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


Volume 19, Number 06

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:
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Work of Learning
Joe R. Price

Learning the Bible takes time and effort. But, before we can learn the Scriptures, we must want to learn. Without the desire to learn (and for the right reasons), genuine Bible learning will escape us. We simply will not apply ourselves to the task of learning if we lack the proper motivation. But, once an insatiable desire to be right with God drives us to learn His word and will, then the real work of learning begins.

When it comes to spiritual matters, we must be moved by faith’s constant desire to know more of God's will in order to be like our Teacher, and to live what we learn (Lk. 6:40). Consider the counsel of these verses about learning and obeying the word of God:

Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.” (Psalm 25:4)

Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.” (Psalm 119:73)

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (John 7:17)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

By itself, knowledge does us little good. In fact, knowledge can lead a person to treat others arrogantly (1 Cor. 8:1). Paul counseled Timothy to be careful and precise in handling the word of truth out of diligence to be an approved worker before God. He assumed Timothy would put into use what he learned from God's word. Likewise, we must not be content with merely learning the Scriptures. We must also be committed to obeying what we learn. Paul reminded Timothy that avoiding shame before God is the compelling reason to carefully and accurately use God’s word. What a tragic scene it will be to stand before God if we have wasted our opportunities to learn and obey His will (cf. Matt. 25:24-30; 7:21-23).

When we have the will “to do His will,” we shall know that the teachings of Jesus are from God (Jno. 7:17). We will learn His word and let it produce faith in our hearts and in our lives (Rom. 1:16). Learning anything for the first time is hard work. It takes time, devotion, diligence and patience. But, it is worth it. When it comes to learning and obeying God's word of truth, we cannot afford to take a shortcut. God is ready to teach us so we can be saved and approved in His sight. Will you let Him teach you? Are you ready and willing to learn and to obey (Jno. 6:44-45)? 


An Assault on Purity
Joe R. Price

Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). The pure heart is blessed with clear vision of God and of His will. In this dark world of sin, a pure heart helps us see what pleases God and to know what is designed to destroy our souls.

Pornography is one of the leading threats to moral purity and righteous living in our country today. A pornographic tsunami has engulfed America (and indeed, the world). The proliferation of pornography on the internet provides extremely easy access via computers, smartphones and tablets. One can literally take their porn with them to school, to work and to play (not to mention into their homes).

Judge Robert Bork said pornography is “propaganda for fornication.” Bible words that describe pornography include “uncleanness,” “lewdness” (lasciviousness), “passion of lust” and “evil desire” (Gal. 5:19; 2 Cor. 12:21; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:5). Although pornography itself is not fornication, it often leads to it as it voyeuristically depicts this sin of the flesh.

No one is immune from being tempted by sexual sins. That does not mean one must yield to such temptations; we have a choice in the matter (1 Pet. 2:11-12). But, as Bill Perkins said, “If you think you can’t fall into sexual sin, then you’re godlier than David, stronger than Samson, and wiser than Solomon.” It is foolish to take the fire of pornography into one’s bosom, for it is an inferno set on fire by hell (cf. Prov. 6:25-27).

The statistics are staggering. $3,075.64 per second is spent on pornography (that’s $103 billion per year). About two million people watch porn every minute. Watching porn has, quite literally, become the norm for adolescents. About 90% of boys and 70% of girls, ages 13 to 14, have reported accessing porn at least once. In the workplace, a Barna Group survey in 2014 found 63% of adult men and 36% of adult women have looked at porn at least one time at work in the past three months (38% of men more than once, and 13% of women more than once). The same report said, “64% of self-identified Christian men and 15% of self-identified Christian women view pornography at least once a month (compared to 65% of non-Christian men and 30% of non-Christian women)” (“Pornography Statistics,” Covenant Eyes, 20).

We know the problem of pornography is real. So, what do we do to overcome it? Here are a few Biblical answers to help anyone struggling with this sin.

1) Repent. God forgives (cf. Isa. 1:16-19). And, we must also forgive when others disrupt their lives and our with this sin (Matt. 18:33-35).

2) Turn your heart back to God and crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:24; Rom. 13:12-14). You must eliminate the source as well as your attraction to it (Matt. 5:28-30). Monitor the computer, TV, movies and every media that delivers pornography. Turn them off, and if necessary, get rid of them. Make concrete steps to flee lust and pursue righteousness (2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Tim. 6:12).

3) Be open, transparent and accountable. The appeal of secrecy and anonymity is part of pornography’s lure. Parents, a spouse or a responsible friend must have full, unfettered access to every delivery system to help you overcome this sinful addiction (watching porn has similar effects on the brain as heroin).

4) Make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1). Evil can seduce us, allure us. Make a decision of faith not to start down this highway to hell.

Victory over pornography is possible in Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). Put on His armor (Eph. 6:10-17). 

-Complete lesson is online at


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

Who is Harmed when a Christian does not Attend the Worship Services of the Church?

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25

We are not isolationists, Rom. 14:7-8.


  A. With Reverence, Psa. 89:7.
  B. With Praise, Psa. 107:32.
  C. With my Whole Heart, Psa. 111:1.
  D. With Pure Lives, Isa. 1:10-13 (Mt. 15:7-9).
  E. With Desire for Spiritual Growth, Acts 11:26.


  A. A Warning Sign of Spiritual Drifting, Heb. 2:1-3; 10:36-39. 1 Cor. 14:26
  B. Hardening of the Heart against Worship, cf. Psa. 95:6-11; Heb. 3:13-15.
  C. Lost in the Sin of Neglect, Jas. 4:17; Heb. 2:3; 3:14; 4:11; 10:26-29.


  A. Others are Influenced when they see a Casual View Toward Attending Worship Services, Heb. 10:23-25; Matt. 18:6-9.
  B. An Empty Seat Means Someone is Not Present to Encourage those Who Are Present, cf. 1 Cor. 12:23-26; Eph. 4:16.
  C. The Congregation has One Whose Absence Sends a Message that Worship is Secondary, Acts 2:42. 1 Cor. 14:23, 26.


  A. A Light for the World is not Shining, Matt. 5:14-16.
  B. The World has Gained a Friend, 1 Jno. 2:15-17 (Jas. 4:4). Jno. 15:14
  C. The World has been Given an Opportunity to Speak against Christ, Titus 2:6-8.


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

The Perils of Pride

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 18:1-4

1. Jesus was most humble; He calls us to have His mind, Phil. 2:5-8 (Matt. 18:1-4).
2. We must admit the struggle with pride that challenges us all.
3. The danger of pride is its self-deceiving nature:
4. Pride: An exaggerated regard for self; a swollen estimate of oneself that prompts looking down on others, treating them rudely, with disrespect and contempt. It thinks too highly of itself, Rom. 12:3.

I. PRIDE IS DEFILING, Mk. 7:22-23.

  A. Pride is of the World, 1 Jno. 2:15-16.
  B. Pride Develops in a Heart that has Turned to Evil, Mk. 7:21-23.
  C. Pride Produces, Prov. 13:10; 11:2; 14:13.

II. PRIDE IS DECEPTIVE, Gal. 6:3. (Phil. 2:3)

  A. Pride is Haughty in its View and how it Treats, Prov. 6:17; 30:11-13; Rom. 1:30; 12;16.
  B. Pride Deceives Us to Trust in Our Own Knowledge Instead of Loving and Trusting God, 1 Cor. 8:1-3; Prov. 21:24..

III. PRIDE IS DESTRUCTIVE, Prov. 16:18; 18:12.

  A. Pride Destroys Proper View of Self, Jer. 10:23; Prov. 16:20; 29:23.
  B. Pride Destroys a Proper View of Others, cf. Lk. 18:9, 11, 14; cf. Matt. 7:12; Matt. 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8.
  C. Pride Destroys Respect for Christ and His Word, 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Psa. 19:9.

1. The proud trust the imaginations (dispositions) of their hearts, but God scatters them (lays waste), Lk. 1:51 (Prov. 15:25).
2. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, 1 Pet. 5:5-7.
3. Grace when you humble yourself, Isa. 57:15.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Hurricane Prep List
Joe R. Price

At this writing, category 4 hurricane Matthew is taking aim at Florida’s east coast, having already pummeled Haiti and the Bahamas, leaving death and destruction in its wake. By now, preparations have been made to either evacuate or, in some cases, ride out the storm. As an example, the Red Cross has a Hurricane Safety Checklist to help prepare for hurricanes.

As important as it is to prepare for hurricanes, it is even more important to prepare for death and judgment, since “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). We may or may not experience a hurricane in our lives, but every one of us will die and face God’s judgment of “the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).

What must we do to prepare for death and judgment?

1) Obey God’s command to repent of sins. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). We must not “live like there is no tomorrow.” We must change our thinking (our minds) and our conduct (our practices) to conform to the gospel of Jesus Christ – if we want to go to heaven. Forgiveness from God will not be received as long as we do not repent. After repentance, then be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). Be saved without delay!

2) Live by God’s will, not your own. “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (Jas. 4:15). So many live as they please instead of as the Lord pleases. To get ready for judgment, we must reverse that order and live to do God’s will. Perhaps they think they will have plenty of time later to prepare for death and judgment. But, life is brief and uncertain; death may come at any moment (Jas. 4:13-14). Do God’s will now.

3) Live holy and godly (2 Pet. 3:11). “Therefore, since all things will be dissolved,” we ought to devote ourselves to being holy as God is holy, “who without partiality judges according to each one’s work” (1 Pet. 1:17).

Are you prepared for death and judgment?


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

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