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


Volume 14, Number 33

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
All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

We Are Brethren
Joe R. Price

When contention broke out among their herdsmen, Abram appealed to Lot to help end the strife by exhorting, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren” (Gen. 13:8). Familial commonality formed his plea for unity and end to strife. In Christ, it still does (Phil. 4:2-3).

Some seem to think that the physical family relation alone forms the basis for unity in things spiritual; it does not. Jesus and His gospel divides families (Matt. 10:34-37). Necessarily then, the family relationship cannot be the basis for the unity of faith. Our basis for such unity is the truth of the gospel (Jno. 17:20-21; Eph. 4:4-6).

Abram’s appeal to brotherhood implied the common faith and common purpose he and Lot shared, in contrast to the Canaanites and Perizzites who lived in the land (Gen. 13:7). They were relatives ("brethren") who believed in, worshiped and served the same God (Gen. 12:1-4, 7-9; 13:3-5). They not only shared a common ancestry, they shared a common faith.

Likewise, when we plead for unity “because we are brethren”, we understand that such an appeal first reflects that we are members of God’s family. As His children, we must be faithful to Him. After all, the brotherhood of which we speak and to which we make pleas for unity refers to the family of which we are members – the family of God (Heb. 2:12-13). There are no “brothers in prospect” in the Scriptures; the disciples of Christ (Christians) compose the family of God. The correct use of brotherhood to advance unity is predicated on being God’s children, members of God’s house, His church (Gal. 4:4-7; Heb. 3:6; Acts 2:47). Jesus said those who obey the will of the Father compose God’s family (Matt. 12:48-50).

Unless “we are brethren” (unless we are Christians) we are not united with Christ. Therefore, we cannot have unity in Christ. Christians are in a saved relation with Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). As Christians are faithful to the Lord, our unity reflects the brotherhood we share (1 Pet. 2:17).

This is why we plead with Christians to turn away from error and put away the defilements of the flesh; we are brethren, members of God’s family, sanctified in Christ (1 Cor. 1:2). In order to enjoy the blessings of our relation in Christ we must be faithful to the Lord (1 Jno. 1:3-4). It is because we are brethren that we can – we must – unite in the truth given to us by our Father (1 Cor. 1:9-10).


Three Days and Three Nights
Joe R. Price

How long was the body of Jesus in the grave? The skeptic is quick to say there is a contradiction in the Scriptures over the time Jesus said He would be in the tomb and the actual length he was there. When one considers the evidence, this allegation cannot be scripturally or logically sustained. 

      Jesus said He would be in the grave three days and three nights: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). But, Mark records Jesus saying He would rise again “after three days” (Mk. 8:31). This is where the skeptic thinks he proves his case.

      Jesus died and was buried on Friday before the Sabbath (Lk. 23:53-56). Jesus rose from the death on the first day of the week, on which day two disciples said “today is the third day since these things happened” (Lk. 24:1, 7, 21). Parts of three days are under discussion.

      Peter said Jesus was raised from the dead “on the third day” (Acts 10:40). Paul said, “that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4). Is it a conspiracy?  Did Jesus and the apostles conspire to deceive? No, they did not.

      Historically, the Jewish reckoning of time has been quite liberal. They counted any portion of a day as a day itself. The following from Eric Lyons, M. Min., is helpful on this point:

"In the first century, any part of a day could be computed for the whole day and the night following it (cf. Lightfoot, 1979, pp. 210-211). The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it” (from Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix. 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp. 248-249, bracketed comment in orig.).” Azariah indicated that a portion of a twenty-four hour period could be considered the same “as the whole of it.” (Reasoning About the Resurrection of Christ, Eric Lyons, M. Min, Apologetics Press)

      We are not unfamiliar with this way of speaking of time. For example, a man says, “I worked all day” when in fact he only worked a 10-hour shift. Similarly, the expression “three days and three nights” in the Bible can properly include portions of three days without meaning the entire 72-hour period.

      Furthermore, the Bible confirms this to be a common way of counting time.

      In Genesis 7:12 the rain of the flood was on the earth “forty days and forty nights,” while verse 17 merely says, “the flood was on the earth forty days.” The one expression is equivalent to the other.

      A Biblical parallel to the length of time the body of Jesus was in the tomb is found in 2 Chronicles 10:5 and 12. Here, when Jeroboam and all Israel petitioned King Rehoboam to lighten their load, the king said, “Come back to me after three days” (10:5). Verse 12 then observes, “Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, "Come back to me the third day.” When they came back “on” the third day it was “as the king had directed.” So, “on” the third day (v. 12) is equivalent to “after” the third day (v. 5). Because we might not speak of it that way today does not preclude the fact that Scripture so speaks of it, confirming the point that a portion of a day was spoken of as a day itself. 

      In Jewish reckoning of time, any portion of a day could be regarded as a day. Thus there is no contradiction between Jesus’ predicted length of His burial and the actual event. In truth, the accuracy is confirmed.

The Spirit's Sword (VII:40) Mar. 14, 2004


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Where Are You?

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 130

1. God asked Adam where he was, Gen. 3:9.
2. We need to ask ourselves the same question concerning our spiritual condition.

I. ARE YOU HERE? (Without God)

Ø Sin, 1 Jno. 3:4; 5:17; Jas. 4:17; Rom. 3:23 (10-18)
Ø Separation, Gen. 2:17; Isa. 59:1-2
Ø Sentence, Rom. 6:23; 2:8-9; 2 Ths. 1:8-9

II. ARE YOU HERE? (With God)

Ø Peace, Col. 1:19-22; Eph. 2:14-18
Ø Forgiveness, Eph. 1:7; Acts 2:36-41
Ø Abundant life, Jno. 10:10-11; 14:6; Eph. 2:5-7
Ø Eternal life, Rom. 6:22-23

III. ARE YOU HERE? (In Christ)

Ø Baptized are saved, Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:3
Ø Those who repent and are baptized are forgiven, Acts 2:38
Ø Abundant life in Christ
o Is sin still ruling you? Rom. 6:8-14
o Live by faith, Gal. 2:20; Heb. 10:36-39


Ø Lost and without Christ?
o HEAR the gospel, Rom. 10:17
o BELIEVE in Christ, Jno. 8:24; Heb. 11:6
o CONFESS faith, Mt. 10:32; Ro. 10:9-10
o REPENT of sins, Lk. 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30
o BAPTIZED, Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21

Ø Saved and in Christ?
o LIVE faithfully, Rom. 12:1-2
      -Overtaken by sin? Repent and Acts 8:20-24


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

By the Grace of God (2)

Scripture Reading:  Galatians 5:1-6

1. Grace and meritorious works do not coexist, Rom. 11:5-6.
2. But, grace and works of faith do coexist, Titus 2:11-12; Gal. 5:6 (4).
3. Christians stand in and rejoice in the true grace of God, Lk. 17:9-10.

-Review Part 1-


  A. Sinners are Saved, Eph. 2:1, 4-7, 8-9.
  B. We are Justified, Rom. 3:24 (Tit. 3:7); 5:1.
  C. We are Accepted in the Beloved, Eph. 1:6.
  D. I Am What I Am, 1 Cor. 15:10.

-Part 2-


  A. Grace does not make it Impossible for Christians to Sin and Fall Away, Gal. 5:3-7; 1:6-9; Jas. 5:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:11-13.
    1. Grace is greater than sin, but it does not prevent Christians from choosing sin and losing our souls, Jas. 5:19-20.
    2. Trusting God’s grace is not ignoring sin, 1 Cor. 10:11-13.
  B. Grace does not Turn Sin into Righteousness, Rom. 6:1-2, 11-14; Gal. 2:18, 20-21.
  C. Grace does not Sanction Fellowship with Sin or with those who Condone those who Practice Sin, Heb. 13:9; 2 Jno. 9-11.


1.  God's grace does not and will not save you in spite of your sins.
2.  God's grace has appeared and offers salvation to every sinner.
3.  The gospel of the grace of God calls the lost to salvation by grace through faith, commanding a willing faith that obeys the Master, Heb. 5:8-9.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Cheerleader Cover-up “Compromise”
Joe R. Price

Last week we told you about the cheerleaders at Piedmont Hills High School in San Jose, CA being told they cannot wear their cheerleading outfits to school because they violate the school’s miniskirt ban. They were still allowed to wear their uniforms at the football games - just not to class.

Now, a compromise has been reached. Cheerleaders can wear their uniform tops with jeans. Or, they can wear bike shorts underneath (the Spandex solution!).

This is really no solution at all. The problem remains; the uniforms are immodest. Wearing skin-tight shorts under them does not solve that problem. Neither does saying the outfit is a sports uniform and therefore is suitable to wear at football games but not in class.

Immodest clothing is not defined by the activity in which one is engaged. It is defined by the shameful exposure and display of the body (1 Tim. 2:9-10; Exo. 28:42; Isa. 47:2-3). Sporting events do not change immodest clothing into modest attire!

Skin tight clothing is immodest and draws eyes to one’s body. Jesus warned against looking upon a woman with lust (Matt. 5:28). Job made a covenant with his eyes not to do so (Job 31:1). Every woman should know that her clothing can draw a man’s eyes to her in a lustful way. Frankly, it is the partially exposed female anatomy that gets the man’s attention. Spandex (skin tight clothing) is an example. It reveals the form of the body rather than conceal it. Tight clothing shows a lack of attention to shamefastness (a sense of shame that is rooted in one’s character, 1 Tim. 2:9). Women must understand that skin tight clothing is not modest. If Spandex tights are worn they should be adequately covered so that one’s nakedness (exposure of waist to thighs, inclusive, Exo. 28:42; Isa. 47:2-3) is not seen.

Spandex shorts or leggings that reveal the form of the thigh are not modest; they are a compromise with sin.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  10/03/2011

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
Send all questions, comments and subscriptions to the editor at: