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


Volume 23, Number 27

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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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

Hope for the Righteous | Psalm 14
Author withheld by request

For God is with the righteous generation. You would put to death the counsel of the afflicted, but the Lord is His refuge.” Psalm 14:5-6 

David begins Psalm 14 with an apparently hopeless statement, “There is no one who does good.” In verse 1, all the world has seemingly turned aside ... they are corrupt, committing abominable deeds ... there is not even ONE who does good. What a desolate thought. Reminds me of Elijah’s heartache in 1 Kings 19:10 ... “The sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left ...”

But hang on, David! As the Lord “looks down from heaven to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God,” (v. 2) David has an epiphany, declaring, “God is with the righteous generation,” (v. 5) and “the Lord is his refuge”! (v. 6) There is a remnant, just as God reminded Elijah later on in that great man’s despair. He was - and we are - part of a righteous generation that God has left alive and it is well and truly living. It might be tiny. It might be hard to find amid this generation of sons of men (just as it was then) who say “there is no God.” (v. 1) But it is there - hallelujah!

David goes on in v. 7 to express his longing for the salvation of Israel. Well - it has come. It has come with a new Kingdom, one that cannot be shaken or crushed. And the spiritual Israel can be glad, for Jesus has already overcome its enemy and WE are living in that age of redemption. What an incredible time to live. The age David hoped for - the age the prophets desired to see - we are the ones privileged to live in it, within the blessings of the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the One who ultimately delivered Israel and reigns now until the end of time. What a truly awesome reality.

And because it is reality, I am encouraged today. I do get fainthearted like David and Elijah. I am tempted often to feel incredibly alone and hopeless. But just as David realized when writing this psalm, that is never completely the case. And because of the power of the Son of God, my life will never be hopeless even in my deepest pain: “for God is with the righteous generation ... the Lord is his refuge.” Praise the Lord.


A Learner is Not Yet Saved
Joe R. Price

A disciple learns and follows the teachings of another. Therefore, appreciating and applying this definition is essential to accurately assess whether one is or is not a disciple of Jesus Christ.

One may learn the teachings of another person without being a disciple. For example, one may know the teachings of Karl Marx, yet not be his disciple. However, learning plus following his social and economic philosophies would make one a disciple of Marx.

Likewise, one may learn the teachings of Jesus yet not be His disciple. Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). When one trains himself with and follows the teachings of the Master, he is genuinely the Master’s disciple (Luke 6:40).

The great commission to “go therefore and make disciples of (“teach,” KJV) all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” does not say a disciple learns but does not obey the gospel of Christ (Matt. 28:19-20). Some soften the force of truth by telling believers who do not obey Christ that they are disciples of Christ. No, not yet. Those who only believe are not disciples of Christ (Heb. 5:9; James 2:17, 24). They are still lost. Such softening of the gospel message is, in fact, a perversion that gives sinners false hope while endangering those who teach such error (Luke 6:46; Gal. 1:6-10).

One who knows the truth but does not obey the truth is not a disciple of Christ. That person remains lost in sin. Saul knew the truth, but his sins were not washed away until he obeyed the truth by being baptized (Acts 22:16). A disciple of Christ is a Christian precisely because he believes and obeys (learns and follows) the teaching of Christ (Mark 16:15-16). There are no unrepentant, unbaptized disciples of Christ.

Teach the lost their actual spiritual condition. Teach the lost how to be saved in Christ. Teach the lost the gospel that saves souls from death (Rom. 1:16-17; 10:8-17; 6:3-4). Teach the lost to believe and obey Jesus to be saved and become disciples of Christ (Rom. 6:17-18; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-41, 47).

Disciples are saved in Christ and “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). A disciple is not a Christian in prospect. A disciple is a learner who follows the Master. Disciples are Christians (Acts 11:26). 

-The Spirit’s Sword (Feb. 26, 2012)


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


Celebrate Unchangeable Things
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 97:1-6

1. Bible speaks of things that change: Life and death, youth and age, OT law and priesthood (Heb. 7:12), at resurrection (1 Cor. 15:51), our minds (Acts 17:30), etc.
2. Bible also reveals things that do not change that anchor our faith and assure our hope.


  A. Example: God of Justice, Mal. 2:17 (Zeph. 1:12); Mal. 3:2-5; Ps. 89:11-14; 97:1-2.
  B. Almighty God (Sovereign) Accomplishes His Will, Job 42:2 (23:13); Jer. 30:11; Eccl. 3:14; Isa. 14:24, 26-27.
  C. Jesus Christ, Heb. 13:8 (1:12); John 5:20-23; Heb. 1:8-9.


  A. His Word Does Not Change, Matt. 24:35; Heb. 1:1-2.
  B. The Power of Truth to Change Lives is Unchangeable, John 17:17; 8:31-32; 1 Tim. 1:13-16; Phil. 3:7-11.


  A. His Promise of Eternal Life, Titus 1:1-2. (Abraham, Heb. 6:13-20; David, 2 Sam. 7:11-16; Acts 2:21, 38-41)
  B. Christ’s Promise of the Kingdom, Mark 9:1 (Acts 1:3, 6-8); Acts 2:1-4, 40-41, 47.
  C. Christ’s Promise to Come Again, John 14:1-4; Matt. 25:10-13; 1 Thess. 5:4-11.


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


Eagerly Waiting
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  2 Peter 3:10-15

1. Christians ought to live with eager anticipation as we look beyond this vale of tears into eternity, 2 Cor. 4:16-18.
2. Christians eagerly wait (expect fully)…


  A. Our Hope Rests in the Assurance of Righteousness by Faith, Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-24.
    1. Hope prevails against present sufferings, Rom. 8:18-19.
    2. Hope prevails until the resurrection, Rom. 8:23-25 (17).
    3. Hope secures us to Christ, Heb. 6:18-19 (1 Pet. 1:3-5).


  A. The Day of Our Lord Jesus is the Christian’s Expectant Hope, 2 Thess. 1:10-12.
  B. “I Am Coming Quickly” (unhindered, soon, without delay), Rev. 22:20 (Ans. 22:17).
    1. In response to our needs, Rev. 3:10-11.
    2. In retribution against enemies, Rev. 2:5, 16.
    3. We eagerly look for to the day of the Lord, 2 Pet. 3:12 (11-14), His longsuffering, 3:15 (9).


  A. Because Our Citizenship is in Heaven, Heb. 11:14.
  B. Because Christ Will Transform Us Mortals into Immortality, Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; 1 John 3:2-3.
  C. Because Christ Will Bring Salvation to Those Who Wait for Him, Heb. 9:27-28; 2 Tim. 2:10-13; Heb. 10:31 (Matt. 10:28).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Conversion Therapy and the Gospel
Joe R. Price

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz “signed an executive order aimed at banning so-called conversion therapy on Thursday” calling it a “byzantine, tortuous practice” (Minnesota governor restricts ‘conversion therapy’ for minors, Wikipedia says, “Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions.” It continues, “There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, and medical institutions warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful.” As for changing sexual orientation, the gospel of Christ begs to differ.

The Bible says gender is the result of biological creation (Gen. 1:26-27). Therefore, a biological male saying his “authentic self” is female does not make it so. The genetic evidence supporting this statement has not changed. Follow the science.

The Bible says sexual preference is a deliberate choice (we choose our sexual conduct, Prov. 5:15-20; 1 Cor. 6:18-20). Sexual choices are conscious, moral decisions (Matt. 5:27-28; 1 Cor. 7:2).

Homosexual conduct is sinful conduct (Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Tim. 1:8-11). It is judged and condemned by God (Heb. 13:4; Jude 7). We dare not justify and glamorize it.

The gospel of Christ has the power to convert and forgive homosexuals (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Acts 18:8; Rom. 1:16). The gospel’s conversion therapy is neither byzantine nor tortuous. Instead, it is redemptive, freeing sinners from the bondage of sin into the newness of life (Acts 3:19; Rom. 6:17-18; Col. 1:13-14). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  07/16/2021

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