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


Volume 21, Number 47

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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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

Work, for the Night is Coming
Joe R. Price

3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:3–5, NKJV)

The diligence with which Jesus labored is a model of zeal, endurance, and accomplishment. As He prepared to heal a man who was blind from birth, He explained the principle which drove Him each day. He had been given work to do by His Father (who sent Him to the earth). His time on the earth was limited, and so He diligently went about doing His Father’s work (which was teaching the gospel and showing Himself to be “the light of the world” – the Christ, the Son of God).

Even as the Father gave the Son work to do, so also Christians are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Paul urged Titus to “affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” (Tit. 3:8). We must learn to maintain the good works of God, and by doing them we are fruitful in God’s service (Tit. 3:14).

With Jesus as our model, let us be zealous to walk in (do, practice) the good works of God each day, by living soberly, righteously, and godly (Tit. 2:11-12). Night is coming for us all, when our time to labor for the Lord will end. So, as long as we have today, let us be diligent children of light who do the Father’s will, and “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:9-12). 

(Sword Tips #1832, expanded)


"We Have the Mind of Christ"
Joe R. Price

As Paul “determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” we are confident this description of how he declared the “testimony of God” was true of each apostle of Christ (1 Cor. 2:1-2). How is it the apostles could confidently claim the “word of the cross” they preached was the will (mind) of Christ for all of humanity (1 Cor. 1:18; cf. Matt. 28:18-20)? Can we have confidence that we know the will of Christ today?

The second chapter of 1 Corinthians explains how the mind of Christ was communicated from heaven to the apostles, and through them, to us. By the miracles of revelation (2:10-12), confirmation (2:4-5), and inspiration (2:13), the word of the cross (the gospel, the mind of Christ) is available to all (2:16). We have the mind of Christ and do His will when we receive and abide in the gospel the apostles preached.

The mind of Christ was revealed by the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:10-11). It is an obvious truth that none of us knows the mind of another person unless and until that person communicates to us. It is equally true that we do not know the mind of God until He gives us His will. The Spirit of God gave “the things of God” to the apostles of Christ (1 Cor. 2:12; Jno. 16:12-13).

The mind of Christ has been validated by miracles (1 Cor. 2:4). Miraculous demonstrations of the Spirit of God confirmed the apostolic message was from God, not man (Mk. 16:17-20; Acts 14:3; 19:6). Our faith does not rest upon “cunningly devised fables” (2 Pet. 1:16). The gospel has been certified genuine by miraculous signs (Gal. 1:11; Heb. 2:3-4).

The mind of Christ has been proclaimed by inspiration (1 Cor. 2:13). According to Paul, the Spirit of God taught the apostles what to speak. This harmonizes with Christ’s promise that the Spirit of the Father would speak in His apostles (Matt. 10:16-20). We confidently affirm the Scriptures have been breathed out (inspired) by God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

The mind of Christ is tantamount to the gospel the Holy Spirit gave the apostles to preach to the world. Yet, everyone does not receive the gospel for what it is, the power and wisdom of God. Paul explains why in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.

The gospel of Jesus Christ will not penetrate the heart of the “natural man” (1 Cor. 2:14). He “does not receive the things of the Spirit of God” (the gospel, the mind of the Lord, 1 Cor. 2:10-13, 16). Reminiscent of Proverbs 14:12 (“there is a way that seems right to a man…”), he lives according to human reasoning (“the wisdom of this age,” 1 Cor. 2:6) instead of divine truth. His carnal way of thinking prevents the spiritual discernment needed to receive truth (1 Cor. 3:1-3). To him, “the message of the cross is foolishness.” He perishes in his sins (1 Cor. 1:18).

By contrast, the one who is “spiritual” “judges (evaluates) all things” in the light of God’s revelation (1 Cor. 2:15). The spiritual person does not tell God what His will is (or should be, 1 Cor. 2:16; Isa. 40:13; Rom. 11:34). The spiritual person trusts and obeys the gospel – the revealed mind of Christ. Those who rely on themselves resist the mind of the Lord, while the spiritual person receives the mind of Christ.  

We must devote ourselves to always be the spiritual person who gladly receives the word revealed by the Spirit of God, so that we truly “have the mind of Christ.” 


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

Faith and a Good Conscience PT1  PT2
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 1:15-20

1. Faith and a good conscience are essential to “wage the good warfare,” 1 Tim. 1:18-20 (3:9).
2. Conscience often misunderstood.
3. What the conscience can be and should be.
4. Like Paul we must strive to always have a clean conscience before God and men, Acts 24:16.


  A. It is the Faculty of Mind by Which We Assess Right and Wrong, Acts 23:1; 1 Tim. 1:12; Gen. 1:27.
  B. The Function of Conscience is to Either Commend Us or Condemn Us (our conduct) to Ourselves, Rom. 2:15; Gen. 42:21; Jno. 8:9; cf. 1 Cor. 8:7.
  C. Conscience Functions on the Basis of the Knowledge it Possesses (the training it has received), Rom. 2:15; Rom. 3:20; 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12. cf. 1 Cor. 8:4, 7-10


  A. It Can Only be Cleansed by the Blood of Christ, Heb. 9:9, 14; 10:22; 1 Pet. 3:21.

III. TRAIN THE CONSCIENCE. Phil. 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 2 Tim. 1:3.


  A.    What Defiles the Conscience? Rom. 14:23 (5; 1 Cor. 8:7, 10, 12); Jas. 4:17; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; Rom. 13:5 (2 Cor. 1:12; Heb. 13:18).

1. A good conscience operates in “full assurance of faith,” Heb. 10:22.
2. Our conscience is valuable. Train it with truth, and it will serve you well.


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

The Lord Has Need of You
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 3:14-21

1. There is a sense in which the Lord does not need us, Acts 17:25; Psa. 50:10-12.
2. In another sense, God has chosen to make US crucial to His plans and will – His children who further His purposes on earth, Jno. 15:5; Phil. 2:14-16 (Matt. 5:13); Mk. 16:15.


  A. Some have No Room for Christ in their Hearts, cf. Lk. 2:7; Jno. 8:37, 38, 41-47.
  B. Some Have Too Little Room for Christ, Mk. 4:18-19.
  C. Some Will Give Christ Full Room in their Hearts, Phil. 3:5-11; Acts 10:33 (2, 22); 11:14; Eph. 3:14-19; Gal. 2:20.


  A. Who Will Sacrifice for Him, Jno. 21:15-19; Lk. 9:23-26.
  B. Who Will be Diligent, Rom. 12:11; Heb. 6:11-12; 2 Pet. 1:5; 3:14.


  A. Who Will Pray Earnestly, 1 Thess. 5:17; Jas. 5:16; Jas. 4:3; 1 Jno. 5:14-15.
  B. Who Will Use God's Word Accurately, 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:3-4.
  C. Live for Heaven, Phil. 3:20; 1 Pet. 2:11-12.

1. “Christ has no hands but our hands, to do His work today…”
2. Christ wants you; He needs you.
3. The real question is, do you want Christ?


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Squirreling Away for Winter
Joe R. Price

When Holly Persic’s car made strange noises and burning smells on her way to the Allegheny County, PA library earlier this month, she called her husband to let him know about the trouble. When she opened the hood she found an engine full of walnuts packed in grass. A squirrel had used the weekend to stow away “over 200 (not an exaggeration) walnuts and grass under the hood,” husband Chris said on Facebook. After an hour of clean up, he reported, “There’s definitely an angry squirrel wife right now wondering where all the nuts went” (Squirrels’ stash of winter walnuts causes car chaos,

This humorous story has a spiritual lesson. The animal world prepares for the future; so should we. Wise king Solomon told of the ant who “provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” as a rebuke to the sluggard who faces poverty for sleeping when he should be at work (Prov. 6:6-11).

This is not only a lesson for a diligent work ethic on the job and around our homes. It also speaks to the important work we have of being about the Lord’s business. Each Christian has a load (responsibility) we must bear (Gal. 6:5). If we are lazy and negligent to do the good works of God while it is day, we will not be ready when the Lord comes (Jno. 9:4-5; 1 Thess. 5:4-8).

Jesus said “The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38). Is there someone you can teach the gospel? Is there something you can do to advance God’s kingdom? If so, then don’t delay. Squirrels don’t. Neither do ants. Shall we? 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  10/14/2019

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