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


Volume 23, Number 17

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

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

Web sites:
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Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

Showers of Blessing
Joe R. Price

Israel was being misled by her leaders. As shepherds of God’s flock, Israel’s prophets, priests, and kings should have been faithfully feeding God’s sheep. Instead, they were making themselves fat at the expense of the sheep. They were feeding themselves. The sick were not restored to health. The lost were not searched for and saved. Wicked people preyed on, devoured, and scattered God’s people. These shepherds ruled over God’s people with harshness and force. Consequently, God would harshly punish them as the impostors they were. They had abandoned their God-given work to satisfy themselves. The people were consumed by sin and the shepherds did not try to save them. Soon, these shepherds would face the wrath of God. This sad, distressful situation is recorded in Ezekiel 34:1-10.

To remedy this problem, God told them He would be their shepherd: “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep” (Ezek. 34:15, ASV). He would seek the lost and deliver them from danger. He would feed the hungry and give them rest in verdant pastures. He would restore the sick and give them a safe haven of rest. Their souls would be satisfied because, with God as their shepherd, justice would prevail (Ezek. 34:11-16).

To accomplish this tremendous work of shepherding His people, God would appoint “one shepherd” over His sheep, “My servant David” (Ezek. 34:23-24). This is predictive of the Messiah, who would feed and lead God’s people, thus accomplishing God’s promised care. Jesus is the good shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, thereby giving eternal life to all who will hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:11-16, 24-29).

God promised to shower His people with good fortune with His shepherd over His sheep: “there shall be showers of blessing” (Ezek. 34:26). These blessings are obtained in Christ. He came to give His sheep “life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Contemplate the predicted blessings mentioned in Ezekiel and their fulfillment in Christ, the good shepherd.

A covenant of peace. “I will make a covenant of peace with them” (Ezek. 34:25). God wants humans to be at peace with Him. Sin introduces conflict and causes separation between man and God. God’s shepherd remedies the problem of sin: “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant” (Heb. 13:20; John 10:15). As a sacrifice for sin, the death of Jesus reconciles sinners to God by cleansing our sin (Heb. 9:11-15). Christ has made peace by His blood and preaches peace to sinners (Eph. 2:14-18). Your sins will be cleansed by obeying His gospel (Acts 22:16). You will be at peace with God.

Fruitfulness. “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase” (Ezek. 34:26-27). Every spiritual blessing is found in Christ. As we abide in Christ (live in His way of truth) we bear fruit unto God (Eph. 1:3; John 15:4-5; Gal. 5:22-23). Spiritual fruit is the sweetest, most refreshing kind, for it sustains the soul. Living for Christ is without comparison in this world of sin. By following Christ you share in the fruitfulness of salvation.

Freedom from bondage. “…and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them” (Ezek. 34:27).  Freedom from spiritual bondage is under view here. The good shepherd frees us from the bondage of sin and death (John 8:31-36; Heb. 2:14-15; Gal. 5:1). Freedom from sin happens when sinners obey the gospel from the heart (Rom. 6:17-18, 2-4). Has the Son of God freed you from the bondage of your sin (John 8:36). He will when you obey His voice.

Safety and security from evil. “They shall be safe in their land…And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid” (Ezek. 34:27-28). Satan preys upon souls (1 Pet. 5:8). With Christ as our shepherd we are protected from Satan’s devouring tactics when we listen to the shepherd’s voice and resist evil by following Him faithfully (1 Pet. 5:8-9; James 4:7-8; John 10:2-5). Safety from sin is found in Christ’s flock (John 10:27-29).

Sustenance. “they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land” (Ezek. 34:29). Christ, the good shepherd, feeds us the bread of life (John 6:48-58, 63). God knows our needs, and He supplies them all to us in Christ (Phil. 4:19). God has prepared for us a table from which to feast (Ps. 23:5). Come and eat this bread. Come and take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17; John 6:35, 51).

Fellowship with God. “Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord GOD’” (Ezek. 34:30). Oh, what blessed assurance. God is with the Christian (2 Cor. 6:16-18). 

You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord GOD (Ezek. 34:31). Are you His sheep? Obey the gospel of Jesus Christ and live in His showers of blessing (John 10:27-30). 


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


Who Are Christians?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Romans 2:17-24


1. Being a Christian requires diligent, honest assessments of ourselves in the light of the Bible (Acts 11:26; 17:11-12).
2. Consider frequently heard reasons why people believe they are Christians.
3. Applications for us, too, 2 Cor. 13:5.


  A. We Believe Something about Jesus, John 12:42-43; James 2:19.
  B. We are Religious, Acts 8:26-39.
  C. We Live Morally, Acts 10:1-2, 22 (11:14).
  D. We are Sincere, Acts 26:9-11; Phil. 3:4-6.
  E. We have been Baptized, Acts 19:1-5.
  F. The Christian is a Member of the Church of Christ, Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4 (3:10-11); Acts 20:28; 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13.


  A. Christians are Saved from their Past Sins, Eph. 1:7 (Acts 2:40-41).
  B. Faithful Christians Commit to Faithful Living, Rom. 6:4; Luke 6:46; James 1:26-27; 2 Cor. 5:7; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 5:9 (Rev. 2:4-5).
  C. Faithful Christians are Sacrificial, Luke 9:23; 14:33; Matt. 6:33 (Rev. 2:10)

1. This is who a Christian is, Gal. 2:20.
2. Be a Christian, and be faithful to Jesus.


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


What Happens When We Die?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 10:27-31


Christians need to know what happens at death. It grounds our faith, assures our hope, and prevents errors that undermine and destroy our eternal hope in Christ.

I. HUMANS ARE DUAL BEINGS, Gen. 1:27; 2:7 (flesh and spirit).

  A. Flesh Decays after Death, Gen. 3:19; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 4:16.
  B. Immortal Spirit Continues to Exist, Eccl. 12:7; Luke 16:22-23.


  A. Death is the Separation of the Spirit from the Body, James 2:26; Luke 23:46.
  B. Immortal Spirit Survives Physical Death, Matt. 10:28.


  A. Hades: Realm of Departed Spirits, Acts 2:27; Luke 16:22-26.
  B. Bodily Resurrection of the Dead, John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:50-55 (35-44).
  C. Judgment before God, Heb. 9:27.


  A. Life is a Gift from God, Eccl. 5:18; 12:13.
  B. Life is Brief, Uncertain, James 4:13-17.
  C. Obey the Gospel Without Delay, 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:7-8, 13.
  D. What We Live for Prepares Us to Die or Prevents Us from Being Ready to Die, Luke 12:13-21; 2 Cor. 4:16-18.

Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14 (21:8); Rom. 6:7-8


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Doctrinal Annihilation
Joe R. Price

Albert Mohler, Southern Baptist theologian and president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, upbraided the Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IL, on his podcast recently. He denounced the church “for allowing Isaac Simmons to be in a position of church leadership and promoting him as a candidate for the ministry.” Simmons is openly gay, dresses in drag during his sermons as “Ms. Penny Cost” (a twist on Pentecost). (‘Doctrinal Annihilation’: Theologian Blasts Methodist Church For Pushing Drag Queen Pastor, Claims ‘Two Religions’ Forming Over LGBT Issues, Jon Brown,

Mohler said, “By the time any kind of church or church body reaches this point, it has already basically embraced doctrinal annihilation. There is virtually nothing left of the historic Christian tradition.” (Ibid)

Please focus on his last statement. Mohler views this movement away from “historic Christian tradition” as “doctrinal annihilation.” There is a tradition from which we must not move away. It is the apostles’ tradition, revealed in the Scriptures (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:4; Phil. 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Cor. 14:37). “Christian” history is littered with traditions that go far beyond the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9; Gal. 1:6-10). “Christian tradition” does not set Christ’s doctrine. He should know that.

We abhor the sins Mohler highlighted because Scripture does. Would to God he deplored the Baptist annihilation of Bible doctrines such as (1) The plan of salvation (that includes baptism for the remission of sins), (2) The possibility of apostasy, and (3) Denominationalism. Apostolic tradition (inspired Scripture) indicts Mohler along with the UMC (Rom. 2:1-2). Heed the warning. We must hold fast to apostolic tradition, not “church of Christ” tradition (2 Tim. 1:13). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  05/10/2021

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