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


Volume 18, Number 13

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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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:

The Christian's Behavior
Joe R. Price

Paul challenged the Roman Christians in Romans 12:1 to present their bodies as living sacrifices to God. Basing his plea on the mercy of God they had received, he explained the nature of their sacrifice as living, holy, acceptable and reasonable. To sacrifice themselves to God they must “not be conformed to this world" but be transformed renewed minds (Rom. 12:2). This pleases God and fulfills His will for them and for us.

Christians use the blessings and gifts God has graciously put into our hands, being always guided by humility and faith (Rom. 12:3-8). There is a place of value and service in the body of Christ for every Christian to sacrifice and serve (12:4-5; Matt. 25:34-40).

1) The Christian’s behavior is genuine, Rom. 12:9-11. Love is to be without hypocrisy; it does not wear a disguise. Whether it is love for what is good (“cling to what is good”), love for brethren (“be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love”) or love for God (“fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”), love is diligent and sincere.

2) The Christian’s behavior is constant and caring, Rom. 12:12-14. We are to act consistently with the need and context of the moment, whether it is “rejoicing in hope” or being “patient in tribulation” (v. 12). In fact, we rejoice and are patient simultaneously, since our hope of eternal life anchors us through the storms of life (Heb. 6:18-20; Rom. 5:2-5). Steadfast prayer and hospitality are among the ways we become a blessing to friend and foe alike: “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

3) The Christian’s behavior is sympathetic, Rom. 12:15-16. The Christian is joyful when someone else has reason to rejoice. When sadness grips a soul, he shares the sorrow (v. 15). He is “of the same mind” with his brethren. He is not conceited or arrogant (traits that prevent compassion and sympathetic responses toward others) – his mind is not set on “high things” that exalt himself above others (v. 16). He considers others better than himself and looks out for their interests before his own (Phil. 2:3-4).

4) The Christian’s behavior is peaceful, Rom. 12:17-21. The person who is vengeful and vindictive is not living like Jesus. He set us an example of not returning evil for evil (1 Pet. 2:18-23). Like Jesus, we must value good things and live honorably and peacefully before others (12:17-18). The Lord has all authority and will avenge evil. So, Christians leave that work to the Almighty, while overcoming evil with good (v. 19-21).

Christians behave these ways because we are living sacrifices unto God (Rom. 12:1-2). 


Is There Not A Cause?
Joe R. Price

The giant's incredible size loomed over the valley as he hurled his insults toward the armies of Israel. He was a champion among the Philistine warriors, and everyone knew why: he was huge! Several feet taller than the average man, no one could hope to survive hand to hand combat with Goliath of Gath. No one, that is, except a youngster named David. Armed with faith in God, David displayed remarkable courage as he challenged and then defeated this giant of a man. His confrontation with Goliath is a truly remarkable display of faith, courage, conviction, impressing on us the victory God gives those who rely on Him (1 Samuel 17).

David's brothers scolded him when they heard of his proposal to fight Goliath. David's response was simple and persuasive: "Is there not a cause?" (1 Sam. 17:29). His declaration reminds us that even today there are many giants that defy the army of the living God. Causes still exist that move the faithful to action. We are in the Lord's army, and our faith equips us to fight His foes (Eph. 6:10-18). When the enemy seems much too large for us to defeat, our faith must cling to the power and truth of God. God assures victory to His people who trust and obey Jesus Christ (Rev. 11:15; 17:14).

The enemy of false doctrine must be battled. Contending for the faith is not fashionable to many these days (Jude 3-4). When a soldier of the cross engages in a battle of faith with a false teacher over his false doctrine, the advocate of error often gets more sympathy, respect and encouragement than the one standing for the truth. Nevertheless, wherever error tries to infiltrate the church and hold men captive, a cause exists that compels the faithful to action (Gal. 2:4-5). Do you join the brothers of David in faithlessly rebuking faithful conflict against error? Or, in the day of battle, do you join the fray and hold up the hands of those fighting the good fight of faith?

The enemy of worldliness is a formidable giant which we must engage in battle. The world defies the armies of the living God Every day. Living amidst the enticements of the world induces some Christians to retreat from the high and holy ground they have gained with Christ as their Captain (Heb. 12:1-2). Soldiers of Christ can be intimidated into silence and inaction by this giant enemy of faith. Others succumb to the power of worldliness (1 Pet. 2:11-12; 2 Pet. 2:18-22; Rom. 13:12-14; Gal. 5:19-21). Like David, we must stand our ground by living holy lives, trusting in God to deliver us from the enemy's assaults (1 Cor. 10:13).

The enemy of complacency is an insidious giant. Infecting Christians with a lethargic approach to godliness, complacency is an intimidating opponent. Complacenc leads to neglect, procrastination, toleration and compromise with sin. Complacency prevents the lost from being Christians. It causes the strong to grow weak and the weak to grow weaker. However, through faith, this giant can also be slain (Rom. 12:11).

David knew the urgency of stopping the mouth of Goliath. Like David, we must assess the causes for which we fight to be sure we are on the Lord's side (Matt. 12:30). Then, as soldiers of Christ, let us engage the enemy. With faith in God and His power to deliver us from the foe, let us "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12; see 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-13). 

-The Spirit's Sword, May 19, 2002, revised


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

Be Strong in the Grace of the Lords

Scripture Reading:  2 Timothy 2:1-7

1. 2 Timothy is Paul's emotional farewell to a man he dearly loved, 1:1-5; 2:1.
2. He urged Timothy to be strengthened, 1:7-8, 14 (1 Tim. 6:20); In grace, 2:1 (4:22).
3. Strength to live in the grace of Christ; to be true to the faith we profess, 2 Pet. 3:18.

  A. The Things You have Heard, 1:13; 1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 4:2; 2 Ths. 2:15.
  B. Commit To Faithful Men, 1 Tim. 1:12.
  C. Equip them to be Able to Teach Others.

  A. Serve as a Soldier, 2:3-4.
    1. Endure hardship (1:8; 4:5).
    2. No entanglements, 2 Cor. 6:14-18.
    3. Active duty, Eph. 6:10-13.

  B. Compete as an Athlete, 2:5.
    1. Commitment, 4:7-8; 1 Cor. 9:24-25.
    2. Discipline, 1 Cor. 9:25-27 (self-control), 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Tim. 4:7-8; Heb. 5:14.
    3. Obey the rules, 2:5; Matt. 7:21; Heb. 5:9.
  C. Work like a Farmer, 2:6.
    1. Hard work, Gal. 6:7-8; 2 Cor. 9:6.
    2. Patience, Gal. 6:9; Jas. 5:7-11; Heb. 6:9-12; 1 Cor. 3:6-9.

1. We each need to be strengthened in the grace of Christ.
2. Consider and gain understanding, 2 Tim. 2:7.
3. Serve - Compete - Work. You will be strengthened in the grace of Christ and rewarded through it.


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

Five Ways to Disobey God

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 2:1-4

1. Faithful Christian never looks for ways to disobey God, 2 Cor. 5:9; Mk. 12:30.
2. Bible warns against disobedience, Acts 3:22-23; Heb. 2:2-3. Bible teaches different ways that God can be disobeyed.
3. To know these ways helps us avoid the pitfalls of apostasy, 1 Cor. 10:12.


  A. Sins of Commission: Committing an act that God prohibits.
  B. The Unnamed Prophet, 1 Kgs. 13:7-10.


  A. Sins of Omission, Jas. 4:17; 2 Ti. 3:16-17.
  B. King Saul and the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15:3, 9, 13, 17-20.

III. BY ADDING TO THE WORD OF GOD, Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18.

  A. Doing what has not been Authorized is Sin, 1 Jno. 3:4."
  B. Moses and the Rock, Num. 20:7-12; Psa. 19:13.

IV. BY TAKING FROM THE WORD OF GOD, Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:19.

  A. Some Speak of "Non-Essential" Commands (cf. baptism).
  B. The Pharisees, Mk. 7:6-13.


  A. God will not Accept a Substitute for Obedience, 1 Sam. 15:22.
  B. Nadab and Abihu, Lev. 10:1-3.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

No Moral Exemption Allowed
Joe R. Price

Unless overturned on appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court, pharmacists in the state of Washington who have a moral objection to dispensing Plan B (morning-after pill) and other forms of emergency contraception that eliminate pregnancy (i.e., a medical abortion), will not be given a legal exemption to honor their consciences. In July the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Washington state law requiring pharmacies to provide all medications in a timely manner. No provisions were made in the law for religious objection and moral conscience against dispensing Plan B. Now, the Ninth Circuit Court has said none will be granted ("Washington state to require pharmacies to stock Plan B",

Thus we have another example of man's law conflicting with the law of God. God forbids murder and commands us to love our neighbor (Rom. 13:8-10). We are made in God's image, and all human life is to be honored no matter how new (hours, days) or how old (80, 90, 100 years and beyond). Rather than kill new, unique and distinct human life, those who respect God praise Him for it: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psa. 139:13-14).

Followers of Jesus will continue to fear God rather than men and obey God instead of men (Matt. 10:28; Acts 5:29). All the more reason for us to say with former Christians who endured great trials, "Come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20). Every wrong will be righted on the great day of His return (2 Ths. 1:6-9). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  10/07/2015

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