 Pet. 2:12).
  D.  God’s Man Knows His Limitations & Puts His Faith in God – Isa. 66:2; Mic.6:6-8; Psa. 8:4,9.


1.  There is no man who has not sinned in these matters – 1 Kgs. 8:46.
2.  God forgiveness; men should reverence Him –
Psa. 130:3-4.
3.  Whose man will you be:  the world’s, or God’s?


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Watering Down the Gospel
Joe R. Price

While researching for this column I ran across these comments by Dr. John MacArthur, pastor of the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Do you see anything that looks familiar in what he says?

"Dr. John MacArthur says many Evangelical pastors are presenting what he calls a "reinvented designer pop gospel" in hopes of making Christianity appear more attractive or culturally relevant. The pastor of Grace Community Church in San Valley, California, says those who preach in that fashion have a weak view of the authority and power of scripture. "I think it encompasses a weak view of the honor and the power of God and Christ," MacArthur says bluntly. "In other words, I think you're basically usurping the Lordship of Christ over His Church -- you're saying, 'I'm going to stand here and give a message that I think is better than the one that Christ gave.'" Such an attitude, he says, is "a frightening thing to think about." MacArthur believes it is becoming harder than ever to find an Evangelical church that is not compromising the gospel. He says small churches that remain true to God's Word and do not embrace a user-friendly gospel are often viewed today as "archaic" and "unsuccessful." "The huge crowds are drawn by lowering all the standards," he says, citing such apporaches (sic) as a "minimalist gospel," an entertainment mentality, and creation of a social environment that attracts people by promising them "the path to success" and better economic status. "You know ... 'You'll do better in your job, your career, your family, your marriage, etc.'" he says. "Those are the kinds of things that are sold on the 'felt need' counter." (Agape Press,

A classic example of the pot calling the kettle black! Indeed, the fox is in the hen house!

But, take a closer look. He speaks of being "culturally relevant," a "weak view of the authority and power of scripture," "usurping the Lordship of Christ over His Church," "I'm going to...give a message...I think is better than the one that Christ gave," "user-friendly gospel," churches that don't embrace this "pop gospel" are "archaic" and "unsuccessful," "entertainment mentality," "felt need." If I didn't know better, I'd say he was describing the conduct and mind-set of more and more brethren in churches of Christ today!

The denominationalists have long since abandoned Bible authority for all they teach and practice. MacArthur's call is too little, too late. Indeed, we would call upon Dr. MacArthur to himself come back to a respect for the authority of the Scriptures on how to be saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).

Some brethren are skipping down the same path, apparently oblivious to the danger and death ahead (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jno. 9). They want to be "contemporary," "relevant" and not be "tradition-bound." Bible preaching will always be relevant, but not fashionable (Gal. 1:10). Apostolic truth must be our only tradition (2 Ths. 2:15).

What kind of preaching are you doing, fellow preacher (2 Tim. 4:2)? What kind of preaching pleases you, my brethren (2 Tim. 4:3-4)? A watered down gospel does indeed exist among churches of Christ. We must not forsake the Lord by swallowing a watered down gospel (Jer. 2:13).


Created by Chuck Sibbing - 01/31/2004

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