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


Volume 18, Number 07

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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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
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:

Learning is Work
Joe R. Price

Learning the Bible takes effort. Like anything else, we must want to learn the Bible before real learning happens. Without a desire to hear and know God's word the student will not retain what is taught, much less equip himself with its knowledge. We simply will not put in the time and do the work that is required to learn God's word unless we want to learn it. Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me" (Matt. 11:29). Jesus knew it would require the yoke of devotion and submission to learn His will and follow Him. Real learning begins when a person is driven to hear and learn God's word. An insatiable desire to be right with God is essential to learning the gospel.

We must be driven by a constant desire to learn more of God's will so that we can more fully do His will. Consider these passages that counsel us to learn and obey God's word:

Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. (Psalm 25:4)

Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. (Psalm 119:73)

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. (John 7:17)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Knowledge by itself does little good. In fact, knowledge that is not governed by love often leads to pride and the conceited, condescending treatment of others (1 Cor. 8:1-2). Note that Paul counseled Timothy to study for a purpose: to be an approved worker of God. Paul assumed Timothy would put what he studied and learned from God's word into use. Similarly, we must not be content with merely learning truth. We must also be committed to obeying the truth we learn. Paul reminded Timothy of the compelling reason to be committed to both learning and diligently obeying God's word: to avoid being ashamed before God. What a shameful scene it will be to stand before God if we have wasted our opportunities to learn and obey His word (Matt. 25:24-30).

Yes, learning is hard work. It takes time and devotion. We cannot afford to take a shortcut when it comes to learning and obeying the truth of God. By having a commitment to learn and then obey, we will be "taught by God" and unashamed before Him (Jno. 6:44-45). 


"Arrows In The Hand Of A Mighty Man"
Jarrod Jacobs

David, the sweet psalmist of Israel (II Sam. 23:1), penned a song concerning the home and family in Psalm 127. He wrote, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” While there are many things we could discuss from this psalm, in this article, let us focus upon verse 4: “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”

What a word picture this paints for us! Imagine the bowhunter who trains so as to make sure he hits his mark when it counts. This person not only works at his aim, but also takes care of his bow and arrows so they are ready for the hunt. He realizes that each piece cannot function properly without the other. In fact, his reputation as a “mighty man” is the result of where and when he shot his arrows!

Next, we see this man is “mighty” because he shot his arrows purposefully toward his intended mark. In other words, he did not shoot randomly like the poem, “I shot an arrow into the air, where it landed I know not where….” He had an intended target in mind, and shot his arrows toward that target. What does this statement from Psalm 127:4 teach us about parenting?

First, parents have a purpose. Parenting is more than just proving your ability to reproduce. Parenting means taking responsibility for another life (or lives) and trying to make sure this life is productive in following God’s will (Eph. 6:4) and productive in society. When we appreciate what God expects of us in parenting, it just proves again why God knows best in saying that parenting belongs to a married couple (Heb. 13:4). Not only does marriage keep us from fornication (I Cor. 7:2), but in such a relationship, we bring children into this world where both father and mother work together in the training and admonition of these precious ones. From Abraham’s day, we see this is God’s purpose for parents. God said of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment ...” (Gen. 18:19).

Second, Psalm 127:4 shows us that just as arrows don’t fire themselves from the bow, so also children cannot be left to raise themselves. David’s son Solomon understood this. He said, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). Children make foolish decisions (Prov. 22:15), and they need training and encouragement from parents so that they can grow up, be parents themselves, and continue this process for another generation (Prov. 22:6). Parents, whether they have one or a dozen children, cannot put matters on “auto-pilot” and expect a good result when it comes to child-rearing!

Third, we see that the “mighty man” purposely sent his arrows in the direction intended. In other words, he had a purpose in mind. Sometimes, we find parents who never intend for their “arrows” to leave the “quiver”! Thus, children grow up and seem to have no direction, or purpose in their lives. This is not right. Parenting requires we send our “arrows” out into the world so that they can benefit this world as “shining lights” (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-15).

The Bible is clear concerning how parents ought to act and the parent’s purpose in training our children in the right way. If we have been lacking in this area, let us repent and start today to follow the Lord’s will. In truth, following what the Lord says will benefit us, our children, the church, and the community in which we live. Don’t be selfish, but selfless. Let us give our children the “tools” necessary for living in this world and preparing for the next, so that our children can prepare their children in the same way!                       -The Old Paths, August 16, 2015


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


Scripture Reading:  Matthew 1:18-25

1. Prophetic sign of God visiting man are fulfilled in Jesus, Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23, Jno. 1:1-18 (Col. 2:9).
2. The deity of Christ has endured the suspicions and attacks of many, including those who claim to be Christians.
3. Three traits of Jesus while on earth that establish the full extent of His deity (divine nature) and that He is “God with us”.

I. JESUS KNEW MEN’S HEARTS. Jno. 2: 23-25 (Matt. 12:25; Mk. 2:8)

  A. An Attribute of Deity, Prov. 15:11; Jer. 20:12; Acts 15:8.
  B. Jesus Does what God does Concerning our Hearts, Psa. 7:9; Jer. 11:20; 1 Cor. 4:5; Rev. 2:23; Lk. 16:15.
  C. Jesus Knows Your Heart and Mine, cf. Heb. 4:13.


  A. Who is this that Forgives Sins? Lk. 7:48-49; Isa. 43:25; Lk. 7:47; 23:42-43.
  B. Jesus is Willing and Able to Forgive You, Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:19-22. Acts 22:16; 1 Jno. 1:9-2:2; Acts 8:24.

III. JESUS ACCEPTED WORSHIP (Matt. 4:10; Rev. 22:8-9).

  A. His Power to Heal Generated Worship, Matt. 8:2; Jno. 9:35-38.
  B. His Power over Nature Compelled Worship, Matt. 14:25-33.
  C. Reverently Approached with a Request, Matt. 20:20.
  D. His Power over Death Prompted Worship, Matt. 28:9, 17.
  E. His Ascension into Heaven Demanded Worship, Lk. 24:52.

All must honor the Son as they honor the Father, Jno. 5:23.


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

The Indwelling of Sin

Scripture Reading:  Romans 7:21-8:4

1. The notion that sin dwells in the Christian is finding its way into the thinking of some Christians as they struggle against sin.
2. Doctrine of Indwelling Sin: "sin that remains in them (believers, the saved, jrp) after conversion". 3. To be clear: False doctrines of original sin and total hereditary depravity produce this additional error of the indwelling of sin in the Christian.


  A. Calvinism: By Birth as a Human Being.
  B. The Bible: Sin Entered and Remains in the World through Choice. Gen. 2:16-17; 3:6; Deut. 11:26-28; Ezek. 18:4, 20; Jas. 1:13-16;  Rom. 5:12-13; 7:6-12; Eph. 2:1-3.


  A. It Rationalizes the Presence of Sin in our Lives (nature not choice).
  B. It Helps Numb the Conscience toward Sin,
1 Tim. 1:18-19.
  C. By Implication, it Blames God for Temptation and Sin, Jas. 1:13.
  D. It Deceives Christians to Believe the Power of Sin is Greater than the Power of God, 1 Jno. 4:4 (3:8). cf. Prov. 24:10


  A. The Struggle is Real, not because Our Nature is Corrupt, but because Christians Continue to be Tempted to Sin (and yield to temptation), Lk. 22:18; Heb. 2:18; 1 Cor. 10:12-13; 1 Jno. 2:15-16; Eph. 6:11-13.
Sin is Not Greater than Grace, but, We Must Choose Grace, Titus 2:11-12.
    -Rom. 7:13-25: The Sinner Cannot Save Himself from Sin. (Man under law under sin)
    -Rom. 8:1-4: Sinner Saved by Faith in Christ!
  C. How Do We Prevail in Our Ongoing Struggle Against Sin?


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Battling Wild Fires
Joe R. Price

The western U.S. is on fire. Hundreds of wild fires have scorched 400,000 acres in Washington alone, one of five states teeming with flames. Tens of thousands are fighting the fires that have takes lives (three firefighters in WA this week), destroyed hundreds of homes, livestock, wild animals, timber and range land. Soldiers are being called in this weekend to assist battling the blazes.

Fire is often used in the Bible, teaching us crucial, eternal lessons.

1) The tongue is like a small fire that grows into a great forest fire (Jas. 3:5-8). One of the western wildfires started from sparks caused by a chain being dragged behind a truck! We must constantly remember we can do so much harm by failing to control our tongue. Much good can be accomplished when we use our words to teach good things and to speak kindness. Much damage is done when we thoughtlessly speak without consideration for others and for God's will. Worst of all, we lose our souls when we sin with our tongue.

2) Adultery is like taking fire into one's bosom (Prov. 6:27-29). The sin of adultery is "playing with fire". This week's exposure of those using the Ashley Madison website (a site that facilitates adultery) shows the resulting shame and disgrace of adultery, not to mention its devastating effects upon those who commit it and the spouses affected by it.

3) The holy presence of eternal, Almighty God was emphasized by fire (Exo. 3:2-5; 19:18; 1 Kgs. 18:24, 37-39). From the burning bush to Mt. Sinai to Mt. Carmel, fire powerfully displayed God's power and glory, neither of which have diminished to this very moment.

4) Fire is used as God's instrument of punishment upon evil (Jude 7; Lev. 10:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:7). From Sodom and Gomorrah to Nadab and Abihu to the last great day, divine judgment has been and will be executed with fire. Jesus taught us the fire of hell is real, hot and eternal (Mk. 9:43-48). Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). They will be joined there by "the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars" (Rev. 21:8). Live by faith and avoid this eternal fire. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  08/26/2015

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