And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.            Ephesians 6:17


Volume X, Number 43 August 26, 2007

Published by

Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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

Web sites:
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Building Blocks of Character
Joe R. Price

Colossians 3:1-17 gives us the building blocks we need in order to develop Christ-like character. This passage teaches us how to build Bible character. 

When one is baptized into Christ he is “raised with Christ” by the power of God from the death of sin into newness of life (Col. 3:1; 2:12; Rom. 6:4). To build Bible character, once a person has become a Christian, he must (1) Seek things that are above, Col. 3:1; (2) Set his mind on heavenly things, Col. 3:2; and (3) Sustain a faithful life with Christ, Col. 3:3. 

A new approach to sin is necessary in order to build a new character in Christ: sin must be put to death (Col. 3:5-11). We cannot continue to live in past sins and expect God to bless us. We must cease sin, whether it is the sensual desires of the flesh (3:5-7) or the attitudes and actions that hurt others (3:8-9); we must put off the old man of sin and put on the new man that is like Christ (3:10-11).

A new heart is necessary in order to develop this new approach to sin (Col. 3:12-15). Just as in Proverbs 23:7, the gospel teaches, “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matt. 12:35). Only as we put on a new heart will we also put off sin. Character building involves rebuilding our heart so that we think and feel and act like Christ.

A new message must dwell in one’s heart to truly build a new heart (Col. 3:16).  The word of Christ must be implanted deeply within one’s heart in order to build a character that is like Christ (Jas. 1:21-25).

A new authority must be respected and honored in all we say and do in order to let the word of Christ dwell in our heart. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17). 

Building Bible character will help us choose to have new conduct in all of our relationships with others (Col. 3:18-4:2).

Here then, are the building blocks of Bible character: The authority of Christ expressed in the word of Christ, along with a new heart that forms a new approach toward sin and righteousness in our life. When the authority of Christ is respected and His word is obeyed in all things, the heart is renewed after the image of Christ and sin will be consistently and consciously put away from one’s life. Stated another way, as we grow and mature in Christ we will be building godly character that pleases God.


More on Bible Character
Joe R. Price

The world needs men and women of character; youth and aged who are not afraid to live their faith in the face of a faithless society. 

Even worldly people generally have some idea of and appreciation for personal character. Christians are not the only people who regard such character traits as honor, integrity, and fairness. But, like so many other things, man’s definition of character falls far short of the divine ideal.

Christian character rises above the world’s accepted norms. For example, while the world admires the benefits of love, it rarely advocates the love of one’s enemies (Matt. 5:43). Only when we allow the Bible, the word of God, to define and explain character will we be able to build the kind of character that pleases God.

What is Character?

The English word “character” comes from Latin, “mark, distinctive quality” and Greek, “to scratch, engrave” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary; Online Etymology Dictionary). So, one’s character consists of the distinctive marks or traits that are etched or engraved on a person’s heart. Character includes the morals and ethics that define a person.  The Bible puts it this way: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).

Bible Character Defines the Person

A person’s words and actions express his character. It has been said that character is not what a person does but who a person is. More precisely, character is whom a person is (or chooses to be) when no one is watching! D. L. Moody aptly observed that “character is what a man is in the dark.” 

We are reminded of the teenager Joseph who, although being violently removed from every familiar surrounding of his young life (family and friends), consistently kept his faith in God and would not sin – even when it cost him his job, his reputation and his freedom (Gen. 37 and 39). Joseph was a young man of character. He knew that God was always watching and seeing how he lived. His desire was to please God, not man (2 Cor. 5:9).

In Proverbs 3:1-12 a wise father gave guidance and instruction to his son about the importance and blessings of godly character. Notice how many times he talked about the heart in this passage. This constant emphasis on the heart reminds us that unless we mold our heart into what God wants it to be our attempt to build Bible character will be pointless. The heart is the place we must start if we wish to succeed in building Bible character.

Jesus is Our Model for Bible Character

Jesus is our ultimate model for building Bible character. “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Lk. 6:40). The goal of every disciple is to learn and live the will of his Master. Every Christian should desire his character to be like Christ. The gospel forms Christ in us, and we have a sure “hope of glory” (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27).

Building Bible Character
Begins with Conversion to Christ

To speak of Christ being “in” a person, as well as of that person being “in Christ,” is to describe the relationship that is established when a sinner is saved from his sins. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). When a lost believer repents and is baptized into Christ he is saved from his sins and enters a saved relationship with Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Being in this new relationship with Christ, the Christian is a disciple of Christ (a learner and follower of Jesus). Now that he is “in Christ” he is no longer to live in sin and for sin, but “in Christ” and for Christ (Rom. 6:1-11).

Building Bible character begins with becoming a Christian. Disciples train themselves to be like their Master. Since it is Christians who are disciples of Jesus, one must first be a Christian in order to develop character that is like the Master (Acts 11:26; Lk. 6:40). If you want to build Bible character, begin by becoming a Christian, a disciple of Christ.

The Faithful Endurance of Bible Character

Possessing Bible character is a sign of strength, not weakness. It is the inner strength of faith that stands fast in the face of adversity, trial and temptation. The apostle Paul assures us that when a Christian’s faith is tested and he patiently endures, “approved character” results (Rom. 5:3-4).

When your faith is put to the test, whether at school, at home, on the job or any other setting, remember these words from the wise man Solomon: “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (Prov. 11:3).

Qualities and Results of Godly Character

(Proverbs 3:1-12)

Comes from the Heart

   Obedience, 3:1-2
   Mercy & truth, 3:3
   Faith in God, 3:5
   Consider God, 3:6
   Depart evil, 3:7
   Honor God, 3:9
   Accept divine discipline, 3:11

Blessings Obtained

   Life and peace, 3:2
   Favor and good understanding, 3:4
   Divine guidance, 3:6
   Strength, 3:8
   Plenty, 3:10
   God’s love, 3:12


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

Salvation is on the Other Side of the Water

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 106:1-12

1. Two historic errors about grace and salvation.
2. A consistent, guiding principle in God’s dealings with mankind: Faith coupled with obedience brings salvation by grace, Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 2:11-12.


  A. God’s Grace Saved Noah, Gen. 6:5-8.
  B. Noah’s Personal Responsibility Required, 6:13-21, 22; 7:5.
  C. Noah’s Obedient Faith was the Means through which God Granted His Grace, Heb. 11:7 (Gen. 7:1); 1 Pet. 3:20.

II. ISRAEL AT THE RED SEA, Exo. 14:10-14.

  A. God’s Grace Saved Israel, Exo. 14:30; Psa. 106:6-12.
  B. Israel’s Responsibility, Exo. 14:15-16, 26.
  C. Israel’s Obedient Faith was the Means through which God Granted His Grace, He 11:29

III. NAAMAN & HIS LEPROSY, 2 Kgs. 5:1-14.

  A. God’s Grace Cleansed Naaman, Lk. 4:27 (5:15)
  B. Naaman’s Personal Responsibility Required, 5:9-14.
  C. Naaman’s Obedient Faith was the Means through which God Granted His Grace, 5:10, 14.


  A. God’s Grace Gave Him His Sight, 9:14-15 (17), 21, 26, 30.
  B. Man’s Personal Responsibility Required, 9:7.
  C. Man’s Obedient Faith was the Means through which God Granted His Grace, 9:15, 25.


  A. God’s Grace Saves Man from Sin, Eph. 2:5, 8.
  B. Our Personal Responsibility is Required in Order to Receive it, Eph. 2:8; Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21.
  C. Our Obedient Faith is the Means through which God Grants His Grace, Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21 (Rom. 6:3-4).

Conclusion  Acts 2:38, 41-42


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Wrong Side of Brain Operated On
Joe R. Price

An 86-year-old man in Providence, R.I. has now died after a surgeon operated on the wrong side of his head last month to treat bleeding in his brain. According to a report issued by state health authorities, a nurse practitioner did not record which side of the man’s brain needed surgery. Instead of consulting a CT chart, the surgeon, Dr. Frederick Harrington, relied on his memory and started operating on the wrong side. When he discovered the error during the surgery he operated on the correct side. (Last September Dr. Harrington operated on the wrong side of another patient.) Authorities are investigating whether the error contributed to the man’s death.

     “In the surgical team’s haste to treat the patient, it didn’t follow proper procedures, said Dr. Mary Reich Cooper, vice president and chief quality officer for Lifespan, the parent company of Rhode Island Hospital.” (“Man Dies After Surgeon Operates on Wrong Side of Head,”, August 24, 2007)

     This tragedy reminds us that well-intended error leading to spiritual death. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12)

     1. Be careful to consult and follow the Bible. Don’t rely on your memory, your past experiences or on somebody else. The Bible is the truth and teaches us how to be saved. Educated people may tell you that salvation is by “faith only,” but they are wrong. The Bible says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” is the truth (Mk. 16:16); Sinners are not saved “by faith only” (Jas. 2:24; see verses 14-26). Don’t follow this surgeon’s example; follow what the Bible says, not what you think is right because you feel it is true.

     2. Haste makes waste. Do not take short cuts with your soul. Follow the words of Jesus and obtain spiritual life from sin’s death (Jno. 8:31-36; 12:48-50; 14:6).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  08/26/2007

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