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


Volume 21, Number 09

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

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Satisfied with God's Church
Joe R. Price

David rejoiced in the salvation and kind providence of God when he wrote, “Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple” (Psalm 65:4). Just as Israel was to be satisfied dwelling in God’s presence, content with the good provisions He gave to Zion, so also Christians (who compose the temple of God today) are to be satisfied with God’s provisions in His holy temple, the church (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-10). Do you rejoice because you dwell with God in His house (1 Tim. 3:15)? Are you satisfied with the church and its heavenly provisions? While we sincerely hope so, it is also evident that some Christians are not satisfied with the goodness of the church.

Some are not satisfied with God’s provisions of musical worship He has arranged for His church. Failing to accept the adequacy of singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord, they have added another kind of music – instrumental – to God’s revealed pattern (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Dissatisfied with teaching and admonishing one another other with “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs,” they go beyond what is written by adding man made instruments, choosing to offer God strange music, which He has not commanded (Lev. 10:1-2; Jno. 4:24). We should be “satisfied with the goodness” of God’s house by giving Him the musical worship He commands.

Some are not satisfied with God’s provisions for the work of the local church. He has given churches the work of evangelism, edification of the saints, and the relief of needy brethren (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Thess. 1:8; 1 Cor. 14:26; Acts 4:32-37; 11:27-30, et al.). In these revealed works God provides for salvation, spiritual nourishment, and physical sustenance. To add social, political, educational, and recreational activities grossly corrupts the sufficiency of the local church, its organization and its God-given work (Acts 2:42-46; 14:23; Phil. 1:1).

The church does not belong to us any more than the tabernacle and then the Jerusalem temple belonged to Israel. The church belongs to Christ, and we are its members (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47). The clay does not say to the potter, “why have you made me like this?” (Rom. 9:20) God built the church as His habitation with His people. It is our place to rejoice that we dwell in God’s presence, being content that He provides us with “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Per. 1:3-4; Eph. 1:3). 


Why Instrumental Music?
Joe R. Price

The word of God teaches us that whatever we “do in word of deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). We earnestly endeavor to do this by having “book, chapter and verse” for what we teach and practice.

We would expect all who intend to follow this apostolic directive to also be willing to give “book, chapter and verse” for what they teach and do. “By what authority are you doing these things?” is a legitimate question (Matt. 21:23).

How we answer this question reveals our attitude toward the Bible and how we use it. Is it the inspired word of God that thoroughly equips us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17)? Or, is it the words of men without binding authority? Is it relevant today, or out of date for the modern world? Such answers are revealed when people are challenged to give Bible authority for what they teach and do.

We must also be willing to have our Bible answers tested against the Scriptures so that we can correct error and follow truth (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Jno. 4:1, 6). We are not looking for a mere intellectual exchange, but for honest reasoning together from Scripture so we will know and obey the truth (Acts 17:2-4).

Therefore, we ask a sincere Bible question: Why do you use instrumental music in your worship? From the Bible, please show us why should Christians should do so. (Let us consider one of the answers often given by those who use instrumental music in their worship.)

We are told, “The Greek verb psallo in Ephesians 5:19 (“making melody”) includes instrumental music.” The noun form is psalmos (psalms) and is “a striking, twanging, … a striking the chords” (Thayer, 675). Thayer comments on its use in 1 Corinthians 14:26 of “one who has it in his heart to sing or recite a song” (Ibid). The verb psallo is “from psō, “to rub, wipe; to handle, touch,” and means “to pluck off, pull out, to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang” (Ibid). The word was used anciently to mean making instrumental music, but it also underwent changes through the centuries (Old Light on New Worship, John Price, 201-204). By the first century psallo was used to mean “to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song, James 5:13 (R.V. sing praise)” (Thayer).

In the Greek language one could “psallo” a hair, a bowstring, a carpenter’s line, or chords on a musical instrument. What was touched or plucked was determined by its contextual usage.

Ephesians 5:19 says, “singing and making melody in your heart.” Singing is not playing. What is played (plucked) is the heart (not an instrument). While one sings he makes melody in his heart to the Lord.

To force musical instruments into the word psallo is no more warranted than forcing water into the meaning of baptizo (to baptize). The element of baptism is not contained in the word “baptize.” It could be water, the Holy Spirit, fire, suffering, or something else. Similarly, the element with which one makes melody (psallo) is not contained in the word. It is not automatically a musical instrument. It is the heart in Ephesians 5:19. To force an organ or any other musical instrument into this verse fundamentally distorts the word used by the Holy Spirit.

If the verse said, “making melody with musical instruments” we would do it. But, it does not. We are content to sing, making melody in our hearts. Are you? Or, will you force an instrument into the verse that is not there? Please don’t do that. We must never be comfortable with adding to God’s word (1 Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:8-9). 


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

The Character of One Who Dwells with the Lord  Pt 1 and Pt 2
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 15:1-5

Psalm 15: Definition of the righteous person. Character of integrity and holiness of the one who dwells in God’s presence and favor.
  -Psa. 15:1: The question is raised.
  -Psa. 15:2-5: The question is answered.


  A. Walks Uprightly (2); Psa. 26:3; 1:1; Prov. 2:1-15; 4:5-9; Col. 2:3.
  B. Works Righteousness (2); 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22; 3:16-17; Heb. 13:18; Isa. 33:14ff.
  C. Speaks Truth in His Heart (2); Phil. 4:8.
  D. Despises Irreverence and Honors Reverence (4); Psa. 24:3-5; Rom. 1:32.
  E. Keeps His Word, Even When it Hurts (4); Josh. 9:18-19; Matt. 5:33-37.


  A. Does not Backbite (3); Rom. 1:30.
  B. Does not do Evil to His Neighbor (3); Prov. 24:29 (Matt. 7:12).
  C. Does not Spread Damaging Reports of a Friend (3); 1 Cor. 13:5; Jas. 5:8-9.
  D. Does not Take Advantage of Others (5). Usury (LOM, Exo. 22:25; Lev. 25:36)
  E. Does not Profit by Harming the Innocent (5). Take no bribes (Isa. 1:23; 5:23; Jer. 22:17; Ezek. 22:12)

1. God will bless the righteous, although the world will not, Psa. 5:12.
2. “He who does these things shall never be moved,” Psa. 15:5; 2 Pet. 1:10-11.


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

God's Grace and You
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 107:1-9

1. We must have God’s grace, or we are all condemned by our own sins.
2. Grace: Gift, favor, goodwill, lovingkindness that is given without merit, undeserved.
3. False views exist; we want the Bible view, the “true grace” of God, 1 Pet. 5:12.

I. GRACE CAME TO THE WORLD IN JESUS CHRIST, Jno. 1:14-17 (Lk. 2:14); Tit. 2:11.

  A. God’s Grace has been Revealed in Jesus and Proclaimed in His Word of Truth, Jno. 1:14, 17; Acts 14:3; 20:24; Col. 1:5-6; Gal. 1:6-7.
  B. It Made Salvation Available to All Sinners, Titus 2:11; Jno. 1:12.


 A. God Offers Grace to Everyone (you, too!), Tit. 2:11; 1 Tim. 2:3-4.
  B. Lost Sinners are Saved by God’s Grace, Jno. 1:16-17; 14:6; Eph. 2:4-5, 8-9; Rom. 3:24; Tit. 3:5-7; Acts 15:11.
  C. Faith is the Condition We Must Meet to be Saved by Grace, Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:16; Heb. 11:17; Jas. 2:21-24; Rom. 1:16-17), Rom. 5:2.


  A. Christians Stand in Grace by Faith, Rom. 5:2; Gal. 2:20-21.
  B. Christians Continue in Grace, Acts 13:43 (11:23); Rom. 6:1-2, 6, 11, 14; Jude 4.
  C. Christians Grow in Grace, 2 Pet. 3:18; 1 Cor. 15:10 (Acts 20:32; Col. 4:6).
  D. Christians are Strengthened in Grace, 2 Tim. 2:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:7-10; 12:8-10.

God gives “everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,” 2 Thess. 2:16-17 (Rom. 11:5).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Two End and One Begins
Joe R. Price

Business and entertainment news reports the end of two high-profile marriages and the (soon to be) start of another one. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie (parents of four children) are ending their 25-year marriage. It seems Bezos, worthy $137 billion, has a girlfriend, Hollywood celeb Lauren Sanchez. Sanchez, who has a son from her first marriage to NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez, is currently separated from her second husband, talent agent Patrick Whitesell. (

Adultery. Lies. Betrayal. Pain. Doubt. Fear. The list goes on. God has many reasons for the permanency of marriage, not the least of which is the moral, spiritual, emotional and economic stability of the family (Gen. 2:18-24). The intrusion of sexual betrayal into marriage gives reason for putting the guilty person away, but the pain is still very real (Matt. 19:9). Too many people are too easily swayed to end their marriages for any cause (Matt. 19:3-6). No amount of monetary settlement makes up for the hurt of divorce – no matter what anyone says. Divorce is not pretty. It hurts.

Another marriage is about to begin. Former NFL star Tim Tebow got engaged this week to former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Tebow gave the 23-year-old South African beauty queen a 7.25-carat engagement ring. “I’m so excited for the wedding, and I can’t wait to spend forever with Tim,” she said. ( We wish them well and hope they know God will join them together for life (Matt. 19:6; Rom. 7:2-3). Vows are serious business (Eccl. 5:4-5).

Have you noticed we need a lot more marriage planners and a lot fewer wedding planners? Money can’t buy love, nor can it insure a successful marriage. If you are about to marry, get your priorities straight: God first, then your spouse, and then yourself (Matt. 6:33; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). If you are married, keep your priorities straight: God first, then your spouse, and then yourself. (See how easy that is?!) In truth, marriage demands sacrifice, service, and steadfastness. Are you up to the challenge? If so, blessings await (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 5:15-20; Eccl. 9:9; Heb. 13:4-6). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  01/14/2019

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