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


Volume 15, Number 15

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

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Bible
Joe R. Price

The Bible is the product of divine revelation and not of human imagination (2 Pet. 1:16). It is distinguished above the pronouncements of human wisdom and intellect as far as the heavens are above the earth (Isa. 55:9).

The Bible (a collection of sixty-six books) claims to be the very word of God. The expression “thus saith the Lord” or its equivalent occurs more than 2,000 times in the King James Version of the Old Testament. That version of the Old Testament also records the phrase “the word of God / the Lord” over 3,800 times.

Such declarations are supported by evidence, including the fulfillment of prophecy. Predictions and pronouncements of events are made before they occur, the fulfillment of which lies beyond the scope of reasonable deduction and human observation. The fulfillment of literally hundreds of prophecies about people, Israel and the nations and the Messiah is powerful evidence of the Bible’s divine origin. Fulfilled prophecy is convincing evidence that the Bible is from God. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa. 42:9).

Because it is God’s word, the Bible is able to lead mankind to salvation from sin and equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Such trust may be placed in the Bible because it is “inspired of God”. The Bible is unlike the poetry of some “inspired” poet who is carried away in a moment of creative expression. The Scriptures are the very words that God has given men to write and which communicate His mind and will to all of mankind. “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). And again, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). These are either the statements of boastful, conceited con man or the carefully constructed pronouncements of men who wrote the very words God gave them to write. We confidently affirm the later. The evidence of their product (Scripture) and of their lives of faithful devotion and sacrifice allows for no other viable conclusion.

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). The Bible builds and anchors our faith in the true and living God instead of in the false and futile gods of men (Isa. 40-46; Acts 17:22-31). The Bible is God’s message upon which we build our faith and live by faith (Rom. 10:17; 2 Cor. 5:7). Therefore, to reject the Bible as the verbally inspired word of God is to reject true faith in God and the salvation that only comes through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16; Jno. 12:48-50). 


Making the Application
Joe R. Price

Many people, including members of churches of Christ, are uncomfortable with Bible preaching that makes specific applications to people and their lives. Speak on the principles of truth all day long and they are ardent supporters. But start applying the principles of truth to real life situations and real life people and they become squeamish (if not your adversary). These people have missed a fundamental point: we must apply God’s truth to our lives for it to save us. A good grammar instructor teaches the principles of grammar and shows how those principles apply to sentence structure, etc. Likewise, a faithful Bible teacher shows how a scriptural principle applies to our lives. He makes the application.

Some have little problem with the preacher making applications – as long as they apply to someone else! This reminds me of how one fellow said most folks measure the worth of a sermon: “The average person’s idea of a good sermon is one that goes over his head and wakes his neighbor up.” We have indeed become hypocritical and sinfully judgmental if we are satisfied with applying truth to those around us but are unwilling to do so to ourselves (Matt. 7:1-5).

The fact of the matter is that Jesus not only taught the principles of truth, He also made specific and pointed application of those principles. Read Matthew 23; 16:22-23; 15:1-14; John 9:40-41 for just a few examples of Jesus making the application to His audiences. His apostles followed His example and also made specific applications of the divine principles to those who needed to learn the truth (Acts 2:36; 8:20-23; 24:24-25). Why, they even named names when it was needed in order to identify who was worthy of imitation and those who was not (3 Jno. 9-12).

Some brethren warn us, “You will run people off if you name names and make specific applications!” The determining factor for whether truth ought to be taught and its application made is not “will it run folks off” or “will it hurt someone’s feelings” or “will they will be offended”. All the truth must always be preached to try to save soul (2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 20:27).

After Jesus had roundly rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for nullifying the word of God with their traditions the apostles said to Him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” (Matt. 15:12) The word they used is skandalizō, “to put a stumbling-block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall; to be a stumbling-block…to entice to sin…to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and cause to fall away…” (Thayer, 576) The apostles told Jesus that His teaching placed an impediment before the Pharisees! It is as if they say, “Jesus, you caused the Pharisees to stumble!” Who can believe it?! That is still what some Christians say when the application is made from God’s word that exposes sinful error. Jesus denied their claim and explained the scribes and Pharisees were already blind guides leading the blind (Matt. 15:13-14). Making the application of truth is not the reason people reject the truth; the problem is the heart of the hearer is not right (Matt. 15:15-20; 13:18-23).

We make the application from God’s word because it is profits the hearer (2 Tim. 3:16-4:2). Paul said, “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you…” (Acts 20:20) Unless and until one accepts this God-given pattern of Bible preaching he is a hindrance to sound preaching; not a supporter of it. 


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

Escape from Sin (THE WHAT, HOW AND WHY)

Scripture Reading:   Matthew 5:27-30

     Matt. 5:27-30: Jesus identifies the source and snare of sin, the severity of repentance and the surrender necessary to enter eternal life and escape the suffering of hell.

I. THE SOURCE OF SIN, Matt. 5:27.

  A. The Heart, Prov. 23:7; Matt. 15:10-19.
  B. The Temptation to Sin: “looks at a woman to lust for her” (5:28); Jas. 1:12-16; cf. 1 Jno. 2:16; Prov. 6:25; 2 Sam. 11:2.

II. THE SNARE OF SIN, Matt. 5:29-30.

  A. Sin Ensnares, Traps and Enslaves All Who Yield to Temptation, 2 Pet. 2:19.
  B. The Nature of Sin, Heb. 3:13 (deceitful); 11:25 (passing pleasure); Rom. 6:23 (bondage and death).

III. THE SEVERITY OF REPENTANCE, Matt. 5:29-30. (Hyperbole) -Mark 9:42-48-

  A. Do Away with Sin, Rom. 6:6; Col. 2:11; Col. 3:9; 2 Cor. 7:10; Rom. 6:13, 16-18.
  B. Only When the Sin is Removed Can We Serve the Lord with Our Body, 1 Cor. 6:13, 19-20; Rom. 12:1-2.


  A. The Crucifixion of Self to Live by Faith, Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:7-8.
  B. The Denial of Self, Lk. 9:23; cf. Matt. 19:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:1-2.

V. SUFFERING OF HELL, Matt. 5:29-30.

  A. Sin’s Punishment is Eternal Ruin, Matt. 10:28; Mk. 9:43-44.
  B. Purity’s Reward is Eternal Life, Mk. 9:43 (Rom. 2:7).


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

Source and Standard of Authority Bible Authority (3)

Scripture Reading:   Matthew 21:23-27

1. How can we have confidence we are trusting in God’s authority and not man’s to save us?
2. How does God make His authority available to man so we can know His will, obey it and live in His blessings?


  A. Man’s Wisdom Enslaves, is Empty and Deceptive, Col. 2:8 (1-3).
  B. God Speaks to Man through Jesus Christ, Heb. 1:1-3.
  C. Christ Possesses All Authority, Matt. 28:18; 17:5; Acts 3:22-23; Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:18; Acts 4:10-12.


  A. The Lord Began to Speak Salvation, Heb. 2:3-4 (Jno. 6:63, 68; 8:31-32; 12:48-50).
  B. What we will be Judged by..., Jno. 12:48; 5:22


  A. Jesus Spoke the All-Authoritative Word of God, Jno. 12:49-50.
  B. Gave the Same Authoritative Word to Apostles, Jno. 17:6-8, 14-19.
  C. Apostles Given the All-Authoritative Word by the Holy Spirit, Jno. 14:16-18, 25-26; 16:12-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Heb. 2:3-4.
  D. We Must Hear the Words of the Apostles, Lk. 10:16 (1 Cor. 2:4-5; Eph. 3:3-5).



(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Miracle Whip
Joe R. Price

Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford died of a snake bite earlier this week. Wolford was conducting a snake-handling service in West Virginia when the poisonous timber rattlesnake he had been handling bit him in the thigh. He died the next day (“‘Serpent-Handling’ West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite”, Yahoo! We take no pleasure in his demise.

     In November 2011 Wolford said, “Anybody can do it that believes it,” he says. “Jesus said, ‘These signs shall follow them which believe.’ This is a sign to show people that God has the power.” (“In West Virginia, snake handling is still considered a sign of faith”, Wolford watched his father died from a snake bite at a similar service.

     This is a gross perversion of Mark 16:17-18, which notes the miracles that accompanied the apostles of Christ were God’s confirmation of the gospel as genuine (Mk. 16:15-16, 19-20). We don’t need such signs today to show us “God has the power” – He has already shown His power and we are to put our faith in His certified word (Heb. 2:3-4; Gal. 1:11-12). We would ask these snake handlers what is their new revelation? The apostolic doctrine has been confirmed. What are they preaching that needs new and additional miraculous confirmation? Their preaching is a corruption of the gospel (Gal. 1:6-10).

     This reminds me of a poisonous snake a gospel preacher once captured and displayed during a debate with a Pentecostal on the subject of present-day miracles. He named it “Miracle Whip”. The Pentecostal didn’t want to handle Miracle Whip, and I don’t blame him (I guess he didn’t have enough faith)!

     How sad when people refuse the plain and power of God’s word for the “lying wonders” of error. Failing to possess “the love of the truth” they are deluded to believe a lie (that God will give them a miracle today) and lose their lives – and their souls (2 Ths. 2:9-12).   


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  06/11/2012

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