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


Volume 14, Number 27

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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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:

Gospel Meeting September 25-30, 2011

Mt. Baker church of Christ
Gospel Meeting

September 25–30, 2011

Marc Smith
(Hewitt, Texas)

Bible lessons nightly, Mon-Fri at 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 25th at 9:30 & 10:30 AM; 6:00 PM     

(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
For more information please call (360) 752-2692


"Eating in the Meeting House"
Joe R. Price

The Scriptures authorize work for the local church. Appeals to human reasoning without Bible authority are inadequate to assure divine approval (Col. 3:17). The Bible authorizes a local church to (1) Preach the gospel to the lost (1 Ths. 1:8; Acts 11:22-24; 13:2-3), (2) Edify the saints (Acts 20:28-32; 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 4:11-16) and (3) Relieve needy saints (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35; 11:27-30). Adding additional works is done so against God’s will (1 Cor. 4:6).

One addition to the divine pattern of work for the local church sanctions local church involvement in social and recreational activities.

Those who insist the local church has the divine right to use the church building for social activities have been willing to press their the practice to the dividing of God’s people. The issue is not whether we can eat where we worship. Anyone assigning that as the issue is building a straw man that is easily defeated. (Incidental eating is not the issue.) Yes, Christians can indeed worship where they eat (in the homes, Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19). After the straw man has been beaten to a bloody pulp, the real issue remains unanswered: What Bible authority allows the local church to plan, promote and provide social activities (whether conducted at its place of worship or anywhere else)?

The following is from a preacher who preaches and practices church planned and provided social activities:

When Paul scored the Corinthian Christians for despising the church by eating a common meal therein, he spoke of their assembly for worship, not a church building which they did not have (I Cor. 11:17-22). It is still wrong to mix a common meal with the Lord’s Supper, but it has never been wrong to eat a fellowship meal in a church house. (emp. mine) This has been a troublesome question that has hurt many congregations when well-meaning, but misinformed brethren demanded that church buildings be used only for worship and Bible study and caused trouble if they were used for anything else.” (“What Church Buildings Are and Are Not”, John Waddey, fortify_your_faith Yahoo! Groups, August 17, 2011)

We are not misinformed on what Paul said to the Corinthians: “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?” (1 Cor. 11:22) And, “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment.” (1 Cor. 11:34)

     Individuals (the home and family) bear responsibility of arranging for and feeding the stomach; not the local church. That is what Paul taught. We agree we cannot turn the Lord’s Supper into a common meal. What was the Holy Spirit’s solution? Satisfy your hunger at home – not “when you come together”. That ought to end the matter. But of church sponsored and supported social activity we ask, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” (Matt. 21:23)

     Neither are we misinformed about the authorized purpose and use of church buildings. The church building is approved as an aid assisting the local church to obey the Lord’s will to assemble for worship (Heb. 10:25; Acts 20:7). It is a tool to help us obey the Lord’s stated will for the local church. Thus, it is approved for that purpose. What these brethren first must do is provide Scriptural support that the work of the local church also includes these so-called “fellowship meals”. A tool (aid) is not needed and is not approved for use until that which it facilitates is first authorized (1 Cor 6:12; 10:23). In other words, an aid is only helpful when it helps us fulfill God’s will. A building is an aid to help us assemble for worship. But, who authorized the local church to plan, promote and provide meals and recreational activities? In the absence of authority for this work, using the building for such purposes is a misappropriation of the authorized facility. It is being misused for a purpose that is not taught in the word of God.

     Mr. Waddey says “it has never been wrong to eat a fellowship meal in a church house”. If that is correct then we should have no problem going to the Scripture that teaches us about “fellowship meals”. Where is it?

     It is not Acts 2:42, where the disciples continued steadfastly in “fellowship” and “in breaking bread” (the Lord’s Supper). Shall we add “meals” to this verse? No! (1 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18) It is not Acts 2:46, for there the Christians were “breaking bread from house to house” in perfect harmony with 1 Corinthians 11:22, 34. Neither is it in Acts 20:11 where “breaking bread” is different from the Lord’s Supper of verse 7. The Scripture is silent about “fellowship meals” as a part of the work of the church at Troas.

     One cannot find “fellowship meals” in the New Testament; the term is borrowed from the denominations and forced into such passages as Jude 12 and 2 Peter 2:13. The consistence use of “fellowship” in the NT applies to spiritual relationship, association and activity (1 Jno. 1:3; 2 Jno. 9-11; et al). It is not applied to fishermen fishing together, or farmers working their fields together, or Christians eating meals together. Joint participation? Yes; “Fellowship”? No.

     Division is caused and sustained when brethren insist on adding meals and social activities to the work of the local church. Even now, some who believe themselves to be “conservative” churches of Christ advertise social activities. We ask them the same question: “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Is it the work of the local church to advertise and promote the activities of the home and family? If it is, then why not also begin advertising businesses run by brethren? If not, why not? Stay off this slippery slope!

     The building is set apart to be used for the authorized work of the local church.


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

The Marriage Vow

Scripture Reading:  Ecclesiastes 5:1-5

1. Marriage is under assault.
2. The marriage vows establish honor for marriage which must be maintained.


  A. A Vow to God: Honors and Obeys God’s Arrangement of Marriage, Gen 2:24; Matt 19:4-6; Heb 13:4. Eccl 5:2, 4-6; Prov 20:25
  B. A Vow to Each Other: God Approves the Marriage Covenant made between a Man and Woman who have the God-given Right to Enter that Covenant, Prov 2:17; Mal 2:14 (16). Matt 19:6; Rom 7:2-3; Gen 2:18; 1:28; 1 Cor 7:2; Mk 6:17-18; Jno 4:16-18

-Lessons include:
    1. Who you marry will affect your standing with God: Be certain it is lawful according to God’s will.
    2. Take your vows seriously and live by them.


  A. Husband, Eph 5:25-29 (23, 25, 33).
    1. Love her as Christ loved the church.
    2. Cherish her as your own flesh.
  B. Wife. Eph 5:22-24, 33; Ruth 1:16-17.
    1. Love and honor him.
    2. Submit to him as the church does to Christ, cf. Titus 2:5; 1 Pet 3:1-2.
  C. Husband and Wife: Fidelity (Matt 19:9).


  A. Marriage is Until Death, not “Until Love Dies/Find Someone Else”. Col 3:12-15.

Concl. Strengthen and honor your marriage by keeping your vows. Be thankful, Eccl 9:9.


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

Faith at Work (James 5)

Scripture Reading:  James 5:7-12

James 5 sums up a working faith by contrasting the futility of material goods while exhorting us to patiently rely on God.


  A. The Futility of Riches to Secure and to Save, 5:1.
    1. The desire to be rich destroys, 1 Tim 6:9-10; cf. Prov 30:7-9.
    2. The nature of riches is corruptible and corrupting, Jas 5:2-3; 5:5; Eccl 5:13-15.
    3. Woe pronounced on those who make riches their god, Lk 6:24-25; 18:24-30 (Jas 5:4; Lev 19: 13; Deut 24:14-15; Jer 22:13).
  B. The Christian and Material Goods, 5:5; Matt 6:24, 6:19-21; Jas 5:2-3; 1 Tim 6:17; Lk 16:19-21 (14-15); 1 Tim 6:18 (15).


  A. Faith has Patience to Wait on the Lord to Judge, Jas 5:7-12; 2 Ths 1:3-8.
  B. Faith has Patience to Wait on the Lord to Bless, Jas 5:13-18 (Lk 18:1, 8).


  A. The Sin of Wandering from the Truth, Jas 5:19; cf. 1 Tim 4:1.
  B. Spiritual Condition of the Christian who strays from the Truth, Jas 5:20; 1 Jno 3:4; cf. Matt 7:13-14; Jno 14:6; Psa 119:30.
  C. Sin Covered (Forgiven) and Soul Restored to Life, Jas 5:20; Gal 6:1 (Lk 15:24).

Concl. Faith at work is the grand design of our life in Christ, Jas 2:17; Eph 2:10; Gal 5:6.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Mayor Calls Out Youths and Parents
Joe R. Price

Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter responded last week to the violent mobs that have “wreak(ed) havoc in Philadelphia for the second summer in a row” by imposing a strict curfew  (“Philadelphia ‘flash mobs’: black mayor takes aim at black community”, Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor,

     Nutter also took aim at these unruly youth in a speech last Sunday at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia. “If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied and your pants half-down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you?” Nutter told the congregation. “They don’t hire you ’cause you look like you’re crazy. You have damaged your own race.” (Ibid)

     He also called out absentee fathers and neglectful parents, “saying they need to be more than just a ‘sperm donor’ or a ‘human ATM’” (“Philly major chides black parents over teen mobs”, Patrick Walters, AP).

     This is a rarity; a politician telling it like it is! Young people – regardless of their ethnicity, gender and social pedigree – cannot act disrespectfully and expect to be respected and taken seriously! “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). How you dress and behave says something about who you are!

     It is also notable that parents are responsible for their children (Eph. 6:4). (Parents are fined if their child breaks the curfew.) Parents must be engaged in rearing their children – not be missing in action. A society – and souls – cannot long survive less.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  08/22/2011

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