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


Volume 17, Number 29

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:

The Great "I Am"
Joe R. Price

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

The book penned by the apostle John presents sufficient evidence for men to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God. Eternal life is the aim of such faith (Jno. 20:30-31).

John describes Jesus in a series of “I Am” statements, showing he is sufficient to meet our every need. Here are the reasons to put your faith in Jesus and to do His will all the days of your life.

1. I am the bread of life (Jno. 6:35, 48). Jesus gives the food that sustains eternal life. That food is His words (Jno. 6:27, 63).

2. I am the light of the world (Jno. 8:12; 9:5). Jesus illuminates the sinner’s walk in this dark world of sin.

3. I am the door (Jno. 10:7, 9). Jesus is our access to spiritual salvation and safety.

4. I am the good shepherd (Jno. 10:11, 14). Jesus guards and leads His sheep.

5. I am the resurrection and the life (Jno. 11:25). Jesus is the source of eternal life.

6. I am the way, the truth and the life (Jno. 14:6). Jesus is the only way to come to the Father.

7. I am the true vine (Jno. 15:1). Jesus is the source of life to all His disciples.

-The Spirit's Sword (IX:07), October 9, 2005 


Christmas Myths
Joe R. Price

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17)

We take this directive seriously. Because the religious celebration of the birth of Jesus did not exist in Bible times, we choose not to practice it today. “There is no evidence of the existence of a Feast of the Nativity before the 4th century” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, III:601). And again, “There is no historical evidence that our Lord’s birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or early post-apostolic times” (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Reprint 1977, III:47).

Several myths have grown up that need to be debunked.

Myth #1: Jesus was born on Christmas Day. No one knows the exact date of Christ's birth. Dates from every month have been proposed for his birth. “No sufficient data, however, exists for the determination of the month or day of the event” (Ibid). Even if we did know the precise date we would still lack divine approval to have a religious celebration marking it. Liberius, Bishop of Rome, declared that December 25 be celebrated as Christ's birthday in A.D. 354. The problem is, a fourth century Roman bishop does not decide truth! God's word is truth, and it does not sanction such a date or event (Jno. 17:17).

Myth #2: You do not believe in the birth of Jesus if you do not celebrate His birth on December 25. Nothing could be farther from the truth! The Bible plainly teaches the virgin birth of Jesus, the Son of God (Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38; 2:1-20). We believe it. Yet, the Bible does not say one word about having a religious celebration of his birth. The world celebrates the birthday of Christ on the basis of church traditions (that began hundreds of years after the birth of Jesus), not upon the authority of Christ's word. May we simply say, "It doesn't matter to God that we celebrate Christ's birth, even though we cannot find such a religious festival in the Scriptures"? No! It does matter, for we must follow the revealed will of Christ, not the traditions of men (Matt. 28:18-20; 15:7-9; Col. 3:17). In the absence of Bible authority, we must refuse it.

Myth #3: You do not believe Jesus Christ is Lord if you do not celebrate His birth at Christmas. False! The word Lord means "Ruler" or "Master". Since the Ruler did not reveal anything about a religious celebration of his birth, if we go ahead and have one anyway, whose rule are we honoring? Quite obviously, not the rule of Christ! He was silent about Christmas, but men have said a great deal about it. Given this reality, who is really the Lord and Ruler over Christmas celebrations of the birth of Jesus; heaven or men? The answer is clear that men, not heaven, rule over the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus (Matt. 21:23-27).

Myth #4: Christmas can only be celebrated religiously. Not true. Just as Christians can exercise their liberty to circumcise a child without being under the Law of Moses, Christians can celebrate the joy of family and friends at this season while not engaging in Biblically unauthorized religious events (Acts 16:3; Col. 2:16-17). Santa Claus and reindeer have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Enjoy the one while not sanctioning the other, that go beyond the word of God. 


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

Pleasing to God

Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 5:7-11

1. To please someone means to be and to do what is acceptable to them.
2. Our aim must be to please God, 2 Cor. 5:9.

I. WALKING BY FAITH PLEASES GOD, 2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:5-6.

  A. Faith that Obeys the Word of God, Jno. 8:55 (29); 1 Jno. 3:22.
  B. Faith that Endures (patient, steadfast), Heb. 10:36-39.
  C. Faith that Worships God, Jno. 4:23-24.


  A. Those in Christ are not Condemned and Live according to the Spirit, Rom. 8:1-4.
  B. The Spiritually Minded have Life and Peace, Rom. 8:5-7; Col.3:1-17; Gal. 5:22-26.


  A. God's Message (not the messenger) is the Focus, 1 Cor. 1:23; 2:1-5.


  A. Fruitful in Every Good Work, 1:10.


  A. Discipline Trains Respect for Parents and for God, Heb. 12:9-11.


  A. Devoted Holiness, 1 Cor. 7:34.
  B. Devoted Priorities, Matt. 6:33.
  C. Devoted Love and Allegiance, Lk. 14:26.


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

Does God Approve of Denominations? (Part 2)

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 7:24-29

The church of Christ, produced by the gospel, seems insignificant by worldly standards in comparison to the grand denominations of men, yet the church of Christ glorifies God - they glorify men. 1 Cor. 1:26-31


  A. Divine in Ownership, Matt. 16:16-18.
  B. Composed of Individuals (those who are saved), Acts 2:47.
    1. One body under one head, Eph. 1:22; 4:4.
    2. Purchased and saved by blood of Christ, Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23.
  C. Without Universal Organization, Heb. 12:22-23.


  A. Because of its Nature, the Church of Christ is not a Denomination, Matt. 16:18.
  B. But, Someone Responds: “The church of Christ is  a denomination, too.” (Matt. 16:13-14); Acts 24:5, 14.
  C. The Church of Christ is not a Denomination because:
    1. Jesus did not build a denomination, Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 1:19. (1 Cor. 1:13)
    2. It is possible to be a member of the church and never be in a denomination, Acts 2:41, 47.
    3. The apostles were not members of a denomination, 1 Cor. 1:13; 3:4.
    4. As in the New Testament time, one can be a Christian without belonging to a denomination, Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:16-18.

None who formed denominations died to purchase and save them (1 Cor. 1:13); Jesus died for His church (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Trying to Make Sin Acceptable
Joe R. Price

The Human Rights Campaign, which describes itself as “the largest national LGBT organizer in the South", is launching a campaign in Mississippi designed to expand acceptance of LGBT rights. Its $310,000 public relations campaign there is called "All God's Children" and promotes tolerance (acceptance) of the lifestyle decisions of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people ("How Christians Should Respond to the LGBT Movement in the South", John Stonestreet, It is an LGBT evangelistic-styled campaign designed to break down resistance and promote acceptance. TV commercials, phone calls and door-to-door canvassing use phrases like "we are all God's children", and "it is only for God to judge, not us. We need to treat everyone with respect." (Ibid) This campaign "is part of a larger, $8.5 million effort that includes the Bible-belt states of Arkansas and Alabama. HRC says that 'a faith-driven, Christian values-focused message is the most effective way to boost support for LGBT equality in the South'" (Ibid). In other words, distort the Bible message (the truth) so that people think the Bible teaches acceptance of LGBT conduct, in order to gain support. Such truth-distortion (lies) is the work of the devil (Jno. 8:44). Here is what these distorters are doing:

1. Emphasizing we are all God's children. Who can deny it? Yet, many of these same people are themselves agnostics and skeptics who ridicule believers and blasphemy God. No matter. Their agenda is inclusion, so, who will refuse "God's children"?! However, acknowledging we are God's children does not make sin acceptable! LGBT practices are sinful (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Only by conversion to Christ will one be forgiven, be acceptable to God and be counted among the saved (1 Cor. 6:11).

2. Reminding folks that only God can judge. God has already revealed  His judgment: Homosexuality is "against nature" and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). We speak God's judgments upon sin (Jno. 12:48).

3. Treating everyone with respect. Indeed. That does not mean we must approve of their sin. Jesus respected the adulteress, yet told her to "go and sin no more" (Jno. 8:11). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  12/23/2014

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