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


Volume 15, Number 47

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:

Christ is the Head of the Church

Joe R. Price

     The church of Christ is composed of saved people. They have believed and obeyed the call of the gospel of Christ and come out of sin’s darkness, despair and death into His marvelous light of redemption (1 Pet. 2:9-10; 1:18-19; Acts 2:40-47). This is the church Jesus built (Matt. 16:18).

     Jesus Christ is the head of His church: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” Eph. 1:22-23). Christ has “all authority” in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). He had not given His headship over His church to any man, including the pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

     Earlier this week Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation as the Vicar of Christ (the earthly representative of the head of the Catholic Church on earth) effective February 28, 2013. The Bible does not teach the doctrine of a Papacy; it is the result of hundreds upon hundreds of years of Catholic Church assumptions, traditions and declarations.

     We wish to briefly point out some striking contrasts between the Catholic pope (who claims to be the head of Christ’s church on earth) and Jesus Christ (the true and only head of the church).

     1. Who sets the rules? I heard one Catholic priest say the pope, as the head of the church on earth, “sets the rules” about his resignation, etc. But, Jesus has “all authority” in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). His New Testament says nothing about giving authority to a pope who “set the rules” here on earth. The Catholic papacy presumes authority upon itself and by doing so rejects the apostolic doctrine (Acts 2:42; Gal. 1:6-9).

     2. The head of the Catholic Church can resign, but the head of the church of Christ never resigns. This will be the first time in almost 600 years a Catholic pope has resigned, but it has happened before will probably will again. On the other hand, the head of the church of Christ “has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God”, ever living to make intercession for Christians (1 Pet. 3:22; Heb. 7:25).

     3. The head of the Catholic Church dies, but not the head of the church of Christ. Nobody disputes the pope is subject to death. However, Jesus overcame death and will never die (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:24; Rom. 1:4).

     4. The head of the Catholic Church has successors, but not the head of the church of Christ. The Roman papacy asserts apostolic succession for the head of the Church. Yet, Jesus Christ, the true head of the church, is a priest continually, having neither predecessor nor successor (Heb. 5:6; 7:1-3, 20-28; 8:1-2). Popes come and go, but Jesus abides forever.

     The pope fails the Bible tests for the true head of the church. There is only one head of the church – Jesus Christ. Our 1.2 billion Catholic neighbors have the wrong head. The Catholic Church submits to the pope, but the church of Christ submits to Christ in everything (Eph. 5:24). We urge them to respect and follow the true head of the church – Christ. 


"The Gospel Of Christ"

Jarrod Jacobs

The gospel of Christ is something that deserves our respect. Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Jesus Himself spent three years preaching the gospel to a lost and dying world (Matt. 4:23). What can we know about the gospel of Christ and why does it deserve our respect?

The Focus Of The Gospel — Christ

When the gospel was preached in Acts 2, it centered on Christ. In Acts 2:22-36, we read the preaching of Peter. Here, we learn about Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection. As a result of this sermon, about 3000 were baptized into Christ, and added to the church that same day (Acts 2:38-41). From that time on, when people were taught the gospel, those who had honest and good hearts obeyed God’s word and were saved (Acts 8:12, 35-39, 10-11, 16:30-34, etc.)! The gospel will save people today just as it did in the first century if we have the attitude of those first century converts.


The Image Of The Gospel — A Sword

The gospel of Christ is not for the faint of heart; nor for those afraid of confrontation! Paul, by inspiration, told the Ephesians, “And take the...sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). The Hebrew writer said, “For the word of God is living, and active, sharper than any two-edged sword…” (Heb. 4:12). The word of God is not a defensive weapon (Eph. 6:16); it is an offensive weapon (Eph. 6:17)! This weapon is to be used to “destroy strong holds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (II Cor. 10:4-5). It is high time that we used it in this manner! We shame the name of Jesus when we refuse to use the gospel as the sword it is. The reason there were 3000 saved on the day of Pentecost was because they were “cut to the heart” by the Gospel (Acts 2:37)! It will work today as well!


The Purpose Of The Gospel — Salvation

There is only one gospel by which we are saved (Gal. 1:6-7). While there are many who try to pervert the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:7), we must “test the spirits,” and see whether they are of God (I Jn. 4:1). If they are of God, we need to listen. If they are not, we need to reject the doctrine and rebuke the teacher (Rom. 16:17)! Who is willing to do this? Who will “fight the good fight of faith” and “take hold of eternal life” (I Tim. 6:12) by using the gospel not only to protect, but to actively fight against Satan who “disguises himself as an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14)? In case some are uncomfortable thinking about fighting, let them remember that Paul said, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one you we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). I do not want to find myself facing God’s wrath (Heb. 10:31). Thus, I must use the gospel skillfully as the sword it is. I want to be in fellowship with God and His Son. This means that I cannot give consent, or appear as giving consent to the enemies of righteousness, regardless of what form they take (II Jn. 9-11; Rom. 1:32; Acts 13:10)!!


The Reality of The Gospel — Power

The gospel is not weak, but is powerful because it is the very words of Christ to man! In Romans 1:16, Paul said the gospel is God’s “power.” The word “power” comes from the Greek word “dunamis” from which we get the word, “dynamite.” The gospel has the power to break the hardened heart that has been hardened by atheism, denominationalism, institutionalism and the like to reveal a heart willing to obey God. However, just like real dynamite, nothing will happen until the fuse is lit! One lights the fuse of the gospel by teaching and spreading God’s word to others (II Tim. 2:2; I Tim. 4:2).



The gospel is an important tool. Without it, people wander through this life in ignorance and in sin. Without it, man has no hope, no goal, and no purpose for living. Who will deprive their friends and loved ones of a chance to hear the “glorious gospel of the blessed God” (I Tim. 1:11)? Jesus brought this gospel to us, and it is our responsibility to spread this gospel to the world (Matt. 28:19). Who will do it? Will you?

-The Old Paths (Volume 19, Issue 50, Feb. 10, 2013)


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

Stand Still

Scripture Reading:  Exodus 14:10-14


1. Christians are exhorted to press forward, Phil. 3:12-14.
2. Sometimes, in order to press onward we must first stand still.



  A. Israel at the Rea Sea: Saved by Grace through Faith, Exo. 14:13.
    1. From faithless fear to obedient faith, 14:11-16, 22, 29-31; Psa. 106:7-12.
    2. God troubled and then destroyed the Egyptians, 14:24-28.

  B. Judah against Ammon, Moab and Edom: To the Victor Goes the Spoils, 2 Chrn. 20:1, 10, 15-17 (3-13), 20-30.

  C. Lessons for Us:
    1. We are powerless against the enemies of sin and death, Rom. 7:24; 5:6-8; 7:25-8:1.
    2. God abundant blesses His people, 2 Chrn. 20:25-26; Eph. 1:3; 3:20.
    3. To God be the glory, Ex. 15:1-3; Rev. 15:1-4.



  A. Consider the Elements under God’s Control and See God’s Majesty, Job 37:14-18 (36:24-37:18); Acts 14:17.

  B. Consider the Heavens and Marvel at Humanity, Psa. 8:3-9; Gen. 1:26; Rom. 1:18-25.



  A. Stop Whatever You are Doing and be Saved Now! Acts 8:35-39.
    1. Obey the gospel and become a Christian, Acts 16:33.
    2. Repent and be faithful, Lk. 15:17-20.
    3. Procrastination is the tool of the devil to keep you in sin, doubt, despair, uncertainty and death, 2 Cor. 6:2, 17-18; Heb. 3:7, 13.



1. Jesus calms the storms of life, “Peace, be still!” Mk. 4:39
2. Stand still and see the salvation of God.


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

The Church: Its Unity and Growth (EPHESIANS 4:1-16)

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:1-6


1. Wealth in Christ, Eph. 1-3.
2. Walk in Christ, Eph. 4-6.
3. Eph. 4:1-16: We must promote and guard the unity and growth of the body of Christ.



  A. By a Worthy Walk, 4:1; Phil. 1:27; 1 Ths. 2:12; Col. 1:10.

  B. By Keeping the Attitudes of Unity, 4:2-3; Rom. 12:11; 2 Tim. 4:7; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 4:2; Col. 3:14-15.

  C. By Upholding and Building on the God-Given Basis for Unity, 4:4-6; Eph. 3:3-5.

  D. The Basis of Unity, 4:4-6.



  A. The Gifts that Enable Our Unity, 4:7-11.
    1. Inspired: Apostles and prophets.
    2. Uninspired: Evangelists, pastors, teachers.

  B. The Purpose of these Gifts, 4:12.
    1. Equipping of saints, cf. 3:19.
    2. To fully equip saints for:
      a. The work of ministry (Col. 3:24; Gal. 5:13).
      b. The edifying of the body of Christ, 4:16, 29.



  A. These Gifts Continue until Christians Reach Maturity, 4:13 (1-3).

  B. The Results of Christ’s Gifts: Growth and Strengthening of the Body, 4:14-16.
    1. No longer children … speaking the truth in love … grow up in all things…, 4:14-15.
    2. Every part (member) of the body does its share, 4:16.



1. Christ has given us the tools for unity, growth and maturity.
2. We are responsible for promoting and maintaining the unity of the church. Our unity in Christ breeds further growth and stability.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

The Sky is Falling
Joe R. Price

A meteor lit up the morning sky over Russia Friday. The residents of Chelyabinsk (900 miles east of Moscow) saw the trail of fire and smoke, heard the sonic boom and experienced its shock wave. About one thousand people were injured by breaking glass and other debris. Just a few hours later an asteroid passed by earth, missing the planet by a mere 17,200 miles (not very far, considering communication satellites orbit the earth at 22,500 miles). We too easily forget how powerful the elements of this universe are and just how small we are. David reminds us of the greatness of God’s universe and of the honor God has given human beings who are so small by comparison (Psa. 8:3-9). We marvel and bow before God’s grandeur as well as the marvelous blessings we receive from His hand.

If we do not contemplate the great blessings we have from God we will fail to honor God for His blessings (Jas. 1:17). The worldly, by choosing sin instead of righteousness, dishonors God and stores up for themselves wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Rom. 2:5). Sinners who do not repent and obey God will not escape God’s judgment (Rom. 2:3, 8-11).

The moment of God’s judgment against sin is described as a time when sinners unsuccessfully try to hide from God’s wrath. Hosea described this futile effort as sinners crying out to the mountains to fall on them (Hos. 10:8). Jesus used these words to speak of God’s wrath against Israel for rejecting Him (Lk. 23:30). John applied the same vain pleas to kings and great men who tried in vain to escape divine judgment (Rev. 6:12-17).

The power of meteors and asteroids is nothing when compared to the powerful day of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:10-13). On that day the universe will melt and pass away. The redeemed will have a new habitation of righteousness, but the wicked, the fire of eternal death (Rev. 21:1-8). So, be diligent in your faith (2 Pet. 3:14). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  02/18/2013

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