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


Volume 22, Number 08

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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Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

The Gospel is For All
Joe R. Price

(I’m writing this while still in India, hoping of returning home safely in time to publish this article and bulletin for Sunday, Feb. 16. -Joe)

Preaching the gospel in India has always been a time of wonder and encouragement for me, and I suspect for others who preach here or in other places around the world. To witness the same gospel bearing the image of Christ in men and women – regardless of their race, nationality, and cultural differences is affirmed by Scripture: “where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11).

We need to be teaching the gospel to people around us. Let us ignite a flame of evangelism, one soul at a time. At work, at school, at play – wherever we are – we have great opportunities to teach a lost soul how to be saved (and to strengthen weak saints, too). There is still a plentiful harvest, and laborers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to harvest souls, and let’s get to work in the fields (Matt. 9:36-38).

We need to teach the gospel in other places. The Mt. Baker church, as well as other churches and individuals have helped me preach in India this year and every trip I’ve made there since 2006. In that length of time literally thousands have heard the gospel and scores have been baptized (32 on this trip so far). Hundreds of preachers have attended Bible classes designed to ground them in the truth on Bible authority, the organization and work of the local church, and many other Bible subjects. This trip we distributed 4oo Bibles, 25 reference Bibles for preachers, and plans made to print 1000 songbooks. When I preach in India I see a yearning for the gospel in people’s eyes – a yearning we do well to rekindle in ourselves (Jno. 6:68-69). As the Lord gives us the ability and opportunity we will continue this work, remembering it is His work, not ours (1 Cor. 3:6). Thank you for enabling me to be a part of this work with you.

We need to teach the gospel to our children. We have wonderful parents here who are training their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:3-4). We want to encourage you to persevere in teaching your children to know God, to love God, and to obey God. Set godly examples for them (they are watching you). And, we know they are watching each of us, too. So, we intend to be good examples in our words and actions for the next generation of God’s people.

We all have work to do. The gospel is for all. “Here am I, send me.” 


Prejudice Makes Distinctions
Joe R. Price

Discrimination is alive and well in the world. It is a deplorable, lamentable condition wherever it is found. Christians are not immune from the sin of prejudicial hearts and discriminatory actions toward others, even toward fellow Christians.

Discrimination is called “respect of persons” or showing “partiality” in the Bible. God shows none when saving sinners and when executing His righteous judgment (Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 2:4-11). Just as God is holy, we too must cast off every trace of the respect of persons (1 Pet. 1:15-17). In Christ “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11). Prejudicial hearts draw lines of distinction and division. Prejudicial hearts produce biased, critical, and cruel words and actions toward others. This is not the heart of Christ (Col. 3:12-15).

I have seen the discrimination of the caste system in India. Although it is against Indian law to discriminate on the basis of caste, the reality is racial prejudice between castes is prevalent there. (Again, discrimination is worldwide and in our country, too.) I’m using India to make this point: It takes more than laws to change prejudice and discrimination. It takes a change of heart. (Discrimination in spite of laws against it testify to this reality in our country, too.)

The inspired writer meets this issue head on in in James 2:1-13. Some Christians were discriminating against people coming into their assemblies. James sets forth the case in verse one that we cannot hold “the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (“respect of persons,” ASV). Then, he illustrated his point: A rich man enters your assembly and you heap upon him honor, but a poor man enters in among you and you assign him a place of reproach (2:2-3). How is this living the faith of Christ? The Holy Spirit’s assessment of such conduct is given in verse 4: “have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” Here is the danger of treating people with discrimination: Distinctions are made where none exist. And, by doing so, one becomes a judge of others with evil thoughts (Jas. 4:11-12). This is sin (Jas. 2:9).

Respect of persons must be overcome in our treatment of sinners, too. Jesus warned of the pitfall of only loving those who love us (Matt. 5:43-48). We must work hard to hold and show “the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ” to those who need it the most (Jas. 2:1). Is this not one reason why Jesus ate with sinners (Matt. 9:10-13)? He was showing them God’s mercy as He taught them and saved them (Matt. 9:12-13; Lk. 15:1-7). The Pharisees could not tolerate the thought of Jesus communing with publicans and sinners (Matt. 9:11). The Pharisees were making distinctions where there were none. They were also sinners who needed the gospel of Christ. Who were the judges with evil thoughts? The Pharisees. It is still true that those who show no mercy will receive none (Jas. 2:13; Matt. 5:7).

The principle that overcomes ill thoughts and ill treatment of others is applied by the Holy Spirit as James wrote: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (2:8). As we do this, we fulfill the law of our King. Such expressions of our faith glorifies the Lord of glory by refusing prejudice in all its forms (2:1). 


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

Do You Know Why You Believe What You Believe?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 1:5-7

1. Truth engages the mind, Jno. 8:31-32; 2 Tim. 2:15.
2. We must read and study it, Eph. 3:3-4.
3. The untaught (unlearned) and unstable pervert the Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:16).
4. Since God does not accept lip service, His word must have a place of reverence within us, Matt. 15:7-9; Jno. 8:37, 43.


  A. Why You Believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? Jno. 5:36-39; 12:48-50; 20:30-31; 8:23-24, 58
  B. Why You Believe the Plan of Salvation? Jno. 6:44-45; Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:9-10; Lk. 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30; Mk. 16:16; Rom. 6:3-4
  C. Why You Believe What You Do About the Church? Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22
  D. Do You Know Why You Believe What You Do About Liberalism? Jer. 6:16-17; Matt. 7:13-14; 1 Cor. 4:6; Heb. 7:11-14; Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Jno. 9-11
  E. Do You Know Why You Believe What You Do About Fellowship? 1 Jno. 1:3, 5-7; 2 Cor. 4:14-16; Eph. 5:11


  A. Daily Meditation and Obedience Lead to  Wisdom and Understanding, 119:97-100.
  B. Taught by God – Choose to not depart from His judgments, 119:101-102.
  C. Understanding…Hates Every False Way, 119:103-104.


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

"If the Blind Leads the Blind"
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 15:7-14

1. His disciples pointed out the Pharisees’ displeasure at Christ’s teaching (Matt. 15:1-11), 15:12.
2. Christ’s answer was simple, Matt. 15:13-14.
  a. He stated the principle, 15:13.
  b. He made the application, 15:14.
3. Applications for us.
4. Terrible results when the blind leads the blind.


  A. Teens Advising Teens, cf. 1 Kgs. 12:8-11; Job 32:4, 7 (but, 32:9).
  B. Young Wives Advising Young Wives, Titus 2:3-5.
  C. Young Preachers Advising Young Preachers, cf. Phil. 2:20-22. cf. Prov. 15:20; 6:20-21 (4:1-2, 20) vs. Prov. 1:10
  D. Christians Who Look for Authority in Preachers’ Words and not in the Authority that Comes from God’s Word, 1 Cor. 3:7; 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:15 (Gal. 1:8-9).
  E. Non-Christian Friends Advising Christians on Spiritual Matters, Col. 2:8, 20-23.
  F. Non-Christian Relatives Advising Christian Relatives, Matt. 10:37.
  G. Academia that is Elevated Above the Scriptures, Psa. 119:99-100; 1 Cor. 1:21-25; Jno. 7:15; Acts 4:13.
  H. Emotional Leaders Teaching Christians to Get in Touch with Their Feelings Instead of Seeking God’s Word, Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23; 17:9. (cf. “H.S. dwelling in you” doctrine)

All of these amount to the influence of darkness leading those who should be walking in the light (1 Jno. 1:5-7). Don’t follow blind guides.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Blessing God and Cursing Man
Joe R. Price

President Trump spoke at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast on February 6. In his prepared remarks he closed by saying, “This morning, let us ask Father in Heaven to guide our steps, protect our children, and bless our families. And with all of our heart, let us forever embrace the eternal truth that every child is made equal by the hand of Almighty God” (“Remarks by President Trump at the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast,” We admonish him to realize that includes the language he chooses to use.

Later that same day he spoke to an audience in the White House about his acquittal on two articles of impeachment, during which he used profanity. (Not that this was his first time to do so, or that he is the only president to use profanity). But, as president, his words go around the world (I heard them in India) and influence many. As a U.S. citizen, I don’t want him or any leader using profane language – it demeans him and the office, and fortifies the lowered bar of decency and decorum already in this nation (Prov. 14:34).

The tongue is “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (Jas. 3:8–10). It takes heart control to control our tongue (Matt. 12:34-37; Jas. 3:2).

Here are two things to help us against using profanity:

1) The more we hear profanity the easier it becomes to use it ourselves. Thus, when you can, choose companions who do not use profanity. Hearing profanity has an influence on us (1 Cor. 15:33; 5:7). When possible, avoid listening to it.

2) The more one uses profanity the harder it becomes to resist its temptation. It is not so easy to just “quit whenever you want to quit.” You can quit, but if you don’t start, you won’t have to quit (Lk. 13:3, 5; Eph. 5:3-4; Col. 3:8; 4:6).

Purify the heart and “let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Eph. 4:29).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  02/17/2020

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