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


Volume 22, Number 06

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:

What is the Church of Christ?
Kyle Campbell

(Continued from last week)

The Temple Of God

The temple is a place where God meets those who worship Him. In the Old Testament, God dwelt in the tabernacle after leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage (Exodus 25:8-9; Leviticus 26:11-12; Deuteronomy 12:5; 16:2-6). After a span of several hundred years, God dwelt in the temple built by Solomon (2 Chronicles 7:12-16). Similarly, in the New Testament, God dwells among His people (Matthew 18:20). Because the church is composed of people who are redeemed by the blood of Christ, it can also accurately be said that God dwells among His church (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Instead of thinking about the church in “brick and mortar” terms, you now, in the New Testament, need to recognize that the church is a spiritual building in which the Spirit of God dwells (1 Corinthians 3:9). This is why it’s said that “church” isn’t really a place, it’s a state of relationship with God. Additionally, if anyone destroys this building, God will destroy him (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

In the Old Testament, the temple was built according to a meticulous plan revealed to Moses in Exodus 25-40. Actually, God had a complete plan for service to Him in the Old Testament (Exodus 25:40; 1 Chronicles 28:10-19; Psalm 127:1). Likewise, the New Testament temple (or church) must be built according to God’s plan (Hebrews 8:4-5). The pattern is critical for Paul said, “But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Corinthians 3:10). Christians are the stones which are placed together in the temple (Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Peter 2:5). The strength of the building depends on the stones being cemented and built together in peace, love, and truth (Ephesians 4:1-3, 16).

All of these rich facets ought to make us very grateful for the rich blessings we enjoy in Christ. In fact, Peter emphasizes that it is our duty to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Make sure you are up to the task.


Narrow Gate and Difficult Way
Joe R. Price

3 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13–14, NKJV)

Evoking the wonders of the unknown, poet Robert Frost wrote of two divergent roads in a yellow wood. Taking “the one less traveled by” men, he sighed, made “all the difference” (The Road Not Taken). Yes, many are the roads of life. Like Frost’s traveler, their ends are often obscured from sight. Jesus used the metaphor of roads and paths long before Frost. More importantly, He told us exactly where they lead. Jesus depicted two gates and pathways with very different outcomes. Each of us choose one or the other. One has a wide, inviting gate that gives way to a spacious pathway. This road is smooth and unencumbered. Many choose it, for it is easy. But, it leads to the horrible destination of damnable destruction. The other path has a narrow access point with obstacles nearby. Travelers entering this gate traverse a confined corridor paved with difficulty, turmoil, and trouble. Few accept the challenge of walking this path, but when they do, it rewards them with life. Only after traveling his chosen path could Frost look back from experience and assess the path he chose. Thankfully, we need not experience sin to know it leads to eternal demise. Choosing the narrow gate and straitened way of discipleship will lead you to eternal life (Rom. 6:22). Follow Jesus. He makes “all the difference” (Jno. 14:6). 

-Sword Tips #1881 (December 31, 2019)


How Do Sinners Receive Jesus?
Joe R. Price

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:6–8, NKJV)

The call from many pulpits is to receive Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, and you are saved. We agree one must receive Jesus to be saved. The important question is, how does a sinner receive Jesus into his or her heart to be saved? How did the Colossians received Christ Jesus? Christ is not received through the vain and deceitful philosophies of men, through religious traditions that men originate and practice, or by following the principles of the world (v. 8). Prayer is not identified as how sinners receive Christ Jesus. Colossians 2:11-13 teaches they received Christ Jesus the Lord when their sins were cut away (“the circumcision of Christ”) by God’s power. This happened when they were “buried with Him (Christ, jrp) in baptism” (v. 12). In the Bible, one is not baptized because he is already saved, but as an action of “faith in the working (power) of God” that raised Jesus, to raise the sinner from sin’s death to new life in Christ (forgiven, v. 13; Rom. 6:3-4). When they were baptized is when they received Christ Jesus the Lord. Saved by the power of God, we are called to live faithfully in Christ with thankful hearts. And, we must be on guard lest our treasures in Christ are plundered by those who bring false messages of salvation (Col. 2:3, 8). 

-Sword Tips #1876 (December 25, 2019)


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

God Knows My Heart
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 139:1-6

1. God tests our hearts, knows our secrets and understands our thoughts, and rewards or punishes accordingly, Psa. 17:3; 44:21; 139:1-4, Jer. 17:9-10.
2. We must purify our hearts, Jas. 4:8.
3. Understand heart & God’s knowledge of it.


  A. The Heart of Man is the Seat of Life, 2 Sam. 18:14; Acts 2:37; 1 Pet. 3:4; Acts 5:2-4; Matt. 12:34-35; 15:19.
  B. Bible Heart is the Mind, Heb. 8:10; 10:16; Matt. 9:4; Mk. 2:6; Acts 2:37; Heb. 10:22.


  A. We Can’t Fool God about What is in Our Heart, Psa. 64:5-6; Jer. 17:9-10; Heb. 4:13.
  B. The Lord has Always Detected Evil in the Minds of Men, Prov. 12:20; Matt. 9:4; Mk. 2:6-8; 1 Chron. 28:9 (Prov. 23:7; Lk. 6:45); Jer. 17:10 (Rev. 2:23); Acts 1:24.

III.  WHAT IS IN OUR MIND WILL COME BEFORE GOD’S BAR OF JUSTICE, 1 Cor. 4:5; Rom. 2:16; Psa. 7:9-10; Jer. 17:9-10.

  A. Responsible for What is in Our Heart (Matt. 5:28).
  B. Accountable to the Lord, Rom. 14:12.

1. Guard your heart diligently, Prov. 4:23.
2. Think on good things to do what is right, Phil. 4:8-9.
3. Words of the mouth and meditations of heart to be acceptable to God, Psa. 19:14.


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

Are Miracles Happening Today?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Mark 16:14-20

I. WHAT? SIGNS, WONDERS AND POWERS (Acts 2:22; Heb. 2:4).

  A. Signs: Their design was to reveal the presence of God, Jno. 3:1-2; 9:32-33. (purpose)
  B. Wonders: Their nature attracted attention of men, cause astonishment, Acts 3:9-11.
  C. Powers: Confirmed their origin was God, Acts 10:38; 3:12, 16. (Jno. 3:2; Acts 5:12) 1 Cor. 9:27; Acts 10:44 (47-48); 15:7-9


  A. Evidence to Believe Jesus is Christ, Jno. 20:30-31; 5:36; 10:25, 38; 11:42; Matt. 11:2-6.
  B. Reveal the Gospel to Christ’s Apostles and Prophets, Jno. 16:13; Gal. 1:11-12; Eph. 3:3-5.
  C. Inspire Proclamation of Gospel, 1 Cor. 2:13.
  D. Confirm Authenticity of Gospel, Mk. 16:20


  A. Jesus Christ, Acts 2:22; 10:38.
  B. The Twelve and the Seventy, Matt. 10:1.
  C. Apostles of Christ, Acts 2:43; 2 Cor. 12:12.
  D. Christians on whom an Apostle Laid Hands to Impart a Miraculous Spiritual Gifts, Acts 2:16-18; 8:14-18; 19:6; Rom. 1:11.


  A. Until their Purposes were Fulfilled, 1 Cor. 13:8-13.
  B. Until the Death of those who had the Power to Use Them.

Our faith in Jesus Christ is strengthened through them, and our trust in the Bible (its authenticity and accuracy) is made more secure.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Joe R. Price

The tragic murder of two worshipers last Sunday at the West Freeway Church of Christ, Fort Worth TX was unprovoked evil. Two innocent lives were taken from family and friends, and others were injured. Preacher Britt Farmer said, “Today our home was invaded by evil” ( The heroic actions of another member defended the innocent and stopped further mayhem.

Does the Lord approve Christians using methods of self-defense (including lethal forms) to protect themselves and others? We believe He does.

Some answer “no” because Jesus said, “I tell you not to resist an evil person” (Matt. 5:39). In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus taught against personal retaliation, not against personal defense. There is a difference. He taught when injustice is forced upon us not to respond with vengeance. He was not addressing self-defense here (A fuller study of this is found in Romans 12:17-21.) If no self-defense is ever warranted, then consistency demands never locking a door, never building a wall, and never doing anything to defend oneself from evil (real or potential). Yet…

1. Jesus approved self-defense. In Luke 22:36 Jesus said to His apostles on the night of His betrayal, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” The word Jesus used (machaira) is of a short sword or dagger (see Lk. 21:24; Heb. 4:12). The implication is that of self-protection as He sent them out to preach (Lk. 22:35). They had two swords, which was enough (Lk. 22:38).

2. Paul protected himself. When his life was threatened by his enemies he sought protection from the Roman centurion (Acts 23:11-23). Later, he used legal rights to safeguard against death threats (Acts 25:11).

Self-defense is not vengeance. We should not confuse the two. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  01/06/2020

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