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


Vol 13, Num 50, 01/16/2011

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
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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 Clarity of Truth
Joe R. Price

Some brethren are not comfortable with declaring the plain and definite nature of the gospel on certain Bible topics. To them, to do so implies one is being arrogant or asserting he has “perfect knowledge” of God’s word. We will not attempt to assign motives for such assertions (God knows their hearts); however, such conclusions are erroneous. Only in humility, as one is aware of his need for divine truth, will one open his heart to God’s word (Acts 17:11-12). To depend on truth is not prideful; it is humble faith at work.

It is sufficient here that we clearly and plainly affirm the following: Since God’s “divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”, then we can know the truth of the gospel as God wants us to know it (2 Pet 1:3). We can obey it the way God wants us to obey it. And, we can teach it plainly and boldly to others. To suggest anything less is a failure to trust the word of God. (Will we be charged with arrogance, “perfect knowledge” or Pharisaic tendencies for making such a statement? If so, please read John 8:31-32; Ephesians 3:3-4; 5:17; 1 Timothy 4:11; Titus 2:15.)

The word of God speaks of divine truth in terms of “black and white”, not in differing shades of gray. Ephesians 5:8-17, where the apostle urges saints to walk in the light, teaches this fundamental nature of God’s revealed truth.

1) Christians are commanded to “walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8). The “light of the gospel” is brilliant, not obscure, and exposes the darkness of sin (2 Cor 3:4; Jno 3:19). We are not taught to walk in the “shade” of the light, but in the light itself. God’s word is that light (Psa 119:105; Prov 6:23).

2) The light of truth reveals what God accepts (Eph 5:9-10). The clear light of truth shines from the throne of God through the pages of inspiration to teach us about the fruit of the Spirit we must bear (5:9; Gal 5:22-23). Fruit left in the shade is robbed of the essential light it needs to mature (“gray areas”). If the light of truth is “gray”, how shall we bear mature fruit? “Send the light!”

3) We are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph 5:11). The light of truth exposes sin – not the “gray areas” of uncertainty and doubt. This verse necessarily implies that truth draws a clear line between sin (the darkness of error) and light (the righteousness of truth). Why didn’t Paul talk about “gray areas” here and not be so arrogant as to say that truth exposes sin?

4) The light of truth exposes all things, showing what God accepts as well as the sin He rejects (Eph 5:13). If “shades of gray” are a part of God’s “light of the gospel”, then we are left with less than a clear vision of what pleases God. That cannot be; it is not so. Why is it deemed arrogant to advance the clarity of truth so that sinners know clearly God’s will for their lives? That is the question our brethren who are not comfortable with the definitive nature of truth need to ask and answer. Jesus said, “He who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jno 3:21).

5) Christ gives us light (Eph 5:14). Here, the apathetic are urged to “awake” and “arise” so that they may have the light of Christ in their lives. If revealed truth is in fact, so many “shades of gray”, where then is the light? (When is the last time a gray rain cloud woke you up?) The bright light of truth, like the rays of the sun, wakes us up to arise from sin and do the will of God.

6) Wisdom is gained by understanding the will of the Lord (Eph 5:17). Are saints relegated to uncertainty as they “walk circumspectly” (5:15)? No! The clear path of truth has been revealed to us; it is the New Testament of Christ. It is not arrogance or Pharisaic self-righteousness that calls people to seek the path of truth (Jer 6:16). Rather, it is faith that there is a distinct path to God that is defined by clarity, not “gray areas”.

Paul warned in this passage not to be deceived by “empty words” (Eph 5:6). To say there are “gray areas” in the gospel is vain talk. Brethren, do not be deceived. Instead, let us all hold fast to the “pattern of sound words” (2 Tim 1:13).

Jesus said, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jno 3:20). The light of divine truth exposes sin – whatever that sin may be. Our job is to put our faith in God’s word – the light of the gospel – and then carefully walk the path that leads to heaven (cf. Josh 1:7; Matt 7:14, 21-23).


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

Building Character: Be Thankful (Part 11)

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 107:1-9

1. Ingratitude is an ugly sin. Rom 1:21; 2 Tim 3:2
2. Giving thanks should be the natural result of life in Christ (Col 3:3, 10, 15).
3. Opposite of self-centeredness; it springs out of love, joy and praise. Eph 5:20

I. WHAT IT MEANS [“giving thanks”].

  A. “The Grateful Acknowledgment of Benefits Received.”
  B. Presuppositions of Giving Thanks.

II. WHEN WE MUST BE [“always”]

  A. Before Blessing (mindset), 2 Chr 20:20-21
  B. During the Blessing (reliance), Acts 28:15.
  C. After Received (acknowledge), Exo 15:1.

III. WHAT FOR [“all things”].

  A. Everything, 2 Cor 12:10; 1 Ths 5:18; Phil 1:12-14, 18; Rom 8:28, 8:35-39.
  B. Be Thankful for God’s Attributes and God’s Works (salvation, the church, word, judgments), Psa 96:1-3 (103:1-5).
  C. Be Thankful for Brethren, Family, Food, Life’s Joys and Sorrows, Pleasures and Pain… 1 Ths 1:2-3; 1 Ths 4:4-5

IV. HOW WE EXPRESS IT [“in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”] Eph 1:3; Col 3:17.

  A. Expressed by words and lives, Heb 13:15-16; Col 2:7.

V. GIVEN TO GOD [“to God the Father”].

  A. God is the Giver of All Good Gifts, Jas 1:17; Psa 106:1. (cf. 1 Tim 1:12)

   Ingratitude reveals prideful self-sufficiency, and spawns many others sins, 2 Tim. 3:1-5.


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

The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God

Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 7:17-24

1. “Can a person become a Christian if that person has been divorced and remarried?” Yes.
2. Real question: “What are the divorced and remarried to do who come to Christ?”
3. If one’s divorce and remarriage violates the word of Christ, then he must repent, Matt 19:9.
4. Two issues: (1) Was the remarriage God-approved?, and (2) What is repentance and what does it demand of the sinner?

I. WHEN DIV. AND REMARR. ARE  IN VIOLATION OF MATTHEW 19:9, THEY ARE IN SIN, Matt 19:9, 4-6; Heb 13:4; Rom 7:2-3.

  A. Marriage, Ordained by God, is for Life and is not to be Sundered, Matt 19:4-6 (Heb 13:4).
  B. One can Live in the Sin of Adultery, Rom 7: 2-3; Col 3:5-7 (Matt 19:9; 5:32; Mk 10:11-12).
  C. Those in Sinful Remarriages are Committing Adultery and are Lost, Acts 2:37-41.


  A. Repent means “to change”, and is Caused by Godly Sorrow, Lk 13: 3, 5; 2 Cor 7:10. Repentance doesn’t change nature of sin (Rom 6:1; 1 Cor 6:9-11).


  1. The issue is not that “black and white”.
  2. “No one in Acts 2 was told to end their marriage; therefore, we should not do so today.”
  3. “You can’t unscramble the sins of the past; just go forward from here.” [Ans. 1 Cor 7:11]
  4. “Remain present calling. “ 1 Cor 7:20
  5. “Forbidding marriage and commanding divorce”, 1 Tim 4:3.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Choose Your Words Carefully
Joe R. Price

In trying to silence false accusations that her rhetoric had incited the Tucson shooting, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin ignited another round of consternation by using the term “blood libel” to describe those allegations. It reminds us to be aware of the words we choose and the impact they will have on others.

     Historically, “blood libel” has referred to the false accusations made against European Jews during the Middle Ages. The “blood libel” was that Jews ritualistically murdered Catholic children and used their blood to bake matzos for their Passover feasts. This libel was used to justify hatred and violent persecution against the Jews.

We hope that Gov. Palin will recognize...that the term ‘blood libel’ brings back painful echoes of a very dark time in our communal history when Jews were falsely accused of committing heinous deeds,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of J Street, a left-leaning lobby group.” (Jews troubled by Palin’s use of `blood libel’, Nicole Neroulias,

     In modern Israel the term is used to describe “any claim that is totally without foundation”, according to Jonathan Sarna, dean of American Jewish historians at Brandeis University (Ibid.). Perhaps that is what Palin was trying to convey as she adapted the term to present-day political wrangling; others can debate that.

     Clearly, there are Jewish sensitivities at work here. Whether or not that removes the term from modern adaption is for others to discuss. Our point here is simple: The words we choose may inject strife or peace. Our words may inflame a situation, or they may help communicate a solution. Controlling our tongue includes assessing what our words will convey (Jas 3:1-2; Col 4:6). Consequently, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a hard word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Prov 15:1-2). The exhortation is clear: Choose your words carefully (Jas 3:5-6)!


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  01/17/2011

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