published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

May 21, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 12

Editor: Joe R. Price



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In this issue:



Tom Moody


"Gossip" is idle talk or rumors about others. The word can also be applied to the person who initiates or repeats idle talk.

Many jokes are made about gossip. Some seem to view gossip as a harmless exercise - an annoyance or nuisance at worst.

Christians should realize that gossip (Slander, tale bearing, being a busy body) is sinful and carries with it the potential of much heartache and devastation. The sinfulness and seriousness of gossip is clearly illustrated by its effects which are listed in a number of scriptures. Jesus made this point by comparing our words to fruit from a tree: "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good: or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:33-34).

What is gossip's fruit?

1. Gossip makes a fool of the one who practices it. "...he that uttereth slander is a fool" (Proverbs 10:18).

2. Gossip causes deep wounds. "The words of a tale bearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" (Proverbs 26:22).

3. Gossip will separate close friends. "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends" (Proverbs 16:28).

4. Gossip brings shame upon the one who spreads it. "Debate thy cause why thy neighbor himself; and disclose not a secret to another: lest he that heareth it put thee to shame and thine infamy turn not away" (Proverbs 25:9-10).

If you are tempted to gossip, work on purifying your heart (evil speech proceeds from the heart, Matthew 15:18-20). Increase your love for others, and learn to use your speech "to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).




Joe R. Price

When Moses rehearsed the law God had delivered to Israel through him, he told of a prophet whom God would raise up to speak to the people (Deut. 18:15-18). While all of the Old Testament prophets could fit the context of that prediction, its ultimate fulfillment is found in The Prophet, Jesus Christ (Jno.1:21; 12:49; Acts 3:22-23). Among other things, His gospel is described as the new covenant (Heb. 9:15).

The OT prophets spoke of this new covenant. Jeremiah said it would be different from the covenant God made at Mt. Sinai -- it would be written upon the hearts of men and would provide the means of forgiveness of sins (Jer. 31:31-34). Ezekiel called it a "covenant of peace" (Ezek. 37:26). Isaiah and Jeremiah described it as an "everlasting covenant" (Isa. 55:3; Jer. 32:40). The approaching covenant would "not be according to the covenant that I made with their fathers." It would be "new."

When Jesus came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom" throughout all of Galilee, do you suppose He came preaching the old covenant, Law of Moses (Matt. 4:23)? Today, some brethren think so. Is it consistent with the aforementioned prophecies to believe that when the Savior preached He was merely calling Jews back to faithful obedience to the covenant made at Sinai? No. Or, in other words, did Jesus come preaching the old covenant or the new covenant? The Word, when He became flesh, preached the new covenant, His gospel of grace and truth (Jno. 1:14-17). Yet still some brethren are accepting the notion that Jesus was teaching the Law of Moses to the Jews during His earthly ministry and therefore we cannot use His words to apply to us today. Incredible!

Although the Jews of Christ's day lived under the law of Moses, that very law was "nigh unto vanishing away" (Heb. 8:13). They needed to learn how to live so that they could enter the eternal kingdom. Jesus came to light the way with gospel truth (Jno. 8:12; 14:6; Matt. 7:21-24). Moses spoke of Jesus, not the other way around (Jno. 5:45-47; cf. Matt. 17:1-5). Brethren should abandon this futile effort to make Jesus' personal teaching non-applicable today. Such a belief violates revealed truth.

The old covenant pointed forward to the new covenant of Christ (Gal. 3:24-25). By giving a knowledge of sin it also taught man of his need for the forgiveness of his sins (Rom. 3:20). While teaching that a sacrifice of life was needed to obtain forgiveness, the animal blood shed under the Law of Moses could never remove man's sin (Heb. 9:22; 10:1-4). The law given at Sinai could never provide justification from sins (Rom. 3:20-26). Man's justification comes through faith in Jesus Christ and not through the Law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:21-30; Gal. 2:16; 3:10-14).

The gospel, the new covenant of Jesus Christ, provides redemption and an eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15-17). "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it." (Lk. 16:16) While on earth, Jesus preached His gospel, not Moses!




For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS:



Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:1-8


I.  GOD EXPECTS MEN TO BE MERCIFUL - 12:1-8; Hosea 6:4-6.

  A. To Be Merciful, We Must First Recognize Our Need For & Our Reception Of Mercy - v. 1-2.  God's mercy to us - Matt. 9:10-12; Lk. 6:36; 18:13

  B. Do Not Fight Against The Mercy Of God - v. 2-7.

    1. Unmerciful watch for slightest "violation" - v. 2. Pharisees' charge was false.

    2. Being unmerciful is often arbitrary & leads to inconsistencies / contradictions - v. 3-7.

  C. Mercy Is Not In Conflict With Obeying Truth - v. 7; Psa. 89:14; Matt. 23:23; Matt. 9:10-13.


II.  BE MERCIFUL......ALWAYS - 12:9-14.

  A. Characteristics Of Mercy:

    1. Being merciful grows out of a merciful heart - Matt. 18:33-35; Lk. 10:36-37; Col. 3:12.

    2. Mercy is not & cannot be given grudgingly - Rom. 12:8.

    3. Mercy is an expression of wisdom - Jas. 3:17.

    4. Being merciful will be rewarded - Matt. 5:7; Jas. 2:13.

  B. Why We Are Not Merciful Toward Others:

    1. We have forgotten & are not thankful for the mercy we have received (Matt. 18:32-33).

    2. Pride & self-righteousness - (Lk. 18:9-11).

    3. Power over others - (cf. Lk. 10:31-32).

    4. Selfishness - As long as we feel good about ourselves we forget to care about others - (Phil. 2:3-4).

    5. Unforgiving - (Matt. 6:14-15).

    6. Uncaring - (2 Cor. 7:2).


Conclusion:  Psa. 89:1-2 - We cannot praise (or receive) God's mercy if we are unmerciful!



For the complete outline of this sermon please visit BIBLE ANSWERS:



(Lesson 7)


Science and the Bible


Scripture Reading: Job 38:1-7

The Bible has been depicted as contradicting science. This is false. While the Bible is not a science textbook (so, it does not speak in scientific language), when it speaks of scientific things, it demonstrates a knowledge of science far different from the human knowledge at time of its writing.




A. Same God Who Created The World, Also Inspired The Bible - Psa. 19:1, 7-9.

B. Significant Points To Raise:

1. The Bible & theories of science may (& do) conflict (origins, evolution).

2. Facts of science & theories about the Bible may conflict.

3. Truth of the Bible & the facts of science do not conflict.

C. The Bible Does Not Contain The Errors & Fallacies Of Science Which Were Common At The Time Of Its Writing.

D. Claims Of Men The Bible Never Made.



A. A Round Earth - Prov. 8:27

B. Suspension Of The Earth In Space - Job 26:7

C. Number Of Stars - Gen. 15:5; Jer. 33:22

D. Paths Of The Seas - Psa. 8:8

E. Channels In The Sea - 2 Sam. 22:16

F. Springs In The Sea - Job 38:16; Gen. 7:11; 8:2

G. Water-Vapor Cycle - Job 36:27-28; Eccl. 1:7

H. Life Is In The Blood - Lev. 17:11






(Current events in the light of Scripture)




(Here are some headlines of the past week with brief descriptions, and scriptures of what God thinks. -Joe)



Lutheran Leaders OK Same-sex Partnerships

(The Detroit News, May 12, 2000)

"MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The governing board of the Milwaukee synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has approved a resolution supporting same-sex relationships.

The measure, adopted 141-103 last Friday during the annual meeting of the Greater Milwaukee Synod, allows individual congregations to decide independently whether to accept the policy.

The endorsement does not accept marriages for homosexual partners, synod Bishop Peter Rogness said."


-BIBLE: Romans 1:24-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11




Southern Baptists Plan To Declare Women Can No Longer Be Pastors

(Religion Today: Baptist Press News and

"The country's largest Protestant denomination released a statement May 18 that reads: "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture," Baptist Press reported. The statement cites 1 Timothy 2:9-14, which says in part, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man."


-BIBLE: 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 14:33-35



Methodists Adopted More Conservative Positions On Some Social, Political, And Theological Issues

(Religion Today on

"The governing body of the United Methodist Church, meeting in Cleveland last week, was in the news primarily for affirming traditional sexual morality.

...But the UMC also voted decisively to oppose partial-birth abortion and to support voluntary prayer in public schools and "at other public occasions." Methodist social agencies have opposed restrictions on abortions.

...The General Conference also became more conservative theologically. It approved an addition to the church's Discipline, declaring that Jesus Christ is the "Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Lord of all."


-BIBLE: Hebrews 13:4; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 13:9; John 20:30-31




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

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