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


Volume 17, Number 50

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
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All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

A Parent's Prayer

Oh heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Help me to under­stand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to understand all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them and contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me.  Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and ask them forgiveness, when I know that I have done wrong.

May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment. Let me not tempt a child to lie and steal. So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag; and when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue. Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things that they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise.

Help me to treat my children as those of their own age, but let me not exact of them the judgments and conventions of adults. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think, to choose, and to make their own decisions.

Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction. May I grant them all their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage always to withhold a privilege that I know will do them harm.

Make me so fair and just, so considerate and companionable to my children that they will have genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children. Oh God, do give me calm and poise and self-control.”


Is Moderate Drinking Sin?
Joe R. Price

Christians are being seduced by worldliness. This is not a new phenomenon; it is a temptation that each saint in every generation must resist (1 Jno. 2:15-17; 1 Pet. 4:1-5; 5:8-9). When we succumb to worldly enticements we relinquish our holiness for hostility against God, our dedication to Christ for devotion to the flesh, and our influence of godliness for intoxication of the mind, body and soul.

Some Christians have already yielded to the temptation, practicing and endorsing the moderate drinking of alcoholic beverage in their homes and in various social settings. "Hard" beverages (marketing the mixture of alcohol with soda, juices, lemonade, etc.) have made the use of alcohol even more appealing, adding the appearance of innocence to this enslaving sin. (By the way, who defines "moderate" for the Christian who practices and defends moderate drinking: Scriptures? Self? Society?)

Does the Bible forbid moderate or social drinking? In a word, yes. Consider the following statements truth from God's word.

1) The fool imbibes of wine and strong drink. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise" (Prov. 20:1). The alcoholic content of modern wine more closely agrees with the "strong drink" (shekar) in the Old Testament, that is always condemned and to be refused. Does one who pursues righteousness, faith, love and peace out of a pure heart partake of things that mock and disrupt soberness (2 Tim. 2:22; Titus 2:2-3, 6)? No, not at all.

2) Drinking produces many sorrows. "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper" (Prov. 23:29–32). Alcohol lowers inhibitions. That begins with the first drink. To avoid the outcome of unrestrained drinking God's word says do not take the first drink.

3) Social (moderate) drinking is forbidden as the "drinking parties" of unbelievers. "For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Pet. 4:3). Translated "banquetings" in the KJV, potos is the act of drinking without consideration to the amount. A variation of the word is used in Mark 9:41 of a "cup" of water to drink. Thus, the apostle describes the "the will of the Gentiles" (sin) as the initial drinking of alcohol as well as its prolonged indulgence. Both sins are attributable to one's life before conversion and not to the mind of Christ that ceases from sin (1 Pet. 4:1-2).

4) Christians are to remain sober. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Sober (nepho) means "to abstain from wine" and is the opposite of intoxication. Intoxication is a process that begins with the first drink. Therefore, the entire process that prevents soberness is sin, from beginning to end.

Yet, some Christians defend moderate drinking (as they define it) in the face of God's warnings against the sin of drinking alcohol. They say it is their liberty. But, liberty in Christ is not freedom to sin (Gal. 5:1, 13; Rom. 6:1-2). True, they are free to be foolish. But, the foolishness of sin is punished by God, not rewarded. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise" (Prov. 12:15). Be wise. Accept God's counsel. Refuse the first drink. Refuse sin from its beginning. 


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

No Excuses

Scripture Reading:  Luke 14:15-24

1. A mark of maturity is not making excuses for one's faults, failings and sins, 1 Cor. 16:13."
2. Excuses are self-justification for action or inaction (Jas. 4:17); Lk. 14:18-20.
3. Excuses lead to neglect and neglect leads to sin and losing our souls, Jas. 4:17; Rom. 12:11.


  A. Personal Incompetency (Moses), Exo. 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10, 13. (1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:12)
  B. The Difficulty of the Task, Prov. 22:13. (Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Sam. 17:46)
  C. Personal Weakness (Jeremiah), Jer. 1:6-7. (inexperience) 2 Cor. 12:8-10; Phil. 4:13. (Heb. 13:5-6)
  D. The Hardness of the Master, Matt. 25:24-27 (solid, firm, rigid and unbending). (2 Cor. 8:12)
  E. Do not See the Need, Matt. 25:44-45.
  F. The Pressures of Life, Lk. 14:18-20 (income, labor, family). (Matt. 6:33-34)
  G. Personal Inconvenience, Acts 24:24-25. (Isa. 53:3-5; 1 Cor. 4:9)
  H. Ignorance, Acts 3:17; 26:9-10. (1 Tim. 1:13; Eccl. 5:6)

1. God calls us to steadfast obedience, not senseless and sinful excuse-making, 1 Cor. 15:58.
2. Christ has spoken to Jews and Gentiles: We have no excuse for our sin, Jno. 15:22.
3. The gospel is God's call to be forgiven and live free of excuses for sin.


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

How Do I Know I Am Saved?

Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 1:12-16

1. Salvation is the gift of God, given "by grace, through faith", Eph. 2:8-9.
2. We can be deceived into thinking we are saved when the Scriptures say we are not. Saul of Tarsus is the prime example, but not only one.
3. Learn how to know when we are saved and when we are lost.

I. SAUL OF TARSUS, 1 Tim. 1:15-16.

  A. Feel Saved, Acts 26:9; Prov. 16:25; 28:26.
  B. A Good Conscience, Acts 23:1; 26:9-10.
  C. Religiously Active, Acts 22:3; Phil. 3:4-7.
  D. Pray, Acts 9:9-11.
  E. When did Saul Know he was Saved?


  A. Sorry for Sins but not Saved.
  B. When were they Saved? Acts 2:40-41

III. CORNELIUS, Acts 10:1-6, 10:47-48.

  A. Good, Moral Person but Lost, Acts 11:14.
  B. When was Cornelius Saved? Acts 10:48

IV. APOLLOS, Acts 18:24-28.

  A. They Know the Bible and Teach it.
  B. When did he Know He was Saved?


  A. Already Baptized.

VI. THE JAILER, Acts 16:30-34.

  A. Because they Believe. Jas. 2:24, 19.


  A. When You Do what God Says You Must do to be Saved, 1 Jno. 2:3-5; Acts 2:40-41; 1 Pet. 1:22-23.
  B. You Know You are Saved Because God Says You are Saved, Heb. 5:8-9; Gal. 3:26-27.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

A Famine of God's Word
Joe R. Price

Water restrictions are affecting agriculture, business and residential users as California faces one of its most severe droughts on record. As of June 1, California law mandated a 25% water usage reduction by cities and towns. Few have been able to comply ("Community, farmers face water cut-off after California drought decision",

God sent His prophet Amos to the northern kingdom of Israel in the eighth-century B.C. to warn of impending judgment due to their unrepentant sins that included idolatry, oppression, injustice, immorality and religious corruption (Amos 2:6-16; 5:10-13). God even sent natural disasters, including a drought, attempting to turn Israel back to Him, but to no avail (Amos 4:6-10). Such natural disasters and trials ought to turn people Godward, but not Israel. It was now time to "prepare to meet your God, O Israel!" (Amos 4:12) Like a basket of summer fruit, Israel was ripe for destruction (Amos 8:1-3). Assyria would be God's rod of anger against a rebellious people (Isa. 10:5).

A fundamental factor leading to Israel's demise was contempt for God's word: "I raised up some of your sons as prophets, And some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?" Says the Lord. "But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, And commanded the prophets saying, 'Do not prophesy!'" (Amos 2:11–12)

Because they hardened their hearts toward God they would face a famine of God's word: "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11). God will not strive with sinners indefinitely (Gen. 6:3). His word must be heard and obeyed, otherwise, divine justice against sinners will surely come.

A famine of God's word already exists in many pulpits and pews of His people. The Scriptures are held in doubt, if not contempt, by more than a few. The question is, how long will the Lord continue to stretch out His hand to a disobedient and rebellious people (cf. Rom. 10:21)? Better to heed the gospel call now. As Isaiah prophesied: "Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6–7). A day of reckoning approaches. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  06/22/2015

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