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


Volume 14, Number 49

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
Dan Head


In this issue:

Why We Love God
Joe R. Price

     The gospel of Christ teaches that God loves every person in the world (Jno. 3:16). God's love is manifested to the world in the death of Jesus Christ (1 Jno. 3:16). In response to God's love, we must love Him by keeping His commandments (Jno. 14:15; 1 Jno. 2:5).

     Christians love God for many reasons, all of which are life-changing and life-sustaining. The reasons we love God reflect our faith in God and the place God has in our hearts.

     1) We love God because He first loved us. "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 Jno. 4:10). God's redemptive love offered to us in Christ compels us to love Him and each other (1 Jno. 4:11). We cannot love God while refusing to love one another (1 Jno. 4:20-21).

     2) We love God because He hears our prayers. Hezekiah wrote, "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore, I will call upon Him as long as I live" (Psa. 116:1). The blessing of prayer is beyond our words to adequately describe. Our Father is attentive to us; our trials, our sorrows, our joys, our needs, supplications, our intercessions and more. Oh what comfort as His child to cry out, "Abba, Father!" (Gal. 4:6).

     3) We love God because He protects us. "Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person" (Psa. 31:23). The faithful trust the Lord for His abiding presence and protection. They rely on Him to right every wrong and to lead them to life eternal. The Christian's assurance is that "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God" (Rom. 8:28). God's protection comes in many forms, including His providential care that answers prayer, His powerful word of truth that guides us and the help of faithful brethren that sustains us (Eph. 6:10-17; Gal. 6:1-2). "The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy" (Psa. 145:20). To live in the confidence of God's protection one must love Him (which means to obey Him, Jno. 14:15).

     Nothing can separate us from "the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39). The important decision you must make is whether you will love Him and obey Him out of your love for Him (Mk. 12:28-34; Jno. 14:15; Matt. 7:21).


The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
Joe R. Price

The introduction of Deity into the realm of Humanity is central to the redemptive plan of Jehovah. The Word (who was "with God and...was God") "became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jno. 1:1, 14). The redemptive force of the incarnation of the Son of God includes the preparation of a body for Him that He would give up in death as an offering for sin. "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for do Your will, O God" (Heb. 10:5-7).

The virgin birth was the God-chosen means by which the Christ took the form of a bondservant and came in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:7; Jno. 1:14). As prophesied, Immanuel was presented to the world in the virgin birth of Jesus to Mary. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:21). By it, deity became flesh. Because of it, Jesus is "called the Son of the Highest" (Lk. 1:32).

His virgin birth thus acknowledges Jesus to be the Son of God, "the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (Lk. 1:32; 2 Sam. 7:12-13). Luke affirms the virgin birth provided the opportunity by which God kept His promise to David. The Messiah is both the son of David and the Son of God (Lk. 20:41-44; Matt. 22:41-45).

The virgin birth of Christ sets forth the case that "in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). It affirms His deity while also acknowledging His humanity. This testimony of His divine nature is confirmed by Gabriel when he visited Mary:

"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus...Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I do not know a man? And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God" (Lk. 1:31, 34-35).

The deity of Jesus stands in severe doubt without the virgin birth. But with its validity, we join in the news of great joy that "there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk. 2:11).

To reject the virgin birth of Jesus calls into question the reliability of the apostolic witnesses in general. Rejecting the virgin birth undermines the credibility of all the gospel messengers and their message (Lk. 1:1-4; 1 Jno. 1:1-4). Why should we believe their record of the words of Jesus is accurate if they concocted false testimony about His birth? Why should the record of Jesus' miracles persuade us to faith if the record of His virgin conception and birth is fabricated from the mythology of ancient idol worshipers? It is no small thing to reject the virgin birth of Jesus. By doing so, one rejects the entirety of the inspired record of His life and death as well as the message preached by His apostles (Jno. 13:20; 1 Cor. 2:1-5, 10-13; 2 Pet. 1:16-21).

The virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth compels us to trust and obey Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16; Jno. 10:30-38; 12:48-50).


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

Testing Christ

Scripture Reading:   Hebrews 3:7-11

1. Jesus was repeatedly tested by Satan and by men, Matt. 4:1; 16:1.
2. Motives: Driven by faithlessness; designed to entangle, Matt. 22:15; to catch and accuse, Lk. 11:53-54 (Matt. 22:46; Mk. 12:34).
3. Possible we are testing Jesus, 1 Cor. 10:9.

I. SATAN TESTED JESUS TO SIN, Matt. 4:1; Lk. 22:28.

  A. Jesus was not Deceived by Satan's Temptations, Matt. 4:3-10.
  B. We Cannot Deceive Christ with Our Sins, Matt. 15:7-9; Acts 5:9.


  A. The Words and Works of Jesus Testify of Who He Is, Jno. 5:36; Matt. 16:16-17; Jno. 20:30-31.
  B. When we Willfully Refuse Evidence for Christ We Join the Camp of Faithless Evil, Matt. 16:1-4; cf. Jno. 12:48.


  A. By Seeking Contradictions instead of Harmony and Conformity to Truth, Matt. 19:3; Lk. 20:20-23; Jno. 8:5-6.
  B. By Doubting His Way of Salvation, cf. Num. 21:4-6 (1 Cor. 10:9); 1 Cor. 1:18-19.
  C. By Teaching Error, Acts 15:10.


  A. Test Ourselves, 2 Cor. 13:5.
  B. Try those who Claim Authority, Rv. 2:2.
  C. Accept Christ's Help when We are Tempted, Heb. 4:15-16; 3:7-11.
  D. Endure Trials (tests to our faith), Jas. 1:12 (2-3); 1 Pet. 1:6; 4:12.


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

What Does Jesus Demand?

Scripture Reading:   1 John 2:1-6

1. In the late '90's "WWJD" was a campaign to help young people make moral decisions.
2. Christians should ask similar question, Jno. 13:15; 1 Jno. 2:6; 1 Pet. 2:21.
3. Self-examination based in truth, 2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Ths. 5:21-22. "What does Jesus demand?"


  A. Jesus was Fully Tempted like we are, Heb. 4:14-15; Matt. 4:4, 7, 10.
  B. What Does Jesus Demand? Will I Obey Him? (Profane speech, Eph. 4:29; unholy entertainment, 1 Pet. 4:1-3; gambling, Col. 3:5; alcohol and drugs, 1 Pet. 4:3; smoking, 1 Cor. 6:19-20; sexual immorality, 1 Cor. 6:18)


  A. Jesus was Often Sinned Against, 1 Pet. 2:21-23.
  B. What Does Jesus Demand? Will I Obey Him? Matt. 18:15, 21-22; 5:21-25; Col. 3:12


  A. Jesus Met Lost People Every Day, Matt. 9:35-38; Lk. 15:1.
  B. What Does Jesus Demand? Will I Obey Him? Col. 4:6; Mk. 8:38.
    1. When we visit our neighbors?
    2. When on the job? cf. 1 Ths. 2:9
    3. When faced with a sinning Christian? Gal. 6:1-2
      a. Do not hide it, ignore it or refuse to get involved (Jas. 5:19-20)
      b. Quickly address it is godly ways to try to save, Jude 22-23.
    4. When faced with a false teacher? Matt. 15:3; Jude 3-4

Conclusion: Our goal is to walk as Jesus walked, 1 Jno. 2:6 (Lk. 6:40).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

A Marriage Primer
Joe R. Price

The past infidelity of one of the presidential candidates was held up this week (again) to public scrutiny and spectacle. There is no defense for him here - or for anyone else who violates the honor of the marriage bed (Heb. 13:4). The Lord provides forgiveness to adulterers through repentance, yet with consequences (Matt. 19:9; 1 Cor. 7:10-11).

     Our nation is immersed in a debate over the definition of marriage. So is the church. It ought not be so. Yet, given the present climate of "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" (which has led to "open fellowship" practices in local churches), we offer here a brief primer on marriage using the Bible as our guide.

     Marriage. Designed by God, marriage is a relationship of lifelong obligation between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:22-25; Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 7:2-3). Entered into by vows made to each other before God, it is a covenant sealed by God to be honored by all (Mal. 2:14; Prov. 2:17; Matt. 19:6; Heb. 13:4). All marriages are not God-approved (Mk. 6:17-18).

     Open marriage. A consensual arrangement in which one or both spouses are free to pursue additional sexual interests (1 Cor. 7:2). It is fornication. Variously called "affairs", "swinging" and spouse swapping, it is a defilement of body and soul (1 Cor. 6:18).

     Same-sex marriage. Term assigned homosexual couples in an effort to give legal standing to homosexual relationships, it is legislated and enacted by man (not God). Homosexual acts and relationships - even when acknowledged by the state - are sinful, causing one to be lost in sin and in need of redemption (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

     Plural marriage. Mostly practiced by men, having more than one spouse. It was endorsed by the Mormon Church at one time (1843-1890); it is adultery (Rom. 7:2-3). Some now seek legal recognition of plural marriage on similar legal ground as same-sex marriage.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  01/23/2012

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