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


Volume 14, Number 52

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

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Joe R. Price

     This question has been asked by untold numbers through the ages. It is a question every soul should ask who is aware of sin and its deadly result (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). It is the question asked by a jailer of Paul and Silas after witnessing the effects of God’s mighty power. A mighty earthquake had opened the doors to the prison and loosed the prisoners' restraints (Acts 16:25-26). The jailer was prepared to take his own life (supposing his prisoners had escaped) when Paul’s reassuring voice stayed his hand (16:27-28). In fear, this unbeliever asked the all important question, “What must I do to be saved?” (16:30) Paul and Silas answered with a general answer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (16:31). Some have taken this as final proof that all one needs to do to be saved from sin is merely believe (the “faith only” doctrine of salvation). These well meaning yet misguided souls fail to see that, in the case of the Philippian jailer, belief was the first step he needed (he did not even know who Jesus was). His faith would (and did) involve obeying all the commands of the Lord that are contained in the New Testament concerning salvation. An examination of the events that followed convinces us this is so.

     Following his question and their initial answer, Paul and Silasspoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house(16:32). This was imperative since they had to hear the gospel before they could believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God(Rom. 10:17). Once he and his house heard the gospel it is apparent they believed it since they showed a change of heart toward Paul and Silas and toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance of sins occurred in as much as he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes” (16:33). Before he heard and believed the gospel he had “put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks(16:24). Following repentance, immediately he and all his family were baptized(16:33). What a joyous occasion followed (16:34)! When did the jailer and his family rejoice in their new found salvation? Was it when they heard the gospel for the first time? Was it at the point of initial faith in Jesus Christ? Was it when they repented of their sins? Or, was it after they had been baptized? That’s right; it was after they fully obeyed the Lord and as repentant believers were baptized into Christ (Acts 2:37-41). Like the Ethiopian, they arose from the water of baptism with joy in their hearts because now they were saved (cf. Acts 8:39).

The Scriptures say they rejoiced because they had “believed in God” (16:34). Saving faith necessarily includes obeying the commands of the gospel just as certainly as believing its facts. The most comprehensive answer to “What must I do to be saved?” is to hear the gospel and believe it, confess your faith, repent of your sins and be baptized for the remission of your sins (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6; Matt. 10:32; Acts 17:30; Mk. 16:16). We implore you to obey the Bible plan of salvation and be saved like the jailer.

What shall we do?” was asked in Acts 2:37 in response to hearing and believing the gospel of Christ. The gospel which the apostles preached produced faith in the hearts of those who murdered Jesus. They were convinced of their sin against the Son of God. “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” These believers were told torepent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(Acts 2:38) When a believer asks what to do to be saved, the answer given was to repent and be baptized. This is not a different answer from the one given the jailer in Acts 16:30. The fact is that the Jews in Acts 2:37 were farther along on the road toward salvation when they asked their question than was the jailer when he asked his. They already believed when they asked what to do to be saved; the jailer was an unbeliever when he asked the same question. They were answered based on their present spiritual condition. We must give the same answer when a believer asks “What must I do to be saved?” The answer: Repent and be baptized to be saved.

In Acts 9:6 Saul asked a similar question. While on a journey to Damascus to persecute Christians Jesus appeared to him, giving him undeniable proof He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (9:1-5). Saul asked Jesus,Lord, what do you want me to do?(9:6) Jesus told him to go into Damascus “and you will be told what you must do.Blinded for the next three days, Saul prayed but did not eat or drink; the former unbelieving persecutor is now a repentant believer (Acts 9:9-11). What was Saul told to do in Damascus that affected his salvation? Some say “nothing, Saul was already saved on the road when Jesus appeared to him.” However, the preacher Ananias said to Saul, And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. He was saved in Damascus in the water of baptism! He was saved when he heard, believed and obeyed all the Lord said is necessary of him in order to be saved from sin. When a repentant believer asks what to do to be saved the answer he must be given is not to delay in being baptized so that his sins can be washed away. If you are a repentant believer then we urge you to arise and be baptized and wash away your sins just like Saul.

Where are you on the road to your salvation from your sin? Wherever you find yourself on that road it is essential that you urgently believe and obey the gospel to be saved. “Now is the day of salvation”! 


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

What Obedience Shows

Scripture Reading:   2 John 1-6

1.  Obedience is often viewed negatively.
2.  Obedience that pleases God is generated from a heart of trust (faith), devotion and love. It is voluntary, humble and willingly submissive to God.
3.  Why is obedience to God an expression of love for God?  Jno. 14:15


  A. Principle to be Taught and Learned in the Family, Eph. 6:1-2; 1 Sam. 2:22-25; Prov. 23:22 (19:26; 30:17)
  B. Respect for God Demands our Obedience, Deut. 11:18-23; Matt. 7:21; Lk. 6:46; 1 Pet. 3:15.
  C. Obeying God Shows the World that We Love God, Jno. 14:31; Matt. 22:36-38; 1 Pet. 2:11-12.


  A. God’s Grace Teaches Us Obedient Living, Tit. 2:11-14.
  B. Obedience Reflects Our Assurance and Trust in the Blessings of God’s Grace, Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 5:1, 4-7; 1 Jno. 3:18-22.


  A. Obedience takes Responsibility for Trusting God’s Way is Right, Heb. 11:8-10.
  B. Obedience takes Responsibility for making Sacrifices that Please God, Heb. 11:17-19; Phil. 3:7-9.
  C. Obedience takes Responsibility by Choosing the Reproach of Christ, Heb. 11: 23-26; Phil. 3:10; 2:8-9; Col. 3:4.


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

Jesus Overcame Discouragement

Scripture Reading:   Psalm 31:21-24

1. Jesus and apostles faced discouragement, Heb. 4:15; 5:7-9; 2 Cor. 4:8-10.
2. Jesus always overcame discouragement and never came to the point of despair.
3. He is the perfect example for us, 1 Pet. 2:21.


  A. Family Matters, cf. Jno. 7:1-5 (Matt. 6:25, 34).
  B. Moral Failures, Lk. 22:47-48 (1 Cor. 6:9-11); Phil. 3:13-14.
  C. Spiritual Matters, Matt. 8:25-26.
  D. We Must Remember that Others also have Disappointment and Discouragement (cf. Job, David, Elijah, Jeremiah), Gal. 6:2.


  A. With Endurance: He did not give in and give up, Heb. 12:1-2; Phil. 4:10-13; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Jno. 4:4; Heb. 11:32-39.
  B. He kept an Eternal Perspective: Look beyond the moment, Jno. 4:35; Rom. 8:28; 1 Pet. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 4:14-15.
  C. He Kept Working: Stay active in your faith, Jno. 9:4; Acts 16:6-10; Prov. 24:10, 16; Gal. 6:9-10.
  D. He Prayed Often: In nothing be anxious, Phil. 4:6-7 (Lk. 18:1); Lk. 5:15-16; 6:12-13. Psa. 22:24; 55:1-7, 16-18; 55:22; 1 Pet. 5:6-7
  E. He was Thankful (joy comes in the morning), Jno. 11:41 (Psa. 30:5; 31:24); 16:22; Psa. 23:4; 1 Ths. 5:18.


1. “Let not your heart be troubled” (Jno. 14:1).
2.  God strengthens and saves His people, Psa. 31:21-24 (Heb. 13:5-6).
3. The Lord bless you and keep you, Num. 6: 24-26.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Zombies: The Living Dead
Joe R. Price

This article is based on a cultural phenomena rather than a specific event. Zombies are “in”, and have been for some time. Here are a few details about zombies with brief, corresponding Bible comments.

     1) Definition.Zombie” is a term “used to denote an animated corpse brought back to life by mystical means, such as witchcraft” (Oxford English Dictionary, cited on Wikipedia). In West African Vodun (Voodoo) a zombie is part of the practice of witchcraft and divination. “According to the tenets of Vodou, a dead person can be revived by a bokor, or sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own” (Ibid.).

     Bible: The Bible condemns sorcery, witchcraft and those who “call up the dead” as vain efforts to obtain knowledge from beyond the grave (Deut. 18:9-14). All such attempts to communicate with the dead and interact with spirits and deities are sinful and deceptive. “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:31).

     2) Pharmaceutical exploitation? Those who study such things postulate that Haitian Voodoo uses psychoactive drugs to induce trance-like states to convince devotees of a sorcerer’s power.

     Bible: Witchcraft (pharmakeia) is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). Simon used sorcery (magical arts) to falsely convince the Samaritans he was “the great power of God” (Acts 8:9-11). The true power of God is found in the gospel - not superstitious spells (Acts 8:12-13).

     3) Pop culture revival. The “undead” are the stuff of horror films, video games, pranks and general silliness.

                Bible. These "zombies" illustrate a Bible truth: One who “lives in pleasure” (indulgent luxury) is “dead while she lives” (1 Tim. 5:6). As long as you live in sin you are a spiritual zombie (that's no laughing matter). Don’t be a spiritual zombie! Believe and baptized, die to sin and be raised to new life in Christ (Rom. 6:4). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  02/13/2012

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
Send all questions, comments and subscriptions to the editor at: