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

Editor/Evangelist  Joe R. Price
Volume IX,  Number 35
  May 14, 2006
"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:
Mt. Baker church of Christ 
 Bible Answers

"...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:

Calming the Storms of Life
Keith Greer

There’s an old saying: “into every life a little rain must fall.” Christians are not immune from the storms that come into people’s lives. We also live on this earth. Yet, these storms should affect Christians much differently than they affect those in the world. Allow me to explain.

Jesus can calm storms. “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” {Mark 4:39} The Lord’s disciples forgot that He was asleep in the boat’s stern. They were afraid, although they had no reason to be. God’s Son was with them. Had they forgotten the miracles they had already witnessed? No storm can overtake the life of the faithful child of God, if he remembers the Lord. The experienced sailors were helpless to alter the conditions and peril in which the storm placed them. Take note, when God’s people try to cope with our storms without His help, we are just as helpless. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” {Romans 8:31}

God cares for us. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” {1 Peter 5:6,7} God loves His children, and He is concerned about their welfare. Jesus is not removed from the things that trouble us in this life. One reason we have the spiritual blessing of prayer is to allow us to make our requests known to Him {Philippians 4:6}. God is truly touched when we undergo difficulties and trials in this life, and He wants to support and encourage us during those times. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.” {1 John 5:4} No one can care for us the way our heavenly father does.

We can read our Bibles. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” {Hebrews 4:16}Comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” {2 Thessalonians 2:17}Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” {Jeremiah 8:22} The problem in Jeremiah’s day was similar to the one we have today—people do not talk to the one who has the remedy for what ails or discourages them. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet {Psalm 119:105}. The Scriptures contain the words of life {John 6:63}. God’s word can give us divine counsel and direction to help us endure our “storms.”

Yes, during our lifetimes, we will face many “storms.” But the only way these storms can defeat us spiritually is if we try to face them alone.


Shopping Around
Joe R. Price

Let’s face it.  People shop around for a God that suits them.  Religious journalist and author Richard N. Ostling noted,

“Today, a quiet revolution is taking place that is changing not only the religious habits of millions of American[s] but the way churches go about recruiting members to keep their doors open.  Increasing numbers of baby boomers who left the fold years ago are turning religious again, but many are traveling from church to church or faith to faith, sampling creeds, shopping for a custom-made God.”  (TIME, April 5, 1993, p. 45)

People need to have hearts that are searching for truth (Acts 17:11-12).   The doctrines of the religious world should be investigated in the light of revealed truth of God’s word, the Bible (Jno. 8:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).  But, why are you investigating?  Is it to test all things to see what is from God and what is not? (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jno. 4:1)  Is it to find the “pearl of great price” in order to be saved in the kingdom of God?  (Matt. 13:45-46)

     Ostling correctly observed that many are looking for a customized religion that fits them.  Churches are adapting themselves to accommodate these shoppers.  Such accommodations are contrary to the whole concept of conversion where the sinner changes himself to fit the will of God (Lk.3:8; Acts 26:20).  It is also contrary to the fact that man has no right or power to alter the God-given plan of what His church teaches and practices (Matt. 16:18; 28:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 3:17).  Ostling said, “A growing choir of critics contends that in doing what ever it takes to lure those fickle customers, churches are at risk of losing their heritage--and their souls.”  (Ibid. p.46)  Important words of warning.

     Why are you what you are religiously?  Have you arrived at your current religious beliefs and practices as a result of your deliberate study of the Bible?  Or, have you just “shopped around” to find what pleases you?  Maybe you’re still shopping.  Here are some reasons why people “shop around” for a church.

     Some are looking for acceptance without conversion.  They are looking for a church that will “take me as I am.”  No thought is given to repenting of sin and conforming to the will of God (Acts 17:30; Rom. 12:2).  The human will is their standard.

     There are those whose “shopping list” includes a social agenda.  Recreational opportunities that are used to attract people abound in many churches.  Many churches of Christ accommodate themselves to these shoppers.  I would like to know where even one New Testament church used the social gospel approach as a part of their work.

     Still others search for a good feeling in “the church of their choice.”  A comic strip character put it this way:  “We’re looking for a church that’s supportive, a place where we can feel good about ourselves.  I’m not sure the guilt thing works for us.”  Many folks just do not want to deal with the guilt of sin (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).  So, they search for a church where sin is not rebuked and where their sin will not be confronted (cf. Acts 5:1-13; 1 Cor. 5:1-2).  A loosened approach to fellowship has become the appeal of many churches of Christ.  For fear of “running somebody off” sin is not rebuked.  Instead, “positive” Christianity is promoted.  The result is a “feel good” religion that lacks the power of the gospel to convict and save souls from sin (Rom. 1:16).

     Churches of Christ must not compromise for the sake of appealing to the masses.  Jesus refused this tactic and so must we (Lk. 14:25-27; Jno. 6:15; 2 Cor. 11:2-4; Gal. 1:6-10).  We must diligently maintain the purity of the church in its work (preach, edify, assist needy saints), its worship (pray, sing, preach, Lord’s Supper, give), its organization (independent churches overseen by elders and served by deacons), its doctrine and its morality.  “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Prov. 23:23).


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

Mothers are a Gift from God

Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 31:25-31

1. Motherhood a God-given role exclusively given women, 1 Tim. 2:15; Psa. 127:3.
2. Motherhood learned, not inbred, Titus 2:4.
3. Lessons from Bible mothers for mothers today & to teach children to always love their mothers.


  A. Jochebed: The Blessing of Life & Safety, Exo. 2:1-10; Heb. 11:23; Prov. 31:27 (1 Tim. 5:14); 29:15.
  B. Hannah:  The Blessing of Devotion to God, 1 Sam. 1:9-11, 20, 24-28; 2:18-20.
  C. Eunice & Lois: The Blessing of Teaching God’s Word, 2 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 3:14-15; Prov. 1:8-9; 31:26.


  A. The Challenge of Time: Use it Wisely, 1 Pet. 4:7; Eph. 5:16; Deut. 6:7.
  B.     The Challenge of Patience:  Develop Self-control, 1 Cor. 9:25; Phil. 4:6.
  C. The Challenge of Multi-Tasking:  Managing Household, 1 Tim. 5:14; Phil. 2:3-5; Prov. 31:28-29


  A. Avoid Favoritism & Comparisons of Children, Gen. 25:27-28.
  B. Set Godly Examples for Your Children, Ezek. 16:44-45 (cf. 1 Pet. 3:1-2).
  C. Be Thankful for your Children, 1 Ths. 5:18 (Jug. 13:8).


1. “A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother.” (Prov. 15:20)
2. Motherhood is honorable & demanding.  Keep faith in God for your strength, guidance & comfort, & share your faith with your children.


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

One Cannot be Taught Wrong and Baptized Right

Scripture Reading:  Acts 19:1-5


  A. One Cannot be Taught Another Faith & Correctly Obey the “One Baptism,” Eph. 4:5 (Gal. 1:6-7).
  B. One Cannot be Taught Another Jesus & be Correctly Baptized into Christ (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 3:27); 2 Jno. 7, 9-11.
  C. One Cannot be Taught Another Faith about Sin & Expect Baptism to Wash Away His Sins, Acts 2:36-38; 22:16 (Rom. 6:1-4).
  D. One Cannot be Taught Another Faith about Salvation & Expect Baptism to Save the Lost, Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21 (Acts 16:30-34).
  E. One Cannot be Taught Another Faith about the Church & be Correctly Baptized into the Body of Christ, Eph. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:13 (Acts 2:47; 8:12).


  A. The Authority that Approves Baptism Belongs to Jesus Christ, Matt. 28:18-20 (Col. 3:17); Acts 19:1-5.  -Baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” is by authority (approval) of Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48).

  B. The Misuse of Authority Invalidates the Action, Acts 19:11-17 (Matt. 15:12-14).


  A. Christ is Not Divided, 1 Cor. 1:13-17.


1. If you were not baptized by the authority of Jesus Christ then you are not yet saved by Jesus Christ.
2. If you were baptized after being taught false doctrine by a false church, your baptism was not approved by Christ; you are still in your sins & need to be baptized in the name of Jesus to be saved by Him (Acts 18:8; 19:5).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Joe R. Price

The National Security Agency has been accumulating a massive database of Americans’ telephone calls to track calling patterns with data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, USA Today reported Thursday. An anonymous source said it would be the largest database ever assembled in the world.  “The agency’s goal is ‘to create a database of every call ever made’ within the nation's borders, this person added.”  (“NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls,” Leslie Cauley, USA Today, 5/11/2006)

     Did you know God has His own database?  Please read and consider Psalm 139:1-7:

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?

     God’s database includes:

1. Complete knowledge of every person (139:1-2).  God has searched every one of us and knows us completely.
2. All our ways (139:3).  God knows every thing we do every moment of every day – not just phone calls.
3. All our words (139:4). Idle words condemn us, and God knows and will judge every one we speak (Matt. 12:36-37).
4. The book of life (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 21:27).  Only those whose names are on this database will enter heaven.

     Like David, such knowledge is being beyond our comprehension.  God’s database makes the NSA look like child’s play.

     Something else worth remembering:  There are no privacy rights when it comes to God (Psa. 139:7-12).  God sees and knows everything about us (Heb. 4:13).  What are you thinking, saying and doing?  God already knows.


Created by Chuck Sibbing - 05/15/2006

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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