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


Volume 19, Number 18

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:

"They hear Your words"
Stan Cox

Ezekiel 33 records an attitude toward the word of God that existed in that time, and in ours as well. The text (verses 30-33) relate (sic) God’s words to the prophet regarding the reception of his message by the people.

...they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them” (30-32).

Back in 1871, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown published a commentary on Ezekiel, where they attributed the following quote regarding this text to Jerome (4th century), “They praise thy eloquence, but care not for the subject of it as a real and personal thing; just as many do in the modern church.”

In Ezekiel’s day; in Jerome’s day; in the 19th century; in the 21st century; indeed in every age, among every people, there is the tendency to give lip service to God's word.

Oh, how beautiful it is, how soothing, how wonderful. It’s beautiful music to our ears.”

...For they hear your words, but do not do them.”

How about you. Do you hear God’s words? Do you recognize how important it is to submit to Him? Do you OBEY God's will for you?  -“The Patternists”, Facebook Page, Dec. 15, 2016


Suggestions For Our Bible Class Teachers
Jarrod Jacobs

Today, we begin a new quarter, and a new year of Bible classes. I want to begin by saying thank you to those teachers who volunteered last year to teach our children. You have done a good job, and we appreciate your work. In addition to this, let me also thank those teachers who have volunteered to teach our children in this quarter, and for the rest of 2017. It is so encouraging to see the positive response you show toward this work (Jas. 3:1)!

Truly, our Bible class teachers have a special responsibility! They are responsible for imparting Bible truths to our children twice a week. Of course, they understand, as we all do, that their work is not a substitute, but a complement, to Bible teaching that is to be done in the home (Deut. 6:6-9; Eph. 6:4; Titus 2:3-5; Prov. 22:6; etc.). What our teachers do in their classes can help bolster and encourage our children as they learn about God and His word.

Those who teach Bible classes are to be held in high respect. They are taking the time to learn the lessons themselves, and then taking the time to teach others what they know. One doesn’t know what kind of questions may be asked in a class! Yet, teachers need to be ready to answer the questions their students may have, always directing the students to the Bible for the answers (I Pet. 4:11; II Tim. 3:16-17). We cannot fully measure the good that may come from the time spent in these classes. Therefore, teachers must use their time wisely and efficiently (Eph. 5:16). I have been impressed with how our teachers function and instruct our children, and I hope the rest of this congregation has as well.

In light of this great work, I found the following questions quite interesting. The questions listed on the next page are questions that would be good for all teachers to ask; from those teaching the small children, to those teaching the adults in their Bible study. Let us consider these questions carefully, and keep in mind just Who it is that is the author of our “curriculum,” as well as keep in mind just who it is that we are teaching. Before teaching your class, ask yourself….

What do I want my pupils to know?

Why do I want them to know it?

How can I get them to see it?

How can I get them to believe it?

How will I get them to act on this faith?

What will it benefit them if they do?

How will it hurt them if they do not?

Teaching a Bible class is a serious matter. Let us thank our teachers for the hard work that they do. Teachers, you have precious souls in your hands twice a week in our classes. Don’t take this privilege for granted!

-The Old Paths (23:44), January 1, 2017


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

Return to the Old Paths (1)

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-13

1. Bible records many of God’s pleas to man to be restored to His will and way: Noah (2 Pet. 2:5); Isaiah (Isa. 8:20); Zechariah (1:3); Malachi (3:7; 4:4); John (Mal. 4:5-6 -- Matt. 17:11-12).
2. Jer. 6:16-17 (18:15-17): God’s plea often ignored, in spite of the truth in Jeremiah 10:23.
3. Restoring our lives to God’s divine will (the NT of Christ) is the only way of salvation.
4. So, returning to God’s way – the old paths – is at the heart of the gospel we believe, obey and teach, 2 Pet. 1:12-15; 1 Pet. 4:11.

I. RETURN TO AN ABSOLUTE RESPECT FOR THE SCRIPTURES AS GOD’S INSPIRED REVELATION TO US, 1 Cor. 2:6-13; 14:37; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3.

  A. Such Respect has been and Continues to be Eroded by Secular Humanism, Immorality, Hypocrisy and False Doctrines.


  A. Return to Book-Chapter-Verse Preaching, 2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 17:2-3; 18:28.
  B. Return to Contending for the Faith, Jude 3; Acts 6:9-10; Jude 4 (Rom. 16:17-18).

1. A return to the old paths of divine truth and NT Christianity is not an idealistic fairly tale or “cunningly devised fables” (2 Pet. 1:16).
2. It is not “church of Christ tradition,” or “our faith tradition,” 2 Tim. 1:13.
3. It is mandatory for our salvation, Matt. 7:21-25; Matt. 28:18; 2 Tim. 1:13; 2 Jno. 9.


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

Return to the Old Paths (2)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:24-29

God’s plea to return to the old paths of truth is possible and necessary in order to partake in Christ’s spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3).


  A. It Returns Hearts to God, cf. Mal. 4:5-6 (Lk. 1:16-17). Eph. 4:20-24; Lk. 8:15
  B. It Returns Sinners to Christ’s Law of Pardon, Acts 3:17-20, 26. (Acts 2:21, 38, 40-41; 8:35-38; 16:30-34).
  C. It Returns Christians to the Acceptability of True Worship, Lev.10:1-2 (Jno. 4:24). NT: Singing (Eph. 5:19); Prayer (Acts 2:42); Giving (1 Cor. 16:2); L.S. (Acts 20:7); Preaching (Acts 20:7). cf. Psa. 51:16-17 (Jas. 4:6-10)
  D. It Returns the Local Church to its God-Ordained Order and Unity, Acts 16:5; 14:23; 6:1-7; 1 Cor. 1:10.
  E. It Returns the Importance of Doctrinal Accuracy, 1 Tim. 4:1 (Gal. 1:6-10). cf. Jno. 8:31-32; Acts 2:42; 2 Jno. 9-11.
  F. It Returns Us to Moral Purity and Holy Living, 1 Pet. 1:13-16.
  -Shun immodesty (1 Tim. 2:9-10);  Adultery (Matt. 19:9); lack of self-control (smoking, drink, drugs, language, 1 Cor. 9:25).

1. The wise ones build their lives on hearing and doing the teachings of Christ, Matt. 7:24-27.
2. They are complete and sufficient in supplying us with “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3-4).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Securing Your Legacy
Joe R. Price

A politician who knows his days are numbered is tempted (if not inclined) to act to secure his legacy once he leaves office. President Obama seems particularly concerned with doing so, witnessed by his administration’s recent decisions toward Russia, Israel, as well as toward domestic agenda items (“Conservatives fear ‘midnight litigation,’ as Obama looks to secure legacy”, Adam Shaw,

In life, few of us actually know when we will leave this earth. And so, legacy-tweaking of this sort may not happen as frequently or blatantly as seen in politicians. Nevertheless, some try to write their legacy before death by using their fortune, fame and power to secure a memory of themselves the way they wish it to be.

The Bible speaks of a legacy of faith that endures into eternity. That is the legacy we should build. A legacy of faith is of such a nature that one does not set out to manipulate or insulate it by political means or monetary enticements. A legacy of faith is built day by day, not because one sets out to make a name for himself, but because faith living out its convictions on a daily basis.

By faith “the elders obtained a good testimony” (Heb. 11:2). The Old Testament records God’s approval of the ancient ones who lived by faith. Their faith defined their lives, and God’s testimony of them endures on the pages of inspiration.

By faith Abel...being dead still speaks” (Heb. 11:4). Abel built his legacy of faith by listening to God’s word and worshiping God in God’s approved way (Rom. 10:17).

What legacy will you leave when you depart this life? There can be no better one than a legacy of faith; shaped in the crucible of life, and fit for eternity. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  01/09/2017

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