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


Volume 15, Number 16

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Man Who Isolates Himself
Joe R. Price

Human beings are social creatures. This is evident from the Edenic scene in which God said “It is not good that man should be alone” and so made woman and brought her to the man (Gen. 2:18-25). In marriage there is a companionship that mirrors that of Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33).

Christians compose “one body”, which is the church of Christ (Eph. 1:22; 4:4). As the body of Christ the church has many members (individual Christians, Acts 2:47). Each member of Christ’s body has a different function that benefits the rest of the body. See this confirmed in Romans 12:4-5:

4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Christ did not save us so that we would then isolate themselves from one another. Early Christians continued in fellowship (Acts 2:42). Christians are “members of one another” (Rom. 12:5). We need and benefit from each other’s gifts, love and sympathetic care (Rom. 12:6-16). The Christian who isolates himself from faithful brethren fails to help his fellow Christians in their time of need. Additionally, he fails to receive the help that others can provide him. The body of Christ is to be “joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share…” (Eph. 4:16). Truth, love, thankfulness and the peace of God are among the “joints and ligaments” which hold us together in one body (Col. 2:19; 3:14-15). Christians who isolate themselves from their brethren will neither be strengthened by nor strengthen other Christians.

Numerous advantages are to be gained by the companionship of faithful friends and brethren. Some of the benefits of a brotherly bond are enumerated in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

  9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

     1) Companionship in Christ means shared work and shared success (Eccl. 4:9). When Christians work together great things are accomplished for Christ (2 Ths. 1:3-4). The anticipated joy of glory prompts us to “eagerly wait for the Savior”, not on an island of solitude but as glad participants in life’s race and its eternal reward (Heb. 12:1-2). Each Christian shares in the great work of Christ, contributing his or her part to its success. Whether it is by service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, showing mercy or some other worthy effort of a disciple, working together lightens our load and increases our joy (Rom. 12:4-8). Be sure you are doing your part as a member of the body of Christ. Don’t isolate yourself from your companions in the faith.

     2) Companionship in Christ gives protection from spiritual danger (Eccl. 4:10). The apostle of Christ warned, “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). We all need and benefit from the protection of our fellows who watch out for our spiritual welfare and who raise a word of warning when danger is near. We value early warning systems that alert cities, towns and villages when severe weather approaches. Millions of dollars are spent annually in this country on the forecasting and warning of hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather events. The need is obvious, and such warnings save lives. How much more valuable ought it to be when our soul is in jeopardy and one who loves us warns us of sin’s danger and death?

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (Jas. 5:19-20)

     3) Companionship in Christ gives security from spiritual danger (Eccl. 4:11). Christians have a common enemy – the devil (1 Pet. 5:8). Surely we are not ignorant of his devices, including his age old attempt to divide and conquer (2 Cor. 2:11). He injects evil thoughts toward brethren into the hearts of those more interested in self-justification and personal advancement than in “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). The security of unity in Christ is disrupted as trust wanes and suspicion increases. Satan knows when Christians stand united in truth they are a powerful force to advance the gospel and to withstand his destructive ploys (Jno. 17:21-23). The Christian who isolates himself from his brethren is exposed; his spiritual defenses are weakened and he is vulnerable to attack. Seek out the companionship of faithful brethren for the sake of your spiritual security. And, be a source of refuge for a Christian in peril.

     4) Companionship in Christ gives strength against spiritual danger (Eccl. 4:12). Just as a threefold cord is not easily broken, the strength of faithful Christians standing side by side to withstand the wiles of the devil together is potent (Eph. 6:10-13). To choose to be isolated from your brethren denies for yourself the comfort and strength of building up each other: “Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Ths. 5:11).

     Solomon wisely observed, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against wise judgment” (Prov. 18:1). Having obtained “like precious faith”, let us not seek our own desire. Let us rather join together in the strength of faith and unity in Christ that conquers every spiritual foe. Christians are not islands; “we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25). 


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

A Time to Love

Scripture Reading:   1 Corinthians 13:8-13

1. There is a time to love, Eccl. 3:8.
2. Love is the “more excellent way”, 1 Cor. 12:31; 13:1ff.
3. 1 Cor. 13: Division and carnality in Corinth grew out of a failure to understand love and to live in love toward each other, Eph. 5:2.

I. THE MOTIVES OF LOVE, 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
  A. Love is Decision of the Will that must Motivate every Action of Our Life, 13:1-3; cf. Gal. 5:6; Jno. 3:16.
  B. We Must Stop Merely Saying We Love, We Must Start Showing We Love, 1 Jno. 3:16-18; Eph. 3:17-19.

  A. Love is Active --
-v. 4: Love is - Longsuffering, kind, does not envy, does not brag, is not puffed up.
-v. 5: Love is not - Rude, selfish, provoked; vengeful.
v. 6-7: What love does: Does not rejoice in iniquity, rejoices in the truth, bears, believes, hopes and endures all things.


  A. Love Never Fails (ceases, rendered inactive), 13:8, 8-12.
    1. Transitory nature of miraculous gifts v. the permanency of love, 13:8-12.
    2. Partial revelation v. complete revelation.
      a. 13:11-12: Partial and complete illustrated with 1) childhood v. adulthood, and 2) mirror vs. face to face.
      b. Now abide faith, hope, love; Love is the foundation of all.

Conclusion  Understand and live in love.


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

Human Standards of Authority Bible Authority (4)

Scripture Reading:   Colossians 2:18-23

1. Human sources of authority in spiritual matters are false, Col. 2:8.
2. Human rationale rejected, Matt. 7:21-23.

I. IT WORKS: The end justifies the means.

 -Do evil that good may come? Rom. 3:5-8; 10:1-3; 1 Sam. 15:3, 19-23

II. TRADITION: It has been practiced for so long. Mark 7:1-13

III. THE SILENCE OF THE BIBLE: The Bible doesn’t say “not to.” 2 Jno. 9 (Deut. 29:29).

  -Silence does not give consent, Heb. 7:12-14; Num. 3:10.

IV. NUMBERS: Surely so many people cannot be wrong. Matt. 7:13-14; cf. Gen. 6:5-6; Num. 14:28-30.

V. LITTLE THINGS: Those issues are not important; If I do some important things right, these other things won’t matter. Jno. 12:42-43; Acts 5:1-4; 2 Sam. 6:6-7 (1 Chrn. 15:13-15)

VI. KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES’S: They are doing it and so can we.

  -Not content with God’s way, 1 Sam. 8:4-7, 19-20.

VII. EMOTIONS: It makes you feel good, so it must be right. Prov. 14:12; 28:26

VIII. LOSING TOUCH WITH REALITY: I’d rather do it wrong than do nothing. 2 Tim. 2:5


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Ex-Players Sue NFL
Joe R. Price

Over 2,000 former pro football players have joined in filing a lawsuit against the NFL, “alleging the league deliberately and fraudulently concealed from players the risk of brain injury from playing professional football” (“Ex-NFL players join to sue league on head injuries”, Recent suicides of former NFL players have heightened speculation about what part brain injuries sustained while in the NFL may have played in those deaths. (The average lifespan of an NFL player is 58 years; the average American male lives to 76 years.)

     The suit alleges that for years the NFL “was aware of the health risks associated with repetitive blows” (“NFL players join forces to sue league over concussion”, Are we to conclude the players did not know that pro football could be dangerous to their health?

     Professional football is a violent sport. Everyone (including the league, the teams, the players and the fans) know that. Uniforms and rules exist to protect players; still, injuries (some very severe) happen. These men make a personal decision to play; they assume the risks and they enjoy the benefits of their profession.

     When it comes to spiritual matters we must consider the cost of sin and ask ourselves if we really understand it that means. Sure, sin brings temporary benefits (pleasures of the flesh, selfish and prideful advancement, etc.), but it results in eternal death (Rom. 6:23). Do you really want to destroy your spiritual health and hope for a happy life (now and eternally) for the momentary pleasure of sin? It is not worth it!

     Something must be said here about personal accountability. Yes, the NFL has responsibility toward its players. But, players are also accountable. Like them, you and I are accountable for our choices, and we will give an answer to God on the last day (2 Cor. 5:10). We will not be able say to God, “You knew the risks of sin but you didn’t tell us!” He has told us. Are you listening? 


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  06/11/2012

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