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


Volume 19, Number 08

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:

Who Hardened Your Heart?
Joe R. Price

When a person refuses God’s word of truth, it can be said God hardened that person’s heart:

And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” (Exo. 4:21)
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.” (Exo. 7:3)

When a person refuses God’s word of truth, it can be said the person hardened his own heart:

But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.” (Exo. 8:15)
But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.” (Exo. 8:32)
Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.” (Psa. 95:8-9)

God reveals His truth in the Scriptures, and we decide our response to it (Jno. 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Our choice reveals our character. The same sun that melts butter also hardens clay. When we react to God’s truth with humble, faithful obedience, we show a good and honest heart (Lk. 8:15). When we argue and obstinately refuse God’s truth, we reveal a heart of prideful defiance against God. God’s word softens one heart while it hardens another, depending on the nature of each heart. (Lk. 8:11-15)

God’s word will “cut the heart” to produce faith, obedience and salvation (Acts 2:37-41). It will also harden the heart that is bent on its own way instead of His. (Acts 7:54-60; Isa. 6:9-10)

So, it is properly said that God hardens hearts when hearts refuse His truth. Note that “Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said. So the Lord said to Moses: ‘Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go’” (Exo. 7:13–14). Which heart will you choose to have? One that hardens when it hears the truth, or one that obeys the will of God? (Heb. 3:7-8, 13-19) 


Why You Should Become A Christian - Now!
Joe R. Price

The gospel plan of salvation is clear. Sinners must believe in Jesus to be saved (Jno. 8:24). Sinners must confess Jesus the Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). Sinners must repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). Sinners must be baptized for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38). Since all of us have sinned, the gospel plan of salvation is for everyone (Rom. 3:23; Mk. 16:15-16). If someone asks you, “Why should I become a Christian?”, how will you reply? Here are a few of the reasons to become a Christian. (If you are not a Christian, then we ask you to carefully examine your spiritual condition, and become a Christian without delay.)

Why you should become a Christian:

1) To be forgiven of your sins against God. Sin is the violation of God’s law, either by committing acts that are against His will, or by omitting conduct that He commands (1 Jno. 3:4; 5:17; Jas. 4:17). It is also a sin to violate one’s conscience (Rom. 14:23; Acts 23:1). While the conscience is not a guide in deciding what is and is not sinful, it is to be respected and not rendered useless by repeatedly ignoring it (1 Tim. 4:2). Every morally accountable adult, at one time or another, has sinned against God (Rom. 3:23). Until one becomes a Christian, the sinner remains dead in sin. Sin is a weight that enslaves us and brings us under the just penalty of spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). But, Jesus said, “I will give you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-30). Rest from the pain and penalty of sin is obtained through the blood of Jesus (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). He died so we can have eternal life (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 5:8-11). When the sinner obeys the gospel by being baptized into His death, he or she is saved, redeemed by the blood of Jesus (Rom. 6:3-4).

2) To have the proper direction in your life. In a world where people constantly seek what is new, different and exciting (things that never completely satisfy the soul), Jesus Christ gives direction to our lives that is enriching, enduring and joyful (Jno. 16:22; Phil. 4:4-7). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jno. 14:6). The guidance Jesus gives us leads to the very throne of God. He also said, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (Jno. 8:12). When you become a Christian, you choose to follow the true light that gives you spiritual life (read Jno. 1:4-5, 9). When you decide to be a Christian you decide to walk in the light instead of sin’s darkness (Eph. 4:17-24; 5:8-10; 1 Jno. 1:7).

3) To receive present blessings and finally, eternal life. We speak of the spiritual blessings of brotherhood in the family of God (Eph. 1:3). Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mk. 10:29-30). Untold blessings are ours in the house of God. Such blessings as encouragement, exhortation, teaching, prayer, support, rebuke, love – all these and more are ours in Christ as we live among fellow Christians. Christians live sharing, caring lives. They do not seclude themselves from their brethren in Christ. Some have said Christianity promotes communal living, but they misunderstand. Christians have the attitude that “what is my is yours,” gladly sharing without thought of return (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32, 34-35). Rest assured, whatever you give up to become a Christian will be received back in blessings many times over in this life. And finally, you will receive the greatest blessing of all – eternal life (Matt. 25:21, 34, 46).

4) To escape the penalty of sin – eternal death. Judgment is coming (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12-15). If we die in sin, our judgment will be unto condemnation (Rom. 2:6-10). God commands everyone to repent, because a day of judgment is coming, and then there will be no escape from His wrath against your sins (Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 2:4-5; Heb. 9:27). Will you obey God and be saved today? Or, will you continue to ignore your sin and the coming judgment? 


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

Be Thankful

Scripture Reading: Psalm 100

1. It is God’s will that we give thanks in everything, 1 Thess. 5:18.
2. A secularized society is not thankful to God, Rom. 1:21-22; 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
3. Life is better, richer and fuller where there is thankfulness, Heb. 13:15.

4. Life is darkened with doubt, worry and sin where thankfulness is absent, Rom. 1:21.


  A. The Blessing of Faith, Psa. 107:1, 8-9, 21-22; 31-32; 79:13; Psa. 136 (Jno. 10:27-28); 2 Cor. 9:15.
  B. The Blessing of a Joyful Life, 1 Thess. 5:16-18; Psa. 97:10-12; Eccl. 5:19; 9:9.
  C. The Blessing of Contented Life, Heb. 13:5; Phil. 4:10-13 (6);  2 Cor. 12:9-10.
  D. The Blessing of Giving, Acts 20:34-35;  Prov. 22:9; 21:13.


  A. Ingratitude Often Repays Good with Evil, Neh. 9:17; Lk. 6:35; Lk. 14:11.
  B. Ingratitude Displays Self-Centeredness, Jas. 3:14-16.
  C. Ingratitude is Expressed by Murmuring, Complaining and Bitterness, Num. 11:1, 4-6; 21:4-5.
  D. Ingratitude Views Others with Envy and Jealousy, Gal. 5:20-21; 1 Pet. 2:1-3.

1. Thanks be to God, who gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 15:57.
2. Count your many blessings.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Disguising Sin
Joe R. Price

A gun disguised to look like a child’s toy was among the items seized last week during a traffic stop in Covington, Louisiana, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office... Detectives discovered heroin, methamphetamine, a large amount of cash and drug paraphernalia. In addition to the narcotics, detectives located a 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun that was was (sic) wrapped in the popular children’s character “The Minions” duct tape. Authorities believe this was to make the gun look like a toy in an attempt to throw off law enforcement.” (“Meth and ‘Minions’: Drug suspects tried to disguise gun as toy, deputies say,”

Such is the nature of sin. It disguises itself as innocent fun, as harmless relationships, as safe counsel.

Jesus teaches us the devil is a liar and the father of lies (Jno. 8:44). His minions lie to us about the danger of sin in our lives. They do not care about our spiritual safety; only our spiritual ruin as they try to take advantage of us (cf. Gal. 6:12-13). It is no surprise, then, that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and that his servants make themselves appear to be servants of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15).

Faith and effort are required to see through the disguises of sin (1 Pet. 5:8-9). Sins of immorality disguise themselves as entertainment, as family recreation, and even as love. The sin of false teaching disguises itself as “freedom in Christ” while it causes bondage of both mind and soul (2 Pet. 2:19; Jude 3-4; Gal. 1:6-10).

Let us nurture our love for truth, increasing in knowledge and all spiritual discernment. By doing so we can approve what is excellent, and also recognize sin, reject it and expose it (Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 5:11). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  10/30/2016

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