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


Volume 21, Number 31

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rich Brooks

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Is Viewing Pornography Committing Adultery?
Joe R. Price

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27–28, NKJV)

Sin, including the sin of adultery, begins in the heart. The actual sin of adultery puts lust into action. In other words, adultery is the physical action of a lustful heart (Heb. 13:4). The sin of lust occurs in the heart, and it leads to the sin of adultery, which is committed with the body and against the purpose of the body (1 Cor. 6:18).

Lust and adultery are two distinct sins, with one leading to the other. (This is similar to hate in the heart and murder – two sins, with one leading to the other, 1 Jno. 3:14-15.) Some say Matthew 5:28 justifies putting away a spouse who has committed a lustful action (such as viewing pornography). Viewing pornography is certainly a sin of fleshly lust, but it is not the sin of adultery (Gal. 5:19). (One can lust without committing adultery, but one cannot commit adultery without lust being in the heart.) We cannot redefine adultery to include pornography, and then legitimize putting away a spouse for the cause of pornography.

Viewing pornography and committing adultery are distinct sins. Viewing pornography is lewdness, uncleanness, evil desire, and sinful passion (Col. 3:5-7). But, it is not the sin of adultery. Let us help people repent of viewing pornography and repair the damage done to their marriages by this lustful conduct. But, let us not sanction divorce and remarriage for the cause of lust (pornography), and call it “for the cause of fornication” (Matt. 19:9).     -Sword Tips #1728, June 18, 2019 


The "No Midriff" Rule
Joe R. Price

The 1992 animated Disney movie ‘Aladdin’ featured Princess Jasmine adorned in a midriff, bellybutton revealing costume. That outfit does not exist in the new, recently released Disney live-action version of ‘Aladdin.’ “‘We wanted to modernize the movie, and some things are inappropriate these days for families,’ says ‘Aladdin’ producer Dan Lin” (“The rule was ‘no midriff’: Why Jasmine doesn’t bare her belly in ‘Aladdin,’ Carly Mallenbaum,

We are pleased by this reversal of moral sensibilities for the sake of families (even though it is curious why families were not held in the same esteem in 1992). Exposing the midriff shows a lack of moral shame, while exposing one’s nakedness for all to gaze upon (1 Tim. 2:9-10; Gen. 3:7, 10, 21; Exo. 28:40-42; Isa. 47:1-3). Adam’s nakedness (which God covered with clothes), and the priestly trousers worn at the altar, remind us that men as well as women are subject to God’s rule of modest clothing (Gen. 3:21; Exo. 28:42).

A second explanation was given for keeping Jasmine covered up in the new movie. “Producer Jonathan Eirich had another reason to keep Jasmine from wearing crop tops: his wife. ‘I’m still married because Jasmine’s not (baring her) midriff.’” (Ibid)

This brings into question one of the common responses heard from women who defend immodest clothing. It is argued that what a woman wears (or doesn’t wear) is irrelevant to the actions of men. “If a man lusts after me because of what I am wearing, then it is his problem, not mine,” has been said with some frequency in the past. Perhaps that sentiment is on its way out. Anyway, the producer knew his wife would have a problem with the impact another woman’s lack of clothing would have on her husband. Hence, the “no midriff” rule.

We certainly agree men bear their own responsibility not to look upon women lustfully. Men should never treat women rudely,  abusively, and violently, regardless of their appearance. Women also bear their own responsibility not to wear immodest clothing, potentially lighting the fires of lust in a man’s heart (Prov. 7:10, Matt. 18:6-7).

Additionally, clothing can be immodest without ever inciting a sinful thought in the heart of another person. The lack of shamefastness (propriety) and moderation (sobriety) in the heart is reflected by wearing immodest apparel (1 Tim. 2:9). Whether clothing actually incites another person to lust is an additional sin to the immodest apparel, not the basis upon which clothing is or is not deemed immodest in the first place.

Clothing says something about a person. It said something about Adam and Eve. It said something about the high priest (Exo. 28:2). It said something about the priests at the altar (Exo. 28:42-43). Clothing matters to God, and it should matter to Christians, too. Even a movie producer’s wife knows there is a moral component to clothing. Let us all be careful to clothe ourselves with the modesty and self-control that professes godliness (1 Tim. 2:10). 


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

The Love of God in Christ
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Romans 5:6-11

1.  God is love, 1 Jno. 4:8. We know love because God showed His love for us by sending His Son into the world so we can live, 1 Jno. 4:9-11.
2.  His love is our model to love one another, 1 Jno. 4:7, 11.
3.  God’s love (active good will) for us is on full display in the death of Jesus.

                                Without Christ                                                                     With Christ

Powerless (Dead)
To save ourselves and others, Rom. 3:20

Life through the Son, 1 Jno. 4:9

Ungodly, Rom. 1:18; 2 Tim. 3:5

Loved, Eph. 2:4-5

Sinners, Rom. 5:12; Jas. 4:17; 1 Jno. 5:17

Sacrifice, 5:6, 8 (Jno. 12:32; Heb. 9:26-28; 10:10)

Guilty, Rom. 3:19 (9-18)

Justified (acquitted of sin’s guilt), Rom. 1:17
-By grace, Rom. 3:23-24
-By faith, Rom. 4:5-8

Lost, Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:16

 -From wrath, Rom. 5:9

 -By His life, Rom. 5:10

Enemies, Col. 1:21

Reconciled, Rom. 5:10, 11; Eph. 2:14-18

Despair (no hope), Acts 2:37; Eph. 2:12

Joy, Rom. 5:11; Acts 8:39

1.  The love of God is not in your life unless Christ is in your life.
2.  He is only in your life through faith (baptized into Christ), Gal. 3:26-27.
3.  Having been raised from sin’s death because of His death, we must live for Him in the joy of our salvation, obediently serving righteousness, Rom. 6:3-4, 13.
4.  Love God and do His will, because He first loved you by sending His Son to die for you.


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

Learning to be Content
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Philippians 4:8-14

How can we live in contentment as we face health issues, financial hardships, emotional traumas, and trials because of our faith?

  A. “Sufficient for One’s Self,” Phil. 4:11.
  B. Contentment in Valuing Spiritual Things Above Material, Prov. 30:7-9; Lk. 9:57-58.
  C. Contentment is Not Complacency or Resignation, Eccl. 4:4-6; 5:12; 9:7-10 (6:7-9).


  A. Look to Jesus, Heb. 12:1-2; 13:5-6.
  B. Learn to Distinguish between My Wants and My Needs, Phil. 4:11; 2 Cor. 12:8-9.
  C. Properly Value What is Truly Important, Lk. 10:38-42. (Psa. 37:16; Prov. 16:8)
  D. Learn that My State is not My State of Mind, Phil. 4:11; Heb. 11:32-39.
  E. Learn to Rely on the Strength of Christ, Phil. 4:13; Eph. 3:16-21; 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
  F. Learn What is Within My Capacity and Responsibility to Do (Change), and What is Not, Job 1:20-22; Acts 23:11-35; 25:11.
  G. Learn to be Thankful in Every Circumstance of Life, and to Always Express My Thankfulness, 1 Thess. 5:18; Eph. 1:3.
  H. Guard Against Envying Others (crucify the flesh), Gal. 5:24-26 (Rom. 12:15).
  I. Respect God’s Sovereignty and Humble Myself before Him, Job 1:20-22; 42:1-6.

1. Learn to be content by obedience, Heb. 5:8-9.
2. Contented people serve others (look outward, not inward), Phil. 4:13.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Judges and Their Judgments
Joe R. Price

June is the month when major decisions are released by the U. S. Supreme Court before its summer recess. Just today, for example, the court ruled 7-2 against removing the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland from public land (a memorial to troops killed in WWI). The American Humanist Association had challenged it as a violation of the Establishment Clause (freedom of religion).

Judicial systems should be impartial, rendering judgments based on the law and the evidence presented to the court. God commanded justice in the courts of Israel (Deut. 1:16-17). When they failed to execute justice, God rebuked the judges (Psa. 82:1-5). When they would not repent, He punished them (Psa. 82:6-8; Amos 5:12-15, 18-27). Since God continues to rule in the affairs of men, we are confident He continues to execute His judgments against unjust, evil nations (Dan. 4:25-27, 32-35; Acts 17:26).

Christians are taught to respect and submit to civil authorities because they are set in place by God (Rom. 13:1-6). But, what about when judges pervert justice and fail to protect the innocent and punish the guilty?

When the judgments of men infringe on our obedience to God, we must continue to obey God (Acts 5:29). When they do not, even though they may be unjust, we yield because of conscience toward God (Rom. 13:5). Jesus does not teach us to incite rebellion against civil authorities. Take the Roman Empire as an example. That godless, murderous regime persecuted the saints for their faith and refusal to worship Caesar (Rev. 13:7-10). The saints were told to be patient and faithful – God would defeat the beast – and He did (Rev. 6:9-11; 13:10; 14:6-13; 17:1). Rome was defeated, and the saints are victors in Christ (Rev. 17:14).

Give place to the wrath of God, trusting that He will repay (Rom. 12:17-19). Overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:20-21). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  06/24/2019

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