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


Volume 19, Number 05

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

Web sites:
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Serve God in Sincerity and in Truth
Joe R. Price

Joshua challenged Israel as he approached death, “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:14). Herein is a three-fold principle that applies to all who would be true to God in their lives.

First, one must fear the Lord. A genuine dread of displeasing Him in our lives must motivate us to right thinking and right living. The purpose of our life on earth is to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Eccl. 12:13). Jesus commanded that we “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). We will turn away from God if respect for Him does not drive our thoughts, words and deeds, (Rom. 1:28-32).

With proper fear of God within the heart, we can then repent of our sins (“put away the gods...”). Repentance is a genuine change of mind toward one’s sinful conduct that is produced by godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10). Such repentance bears the fruit of a reformed life – by putting sin away and conforming to truth (Acts 26:20; Rev. 9:20-21). It is not enough to be sorry for our sins. To repent means we are so sorry that we change our minds toward it and live according to God’s truth. Many are deceived into thinking they can be sincerely sorry for their past sins, yet continue to live in them and please God. This is no more possible than it was for Israel to be sorry for her past idolatry and yet continue in it.

Thirdly, one must serve the Lord. Conversion to the Lord is not conversion at all unless it is reflected in an obedient life (Lk. 6:46). When one becomes a Christian he becomes a “servant of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18). It is axiomatic that we serve the master whom we obey (Rom. 6:16). So, if we profess a fear of the Lord in our lives and repent of our sins, we will then sincerely serve the Lord in truth.

Sincerity without truth is vain (Matt. 7:21-23). Truth without sincerity is hypocrisy (Matt. 23:1-3). The gospel of Christ brings together sincerity and truth. Read and carefully consider Ephesians 4:20-24:

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Jesus saves all who obey Him in sincerity and truth (Heb. 5:8-9; 1 Cor. 5:8). Does this describe you? If not, today is the time to start. 


A Monument to Atheism
Joe R. Price

In 2013 the American Atheists gained permission to erect a public monument to atheism alongside a monument of the Ten Commandments displayed in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, FL. Their goal is to add more monuments to atheism throughout America.

The Ten Commandments were given to the nation of Israel as part of the covenant God made with Israel, spoken from Mt. Sinai and then engraved on two tablets of stone by the finger of God (Exo. 31:18; Deut. 4:12-13; 5:1-4). While we do not live under that covenant today, but under the better covenant (the gospel of Christ), the concepts of the Ten Commandments have formed a framework for the rule of law in societies for millennia, including the United States.

We would do well to learn from them that God commands faithful living toward Himself and toward others. Refresh your memory:

The Ten Commandments

   You shall have no other gods before Me.

   You shall not make for yourself a graven image.

   You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

   Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

   Honor your father and your mother.

   You shall not murder.

   You shall not commit adultery.

   You shall not steal.

   You shall not bear false witness.

   You shall not covet. (Exo. 20:3-17)

The monument to atheism in Starke, FL has quotations on it from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Madalyn Murray O'Hair (the founder of American Atheists). David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said ‘‘Some people think it’s an attack simply by us exerting our existence. They put a monument on a public lawn that, if you put it in context, says atheists should be killed,’’ Silverman said. ‘‘It is an attack, but it’s an attack on Christian privilege, not an attack on Christians themselves, and not so much an attack on Christianity” (“Atheists unveil monument by Ten Commandments,”

Consider what we think would be more appropriate on a monument to atheism:

Ten Commandments of Atheism

   You shall be a fool for saying there is no God. (Psalm 14:1)

   You shall not inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9-11)

   You shall be cursed for trusting in the strength of man. (Jeremiah 17:5)

   You shall be without excuse and under the wrath of God. (Romans 1:18-21)

   You shall be given up to uncleanness and dishonor.  (Romans 1:24)

   You shall exchange the truth for a lie. (Romans 1:25)

   You shall be given up to vile passions and corrupt thinking. (Romans 1:26-28)

   You shall live in ignorance. (Acts 17:22-23)

   You shall live in futility, moral blindness, lewdness and greed. (Ephesians 4:17-19)

   You shall suffer punishment forever in the lake of fire and brimstone, the second death. (Revelation 21:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) 


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

Plundered Treasure (2) & (3)

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 2:6-10

1. Review Part 1: All things are yours, 1 Cor. 3:21-23 (18-20). We have great treasures that can be plundered, Col. 2:8 (2-3).
2. When this happens, faith falters, hope is unsure, and love is unstable (1 Cor. 13:13).


  A. Do Not Let Evangelicals (Franklin Graham, et al.) and Many Others Plunder the Plan of Salvation, Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31; 22:16 (Jas. 2:24; Mk. 16:16; Matt. 18:3).
  B. Do Not Let Calvinists (Presbyterians, Reformed, Baptists, etc.) Plunder the Grace of God, 1 Pet. 5:12 (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1-2, 20-6:2; Tit. 2:11-12).
  C. Do Not Let the Calvinists (Presbyterians, Reformed, Baptists, etc.) Plunder the Confidence of Our Salvation, 1 Jno. 5:13 (Jno. 10:27-30; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 3:14; 6:17-19).
  D. Do Not Let False Brethren Plunder the Truth on the Work and Organization of the Local Church, 1 Tim. 3:15 (Acts 2:42-47; 14:23; Phil. 1:1).
  E. Do Not Let False Teachers in Churches of Christ Plunder the Truth on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, Matt. 19:3-6, 9; Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 7:10-15.
  F. Do Not Let False Teachers in Churches of Christ Plunder the Truth on Fellowship with Error on Romans 14 (2 Tim. 3:15-18; 1 Jno. 1:5-7; 2 Jno. 9-11; Eph. 5:11).

Perversions of the gospel by men must not deter us from boldly living by its truth, Gal. 1:6-10. All things are yours, 1 Cor. 3:21-23.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Fact Checking
Joe R. Price

During this presidential election cycle we hear a lot about fact checking; examining the candidates’ statements against the available record to determine their accuracy. There is even a website dedicated to this project ( Fact checking is often used by a candidate and his or her supporters to expose inaccuracies and lies of their opponent (I don’t recall a candidate fact checking themselves, do you?).

Fact checking the Christian’s words should not be necessary. A Christian puts away lying to “speak truth with his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25). Neither do Christians need to swear to validate what we say, for our “yes” means “yes” and our “no” means “no” (Jas. 5:12).

What a person teaches as being from God must be fact checked against the Scriptures. The Bereans did this when Paul and Silas preached to them (Acts 17:10-11). We are glad when those who desire the truth examine what we say against what the Bible says. Because God’s word is truth we must be in agreement with it, both in what we teach and what we do (Jno. 17:17; Lk. 6:46). The Bible is always right. So, whenever our teaching does not agree with the Biblical record we must repent and correct ourselves (Acts 26:18-20).

We ought to fact check ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). Self-examination, using “the faith” (the gospel) as our standard to measure what the good and acceptable will of God is vitally important. Without this fact checking we will likely believe a lie and lose our souls. We must fact check all our words and deeds to be sure we conform to the authority of Christ (Col. 3:17).

A word of caution is in order: We must fact check with pure hearts, respectfully using God’s word (2 Cor. 4:2). Avoid evil motives, for they will distort the truth in an attempt to justify ourselves and our sin. “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Prov. 23:23). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  10/03/2016

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