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


Vol 13, Num 14, 05/09/2010

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:

Blasphemy against Christ
Joe R. Price

The following was reported by the AP and posted on Fox News:
     Comedy Central has a cartoon series about Jesus Christ in the works.

Titled “JC,” the series depicts Christ as a “regular guy” who moves to New York to “escape his father’s enormous shadow.” His father is depicted as an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son talk about his new life.

Comedy Central has pushed the envelope in the past: The long-running “South Park” features Christ as a regular character.

The network says “JC” is on its development slate, steps away from the pilot stage and eventual airing. Many television series in development never make it to air. (“Comedy Central Considering Animated Series About Jesus Christ”).  

I will say it as clearly as I know how: Christians who love Jesus will not watch this show if/when it airs. It is blasphemy of the highest order. If this were a depiction of the false prophet Mohammed, heads would surely roll! Of course, I am not advocating that in this case; just an observation. (I wonder whether the Islamic extremists will get all worked up over one of their prophets being defamed in this way since they consider Jesus to be a prophet of Allah.)

But back to the point: Christians have too easily and for too long allowed the ungodly people of the world to set the agenda for their personal entertainment. It has to stop. The word of God is clear: “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks…For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret” (Eph 5:3-4, 12). We can no more properly say to ourselves, “sinful, blasphemous entertainment does not affect me spiritually” and soak it in as the Corinthians could righteously say, “fornication does not affect me spiritually” and thus engage in fornication at Aphrodite’s temple! (1 Cor 6:13-20) Both are sin and cause eternal death (Rom 6:23).

Jesus Christ is worthy of all honor (Rev 5:8-12). Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him (Jno 5:23). Where is the honor of Christ in such entertainment? There is none; only shame. Christians who love the Lord are not humored by the dishonoring of the Son of God. Period.


The Great Commandment of the Law
Joe R. Price

Jesus answered every attempt to draw him into contradiction by unholy men; He "answered them well" (Mk 12:28). This was the assessment of Christ's answers by a scribe after hearing the Herodians and Sadducees trying to "catch Him in His words" (Mk 12:13). This scribe also asked Jesus a question that Matthew described as "testing" (Matt 22:35). But, his "test" seems to have been borne of a different quality of heart. The word used by Matthew for "tempting" is peirazo and means "to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quantity, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself" (Thayer). It can be used in both a good or bad sense. (For an example of its use in a good sense, see 2 Cor 13:5 and the command to "examine yourselves".)

The scribe's question tested the credibility of Jesus: would he pit one command of God against another (thus implying God is a God of contradiction)? Would he single out one command as superior? Would he make the flawed distinctions of the Jewish religious rulers who elevated their traditions above the commands of God (cf. Matt 15:1-9)?

The answer Jesus gave drives at the heart of all the commands of God: "The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE. AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mk 12:29-31). Matthew's account adds, "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matt 22:40). All of God's commands hang upon love. Driven by faith, the one who loves God obeys God.

Upon hearing his answer the scribe said to Jesus, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mk 12:32-33).

This man "got it"; he answered wisely (Mk 12:34). He grasped what many still miss: faith in the true God requires obedience from a heart that is moved by love to do God's will. God wants our hearts, else our obedience is futile. Far from being antagonist to love, obedience expresses love (cf. Jno 14:15).

The man's reply teaches us to guard against heartless compliance to God's commands as if that is true obedience. Our worship of God, our moral living, our compassion toward a neighbor - all of our obedience must come from a heart that is first given to God. Careful obedience of all of God's commands shows love for God (and our neighbor); not show ritualism, legalism, traditionalism or sectarianism (cf. Lk 17:10).

Jesus told the man "you are not far from the kingdom of God" (Mk 12:34). Armed with faith in the true God and a complete love for God, one is close to salvation. Christ will bless us with salvation when we obey him out of love (Heb 5:8-9). If our obedience is from any other motive it is empty and worthless, and our souls remain lost in sin.


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

Come and See

Scripture Reading:  John 4:27-30

1. Christianity is open to investigation, Acts 17:11-12 (Jno 8:46; Matt 28:5-6; Jno 3:21); 1 Pet 3:15.
2. Come and see, Jno 1:38-39; 1:46; 4:29-30; Rev 22:17.
3. Jesus invites to “come”, Matt 10:28-30.
4. Come and see…

I. COME AND SEE THE CHRIST, Jno 4:25-26, 29.

  A. See His Love for the Lost, Jno 3:16 (15:13); 1 Jno 3:16; Mk 10:21; Lk 23:34 (Rom 5:8); 2 Cor 5:14-17.
  B. See His Life, cf. Matt 28:6; 20:28; Heb 4:15; Rev 1:18; Rom 4:10; Heb 7:25.


  A. Suffering and Shame, Isa 53:1-3, 7-8.
  B. Sacrifice for Sin, Isa 53:4-6.
  C. Satisfaction and Salvation, Isa 53:10-12; Jno 3:13-15 (justice, Isa 53:10-12; Rom 3:25-26; salvation, Jno 3:13-15; Rom 6:3-4).

III. COME AND SEE THE CHURCH, 1 Pet 2:4-5 (Matt 16:18).

  A. Delivered: Called Out of Darkness, 1 Pet 2:9-10 (Col 1:13); 1:15-16 (Eph 5:25-27).
  B. Diligent: God’s House if we Hold Fast, Heb 3:6; 6:11-12.
    1. Hold fast pattern (2 Tim 1:13); 1 Cor 15:2.
    2. Hold fast what is good, 1 Ths 5:21.
    3. Hold fast the confession of our hope, Heb 4:14; 10:23.
    4. Hold fast and repent, Rev 3:3.
    5. Hold fast what you have, Rev 3:10-11


1. Christ, the Cross and the Church: The trifecta of triumph! Rev 5:9-10
2. Come to Jesus, He will save you.


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

What a Sinner Learned after Death

Scripture Reading:  Luke 16:19-24

1. The only time some will think of death is at a funeral, Eccl 7:1-2 (Isa 5:11-12).
2. God wants you to think about your death, Psa 90:10-12; 39:4-6.
3. Lk 16:19-31: A sinner learned lessons after death we must learn while living.


  A. We must not Trust in Riches, 16:14; Eccl 5:10-13 (4:8); 2:21 Matt 16:26; Eccl 5:13.
  B. Riches of the Righteous, Lk 12:15-19; Lk 12:20-21; 16:20-21; 1 Tim 6:17; Ps 49:16-20.


  A. Hell is Hot and it Hurts! Mk 9:43-48; Rom 2:5, 8-9 (2 Ths 1:8-9); 1 Tim 2:3-4.
  B. The Punishment cannot be Eased and it is Unending, Lk 16:24; Rev 14:10-13; 20:10.


  A. Death Permanently Ends Material Existence, Lk 16:27, 30.
  B. Death Permanently brings Rest or Punishment, Lk 16:24-26; Rev 14:13.


  A. Sinners Entice the Weak and Naďve to join them in Sin, Prov 1:10-19; 18:24; 27:6.


  A. It is Enough to Convict and Convert Sinners, Jno 16:8; 2 Tim 3:16.
  B. It is Enough to Complete Us, 2 Tim 3:17


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Italian Divorce Fair
Joe R. Price

The city of Milan, Italy will be hosting a divorce fair this weekend. Reportedly, it will be the first of its kind in this Catholic-dominated country. The goal of the divorce fair is to "help divorcing people start a new, happier life". ("Italy hosts its first divorce fair",

Well, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Being happy! So, the divorce fair will offer services such as "divorce planning, anti-stalking help, and 'new look' tips, the organizers said" (Ibid.).

You can be sure people will find some money angle to exploit, turning problems into profit. "Echoing similar initiatives in the United States and elsewhere in Europe, visitors will also be able to subscribe to divorce gift lists at department stores in Milan" (Ibid.). Now, you can anticipate your friends buying you gifts to celebrate your new life!

Ending your marriage is sin. That's what Jesus taught (Matt 19:6). Someone has not honored their marriage vow when there is divorce (Heb 13:4). Someone has acted selfishly and hurt the one to whom they are joined when there is divorce (Matt 19:4-6). Someone has sundered what God joined together when there is divorce (Matt 19:6). Men and women may say, "surely God wants me to be happy" and conclude divorce is good, but God hates divorce (Mal 2:16). God wants us to work on being happy in the marriage in which He joined us to another for life (1 Pet 5:7).

God made marriage for life (Rom 7:2). God's exception is that one may put away a sexually immoral mate and marry another (Matt 19:9). Otherwise, ending your marriage is sin and remarriage is adultery (Matt 19:6, 9; 1 Cor 7:10-11).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  06/10/2010

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