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


Volume 17, Number 44

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Holding Mom's Hand
Harry Osborne

This is a word of friendly advice for my younger friends. Over the past two months, I have watched both of my parents be in ill health -- helpless, at death's door or passing from this life. I have no regrets for the time I spent with them, the love expressed or the actions which conveyed my affection for them. As I sit holding my Mom's hand awaiting surgery, I do regret beyond expression every angry word, act of rebellion, failure to take time out to be there, lack of patience and my many failures to be the son God wanted me to be. Please remember in the days of your youth that you will recall your actions and reflect on them at a time when you see the life of your Mom or Dad coming to an end. It won't matter then if you "won" that argument, got your own space, had time for yourself or showed your independence. Those things that you think are valuable right now will be time wasted increasing distance between the very ones you will one day wish, with all of your heart, would not leave. Don't waste your time building walls. Use your time with them to build a bond of love that will live in your memories long after you have said that last "goodbye" in this life. That kind of relationship will increase the likelihood that you will be with them again in the everlasting home of heaven. If you don't truly and deeply honor your father and mother now, why would the Father in heaven deem you worthy to be accepted into His home?

-Facebook  posting (April 22, 2015)


Wrong Reasons to Become a Christian
Joe R. Price

Sometimes people become Christians for the wrong reasons. Let us turn our attention to some of the wrong reasons for deciding to become a Christian.

1) Do not become a Christian for material and physical gain. Some people are so driven by greed for money that they actually become Christians thinking to increase themselves financially. The salesman may see the church as a new group of prospects, and decides to be baptized. The materially-driven sees a new client base. Some think becoming a Christian means they will not have any more financial concerns; That is not true. Jesus was a poor man by the world’s standards. Being His disciple does not remove one’s responsibilities to earn his living by honest labor, pay his debts and provide for his family. In fact, these responsibilities become more vividly apparent to the Christian (1 Ths. 4:11-12; 2 Ths. 3:8-11; Rom. 13:8; 1 Tim. 5:8). Do not become a Christian expecting to freeload off the generosity of other Christians; "if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Ths. 3:10). Jesus rebuked those who followed Him because they “ate of the loaves and were filled” (Jno. 6:26).

2) Do not become a Christian to be praised by others. Most people like to be praised (when our parents praised us, we smiled and felt good all over). There is nothing wrong with one’s good being acknowledged by others. For example, the worthy woman is praised by her children and her husband (Prov. 31:28-30). Jesus and His apostles praised the faith of others. But, be careful not to do your righteousness to be seen by people (Matt. 6:1). The desire to be elevated in the sight of others can be very strong. Sometimes young people are persuaded to become a Christian, not by the power of the gospel, but by the power of emotional peer pressure. The husband, wife or finance who is not a Christian may think that relationship is the reason to go ahead, be baptized and satisfy the Christian mate. Does this motive please the Lord? No. The Lord wants your whole heart; not so that you can be praised by or be acceptable to others, but so He will be honored and followed.

3) Do not become a Christian if you are not willing to live for Christ. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23).  Deciding to become a Christian is a decision to live in a new way. You are commanded to repent of  your sins (a repentance produced by godly sorrow, 2 Cor. 7:10). Repentance is a change of heart that produces a change of life (Lk. 3:8-10; Rev. 9:20-21). The sinner is baptized into Christ and raised to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). We cannot continue in sin after becoming a Christian; grace will not abound to one who does (Rom. 6:1). Having been baptized into Christ, the Christian puts off the old person of sin and develops "true righteousness and holiness" (Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10).  Some brethren say to baptize the sinner and he will eventually repent of his sins. But, repentance comes before baptism, not after it (Acts 2:38). Others say do not demand repentance, but accept them as they are (i.e., the remarried adulterer who would come to God). But, where there is sin repentance is mandatory in order to receive God’s blessing. Be baptized for the right reasons; To put of Christ and to be saved from your sins. 

-The Spirit's Sword (I:36), October 19, 1997


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

Prayer in Our Lives

Scripture Reading:  Luke 11:9-13

1. Since God hears our prayers, why doesn't He always immediately answer us by giving us what we want? cf. Child demanding from parent, Lk. 11:11-12
2. Is this your attitude toward and expectation of prayer? If so, then you are still lacking in your understanding of prayer. This attitude is selfish and self-centered in its expectations of prayer, and it shows you do not yet have a mature faith in God concerning prayer.

  A. Prayer is a Privilege of the Christian, Heb. 4:14-16.
  B. Prayer Expresses  Our Relationship with God, Gal. 4:6; Matt. 7:10-11.
  C. We Trust in the Privilege and Blessings of Prayer, 1 Jno. 5:14-15.

II. THE POWER OF PRAYER, Jas. 5:16-18.
  A. Faith Empowers Our Prayers, Jas. 1:5-8; Mk. 11:20-24.
  B. Righteousness Empowers Our Prayers, Jas. 5:16, 17-18 (Elijah); 1 Pet. 3:12.
  C. Obedience Empowers Our Prayers, 1 Jno. 3:22; 1 Jno. 5:14. (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44)

  A. We will Never Know All the Workings of God, including Answered Prayer, Eccl. 3:11; Deut. 29:29; Lk. 11:9-10, 13; 1 Jno. 3:22; 5:14-15.

1. God hears and answers the prayers of His children.
2. We ought to always pray and never lose heart, Lk. 18:1 (1-8).


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

Draw Near to God

Scripture Reading:  James 4:5-10

1. James wrote to encourage faith's perfection:
2. James 4: The priority of faith over the flesh; Contrast between the world and God, 4:1-10.

Draw Near to God...

  •  Submit to God, Jas. 4:7
     -God does not give grace through bribery, threats, self-righteous demands of sinners. (Lk. 7:36-38, 47-48)
     -God does not give grace through bribery, threats, self-righteous demands of sinners. (Lk. 7:36-38, 47-48)
  • ·Resist the devil, Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9
    -With focused purpose and goal, Jas. 1:12. Prov. 1:10; 4:14; 2 Tim. 2:22
  •  Study His word, 2 Tim. 2:15
    -Personal responsibility and reward
  •  Walk in the light, 1 Jno. 1:6-7; Eph. 4:1; 5:8
    -Must mourn our own sin, Jas. 4:9; Matt. 5:4; cf. 1 Jno. 1:8-9; 3:4-10
  •  Pray constantly, 1 Thess. 5:17
    -Do not become discouraged, Lk. 18:1-8
    -Patience in prayer brings peaceful result, Phil. 4:6-7; Heb. 4:16
  •  Serve others, Matt. 25:36-41
    -By doing so we serve Christ; He is present
    -Do unto others, Matt. 7:12; Jas. 4:11-12
  •  Worship faithfully, Jno. 4:23-24
    -God seeks and receives true worshipers, Acts 2:41-42
    -Worshiping takes priority, Heb. 10:25
    -Worship assemblies are for edification, 1 Cor. 14:26
  •  Seek Him diligently, Matt. 6:33; Heb. 11:6 (Matt. 5:6, 19-20)


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

The Daniel Plan
Joe R. Price

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of the 15,000 member Saddleback Church, has written a health and weight loss book, "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life" (co-authored with doctors Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman). It was just named "Christian Book of the Year at the recent Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) annual banquet" ("Rick Warren's 'The Daniel Plan' Named Christian Book of the Year", Carrie Dedrick, This news report says the book "was inspired after Warren noticed that many of his congregants were overweight. 15,000 Saddleback Church members took the challenge and collectively lost 250,000 pounds in one year". (Ibid)

Wow. If only the biblical 'Daniel Plan' were followed as heartily. The Bible says "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portions of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank" (Dan. 1:8). Along with his friends, Daniel ate only vegetables and water for ten days - not to lose weight, but to guard their purity before God by refusing to violate God's law (Dan. 1:12). At the end of ten days the Bible says Daniel and his friends "appeared better and fatter in flesh" than those who ate the defiled food of the king's table (Dan. 1:15). (I guess God missed the part about weight loss in Warren's 'Daniel Plan'.)

What we desperately need today is the real Daniel plan. Like Daniel, this plan advances devoted faith to be pure in a world of defilement (Dan. 1). This plan prays in faith and trusts God's word to tell the unknowable (Dan. 2). This plan refuses to compromise faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, who defied the king, yielded their bodies and walked out of the fire (Dan. 3). This plan develops the habit of prayer and a life of piety that will not be intimidated and deterred by wicked men; Daniel's innocent faith that stopped the mouths of lions (Dan. 6).

Warren cheapens these great lessons from Daniel by basing and promoting a diet plan. Let us, on the other hand, follow Daniel's examples of great faith, purity of heart, righteous living and unwavering devotion to God. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  05/11/2015

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