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


Volume XIII, Number 04 February 21, 2010

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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       P.O. Box 30821
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:

Choose for Yourself
Joe R. Price

The ability to make moral choices is unique to the human race. Whereas animals act instinctively, humans act based on reason. “Instinct has been defined as a spontaneous impulse, especially in the lower animals that moves them, without reasoning, toward actions that are essential to their existence, preservation and development. Instinct, imbedded in their organic structure, is the guide of animal life as reason is the guide of rational life” (“Do Plants have Instinct?”, Birds and Nature, IX:04,

Unlike animals, our moral capacity of choice brings with it accountability to our Creator for the choices we make. As a steward must give an account of his stewardship, even so each of us will one day give an account of our use of volition; we will answer to God for the moral and religious choices we make (Lk 16:2; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10).

By reviewing some past choices we can learn to make choices that please the One who chose to give us the power to choose.

1) Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan (Gen 13:11). He was a businessman with flocks too large for the land to sustain his holdings and those of his uncle Abram. Being seduced by lush pastures he “pitched his tent even as far as Sodom” (Gen 13:10, 12). But he did not adequately assess the moral dangers of his business decision and it cost him dearly, losing his peace of mind, his family (to the sins of the world), his possessions to destruction, his wife to unbelief and death, his dignity before his daughters and his reputation (Gen 19:12-38; 2 Pet 2:7-8).

The career choices we make can and will have an impact on our spiritual lives. We cannot be so blind as to think that what we choose to do and around whom we choose to work will not influence us; it will. Just like Lot. Be wise and choose employment that will not take you away from the Lord and the ability to faithfully worship and serve Him (Jno 4:23-24). While the Lord expects us to provide for our families that is not a God-given reason to neglect and disobey Him through moral impurity and/or religious neglect. Our first priority must be the Lord’s will, not our own (Matt 6:33). Resist covetous choices that lead to sin and ruin (1 Tim 6:9-10).

2) Joseph chose to remain morally pure in spite of great pressures to yield (Gen 39). The story of Joseph is well documented. The last quarter of the book of Genesis is devoted to chronicling his life and his faith as God protected him and prepared a people for His name. As a young man Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery. Once in Egypt, Joseph found himself in a strange land with strange customs, a strange tongue and strange gods. He was alone – except that God was with him and greatly blessed him. Joseph made a choice to be faithful to God in the face of uncertainty, moral trials and temptations. When his master’s wife repeatedly tried to seduce the handsome young man he announced his faith and rejected her wicked advances (Gen 39:7-9). When she tried to force herself on him he fled, and when she lied about him he held fast to his integrity and faith.

You and I face a barrage of temptations in the world as its siren calls of sin entice us to fulfill the offerings of the flesh (1 Jno 2:15-16; Jas 1:14-15). We must not deceive ourselves into thinking we cannot be touched by the sins of the world (Jas 1:16; 1 Jno 1:8). Sin is a choice; it is not forced upon us. Like Joseph, when sinners try to entice us to join them in sin we must stand firm in our faith and refuse to consent (read Prov 1:10-15; Psa 1:1-2).

3) Moses chose to suffer affliction with God’s people instead of enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin (Heb 11:24-25). While it is easy to choose to sin, it requires determined faith to accept the suffering that comes with choosing righteousness. In Pharaoh’s house, Moses had every earthly advantage at his disposal. If he had merely kept silent when he saw his fellow-Hebrews suffering he could have enjoyed all that power and fortune offered. But, his heart was given to faith and not to the treasures of Egypt. He looked for the reward of God, not the reward of being called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

By choosing to be a Christian you chose to accept the rejection of men in order to be accepted by God (Matt 20:28). The truth is that every Christian at some time must “suffer for doing good” (1 Pet 3:17). Yet, suffering for the sake of righteousness brings God’s blessing. The passing pleasures of sin can never live up to the weight of eternal glory that awaits the faithful (1 Pet 3:16; Matt 5:10-12; 2 Cor 4:16-18). Stand up for Jesus whatever the cost!

4) Joshua chose to lead his house in serving God (Josh 24:15). His resolve that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” inspires us to “take up our cross” and follow Jesus. His example teaches us to lead our families in the will of God and not the ways of the world.

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” continues to call on us to make a moral choice. No one can force you to obey God, but there are many, many reasons why you should choose to serve the Lord. An eternal reward awaits all who will fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith (2 Tim 4:8). See your reward with eyes of faith and resolve to “choose life” (Deut 30:19-20). Believe and obey Christ in truth; that is the most important choice of all (Matt 7:21-23).


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

Postmodernism: The Death of Absolute Truth? (1)

Scripture Reading:  John 18:33-38

1. Jno 18:37-38: Pilate didn’t believe in absolute truth; he believed in political objectives and realities. In contrast, Jesus bore witness to truth. Do we believe Pilate or Jesus?
2. Postmodernism says no one has the right to define absolute truth, Prov 14:12; 2:1-9; 1:22; Eph 5:17.

  A. Truth is Absolutely Revealed by God, Eph 3:3-5; Jude 3.
  B. Truth is Absolutely Inspired by God, Jno 17:17 (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21).
  C. Truth is Absolutely Understandable, Deut 30:11-15; Eph 5:17; Jno 8:31-32; 1 Jno 2:21.
  D. Truth can and must be Absolutely Obeyed, 1 Pet 1:22-23; Matt 7:21.


  A. Absolute Truth about God, Psa 90: 2; Acts 17:29; Jno 1:1-3; 8:58; Ac 5:4
  B. Absolute Truth about the Word of God, 2 Tim 3:16; 1 Cor 2:9-13.
  C. Absolute Truth about Human Beings, Gen 1:27; 2:7; Eccl 12:13-14.
  D. Absolute Truth about Worshiping God, Jno 4:20-24.
  E. Absolute Truth about the Church, Eph 1:22-23; 4:4, 5:23.
  F. Absolute Truth on Moral Issues.

     It is the devil that denies absolute truth, Jno 8:44.


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

Postmodernism: Criticisms Against Absolute Truth? (2)

Scripture Reading:  John 8:43-47

1. Col 2:2-3: All the storehouse of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ; Human philosophies plunder your treasure! 2:8
2. Jno 7:15-17: In contrast to the studied opinions of academia, the doctrine of Christ is of divine source (Jno 12:49-50).
3. Refusal to believe and obey the words of Christ is to reject the only source of truth that can save us and that will judge us in the last day, Jno 12:48 (17:17).


  A. As being Intolerant, Gal 1:8-10.
  B. As being Arrogant, 2 Cor 10:1; Gal 6:14.
  C. As being Self-righteous, Eph 3:3-4.
  D. As being Judgmental, Lk 12:54-57.
  E. As being Evil, Gal 4:16.


  A. Buy the Truth and do not Sell it, Prov 23:23 (value it, Psa 19:10).
  B. Be Assured by and Confident in God and the Truth of His Word, Col 2:2-3; Psa 119:97-104.
  C. Live in the Truth, 1 Jno 1:6-7; 2:3-6; 2 Jno 9-11; 2 Tim 1:13.  D. Keep Faith in the Lord and Give Answers for Your Hope, 1 Pet 3:13-17.

     Rom 3:4: “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: ‘That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.’” (Eph 5:17; Jno 8:31-32)


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Surgical Instrument Left Inside Woman
Joe R. Price

A sixty-six year old woman in the Czech Republic complained of severe pain after surgery and requested an x-ray but was told it would needlessly expose her to radiation. She finally prevailed and the x-ray showed a foot-long surgical instrument had been left inside her abdomen. She alleges hospital personnel tried to cover up the problem and is now seeking compensation. (“Foot-long surgical tool left in woman’s abdomen”, Reuters). We will let others deliberate whether a cover up was involved.

     Trying to cover up sin never works. Moses warned the trans-Jordan tribes to “be sure your sin will find you out” if they failed to keep their word and their brethren take the land of Canaan (Num 32:20-23). It continues to be so. We cleverly think we can hide our sins, and sometimes it appears we have succeeded. But the One who sees all things knows otherwise: “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later” (1 Tim 5:24; Heb 4:13). Wisdom teaches us that instead of trying to hide our sins we must lay them all before the Lord and seek His mercy through full repentance (Psa 32:3-5; Jas 4:6-10).

     False teachers are hidden rocks that destroy unsuspecting souls (Jude 12). These apostates are like the hidden surgical instrument; they cause severe pain and will destroy the body of Christ. Yet, some Christians try to say they do not exist (or at least, we can’t call them as “false teachers”). In fact, we must “test the spirits” to see whether or not they are from God (1 Jno 4:1). False teachers must be marked, not be ignored (Rom 16:17).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  06/10/2010

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