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

Editor/Evangelist  Joe R. Price
Volume VIII,  Number 25
Dec 26, 2004

"All material is written by Joe R. Price, unless otherwise noted."

Times of services:

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

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

Web sites:

"...Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers..." (1 Peter 5:2)
Morris Bass, Rick Holt , Joe Price

"...let them serve as deacons, being found blameless..." (1 Tim. 3:10)
Aaron Bass, Rich Brooks, Mike Finn
John Hague, Dan Head

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

In this issue:

The Fruit of the Spirit (#1)
Joe R. Price

      The Christian is to bear fruit unto God (Rom. 7:4; Jno. 15:4-8).  Just as a seed planted in the soil brings forth a harvest, God’s word, the incorruptible seed, is planted into good and honest hearts and bears the fruit of obedient faith (1 Pet. 1:22-23; Lk. 8:15).  Having had the word of God planted in his heart, the Christian’s life is to reflect the nature of that seed.  So, as the Christian obeys God’s word he is bearing the fruit that word produces.  This is described as being “led by the Spirit” of God (who revealed the seed that is planted in the Christian’s heart) in Galatians 5:16-24 (v. 18).  There, the fruit of the Spirit (which is the natural out-cropping of the word of God in the Christian’s life) is described.  Over the next few weeks we will study the fruit of the Spirit and how we can better bear this fruit in our lives.

      Before looking at the specifics of this fruit it will be worthwhile for us to note that we all bear some kind of fruit in our lives.  This is apparent from recognizing that we either “walk in the Spirit” or we “fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).  It is up to us to decide the fruit we will bear in our lives.

      The flesh desires those things which are against and contrary to the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).  The works of the flesh are antagonistic to the fruit of the Spirit.  As we consider the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:19-23 it is apparent they stand as opposites to each other.  Look closer and you will see the striking contrast more clearly:  Love vs. fornication; joy vs. revelries; peace vs. enmities; longsuffering vs. outbursts of wrath; kindness vs. envy; goodness vs. uncleanness; faithfulness vs. idolatry; meekness vs. strife; self-control vs. lasciviousness.  We cannot serve two masters, and it is clear who should be our Master (Matt. 6:24).

      Also see that “the fruit of the Spirit” suggests the collective nature of this produce.  These virtues are a unit, each part combining to make up the fruit or harvest of the Christian’s life.  As the seed, core, peel and stem are the parts of the fruit we call an “apple”, the items in Galatians 5:22-23 combine to give us a description of the fruit borne in our lives when we “walk (are led, and live) in the Spirit” (i.e., when we live by the Spirit-revealed word, Gal. 5:16, 18 and 25).

      By exploring the possibilities and wonders of the fruit of the Spirit we intend to help us bear it in our lives.  This is achieved as we plant the word of God in the soil of our hearts and let it transform our lives through our obedient faith.  Let us always remember that “every tree is known by its own fruit” (Lk. 6:44).


What to be in 2005
Joe R. Price

It’s that time of year again, when millions make New Year’s resolutions – with many breaking them within the first week of the New Year.  Resolutions are not bad.  Making goals is a helpful way to achieve the improvements we wish to make in our lives.  They need to be realistic and possible.  Here are a few suggestions to be in 2005 that are within the reach of every Christian.

I will be more resolute in my faith.  Resolutions made without a firm determination to succeed will only lead to discouragement.  For example, how many folks resolve to loss weight but have no strategy to help them achieve their goal?  Similarly, the Christian who resolves to improve his spiritual life must have a determined heart of faith.  In Christ there is victory (1 Cor. 15:57; 1 Jno. 5:4).  “Set your mind on things above” and in Christ you will successfully “press toward the goal” (Phil. 3:14).

I will be more prayerful.  Prayer is the Christian’s lifeline.  With it we petition our heavenly Father, the God of all power, to attend to our lives (as well as the lives of others).  Through prayer we thank our loving Father for His generous love toward us.  Prayer works (Jas. 5:16).  What a wonderful thing it would be for every Christian to resolve to be more prayerful each day; more dependent on the power and presence of God.  Don’t forget to pray (1 Ths. 5:17).

I will be more studious of God’s word.  Jesus said that the truth sets us free from sin when we know it (Jno. 8:32).  Are we still “people of the book” or have we become a people without the book?  God’s people “are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, while diligent study of God’s word reaps immediate and eternal results (Hos. 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:15).  Why not resolve to know more of the Bible by December 31, 2005 than you do January 1, 2005? 

I will be a teacher of the gospel.  Without someone preaching the gospel, the lost will not hear it, believe it and call on the name of the Lord to be saved (Rom. 10:13-14).  But, preachers must be sent (Rom.10:15).  (And, please remember that preaching – proclaiming the good news of salvation – does not only occur behind a pulpit.)  We can send ourselves and we can send others (Acts 8:4; 11:22).  God’s wisdom and power is at work saving souls when the gospel is taught (1 Cor. 1:21; 2 Tim. 2:2).  Who, will say with Isaiah, “Here am I!  Send me” (Isa. 6:8)?

I will be more obedient to Christ.  Every Christian who desires to please the Lord in all things wants to obey Him more completely and dutifully each day.  Our commitment to obeying Christ is motivated by our faith, hope and love (2 Cor. 5:7-9; Col. 1:23; 1 Jno. 5:4).  Half-hearted obedience must become a thing of the past as we resolve to “give our best to the Master.”  These are the ones Jesus will save (Heb. 5:8-9; 10:35-39).

Feel free to add to this list.  You know yourself better than anyone else (except or course, for God).  So, make a spiritual resolution for 2005.  And may the Lord keep you in His blessings as you keep it.


Things Not to Expect at a Faithful church of Christ
Joe R. Price

   Do not expect to hear the opinions, creeds, or doctrines of men preached or followed.  (1 Cor. 2:4-5; 1 Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 9; Rev. 22:18-19)

   Do not expect to find a church that has any denominational organization, affiliation or attitude.  (Eph. 4:4; Eph. 5:23; 1 Cor. 3:3-4)

   Do not expect to find a social gospel with such things as fellowship halls, gymnasiums, family life centers, daycare centers, camps, youth ministers, special     promotions and gimmicks (food, fun and frolic).  (Jno. 18:36; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 11:17, 22, 34; Jno. 6:26)

   Do not expect to find people who believe they do not have to have the authority of Jesus Christ for all they teach and practice.  (Matt. 28:20; Col. 3:17)

   Do not expect to find people who are more interested in pleasing themselves than pleasing God.  (Gal.1:10)

We would be happy to study the word of God with you.  (Acts 17:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:15)

“Come now, and let us reason together...”  (Isaiah 1:18)


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

Jesus: The Stone of Stumbling and Rock of Offense

Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-10

Isaiah 8:14-15; Matthew 21:42-44 (Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Peter 2:8)

1.  God has laid in Zion a foundation “stone”.
2.  Tried, precious & sure stone, Isa. 28:16.
3.  Stone of stumbling/rock of offense, Isa. 8:14; Psa. 118:22-24 (Acts 4:11-12).


  A.  Stone of Stumbling:  an obstacle (1 Pet. 2:8); impediment (1 Cor. 1:23).
  B.  Rejecting Jesus in Unbelief, 1 Pet. 2:4-6.
  C.  Disobeying Jesus, 1 Pet. 2:7-8 (Heb.5:8-9)


  -People stumble over…

  A.  The King – Zech. 9:9 (Matt. 21:5); Isa. 62:11; Zech. 9:10; Jno. 6:15.
  B.  The Authority of the King – Matt. 21:23; Col. 3:17 (1 Cor. 14:37; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
  C.  Word of the Kingdom – Matt. 13:18-23 (Jno. 6:60; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1:13).
  D.  The kingdom – Matt. 21:43; Lk. 19:11; Eph. 2:19-22 (Matt. 16:18-19):  Nature, entrance, worship, organization, work.
  E.  Life as a Kingdom Citizen – Matt. 21:43.
    1.  Moral purity, Titus 2:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:11-12; 4:1-4 (1 Jno. 2:15; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 2:9; Eph. 4:29).
    2.  Living sacrifice, Rom. 12:1-2; Rev. 2:10 (Gal. 5:4; 1 Jno. 1:7-9; Acts 8:22-23; Matt. 19:4-6, 9).


  A.  Due to Disobedience – 1 Pet. 2:8.
  B.  Captured by Sin & Unwilling to be freed by Christ – Isa. 8:14-15 (6:9-10).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

The Bible is Still Relevant
Joe R. Price

     This column is normally reserved for Bible commentary on current events.  We should regularly remind ourselves that although the Bible was written and complied thousands of years ago it continues to be as alive, vibrate, life-affecting and life-changing as ever.  It is not a dead book, but a living and powerful word; the word of God (Heb. 4:12).

     God’s word never grows old in its power to penetrate and persuade the heart.  Many are hard and calloused against the Bible, for sure.  But, there are still good and honest hearts who will listen, learn and live the word of God (Lk. 8:15).  Peter addressed a current event (the death and resurrection of Jesus) using the Scriptures in Acts 2, and about 3,000 souls were persuaded to believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-24, 36-41).  Like those people on Pentecost so long ago, there are souls today whose heart will be pierced by truth and who will, in faith, repent and be baptized (Acts 2:37-38).

     God’s word never grows old in its power to save (Rom. 1:16; Acts 13:26).  The word of God is the power of God.  In it is the power to expose and remove sin, the power to transform lives and the power to protect (Jas. 1:21; Eph. 6:10-17).  When believed and obeyed, its power purifies the soul (1 Pet. 1:22-23).

     God’s word never grows old in addressing life “under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9-10).  God’s word is incorruptible and abides forever (1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Jno. 2).  So, it will always be a ready lamp to light life’s path and lead us to the heavenly home (Psa. 119:105).

     We will continue using God’s word to understand the events around us.  It is relevant to us all.


Created by Chuck Sibbing - 12/23/2004

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