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


Volume 16, Number 20

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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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:

Knowing the Certainty of Truth

Joe R. Price

     The beloved physician Luke wrote “an orderly account” of the life of Jesus so that Theophilus would “know the certainty of those things” which he had been taught. Luke’s account of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ was in harmony with what the apostles and ministers of the word of God had delivered “from the beginning” (Lk. 1:1-4; Acts 1:1; Matt. 28:19-20). Luke intended to supply Theophilus with reliable information to validate, strengthen and solidify his personal faith in Jesus Christ (and by means of necessary inference, our faith as well).

     We live in a time when not a few preachers have taken to preaching a gospel of uncertainty and doubt, of opinion, speculation and intellectualism. They tell us we cannot know anything for sure – only God has perfect understanding! (They need to read again 1 John 5:20 and Ephesians 3:3-5.) A postmodern gospel void of absolutes is heard throughout the land – including among brethren in churches of Christ. This is observed in how preachers and elders choose to address (or refuse to address) controversial subjects like divorce and remarriage, social drinking, immodest clothing and the modern dance (just to name a few).

     It ought not to be so. Jesus Christ and preaching Christ is not “yea” and “nay” (2 Cor. 1:18-19). “We preach Christ crucified” with the clarity of truth and the confidence of heaven, so that your faith will be in the power of God and not in the wisdom of men (1 Cor. 1:23; 2:1-5). It is past time that Bible preaching be heard and demanded from pulpits, not pop psychology and self-help messages of personal development that leave the soul starved for the truth that saves souls from sin (Jas. 1:21-22). We need Bible preaching from preachers, not pulpiteers who entertain. We must have the word of God, not intellectual elitism that offers scholarship in place of plain and persuasive gospel preaching (2 Tim. 4:2-5).

     Luke’s preamble affirms the certainty of the word of God (Lk. 1:2). Luke’s “orderly account” did not differ from those given by eyewitnesses (Heb. 2:3; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; 1 Jno. 1:1-4). The harmony of God’s word gives us great certainty of faith. Preaching and teaching that leaves you wondering “what is truth?” will never save the lost and edify the saved.

     Luke’s preamble affirms that certainty of faith is produced by the word of God (Lk. 1:4). Luke boldly asserted the accuracy of his narrative based on a complete understanding of all things from the beginning (Lk. 1:3). Knowing the certainty of what he was taught would generate in Theophilus (and us) a confident faith instead of a spirit of fear and shame (2 Tim. 1:7; Rom. 1:16). Dear Christian, do not fear to speak with certainty about the truth “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

     Doubt over whether we can understand the truth of God with certainty does not and never will produce strong, faithful Christians. The word of God produces faith that is certain – free of fear and shame (Rom. 10:17; 1:16). Truly, the Son of God has given us an understanding (1 Jno. 5:20). 


"Calling On The Name Of The Lord"

Jarrod Jacobs

I am sure that our dear readers have heard people say words to the effect, “If you are not a Christian, all you need to do is call upon the name of the Lord, and you can be saved.” Some will tell you to pray a prayer saying, “Lord be merciful to me a sinner,” or similar things. Such teaching is a misapplication of what is said in Romans 10:13. The apostle Paul wrote, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” What does it mean to call upon the name of the Lord? Let us read the context of Romans 10 and find out.

For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:13-17).

Please notice that after the apostle Paul says we must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, he asks a series of questions that point out what this means. To call upon the name of the Lord, we must: 1) Hear the gospel (Rom. 10:14); 2) Believe the gospel (Rom. 10:14); and 3) Obey the gospel (Rom. 10:16)!

Therefore, “calling upon the name of the Lord” is a comprehensive thing, not simply saying, “Lord.” In Acts 2:21 we read another time when folks were told to call upon the name of the Lord. Here, Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32. Peter shows that the events happening on the day of Pentecost were a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:16), and said, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

What did he mean? Were they commanded to simply say, “Lord”? No! They were told to “hear these words” (Acts 2:22). Peter then proves that Jesus truly is the Son of God (Acts 2:23-35), and said, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). In this text, to “know for certain” means to believe. When the people who heard the gospel on this day were told to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, they then asked what they needed to do to be forgiven of murdering the Son of God. Peter responded by saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:38-41). Based upon hearing and believing the truth, they obeyed! In so doing, they “called upon the name of the Lord”!

Therefore, when one calls upon the name of the Lord, he is simply obeying God’s plan of salvation to hear God’s word, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, repent, and be baptized! Is this not simple? Of course, it is! Let us be about encouraging people to call upon the name of the Lord as the Bible directs us to do, so that all might be saved before it is too late (II Pet. 3:9)!

-The Sword of the Spirit

Caneyville, KY church of Christ


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

Jesus, the Son of Man (The Gospel of Luke)

Scripture Reading:  Philippians 2:5-11

1. Christ is the Son of God, Matt. 16:16; emphasizing His deity.
2. Also the Son of Man, emphasizing his humanity, Jno. 1:14; Heb. 2:14; 4:15-16.
3. It is in both His perfect deity and humanity that Jesus is the Savior.
4. Gospel of Luke: Presents Jesus as the “Son of God” (6x’s), and as the “Son of Man” (26x’s).
5. The life and work of Christ recorded in Luke is wonderfully outlined in Phil. 2:7-9.


  A. “Taking the form of a bondservant” (2:7).
     *  Luke 1-2: Christ’s Coming into this World.

  B. “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself” (2:8).
     *  Luke 3-4:13: Christ’s Preparation for His Public Ministry
     *  Luke 4:14-9:50: Christ’s Ministry in Galilee
     *  Luke 9:51-19:28: Christ’s Journey to Jerusalem

  C. “And became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (2:8)
     *  Luke 19:29–23:25: Christ’s Ministry in Jerusalem
     *  Luke 23:26-49: Christ’s Crucifixion

  D. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” (2:9).
     *  Luke 23:50-56: Christ’s Burial in Joseph’s Tomb
     *  Luke 24:1-49: Christ’s Resurrection
     *  Luke 24:50-53: Christ’s Ascension


1. The Son of Man, Lk. 9:56; 19:10; 5:24; 9:22
2. Confess Him before men for Him to confess you in heaven, Lk. 12:8.


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

The Word of this Salvation (Acts 13)

Scripture Reading:  Acts 13:38-43

1. The gospel work continues in Antioch, Acts 13:1-2.
2. The Holy Spirit had a particular work for Barnabas and Saul.


  A. The Local Work in Antioch, 13:1-2; Eph. 4:11-12.
  B. The Holy Spirit Called Barnabas and Saul to a Work, 13:3-4; 1 Cor. 3:5-9.


  A. A Fierce Opponent of the Gospel on Cyprus.
    1. Sergius Paulus (governor), a prudent man, sought to hear, 13:7.
    2. Elymas (“the wise”), 13:6, 8. A sorcerer and false spokesman of God (Matt. 18:6-7).
    3. Synonyms for God’s word, 13:5, 7, 8, 10, 12.


  A. A Helper Leaves the Work, 13:13 (5). John Mark (15:38).
  B. At the Synagogue: A Word of Exhortation, 13:15-22 (Promise, Psa. 132:11).
  C. Jesus the Savior (the word of this salvation), 13:23-43 Psa. 2:7; 16:10 (Messianic, 13:35-37); (forgiveness and justification, Gal. 2:16; Rom. 3:20).


  A. Envy of the Jews Caused Opposition to Gospel, 13:44-46.
  B. Everlasting Life to the Gentiles, 13:46-48.
  C. Spread of the Gospel, 13:49-52.


1. Gospel spreads among Gentiles, 13:49.
2. The word of this salvation has come to you.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

"Always. Only. Jesus."
Joe R. Price

Let me introduce you to the Hillsong Church NYC:

     It  draws about 5,500 people to its six Sunday sermons each week. It’s pastor is Carl Lentz, who is thusly described, “Along with his half shaved head and slicked back Mohawk, he’s dressed in his usual Sunday attire: black jeans and an unbuttoned denim shirt with a tank top underneath. His tattooed arms, including one with two guns crossed, peek out from under his rolled-up sleeves.”

     “The church is a branch of the popular Australian-based Hillsong Church, the Pentecostal church that draws more than 21,000 weekly to its services. Hillsong is best known for its concert-type settings where they play Christian rock and praise music, which often appeals to a younger demographic of churchgoers.”

     “If you’re new to our church, we love you,” said the 34-year-old Lentz. “Don’t be alarmed by the craziness you see. One time somebody said, ‘Y’all are crazy in your church,’ and I said, ‘You ever seen you dance drunk? Don’t be judging us up in church.’”

     “This church is always only about Jesus. ... It’s always, it’s only about Jesus.” Lentz said in a recent sermon. (“Unconventional pastor leads booming NYC megachurch”, Yahoo!News)

No it is not about Jesus. If it were “Always. Only. Jesus.”, this church would be Bible-based, not culture-based. It would teach and practice the word of Christ Jesus about how to be saved. It would offer God true worship instead of the will-worship of pop-culture (Col. 2:21-23; 3:16-17; Jno. 4:23-24). It would practice true love for God by obeying Him (1 Jno. 5:2-4). It would oppose moral sins like same-sex marriage (“Lentz declined to discuss same-sex marriage, a polarizing issue that young evangelicals have said in repeated surveys that they do not want to be a focus of church”). It would reject Pentecostalism and its false doctrines about the Holy Spirit. The Hillsong Church NYC fails the Bible test of truth (1 Jno. 4:1, 6; 2 Jno. 9; Gal. 1:6-10).

But, let us not be puffed up, thinking this cannot happen among churches of Christ. It already has! We must take heed, lest we fall (1 Cor. 10:12). “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  08/12/2013

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