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


Volume 14, Number 16

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
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
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:

Listening to Jesus
Joe R. Price

     The man told me Jesus spoke to him, telling him to arise and shake the preacher’s hand in order to be saved. He was at the altar (mourner’s bench) when he says Jesus told him to rise up and shake the man’s hand, and that when he did “a great love Mixed with Electricy (sic) (felt like it) started at the top of my head and ran all through my body out of my feet.” (Personal email, May 28, 2011)

     In contrast to his experience, the Bible tells of a preacher (sent by Jesus) telling a sinner who wanted to be saved to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Saul didn’t need to shake the hand of Ananias to be saved, but he did need to be baptized into Christ. When he did, he was.

     This man’s experience (a Baptist) illustrates how deceived many are when it comes to being saved. He had an experience in which he sincerely believes Jesus spoke to him. He believes he was saved that day. And, to this point no amount of appealing to the Scriptures has changed his mind.

     Personal experiences and personal testimonies are as many and as varied as those who have them. Yet, God’s word teaches us to hear and receive (obey) the words of Christ’s apostles, for this is the way Jesus speaks to us today. “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Matt 10:40). “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Jno 13:20).

     To hear Jesus speaking to us we must listen to the words of His apostles, the New Testament. This is how faith is formed and how we learn of our sin and of salvation in Christ (Rom 10:17; Acts 2:14, 22, 36-41).

     To be saved, we must love the truth. Otherwise, we will not believe the truth; we will believe a lie and perish (2 Ths 2:10-12). Loving the truth is equivalent to having a heart (the will or determination) to do God’s will (Jno 7:16-17). It is the heart of the Bereans in Acts 17:11-12.

     We hear the word of God by listening to the apostles. Like the Thessalonians, we must welcome it “as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Ths 2:13). Anything that contradicts the New Testament is not the word of Christ.


Why Did David Use Instruments?
Steven Deaton

In discussions with denominational folks about instrumental music, they will sometimes claim that David’s use of them justifies their use today. Is this true?

First, let us establish that David is not our Savior. He is not the authority in Christianity, Jesus is (Col. 3:17; Matt. 28:18). David was a prophet; he was the sweet psalmist of Israel, guided by the Spirit of God. Still, the New Testament reveals that we are not to follow and heed the Law or prophets, but the Son of God (Matt. 17:1-5).

Second, David used the instruments because God commanded him to (2 Chron. 29:25). It is not as though David presumptuously changed the worship of God. Many today believe they can. Without a commandment from God, they alter what the New Testament says about worship. They add instrumental music, social activities, even outright entertainment. All such activities are without divine authority and render the worship vain (Matt. 15:7-9).

Third, there are many things David did that we cannot do. David offered and commended animal sacrifices (Psa. 51:19). He had many wives (2 Sam. 3:2-5; 5:13; 12:8). Who will argue that we should offer bulls and goats or that a man can practice polygamy because David did? Honesty demands that none of these things are permissible because of David’s practices; not sacrifices, not polygamy, not instrumental music in worship.

The bottom line is, David used instruments because that is what God commanded him to do. In our worship we must sing, because this is what God commands us to do (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Let us be like David, people after God’s own heart, by submitting to the Lord’s will, not living by ours.

If we can use instrumental music in worship because David did, then…

Ø We can sacrifice oxen and fatted sheep (2 Sam 6:13).

Ø We can dance before the Lord as a form of praise (2 Sam 6:14).

Ø We can shout with the sound of trumpets as a form of praise (2 Sam 6:15).

Ø We can maintain a tabernacle and there offer burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord (2 Sam 6:17).

What proves too much proves nothing! King David lived and died under the statutes of the Law of Moses (which approved these acts of worship and devotion to the Lord). We do not.

Today, we hear and follow the Son of God, not Moses and the OT prophets (Matt 17:5). Jesus says we must worship God “in spirit and in truth” (Jno 4:24). His truth, the New Testament, defines and directs our worship today. To go beyond His word is to offer vain worship to God.


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


Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 5:8-17

1. We cannot be indifferent toward this topic.
2. What is the Bible pattern for modest dress and behavior? (Phil 3:17)
3. Modest: “Well-arranged”, orderly.
4. Used in NT of: Behavior (1 Tim 3:2); Clothing (1 Tim 2:9). Dress and demeanor in 1 Pet 3:3-4.


  A. The Inner Character of Modesty: Holiness of Mind, 1 Pet 1:13-16.
    1. Shamefastness: “A sense of shame, modesty” (Vine); “bashfulness” (Thayer).
    2. Sobriety: “Soundness of mind...sound judgment.”
  B. The Outward Expression of Modesty, 1 Tim 2:9-10.


  A. Elders are to be Modest in Behavior.
  B. Every Christian is to be Modest in Behavior, 1 Pet 2:11-12; Rom 13:13 (1 Pet 4:3).


  A. God Considers Exposing the Thigh to be Nakedness, Exo 28:42-43 (11:4-5; 18:13f); Isa 47:2-3; Gen 3:7-10, 21.
  B. Clothing that is Orderly, Arranged by Shamefastness and Sobriety, 1 Tim 2:9-10.
    1. Some object at this point, saying Bible doesn’t give a dress code…
    2. Bible demands modest clothing (conceals, not reveals), 1 Tim 2:9.
    3. Bible forbids nakedness (exposure of the thigh, less than full complement of clothing, Gen 3:21).
    4. Bible commands shamefastness and sobriety (1 Tim 2:10).


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

Building Blocks to a Stronger Marriage: Communication

Scripture Reading:  Romans 12:9-13

1. Communication is a building block of any successful relationship.
2. Why do husbands and wives fail to effectively communicate?


  A. They Begin taking Each Other for Granted, cf. SS 2:3; 3:1-4; Gen 2:21-23 (18).
  B. They want to avoid Confrontation, Prov 21:9, 19; 15:1; 20:3; Matt 5:23-24; Jas 1:19; Prov 15:18 (29:22); 1 Cor 13:5.
  C. They are Obsessed with their Own Interests, 1 Cor 13:5 (selfishness); 2 Tim 3:3; Gal 5:23) Phil 2:4; Eph 5:25 (1 Tim 5:8), 22, 24 (Prov 31:27); Eccl 4:9-12.
  D. They Feel that they are Being Manipulated, Eph 5:33; cf. 1 Pet 3:1-4, 6-7; Rom 12:10.
  E. They Say They are too Busy to take the Time, Eph 5:16; Col 4:5-6; cf. Lk 10:38-42.
  F. They Don’t Want to Hurt the Other Person, Prov 27:5-6, 17; 28:23; Rom 12:16; Eph 5:26-27.


1. A marriage without communication is like a car without fuel; it won’t go very far for very long…it will sputter and die!

2. Rom 12:9-13, 16: Communication will be the natural product of building our marriages upon sincerity and goodness (9), kind affection and honoring preference (10), diligent service (11), joyful hope, patient steadfastness and prayer (12), sympathetic giving and unity (13, 16).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Removing God from the Public Square
Joe R. Price

A Texas school district has been ordered to “prohibit public prayer” at its high school graduation ceremony. “Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including ‘prayer’ and ‘amen’” (Federal Judge Prohibits Prayer at Texas Graduation Ceremony, Todd Starnes,

     Judge Biery “banned students and other speakers from using religious language in their speeches. Among the banned words or phrases are: “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer.” He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program. These terms shall be replaced with ‘opening remarks’ and ‘closing remarks,’” the judges order stated. His ruling also prohibits anyone from saying, “in [a deity’s name] we pray.” Should a student violate the order, school district officials could find themselves in legal trouble. Judge Biery ordered that his ruling be “enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed by District official (sic) and their agents.” (Ibid.)

     Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is appealing the ruling. “Part of this goes to the very heart of the unraveling of moral values in this country”, he said.

     A country founded on free speech and freedom “of” religion is being pushed toward censorship and freedom “from” religion. The effort to remove God from the public square is real. First century Christians lived under antagonistic governments, yet their faith thrived. Why? They vowed to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). We must do the same. God can only be removed from the public square after He has already been removed from peoples’ hearts. (Prov 14:34; Matt 22:37)


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  06/06/2011

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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