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


Volume 17, Number 47

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:

Rejoicing in Hope
Joe R. Price

Hope energizes actions and endures through trials. The farmer plows his field from sunrise to sundown during the blistering heat of summer in hope of the harvest (1 Cor. 9:10).

Hope combines desire and expectation, producing a powerful force that influences faith and righteous living. We must also be realistic and acknowledge that hope can be and often is, misplaced. Many people hope in the wrong things. They hope in money, as if that will solve their problems; it will not (Eccl. 2:8, 10-11; Matt. 6:19-21, 24; 1 Tim. 6:6-10). Others hope in their wisdom or power (1 Cor. 1:18-25). Others hope in their fame. Some put their hope in their own strength or the strength of others (Jer. 17:5). None of these things produce sure and steadfast hope. None of these things answer the longings of the soul or lead us to heaven.

Christians rejoice in the hope of eternal life in Christ (Rom. 5:2; 12:12). We were “saved in hope”, called by the gospel to a living hope of eternal life (Rom. 8:24; Eph. 4:4; Tit. 1:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:3). Christ is our “hope of glory” - the source and the culmination of our hope for future, heavenly glory (Col. 1:27; 3:4).

The Christian’s hope is sure and steadfast, an anchor that secures us during life’s storms, safely mooring us to God’s grace through our faith (Heb. 6:19-20). “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1–2).

Thanks be to God for His merciful grace that secures our hope in Jesus Christ.  


Destroy the Flesh to Save the Soul
Joe R. Price

The following Bible question came to us via our Bible Answers web site. It raises an important subject for churches to know and obey.

Q: "Please explain 1 Corinthians 5:5. What does it mean?"

A: The text says: "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

The context of 1 Corinthians 5:5 deals with church discipline of an unrepentant sinner among them. One of the Christians in the Corinthian church was committing fornication with his father's wife, and the church had done nothing about this sin in their midst (1 Cor. 5:1-2). Furthermore, they had become "puffed up" (proud, haughty) about his presence among them. Perhaps they thought his presence among them was a personal, individual matter and therefore did not concern them. Whatever the case, it is evident their inaction gave rise to the apostle's reprimand (1 Cor. 5:2). They had become casual and complacent about the presence of sin in the church; their boasting was not good (1 Cor. 5:6).

As Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for its inactivity in dealing with this sinner and his sin, he plainly said he had already judged the man to be living in sin and consequently, unworthy of continued fellowship (1 Cor. 5:3).

In 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 the apostle commanded what they should do. By the authority of Christ ("in the name of our Lord Jesus") and in their assembly ("when you are gathered together"), they were to "deliver" this person over to Satan in an effort to save his soul. They were to publicly mark him because of his unrepentant sin (Rom. 16:17). And, they were further instructed to cease their social contact with the fallen Christian (1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14).

The "destruction of the flesh" in 1 Corinthians 5:5 is the destruction of the carnal man. The brother was a fornicator and should be put away from among them so that his spirit, through repentance, would be saved (through repentance, 5:1, 13). As Galatians 5:24 affirms: "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Please see Romans 8:5-8, 13, where "flesh" refers to carnality, the carnal mind, the fleshly appetites.)

The purpose of church discipline is to save the sinner. Thus, Paul said, "that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:5). It is designed to teach the sinner of the eternal death he faces unless and until he repents (cf. 1 Tim. 1:20).

Christians have been heard to say that church discipline does not work. Yet, the disciplinary action by the Corinth church did work; the sinner repented. 2 Corinthians 2:1-11 tells of the man's repentance and forgiveness by the Lord, by the apostle and by the church at Corinth. When a Christian confesses sin and repents of it we must reaffirm our love for him, not silently place him on probation to see if he really means it (2 Cor. 2:8).

To use church discipline when a Christian refuses to repent calls for a judgment to be made (1 Cor. 5:3). The judgment concerning the presence of sin and its need to be rebuked is made on the basis of the inspired Scriptures (the only standard for what is morally and doctrinally correct, 2 Tim. 3:16-17). To do this is not wrong; indeed, it is the proper use of God's truth in an effort to save a soul from death (Jas. 5:19-20).

May God grant us wisdom and strengthen us in faith to be about the difficult but necessary task of disciplining sin when needed, to save the lost and to protect the saved. 

-The Spirit's Sword, IV:23,
August 13, 2000 (Revised)


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

"Salvation Issues"

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 25:1-7

1. A renewed discussion about what is a "salvation issue" (SI) by brethren.
2. Some of what is being said about SI is the same old wolf in new sheep's clothing.


  A. Salvation is Proclaimed and Obtained through the Gospel of Christ, Rom. 1:16-17; Acts 13:26; 16:17; 28:28.
    1. Requires obedience, Heb. 5:8-9.
    2. Plan of salvation (conversion), Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9-10
  B. Christians Must also Live so as to Obtain Salvation, 1 Ths. 5:9; Phil. 2:12;1 Pet. 1:6-9.


  A. Sin Issues are Salvation Issues, Rom. 6:23.
  B. Worship is a Salvation Issue, Jno. 4:22-24; Matt. 15:9; Eph. 5:19.
  C. False Teaching is a Salvation Issue, 2 Tim. 2:16-19; Acts 15:1-2, 5, 7-20 (CENI).
  D. Spiritual Neglect is a Salvation Issue, Heb. 2:1-4; 10:26-27, 25.


  A. Those things which Scripture Reveals God to be Indifferent about are not Salvation Issues, Rom. 14:1-5; 1 Cor. 9:19-23.
  B. When God Speaks His Will, it is a Salvation Issue, Col. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4.

1. Inspired Scripture thoroughly equips us for salvation, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
2. "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!" (Rev.19:1)


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Bad News, Good News
Joe R. Price

Wars and rumors of war. Political corruption. Bribery. Theft. Murder. Riots. Oppression. Moral depravity. Evil. The news does not change much from day to day, week to week, year to year. I must admit, at times this column is difficult to write each week; wading through the bad news is not pleasant.

But, we need to be informed of the social pressures and realities of the world in which we live. As disciples of Jesus we must not be ignorant of our adversary's devices, designed to wreak mayhem on humanity and entice billions to reject faith in God (2 Cor. 2:11).

With all the bad news in the world it is vital that we step back and remember this world is not our home (Phil. 3:20). Sinners were doing the bidding of Satan long before we came onto the scene, and they will continue to do so until the close of earth's history. (This is not an endorsement of a fatalistic view of life; it is merely the facts on the ground as Jesus observed by His "broad way" statement in Matthew 7:13-14.) To be consumed in the news of the here and now to the point that we neglect the good news of eternity prevents us from laying up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21; 1 Tim. 6:6-10).

Here is a simple test to use to keep us centered on things above: Do I spend as much time each day reading, studying and meditating on God's word as I do on the news of the day? Am I better versed on the day's political issues than I am on the Bible? Am I quick to discuss world issues with a friend, but hesitant to talk with him about his salvation? (see Eph. 5:15-17)

Despite the bad news in the world, the good news of Christ must draw and keep our attention. The gospel is the best news ever! In love, God sent His Son to die for sinners (us) so we can be forgiven, saved and live with God forever (Jno. 3:16; Rom. 5:6-11; 1 Pet. 3:18-22). The gospel, God's power to save, is the greatest power of all (Rom. 1:16). The good news wins the day (Jno. 14:1-6). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  05/31/2015

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