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


Volume 14, Number 03

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:

When Your Brother has Something Against You
Joe R. Price

It is easy to convince ourselves that we have no urgent obligation toward a person who has something against us. We would be wrong. We may tell ourselves (and others) that “God knows my heart” and thereby be convinced we have vindicated ourselves from any responsibility to address the problem. Again, we would be wrong.

Jesus said, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison” (Matt 5:23-25, emp. mine).

The complaint against you may or may not be valid; the evidence and testimony of those involved should be righteously delivered and assessed (Jno 7:24). But, to say “I will not make the first move toward reconciling” with a complaining brother indicates a sinful heart (Matt 5:22).

Reconcile with your brother in order to acceptably worship God. First be reconciled, and then offer your gift to God. God does not accept worship from one who is unwilling to reconcile with a brother (Jno 4:24). Jesus is teaching the need to have love in one’s heart, without which, one becomes angry, abusive and contemptuous toward his brother (Matt 5:22).

God expects us to make the first move to correct complaints someone has against us. Jesus said to agree with your adversary quickly. An unhesitating and immediate effort should be made to communicate with the complainer, identify the complaint and correct every wrong so that agreement results. Here is the peacemaker at work (Matt 5:9).

We prepare ourselves for hell when we have a heart that refuses to love a brother and correct every wrong (Matt 5:22, 25-26). Much harm to oneself and to the cause of Christ occurs when Christ’s instruction is not followed in these matters. When you know a brother or sister has a complaint against you, do not react sinfully with anger, contemptuous hatred or silence. Instead, act in love and reconcile quickly.


Are there Miracles Today?
Joe R. Price

Almost invariably, when a great blessing occurs or an extraordinary event takes place, someone commenting on it says, “it’s a miracle”! It may be said to acknowledge the astonishing nature of the event (perhaps a drowning person was rescued; a person survived a shot to the head, etc.). Or, such a comment may be an attempt to assign the event to the power of God.

There is no dispute that God works in this world to accomplish His purposes. However, every work of God in this world is cannot be scripturally described as a “miracle”. God is sovereign, and His hand is in the affairs of men (Rom 8:28). What is in dispute is whether God has appointed men through whom He works supernatural deeds today (as the apostles of Christ did in the New Testament). The Scriptures say, “no”, for several reasons.

1) The purpose of miracles. Miracles not only showed the compassion of God, they were also God’s endorsement of the message being preached by the men through whom the miracles were done (Mk 16:15-20; Heb 2:3-4). The miracles “confirmed” or validated the word as being divine (Acts 14:3). Once the gospel was confirmed as divine, its validity remains true without the need for ongoing validation (Gal 1:11). Therefore, a vital question must be asked if similar miracles are really happening today: “What is the new revelation that needs to be miraculous confirmed?” While some claim they have new revelation, the Scriptures teach the first century word is incorruptible and sufficient (1 Pet 1:22-25; 2 Tim 3:16-17). There is no new revelation, and there are no confirming miracles being worked today.

2) Who worked miracles? The apostles of Christ and those upon whom they laid their hands, thus imparting miraculous spiritual gifts, are the human agents through whom God worked miracles in the gospel age (Acts 2:1-4; 6:6; 8:4-8, 14-24; 19:6). There are no apostles living today to either work miracles or to impart miraculous spiritual gifts to others. Thus, the age of miracles has ended.

When astonishing things happen today, or when great blessings occur, they are not “miracles” as defined in the Scriptures. Bible miracles left no doubt, even in the eyes of the unbelievers, that a supernatural event had taken place (see John 11:42-47; Acts 4:13-16).

There is a difference between miracles and divine providence (God’s daily workings in this world in the lives of men, such as answering prayers, Matt 7:7-11). Our ability to distinguish Bible miracles that were worked through men in Bible times from the blessings of divine providence is the difference between correctly discerning and using God’s word and being deceived by the deluded claims of modern “miracle workers” and “faith healers” (2 Tim 2:15; 2 Ths 2:9-12).


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

Unity in Adversity

Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 4:12-16

1. Adversity: “a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress”, cf. Lk 22:28; Jno 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Tim 3:12; Rev 1:9.
2. Adversity, if not properly handled, can cause division and scattering, Jno 16:32; Matt 24:9-12.


  A. Unity in Adversity is a Great Benefit, Eccl 4:9-12; Jno 17:20-21.
  B. We are Commanded to Endeavor to Keep Unity, Eph 4:3.


  A. Faith in Christ, Jno 16:33; 1 Jno 5:4.
  B. Unwavering Commitment to Truth, Eph 4:20-24; Gal 5:7-9; Jude 3-4; Gal 4:11-16.
  C. Must Place a High Value on our Unity in Christ and be Vigilant to Preserve it, Jno 17: 20-21; Eph 4:3 (Psa 133:1; Gen 13:8; Matt 24:13).


  A. Discord/Rivalry among Brethren, Gal 5:19.
  B. Adversity in the Local Church has the Potential to Disrupt Unity:
    1. False teachers and doctrines, 2 Tim 2:16-18.
    2. Factiousness, Rom 14:1-5.
    3. Power plays, 3 Jno 9-10 (Phil 2:3-4).
    4. Hidden sin, Josh 6-7; Matt 18:15-17.
    5. Demanding some “new thing”, Jer 6:16-17.


  A. Special Occasions: Holidays, Birthdays, Weddings and Funerals, Gen 13:8-9; 2:24.
  B. Financial Strain, Matt 6:25-34; Phil 4:11ff.
  C. Marital “Bliss”, Eph 5:31, 33.


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

A Demoniac Boy Healed (Matt 17:14-21)

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 17:14-21

1. One of the compelling traits of Jesus is His compassion toward the weak and suffering (Matt 4:23-24; 9:35-36; 14:14; 20:34).
2. The miracles of Jesus continually remind us why we have faith He is the Christ, the Son of God.

I. RECORD OF THE MIRACLE: Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29.

  1) A multitude gathered, Mk 9:14.
  -Lesson: Always will be skeptics, Jno 12:37-41.

  2) Man’s son brought to Jesus, Matt 17:17:15.
  -Lesson: Innocent ones suffer, Job 2:9-10.

  3) Disciples could not heal due to unbelief, Matt 17:16, 19-20; 10:1.
  -Lesson: Trust the power of faith, Lk 17:5-6.

  4) Jesus rebuked unbelief, Matt 17:17.
  -Lesson: God is longsuffering, 1 Pet 3:20-21.

  5) Goodness of Jesus stirred appeal for faith, Mk 9:23-24.
  -Lesson: Urges repentance, Rom 2:4.

  6) Jesus commended power of faith, Mk 9:23.
  -Lesson: Victory of faith, 1 Jno 5:4-5.

  7) The miracle, Matt 17:18; Mk 9:25-27.
  -Lesson: Jesus does all things well, Mk 7:37.

  8) Jesus explains need for faith, prayer and fasting, Matt 17:20-21.
  -Lesson: Faith plus devoted service, Heb 11:6.


  A. Our Lack of Faith can be Another Person’s Excuse not to Believe, Mk 9:14-18; Matt 17:17.
  B. Christ’s Power over the Demonic World Assures us Victory over Sin, 17:14; Eph 6:10-13.
  C. The Power of Faith in Christ, Heb 11:6.
  D. “Faith-Healers” Accuse the Wrong Person of a Lack of Faith when their Fakery Fails!


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

When the Going Gets Tough...Leave Town!
Joe R. Price

Wisconsin police searched Thursday for that state’s Senate democrats after they failed to show up en masse for what some called a “union-busting” vote. Large protests were held at the state capitol against a law that would limit collective bargaining rights by state employees and force state workers to contribute to their own pension funds. “It’s kind of unbelievable that they’re elected to do a job and they wouldn’t show up to do it,” Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald told Fox News. (“Police Search for Senate Democrats Who Skipped Vote to Curtail Union Rights in Wisconsin”, This reminds us that…

1) Political stunts are cowardly. Political maneuvering fails to address real problems, whether in government or in the church. When we are more concerned about who gets the credit or about maintaining our position and control instead of advancing truth and righteousness, our motives are worldly and our tactics are carnal. They are doomed to fail. There is no place for political games in the church (3 Jno 9-10; Jude 4, 12-13; 1 Ths 2:3-7).

2) Hiding from responsibilities will not exonerate a person from his failure to meet them. It is far better to accept responsibility and do the work we are given (whether by God or by men) than to run away from it (cf. Col 3:23). Remember Jonah. We cannot hide from God (Heb 4:13).

3) Leaders must lead. “Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?” (Ezek 34:2) Elders, for example, must lead the churches (Heb 13:17; Acts 20:28). Worthy leaders will be rewarded when Christ appears (1 Pet 5:1-4). Unworthy leaders will face God’s wrath (Ezek 34:16).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  02/21/2011

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