"...Shepherd the flock of God which is among
you, serving as overseers..." (1 Peter 5:2)
Morris Bass, Rick Holt , Joe
"...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:
Gospel Meeting Sept.
Is the Price too High?
Gospel Meeting Sept. 25-30, 2005
CHURCH OF CHRIST
Mt. Baker Highway, Bellingham, WA)
Invites you to our
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
(Sunday: 9:30 & 10:30 AM, 6:00 PM)
9:30 AM: This man is the Great Power of God
10:30 AM: Noble Hearts
6:00 PM: The Race is not to the Swift
Monday: Recognizing the Tares
Tuesday: No Other Name!
Wednesday: Give Me Strength!
Thursday: The Fear of Hell
Friday: Zeal Without Knowledge: A Spiritual Killer
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
more information: please call (360) 752-2692
Joe R. Price
Marriage is honorable among all, and the
bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Heb.
Evidence abounds that more and more people do not honor marriage:
● One fifth of first marriages end within 5 years and one third end within
10 years (1)
● About 43 percent of first marriages end in separation or divorce within 15
● About 11 million people living with an unmarried partner in the U.S. This
includes both same-sex and different-sex couples
(U.S. Census Bureau) (3)
● Same-sex marriages are gaining recognition
On the other hand, the Bible highly honors marriage as:
● Ordained by God (Gen. 2:21-24)
● A relationship for one man and one woman (Gen. 2:21-24)
● A blessing from God (Eccl. 9:9)
● A covenant witnessed by God (Mal. 2:14)
● Providing protection against sin (1 Cor. 7:2)
● An illustration of Christ and His church (Eph. 5:32)
● Regulated and judged by God (Heb. 13:4)
1. The honor of marriage is seen by the place God has given it. Our
Creator gave marriage a unique place of honor. We, His creatures, must
likewise give marriage its due place in our social structure. The society
that fails to do so cannot long endure.
God ordained marriage as an abiding solution to loneliness (Gen. 2:18,
21-24). Mankind has perverted this divine solution with shameful relations
that are "against nature" (Rom. 1:26-27). The advancement of
"same-sex marriages" (as well as all manner of homosexual relationships)
defies and dishonors marriage and the God who gave it.
God established marriage as an underpinning of society. In marriage, the
family unit is formed and maintained in which each generation can be taught
and trained in righteous living (Deut. 6:6-9; Psa. 78:3-4; Eph. 6:4).
Marriage, as God designed it, provides mankind with an environment in which
love, honor, service and devotion can flourish (Eph. 5:22-33). Today,
however, only 25% of American households consist of what most people think
of as a "traditional family"; a married couple and their children. (4)
Today, one-third of all births in America are to unmarried women. (5)
2. The honor of marriage is seen in its moral purity. God says the marriage
bed is morally pure in His sight (Heb. 13:4). Pre-marital sex is sinful and
is not true love. God designed marriage as the relationship in which sexual
desires are properly fulfilled, thereby protecting both husband and wife
from fornication (1 Cor. 7:2-5). When lust is allowed to enter the heart and
that lust conceives infidelity, the purity of marriage is corrupted,
families are forever affected, and souls are lost in sin (Jas. 4:4; Prov.
6:23-35; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
The moral purity of marriage is of little concern to many folks
today. One source says about 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will
have an affair at some point in some marriage; others say the number is
higher. (6) A 1998 study said about 24 percent of men and 14 percent of
women have had sex outside their marriages. (7) Yet, it is precisely when
the husband and wife respect and maintain the purity of the marriage bed
that the moral, emotional and spiritual security of their marriage is
3. The honor of marriage is seen in the permanency God designed into
it. "One man and one woman for life, with one exception" is not a worn out
cliché; it is the divine mandate (Matt. 19:4-6, 9-12; Rom. 7:2-3). The
sundering of marriages is of the devil, not of God (Matt. 19:6). Some of the
most common reasons given for divorce (in addition to infidelity) are "we
grew apart," "we fell out of love," "we argued constantly" and "we are no
longer sexually attracted." (8) Nevertheless, it is pure folly for one to
say that "surely God would want me to be happy" in an effort to justify
divorce - when that "happiness" means disrupting and separating the very
relationship God established for one's happiness.
Christians must be working hard to help save troubled marriages. We must
diligently teach the God-given responsibilities of marriage, the blessings
of marriage, and the enduring nature of marriage. The one who sunders what
God joins together will certainly be judged by the Almighty.
When a man and woman marry, they are "no longer two but one flesh"
(Matt. 19:6). No longer to go in opposite directions, they are united for
life, forsaking all others (Matt. 19:5). It is past time for marriage to
return to a place of honor in the hearts and lives of men and women - for
God will judge all who dishonor it (Heb. 13:4).
(1) Bramlett & Mosher, Ph.D., "First Marriage
Dissolution, Divorce, and Remarriage: United States", Advance Data,
No. 323, May 31, 2001, CDC
(4) National Opinion Research Center, "The Emerging 21st Century Family,
University of Chicago, 1999 (cited on unmarried.org/statistics.html)
(5) National Center for Health Statistics, 2000 data (cited on unmarried.org/statistics.html)
(6) Vaugn, Peggy, Monogamy Myth, cited on manhaters.com
(7) Dec. 21, 1998 report in USA Today on a national study by the University
of California, San Francisco, cited on manhaters.com
(8) "We Ask, You Answer," Men's Health: Best Life, September/ October 2004,
page 18 - source: 1,500 visitors to Bestlifeonline.com, June 2004 (cited on
You can find the
complete outline of this sermon at
The Purpose of the Commandment
1 Timothy 1:3-7
1. Men put law & love
against each other (law v. love), but God links them:
a. Josh. 22:5: Careful obedience is loving the Lord.
b. Psa. 119:97: God’s law, the object of man’s love.
c. Psa. 119:165: Those who love God’s law have peace.
d. Rom. 13:8-10: Love fulfills law.
2. Truth & love unite in Christ (Jno. 14:6; 1 Jno. 4:8).
THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S COMMANDMENTS IS LOVE,
1 Tim. 1:5; 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
Love is Active Good Will toward God and Others, Jno. 14:15, 23; 1 Jno. 2:5;
B. Remain Sound in Doctrine in order to Properly Love, 1 Tim. 1:3-11;
Gal. 1:6-7; 2 Jno. 1-6 (9).
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE COMMANDMENT IS LOVE OUT OF…
A Pure Heart, Jas. 4:8 (Matt. 5:8).
1. Heart is the seat of one’s will, & reflects our life, Heb. 4:12;
Prov. 23:7; Matt. 12:35 (cf. Jas. 3:13-16).
a. Pure: Free of sin, Acts 2:37-38.
b. Filled with pure thoughts & motives, Phil. 4:8 (Col. 3:16).
2. Why am I obeying the commands of God? (Prov. 3:1-8) cf. Matt.
B. A Good Conscience, 1 Cor. 8:1-3, 7-13 (9:22; 10:31-33); Gal. 5:14; 1
Tim. 4:1-2 (1 Pet. 3:21).
1. The conscience is our moral compass.
2. When trained in purity of truth & love, it is “good” (useful).
C. A Sincere Faith.
1. Faith is the expression of our trust in God; the active response to
truth in one’s life, cf. Jas. 2:18.
2. Sincere: “unfeigned, undisguised,” genuine, not pretended or
impersonated – cf. 2 Tim. 1:5; Col. 3:22-23; 2 Cor. 1:12 (2:17).
Lk. 16:15; 10:25-27 (Eph. 6:24)
(Current events in the
light of Scripture)
Is the Price
Joe R. Price
The average cost of a
gallon of gas in the U.S. reached $2.61 this week. You think that’s
yes, it is. But, count your blessings; “The Christian Science Monitor”
reported Thursday that “a gallon of gas in Amsterdam now costs $7.13.” (“Gas
prices too high? Try Europe,” Peter Ford, csmonitor.com,
August 26, 2005 edition)
This reminds us of the
cost associated with our salvation from sins. Christ Jesus “made himself
of no reputation” when He left the glory of heaven and became a man
(Phil. 2:6-7; Jno. 1:14). He emptied Himself of the heavenly glories in
order to accomplish our redemption (cf. Jno. 17:5). Christians are urged to
recall our Savior’s matchless humility: “For you know the grace of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became
poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).
Having left heaven to walk among men, He then paid the price of death on the
cross – the sinless for the sinful – as an offering for sin (Phil. 2:8;
Matt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:28). He “gave himself a ransom for
all,” offering sinners redemption from sin through His precious blood (1
Tim. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Jesus paid a high price so we could be saved
The cost of discipleship
is high and very real: “Whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot
be My disciple” (Lk. 14:33). Jesus said to “count the cost” of
following Him (Lk. 14:25-32). Putting Jesus first in one’s life is the price
a true disciple willingly pays (Lk. 9:23; Jno. 8:31-32).
Jesus paid the price of
redemption. We must be willing to pay the price of discipleship to go to
heaven. Or, will we walk away, concluding the price is higher than we are
willing to pay (cf. Matt. 19:21-22)?