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


Volume 14, Number 20

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:

"Be Filled with the Spirit"
Joe R. Price

(A Baptist friend wrote one of our members last year asking a question about the Holy Spirit. I was asked to comment. Here is that friend’s e-mail followed by my response.)

Baptist: “We are in a Bible study in Ephesians. In Eph. 5:18 where it says do not ben (sic) drunk with wine by be ye filled with the holy spirit (sic). We have a young Church of Christ and she was asking about it. She seems to want to not go into it, like just skip over that part. Can you tell me what your belief is. We belive (sic) than when you receive Christ into your heart, at that you are filled with the holy spirit (sic) and you get a whole filling. It is up to us how much of the holy spirit (sic) we let show through our life.”

Response: Let me first comment on Ephesians 5:18, and then on the broader issue of the Baptist misuse of this passage.

Ephesians 5:18 is not discussing any miraculous manifestation or personal indwelling of the Spirit of God in the heart of the Christian. It is a commandment that we fill ourselves with the Spirit of God by letting the word of Christ dwell in us (Col 3:16).

In a context of exhorting the saints to “walk as children of light”, the apostle says it is necessary to “walk circumspectly”, to “redeem the time”, to “understand what the will of the Lord is” and to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:8-10, 15-18). Notice that we are commanded to do each one of these things. Therefore, the question arises, how does a person obey the command to be “filled with the Spirit”? The answer is given in Colossians 3:16 (a parallel statement to Eph 5:18-19): “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

To be “filled with the Spirit” is the same as letting “the word of Christ dwell in you richly”, and is suggestive of the fellowship one enjoys with the Spirit of God by doing so.

The “Spirit” in this passage stands for that which the Spirit supplies, namely, the inspired word of God. (See Jno 16:13 and 1 Cor 2:10-13, where the Holy Spirit revealed and inspired the apostolic gospel.) We “walk in the Spirit”, are “led by the Spirit” and “live in the Spirit” when we “understand” and obey the will (word) of the Lord (Gal 5:16, 18, 25; Eph 5:17-18). (For more on being led by the Spirit, go to

Christians must have an obedient faith by following the Spirit-given word. By doing so, we are confident of our fellowship with the Spirit of God (2 Cor 13:14; Phil 2:1; 1 Jno 3:24). God the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian in the same way that God the Father and God the Son dwell in him – through his obedient faith to the revealed word of God. (For more on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit go to

Now, concerning the Baptist view of Ephesians 5:18, I would ask your friend for the Scriptures that support her conclusion. The Baptist view of “receiving Jesus into their heart” is mistaken (see Acts 2:36-41). As an example, Saul was not “filled with the Spirit” until he obeyed the Lord and was baptized, three days after he believed, prayed and repented (Acts 9:6-18; 22:16). His heart was prepared, but Saul was not saved until he was baptized.

Fellowship with the Holy Spirit (as well as the Father and the Son) is obtained when one is born again according to the direction of the Spirit-given the word of God (Jno 3:3-5; 1 Pet 1:22-23). In Titus 3:5 the “renewing of the Holy Spirit” reminds us of the “seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” in Acts 3:19 and the “gift of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:38. We thus conclude that the “gift of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:38 is the gift that the Spirit gives – that is, the blessings of salvation which the Spirit has promised in the word of God (Gal 3:14; Gen 12:2-3). This is not a personal, actual and miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit any more than that the Father and Son are personally, actually and miraculously dwelling in the Christian.

Your friend said, “It is up to us how much of the holy spirit we let show through our life.” She is correct in this sense: when we obey the command to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (by letting the word of Christ dwell in us) then evidence will exist that we are “filled with the Spirit” (in fellowship with the Spirit of God, Eph 5:17-18; Col 3:16; Rom 8:16). The fruit of the Spirit will be borne in us (Gal 5:22-26). By disobeying the “will of the Lord” one shows he does not yet understand God’s will (Matt 7:21). Such a person is not filled with the Spirit – he is not in fellowship with the Spirit of God; he is lost in sin.


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

New Testament Creation Believers

Scripture Reading:  Job 38:1-7

1. The heavens declare the glory of God and what His hand has done, Psa 19:1.
2. Inspiration of the Scriptures attests to their reliability re. creation, Jno 16:12-13; 1 Cor 2:10, 13; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21.
3. Gen 1:1: God is the Creator; the mind and energy behind the existence of matter.
4. The origin of life is key to belief in the creative God of the Bible. Rom 1:21; Eph 4:17ff

1) JESUS, Mark 10:6. [Lk 1:1-4]

  1. Jesus did not believe matter is eternal.
  2. Jesus believed in a personal and powerful Creator, Matt 19:4.


  1. Saw the world as evidence for God.
  2. Recognition and praise, Exo 20:11; Neh 9:6.

3) PAUL AND BARNABAS, Acts 14:15; 17:25.

  1. Paul affirmed Christ is the Creator and the Sustainer, Col 1:16-17.
  2. Paul affirmed man’s moral accountability is based on evidence of creation, Rom 1:18-20.

4) JOHN THE APOSTLE, John 1:1-3.

   -Affirmed deity and humanity, 1:1-3, 14.

5) PETER THE APOSTLE, 2 Pet 3:3-5.

  -The creative word of God provokes reverence, cf. Psa 33:6-9 (2 Pet 3:7).


  -Creation was an act of the divine will.


  -Perceive the evidence for creation, Heb 11:1.

Conclusion  Psa 14:1; 1 Tim 6:19-20; Job 38:1-3; 42:1-6


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

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 5:4-11

1. Sleep is a frequently used metaphor in the Scriptures.
2. Some sleep is good; too much can be bad.
3. Are you getting the right kind of sleep?


  A. Death of the Physical Body, Job 14:10-14 (Eccl 9:2-6).
  B. Just as We Awake from Sleep, Jesus will Raise the Dead, Jno 11:11-14, 17, 21-27, 42-44; 1 Cor 15:51-52; 1 Ths 4:14-15 (Rev 14:13).


  A. Spiritual Blindness and Spiritual Death, cf. Isa 29:9-12; 1 Cor 11:30.
  B. The Failure to be Spiritually Vigilant, Lk 22:45-46 (1 Pet 5:8).
  C. We are Warned to Wake Up.
    1. Time is running out! Rom 13:11-14
    2. Light of truth should wake us! Eph 5:13-16
    3. Be sober and watchful, 1 Ths 5:4-9.


  A. Idleness Refuses to see and do the Work set before it, Prov 24:30-34; Jno 4:34-35; 9:4.
  B. We Need Increase Fervent Faith and Zeal, Gal 6:7-10. (Isa 56:10; Psa 132:1-5; Ruth 3:18)


  A. Work Hard and Sleep Well, Eccl 5:12.
  B. Trust in God helps us be Content, Matt 8: 24-27; Prov 3:24-26 (Jer 31:25-26; Psa 3:5-6).

Conclusion God never sleeps, Psa 121:3-4.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

A Debt Crisis
Joe R. Price

The U.S. government has a debt crisis. The credit cards are maxed out on a $14 trillion debt. Politicians maneuver while financial gurus prognosticate; and the debt increases. Proposals and solutions abound, but the bottom line is this: the bill is due and we cannot pay it off.

     The enormity of this debt reminds spiritually-minded folks about an even greater debt we owe, the debt of sin, which we can never pay to obtain redemption. The wages of sin is death, and unless we are redeemed from our sins we will suffer that penalty forever (Rom 6:23).

     Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28; 1 Tim 2:6). The gift of redemption is available to sinners (Rom 6:23). The word translated ransom means “what is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption” (Thayer). The word insinuates being loosed from slavery or bondage. The death of Jesus is the divine expression of grace that offers liberty from our debt of sin. Sinners cannot pay the debt, but God has chosen to forgive our debt by the blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:18-19; Eph 2:1-5).

     Divine forgiveness is described by Jesus as a king who forgave the debt owed by his servant. When the servant pleaded for mercy the master “was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” (Matt 18:27)

     We must acknowledge the enormity of our debt of sin and that we cannot redeem ourselves. Only then will we humble ourselves before God, put our faith in Christ and obey His gospel for redemption – deliverance from sin and death (Rom 6:17-18).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  07/04/2011

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