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


Volume 16, Number 11

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:

Are You Ready to Tell God Why?

Joe R. Price

     The Bible says a day is coming when we will tell God why we did what we did. “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). We will appear before “the judgment seat of Christ” and receive His judgment of our actions based upon His word (2 Cor. 5:10; Jno. 12:48).

     We can yield to the temptation to rationalize our sins – sins of committing what violates God’s will and sins of omitting what God wants us to do (1 Jno. 3:4; Jas. 5:17) – both to ourselves and to others. This is a trait of self-righteousness as we convince ourselves we are better than others, since (figuratively speaking) we “fast twice a week” and “give tithes of all (we) possess” (Lk. 18:11-12). Yet, the apostle sternly warns us, “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

     And so, meditate on the answers you are giving yourself now about your conduct, and consider if you will be comfortable giving the same answers to Christ – face to face – on the Judgment Day.

     “Why did you choose your personal comfort over assembling with the saints to worship?” Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together to worship God is a choice we make, a priority we set in our lives (Heb. 10:24-25). Some treat going to worship like they do personal exercise: they know they should do it, but it is easier to sit in the recliner than to get on the treadmill. So, they convince themselves their desire to exercise is equivalent to actually working out. (Of course, recliners rarely reduce the waistline. So, we comfort ourselves with our desire, as if it were our action.) Similarly, comforting ourselves that we want to be at worship services, but we are simply too tired to go, is not actually worshiping God or obeying Hebrews 10:25. Aren’t we glad Jesus did not choose personal comfort when He “bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24)? If the heaviest cross we have to bear is going to worship God being tired in the flesh, we really don’t have anything to complain about, do we (Lk. 9:23)? Or, to use as an excuse not to assemble with God’s people to worship Him. Are you ready to tell God why?

     "Why did you refuse to surrender your heart to Jesus in order to obey Him in all things?" Many things vie for our attention and energy in this world. Things that are not sinful in themselves can be elevated in our minds to the point of sin (cf. 1 Tim. 6:10). We satisfy ourselves that we are being responsible, when we may in fact be forgetting to first be responsible to God (Matt. 6:33). For example, loving family is good and right (Eph. 6:1-4). But, loving family more than Jesus Christ is sin (Matt. 10:37). Why if Jesus pleased himself instead of doing the Father’s will? He would not have gone to the cross and you will still be lost in your sins. But, He did not please Himself; He did the Father’s will (Rom. 15:3; Jno. 8:29). Are you ready to explain to the Lord why you decided to please people in your life before and instead of pleasing Him (Heb. 13:21). Are you ready to tell God why?

     Why not do this investigation with every area of your life? Or, are you ready to tell God why you did not examine yourself (2 Cor. 13:5)? 


Let's All Gather at the River

Joe R. Price

Let me tell you about two baptism events; one from the Bible and the other soon to occur in Everson, WA. My aim is not to disparage, but to discern what is right; not to belittle, but to magnify Christ and His truth. My goal is to urge Bible baptism (Mk. 16:16).

First, in the city of Philippi some women gathered at the riverside on a Sabbath day where prayer commonly took place. Paul and his companions sat with them and taught them the gospel of Christ. Upon hearing the gospel, Lydia’s heart was opened to obey what she heard. She and others were baptized that very day, being faithful to the Lord (Acts 16:13-15).

Next, the Christ Evangelical Church (CEC) has scheduled a baptism service at Riverside Park in Everson, WA on June 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm, with baptisms in the Nooksack River. Their website says, “If you wish to be baptized sign up today!” ( Their signage in and around Everson says “Join Us!”, and we learn there will be “FREE Hot Dogs” at the event.

There are some striking differences in these two events. But first, the similarities:

     1) Both involve immersion in water. The word baptize means “to dip, to immerse, to submerge”. That is how people were baptized in the Bible (Acts 8:38; Col. 2:12).
     2) Both happen where there is enough water to immerse. Whether it is a river, ocean, pond, tub or baptistery, there must be enough water to be submerged (Matt. 3:13, 16).

Now, some striking differences:

     1) The timing is very different: Bible baptism was immediate and never delayed. In Acts 16:33, the jailer and his family were “immediately” baptized (“straightway”, KJV). Why? Because it is God’s design to wash away sins by baptism; it is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 22:16; 2:38). There is urgency attached to being saved. Therefore, when one believes and confesses faith in Christ, and repents of sins, they are told not to wait: “And now, why are you waiting?” (Acts 22:16) If baptism is so important, why wait weeks to do it? Do not wait; obey Jesus immediately!

     2) The purposes are different: Bible baptism is in order to be saved. Peter clearly said baptism “saves us” (1 Pet. 3:21). Jesus said the same thing in Mark 16:16. The doctrine of Evangelicals is that “forgiveness of sins is granted by grace alone to those who will receive it by faith alone”, and that baptism is a good work “in response to our pardon, not to cause it” ( This is why the CEC schedules baptisms weeks in advance; they believe those they baptize are already saved! That is not what the Bible says.

     3) The event is different: Bible baptism is not a ceremony, ritual or outreach event. Bible baptism is the immediate response of a convicted sinner in order to call on the name of the Lord for salvation (Acts 22:16; 2:21, 38-41). The Bible says nothing about arranging a “baptism service” or about offering food, fun and frolic at such an event. The Bible does not tell Christians to use food as an incentive to encourage sinners to seek Jesus and baptized. Indeed, Jesus warned against following Him for such fleshly reasons (Jno. 6:26-29).

I’m sure these good folks are sincere, but they are sincerely mistaken. The Bible does not approve their practice. Search the Scriptures for yourself (Acts 17:11). Then, follow the example of Lydia and like her, be faithful to the Lord (Acts 16:15).

I’m sure these good folks are sincere, but they are sincerely mistaken. The Bible does not approve their practice. Search the Scriptures for yourself (Acts 17:11). Then, follow the example of Lydia and like her, be faithful to the Lord (Acts 16:15). 


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

What Kind of Heart Do You Have?

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 13:1-9

1. The gospel is designed to penetrate hearts to change lives, Acts 2:36-37; Jas. 1:21-22; Rom. 12:1-2.
2. We decide what kind of heart we will have; the nature of one’s heart is not predestined or unalterable, Matt. 13:14-15; 22:37. Ezek. 11:19-20; Ezek. 18:30-32.
3. Matt. 13:3-9: Jesus taught a parable about the gospel and the heart that continues to be relevant to us. 13:10-12, 16-17 (Mk. 4:13)


  A. This is a Choice: Do you choose not to understand the word? Jas. 4:7; Heb. 3:7-8
  B. What Leads One to Close and Harden his Heart to God’s Word? Heb. 3:12-14; Rom. 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:23.
  C. Does this Describe your Heart toward the Word of God? Matt. 13:19


  A. A Failure to Count the Cost of Discipleship is a Heart Problem, Lk. 9:57-62; Lk. 14:25-33; Prov. 24:10, 16.
  B. Such Person Immediately Stumbles, Matt. 13:21; cf. 24:9-13. Rom. 8:35-37


  A. We Must Make Room in our Hearts for the Word of God to Grow, Mk. 4:19 (Lk. 8:14).
  B. The Over-Crowded Heart Forgets its Cleansing, 2 Pet. 1:8-9.


  A.  This Heart Hears, Understands and Receives the Word of the Kingdom, Mk. 4:20.
  B.  This Heart Bears Fruit by Patiently Obeying the Word of God, Lk. 8:15.


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

You Cannot Overthrow What is of God (Acts 5)

Scripture Reading:  Acts 5:12-16

1. The gospel continued to spread throughout Jerusalem and many were saved (4:4).
2.  Acts 5: Opponents of Christ and truth never sleep. Opposition to truth and godliness came from within and without -- as it still does today, cf. 2 Cor. 11:24-28 (2 Jno. 7; Jude 4).
3.  Acts 5: The gospel spreads in spite of (because of) internal and external problems.


  A. Traits of the Jerusalem Church.


  A. It is a Problem Whenever Christians Sin, Rom. 6:1-2, 11-14; Acts 8:20-22; 1 Jno. 2:1-2.
  B. Cannot Hide our Sin from God, Acts 5:1-9; Psa. 32:1-5.
  C. Christians can Lose their Souls due to Sin, 2 Pet. 2:20.
  D. The Church Benefits when God’s Discipline is Applied, 5:11-14; 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 5:19-20.


  A. Rest Assured, Opposition to Truth will Happen, Acts 5:17-18, 33; Jno. 3:19-21.
  B. We must Obey God rather than Men, Acts 5:19-32 (Matt. 22:21; Acts 25:11).
  C. Remain Faithful and You will be Blessed (Rev. 2:10), Acts 5:19-20, 25-26.


  A. People will not Defeat the Purposes of God, Acts 4:24-28; Isa. 55:11.
  B. The Gospel of Christ is “of God” – Obey it Now, Acts 5:39 (Jno. 12:48).

1.   The choice is yours: Do you want to be on the winning or the losing side in the struggle between good and evil?
2.   Cannot overthrow God; Obey His gospel now.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Visit the Widows
Joe R. Price

Last week’s bulletin addressed “visit the orphans” found in James 1:27. Let’s continue by seeing that verse also says to visit (inspect, look upon, so as to attend to, relieve) widows in their affliction.

Earlier this week it was announced that an 84-year-old widow hit the jackpot, winning $590 million in the lottery. She took the one-time payout of $370 million, which means after taxes she will take home $278 million.

We do not advise the lottery for the care of widows. Gambling in all forms is sin against God and man (visit The point is that most widows never have that kind of financial security. And even with great sums of money one cannot replace the loss of one’s lifelong companion. Without the watchful care of others, many widows are left in this world with little means and great uncertainty – not to mention the loneliness of losing one’s spouse.

Widows are at the mercy of the unscrupulous. Evil people prey upon the weak and infirmed. God pronounces His destruction on such (Isa. 10:1-2; Matt. 23:14).

Godly widows depend on God, as did the widow in Mark 12:41-44. God, the defender of widows, calls on Christians to tend to their needs (Psa. 68:5; Jas. 1:27). When Christian widows were being neglected, their needs going unmet, the church addressed the problem and solved it under the guidance of the apostles (Acts 6:1-6). When a godly widow meets God-given qualifications she may be enrolled by a local church for ongoing care (1 Tim. 5:9-16). This honor is bestowed by God and implemented by His church (1 Tim. 5:3, 16).

James calls on individuals who practice “pure and undefiled religion” to take up their responsibility and attend to widows as they face their particular trials and afflictions (Jas. 1:27). We each bear this responsibility. The local church does not do it for us (so we don’t have to). Be watchful for the needs of widows and relieve them as you are able. You will be a blessing – and blessed. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  06/10/2013

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