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


Volume 21, Number 17

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
Rich Brooks

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Goodness and Severity of God
Heath Rogers

It seems to me that many people have an unbalanced view of God. Some picture Him as angry and vengeful, thinking He enjoys our suffering and looks for opportunities to punish us for our failures. Others prefer to view God as a cosmic grandfather figure, sitting up in Heaven in a rocking chair, looking for opportunities to get us out of trouble and waiting to grant our every wish. Neither view is accurate.

Paul told the Romans: "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22). God is capable of both goodness and severity. This should not surprise us, for we are capable of both, and we have been made in God's image.

The reason God can show kindness, patience, and grace to man while also being capable of indignation, anger, and wrath is because God is impartial. He is no respecter of persons. God will always approach man with kindness, patience, and grace. However, if these are rejected and one persists in sin and rebellion against God, he will receive God's wrath.

Earlier in the Roman letter, Paul had described God as rendering "to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness - indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God" (Rom. 2:6-11).

It is a dangerous thing to have an unbalanced view of God. God is not out to get you, but He will punish you for your sin. Receive the forgiveness He offers you through the gospel.

-Knollwood Reminder


Don't Give Up
Heath Rogers

This past Monday night, Mike Hepner and I went to a Dayton Dragons' baseball game. The most impressive thing about the game for us were our seats: seventh row, right behind home plate! From our seats I could see a baseball game in a way I never had before. I could see the ball coming from the pitcher's mound as the batter does. I could see the trajectory of balls that were hit into the outfield. I could see into both team's dugouts. These were great seats (thanks Steve).

The game was close. Both teams scored a run in the first inning, then a pitchers' duel was on for the next seven innings. Each team got close a few times, but the score remained the same until the top of the ninth inning. Lansing scored two runs and held on to win.

Few things are as exciting in sports as a last-minute victory. The walk-off home run and the last second field goal make the highlight reels. I am not a basketball fan, but even I can enjoy the last minute of a close college basketball game. I guess a last second, tie-breaking goal in soccer or hockey can be exciting (I am not convinced that people watch either of those sports).

One of the important lessons learned in sports is to never give up! Never quit! If you are ahead, don't let up - the game isn't over yet! If you are behind, don't quit - anything can happen! This lesson can be applied to every walk of life, including the Christian's walk.

I remember hearing a very discouraging comment made by an older man in a business meeting when I was a young preacher. This man told the other men to take him off the duty roster. He was a song leader, and he took his turn leading prayers and waiting on the Lord's table. He could have offered any number of legitimate reasons for wanting to be removed from the list, but his statement was, "I have done enough. I am retiring. Let the other men do it." I have never forgotten how disappointed I was in his attitude. It made me ask myself, "Who gets to retire from serving the Lord?"

Abraham set off in obedience to the Lord at the age of 75. Moses was sent to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel at the age of 80. According to tradition, the apostle John died of old age. It was in the latter years of his life that he made his contribution to the New Testament, writing the gospel and epistles that bear his name, as well as the book of Revelation. These men did their most important work well after retirement age.

In this final letter to Timothy, Paul said, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness..." (2 Tim. 4:6-8a). Paul didn't quit. He fought all the way through to the end. This is how the faithful finish their race. The crown of righteousness is not given to those who give up, but to those who give their all.

Those who are older have a place in the Lord's church and in His work. We need you. We need your wisdom. We need your example. We need to hear your voice when we are singing and your comments when we are in Bible class. We need your efforts and encouragement. We need to see you run all the way through to the end.

Don't give up.

-Knollwood Reminder


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

"Our Gospel"
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 1:1-7

1. Great commission, Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 1:17.
2. “Our gospel,” 1 Thess. 1:5.

I. A REVEALED GOSPEL (“in word”), Jno. 16:13; Matt. 10:40; et al.

  A. The Word of God, 1 Thess. 2:13.
  B. We Must Examine and then Believe their Gospel, Acts 17:11-12.

II. A VALIDATED GOSPEL (“in power”).

  A. By Confirming Miracles, Mk. 16:17-20; Heb. 2:3-4.
  B. We Trust the Gospel because God Authenticated it with Miracles, Acts 14:1-3; 11:14-18. Gal. 1:11-12; 1 Cor. 1:23-24.

III. A CONVINCING GOSPEL (“in much assurance”).

  A. It Produces a Secure Faith, 1 Cor. 2:4-5.
  B. God Designed the Gospel to Strengthen and Secure Our Faith, 1 Thess. 1:3-4.

IV. A CONVERTING GOSPEL (“you know what kind of men we were… And you became followers of us and of the Lord…”), 1 Thess. 1:5-6.

  A. The Gospel Changed Paul, 1 Tim. 1:14-16; Gal. 1:13-16.
  B. That Same Gospel Has Changed Us, and It Will Change Others, Eph. 2:11-13.

1. We must preach the word for it to convert souls, Acts 8:4.
2 Seize our opportunities to help save some, with an unwavering commitment to apostolic gospel.


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

Why Pray?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 34:15-19

1. Sometimes Christians question the effectiveness of prayer (Jas. 5:16).
2. Why do we pray? Lk. 11:5-8; 18:1


  A. Because Jesus Taught Us to Pray, Lk. 11:1f.
  B. Because We are Commanded to Pray without Ceasing, 1 Thess. 5:17; Rom. 12:12.
  C. Because Prayer Expresses Our Faith in God, Psa. 34:15-19; Matt. 7:7-8; 21:20-22.
  D. Because God Hears Our Prayers, 1 Pet. 3:12; 1 Jno. 5:14.
  E. Because God Answers Our Prayers, 1 Jno. 3:22; 5:14-15.
  F. Because Prayer Keeps Our Focus on God and On Others, Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:25; 1 Tim. 2:1; Jas. 5:16.


  A. God Answers are Good, Matt. 7:9-11.
  B. God's Answers are According to His Will, Matt. 26:39, 42; 1 Jno. 5:14-15 (Eccl. 3:1-8); 2 Cor. 12:8-10; 1 Thess. 5:17-18.
  C. Faith Leads Us to Accept His Answers, Even When they Differ from Our Pleadings, 2 Cor. 12:8.

1. Prayer is not bringing demands to God to which He must conform.
2. Prayer is a child's dependent appeal to the Father, a hopeful request and a thankful acknowledgement of blessings.
3. Prayer is faith in action, trusting that God hears us and answers us with love and mercy – always in a way that is best for us while accomplishing His purposes.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Drug-Laced Food
Joe R. Price

Students protesting the food services contract at Western Washington University became ill earlier this month after eating marijuana-laced pasta someone from the community had supplied. Two students were treated and released. WWU’s food contractor did not supply the pasta. (David Rasbach, The Bellingham Herald)

Elisha miraculously removed the poison when there was “death in the pot” (2 Kgs. 4:38-41). (The “pot” in Elisha’s day was the cookware, not the offending ingredient!)

God told Ezekiel to eat the scroll of His word – consume its contents – and speak it to the house of Israel (Ezek. 3:1-4). John had a similar experience (Rev. 10:9-11). God’s word was sweet to their taste, but its judgments were bitter.

The spiritual food we eat matters. Jesus said to labor “for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you” (Jno. 6:27). Jesus is the “Bread of Life,” and we must consume His gospel and live by His word in order to have everlasting life (Jno. 6:35, 48, 58-68).

We become weak, spiritually sick, and eventually die when we fail to ingest and follow God’s word (1 Cor. 11:30).

Yea, verily, “There is death in the pot!”

1)  False teaching is death in the pot (Gal. 1:6-9). False gospels do not nourish; they deprive the soul of necessary nutrition. It matters what we believe, teach and live (2 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Jno. 9-11).

2) Imposing human traditions rather than God’s truth is death in the pot (Mk. 7:1-13; Col. 2:8, 20-23). The creeds and dictates of men still poison the purity of God’s word.

3) Trusting ourselves and our wisdom is death in the pot. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  03/17/2019

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