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


Volume 17, Number 52

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
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Our Astonishing God
Jarrod Jacobs

One of the most amazing statements in the Bible is found in the book of Isaiah. “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor hath taught him?” (Isa. 40:10-13). In the description of God, we see One with a strong hand; One who has measured the waters with His hand; and One who has measured the heavens with a span (the tip of your little finger to the tip of your thumb)! Of course, this is figurative language used to describe God. Nevertheless, in this passage, we see an astonishing God. No one else is described in this way. In fact, man is described as “grass” (Isa. 40:6; I Pet. 1:24).

Knowing that we have such an amazing God, who are we to question or defy Him? This point is made in Isaiah 40:13. Brethren, who are we to say we know more than God? Yet, some declare it! They do so through their words and actions! When men say that baptism does not save us, they are saying they know more than God, for God said, “baptism doth also now save us” (I Pet. 3:21)! When men say “Join the church of your choice”, they are saying they know more about the church than Christ did, for He said, “I will build my church (singular)....” (Matt. 16:18). When men belittle the value of the church saying it is unimportant, they are also declaring that the blood of Christ has no worth. Acts 20:28 tells us it is Christ’s blood that “purchased the church”! We also see times when men declare that their intellect is superior to God’s. When does this happen? It happens when men say that whatever the individual can do, the church can do. Christ made a distinction between the church’s responsibility and the individual’s responsibility (I Tim. 5:16; Matt. 18:15-17). We need to respect the difference! In addition to these, There are many other ways men contradict God today. It is very sad to see this being done when we are in the presence of such an astonishing God!

Remember, we are not here to command, but to serve (II Tim. 2:3-4). When we can hold all the waters of the earth in the palm of our hand; when we can measure the heavens from the tip of our little finger to the tip of our thumb, then we can tell God what to do!! Until that time, let us be satisfied to simply be the servants of our astonishing God!

-The Old Paths (June 14, 2015)


Count the Cost...Pay the Price
Joe R. Price

Why are you following Jesus? Many answers (that please men but not God) are given to that simple question. When Jesus walked the earth some followed Him because of personal benefits. They “ate of the loaves” and were filled” (Jn. 6:26). Some followed Jesus because they wanted to entrap Him (Lk. 11:530-54). At least one man (Judas) followed Jesus because he found an opportunity to enrich himself (Jno. 12:6). Obviously, it matters why we follow Jesus and not merely that we follow Him.

On one occasion when a multitude followed Jesus He warned them to count the cost of discipleship (Lk. 14:25-35). He said the value placed on Him must be greater than the value we place on our family, our life, our comfort, convenience and everything else (Lk. 14:25-27, 33).  Unless Jesus has first place in our heart and life we will not be accepted by the Master. Therefore, each one must...

1) Count the cost and pay the price to become a Christian. Jesus died for your sins. He calls on you to submit your entire life to Him in faithful obedience (Rom. 6:16-18). We cannot claim to follow Christ and live in disobedience. Only the obedient will be saved (Heb. 5:8-9).Are you willing to pay the price of complete submission to Jesus? If so, then obey His plan of salvation (believe, repent, confess faith, be baptized, live faithfully) and be saved.

2) Count the cost and pay the price of putting Jesus first. Ridicule, rejection, sacrifice. Do you have the resolve of heart to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33)? You will need it in order to endure to the end (Matt. 10:22).

3) Count the cost and pay the price of spiritual growth. You must study the Scriptures and obey them in order for your faith to grow (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:15). Time and diligent devotion helps (2 Tim. 3:18; 2 Pet. 1:5-11). 


Resurrection of the Dead
Joe R. Price

There will be a resurrection of the dead. Jesus’ resurrection assures us of it (1 Cor. 15:20-21). The resurrection of the dead is central to our faith. Here are some vital, relevant truths that magnify its importance.

1) If there is no resurrection of the dead, then the gospel and all that pertains to it is a fraudulent hoax (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
2) The resurrection will occur when Jesus returns (1 Cor. 15:22-23).
3) The Bible affirms a bodily resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:35-49).
4) All people of all time will be raised from the dead (Jno. 5:28; Rev. 20:12).
5) After resurrection, we will all stand before God in judgment (Jno. 5:29; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12).
6) Christians take comfort in knowing we will be resurrected to always be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17-18).
7) Without the resurrection of the dead, the Christian’s hope of future reward is vain (1 Pet. 1:3-5; 1 Cor. 15:19).

These Bible facts about the resurrection are not believed by all who call themselves Christians. Even now, some people (the “AD 70” advocates) say the resurrection is past already (2 Tim. 2:18). The Jehovah’s Witnesses say when we die we cease to exist. To them, the resurrection will have to be some manner of re-creation. However,  the body of Jesus was raised from the dead, and our bodily resurrection will be like His (Lk. 23:43; Acts 2:27-31; 1 Cor. 15:45-49).

The “resurrection of life” will be filled with glory (Jno. 5:29; 2 Thess. 1:10; Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:4).  The “resurrection of damnation” will be filled with terror (Jno. 5:29; Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:11-15). How you live now determines what you will experience that day. 


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

Love Hurts

Scripture Reading:  1 John 4:7-11

1. God, who is love and who loved us, commands and compels us to love one another, 1 Jno. 4:7-11.
2. Love is more than a feeling; Love does not always feel good.
3. Yet, people expect love to always feel good. That's because they do not accurately and Biblically define love. Eph. 5:1-2
4. A trait of love rarely discussed is that it often does not feel good. In fact, love hurts.


  A. When You Decide to Follow Jesus, Mk. 10:17-22; Phil. 3:7-8; Matt. 10:34-38; Acts 2:37-38 (2 Cor. 7:9); 1 Pet. 4:4-5.
  B. When a Parent Corrects a Child, Prov. 13:24; Heb. 12:11; Prov. 3:11-12; Lev. 26:14-15, 16-45 (23); Heb. 12:5-10; Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 29:15; 23:13-14.
  C. When a Church Corrects Sin, 1 Cor. 5:4-5, 11-13; 2 Ths. 3:6, 14-15; 2 Cor. 2:6, 9.
  D. When You try to Restore a Fallen Christian, Gal. 6:1-2; Acts 8:20-24.
  E. When You try to Save Lost, Jude 22-23; 1 Cor. 2:2-3; Acts 18:4-10 (9-10).
  F. When You Work to Resolve Conflict, Matt. 5:23-25; Phil. 4:2-3; Gen. 13:8-9.
  G. When You Rebuke and Correct Error with God's Word, 1 Cor. 4:9-13; 2 Cor. 2:4; 11:11 (8-11); 12:13, 15-16; Gal. 4:16.
  H. When You Living an Enduring Faith, Luke 21:12-19.


  A. We are Tempted to become Selfish, Apathetic and Inactive: The Opposite of Love, 1 Cor. 13:4-8; 1 Jno. 3:16-18; Eph. 4:31-32; 2 Cor. 12:15.
  B. We are Thankful God did not Refuse to Love Us, Rom. 5:6-8.

Conclusion John 13:34-35; 2 John 6


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

A Personal Relationship with Jesus

Scripture Reading:  John 15:4-8

1. Evangelicals speak of having "a personal relationship with Jesus". cf. Col. 1:27; Gal. 2:20
2. NT teaches we must have a relationship with Jesus; without Him we are lost, Jno. 15:1-8.
3. How this relationship begins, how it is maintained, and what things are in Christ, and how this relationship is maintained.

I. RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST BEGINS BY BEING BORN AGAIN, Jno. 3:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:22-23; Titus 3:3-7.

  A. Two Elements of One Birth: Water and the Spirit. Heb. 10:22; Eph. 5:26.
  B. Conversion is Described as being Joined (Married) to Christ, Rom. 7:4. Bear fruit.
  C. Must be "in Christ" to have a Personal Relationship with Christ, 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:12; Rom. 8:1.
  D. Relationship begins when you Put on Christ, Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:3; 2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 3:4; Gal. 2:20.


  A. The Faithful are in Christ, Eph. 1:1.
    -Things that are "in Christ"-


  A. By having an Obedient Faith, Jno. 15:7; 14:21, 23.
  B. Assurance of a Saved Relationship with Christ when we Keep His Commands, 1 Jno. 2:3-6; Col. 1:28.
  C. Be a Friend to Jesus, Jno. 15:12-14; Jas. 2:21-23.


1. Hear word of Christ and open to Him, Rev. 3:20-21.
2. Abide in the doctrine of Christ and have the Father and the Son, 2 Jno. 9.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Obeying the Laws of the Land
Joe R. Price

We must obey God when the laws of men contradict it and attempt to impose on us things that are against God's word (Acts 5:29). Respecting that proviso, we are to "be subject to the governing authorities" (Rom. 13:1). The reason we obey the law is because "the authorities that exist are appointed by God" (Rom. 13:1). By our obedience to the laws of the land we acknowledge that "the Most High rules in the kingdom of men" (Dan. 4:25, 32).

A secular assault upon the moral decency of America has been occurring for the past fifty years. It's intent is to remove religion from this nation's landscape. From legalized abortion to LGBT rights to same-sex marriage), the US government, through judicial fiat, is willing to legalize actions that institutionalize sin. Christians' faith is put to the test in the face of growing opposition to all manner of religious expression (except those conforming to societal preferences and governmental edicts). We will not obey laws that cause us to sin against God.

Who will teach subsequent generations what is good, including that it is good to obey the laws of the land as secularists remove the fear of God and religion from the fabric of American society? Romans 13:1-7 teaches it is the citizen's respect for God that produces an obedient, blessed society. Please see the linkage between honoring God and honoring civil government's laws:

1. People who do not respect God and His law will not respect the laws of the land (Rom. 13:2). Failure to respect God leads to disrespect for the law, which leads to the breakdown of order.
2. When there is no fear of God in the land there will be declining fear of breaking government's laws (Rom. 13:3). Reverence for God is foundational for people to obey the laws of the land.
3. We are to obey governing authority because it is "God's minister" to protect the innocent and punish the evil (Rom. 13:4, 6). When government leaves this role to serve the will of men without a fear of God, that country will have trouble.
4. We are to be subject to governing authorities "for conscience' sake" (Rom. 13:5). As consciences are no longer trained to respect authority and obey its laws, America will continue its descent into moral chaos and societal shame.

Why is America in decline? There is no fear of God in the land. Without that, worse days are ahead.


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  07/06/2015

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