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


Volume 19, Number 46

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rich Brooks
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Tanner Bass

Compared to times past, alcohol is a subject that seems to be on the rise in terms of leniency. As a society, we seem to become more and more involved with alcohol and its negative side effects. Even within the church, there seems to be a softening of saints with regards to alcohol. In this article, I will be presenting just a few reasons why Christians are to abstain from alcohol totally. We will do this by answering some of the most prominent questions we hear today in defense of alcohol and its cunning nature.

What’s wrong with a drink? I won’t get drunk.” While there is a clear difference between drinking an alcoholic beverage and severe drunkenness, the crucial point is this: If one is consuming alcohol, with no purpose to become drunk, how will he or she know when to stop? The stopping point between a few drinks and being drunk is so thin that an impaired individual cannot spot the difference. One drink has the potential to lead into two. Two to four. Rather than taking a chance on losing your soul by participating in this deceptively “fun” activity, chose to abstain. Further answering this question, 1 Timothy 5:23 is a convincing verse for no alcoholic consumption. In it, Paul writes to Timothy and says not to only drink water, but “use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” This necessarily demonstrates to the attentive reader that Timothy did not drink wine or other alcoholic beverages because Paul told him he should for his sick stomach. To anyone who says “See, Paul encouraged Timothy to drink alcohol, so that grants us permission,” I say this. “Go down to the drug store, and buy yourself some Pepto-Bismol or Tums.”

Alcohol loosens me up and makes me feel good! You should try some.” To this statement, I respond by saying throughout the Scriptures we are told to be on our guard, to be vigilant, and to think with a sober mind (1 Cor.16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8). Alcohol leads to the exact opposite of being on guard, vigilant, and thinking soberly. Yes, alcohol can make one relax, and “feel good”, but brethren, this is an activity that we cannot participate in. Good fruits are not usually the byproduct of consuming alcohol. It is usually associated with things like sexual encounters, fights, and further bad choices.  Not once have I heard, “Dude, I went into the bar last night, got smashed, and the best thing happened...” Good decisions and alcohol do not mix, and will never mix.

These are among the reasons you should totally abstain from alcohol. I have witnessed an increased number of Christians gravitate to the idea that alcohol consumption is not wrong, as long as it doesn’t become an issue of alcoholism or drunkenness. This does not agree with the truth as it is recorded in Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray be it is not wise.” Participating in alcoholic consumption is a choice. Let us make the sound and biblical choice of not participating in this sinful action. If you never start or never try it, you never have to quit the sin.


"Conservative" and "Liberal" Churches of Christ
Joe R. Price

Some object to using the terms “conservative” and “liberal” churches of Christ. They say these terms are not found in the Bible. They protest that using them is tantamount to name-calling, and offends Christian sensibilities and directives. Such characterizations, when compared to the Scriptures, could not be farther from the truth. While it is true the specific terms are not found in the New Testament text, the meanings they convey are certainly found there (as we will show). Therefore, it is speaking as the ”oracles of God” to use these identifying terms concerning the teachings and practices of churches (1 Pet. 4:11). Allow me to illustrate.

The term “gospel meeting” is not specifically found in the New Testament, but what that term describes – meetings of the church at which the gospel is preached – certainly is in the Scriptures (Acts 5:12, 42; 11:26; 19:9). Therefore, it is not unscriptural to speak of a “gospel meeting” being held by a particular church – it is to speak as the ”oracles of God.”

In the same manner, the use of “conservative” and “liberal” help identify what a congregation teaches and practices. A conservative church “conserves” the apostolic authority regarding the work and worship of the local church (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 4:6, 17). A “liberal” church, on the other hand, does not restricted itself to the authority of the Bible in its teachings and practices. Liberal is defined as “broad-minded, especially not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). Hence, churches that introduce innovations to the worship (i.e., instrumental music), organization (i.e., centralization of churches), and work of the local church (i.e., the social gospel) are “liberal” toward New Testament authority. They have gone beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). Churches that oppose the use of instrumental music in worship, the social gospel, general benevolence from the church treasury, church support of human institutions, the sponsoring church arrangement, etc. are deemed “conservative.” They affirm that local churches, following the New Testament pattern, do not have these things. They reject and oppose innovations that ”go beyond” the doctrine of Christ (2 Jno. 9); that constitute a ”different gospel” from the apostolic doctrine in the New Testament (Gal. 1:6-9); and that do not follow the ”pattern of sound words” given in Scripture (2 Tim. 1:13; Phil. 3:17). To speak of “liberal” or “conservative” churches of Christ is not unscriptural – it correctly applies scriptural guidelines, and helps identify a congregation’s teachings and practices. Using these terms is speaking as the ”oracles of God.”

We might note that the term “denominational” church is not found in the Bible, either. But, by a church’s alliance with a area or worldwide collection of churches, and conformity to its body of doctrine, it is entirely proper and scriptural to identify it as a “denominational” church. The principle that we know a person by his fruits is also true of churches (Matt. 7:17-20; Rev. 3:1). To properly and factually describe a church’s fruit is certainly to speak as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11).

Any church of Christ in the Bible that was faithful to the word of Christ and did not go beyond the doctrine of Christ was “conservative” in the sense that, like the church in Philadelphia, it ”kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Rev. 3:8). Should we not endeavor to be the same?

Christ said He will cut off His fellowship from churches that hold to false teaching and continue sinful practices (“remove your candlestick” refers to the removal of fellowship, see Rev. 2:5, 1; 1:12-13). When Christians (including a congregation or church), fall away from the faith, they have not remained in ”the faith” that was once for all delivered to the saints (1 Tim. 4:1-3; Jude 3; John 8:31-32). Those who do so are no longer faithful followers of Jesus (Jno. 8:31; 14:23-24; Gal. 5:4). 

We can have no confidence of being in fellowship with Christ when we are not careful to ”keep His commandments” – to do all things by His authority (1 Jno. 2:3-5; Col. 3:17). The same can be said of a local church (Rev. 2:5). 


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

"I'm Here"

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 103:1-5

1. Why are you here today?
2. These are not worthy reasons for assembling with the saints.


  A. To Praise God, not to Just “Show Up,” Psa. 35:18; Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 14:15-16.
  B. To Edify and to be Edified, 1 Cor. 14:26.
    1. Bible teaching, Acts 20:32, 7; 1 Cor. 14:3-4.
    2. With understanding, 1 Cor. 14:9, 12, 17.
    3. Speaking to one another in song, Ep. 5:19.
    4. Spiritual growth, Acts 2:42.


  A. Be here Reverently, Mal. 1:6-8; Psa. 89:7; 1 Cor. 14:33, 40;
  B. Be here Eagerly, Psa. 122:1; Mal. 1:12-14.
  C. Be here Consistently, Heb. 10:25.


  A. Honor God, Mal. 1:6-8,
    1. With clean hands and pure hearts, Mal. 1:9-11.
    2. In spirit and truth, Jno. 4:23-24.
    3. Worship is directed toward God.
    4. Worship is about God – Not you and me.
  B. Participate (Eph. 5:19; 1 Cor. 11:33; 14:16; 16:2; Acts 20:7).
    1. Every Christian fully engaged, Eph. 4:16.
    2. Free from distractions, Matt. 5:23-26.
    3. Christ does, Matt. 26:29; 1 Cor. 10:16.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

How Secularists Reshape Society
Joe R. Price

Christians are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” The world is less palatable, and darker, when we lose our flavor and put our light under a bushel (Matt. 5:13-16). We must be faithful to Christ in all our conduct, our influence for godliness will be lost. To reuse Paul’s warning, “Some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Tim. 5:15).

Make no mistake, secularists understand the value of influencing the world. One way they do this is by shaping the thinking of our children. A case in point happened this week, when New Jersey governor Chris Christie “signed into law a bill that requires the commissioner of education to develop guidelines regarding transgender students, including allowing them to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, rather than biological gender” (“Chris Christie Signs Bill Allowing Transgender Students to Use Restrooms, Locker Rooms of Their Choice,” Stoyan Zaimov,

The purpose of the law was stated by one of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle: “These guidelines are needed to ensure that transgender students can safely be themselves without fear of being persecuted, and can help promote a culture of understanding and acceptance that will hopefully influence how students treat each other in and outside of school” (Ibid). The bill intends to condition our children to “understand” and “accept” transgenderism as normal. The influence will be that the transgendered are just being themselves, and those who object are abusive and intolerant.

The war between God and Satan, between light and darkness, rages on (Eph. 6:12; 1 Tim. 6:11-12). Christians must ever be salt and light; Godly influencers who do not comprise with sin. To do otherwise forfeits your influence and extinguishes your illumination of this world. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  07/30/2017

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