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


Volume 18, Number 34

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 May 1 - 6, 2016

The Mt. Baker
Church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Highway • Bellingham WA

Invites you to our


With Evangelist

Dennis Scroggins
(Lampasas, Texas)

May 1 - 6, 2016

Monday-Friday at 7:00 PM
Sunday, May 1st at 9:30 and 10:30 AM; 6:00 PM

Hear these gospel lessons:

Sunday Class: What The Devil Sees In Your Marriage
AM Sermon: Counted Worthy To Suffer For His Name
PM Sermon: Distractions Of The Devil
Monday: Is It Lawful To Divorce For Every Cause?
Tuesday: Excuses For Sin
Wednesday: How Is It You Do Not Understand?
Thursday: Soft Preachers And Soft Preaching
Friday: When Satan Calls

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


When a Baptist isn't a Baptist
Joe R. Price

An AP news story by Susan Montoya, "Baptist Strategy: Change Church Name To Attract More Members," reports a trend among Baptist Churches of removing ‘Baptist’ from their name in an effort to increase membership. For instance, in 1992 the Trinity Baptist Church of Round Rock, TX, changed its name to the Fellowship of Forest Creek and added hundreds of members. The Rev. Roddy Clyde said, “I’m not ashamed to be a Baptist, but a brand name can be a hindrance. Some people mistakenly associate the Baptist name with an angry, judgmental kind of fundamentalism.”

In Grapevine, TX the 6,000 member Las Colinas Baptist Church has now become the Fellowship Church in order to draw a new, younger crowd. “Basically, we changed the name for one reason - to reach as many people as possible,” said senior pastor Ed Young. “People now don’t have the product loyalty, or the denominational loyalty, they once had.” While their numbers increased dramatically when the name changed, they also had some conservative members leave because of it. At the Lake Hills Church in Austin, TX, pastor Mack Richard took Baptist out of the title to remove what he regarded as a barrier to people of other denominations.

Other Baptists, such as Ken Hemphill, president of the Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, disagree that removing Baptist is the crux of the matter. “The key issue is not necessarily the name, but changes in the content of what happens in the church,” he said.

The New Testament teaches there is one church (Eph. 4:4). The church belongs to Christ. He purchased it with His blood (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). There are no denominational names in the New Testament (including Baptist). For this reason, we do not use them.

The church of Christ is not a denomination within Christendom. It was not built by men, organized by men or named by men. The term, “church of Christ” is a descriptive term of possession - the church that belongs to Christ. The church does not belong to Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, or any other denomination. It belongs to Christ. When sinners obey the gospel, Christ saves them and adds that person to His church (Acts 2:47; 4:12).

Some brethren have adopted a similar approach to the “name” of the church as these Baptists. They no longer use ‘church of Christ’ to advertise themselves to the community. They conclude it alienates potential converts and have decided to use it sparingly, if at all. I understand there are a variety of Biblical descriptions of the church, any one of which satisfies the need to identify the people of God. What concerns us is the thought that Christians are swayed by public opinion to minimize Scriptural practices. The “whole counsel of God” (including the truth about the church) must be preached and practiced at all times, even when others view it with disagreement or even hostility.

For instance, many people view the church of Christ as an “angry, judgmental kind of fundamentalism” because we do not use instrumental music in our worship. Should we therefore move a piano into our worship hall - so long as we do not play it? Others are turned off by the moral strictness of the Bible. Should we therefore begin to teach it is okay to go to the bars to mix and mingle - just don’t drink the liquor (1 Cor. 15:33)? Should we begin to advocate attending dances - just as long as you don’t dance? (Maybe we can draw more people to Christ that way?) What about offering a basketball league to the community? Don’t you imagine we could draw a lot of young people that way? So goes men's wisdom.

Let the Baptists drop the name Baptist; It isn’t in the Bible anyway. Let them go back to the New Testament for all they do. We do not need to be like the nations around us to succeed; We need obedient faith in Christ. 

-The Spirit's Sword, 17Jan99, revised


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

Rejoice in Tribulations

Scripture Reading:  Romans 5:1-5

The title appears contradictory, yet very possible in Christ, Matt. 5:10-12; Rom. 5:3.


  A. Translations include: Tribulations, Sufferings (ESV), Troubles (NCV).
    1. Pressure, distress, affliction.
    2. "distress that is brought about by outward circumstances." Jno. 16:21; Matt. 24:20-21 (Lk. 21:23-24); 2 Thess. 1:6.
  B. Defining Characteristics of these Tribulations, Jno. 16:33; Mk. 4:16-17; Acts 20:23; 2 Cor. 2:4; Acts 14:22.


  A. Develop the Spirit of Early Christians Who Counted it an Honor to Suffer for Christ's Sake. Acts 5:41; Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10; 1 Pet. 4:14
  B. Recognize that Suffering can Prepare Us for Greater Usefulness in the Kingdom, Rom. 5:3-4; Jas. 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 12;10.
  C. Suffering Helps us Long for Heaven with Greater Intensity, Matt. 5:12; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; 2 Cor. 4:16-18.
  D. Remember that God's Grace is Sufficient to Sustain Us, Rom. 5:2; Rev. 2:9-10.


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

The Righteous are Scarcely Saved

Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 4:14-19

1. Is being a Christian is too difficult / demanding?
2. Righteous: "upright, virtuous, keeping the commands of God.” To be just, without prejudice or partiality in the treatment of others.
3. Righteousness: “the character or quality of being right or just.”
4. Righteous are contrasted with sinners, Matt. 9:12-13. Saved with difficulty 1 Pet. 4:16-18.


  A. Because All have Sinned, Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:23; Matt. 5:6 (6:33).
    1. Righteous people, Heb. 11:4; Ezek. 14:14; Matt. 1:19; Lk. 1:6; 2:25; Mk. 6:20.
    2. How can we be righteous, since all have sinned?
  B. The Example of Israel: God's Grace and an Obedient Faith, Deut. 6:23-25; 9:4-6; Ezek. 18:19-22; Hab. 2:3-4 (Heb. 10:38).
  C. God is the Justifier of All Who have Faith in Jesus, Rom. 3:26; 1:16-17; 4:5-8; Heb. 11:7.


  A. The Righteous are Saved with Difficulty, Acts 27:7, 8, 16; 14:18; Jas. 2:20-24; 1 Pet. 4:19.
  B. It Takes Effort to be a Faithful Christian, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
  C. Where will the Ungodly and Sinner Appear? 1 Pet. 4:18 (Prov. 11:31); Rev. 21:8.
  D. The Urgency of the Gospel, 2 Cor. 5:11.

1. Christ loves righteousness and hates lawlessness, Heb. 1:9; Matt. 5:6; 6:33.
2. Which will you be: The righteous Christian, or the ungodly sinner?


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Hero Rescues Man from Flames
Joe R. Price

The following caught our attention:

"A Southern Illinois police officer put his life on the line to save a construction worker after a gas line explosion triggered a massive fireball on Wednesday, a witness told Fox 2. Maryville Police Officer Justin Krausz "literally called for help and ran full speed towards the flames to pull the victim further to safety," the witness said, adding that the flames shot up 100 feet into the air. "As far as instincts go, you’re always wanting to get in there and help," Krausz said. He thanked Police Sgt. Brandon Ponce for his help in rescuing the worker (Officer hailed as hero for racing toward gas explosion fireball to rescue worker,"

The gospel teaches Christians to have this kind of immediate instinct when souls are endangered by sin: "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 22–23). Are you ready and willing to run toward the fire to help save a soul?

We hail this police officer as a hero, and rightly so. Why is it at times then, when one runs toward the fire of spiritual danger that threatens to engulf a soul, that he or she is viewed as causing a problem? I believe I know the answer. Some do not see the danger. Others refuse to be helped out of sin. They do not recognize the peril, or they do not hate the sin enough to abandon it.

If you are struggling with sin, accept help from brethren who rush to your aid with gospel solutions. And, when you see a soul faltering and in danger, do not hesitate to snatch them out of the fire. That ought to be our instinct as children of God. The fires of sin lead to eternal death, and we do not want anyone to be lost. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  04/11/2016

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