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


Volume 18, Number 08

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Legal But Not Moral
Joe R. Price

Morality did not originate with humans, nor is morality determined by our laws. If everything legal is necessarily moral, then man defines morality rather than God. Maybe that is why we hear people reply, when challenged about some immorality, "There's not a problem, after all, it's legal!" They think man is the measure of all things.

It is nothing new for people to decide for themselves what is right and wrong instead of accepting God's standard of right and wrong. When there is no fear of God in the heart, people do what is right in their own eyes, often legalizing their sin to remove its sting (Judges 21:25).

Ending a marriage for causes other than fornication is legal, but still immoral. Jesus said the man who puts away his wife "for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery" (Matt. 5:32).  Moral responsibility and accountability is placed on the person who ends a marriage for reasons other than the cause of fornication (see Matt. 19:6). Just because man's court says such is legal does not make it moral.

Ditto, same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court has made its pronouncements that same-sex marriage is legal in America, but that does not change its immorality one iota. Homosexuality is fornication, even though it is legal. Marriage between two people of the same gender continues to defiles the marriage bed of honor - the laws of men notwithstanding (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Consuming alcohol is legal, but still immoral. While the laws of men measure the legality of drinking alcohol in a number of ways (by age, public intoxication, DUI, etc.), the Scriptures do not. Whether a little or a lot, the consumption of alcohol is described as sin by the word of God (1 Pet. 4:3; Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35; Gal. 5:21).  

Public nudity is legal in some places, but still immoral. In Times Square naked women (called desnudas, Spanish for naked), covered with body paint, panhandle for tips from photo-taking tourists. It is evidently a thorny legal issue in NYC: "Civil rights lawyers argue the women are bare-breasted panhandlers, and so they are protected, first by two state high-court rulings that made it legal to go topless and to panhandle, and then by the free-speech clauses in the state and federal constitutions" (Topless in Times Square: A Legal View, NY Times, James C. McKinley, Jr., Aug. 20, 2015). “It’s their argument that they are artists, or street entertainers, and not just someone hanging around half-naked,” said Larry Bryne, the deputy police commissioner for legal matters. “As long as they are performers exercising their First Amendment rights in a lawful way, it’s not a criminal law-enforcement issue that we can address.” (Ibid) Calling sin one's "right" and "art" does not purify its moral filth (Eph. 5:11-12).

Sinners will always legalize and defend sin. Let us remain vigilant, lest we join the world in such worldly wisdom. Christians must abstain from immorality in all its forms (1 Thess. 5:21-22). 


Abortion: A Sinful Scourge upon America
Joe R. Price

There have been almost 60 million abortions in America since it was legalized by the 1973 U. S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision ( Abortion is a scandalous blight on our society. Abortion is not about women's rights and women's freedom over their own bodies. Abortion is not the benign removal of a lifeless mass of flesh from a woman's body. It is not even about the health of the mother (less than 1% of abortions are performed to save the mother's life, These are political smokescreens to shield the guilty and divert attention from the moral dilemma abortion presents. Abortion is the ending and removal of human life that is growing inside its mother. Abortion is the murder and removal of a new human being, a baby, from its natural place of development, sustenance and growth.

The beginning of life. The abortionists call themselves "pro-choice". This is diversionary. The time for choice comes before a new life is conceived - before the sexual act that produces conception occurs. Not all abortions are the result of premarital sex, but many do take place after the choice was made to engage in this immoral sexual relation. Premarital sex has become normal in our culture. A plain consequence of this choice - the conception of a child - is viewed by many as an inconvenience easily remedied by abortion. God intends the beginning of life to result from the act of marriage, not an act of sin (Heb. 13:4; Gen. 4:1). But when it does, killing the child is not the answer!

Sexual abstinence until marriage would end many abortions. Easy birth control is an incentive to those without moral restraint to engage in the very conduct that produces children. Planned Parenthood advises the number of abortions can be reduced by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Duh. But we do not agree on how to accomplish this goal. They recommend preventing unwanted pregnancies by making contraception more easily available (5 Ways to Prevent Abortion (And One Way That Won't Work, 2006 Planned Parenthood® Federation of America, Inc., This seems reasonable to a society that has normalized fornication. But, to those who fear God it is but another example of sinners  attempting to escape the consequences of sin at the expense of the innocent. There are consequences to sexual sin. The spiritual consequence is spiritual death. And, one possible physical consequence is conceiving a child.

Planned Parenthood's cry for more easily accessible contraception is also a red herring. A reader's response posted online to "Abortions and the modern people we are" (D. C. Innes, bears this out:

"I'm pro-life and worked with RTL (Right to Life, jrp). We have known for years baby body parts were being sold by PP (Planned Parenthood, jrp). Like the following it has been ignored by the main stream media. For more than the last decade I have tried to bring forth the information with little response that over 80% of babies aborted in the U.S. are from unwed women and fornication is the cause of our abortions. PP supports fornication and fornication supports PP."

The Guttmacher Institute reports that "more than half of women obtaining abortions in 2000 (54%) had been using a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant" ("Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Women Having Abortions in 2000-2001", Jones, Darroch and Henshaw,

Sexual immorality is a fundamental moral problem leading to abortion. Abortion has become another means of birth control for a culture that idolizes sexual fulfillment regardless of its immorality or the cost in (aborted) lives. For the convenience of the mother and father, millions of children have been slaughtered in the womb. These sins do not go unnoticed and unpunished by a just and righteous God (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:5-11).

The growth of life. God's handiwork is on glorious display inside the womb. "For you have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother's womb" (Psa. 139:13). As if there were any doubt, recent advancements in technology make it clearer than ever that it is indeed a living child who inhabits the womb. Pregnancy ought to be a joyous time for the mother and father. Instead, it is too often viewed through the worldly lens of selfishness. A recent magazine headline in the grocery store checkout lane mournfully screamed that stretch marks are ruining the body of six-month pregnant Kim Kardashian (oh my!). The fruit of the womb, once held in blessed honor and love, is now viewed as the cause of ruination. Millions and millions of times the life of the unborn is disposable while the living selfishly indulge themselves. A nation cannot long survive that does not cherish its unborn.

The taking of life. Abortion is murder. It is not an action of self-defense against a ruthless attacker or the state's justifiable punishment of one worthy of death. It is the most extreme violation of the most vulnerable among us. A baby is still a baby whether it lives inside or outside its mother's body.

Children are not inconveniences, annoyances or hindrances. They are great blessings from God, deserving to be treated with love throughout every stage of life, including pre-birth. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psa. 127:3). 


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

The Great Physician

Scripture Reading:  Mark 2:13-17

1. Jesus: The Great Physician, Mk. 2:14-17.
2. You wouldn't go to a false doctor when you are sick, yet many go to religious "fakes" and "quacks" who can never heal their souls.


  A. Sin is Universal in Scope, Rom. 3:9, 23.
  B. Sin Affects Vital Organs, with the Heart as its Seat, Matt. 15:19-20.
  C. Sin is Contagious, Corrupting Others, 1 Cor. 15:33; 1 Cor. 5:6.
  D. Sin is Deceitful, Heb. 3:13; Eph. 4:22; 2 Cor. 11:3; James 1:16.
  E. Sin is Fatal, Producing Spiritual Death, Rom. 6:23; 1: 32; Jas. 1:15.


  A. People-Pleasing Preachers, Jer. 6:13-15 (Micah 3:5-7); 2 Tim. 4:3-4.
  B. Self-Serving Shepherds (elders), 1 Pet. 5:1-3 (cf. Ezek. 34:1-4).
  C. Sin-Encouraging Doctrines and Sin-Accepting Churches, Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 11:3-4.


  A. Jesus Diagnoses and Heals All Sin, Matt. 11:28-30.
  B. Jesus Diagnoses and Heals the Sins of Immorality.
  C. Jesus Diagnoses and Heals the Sin of False Doctrine, Jno. 8:32; 14:6.


  A. Jesus has Already Proved His Worth as the Great Physician, Lk. 4:23; Heb. 4:15.
  B. Helpless Healers Give Hollow Hope to Sinners, cf. Acts 8:9-13; Gal. 1:8-9.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Strangers in a Foreign Land
Joe R. Price

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus, Statue of Liberty plaque)

Immigration is an issue being discussed in the presidential primary race. At the same time, Europe is facing an emerging crisis with record numbers of migrants fleeing to its shores to escape conflicts in the middle East and Africa (Death of 71 Migrants in Austria Illustrates a Spreading Crisis in Europe, Alison Smale and Melissa Eddy, Aug. 28, 2015, Balancing national compassion and national security will continue to be debated by politicians and decided by nations on this subject.

Christians have an immigrant status: We are pilgrims in a strange land. "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (1 Pet. 2:11). A sojourner is a foreigner, "a by-dweller (alien resident)" (Strong's Concise Dictionary of Bible Words). Our citizenship is in heaven even while we live on earth (Phil. 3:20). Consequently, God expects certain things of us as foreigners and pilgrims.

We are not to apply for "permanent residence status" here on the earth. It is futile to do so, since we all shall die (1 Kgs. 2:2; Heb. 9:27). Yet, many live as if they believe material things in a material world bring lasting joy. They don't. Our values and goals transcend this vale of tears. This world is not our home (Heb. 11:13-16).

We are not to assimilate into the culture of the world. Although this is generally expected of immigrants from other countries, Christians are God's "own special people" (1 Pet. 2:9). He expects us to be separate from the world in faith, values, goals and lifestyle (Rom. 12:2).

We must live lawfully or we forfeit our immigrant status. The "perfect law of liberty" is obeyed by all who "yearn to breathe free" of sin's shackles and poverty (Jas. 1:25). We cannot violate God's laws and expect the reward of eternal citizenship in heaven. Let us obey the will of God first and always. We are by-dwellers on earth; foreigners in a foreign land. This defines who we are and how we live. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  08/30/2015

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