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


Vol 13, Num 45, 12/12/2010

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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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

“This Season, Celebrate Reason”
Joe R. Price

     Did you read about the American Atheists campaign to “Celebrate Reason” and the billboard they posted in New Jersey (see below)?

     The romanticized version of the birth of Jesus many have is false. (We don’t really expect atheists to get it right. But, most religious folks get it wrong, too.) For example, we are not told the number of wise men who came looking for the King of the Jews (Matt 2:1). The star led the wise men to a house, not the manger (Matt 2:9-11).

     The birth of Jesus is not a myth; it is a fact. It is also true the New Testament never commands a religious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. You will never read of New Testament Christians celebrating Christmas as the birth of the Savior. That practice began centuries later by the will of men. December 25th was selected in response to the gluttonous and licentious pagan celebrations of Saturnalia (honoring the god Saturnus, Dec. 17-24) and the feast to the Roman sun god Mithrand (Dec. 25). Christians do not celebrate holy days that were designated by men; we follow Christ (Col 3:17, 24).

     This is not to say the atheists are the reasonable ones when it comes to rejecting God; they are totally unreasonable. Isaiah issued God’s challenge to the idol worshipers: “Present your case, says the Lord. Bring forth your strong reasons, says the King of Jacob” (Isa 41:21). There are many evidences (reasons) to believe and worship God at every season. Some of these are 1) Evidence that God is the First Cause of everything (Rom 1:20; Psa 19:1), 2) Design demands a designer (Heb 3:4), and 3) Fulfilled prophecy (Isa 41:22-24; 42:8-9). Paul readily gave a defense of his faith in God as he reasoned with the Athenian philosophers (Acts 17:16-31; 1 Pet 3:15). We hold the same faith.

     The birth of Jesus is not a myth, it is the wondrous miracle of divine incarnation (Lk 1:35; Jno 1:14). His subsequent words and works bear out that He is Immanuel (God with us, Matt 1:23; Lk 1:26-35; Jno 20:30-31).

     Atheists do not live in the light of reason but in the darkness of foolishness (Rom 1:21-22; Eph 4:17-19). By elevating human reason above God they make themselves gods. Paradoxically, by denying the true God they put their faith in the god of human reason. We should celebrate that? No! (1 Tim 6:20-21)

     Jesus was born of a virgin and is the Son of God. He was not born on December 25. He did not approve the religious celebration of His birth called Christmas. Believe and obey Jesus to celebrate true reason (Jno 8:31-32).


Reputation and Reality
Joe R. Price

There is a difference between reputation and character. John Wooden pointed out this distinction and combined it with an important lesson of life when he said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Never be more concerned with what people think about you than with doing the right thing (Matt 10:28).

     The Scriptures teach us to be blameless in character regardless of what our reputation is in the eyes of others. Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Lk 6:26). Courting the favor of men at the expense of truth fits us for destruction.

     One who is blameless is “deserving no censure, free from fault or defect” (Thayer). Charges of wrongdoing may be leveled against him, but those charged are unproven and cannot be made to stick the blameless person (cf. 1 Pet 2:12). Each Christian is to live blamelessly “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Phil 2:15). Elders must be “blameless” (1 Tim 3:2). Blamelessness does not mean you will always have a good reputation. It means your character and conduct is of such a nature that no evil accusation made against you is accurate. It cannot be substantiated; it is false.

     Are we wise enough to know that reputation may or may not constitute reality? Or, do we blindly assume that someone’s reputation must be exactly who and what they really are. If we think reputation always equals reality then we might very well have unrighteously judged the following people:

     1) Jesus had the reputation of being a “glutton and a winebibber” and a companion of sinners (Matt 11:19). Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, so the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes complained against Him (Lk 15:1-2). They said He had a bad reputation. This teaches us not to blindly accept the assessment of a person based solely on reported reputation. The wise person considers who and why a reputation exists. He looks at the evidence. To do less will lead us to blame the blameless.

     2) John the baptist had a reputation of having a demon (Matt 11:18). His austere life combined with his message of repentance and judgment led some to falsely accuse him of being demonic. John’s reputation was not good among those whose sins were condemned by his call to repentance (Mk 6:17-28). In reality: John was blameless (Matt 11:11).

     3) Paul had a reputation among some of being indecisive and erratic. Some apparently even charged him with duplicity in the matter of making travel plans to Corinth (2 Cor 1:15-2:1). Others said Paul had a reputation of being hard and demanding in his letters but weak in person (2 Cor 10:10). That was not the case even though some said it about him (2 Cor 10:11). Paul’s accusers were driven by evil motives; the reputation they said he had was self-serving and false. In reality, Paul was blameless.

     4) Christians have a bad reputation in the eyes of the world (Matt 5:11-12; Acts 28:22). You may have the reputation of being “judgmental” because you teach God’s word to a sinner about his or her sin. You may refuse to have fellowship with false doctrine and be charged with a divisive reputation. You may be blamed as evil because you will not “run with them into the same excess of riot” (1 Pet 4:4, ASV). But, in God’s eyes you are blameless.

     The crucial thing is to be blameless in God’s sight. What others say about your reputation may or may not be true – that depends on your character and conduct (1 Cor 4:3-4). Keep “your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet 2:12).


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

God's Way of Salvation

Scripture Reading:  Acts 8:30-38

1. Various conflicting ways of salvation offered.
2. Who is right? How can you know and be sure? Upon what basis do you believe you will be saved? Are you confident? Why or why not?


  A. Your Soul is at Stake; Eternity is Involved (Matt 16:26; 2 Cor 5:10).
  B. There is One Way to Heaven, Matt 7:13-14.
  C. The Way to the Father is Jesus, Jno 14:6.
  D. Jesus Christ’s Plan is Sure, Jno 8:12; Psa 119:105.


  A. It is Necessary to Hear the Gospel in Order to be Saved. Why? Lk 8:8, 18; Acts 2:23; Jno 6:44-45; Rom 10:17; Matt 7:24-27.
  B. It is Necessary to Believe (Faith) in Order to be Saved. Why? 1 Jno 3:23; Acts 16:30-31; Heb 11:1, 6; Jno 20:31; Rom 10:9; Jas 2:17, 21-24, 26; Rom 10:10; Jno 8:23-24; Mk 16:16.
  C. It is Necessary to Repent in Oder to be Saved. Why? Acts 17:30; Matt 21:28-32; 2 Cor 7:10 (Rev 9:20-21); Acts 11:18; Lk 13:3, 5.
  D. It is Necessary to Confess Faith in Christ in Order to be Saved. Why? Matt 10:32-33; Rom 10:9-10; Acts 8:37 (1 Tim 6:12).
  E. It is Necessary to be Baptized in Order to be Saved. Why? Mk 16:15-16; Acts 10:47-48; Eph 4:5; Rom 6:3-4 (Acts 22:16); Gal 3:27; Acts 2:38; 1 Pet 3:21; 2 Ths 1:8-9.
  F. Once Saved from Past Sins, Christians Must Live Faithfully. Why? Matt 7:21-23; Lk 6:46; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Pet 2:9-12; 2 Pet 1:5-11; Heb 5:8-9; Rev 2:10; 2 Pet 2:20-22; Rev 21:8.

Concl. Pentecost (Acts 2) and throughout Acts: The same pattern of salvation. (Acts 4:12)


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

Building Character: Meekness (Part 5)

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 37:7-11

1. Meekness is a companion of humility, Col 3:12.
2. Common misconception is that meekness is “weakness”; a form of cowardice and indecisiveness. No such idea in the word.
3. Instead, it is the character of the Christ, Matt 11:29; 2 Cor 10:1.

I. MEEKNESS DEFINED (condition of mind).

  A. Describes (1) A Soothing Quality, (2) A Gentle Conduct, and (3) Spiritual Poise and Strength. (“spirit of meekness” Gal 6:1) Zeph 3:12; Gal 5:23
  B. Meekness toward God, 1 Pet 3:4; 2 Cor 12:7-9; Num 12:1-3, 6-8 (Rom 12:19).
  C. Meekness toward People, Titus 3:2.
    1. Toward your mate, Col 3:18-19 (1 Pet 3:3-4).
    2. Toward our children, Col 3:21.
    3. Toward our employer, Col 3:22-25.
    4. Toward your employee, Col 4:1.


  A. For the Blessing that it Brings to you, Matt 5:5; cf. Psa 37:11, 34.
  B. When Helping the Fallen, Gal 6:1; 1 Cor 4:21.
  C. When Teaching the Gospel, 2 Tim 2:24-26.
  D. When We Receive God’s Word, Jas 1:21 (Isa 61:1).
  E. When We Answer Questions about Our Hope, 1 Pet 3:15-16.
  F. As We Seek the Lord, Zeph 2:3 (Acts 17:27).
  G. Grow in Heavenly Wisdom, Jas 3:13-18.

Matt 11:28-30: The meek will come to Jesus and He will receive them. Be meek and go to Him.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Kicking the Habit
Joe R. Price

For most of his tenure in office President Barak Obama has been one of the almost 46 million Americans who smoke cigarettes. Over the past nine months it is reported he has been chewing nicotine gum to kick the habit. We wish him well. (“White House: Obama still trying to kick the habit”, AP, yahoonews)

The addictive power of nicotine is strong. The Bible says “for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Pet 2:19). Christians have been freed from sin in Christ. Therefore, it is essential that we are not “brought under the power” of anything that weakens our faith and self-control (while at the same time hastening physical illness and death, 1 Cor 6:12). Self-control, the fruit of the Spirit that every Christian must bear, is essential to overcome addiction (Gal 5:23).

The Lord expects us to glorify Him in our bodies because our bodies belong to Him (1 Cor 6:19-20). We do not please God when we intentionally do things that harm our health. There is no longer any controversy that the effects of smoking on health are profound. The health risks of smoking include high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack, emphysema and lung cancer (to name a few). Smoking hinders glorifying God in our body.

If you are struggling with an addiction to nicotine or some other substance, know that you can overcome it. Begin by owning up to the harm you are doing to yourself, your body and your good example as a Christian. Commit yourself to kicking the habit with repentance, prayer and endurance. The Lord will strengthen you when you give yourself to Him (1 Pet 5:6-7). You can be freed from the slavery of addiction and set a great example of self-control for others to follow.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  12/13/2010

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