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


Volume 23, Number 23

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
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All sing last Wednesday

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


In this issue:

Sons of God through Faith in Christ
Joe R. Price

23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:23-27, NKJV).

With these few words, the Holy Spirit summarizes God’s gospel plan for human redemption through Jesus Christ. He said:

(1) The law of Moses prepared people for Christ (“before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law…our tutor to bring us to Christ,” 3:23-24).

(2) Our means of justification is “by faith” (not by the law of Moses, 3:24).

(3) Since “faith has come” (the gospel, 1:23; 3:2), the law of Moses no longer has binding authority over anyone (“we are no longer under a tutor,” 3:25).

(4) Justification by faith makes Jews and Gentiles children of God (“you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,” 3:26).

(5) Justification by faith happens at baptism (“for as many of you as were baptized into Christ,” 3:27).

(6) The lost become children of God at baptism, when their relationship with Christ begins (“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” 3:27).

Without a doubt, the child of God has “put on Christ.” But one is “baptized into Christ” to “put on Christ.” Therefore, without being baptized into Christ one has not yet become a child of God. One has not yet been justified by faith who has not be baptized into Christ. Baptism is a necessary part of being justified by faith. 

 -Sword Tips #1861


You Have Not Passed This Way Before
Joe R. Price

When Israel was ready to cross the Jordan River to take possession of the promised inheritance of Canaan, the ark of the covenant went before them with a space of two thousand cubits separating the ark from the people. Israel was warned not to come near it, “that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before” (Josh. 3:2-4). God was present among His people and would lead them by His powerful hand into the Promised Land – even though they had not passed that way before. They would need faith in God. They were told to sanctify themselves and prepare to see the wonders of God (Josh. 3:5). Great was the power of God that held back the flooding waters of the Jordan, allowing all Israel to cross on dry ground (Josh. 3:14-17; 4:18).

Life is a journey with many first time twists and turns. Some people throw caution to the wind and with reckless abandon hurl themselves into life. The outcome often is not pretty (Prov. 10:23; 14:16; 15:21). The wise heart listens to the wisdom of age and experience because it has “not passed this way before” (cf. Prov. 4:10-15).

God’s word is a constant source of wisdom that guides us in every right path (Ps. 119:105). God’s powerful presence in His word shows us “the way we must go” on life’s journey. Put your faith in Him, follow His direction, and He will lead you to eternal rest (Heb. 4:8-9).

(1) Salvation from your sins. The lost have not yet passed along the way of salvation, but not because they cannot be saved. They need to hear, believe, and obey the gospel to make this journey (Rom. 10:13-17). If you are not a Christian, God’s word will guide you to salvation (Acts 8:30-39). You have not been this way before, so trust His word to show you the way instead of men’s wisdom, creeds, and doctrines (Isa. 55:8-11; Matt. 7:21-23). Believe, confess your faith, repent of your sins, and be baptized into Christ to be saved (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-41; 8:12-13; 17:30; 22:16).

(2) Getting married. God joins together the man and woman who have not passed this way before (Matt. 19:4-5). God’s word guides you to the joyful expectations and happy fulfillment of honorable marriage (Heb. 13:4). Do not be deceived by the world’s false definitions of marriage and its false notions of what makes a “modern” marriage. Trust God’s word to lead you in your marriage (1 Pet. 3:1-7; Eph. 5:22-33).

(3) Having and rearing children. Children are a blessing from God, not an inconvenience on life’s journey of self-indulgence (Ps. 127:3; 128:1-6). New parents “have not passed this way before,” and the wise will seek counsel from God’s word and experienced parents (Prov. 11:14; Titus 2:4). Being a parent is not accomplished in a day, but a lifetime. Steady consistency is key. God’s word shows you how to travel this way you have not yet passed (Eph. 6:4; Prov. 22:6; Heb. 12:5-11).

(4) Death. We have not yet passed the way of death, but we will (Heb. 9:27). The Lord God will lead us safely home through Jordan’s waves. Let us trust and follow Him (John 14:1-6; 2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Tim. 4:6-8).

Many are the ways we have not yet passed. God will lead us safely through them all. 


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


Walk by Faith
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 5:1-11

1. We only follow one of two courses in life (no neutrality), Matt. 6:24; 7:13-14; 12:30.
2. Three steps, when combined, amount to walking by faith.

I. HEAR WHAT GOD SAYS, 1 Sam. 3:10; Mark 12:37 (Rom. 10:17).

  A. Because What God Says is Right, Luke 8:8 (Ps. 19:8), 18; Mark 4:23-24.
  B. Because Listening to God Gives Us Understanding, John 8:43; 1 Cor. 1:25.
  C. How God Speaks to Us: In the Gospel of His Son, Heb. 1:1-2; John 12:48; Eph. 3:3-4.


  A. Faith to Trust God’s Word, Mark 5:22-24, 35-36 (41-42).
  B. Faith to Trust God’s Power, Matt. 9:27-30; Eph. 3:20; Heb. 11:6.


  A. Faith Saves When Faith Obeys, James 2:14, 17, 20, 24; Heb. 11:4ff; Gal. 5:6-7.


   (Eph. 2:10 → 4:1, 17; 5:2, 10, 15; 1 John 1:6-7)
  A. Walk by Faith (cf. Epistle of James: Practical Christianity).

1. Living by faith means hearing, believing and obeying God in all we think, say, and do (2 Cor. 5:7).
2.   Walk by faith to be saved (Rom. 10:13-14) and to be a faithful disciple.


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


The Kingdom of Christ Exists
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Luke 1:26-33

1. Old Testament predicted a King ruling an insurmountable kingdom, Ps. 2:6-7; 110:1-3; 132:11; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14 (Fulfilled, Luke 1:30-33).
2. The presence of the kingdom of Christ is real and forever changes the life of those who enter it (Heb. 12:28).

1. Jesus announced the approach of the kingdom, Matt. 4:17; Luke 10:9.
2. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, Matt. 4:23; Luke 9:11; Matt. 13:10-11, 18-19.
3. Jesus identified His kingdom, Matt. 16:16-19 (28). The church, Eph. 1:20-23; Dan. 7:13-14.
4. Jesus identified the nature of His kingdom, John 18:36; Luke 17:20-21; Rom. 14:17.
5. Jesus prophesied the establishment of the kingdom, Mark 9:1; Luke 12:32; 24:49; Acts 1:6-8; 2:1-4 (47).
6. Kingdom was proclaimed as present by apostles and prophets, Acts 8:12; 20:25; 1 Thess. 2:12; 1 Cor. 1:9; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9.
7. Remission of sins is obtained in the kingdom, Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9-10.
8. Salvation depends on entering the kingdom, Luke 16:16; John 3:3-5; Acts 13:32-39; Col. 1:13-14; Acts 2:47.
9. Our daily purpose and priority must be the kingdom of God, Matt. 6:33; Luke 9:62.

1. Kingdom of Christ exists, is mighty, and its glory is secure, Heb. 12:28.
2. Live in Christ’s kingdom NOW in order to enter heaven    LATER, 2 Pet. 1:10-11.
3. Hear God’s call (gospel of the kingdom) to enter His kingdom and obey His gospel now.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Crime Without Consequences Leads to Chaos
Joe R. Price

Did you see the video of a man with a garbage bag on his bicycle inside a San Francisco Walgreens? He was unloading the shelves into his bag while a security guard and a reporter who was shopping captured it on video. Shoplifting in San Francisco is not treated as a crime (shoplifters are not arrested). There are consequences, however, just not to the criminals. Walgreens is closing 17 stores in San Francisco because they cannot secure their properties. Other retail outlets are doing the same. Honest citizens who need medical supplies and daily provisions will suffer.

One fundamental problem, of course, is the evil hearts of thieves (Mark 7:21-23). Unless hearts change, more and more sins and crimes will occur.

Another problem is the failure of civil authorities to enforce the law. They have abandoned their duty (Rom. 13:3-4).  Solomon wrote, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). When authorities do not protect the innocent and punish the guilty, they contribute to lawless hearts and lawless society. To illustrate: San Francisco City Supervisor Ahsha Safai commented that more surveillance cameras are needed to record multiple incidents of an individual’s crime, “then you can begin to have a deeper conversation about bringing multiple charges…” (ABC 7 San Francisco, link removed at source). The time for a “deeper conversation” is long past; Time to reinstitute law and order for the sake of the innocent.

We pray our leaders will see and fulfill their God-given duty to protect life and property (1 Tim. 2:1-2). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  06/20/2021

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