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


Volume 14, Number 43

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:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Seed Principle
Heath Rogers

The gospel has the power to beget or to regenerate spiritual life (James 1:18). In the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:5-8, 11-15) the word of God is likened unto a “seed” that is sown in different kinds of soils (v. 11). Peter said that his readers had “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Pet. 1:23).

It is very fitting that the gospel (God’s power to beget or to regenerate spiritual life) is likened unto a seed. A seed carries genetic information. When it is planted and germinates, new life springs forth and grows. The same thing is true with the gospel. When the gospel is accepted into one’s heart, it will result in a new spiritual life.

On the third day of creation, God established the fact that plants will always reproduce after their own kind. “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth;’ and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:11-12). The plant that grows from a seed will always be in accordance with the genetic information that is found in that seed. If a farmer plants corn, he will get corn. If he plants watermelons, he will get watermelons. Etc.

The passing of time, even great amounts of time, does not alter this fact. For example, the seeds of an extinct date palm plant were discovered in an excavation of Masada (the desert fortress where, in 73 AD, ancient Jewish rebels chose suicide over capture by the Roman army). Because of the historical event that took place at this site, these seeds were known to be 2,000 years old. In 2005, some scientists planted these seeds. They germinated and date palm saplings began to grow. The seeds produced today exactly what they would have produced if they had been planted 2,000 years ago. Likewise, the gospel, which began to be preached 2,000 years ago, will produce today exactly what it did then.

Is it possible to be just a Christian like we can read of in the Bible? Is it possible to worship and serve God today without modern-day denominationalism?

Yes it is. If we will simply follow the Bible only we will be Christians only. Not only is it possible, friends, it is the only way to serve God properly today.

The Knollwood Reminder (Nov. 27, 2011)


The Bonfire of Repentance
Joe R. Price

Girolamo Savonarola was a 15th century Dominican priest who "preached against the accumulation of worldly possessions" and "called for a 'bonfire of the vanities' in which people were to burn 'immoral' paintings, cosmetics, and such entertainment-related items as musical instruments and playing cards" ("Renaissance: What inspired this age of balance and order? Focus on Florence", In Florence, Italy in 1497 his ardent supporters gathered and publicly burned thousands of items of "vanity" that were thought to lead to sin. Such bonfires were apparently frequent in the first half of the 15th century ("Bonfire of the Vanities", Wikipedia).

In Acts 19:18-20 we read of an Ephesian bonfire we will call the “bonfire of repentance”. Many people had been converted after they saw the powerful miracles of God by the hands of Paul set in vivid contrast to the deceptive impotent of magical powers (like the seven sons of Sceva who falsely claimed the power of exorcism, Acts 19:11-17). The evidence was clear; the power of God was with Paul – not with those who claimed power but who had none. So, many believed, and “many who believed came confessing and telling their deeds” (Acts 19:18). Their belief led them to repent of their sins of deception, lying and taking advantage of others. This, in turn, led them to burn books worth 50,000 pieces of silver – books from which they had learned to sin (Acts 19:19).

Several qualities of repentance are learned from this “bonfire of repentance”.

1) Openness. Have you ever seen a bonfire? You cannot hide it! These repentant sinners did not hide their repentance. Instead, they openly collected their books of sin and “burned them in the sight of all” (Acts 19:19).

What about us? Do we think we can repent of our sins without openly repudiating our sins and cutting our ties with it? We cannot. Do not believe the devil’s lie that says you can sin as long as others don’t see you (and since no one knows, it’s all right!). It is not all right. Anyone who thinks that way needs to genuinely repent.

For example, to overcome the sin of viewing pornography one must eliminate the source (the internet, magazines, television, movies). You cannot keep a secret stash of porn and think you have repented of it. You cannot keep the links to the porn sites on your computer and truthfully say you have repented. So it is with every sin. True repentance leads to drastic changes in one’s life that remove oneself from sin and its influence.

When we genuinely repent we bear the fruits worthy of our repentance (Lk. 3:8-14). That means all our sins and their paraphernalia must be thrown into the bonfire of repentance.

2) Thoroughness. Nothing was withheld; their repentance was complete. These repentant converts did not hold back their favorite tools of sin while only giving up the ones they were tired of anyway. Conversion to Christ is total, not half-hearted. Every sin, along with its support system, must be thrown into the bonfire of repentance.

3) Conclusiveness. Their goal in life had now changed. Their faith now led them to honor the name of the Lord and obey Him (Acts 19:18). Now, the word of the Lord would guide them, not the deceptive words of sinners (Acts 19:20). So, they burned the words of sinners (that had helped them sin) in the bonfire of repentance.

In the same way, we must conclusively end sin in our lives by ending all fellowship with it (1 Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:5-11). A bonfire of repentance will do the trick!


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

Why Christians Attend All the Worship Services

Scripture Reading:   Psalm 86:8-13

1. Christians are eager to worship God with their brethren (Acts 2:42, 46; 5:42). In Heb. 10:25 we are warned not to forsake our assembling together.
2. We are not to "leave behind" or "abandon" our gathering together to worship God and to encourage one another.


  A. Because God Deserves to be Worshiped, Psa. 86:8-13; Rom. 1:21.
  B. Because God Commands Assembled Worship, Heb. 10:24-25; cf. Mal. 1:6-8; 1 Jno. 3:4; Heb. 10:25; cf. Acts 2:42; Jas. 4:17.
  C. So We May Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, Jno. 4:23-24; Psa. 122:1; Acts 2:42.
  D. So We Can Receive and Give Edification, 1 Cor. 14:26 (12); Eph. 4:11-16; Heb. 10:24-25.


  A. Some Absences are Unavoidable (illness) Mk. 4:18-19 (Lk. 14:15-24).
  B. When You Are Willfully Absent from the Worship Services:
    1. Fail to honor God through His prescribed worship, Jno. 4:23.
    2. Sin against God, Heb. 10:25 (Ac 10:34-35).
    3. Rob yourself of opportunities for spiritual growth, Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; Eph. 4:11-12, 16.
    4. Are choosing convenience over conviction, Acts 24:25.
    5. Are not putting God first, Matt. 6:33; 16:24; Lk. 4:7-8.

Concl.  The worship services of the local church are designed by God to honor God and to encourage Christians.


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

The Discipline of the Lord

Scripture Reading:   Hebrews 12:3-8

1. We need discipline (regulation, control), Heb. 12:10; 1 Cor. 9:24-27.
2. God's discipline is a part of our daily life.


  A. Because We Are His Children and He Loves Us, Heb. 12:5-7; Prov. 13:24; Eph. 6:4; 3 Jno. 4; Prov. 23:15-16.
  B. Because God Wants to Receive Us, Heb. 12:6, 10-11 (2 Pet. 1:4).


  A. Instructive Discipline.
    1. Reproof, correction and instruction from the word of God, 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 5:11-14; Acts 20:32.
    2. Trials of life (persecution, etc.), Heb. 12:3-7; Jas. 1:2-4.
  B. Corrective Discipline.
    1. Personal rebuke of sin and recovery, cf. Heb. 12:5; Lk. 17:3-4; Gal. 6:1; Matt. 18:15-16.
    2. Church discipline of the unrepentant sinner, Matt. 18:17 (2 Cor. 2:5-8); 1 Cor. 5; 2 Ths. 3:6, 14-15.
    3. Careful, thoughtful and timely, Prov. 13:24; Eccl. 8:11.


  A. Do not Despise the Lord's Discipline, Heb. 12:5. 2 Tim. 3:3
  B. Receive it and Improve Yourself, Heb. 12:9-11 (14); 2 Cor. 13:5.


1. We discipline our children because of our great love for them; God disciplines us (His children) because of His great love for us.
2. He calls on us to submit ourselves to His discipline and bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Pedophilia Exits the Closet
Jeff S. Smith

Interest in pedophilia has waxed with the grand jury indictment of former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, and the related firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno. While he has been convicted only in the court of public opinion, Sandusky has maintained a certain level of innocence, although admitting to remarkably inappropriate behavior. The psychology behind the sin – still only alleged in this case – is both curious and alarming, especially as it is offered parallels and, perhaps, protection, by the successful movement to legitimize another deviant sexual habit, homosexuality. Writing in USA Today, Donna Leinwand Leger suggests, “Some scientists believe ‘this may be like a sexual orientation. It may not be a choice. It may be how they are wired’” (November 16, 2011). Homosexuality was once defined as a mental disorder – it isn’t – before gaining popular acceptance and theoretical justification. Only the matter of consent, then, would distinguish homosexuality from pedophilia. It’s a brave new world out there.

[Indeed, a “brave new world” of sin is out there; a world of sin without restraint and of accommodation without accountability. Yet, the Lord will bring every sinner to account on the Day of Judgment (Rom. 2:3-6). We thank brother Smith for his insightful and instructive article. –Joe]


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  12/12/2011

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