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


Volume 16, Number 31

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:


Jarrod Jacobs

The subject of gluttony is misunderstood by many people. Sometimes, during the Thanksgiving holiday, or after some big meal, someone will jokingly say, “I hope the preacher doesn’t preach on gluttony on Sunday.” At other times, I have been accused of “not preaching on gluttony” or “not condemning gluttony” when this is not the case. When I have preached against such sins as smoking, drinking alcohol, and other things, some who try to justify their sins will ask, “People today are also guilty of eating too much, so how about preaching on gluttony? Isn’t that a sin, too?” Friends, gluttony is a sin. What we fail to recognize is that the sin of gluttony encompasses more than merely eating too much at a meal. It is indicative of a wrong attitude and a wrong manner of life that needs to be corrected.

Defining The Term

The word “glutton” is found only twice in the KJV (Deut. 21:20; Prov. 23:21). Similarly, the word “gluttonous” is only found twice in the KJV (Matt. 11:29; Lk. 7:34). (By comparison, the ASV, NKJ, and ESV include Prov. 23:20, 28:7, and Titus 1:12.) When we look up “glutton” in a Bible dictionary and other similar references, we see that the word means something far deeper than someone eating too much at a meal. Therefore, let us study this word and learn the truth.
In the Unger’s Bible Dictionary, we learn that “glutton” means, “(Heb. from zalal, “to shake,” hence to “be loose” morally). A debauchee (Deut. 21:20; Prov. 23:21); “gluttonous” (Prov. 23:20; 28:27), meaning a free liver, one who is unrestrained (Matt. 11:19; Lk. 7:34)” (p. 480). Another definition for “glutton” comes from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, which says, in part, “zalel, “to be lavish”; ... To shake or pour out,” “to be lavish, a squanderer.” (Deut. 21:20 and Prov. 23:21) In Greek, the term is “phagos”, meaning an eater, a glutton. This was a term applied to Christ in His freedom from asceticism (Matt. 11:19; Lk. 7:34) (Editor’s Note: “Asceticism” means one employed in devotions, a recluse, a hermit, JJ). Also, Titus 1:12 (“slow bellies” = “Idle gluttons”); Prov. 23:20; 28:7” (Vol. 2, p. 1239).

A third definition of “glutton” is from the Holman Bible Dictionary. “...greedy and voracious eating... Associated with stubbornness, rebellion, disobedience, drunkenness, and wastefulness (Deut. 21:20). A more general ... term ... good-for-nothing is reflected as, “wastrel”, “profligate”, “riotous”. When Jesus was accused of being “a glutton and a drunkard” (Matt. 11:19) it was in this expanded sense of being one given to loose and excessive living. Gluttony makes one sleepy, leads to laziness, and eventually to poverty (Prov. 23:21).” (p. 656).

True Gluttons

When we take the time to define the word “glutton,” we see that merely thinking of gluttony as being guilty of eating too much does not give us an accurate picture of what God is saying. Yes, there are passages which condemn eating too much (Ex: Prov. 25:16, 27; etc.). However, “gluttony” is far more than that. Overeating is but a symptom of the larger problem of laziness, of being idle, of having a sense of entitlement, having loose morals, and being unrestrained. (Can we not see this in our society?) All of these actions are condemned by God in Scripture, and are what is intended when the Bible uses the word “gluttony”! Once we know this, we must examine ourselves to make sure that we, in this land of plenty, are not gluttons. Truly, this is just another example of how we who are Christians must live in the world, but cannot be like the world (cf. I Cor. 5:10).

Jesus — A Glutton?

By knowing the true meaning of the word “glutton,” we get a picture of just how insulting the people were to Jesus when they called Him a “glutton” and “drunkard” (Matt. 11:19; Lk. 7:34). When the Pharisees saw Him teaching the publicans, sinners, and others, they turned this into an opportunity for scorn (Think: “Birds of a feather flock together.”), rather than what it was — an opportunity Christ took to teach those who were lost in sin and needed salvation (Matt. 9:11-13). The result was that the people accused Jesus of being a gluttonous drunkard! In other words, they were calling Jesus a lazy man with loose morals who was associating with folks who were like-minded!

We know this was not the case at all. Jesus did not condone their sins, but went to them to teach them and bring them out of their sins. To Zacchaeus the publican, Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10), and this included him (Lk. 19:9). To Nicodemus the chief of the Pharisees, Jesus told him what to do to be in the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3, 5). Jesus knew how folks showed favoritism (Matt. 5:46-47), but Jesus was not a respecter of persons! He taught the same thing to all people! (cf. I Cor. 4:17b)

Jesus was not a glutton. Rather, this insult was hurled at Him because the Jews who saw and heard Him did not like what He was doing.


When we understand what the word “glutton” truly means, then we must say that the subject of “gluttony” has not been ignored or “glossed-over” by any true preacher of the gospel! When sins such as debauchery, loose living, laziness, etc., are condemned (cf. Acts 24:25; Phil. 4:6; etc.), then gluttony has been condemned!

The question is, are we guilty of gluttony? Let us examine ourselves and see (II Cor. 13:5). Let us see whether or not we are guilty of loose morals, of laziness, of idleness, and the like. Are we idle or lazy in the work of the Lord? We better not be (I Cor. 15:58). Are we guilty of having a sense of “entitlement” when it comes to spiritual blessings? May this never be the case, but may we always recognize the Source of all spiritual blessings who is above and be thankful (Eph. 1:3; Heb. 5:8-9; Col. 3:15b, 17). Gluttony is a terrible sin. However, we can be forgiven of it and can avoid future temptation by being in a right relationship with Christ Jesus (Mk. 16:16; Jas. 4:7-8; Eph. 6:11; etc.).       -The Old Paths, 10/13/13


The Reach of Your Influence

Joe R. Price

You may not know it, but you are influencing somebody right now. And, your influence is either good or bad. Consider the following illustration:

A young man was killed in an automobile accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. His grief-stricken father raged against whoever sold his minor son the alcoholic beverages. He demanded that the police find and punish the man! Imagine the father’s compounded grief when he opened his own liquor cabinet to find the following note from his deceased son: “Dad, I took a bottle of your liquor. I hope you don’t mind.” (My Favorite Illustrations, 84)

     Parents influence their children in the most mundane, ordinary ways. Parents’ words, attitudes and actions help shape their children’s minds and lives. The way you set before them is often the road they travel (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:3-4).

Christians must be influential. You are the salt of the earth, flavoring an otherwise tasteless world, full of wicked attitudes, repugnant speech and abusive conduct (Matt. 5:13). If you let the world influence your thinking, values and conduct, then your godly influence will become “good for nothing”. Be on guard: You are either influencing others for good, or you are being influenced by evil.

Influence is powerful. It moves people to think and to act in ways they otherwise would not (1 Cor. 15:33). Therefore, guard your influence and be sure it advances godliness. Some will choose to sin in spite of your godly influence. But, let it never be said they chose to sin due to your sinful influence. 


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

Seeking and Knowing the Truth

Scripture Reading:  John 8:26-32

1. Jno. 18:37-38: Pilate’s question describes the relativism, skepticism, doubt and perplexity of many today toward the subject of truth. (The voice of Jesus is truth, Jno. 18:37; Heb. 1:2.)
2. Yet, because Jesus spoke truth, He was the enemy of many (Gal. 4:16), Jno. 8:45-47; 15:20.
3. Jesus: “You shall know the truth” (Jno. 8:32).
4. Is Biblical unity found in truth or is it obtained by seeking truth? Jno. 17:20-21
5. Unless we are able to seek and find the truth with certainty, we are left to our own traditions, speculations, self-serving definitions and applications of what is true worship and faithful living, 2 Tim. 3:7, 14; 2 Cor. 11:3-4.


  A. God Revealed Truth to the World through Jesus, Heb. 1:1-2; Jno. 1:14 (Word = Truth); 8: 26-28; 12:49-50.
  -Question: Can we seek and find God in truth, or do we achieve unity and restore the ancient order by the search (for God) itself?

  B. Jesus is the Revelation and Embodiment of Truth, Jno. 1:14-18; Eph. 4:20-21; Jno. 14:6.
  -Question: Can we seek and find Christ in truth? Or, is our unity determined and defined primarily by seeking Christ?


  A. To Save Sinners, Jno. 6:44-47.
    -By means of the gospel, Mk. 16:15-16; 2 Ths. 2:14; Rom. 1:16.
  -Question: Is eternal life found in the learning process, or in the faithful life that learning (coupled with faith) produces? Jno. 8:31-32; Jas. 1:21, 25; 1 Jno. 2:3, 5-6
  B. To Make Disciples, Jno. 8:31-32; Lk. 6:40; Jno. 15:7-8; 1 Jno. 2:14, 24; 3:24.
  -Question: Is genuine discipleship (being like our Master) attainable? That is, may we learn and live the Master’s teachings with confidence that we are in Him? (Or, is our confidence measured and attained only to the degree that we are seeking to be a disciple?) Answer: Yes, genuine discipleship is attainable, 1 Jno. 2:3-5.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Take One Down, Pass it Around
Joe R. Price

Beers and Hymns is a worship group that gathers at the First Christian Church in Portland OR.

   “With mainline religious congregations dwindling across America, a scattering of churches is trying to attract new members by creating a different sort of Christian community. They are gathering around craft beer.

   “Some church groups are brewing it themselves, while others are bring (sic) the Holy Mysteries to a taproom. The result is not sloshed congregants; rather, it’s an exploratory approach to do church differently.” (“To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer”, John Burnett,

Then, there is “Church-in-a-Pub:

   “Leah Stanfield stands at a microphone across the room from the beer taps and reads this evening’s gospel message. She’s a 28-year-old leasing agent who’s been coming to Church-in-a-Pub here in Fort Worth, Tex., for a year, and occasionally leads worship. ‘I find the love, I find the support, I find the non-judgmental eyes when I come here,’ she says. ‘And I find friends that love God, love craft beer.’” (Ibid)

Our enemy, the devil, continues to lead people astray (Gen. 3:10-13; 1 Pet. 5:8). Consider the following:

     We do not “do church”. The church worships God; it does not explore ways to “do church differently” (Matt. 16:18). Christians do not decide what they “do” for worship; the Lord tells us what to do (Jno. 4:23-24). All else is false worship (Matt. 15:7-9).

     We cannot do evil that good may come. Attracting the world with worldliness only produces a worldly church (Tit. 2:16)! Paul condemned this human, sinful reasoning in Romans 3:8: The end does not justify the means.

     Social drinking is sin. Proverbs 20:1 warns against the mockery of wine. Proverbs 23:29-35 warns against looking at the wine when it “sparkles in the cup” (v. 31). Christians reject “drinking parties” (banquetings, KJV) as “the will of the Gentiles” who live “in the flesh for the lusts of men” and not “for the will of God” (1 Pet. 4:2-3). Such carnality will never produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25).

     Judge righteous judgment (Jno. 7:24). The world despises truth, so it demonizes those with the courage to use God’s truth to judge sin. Be courageous (1 Cor. 16:13). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  11/24/2013

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