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


Volume 17, Number 49

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  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:

Joy, Gentleness, Prayer and Peace
Joe R. Price

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7, NASB95)

Christians have the ability to live in joyful gladness under the most stressful situations. The character of gentle forbearance couples with remembering the Lord’s approaching judgment to form two reasons we live in joy instead of anxiety. The third strand of the three-fold cord of joy is prayer. The thankful requests of prayer strengthen our resolve to rejoice in the Lord because we know God hears and answers us.

With a gentle spirit, generous prayers and respect for the Lord’s presence and power to judge, Christians refuse to abandon joy for anxiety, especially in the face of temporary trials. Though Paul was imprisoned in Rome for his faith, he set this example of always rejoicing in the Lord.

Today, remember Christ rules from heaven and sees all things. Keep a gentle spirit toward others as you petition God with thanksgiving for His great and constant care. By doing so you can, and will, “rejoice in the Lord always.”

The positive result of such joy, gentleness and prayer is that God’s great peace will stand as a garrison around your heart and mind, protecting your thoughts, feelings and perceptions from the onslaught of doubt and fear. Many yearn for inner peace, yet it eludes them, because they are at war with God (James 4:1-4). For true and abiding peace, turn to God and the salvation that is in His Son, Jesus Christ. Then, because you are at peace with God, nothing can overwhelm you. You have His promise. 

Sword Tips #496 and #497, Combined


Evil Suspicions
Joe R. Price

Since love “thinks no evil” (keeps no accounts of evil, NKJV footnote), “rejoices in the truth” and “believes all things”, we rightly conclude the converse is true of hatred (1 Cor. 13:5-7). Hate thinks evil of others (keeping an account of wrongs suffered), rejoices in the error of others and refuses to believe good things about others. It is no wonder that “he who does not love his brother abides in death” and, “whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 Jno. 3:14-15). Love refuses to hold and express evil suspicions toward others.

Evil suspicions (evil surmisings, KJV) are counted among the sins of the proud, possessed by those obsessed with disputes and arguments (1 Tim. 6:3-4). It is thinking the worst of others (often, deflecting attention away from one’s own sins). God will not tolerate such arrogant treatment of others, and neither should we. Therefore, the Holy Spirit instructs Christians to “withdraw yourself” from such people (1 Tim. 6:5).

We can get caught up in speculating about others. This typically leads to gossip and a variety of additional sins. Such speculation and ruinous reasoning is forbidden by the word of God. Let us carefully and correctly identify, put away and avoid such sin.

1) Evil suspicions draw conclusions on the basis of conjecture and speculation. Whereas love rejoices in the truth and thinks the best of others, the sin of evil suspicions relies on assumptions and the reckless handling of facts. Because it relies on supposition and imagination to draw its conclusions, evil suspicion produces distrust and disputes. Once a person whose heart is full of evil surmising has made up his mind, it becomes very hard for him to reform and renounce his deeply held suspicion. Why? The reason is because pride (a companion of evil surmising) will not allow it (Prov. 16:18). What a dreadfully ugly sin!

2) Evil suspicions spread contention and division where unity and peace should prevail. Christians are to “seek peace and pursue it” (1 Pet. 3:11). The gospel teaches us to “pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another”, a principle that is not being practiced by one given to evil suspicions (Rom. 14:19). Having and acting upon an evil suspicion toward a fellow Christian spreads an atmosphere of mistrust, doubt and reservation, obscuring the unity we share in Christ (Eph. 4:1-3).

3) Evil suspicions stifle encouragement. Christians should “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works”, but evil suspicion prevents this work of encouragement (Heb. 10:24). It prevents productive communication instead of enhancing it. Barnabas showed himself to be the son of encouragement by not being suspicious toward Saul and his genuine conversion. He stepped forward and stood with his faithful brother in the Lord (Acts 4:36; 9:26-27). Let us follow His example.

4) Evil suspicions wound and ruin rather than soothe and heal. The person consumed with evil suspicions against another is not a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9). Strife and turmoil is the fruit he bears.

5) Put away evil suspicions. Cultivate love by always acting in the best interests of others – regardless of their words and deeds. (This is the true meaning and expression of love, Rom. 5:8; 1 Jno. 4:10-11.) Judge righteously, not by appearance (Jno. 7:24). Finally, reject baseless suspicions and charges against brethren (cf. 1 Tim. 5:19-20).    -The Spirit's Sword (Mar. 20, 2011) 


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

Turning Order into Chaos (Why Gender Matters) Part 2

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 139:13-16

-Review of Part 1-


  A. We Look to Genesis to Understand this Issue, Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18, 23-24; Matt. 19:4-5.
  B. However, the Transgender Agenda Seeks to Supplant this Truth with very Different and False Ideas, Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21.


  A. Because God Created Gender; Man does not Control it, Gen. 1:27-28; cf. Jer. 13:23; Gen. 2:18-22; cf. Rom. 1:26-27; 9:20-21.
  B. Some of the Effects of Transgenderism:
    1. Minimizes and disregards God-given gender differences, Deut.22:5; 1 Co.11:14-15.
    2. Makes provisions for and promotes the sin of homosexuality, Lev. 18:22; Rom. 13:14.
    3. Displays discontent, lack of self-control, self-defined living and even lustful choices, cf. Phil. 4:11; Rom. 1:24-25.
    4. Dishonors marriage and the home as ordained by God, Gen. 2:23-24; Heb. 13:4.


  A. “People are born this way.” Eccl. 11:5; Jas. 1:13-15; Eccl. 7:29; Jas. 1:16
  B. "God looks at the heart." 1 Sam. 16:7; Jer. 1:5
  C. “We are just accommodating what we already are on the inside.” Prov. 23:7; 3:1-8; Eph. 4:17-24 (Ezek. 18:31-32) - Repent



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

Turning Order into Chaos (Why Gender Matters) Part 3

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 46:1-7

1. Review Part 2.
2. Practical effects upon Christians while living in this world of sin, 1 Cor. 5:9-10.


  A. Accommodating Concepts Can Sneak into Your Thinking, Prov. 4:23.
    1. Can unconsciously begin to think that since we are not "born this way" there is no real danger to us and our children. That is dangerous thinking.
    2. It is a matter of choice, and temptations to choose sin exist all around us.
    3. Beware of the influence of the transgendered (LGBT), 1 Cor. 15:33-34; Prov. 1:10; Rom. 1:24-27; Prov. 4:14-17.
    4. This counsel from God's word is not because we hate them, but because they live a lifestyle that they WANT others to accept---AND participate in, 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Pet. 4:4.
  B. As with any Sin, Transgenderism (LGBT) is Associated with and has Attraction to Other Sins, 1 Jno. 2:15-17; Eph. 5:11.
  C. Do Not Think this is Not Your Problem, Matt. 12:30; 1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Tim. 2:3-4. cf. Rev. 13:16-17; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:15.
  D. Remember, this is not about Hating these People, but about Reaching them with the Saving Gospel of Christ, 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Acts 2:37-38

1. Temptations to sin are not insurmountable, 1 Cor. 10:13.
2. We choose our character and conduct, Jas. 4:7-10. Choose to please God.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Escape Without Freedom
Joe R. Price

Two convicted murderers escaped from a maximum security prison in New York state last weekend. It was an elaborate escape that took a much planning and evidently help on the inside. At this writing they have been on the lam for about six days. Although they escaped from prison, one would be hard pressed to say they are free. It appears at the moment they may be in a thickly wooded area trying to evade capture while being hunted by over 500 law enforcement agents ("Search for escaped killers focuses on wooded area near New York prison",  J. Freedom du Lac and Sarah Larimer, The Washington Post).

This serves as a reminder that sin promises freedom and liberty, but in truth it enslaves everyone who chooses to indulge its lustful passions and futile promises. Peter observed this principle and applied it to false prophets whose sinful teaching seduces people to follow error: "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Pet. 2:19).

Jesus said, "whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (Jno. 8:34). Yet, the world views sinful activities as an "escape" from life's monotonous routine. Yet, sin never delivers what it promises. Drugs and alcohol, pornography, fornication, lewd, irreverent behavior, and gambling are just some of the so-called escapes offered by the world and indulged in by the worldly-minded (Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jno. 2:15-17; Col. 3:5-10). The momentary escape sin offers invariably makes life harder; not to mention the spiritual ruin it causes (Rom. 6:23). But, that is never mentioned during the sinful escape; afterwards it becomes evident.

Jesus gives real freedom from the prison of sin: "Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (Jno. 8:36). The release from sin that Christ gives is obtained by obeying His gospel: "But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness" (Rom. 6:17-18). The gospel is the only successful escape from sin. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  06/15/2015

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