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


Volume 18, Number 11

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
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Gospel Meeting  September 20-25, 2015

The Mt. Baker
Church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Highway • Bellingham WA

Invites you to our


With Evangelist

Brett Hogland
(Blue Springs, Missouri)

September 20-25, 2015

Monday-Friday at 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 20th at 9:30 and 10:30 AM; 6:00 PM

Bring your Bible and join us in learning God’s word and will for our lives!

(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
For more information please call (360) 752-2692

Tell Us Plainly about the New Testament Church
Joe R. Price

Plainness of speech is a mark of the gospel and of how it is taught (Acts 20:20-21). Much confusion has resulted from the councils, creeds, confessions and consciences of men concerning the church. Plain Bible teaching removes this confusion.

1) The church of Christ belongs to Christ. Men have built many churches, all claiming to belong to Christ. In contrast to the many denominations of men, the New Testament church belongs to Jesus. The church belongs to Christ because: (a) Christ built the church. After Peter confessed belief that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” the Lord plainly said, “on this rock I will build My church” (Matt. 16:16-18). The church does not belong to us to do with as we see fit. (b) Christ died for the church. The church was purchased with the blood of the Son of God, shed as the redemptive price for the sins of the word (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). (c) Christ is the head of his church. No vicar, no president, no king or queen possesses authority in or over the church of Christ; His authority over the church is complete (Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 1:18; 3:17). (d) Christ is the Savior of the church. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ, and he only saves His body, the church (Acts 4:12; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23). The church of Christ belongs to Christ; the denominations belong to the men who built them and rule them.

2) The church of Christ is composed of those who are saved in Christ. The church is not a club to join, a business to operate or a social organization to administer a social agenda. “Church” translates the Greek word ekklesia meaning an assembly of called out ones. The gospel calls sinners out of the darkness of sin into the marvelous light of God’s Son (1 Pet. 2:9-10). The church of Christ is the assembly of the saved; God’s people on earth whose citizenship is in heaven (Heb. 12:22-23). The Bible plainly says that one cannot be saved without being added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:47). The church is composed of Christians, not churches. The church is not an assembly of churches; it is the assembly of the saved (Heb. 12:22-23).

3) There is only one church of Christ. Jesus plainly said “I will build My church” – not, “I will build My churches.” Considered universally, all the saved (all Christians) constitute one body, the church of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4). Considered locally, Christians gather in different places to form independent congregations. Thus, we read of the “churches of Christ” (Rom. 16:16; see also 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; Rev. 1:11). Each congregation has its own organization and is fully equipped to do its own work without the oversight or sponsorship of another church (Acts 14:23; 1 Pet. 5:2-3; Eph. 4:11-16).

4) The Lord adds you to the church of Christ when you are saved from your sins. The murderers of Jesus heard the gospel call and believed Jesus to be “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36-37). They were told to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins”, and about 3,000 who did so were added together (Acts 2:38, 40-41). The church began that day and the Christians continued to grow in faith and service to Christ (Acts 2:42). The church of Christ exists today. The Lord will add you to His church when you will believe, repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:37-38, 47).  -Back to Basics, August, 2008 


The Conversion of Simon (Acts 8)
Joe R. Price

The record of Simon’s conversion is concise: “Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done” (Acts 8:13). Though brief, this account provides a clear picture of the gospel’s power to save sinners in contrast to false displays of power that many see as “the great power of God” but which cannot save the soul (Rom. 1:16; Acts 8:9-10).

1) Simon’s conversion was personal. The word of God says Simon “himself” was converted. No one was converted on his behalf. It was Simon’s own sins that needed cleansing and it was Simon himself who responded to the gospel call of salvation (Acts 8:4-5). Similarly, one person cannot obey the gospel on behalf of another. Doctrines of proxy belief and obedience are utterly false and are powerless to save.

2) Simon’s conversion followed God’s revealed pattern on how to be saved. Simon “also” believed and was baptized; he was saved just like the Samaritans (Acts 8:12-13). Every sinner is converted in the same way today. The gospel is a pattern or mold that is the same for all: “But God be thanked 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 “form of doctrine” that Simon obeyed to be set free from sin. Simon was not converted to Christ by praying the “sinner’s prayer” and asking Jesus into his heart as his personal Savior. Simon was not converted by first waiting for empowerment from the Holy Spirit in order to be able to believe the gospel. Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved”, (Mk. 16:15-16). That is what Simon did, and the powerful gospel of Christ saved him.

3) Simon’s conversion was real. Simon’s conversion was as real as the Samaritans’ (Acts 8:13). Like them, he heard and believed the preaching of Christ when he saw the mighty miracles that showed the message was from God (Acts 8:5-8). His repentance is implied in that he freely chose to be baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:13, 16). Simon then “continued with Philip” just like the first Christians “continued steadfastly” upon their conversion (Acts 2:42).

The notion that Simon was not really a Christian is false. His ensuing sin did not nullify his conversion any more than Peter’s later sin invalidated his (Gal. 2:11-14). Men are powerless to successfully show Simon was not really a Christian; he was.

4) Simon’s conversion did not remove the possibility of falling away. Simon sinned after he became a Christian (Acts 8:18-21). Conversion to Christ does not make one immune to temptation and sin. The possibility of sinning and falling away from Christ is real and Christians must heed the warning (Jas. 1:12-16; Gal. 5:4; 1 Cor. 10:12; Heb. 3:12-14).

Simon the Christian was told to repent and pray for God’s forgiveness in order to escape sin and death (Acts 8:22-24; 1 Jno. 1:9). The gospel is powerful to cleanse Christians when they sin. What good news!  -Back to Basics, Oct. 2008 


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Signs of the End?
Joe R. Price

Earthquakes are not signs of the imminent approach of the day of judgment. The Chilean earthquake this week reminds us this life is temporary and uncertain. Now is the time to prepare for our inevitable departure from life and appointment with God's judgment (Heb. 10:27; 2 Cor. 5:10).

Before giving signs of God's destructive judgment of Jerusalem for rejecting His Christ (which came in the form of the Roman army in A.D. 70), Jesus spoke of things that were not signs of its end, but only "the beginning of sorrows" for its inhabitants (Matt. 24:1-3, 4-8). He said, 6 “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:6-8). Jesus would go on to give clear signs of Jerusalem's destruction so that His disciples could "flee to the mountains" (Matt. 24:16, 15-28).

Recently John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, TX, said "the upcoming blood moon (Sept. 28, jrp) is a sign from God that “something major” is about to occur regarding Israel" ("Pastor Says Iran Nuclear Deal and Final Blood Moon are Prophetic Signs from God", Amanda Casanova, Another false prophecy.

Whatever happens to Israel will not be because it is God's chosen people; it is not. The church of Christ is the "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16; Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-8). Deceivers have long used scare tactics as they falsely predict things from their own heart. That is what false prophets do (Jer. 14:14; Ezek. 13:2). Do not fear them (cf. Deut. 18:22; Matt. 7:15-20). No one on earth knows the end of time (Matt. 24:36).

Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets (Lk. 24:44). God speaks to us today through His Son, not through men who proclaim false prophecies based on false signs offering false hope (Heb. 1:1-2; 1 Cor. 14:37; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).    


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  09/18/2015

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