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


Volume 22, Number 03

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


In this issue:

Bible Facts about the Church of Christ
Joe R. Price

* It belongs to God, 1 Timothy 3:15

* It is the temple of God, Ephesians 2:19-22

* It is the body of Christ, Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:24

* It is the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 16:18-19

* Christ is its foundation, Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:11

* Christ is its Builder, Head and Savior, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22; 5:23

* It is the bride of Christ and is loved by Him, Ephesians 5:25-32

* It is purchased by the blood of Christ, Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25

* It is sanctified and cleansed by Christ, Ephesians 5:26-27

* Sinners are baptized into it, 1 Corinthians 12:13

* Sinners are added to it by the Lord when saved, Acts 2:47

* It is subject to Christ in everything, Ephesians 5:24

* It is the object of God’s grace, 2 Corinthians 8:1

* It displays the wisdom of God, Ephesians 3:10

* God defends it, Romans 8:31-39

* God provides for its strength and service, Ephesians 4:11-16

* Glory is given to God in it, Ephesians 3:21

* It is composed of the elect of God, 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 1:4

* It is glorious, Ephesians 5:27

* It is united as one body, Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; 12:12; Eph. 4:3-4

* It is edified by truth, 1 Cor. 14:4; Eph. 4:15-16; John 17:17

* It is persecuted in this world, Acts 8:1-3; Matthew 5:10-12

* It is not to be despised, 1 Corinthians 11:22

* Those who defile it will be punished, 1 Corinthians 3:17

* Its extent is worldwide, Isaiah 2:2-4; Hebrews 12:22-23

* It will be delivered to the Father at resurrection, 1 Cor. 15:23-26 


The Kingdom of Christ Exists
Joe R. Price

Jesus preached the good news of an approaching kingdom, the establishment of which was “at hand” (Mk. 1:14-15). Its citizens are “not of this world” because the kingdom he came into the world to rule as king is “not of this world” (Jno. 8:36-37). Through the saving power of the gospel, the Father “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13). Christians populate the Son’s kingdom.

What is the kingdom Jesus preached and into which saved ones are transferred? Does this kingdom exist today? Or, is it yet to be established and its blessings fully realized? Is citizenship in this kingdom prospective, or actual? These are but some of the pertinent questions the Scriptures answer.

Without hesitation we affirm the Scriptures confirm the kingdom of Old Testament prophecy is the church Jesus built and to which saved souls are added. The kingdom of Christ is the church of Christ (Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 2:47).

Old Testament prophets saw the Messiah’s kingdom through eyes of faith and recorded divinely inspired messages of its nature, its coming, its king, and its citizens. New Testament apostles and prophets clearly declared the fulfillment of these kingdom prophecies (Psa. 2 in Acts 13:32-33; Isa. 2 in Lk. 24:47; Joel 2 in Acts 2:16-21; Dan. 2 in Mk. 9:1; and many others). For example, Luke noted Christ’s explained the “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” to His apostles by “opening their understanding” of the prophecies fulfilled in Him (Acts 1:2-3; Lk. 24:44-47).

John (the Messiah’s forerunner), then Jesus and his disciples, preached the kingdom was “at hand” and “near” (Matt. 3:2; 10:7; Mk. 1:14-15; Lk. 10:9). Indeed, “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it” (Lk. 16:16). Jesus said the coming of the kingdom of God is not “with observation” (visibly) of invading armies and glorious fanfare. Instead, in line with its spiritual nature, the kingdom is “within you” (Lk. 17:20-21). Many who hoped for a king and kingdom with such pomp saw Jesus enter Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, not upon a mighty steed (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:1-11). Days later their shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David” degenerated into “Let him be crucified!” (Matt. 27:20-23). Nevertheless, the kingdom came with power, just as Jesus said it would (Mk. 9:1; Acts 2:1-4).

Great commission preaching supported the conclusion that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of a king and His kingdom. Samaritans heard and believed Philip preaching “the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 8:12). In an Ephesian synagogue Paul “spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.” Kingdom preaching – “the word of the Lord Jesus” – produced disciples even though others were hardened against “the Way” (Acts 19:8-10). Years did not dilute Paul’s enthusiastic kingdom message. To a gathering of Jews in Rome he “explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23).

Jesus now reigns at the right hand of God. He is king of his kingdom, head of his church (Dan. 7:13-14; Acts 2:32-36; Eph. 1:20-23). Christians share in kingdom blessings while anticipating the reward of eternal life in the eternal kingdom (Eph. 1:3; Phil. 3:20; Rev. 1:9; 2 Pet. 1:10-11). 


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

Throwing Rocks
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  John 8:1-11

1. Jesus frustrated His enemies’ attempt to ensnare Him, Jno. 8:1-9 (Deut. 17:7).
2. Why do we unrighteously throw rocks at others?


  A. The Hypocrite Throws Rocks while Ignoring His Own (Similar) Sins, Jno. 8:7-9 (Matt. 23:29-35); Rom. 2:1-2; Matt. 7:1-5.
  B. At the Innocent While also being Guilty of Sin, Matt. 15:1-3; 12:1-2, 7; Rom. 2:17-24.
  C. Why Do Hypocrites Throw Rocks at Others? Matt. 23:23, 27-28, 24-25, 5-7, 12

II. PRIDE THROWS ROCKS AT THE HUMBLE (Lk. 18:14; Psa. 10:2), Jas. 4:10-12.

  A. Due to Self-Righteousness, Lk. 18:9 (Deut. 19:4-5); Prov. 30:12-14.
  B. Due to Envy, Matt. 27:18; Acts 13:45; Jas. 3:14; Gal. 5:26.


  A. To Destroy Confidence in the Word of God, Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 14:37.
    1. To doubt Bible is God’s word, Gen. 3:1.
    2. By misapplying Bible, Matt. 4:5-6.
  B. To Make Room for Error, 2 Pet. 3:1-4; Jude 4 (Acts 7:54); Eph. 5:11.
  C. To Shield itself from Exposure and Accountability, 3 Jno. 9-10; Jno. 3:19; 1 Kgs. 18:17-18.

The rock throwing we have studied is the unrighteous judging and condemnation of others (Rom. 14:10-13), Matt. 7:1-2.


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

Why Are There Different Churches of Christ? (2)
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 3:12-17

1. Review Part 1.
2. What are some of these specific differences? What is the remedy?

I. THE INTRUSION OF ERROR INTO CHURCHES OF CHRIST, Gal. 1:6-7; 5:7; 2 Tim. 1:13 (Thyatira, Rev. 2:20-21, 24).

  A. Many Churches have Distorted the NT Pattern of Local Church Organization, Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2.
  B. Many Churches have Added to the NT Pattern of the Work of the Local Church, Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 11:21-22, 34.
  C. More and More Churches are Changing the NT Pattern of Congregational Worship, Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19; 1 Tim. 2:12.
  D. Too Many Churches have Compromised and Corrupted the NT Pattern of Morality, cf. Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Cor. 5:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 4:3; Gal. 5:19.
  E. Many Churches Ignore the NT Pattern of Fellowship, Eph. 5:11; 1 Cor. 5:4-5, 11-13; Rom. 16:17; 2 Jno. 10-11; Rev. 2:20-23 (Eph. 5:11).

II. UNITY IN CHRIST REMAINS POSSIBLE, Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10.

  A. Speak the Same Thing, 1 Cor. 1:10, 18; Eph. 4:4-6.
  B. Have the Same Mind and Same Judgment, 1 Cor. 1:10 (Eph. 4:2-3; Phil. 2:1-4).
  C. This Requires Constant Diligence, Eph. 4:3 (Heb. 10:24); Col. 3:12-17.

Unity is produced by the efforts of brethren who love God, His truth, and His children.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Peter's Pence
Joe R. Price

A special collection is collected from Roman Catholics each June to fund the pope’s charitable work. “Bishops exhort the faithful to support the weak and suffering through the pope’s main charitable appeal, called Peter’s Pence” (“Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit,” Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2019). “According to the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: ‘The purpose of the Peter’s Pence Collection is to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster and disease.’”

Yet, Rocca reports, “for at least the past five years, only about 10% of the money collected—more than €50 million was raised in 2018—has gone to the sort of charitable causes featured in advertising for the collection, according to people familiar with the matter.” (Ibid) “What the church doesn’t advertise is that most of that collection, worth more than €50 million ($55 million) annually, goes toward plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget, while as little as 10% is spent on charitable works, according to people familiar with the funds.” (Ibid)

It will be up to Catholics whether or not they feel misled by only 10% of their gifts to Peter’s Pence actually going to the needy. We will note the Bible does not mention a special offering called “Peter’s Pence” (much less a pope, etc.). Neither does it authorize establishing charitable organizations to be funded by local churches (even though many churches of Christ now do this very thing). Each local church is sufficiently organized to serve the benevolent needs of saints (whether locally or in other places) without arranging and/or supporting additional charitable organizations (Acts 4:32-37; 6:1-6; 11:27-30; Rom. 15:26).

The New Testament expressly forbids “special” offerings in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. Weekly contributions are made so “no collections” (beyond the weekly giving) are needed to facilitate the church’s work. The collected funds are ready to be used to meet needs given the church to address. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  12/16/2019

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