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


Volume 23, Number 20

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:

Why Did the Walls Fall?
Joe R. Price

The capture of Jericho by ancient Israel continues to thrill the hearts of those who trust the power of God to save. The Biblical narrative of Jericho’s fall gives us a good look at important principles and powers that remain relevant to receive God’s blessing of salvation.

First, we acknowledge it was God who caused the walls of Jericho to fall. God said to Joshua, “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor” (Josh. 6:2). God’s power and grace were at work in Israel’s victory over Jericho. Likewise, our victory over sin occurs because God is gracious toward us. We are made to marvel at His love and mercy that forgives us of every sin (Eph. 2:1-7). Like Israel, we have every reason to trust the grace of God.

Second, we acknowledge God expected Israel to do certain things to obtain victory by His grace. God told Israel to march around Jericho once a day for six days (Josh. 6:3). The ark of the covenant was to lead the way, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets. On the seventh day, after going around the city seven times, the trumpets were to sound, the people were to shout, and the wall would fall flat (Josh. 6:4-5). Israel obeyed God and it happened as God said it would (Josh. 6:12-20). This called for great faith on Israel’s part. From all outward appearances, what God commanded them to do would not cause the walls to collapse. Indeed, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down” (Heb. 11:30).

Israel received God’s grace when she obeyed God’s word in faith. That same principle holds true today. God’s word teaches us of God’s grace and how we may receive it in our lives. The plan of salvation is plainly revealed in the gospel. There are things we must do: Hear the gospel, believe it, repent of sins, confess faith in Jesus Christ, and be baptized for the remission of sins (Rom. 10:17; John 8:24; Luke 13:5; Rom. 10:9-10; Mark 16:16). To be saved by grace we must obey Christ in faith (Eph. 2:8; Heb. 5:9; James 2:24). This remains true after becoming a Christian (Tit. 2:11-12).

Do not resist God’s grace. Obey His word by faith and the wall of sin that separates you from God will fall down. 


Return from Sin's Exile
Joe R. Price

For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him (2 Sam. 14:14, NKJV).

Absalom, king David’s son, had fled into exile after murdering his brother Amnon in vengeance for raping his sister, Tamar (2 Sam. 13:14, 22, 38-39). Today’s passage records the words of a wise woman whom Joab conscripted to persuade David to let Absalom return from his banishment (2 Sam. 14:1-24). They are poignant and persuasive.

Death is coming to us all and its effects cannot be undone – like so much water spilled on the ground (Heb. 9:27). God is the Giver of life, not the One who wants to take it from us (Gen. 2:7). God takes no pleasure in the death of sinners (Ezek. 18:31-32). Sin causes spiritual death (Gen. 2:15; Rom. 6:23). But God, in His great mercy, devised a plan that gives spiritual life from sin’s death through His Son Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:4-12; 2:1-7). Sin separates us from our heavenly Father, banished from the close fellowship He desires. God calls sinners to come to Him by the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:9). David allowed Absalom to return from exile. God’s plan of redemption in Christ ends our spiritual banishment to end so we may walk in sweet fellowship with Him (Eph. 2:13; 1 John 1:6-7). Praise be to God for the abundant love and mercy He gives us in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Sword Tips #2279


Treat God as Holy

Joe R. Price

In Leviticus 10 we read of Nadab and Abihu’s infamous sin of offering strange fire before the Lord – something He had not commanded them (Leviticus 10:1). They were immediately killed by God for their sin (Leviticus 10:2).

Moses explained why this happened: “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored’” (Leviticus 10:3). By their actions, Nadab and Abihu failed to treat God as holy and honor Him.

Because of this, Aaron and his other sons were warned not to mourn over their deaths (Leviticus 10:6-7). This was so God would spare the congregation and they would not die.

When it comes to following God’s word, many do not see the need to be careful to do only what God has authorized. Yet this is an important lesson for us. Nadab and Abihu “offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1). This means their offering was unauthorized, regardless of whether or not there was a specific prohibition. What they did was not God’s will.

When we do things which we claim are in service to God but are things for which we have no authority, we fail to treat God as holy. When we do what “seems right” (cf. Proverbs 14:12) to us, we fail to honor God.

So treat God as holy. It is not good enough to serve God any way we choose. We must offer the service to Him that He has instructed and authorized in His word. 

(Daily Bible Notes, May 5, 2021) 


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


Open Our Eyes that We May See
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 6:8-18

1. Elisha surrounded by Syrian forces, but delivered by God.
2. Christians are surrounded by evil forces, evil people with evil purposes. We must keep focused faith, flee sin and pursue righteousness, 2 Cor. 5:7; 1 Tim. 6:11-12.


  A. The Power of God, Rom. 1:18-20 (Rev. 4:11); Exod. 14:13 (30); 2 Chron. 20:12, 15-19 (20-30); Eph. 1:17-20; Rom. 8:30-39.
  B. The Power of Truth, Heb. 4:12.
    1. Truth is of God, Deut. 32:4.
    2. Power to convict & save, Rom. 1:16.
    3. Power to protect us, Eph. 6:10-17.
  C. The Power of Faith, Matt. 8:5-10; Luke 17:6; Mark 11:20-24 (9:23).
  D. The Power of Love, 1 Pet. 4:8 (Prov. 10:12); Col. 3:12-14; Rom. 12:19-21 (Matt. 5:43-48).
  E. The Power of Unity in Christ, Col. 3:12-17; (1 Cor. 1:10); Eccl. 4:9-12; 1 Cor. 3:3-4; Gal. 5:13-15.
  F. The Power of Forgiveness, Matt. 18:21-27.
    1. Reflects God’s forgiveness, Eph. 4:31-32
    2. Power to heal, strengthen, secure.
    3. Power of its influence, Matt. 18:28-31.

God’s power surrounds us and available to us: To save us, to defend us, and to secure us, Psalm 34:4-7


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


Dangers of Congregational Drift
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 3:9-17

We drift away from Christ when we do not give earnest attention to following God’s word, Heb. 2:1 (churches, too).


  -Ephesus: Leave first love, 2:4-5.
  -Pergamos: Compromise, 2:14-15.
  -Thyatira: Toleration of evil, 2:20.
  -Sardis: Prideful overconfidence, 3:1-2.
  -Laodicea: Spiritual apathy, 3:15-18.


  A. Bible Authority, Col. 3:17; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:13; Heb. 8:5; Acts 15:7-19.
  B. Following Bible Patterns, 2 Tim. 1:13.
    1. Worship, John 4:23-24.
    2. Organization, Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1.
    3. Work: Evangelism, Edification, Limited Benevolence, 1 Thess. 1:8; 1 Cor. 14:26; 1 Tim. 5:16.
  C. Reverent, Assembled Worship, 1 Cor. 14:33, 40; John 4:24; Heb. 10:24-25.
  D. Practicing Corrective Discipline, 1 Cor. 5:4-5; Gal. 6:1-2; James 5:19-20.
  E. Unity in Christ, Phil. 2:1-5; John 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10.
  F. The Simplicity in Christ, 2 Cor. 11:1-4.

1. These are exhortations to duty, vigilance, and courageous faith.
2. Christ knows each of us and will judge and reward each one, Rev. 3:3-5 (6).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Racism is a Heart Problem
Joe R. Price

An eighth noose was found hanging at an Amazon warehouse construction site in Connecticut Wednesday. Amazon and civil rights advocates have denounced these incidents (as all decent people do). Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont called the nooses “racist provocation of the worst type.” He added, “We’re doing everything we can from a security point of view, everything we can from a law enforcement point of view.” His next statement captured the essence of the problem. “But I can’t change people’s hearts and it just breaks my heart that this is still going on” (“Eighth noose discovered at Amazon warehouse site in Connecticut,” Aris Folley, The Hill, 5/27/21).

Racism is a matter of the heart. A person is not racist because of their skin color. Yet, educators are promoting critical race theory that defines people based on skin color. Brandeis University assistant dean Kate Slater recently said, “All White people are racist” and that she hates “whiteness” (

The Bible is clear, and we must be, too. Racism is vile; it is sin. The gospel changes hearts through repentance and removes judging others by the color of their skin. Bible reasons we condemn and reject racism include:

(1) Everyone is made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27).

(2) God made every nation of men from one blood (Acts 17:26).

(3) God looks at the heart, not one’s outward appearance (1 Sam. 16:7).

(4) God says to love our neighbors. Racism is hate, not love (Matt. 22:39; Rom. 13:8-10).

(5) The gospel is for all (Mark 16:15; Acts 10:34-35).

(6) Races are united in Christ (Eph. 2:11-17; Gal. 3:28).

(7) Christ is color blind, and so are Christians (Col. 3:11).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  05/31/2021

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