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


Volume 17, Number 37

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Sense of a Goose

In the fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying in "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

(People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.)

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

(If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.)

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

(It pays to take turns doing hard jobs - with people or with geese flying south.)

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

(What messages do we give when we honk from behind?)

Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose we will stand by each other like that.



Do We Have the Sense of a Goose?
Joe R. Price

The article on page one was given to me years ago as an item presented at a seminar for school teachers and administrators. It illustrates the important and lasting benefits of teamwork. I take its description of geese on face value. If true, these descriptions illustrate good lessons for us.

The church of Christ is composed of many different people, yet we are “one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12). Though individuals, we are connected together by and in the Lord (1 Cor. 12:20, 27). Do we have the sense of a goose to work together as one body so that every member of the body is carried forward to the goal of heaven? Our formation should be tight, like geese, to effectively cut through this life’s resistance to godly living. See the previous lessons from the goose in this light.

1) Common direction and a sense of community. Christians will arrive at heaven easier with the help of other Christians. Division destroys our ability to effectively work together. The early Jerusalem church had this sense of community: “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common” (Acts 4:32, 33-35). Our common direction in Christ is walking in the light of truth as we press onward toward heaven (1 Jno. 1:6-7; Eph. 5:8; Phil. 3:15-17). God’s faithful ones are headed for heaven. Stay headed in the right direction.

2) Stay in formation with your fellow Christians. The Lord has arranged our formation in His word, and we must be careful not to fall out of rank or walk disorderly (2 Thess. 3:6). We can fall away, so we must be careful instead of arrogant, as if we could never stray from the formation of faith (1 Cor. 10:12-13). Our “formation” is our “unity” which we must diligently guard (Eph. 4:3). Our unity in Christ is built on divine truth, the “V” forma­tion in which we travel. “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed” (Amos 3:3)? The church must stay in God's united formation.

3) Take turns doing the hard jobs. We are fellow-workers in the church (1 Cor. 3:6-9). No one does all the work. We work together, sharing tasks and easing each others’ loads. Be a helper who takes his turn doing work that must be done in the local church. Bear the burdens of another (Gal. 6:2). Be a worker, not a drag on and a discourager of your brethren.

4) Give encouragement. We all need and benefit from being encouraged in love and good works (Heb. 10:24; 1 Thess. 5:14). Use your language in ways that build up instead of destroy (Eph. 4:29). Your conduct should set examples for others, whether you are young or old (1 Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:2-7). When you “honk” give helpful encouragement instead of destructive, discouraging obstacles that hinder your brethren and the cause of Christ.

5) Stand by each other. The whole body hurts when one part of the body hurts (1 Cor. 12:26). “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thess. 5:14). Bear each others’ burdens instead of adding to them (Gal. 6:1-2). Like geese, let us show “the same care one for another” (1 Cor. 12:25; Eccl. 4:9-12). Standing by each other does not mean we stand by sin. It means we stand by to protect each other from sin and help when one is overtaken by sin (Gal. 6:1; Jas. 5:19-20). The church is stronger when we stand by each other. 


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

Are You Carnal?

Scripture Reading:  Romans 8:5-9

1. What does it mean to be carnal? What is carnality? (How does carnality show itself in our lives? What does carnality look like?)
2. Carnal: “Anything related to the fleshly or worldly appetites and desires rather than to the godly and spiritual desires.” Jas. 3:15; 1 Jno. 2:16.


  A. To be Under the Control of the Flesh,  Rom. 7:14. 1 Kgs. 21:20, 25; Rom. 6:12-13.
  B. The Carnal Mind and Life is Controlled by the Flesh, Rom. 8:5-8.
  C. What it Means to be Spiritual, Rom. 8:5-8; 1 Cor. 2:15 (Gal. 5:22).


  A. Not Develop Spiritually, 1 Cor. 3:1-2. Heb. 5:11-14; 2 Tim. 3:6-7.
  B. Against Spiritual Things, 1 Cor. 3:3.
  C. What Forms do Carnal Sins Take? Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5; Rom. 13:13-14; 1 Ths. 4:3-8; 1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 4:3-4; 1 Cor. 6:12,19-20; Rom. 8:7; Matt. 28:18 (Col. 3:17).


  A. The Weapons of Our Warfare, 2 Cor. 10:4. (Admit the battle!)
    1. The cross of Christ, Gal. 6:14 (2:20).
    2. The truth of God, 2 Cor. 10:5.
    3. Repentance of sin, 2 Cor. 10:5.
    4. The armor of God, Eph. 6:10-17.

  B. Ways of Escape, 1 Cor. 10:13.
    1. Prayer and peace, Phil. 4:6-7 (Jas. 5:16).
    2. Worship, Jas. 5:13.
    3. Fervent spirit of service, Rom. 12:11.
    4. The Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
    5. Help of fellow Christians, Gal. 6:1-2.

Conclusion. 1 Pet. 4:1-2: Live for the will of God.


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

Which Fire?

Scripture Reading:  Leviticus 10:1-3

1. A strong wind has blown in institutional churches of Christ for over 20 years that is reshaping and remaking the most liberal wing of these churches in the 21st century.
2. It was called the "new hermeneutics" in the '90s, a new way of interpreting the Scriptures.
3. Fully reject commands, examples and necessary inferences to establish Bible authority (deride CENI as divisive, futile).
4. Example: These refuse to see Nadab and Abihu as illustrating central Bible narratives, Lev. 10:1-3; Deut. 4:2; 12:29-32; Rev. 22:18-19.


(Lev. 9:23-24)

STRANGE FIRE   (Lev. 10:1)

(Lev. 10:2)

Worship Music: Sing

Play Instrument

Matt. 15:7-9 


Morality: Holy
1 Pet. 2:11-12

Adulterous Remarriage
(Matt. 19:9)

Rom. 7:3  
1 Cor. 7:10-11
Heb. 13:4

Morality (Holy)
 Pet. 2:11-12

Same sex marriage

Gal. 5:19, 21
Jude 7

Woman’s role in local church

Public teaching

1 Tim. 2:11-12
1 Cor. 14:34-35

      Water Baptism          

Faith Only

2 Ths. 1:8-9
  Heb. 5:8-9

Unity with Denominations


2 Jno. 9-11


  A. Hold Fast the Pattern of Sound Words, 2 Tim. 1:13; Col. 3:17.
  B. Do not be Deceived, 2 Cor. 11:2-4, 12-16.
  C. Be Discerning, Fair and Watchful, 2 Tim. 2: 24-26; Acts 20:29-31.
  D. Do not be Discouraged, Heb. 12:1-4; 10:36, 39; 1 Cor. 15:58.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Dinosaur Lips
Joe R. Price

Did dinosaurs have lips? I don't know. Nor do I know whether Adam had a belly button! But apparently dinosaur lips is a debatable topic among some paleontologists (see "Did Dinosaurs Have Lips? Paleoartist Puts a Face on Ancient Bones", Tyler J. Kelley, The Wall Street Journal). I will not be losing sleep over it.

Like dino lips, some are tempted to discuss useless spiritual topics. When we cannot or will not see the true nature of the topic under review we may well engage in and promote "disputes" instead of "godly edification which is in faith" (1 Tim. 1:4). We have a clear warning to avoid "profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge" because they lead to departures from the faith (1 Tim. 6:20-21).

It becomes necessary to discern what is relevant and useful when considering what to study, discuss and even debate. Is the topic relevant and germane to "the faith" (the gospel, Gal. 1:11, 23), or is its pursuit the result of human wisdom, speculation, and frankly, pride? How can we tell the difference? We have an answer in 2 Timothy 2:14-18:

14  Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16  But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17  And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

Scripture teaches us which disputes are "quarrels about words" that "ruin the hearers". Avoid these. Some topics "overthrow the faith" of souls. These demand contending earnestly over (Jude 3). Does the subject involve sin, or does it involve liberty before God (2 Jno. 9; Rom. 14:1-5)? Is it helpful or harmful to people's faith (1 Cor. 6:12)? Are we being compelled by faith in Christ or by pride to adopt and defend our belief (1 Pet. 3:15)? Scripture answers these questions. We must have faith to accept its answers. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  03/23/2015

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