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

Editor/Evangelist  Joe R. Price
Volume VIII,  Number 51
July 24, 2005

"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:

Learning from Jonah
Joe R. Price

Jonah thought he could escape the presence of the Lord by fleeing to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3).  But, the God of the Hebrews is also Lord of heaven and earth, and rules the wind, the sea, the animals, the plants (4:6) and all of mankind.  Jonah was about to be reminded that he was also under His rule.

None of us can flee the presence of the Lord in an effort to escape obeying Him (Jer. 139:7; Jer. 23:24).  We live before God every moment of every day (Heb. 4:13).  We may choose to live in fellowship with Him by obeying His word, or we may choose to disobey Him, but we all do indeed choose our master (Eph. 2:1-10; 1 Jno. 2:3-6; Josh. 24:15; Matt. 6:24).  Choose to walk with God instead of running from Him.

The Lord’s commandment to Jonah was unmistakable; “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me” (Jonah 1:2), but Jonah chose to disobey.  His disobedience brought him to the depths of danger and despair as he was cast into the sea and swallowed by a great fish (Jonah 1:10-17).

Disobeying God is bad enough; deliberately choosing to sin against Him assures one will receive the wrath of God in full measure (Heb. 10:26-31).  Jonah’s experience warns us not to intentionally sin against God.  “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17).  If you have disobeyed God, now is the time to repent (2 Cor. 6:2).

God was merciful to Jonah.  Jonah “cried out to the Lord” in affliction from the belly of the fish, and God answered him with salvation (Jonah 2:1-2, 9-10).  What a compassionate God we have!  In His compassion for Jonah, God was teaching Jonah that he should also be merciful – even to his enemies (the people of Nineveh).  But Jonah was a slow learner, and was angered when God did not destroy the city (Jonah 4:1-2).  He even tried to use the mercy of God toward Nineveh as rationale for his previous disobedience (4:2).  By providing Jonah with the merciful shade of a plant and then removing it, God reprimanded the prophet:  “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant? … you have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored…And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city…?" (Jonah 4:9-11) 

God readily and completely forgives us when we repent and turn to Him.  Are we as merciful toward those who sin against us?  We must be, “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgment” (Jas. 2:13; cf. Matt. 5:7).


Examples of the Beatitudes
Joe R. Price

Sometimes it is helpful to see what type of people God wants us to be. Examples of godliness help us in our own spiritual development - If we are willing to follow them. The New Testament exhorts us to follow the good examples of those who follow Christ (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17).

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount begins with what we commonly call the Beatitudes, a collection of concise pronouncements of kingdom blessings received by those who possess specific qualities of character and conduct (Matt. 5:3-12).

Here are some corresponding examples of people whose lives give us worthy examples of these attributes. Can you think of other worthy examples? Are we following these examples?

Blessed are…

The poor in spirit…Publican (Lk. 18:13-14)

Those who mourn…Prodigal Son (Lk. 15:17-21)

The meek…Moses (Num. 12:3)

Those who hunger & thirst for righteousness…Cornelius (Acts 10:33)

The merciful…Joseph (Gen. 50:15-21)

The pure in heart…David (Acts 13:22)

The peacemakers…Abraham (Gen. 13:5-9)

Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…The Prophets (Matt. 23:35)


The Wisdom of God
Joe R. Price

    God’s word is powerful to save, sanctify and secure us (Rom. 1:16; Jno. 17:17; Col. 1:23). 

     God’s wisdom infinitely exceeds man’s (1 Cor. 1:18-25).  Sometimes those considered wise in this world offer counsel and insight into life that God already said long ago in His word, the Bible (a few examples are below).

     The point:  God’s word continues to be relevant.  Inspired Scriptures thoroughly equip us to serve God and man (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Above all else, turn to God’s word for wise counsel.

“Men do less than they ought, unless they do all that they can.” -Thomas Carlyle {Read: 2 Corinthians 8:12}

“It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world, that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth.”  -Arthur, 1st Earl of Balfour (1848-1930)  {Read:  Romans 10:1-3}

“He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.” -Samuel Johnson  {Read:  Matthew 10:42}

“Maturity is not a matter of age. You have matured when you are no longer concerned with showing how clever you are, and give your full attention to getting the job done right.  Many never reach that stage, no matter how old they get.” -Thomas Sewell  {Read Hebrews 5:11-14}

“Rely more on the power of God and less on the power of money.” -J. C. Penney {Read: 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19}

“In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.”  -Henry Ward Beecher  {Read:  Matthew 16:25-26}

“Nor should we listen to those who say, 'The voice of the people is the voice of God', for the turbulence of the mob is always close to insanity.”  -Alcuin (c. 735-804) English Churchman       {Read:  Matthew 7:13-14}


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

Christianity is Exclusive

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 7:21-25

1.  The gospel & salvation is for all (1 Tim. 2:3-4).
2.  Truth is not self-defined, but revealed.
3.  Matt. 7:21 – Must do the Father’s will to be saved.
4.  It is not arrogant to understand, appreciate & advocate the exclusive nature of the gospel & of NT Christianity – in fact, it is essential.

-Christianity is exclusive, because…


  A.  The Only Begotten, Jno. 1:14; 3:16 (Heb. 11: 17, 18); Col. 1:18.
    -Jesus is unique, Ps. 2:6-7; Col. 2:9 (Jn. 1:1, 14)
  B.  Jesus is the Exclusive… (Matt. 16:16) Savior (Jno. 14:6; Acts 4:12), Sacrifice (Heb. 10:12), Authority (Matt. 28:18), Foundation (1 Cor. 3:11).
-2 Cor. 11:4:  There is not another Jesus!


  A.  Jesus Feeds Us by His Word Alone, Jno. 6:33, 35, 48-51, 56-57, 63, 67-68.
  B.  His Word Excludes the Words of Men in Spiritual Matters, Jno. 12:48; 1 Pet. 4:11 (Gal. 1: 11-12; 1 Ths. 2:3-4, 13); 2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9.
  C.  The Truth of the Gospel Excludes:  Sin (Jno. 17:17), Error ( 2 Jno. 1-2, 4, 7-9), Philosophy (Col. 2:8; 1 Cor. 1:22-23), Human traditions, Matt. 15:3-9
-1 Peter 4:11:  Speak as oracles of God!


  A.  Entrance is Exclusive, Acts 2:37-38, 41, 47.
  B.  Its Head is Exclusive, Eph. 1:21-23 (5:23).
  C.  Its Work is Exclusive (Jno. 18:36).
  D.  Its Worship is Exclusive - Jno. 4:24 (“must”).
  E.  Its Organization is Exclusive, Acts 14:23.
-1Tim.3:15: Churches of men not church of Christ.

IV. HEAVEN IS EXCLUSIVE, Matt. 7:21 (14); (Lk. 13:23-24); Rev. 21:27, 8, 4; Rev. 20:15.

-Phil. 3:20:  Is your citizenship in heaven?


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

Burdens are Lifted at Calvary

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 31:1-5

1.  There are burdens we are to “lay aside” (Heb. 12:1).
2.  Burdens are lifted at Calvary (#603), (Matt. 10:28).

I.  THE BURDEN OF SIN, Jas. 1:21-22 (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:8-9).

  A.  The Effects of Sin:  Guilt, shame & grief (Gen. 2:25; 3:7, 10) Psa. 38:1-10; spiritual death (Rom. 6:23; Gen. 2:17).
  B.  Trying to Hide Sin Only Increases its Burden, Psa. 32:3-4; Prov. 28:13 (1 Jno. 1:8).
  C.  The Solution for Sin, 1 Pet. 1:24 (Isa. 53:4-6); Jas. 1:21-22.
    1.  Become a Christian (Mk. 16:16):
    2. When a Christian sins:
      -Confess my sin (Psa. 32:5; 38:18; Prov. 28:13) to God (1 Jno. 1:9), to brethren (Jas. 5:16); Repent (Psa. 51:10-12; Ezek. 18:31-32); Cease my sin, Rom. 6:1-2 (Heb. 10:26-27); Obey, Acts 26:20.

II. THE BURDEN OF ANXIETY, Matt. 6:25; Phil. 4:6.

  A.  Cast All Your Care Upon the Lord, 1 Pet. 5:7 (5-6); Matt. 6:24-34.
  B.  Solutions for Anxiety, Phil. 4:4-9...
    1. Praise, Phil. 4:4 (Psa. 9:1-12).
    2. Patience, Phil. 4:5 (Jas. 5:13, 17-18).
    3. Prayer, Phil. 4:6; Jas. 5:13 (Psa. 6).
    4. Ponder, Phil. 4:8 (Matt. 12:35; 15:18-20; Ro.12:2).
    5. Practice, Phil. 4:9 (5a); 2:12-13.
-Peace of God (4:7)…the God of peace (4:9).


  A.  Uncertainties are Relieved When Remember the Lord Controls All, Col. 1:16-17; Rom. 8:28.
  B.  Solutions to Doubt Include… 
    1. Strengthen your faith, Matt. 6:25-34.
    2. Live in hope, Psa. 42:5-6, 11; Psa. 16 (1 Pet. 1:3).



(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Dying Wedding Vows
Joe R. Price

     Remember when “honor and obey” was a standard part of wedding vows?  Then, the feminist movement said, “No way will I vow to obey my husband!”  Today, you rarely hear a couple using this worthy vow to recognize and accept the roles and relationships God established in marriage (Gen. 2:22-24; 3:16; Eph. 5:22-24; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).

     Now, “till death do us part” is also being rejected.  More and more couples are opting for such preemptive phrases as “for as long as our love shall last,” “until our time together is over,” and “for as long as our marriage shall serve the greatest good” (“Till Death Do Us Part” Is Dying Out, Jennifer D’Angelo,, July 22, 2005).  The rationale offered is, “Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.”

     The same article noted that actor Brad Pitt considers his marriage to Jennifer Aniston a “total success” for having lasted five years.  Rationalization does not change reality; after five years, their marriage ended in failure, not success.

     When a husband and wife do not honor marriage for what God intends it to be – a life long union – they lay the foundation for marital failure.  Add to that a distorted and selfish definition of love, and you have a recipe for trouble (Heb. 13:4; Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 13:4-8; Eph. 5:25-31; Titus 2:4).  To vow “as long as love shall last” implies the person has no say in the matter; that somehow love decides when “it” will leave a marriage.  No, love is a conscious decision of the heart that acts toward its object in good ways (in this case, the husband toward his wife, and vice versa).  If love does not last it is because one or both parties decided to no longer love the other.

     We should also note that wedding vows mean something; they are solemn commitments to bind oneself to another and to fulfill the obligations of a husband or wife.  One such obligation is to honor the permanency of marriage.  When marriage is not viewed as “till death do us part” it becomes increasingly easy to end it rather than solving the problem (with love).  Vows must not be lightly made nor conveniently broken (Prov. 20:25; Eccl. 5:4-5).  God says marriage is “till death do us part,’ regardless of the changing attitudes toward it (Matt. 19:4-6; Mal. 2:14-16)


Created by Chuck Sibbing - 07/26/2005

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