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"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)

                        published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ
                  Bellingham, WA
Volume III, Number 02 · February 28, 1999
Editor..................Joe R. Price

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 In this issue:
-- How Would You Like This?
-- A Demand of Repentance: Cease From Sin  (Joe R. Price)
----Flee From Idolatry  (1 Cor. 10:14-22)
----Jesus of Nazareth: His Resurrection (Part 15) (Mark 16:1-11)
--Noteworthy News:  Victim's family: Jury sent a message in dragging death case

How Would You Like This?

If you like.......

·        A church that is not a denomination?  (1 Corinthians 1:10)

·        A church with no head but Christ?  (Ephesians 1:22-23)

·        A church with no creed but the Bible?  (2 John 9-11)

·        A church with only a Bible name?  (Romans 16:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; Col. 3:17)

·        A church without any amusements to draw crowds?  (John 12:32)

·        A church that is organized by the New Testament pattern?  (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-13)

·        A church supported by the free-will offerings of its members? (1 Cor. 16:2)    (No selling, begging, coercing, rummage sales, pie suppers nor amateur programs, etc. to raise money.)

A Demand of Repentance: Cease From Sin
by: Joe R. Price

Jesus said, “And I say to you, Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery:  and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matt. 19:9)  Jesus made it clear that “whoever” divorces for a reason other than the sexual immorality (fornica­tion) of one’s spouse, and then marries another person, “commits adultery.”  That being the case, what is required of the adulterer if he wants to become a Christian?  What does repentance demand of him, in his adulterous marriage, in order to be saved?  Must he cease the sinful relationship to truly repent of his adultery, or may he stay in the remarriage in which Jesus said he is committing adultery?

Some brethren advocate that such a person need not end his adulterous remarriage in order to repent and be forgiven.  Instead, they define adultery as the “treacherous treatment” of the marriage covenant, i.e., divorce and remarriage.  In order to repent, they opine, one need not end the second marriage, but merely “repent” of the divorce (having treacherously dealt with their marriage covenant) by determining to stay in the second marriage and no longer divorce.  By redefining adultery they allow the remarriages of fornicators to stand while consoling them that they have fully repented of their sins by agreeing never to again divorce.  (Adultery is a sexual sin, Jno. 8:4, Rev. 2:20-22; Heb. 13:4.  Those who are redefining adultery to mean “divorce and remarriage” are twisting God’s word to their own destruction, 2 Pet. 3:16!)

Now, back to repentance.  What is taught to the thief who made himself rich at the expense of his victims?  Would he not be taught to return the stole goods?  Or, what about the homosexual?  Can he continue in his unholy relationship upon being baptized, or must he repent and cease his sin?  Or, what about polygamy (which is adultery, Rom. 7:2; Matt. 19:4-6)?  (Those who redefine adultery should answer this question without ambiguity:  Is the polygamist today committing adultery by having plural wives?  Is so, is his adultery a sexual or non-sexual sin?)  May the polygamist, upon believing and being baptized, retain his extra “wives” so long as he “repents” of taking any new ones?  Or, must be put away his sinful relationships with all women except the one to whom God joined him (Matt. 19:6)?  When the polygamist commits adultery by taking extra wives but later repents of his sin, he must cease his adultery.  The same holds true of adultery which is the result of unlawful remarriage (Matt. 19:9).  To bring forth fruits worthy of repentance one must cease his sin - whether that sin is a sexual nature or of some other sort (Lk. 3:8; Acts 26:20; Rev. 9:20-21).  One must bear this fruit of repentance in order to be saved from his sin (2 Cor. 7:10; Col. 3:5-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).

But, some brethren argue, “You cannot commit adultery with you spouse.  The apostle Paul said that such can occur:  “So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is not adulteress, though she has married another man.”  (Rom. 7:3)  Jesus said you can (Matt. 19:9).  ‘Nuff said!

Another related issue is whether the alien sinner is subject to Christ's teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage.  In fact, since some brethren are now advocating that they are not, this becomes their basis for redefining adultery and repentance.  Of course, marriage was given to all men from the beginning, and all men are today under the authority of Christ on it and all other subjects (Matt. 19:4-9; Gen. 2:24; Heb. 13:4).

Truth will answer this emotional and controver­sial subject.  We can “under­stand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).  Let us pray that God’s truth will be glorified rather than perverted by the wisdom and will of men (Gal. 1:6-11; 2 Ths. 3:1).

Flee From Idolatry
(Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 10:14-22)


  A.  Definition:  Worship Of That Which Takes The Place Of God In One's Life - Exo. 20:3-5; Psa. 115:8.
  B.  The Development Of Idolatry - Rom. 1:18-25.
    1.  Born out of rejection of truth-v. 18-20.
    2.  Elevation of human wisdom (self)-v. 21-22
    3.  Feeds on fleshly lusts - v. 24-27.
    4.  Ends in a depraved mind - v. 28-32.


  A.  Not Only (Just) Homage To A Grav­en Image - 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
  B.  Test For Idolatry:  (Does it have 1st place in your life?  Does it put God


  A.  The Lust Of The Flesh - Gal. 5:20; 1 Cor. 10:7; Titus 3:3; Rom. 1:22-25.
  B.  Stubbornness Of Heart - 1 Sam. 15:22-23 (v. 3, 9, 13-15).
  C.  Covetousness  - Col. 3:5 (Eph. 5:5); Lk. 12:15; 1 Tim. 6:6-10 (Job 1:21).
  D.  Slavery - Gal. 4:8-9.

Conclusion:  Exo. 32:25; 1 Cor. 10:14; 1 Jno. 5:21.

Jesus of Nazareth: His Resurrection (Part 15)
(Scripture Reading: Mark 16:1-11)

“By any measure, the resurrection of Jesus is the most radical of Christian doctrines.”
(Kenneth L. Woodward, Newsweek, 4/8/96:61)


  A.  Was Foretold By The Old Testament Prophets - Psa. 16:8-11, Fulfilled
        (Acts 2:25-28; 29-32); Psa. 2:6-7, Fulfilled (Acts 13:29-39; Isa. 55:3; Psa. 16:10).
  B.  Was Promised By Jesus (Matt. 27:63) - Jno. 2:18-22; Matt. 16:21; Jno. 11:25.
  C.  Declared The Deity Of Jesus - Rom. 1:3-4 (Jno. 10:30-36); Phil. 2:5-11.


  A.  Defeated Satan - Gen. 3:15; Acts 2:23-24; Heb. 2:14-16; 2 Tim. 1:10.
  B.  Is The Foundation Of The Gospel - 1 Cor. 15:3-5; Lk. 24:17-24.
  C.  Is The Basis For Our Hope Of Resurrection - 1 Cor. 15:12-19, 52-57.


  A.  The Lord’s Supper - Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:26.
  B.  The First Day Of The Week - Acts 20:7; Mk. 16:1-2, 9; Acts 2:32-33, 36; 20:7.
  C.  Water Baptism - Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12.

Conclusion:  Rom. 10:9-10

Noteworthy News
(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Victim's family: Jury sent a message in dragging death case

      JASPER, Texas (CNN) -- The family of a black man who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck is satisfied that the death sentence jurors gave his convicted killer Thursday will do some good for others.

      “They sent a message throughout the world that hate crime must stop, and if you do not believe that, see what happened to Bill King. So it's a deterrent to even younger children that you’re going to pay for your decisions,” said Mary Verrett sister of the victim, James Byrd, Jr.

      John William King, 24, was led off to prison cursing his victim's family.  Verrett said she wasn't surprised by King's behavior.

      “I wouldn't expect for him to say, ‘God bless the Byrd family.’  It just sums up the total personality of this young man,” she said.  “He has no remorse, even in the face of death.”

      In a statement issued later through his attorney, King maintained his innocence of the brutal murder.

      His handwritten note also said, “It's been obvious from the beginning that this community would get what they desired, so I’ll close with the words of Francis Yockey:  ‘The promise of success is with the man who is determined to die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.’”

      Yockey was a neo-Nazi writer who died in 1960.  (CNN website, 2.26.99)

by:  Joe R. Price

        Execution of murders is God-ordained (Gen. 9:5-6; Exo. 21:12; Rom. 13:4; Acts 25:11).  The murder of innocent people must be deterred by a punishment which fits the crime.  The vengeance  of the Lord is applied by His servant (government) in executing such evil-doers (Rom. 12:19-13:4).

        Clearly, racial hate motivated the murder of James Byrd, Jr.  We are right to condemn such hatred, for God does (1 Jno. 2:11; 3:14-15; 4:20).  In our outrage against “hate crimes” we should remember that evil actions begin with evil thoughts and motives of the heart (Mk. 7:20-23).

        Are we, as a society, as outraged by murder that is motivated by greed for money, or from coveting another man’s wife, as we are by those prompted by racial bigotry and hate?  Although we should be, I suspect we are not.  Most murderers in our country are not executed for their crime.  Yet, a person who is murdered because someone coveted their money is just as dead as the person who is murdered out of hatred for their race.  May God help us to be consistent and to see that all murder - regardless of motive - must equally outrage us.  Then, justice will be equally applied.

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

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