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


Volume 16, Number 36

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:

Convenience vs. Commitment

Rick Holt

Convenience is defined as “the quality of being or making things easy, useful, or of increasing comfort; personal comfort, or circumstances that promote somebody’s personal comfort” and Commitment is defined as “something that takes up time or energy, especially an obligation; devotion or dedication, e.g. to a cause, person, or relationship.” Encarta Dictionary: English (North America)

How do you view your relationship to the local assembly of the Lord’s Church…as a convenience or a commitment? Take a look at the definitions above again and compare that to your attendance, for example, this past year. Did your commitment to the Lord cause you to dedicate yourself to attending every service to the best of your ability? Or was it just a convenience for you to attend a service every now and then, at your ease or comfort level? Maybe you had difficulty arriving at services ahead of time in order to quietly reach your seat and prepare for class.  If any of these are the case, have you evaluated the cause for them and tried to correct them? If not, do you feel that you will be able to give an acceptable account when before the Righteous Judge on the last day? Sometimes it seems we should postpone the beginning of services for ten minutes so everyone can be on time for services. Yes, it is very noticeable, not only to fellow brethren who are on time, but also to our visitors that frequent our assemblies. It is also disrespectful to the teachers who are already standing before us and have begun their lessons. How embarrassing for the person who is late!

I understand that sometimes circumstances occur that are beyond our control and cause us to be late. I am not talking about one or two instances, but about chronic, habitual tardiness (Heb. 10:25). I am not suggesting that the assembly is being “forsaken” by latecomers, but brethren, we can do better. . I wonder if I would retain my secular job if I habitually ran late reporting to work, I think not. Are you late for other appointments that you have scheduled during the week? Chronic tardiness may suggest a lack of commitment, laziness, and absence of accountability.

Is not the assembling together of the saints more important than any earthly gathering? Remember the definition of commitment… “something that takes up time or energy, especially an obligation; devotion or dedication, e.g. to a cause, person, or relationship.” These words have nothing in common with chronic tardiness. If you are having trouble being on time to our services, please carefully assess whether it reflects your commitment to worship, or your convenience in the moment.

Brethren, it is the beginning of a new year. Attending the local assemblies is just one aspect of the Christian life; but it is an important one. Let us commit ourselves to be earlier than later in arriving for services. “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…” (Heb. 10:24), as we move forward into 2014.


Sword Tips

Joe R. Price

For the past seven weeks we have been sending out daily emails and also posting them on Facebook ( Sword Tips is a brief word of encouragement using a Bible verse as its point of reference. If you are not yet receiving it is an oversight on our part. Please let me know and I will gladly add you to the email list. (Of course, you can remove yourself from the list at any time.) We want to send Sword Tips to all who are interested.

A Word of Exhortation (Acts 13:15). As you can tell, Sword Tips is an extension of this bulletin’s title, The Spirit’s Sword. These daily words of encouragement are intended to be short, pithy comments on a passage of Scripture that helps us use God’s word each day. They are not intended to be exhaustive treatments of the Scripture citation or any particular topic. Instead, we hope to focus on one main thought and drive it home.

The Weapons of our Warfare (2 Cor. 10:4-5). We are at war against every thought, word and deed that exalts itself above “the knowledge of God” (v. 5). God’s word is a “living and powerful” sword, when faithfully used, that defeats error and defends righteousness (Heb. 4:12). Our task in Sword Tips is to trust the sword of the Spirit to defend us against sin and show us the way of victorious living in Christ (Eph. 6:17).

Reminders of Present Truth (2 Pet. 1:12-15). Sword Tips will not be an exercise of telling or hearing some new thing (Acts 17:21). The daily tips will be the old, old story of Jesus and His love; of truth and righteous living, of grace, faith and obedience. In a world that serves sin and Satan, we all need the encouragement contained in God’s word. Whether you are a new Christian or a seasoned saint, we hope Sword Tips has something to help you as you walk by faith and live for heaven. 


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

Great Salvation

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 2:1-4

1. Heb. 2 begins with a stern warning to prevent drifting away from the gospel of Christ that we have heard, 2:1-3.
2. To contrast the importance of caring for our salvation, the inspired author describes it as “so great a salvation”, 2:3-4.
3. What is SO GREAT about our salvation?


  A. The Greatest Savior Achieved Our Salvation, Heb. 7:25-27 (Acts 4:12); 10:11-18.
  B. The Greatest Love Underlies Our Salvation; Jno. 3:16; 1 Jno. 3:16; 4:9; Eph. 2:4; Jno. 15:13; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 3:16-19.
  C. The Greatest Rescue Necessitates our Salvation, Mk. 10:45; Rom. 5:6, 8-9; Eph. 2:1; cf. Matt. 14:23-33.
  D. The Greatest Multitude shall Receive it, Matt. 8:11; 16:18; Isa. 11:10-12; 35:8-10.
  E. The Greatest Reward Accompanies our Salvation, Matt. 5:12; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 14:13; 21:3-4, 26-27.
  F. The Greatest Certainties Support our Salvation, 2 Pet. 1:3-4, 16-18; Heb. 2:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21 (Heb. 11:1).
  G. The Greatest Hope Stabilizes our Salvation, Heb. 6:17-20 (11:1); Heb. 2:1, 3.


1. How tragic to drift away and neglect so great a salvation! If we do so, we lose our reward and face certain punishment for sin and disobedience, Heb. 2:1-2, 3.
2. Therefore, we must give most earnest heed to God’s word – the gospel of His Son (2:1; 1:2; 12:25).


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

The Brethren

Scripture Reading:  Galatians 5:7-15

   Love the brotherhood, 1 Pet. 2:17; Rom. 12:10. Relationship in God’s family is critical to success of the congregation and our salvation, Gal. 5:13-15.

I. FALSE BRETHREN, 2 Cor. 11:26; Gal. 2:4.

  A. Promoters of False Doctrine are False Brethren, Gal. 2:4-5; Acts 15:1-2, 5; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 11:3-4; 2 Jno. 10-11; Jude 3-4.


  A. Faithful to Christ, Col. 1:3-5, 9-12; 2:6-7.
  B. Trustworthy toward their Brethren and All Others, Col. 4:7-9; Phile. 4-7; Eph. 6:21.


  A. Christ is the “Beloved”, Eph. 1:6.
  B. Christians are Beloved of God, Rom. 1:7.
  C. Therefore, Christians should be Beloved to each Other, Rom. 16:5, 8, 12; Phil. 4:1-3.


  A. One who is not yet Taught in the Truth, cf. Acts 4:13; Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 10:1; 12:1.
  B. Has Forgotten Truth of God, Rom. 6:1-3.
  C. Rejects the Truth of God, 1 Cor. 14:37-38.


  A. Weak in Personal Assurance (Conscience) toward Allowable Things, Rom. 14:1-2, 5; 15:1; 1 Cor. 8:7-12 (9:22).
  B. Weak in Careful Obedience, 1 Cor. 11:30.
  C. Support the Weak, 1 Ths. 5:14.

VI. STRONG BRETHREN, 1 Cor. 16:13.

  A. Word of God Abides in them, 1 Jno. 2:14.
  B. Overcome Satan, 1 Jno. 2:14 (1 Pet. 5:8-9).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Decline in (Some) Evolutionists
Joe R. Price

Less than five years ago, 54 percent of Republicans and nearly two-thirds of Democrats said the human species evolved over time. Today, however, the share of Republicans adhering to modern theories of human evolution has dropped significantly – to 43 percent – while the number of Democrats has climbed to 67 percent…according to a Pew Research Center study of the public’s views of human evolution, released Monday” (“Percentage of Republicans who believe in evolution is shrinking,” Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor). The survey went on to find “6 of 10 Americans say they believe that ‘humans and other living things have evolved over time,’ with a third rejecting evolution altogether, saying that ‘humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time’” (Ibid).

We are glad to see some turning away from general evolution as their framework concerning origins. The political aspect noted in the survey is curious. One analyst suggests this is due to the cultural polarization of our society (Ibid).

We should not forget what the general theory of evolution attempts to do. It attempts to eliminate…

   1. God as our Creator and Sustainer (Gen. 1:1; Jno. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16). If true, there is no God.

   2. The Bible as the word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). If true, man is his own highest authority.

   3. The dual nature of man (flesh and spirit made in the image of God, Gen. 1:26; 2:7).

   4. Sin and personal accountability to God (Gen. 2:16-17).

   5. The need for a Savior (Lk. 19:10).

The physical world continues to testify of God’s presence, power and deity (Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1-4). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  01/06/2014

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