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


Volume 16, Number 49

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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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:

Calming the Storms of Life
Keith Greer

     There’s an old saying: “into every life a little rain must fall.” Christians are not immune from the storms that come into people’s lives. We also live on this earth. Yet, these storms should affect Christians much differently than they affect those in the world. Allow me to explain.

     Jesus can calm storms. “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” {Mark 4:39} The Lord’s disciples forgot that He was asleep in the boat’s stern. They were afraid, although they had no reason to be. God’s Son was with them. Had they forgotten the miracles they had already witnessed? No storm can overtake the life of the faithful child of God, if he remembers the Lord. The experienced sailors were helpless to alter the conditions and peril in which the storm placed them. Take note, when God’s people try to cope with our storms without His help, we are just as helpless. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” {Romans 8:31}

     God cares for us. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” {1 Peter 5:6, 7} God loves His children, and He is concerned about their welfare. Jesus is not removed from the things that trouble us in this life. One reason we have the spiritual blessing of prayer is to allow us to make our requests known to Him {Philippians 4:6}. God is truly touched when we undergo difficulties and trials in this life, and He wants to support and encourage us during those times. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.” {1 John 5:4} No one can care for us the way our heavenly father does.

     We can read our Bibles. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” {Hebrews 4:16} “Comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” {2 Thessalonians 2:17} “Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” {Jeremiah 8:22} The problem in Jeremiah’s day was similar to the one we have today—people do not talk to the one who has the remedy for what ails or discourages them. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet {Psalm 119:105}. The Scriptures contain the words of life {John 6:63}. God’s word can give us divine counsel and direction to help us endure our “storms.”

     Yes, during our lifetimes, we will face many “storms.” But the only way these storms can defeat us spiritually is if we try to face them alone.

-Reprint: The Spirit’s Sword, IX:35, May 14, 2006


Your Good Influence

Joe R. Price

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matt. 5:13). We all have an influence on others. It is important that we be careful to not render our influence ineffective – useless – for the cause of Christ.

Our speech has an influence. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:6). The apostle Paul had just asked the Colossian Christians to pray for him and Timothy that “God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak” (Col. 4:3-4). He wanted to effectively use the message of the gospel to influence others to be saved. And, he also wanted the brethren to succeed in helping save others. This, he said, could be done by effectively using their speech to teach the gospel.

Not only the words we choose to speak, but when we choose to speak them, will assist or hinder our efforts to influence others (including the lost). “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11). Do not be careless with what you say to the lost, and how you say it. Be careful to speak in a way that will influence them to want to learn and obey the gospel of Christ, not shun it because of what they hear from your mouth.

Our conduct has an influence. Nothing renders influence “flavorless” more quickly than “saying yet not doing.” When our behavior is consistently inconsistent with the message we profess to live by we will not influence those who see the contradiction. Jesus said, “But why do you call Me `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Lk. 6:46) Others will ask a similar question and spun the gospel as a result of the negative, ungodly influence of our hypocrisy.

We also lose our influence with others when we are disrespectful of their convictions, no matter how wrong they may be. It harms your influence to “make fun” of the religious practices and beliefs of others. To “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” prevents us from any conduct which hinders our ability to reach them with the gospel.

Our demeanor and expressions have an influence. “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God” (Psa. 42:11; 43:5). Your countenance reflects your hopes, your aspirations and your anticipations. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Prov. 15:13). As the joy of our salvation is reflected in our demeanor it will influence others toward righteousness (1 Pet. 11-12; 3:16; Matt. 5:16).

A good influence is a powerful thing. A destroyed influence is useless. Guard and use yours wisely. 

-Reprint: The Spirit’s Sword, VI:02, 4/7/02


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

Perfect in Christ

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 1:13-20

1. Christ Jesus is complete in every way. Colossians sets out the preeminence of Christ over sin, creation, all dominion and powers, the church, Col. 1:13-20.
2. The apostolic stewardship fulfills God’s word for our salvation, our fellowship with Christ and our spiritual maturity, Col. 1:25-29.
4. Col. 2-3: We are warned against things that are unnecessary and destructive to our relation with Christ and our perfection in Him.


  A. By Using God’s Word to Strengthen our Faith, Jno. 14:1-2; 17:17.
  B. By Using God’s Word to Know Good and Evil, Heb. 5:11-14.
  C. By Using God’s Word to Resist Sin’s Temptations, Eph. 6:13-17.
  D. By Using God’s Word to Assure our Hope, Col. 1:3-6.


  A. The Philosophies of Men, Col. 2:1-10, 2:3; 1 Cor. 1:24, 30-31; Rom. 1:18-23; Ex. Acts 17:18-21.
  B. Binding Law of Moses, Col. 2:11-17.
  C. Binding Commandments and Doctrines of Men, Col. 2:18-23.
  D. Living in Sin (Carnality), Col. 3:1-11.


1. Paul continues to explain maturity in Christ with applications to the Christian’s daily relationships and conduct (3:12-4:6).
2. All of this is because Christ is complete; nothing should be, needs to be or will be added to Christ with God’s approval.
3. The gospel we preach and follow is sufficient for faith, hope and love.


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

How the Holy Spirit Works in our Lives

Scripture Reading:  John 16:8-15

1. The Holy Spirit and His work is very misunderstood and often misrepresented, maligned and blasphemed, Lk. 12:10.

2. All sorts of things are attributed to the Spirit of God, yet what He has done is often rejected for false claims about Him.


  A. Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:1-5; Jno. 16:13; Eph. 3:3-5; Matt. 10:19-20; 1 Cor. 2:13. Mk. 16:17-20; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:4-5.

    -Nowhere does the New Testament teach that the Holy Spirit works directly on a Christian today to empower him to believe and obey the truth that has been revealed.

  B. The Indirect Operation of the Holy Spirit in a Person’s Life.

    -The work of the Holy Spirit through the word He revealed, inspired and confirmed:

      a) HS convict sinners: John 16:8. The word convicts sinners…, Acts 2:37; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 1:16-17; Acts 24:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:10.

      b) HS and the new birth, John 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:22-23.

      c) HS and sanctification, 1 Peter 1:2; Jno. 17:17.

      d) HS saves, Tit. 3:5; Jas. 1:21; Rom. 1:16.

      e) HS cleanses sinners, 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:25-26.

      f) HS leads, Rom. 8:14; Word leads us, 1 Jno. 1:6-7; 2 Jno. 1-2, 4, 6.

      g) HS strengthens, Eph. 3:1; Word of God builds us up, Acts 20:32.

      h) HS bears witness, Rom. 8:16; Testimony of the word of God, 1 Jno. 2:3-6; 3:24.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Five Types of Marriage - or One?
Joe R. Price

A new marriage law legalizing polygamy has just gone into effect in Kenya. (An amendment was added that allows a man to take another wife without informing his existing wife.) The new law recognizes five types of marriages in Kenya: “Christian, Islamic, Hindu, monogamous and polygamous” (“Kenya Polygamy Law Bad for Families, Christian Leaders Say”, Fredrick Nzwili, Religious News Service).

     We must be clear: there is only one type of marriage God approves. In our country, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. (Polygamy is probably not far behind.) Nevertheless, this does not change God’s will on marriage any more than a Kenyan law does. Those who believe the laws of men define God-approved marriage are seriously mistaken. Legal does not mean lawful in God’s sight (Acts 5:29).

     God-approved marriage is defined in the Scriptures as monogamous and lifelong (Gen. 2:23-24; Matt. 19:4-6, 9; Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39). The Bible does not speak of “Christian” marriages, as if God’s marriage law applies to Christians in some way different from those who are not Christians. Marriage was designed by God for the entire human race (Heb. 13:4).

     Muslim leaders in Kenya have backed the new law, saying polygamy is in the Bible and in the Quran; to them it is not an issue. (Ibid) However, from the beginning polygamy has been noted as a human deviation from God’s marriage order. Polygamy was never God’s intent and any doctrine that legitimizes polygamy is error (Gen. 4:19; 1 Cor. 7:2). To repent of any unholy marriage one must end the sinful relationship (Rom. 6:1-2).

     Let us continue to honor God-approved marriage in this sin-filled world and call on sinners to repent. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  05/05/2014

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