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


Volume XIII, Number 02 January 10, 2010

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Bellingham, WA 98228
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniac (Part 2)
Joe R. Price

     Furthermore, the Gadarene demoniac had such strength that chains and shackles could not restrain him (Mk. 5:4). If demon-possessed people do exist today, where is even one of these with the same sort of strength? (“Demons: Ancient Superstition or Historical Reality?, Wayne Jackson.

     3. The doctrine of “faith only” is the faith of demons.  Like the demon in the Capernaum synagogue, Legion immediately recognized Jesus and the judgment he was under:  “And he cried out with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me” (Mk. 5:7; 1:23-24). If it is true that justification by faith only is “a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort,” then why are not the demons saved (The Book of Discipline 1980, The Articles of Religion, Art. IX, p. 57)? After all, “even the demons believe – and tremble!” (Jas. 2:19). Legion showed as much faith as some who consider themselves Christians. Legion acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God and believed his word (for instance, about his future judgment) – the same as many today. We might even note that Legion obeyed the Lord’s word when he commanded them to leave the man’s body. But, demons are not saved (Matt. 8:29; 25:41). And, neither are sinners who believe Jesus is the Son of God but do not obey all of his word (Jas. 2:24; Jno. 10:42-43; 14:15; Matt. 7:21-27; Lk. 6:46; Gal. 5:5-7). Jesus continues to be “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).

     4. A future judgment of torment is real. Legion begged Jesus not to torment him “before the time” and not to “command them to go out into the abyss” (Lk. 8:28, 31; Matt. 8:29). The demons knew a judgment of condemnation was set for them, and that it involved torment. Some deny the Bible’s teaching that the torment of the wicked lasts forever. They believe “torment” amounts to annihilation – that one will forever cease to exist. The word translated “to torment” in Matthew 8:29 is basanizo, and is used in Matthew 8:6 of the centurion’s servant who was “dreadfully tormented” being paralyzed. Clearly, the servant did not cease to exist, for Jesus healed him, removing his torment.

          This word is used again by Matthew in chapter 14:24, where the boat containing the disciples was “tossed” by the waves. Are we to conclude that the boat ceased to exist because it was “tormented”? No, of course not! Neither should we conclude the “torment” of the abyss referred to by Legion was annihilation. 

He was speaking of the actual, painful punishment of “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).

     In describing God’s wrath against the wicked, the Bible speaks of “the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night…” (Rev. 14:11) Those who die in the Lord will “rest” from their labors, but the servants of Satan will “have no rest day or night” (Rev. 14:13, 11; see Rev. 20:10, where the devil, the beast and the false prophet “will be tormented day and night forever and ever”). Jesus warned of “the fire that shall never be quenched–where their worm does not die…’” (Mk. 9:43-44). The rich man was very conscious of his painful torment “in this flame” (Lk. 16:23-24).

     5. The compassion of God. Jesus was moved by compassion to free this man from his demonic bondage (Mk. 5:19). Similarly, God’s great mercy is evident in and available through the sacrifice of His Son for the sins of the world (Jno. 1:29; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:1-7). The Son of God came to “destroy the works of the devil,” and he did so in dramatic fashion (1 Jno. 3:8; Heb. 2:14-18). By delivering the Gadarene from demonic possession, Jesus shows himself to be the one who can deliver sinners from the clutches of Satan, sin and death (Heb. 2:14-15; Gal. 3:13; Acts 4:12; Tit. 2:14).

     6. How we should react to Jesus:

  a. With gratitude and faith. As with the other miracles of Jesus, this one gives sufficient evidence to cause one to believe in him (cf. Jno. 20:30-31). Now healed, clothed and in his right mind, the man sat with Jesus as the people went out to see what had happened (Mk. 5:14-15; Lk. 8:35). The man begged Jesus that he be allowed to go with him when Jesus prepared to leave. All of this shows the man’s faith in Jesus and thankfulness that he had freed him from demonic bondage. We must gratefully and faithfully follow Jesus wherever he leads because of the great deliverance from sin we have from His hand (Rom. 12:1).

  b. Not with fear and rejection. The swine-herders ran to the nearby city telling others of what they had seen (Mk. 5:14; Lk. 8:34). Many came out to see this great sight for themselves (Lk. 8:36-37). But, when they saw Jesus and the man just as the herdsmen said, instead of believing in Christ and trying to learn more from him, they reacted with fear, dread and unbelief: “Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear” (Lk. 8:37; cf. Matt. 8:33-34; Mk. 5:15-17). Were they afraid of some calamity worse than the death of a herd of swine? Were they in danger from this Galilean? The text does not elaborate. But, in their fear they ask the Lord of heaven and earth to leave their presence. Are you moved by fear or faith when confronted with Jesus Christ and his gospel (cf. Acts 24:24-25)?

     7. We must spread the good news. Instead of taking the man with him, Jesus directed the man to “go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you” (Mk. 5:19; Lk. 8:39). The man did this, and more (Mk. 5:20). Notice that he told his family, his friends and strangers. Similarly, we can tell family, friends and strangers of the great salvation Jesus gives, that they too might be saved (Jno. 1:41; Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20). 

     Truly, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:14-15, 17). When we teach others the gospel, some will marvel over it like the inhabitants of Decapolis; some will be afraid and reject Christ like the Gadarenes, but some will believe it, obey Jesus and be saved. Then they, too, can join in telling others (2 Tim. 2:2).


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

Factors of Successful Church Growth

Scripture Reading:  Acts 8:1-4

1. Christians are to grow, 2 Pet 3:18.
2. How and why, Eph 4:11-16.
3. As saints grow the local church will, too.


  A. Spiritual Growth Demands Spiritual Food, 1 Pet 2:2.
  B. Faithful Teaching, Acts 20:27; 1 Cor 4:17; 1 Tim 1:3-4; 4:6-11; Titus 1:9.
  C. Evangelism: Faithful to Teach, 2 Tim 2:24-26.

II. FERVENT PRAYER, 1 Ths 5:17; Acts 2:42.

  A. For Boldness in Gospel Preaching, Acts 4:23-24, 29-31.
  B. For Safety of Brethren, Acts 12:5, 12.
  C. For All of God’s People, Eph 6:18.
  D. For One Another, Jas 5:13-16.


  A. When First Converted, Heb 10:32-34.
  B. As You Continue in Your Faith, Heb 10:35-39.
  C. In Doing Good, 1 Pet 3:13-17.
  D. To the Point of Death, Rev 2:10.

IV. LIBERALITY IN GIVING, Rom 12:8; 2 Cor 9:6-11.

  A. Give as God has Prospered You, 1 Cor 16:1-2; Mk 12:41-44.
  B. Your Time, Eph 5:16 (Matt 25:34-40).
  C. Your Abilities, Matt 25:15 (Lk 12:48).

V. PURITY IN LIVING, Titus 2:11-14.

  A. Light of the World, Matt 5:14-16.
  B. A Pattern of Good Works, Titus 2:6-8.
  C. Honorable Conduct toward All, 1 Pet 2:11-12.

   The body grows when each member does his or her part. Eph 4:15-16


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

Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:1-12)

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 16:5-12

1. The convincing power of Jesus was rolling through the hills of Galilee.
2. But the scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem came objecting to His teaching and trying to obstruct His work (Matt 15:1).
3. A rebuke and warn that resonates today.


  A. The Evil Motive of the Pharisees and Sadducees, 16:1-3 (Matt 12:38-40).
  B. Why Are You Following Jesus? (Lord knows your motives.)


  A. What was Included in the Doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Matt 16:1, 13-16; 15:6; 23:4; Acts 23:8.
  B. Take Heed: Discernment is Essential, (perceive, know) 16:6; Phil 1:9-11.
  C. Beware: Be Attentive to the Lord’s Warning, 16:6; Eph 4:14; 2 Jno 7-9; Rev 2:14-16, 20.


  A. False Doctrines are like Leaven:
    1. At first appear slight and unimportant, Matt 13:33; Rom 16:17-18.
    2. Insinuated into the soul unawares and difficult to detect, Jude 4; 2 Pet 2:1.
    3. They act gradually until finally corrupt and consume, 2 Tim 3:13.
    4. They certainly have an effect, 1 Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9.
    5. Permeate all the soul and bring all the faculties under their control, 1 Pet 2:19.

We must take heed, beware, test what is taught and hold fast the pattern of sound words.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  06/10/2010

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