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


Volume 20, Number 15

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
Rich Brooks
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

"The Time of My Departure"
Joe R. Price

As Paul penned these words, he was staring death in the face:

6 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6–8)

Soon, Paul  would be executed for the name of Christ. Yet, far from being despondent, he viewed his approaching death as a sacrificial offering unto God. What nobility of faith, as Paul, full of assurance, anticipated his triumph over death in Christ, crowned with eternal triumph. And, not his only, but all who have loved the appearing of Jesus and His salvation.

As another calendar year comes to an end, we are thankful the Lord has spared our lives, and given us many good and perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17). 2017 gave us many opportunities to serve the Lord. It is our prayer that we have used His blessings wisely, and unto His honor.

I wonder whether I (we) will see another year come and go? Or, will 2018 see the summing up of my (our) time in the flesh? I do not know; none of us do. So, by faith we say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (Jas. 4:15).

Let us resolve in 2018, and for as long as the Lord grants us life in the flesh, to fight the good fight, to finish the race, and to keep the faith. Next year will see our warfare with the world continue (2 Cor. 10:3-6; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). But, Christ is victorious over the world, and our faith assurance our victory in Him (Jno. 16:33; Rev. 12:7-17; 17:14; 1 Jno. 5:4). Our race will continue to be set before us in 2018. We must lay aside every encumbrance and sin, and run with disciplined endurance to obtain the prize (Heb. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 9:24-27). And, we must continue to keep God’s commands, and guard the faith against the foes of truth and enemies of righteousness (1 Tim. 6:20-21; Jude 3).

The end is in sight. Do you see it? When you do, it changes your life forever. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14). 


Are there Christians in the Denominations?
Joe R. Price

This article will offend some people. That is not its intent. But, it happens when people love the darkness of error more than the light of truth (Jno. 3:19-21). Please, use the Bible to examine whether these things are so (Acts 17:11). If what is said is found to be true, believe it for the truth’s sake (Acts 17:12). If false, then expose it with the light of God’s word.

Denominationalism is not from God. Jesus built one church, which is His one body, “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4). The gospel of Christ condemns religious division: Christ is not divided (Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10-13). One is not following Jesus Christ when he practices what Jesus opposes. If God approves of denominationalism we would find clear and convincing Scriptures that teach it. We do not.

Christians are disciples of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26). A disciple learns and follows the will of His Master – Jesus (Lk. 6:40). Since Jesus never taught, endorsed or encouraged denominationalism, one is not following Jesus when he engages in it; he is sinning (Col. 3:17).

Jesus adds saved people to His church, not to denominations (Acts 2:47). Christ does not count among the saved those who teach and practice the errors of denominationalism; the Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:16-19).

If there are saved people – Christians – in the denominations, these conclusions follow:

1) Denominationalism makes the gospel plan of salvation unnecessary. Denominations do not preach and practice the Bible plan of salvation (believe, confess faith, repent and be baptized, Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38; 8:5, 12, 36-38; Rom. 10:9-10). If there are Christians in denominations then people can be saved without obeying the gospel (which is false, Matt. 7:21-23).

2) Denominationalism makes the church of Christ unnecessary. The New Testament teaches the church is essential to God’s eternal purpose of redemption (Eph. 3:10-11). God is glorified “in the church by Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:21). Yet, the denominations say one can be saved without being a member of their denomination. True enough, and therefore, denominations admit they are not essential. When one is saved the Lord adds him to His church, the blood-bought body of the redeemed (Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23).

3) Denominationalism makes contending for the faith futile and factious. If Christians are in denominations should we not embrace them as brethren instead of contending against their error (Jude 3-4)? The error of “Christians in the denominations” silences the Bible call to contend for the faith and to hold fast the pattern of sound words. Instead, we are told there are many faiths and God accepts them all (2 Tim. 1:13; Eph. 4:5).

4) Denominationalism makes fellowship with error acceptable. The New Testament teaches Christians not to have fellowship with error (Eph. 5:11). To suggest that false churches practicing error contain saved people (Christians) is a denial of every verse that warns against having fellowship with error (2 Jno. 9-11; Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).

Are there Christians in the denominations of men? No. Only the gospel of Christ will save them (Rom. 1:16-17; Col. 2:8). 


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

"I Have Overcome the World" (Part 1)


Scripture Reading:  Revelation 12:7-10

1. There is no greater struggle for men’s freedom nor a more glorious Conqueror than Jesus’ victory over sin and death and His exaltation on high, Rev. 12:7-10.
2. At great cost Jesus has “overcome the world” so you and I may live free, Jno. 12:27-33; 16:33.


  A. He Has Overcome Satan, 1 Jno. 3:8; cf. Rev. 12:8-9. cf. Heb. 2:14-15;
  -Now: We can resist the devil, Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9.

  B. He Has Overcome Sin, 2 Cor. 5:18-21; 1 Pet. 2:23-24 (Isa. 53:4-6); Rom. 8:3 (1-4).
  -Now: We overcome sin through Him, Rom. 6:5-11.

  C. He Has Overcome Death, Jno. 11:25-26; Rev. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:20; Rom. 6:21-23.
  -Now: In Christ we are “free from the law of sin and death,” Rom. 8:1-2.

  D. He Has Overcome the Darkness of Ignorance, Error and Immorality, Jno. 1:4-5; cf. Eph. 4:17-19; Lk. 2:29-32; Jno. 8:12; 14:6.
  -Now: We walk in the light and share in His cleansing, and live holy lives, 1 Jno. 1:6-7; Eph. 4:20-24.

  E. He Overcomes Every False Doctrine, 1 Jno. 4:1-4, 4-6 (Gal. 1:8-9).
  -Now: We will not be deceived by error, 1 Jno. 2:12-14.

1. Victory over Satan, sin and death is through Christ, 1 Cor. 15:50-57.
2. You can share in His victory, Rev. 22:17.


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

"I Have Overcome the World" (Part 2)


Scripture Reading:  Romans 8:31-39

1. Review Part 1: The victory of Christ (Rev. 12:1-10; Jno. 12:31).
2. Part 2: Victory in (through) Christ (Rev. 12:11-12; Rom. 8:37).


  A. By Our Faith in Christ, We Share in Christ’s Victories, Rev. 12:10.
  B. When We Live by Faith, We Overcome Satan (Rev. 12:11):
    1. By the blood of the Lamb, Eph. 1:7.
-Overcome sin and death, Rom. 6:1-3; Acts 22:16. Believe, repent and be baptized – Saved by His blood.
    2. By the word of their testimony, cf. Rev. 12:17; 14:12.
      a. Gospel, Acts 2:40; 20:20-21, 24, 32.
      b. Overcome Satan by word, 1 Jno. 2:13-14.
      c. Overcome darkness, error and immorality with the light of truth, Jno. 12:35-36.
      d. Overcome false teaching, 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
    3. By self-denial, Matt. 16:25; cf. Rom. 8:37-39 (35-39).
      a. The battle rages, so we must deny and endure, Rev. 12:17; 2 Tim. 2:3-4.
      b. We stand, when we are clothed in His armor, Eph. 6:13.
    4. Rejoice in the victory of Christ, Rev. 12:12; 17:14.

1. Hear and obey Christ, Rev. 3:20-21; 21:7.
2. He who overcomes shall inherit all things.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Fleeing Oppression
Joe R. Price

Another North Korean soldier braved the DMZ this week in a desperate attempt to flee North Korea. With the aid of a thick fog, the soldier escaped unharmed. On Wednesday, two North Korean civilians were found in a fishing boat, who also sought to defect. South Korea reports more than 880 North Koreans have defected to the South this year. Most have done so by way of China, rather than the demilitarized zone, which “features landmines, barbed wire, surveillance cameras, electric fencing and thousands of armed troops on both sides” (“North Korean Soldier Defects to South Across DMZ; Defections Up 3-Fold,” Reuters,

Just as these souls escaped the oppressive regime of North Korea, we must flee the oppressive regime of sin.

Fleeing sin requires a decision that changes your life forever. These people risked their lives to reach freedom. We must make an uncompromising decision to sacrifice ourselves to obtain freedom from our sins. We must deny ourselves and obey the gospel from the heart to be freed from sin’s bondage and death (Lk. 9:23; Rom. 6:17-18).

Fleeing sin means never going back. The souls who defect from North Korea can never return to their old lives, nor do they want to do so. When we escape sin by God’s gracious salvation, we must never return to it. “Shall we continue to sin, that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Rom. 6:1-2).

Fleeing sin means we will pursue a new life. These defectors risked their lives for a new life. Likewise, we are taught to “flee these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). When we escape the clutches of sin through the gospel of Christ, we must put on “the new man” and live holy lives. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  12/25/2017

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