published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

June 25, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 16

Editor: Joe R. Price


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In this issue:


Justin Monts


How do you define success? Some define success as making a lot of money and marrying a good-looking man or woman. With God, however, success is measured in a much different way.


The Lord instructed Joshua, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success" (Josh. 1:8). True success is an approval that based on obedience to God (Acts 10:34-35). Having the greatest riches or the most popularity is meaningless in view of eternity. Are we living by the Book? That is the question to ask. If we are, then we are successful.


Among the Corinthians, we read of some less-fortunate but, nonetheless, successful Christians. "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are" (1 Cor. 1:26-28). Sometimes, rather than act jealous toward those who "have it all," we should just be thankful for what we lack. Those who were "unpopular" were more inclined to obey the gospel. On the other hand, the rich had to be reminded "not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, to do good, to be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share" (1 Tim 6:17-19; cf. Lk. 6:24). Such was not the case with the poor. In contrast, God had chosen them (Jas. 2:5).


When we stand before God in the judgment it will not matter what the world thought of us. How successful we were according to its standard is meaningless! Did we obey the Lord? This is the question to dwell upon and consider. Not long ago I came across a shirt which read, "He who dies with the most toys, still dies." And when all is said and done that is the plain truth (Mk. 8:36). Our condition before God alone determines success or failure (Eccl. 12:13-14). May each of us see things as God would have us to see them.

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



Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:9-15


It is called the "Lord’s Prayer," yet it was not a prayer Jesus prayed, but an example of disciple's prayer to the Father.



I. Paternity: "Our Father (who art) in heaven." - v. 9

A. Recognize Our Relationship With God - Gal. 4:4-7; 2 Cor. 6:17-18.

B. God Rules From Heaven & Is In Control - Psa. 11:4; Heb. 12:9.


II. Person: "Hallowed be your name." - v. 9

A. God Is Holy & Must Be Revered By Man - Psa. 111.9; 1 Pet. 1:14-16.


III. Program: "Your kingdom come" - v. 10.

A. Kingdom: Sovereignty, Royal Power & Rule - Matt. 16:18-19; Mk. 9:1; God's sovereignty.


IV. Purposes: "Your will be done" - v. 10.

A. God’s Will Has Priority Over Our Will - Matt. 26:39, 42; Jno. 5:30; Jas. 4:15; Eccl. 12:13.

-"On earth as it is in heaven" - v. 10.


V. Provisions: Give us this day our daily bread" - v. 11.

A. God Is Our Provider - Matt. 6:31-33; 1 Tim. 4:4-5;

B. We Are Dependent Upon God - cf. Matt. 5:45; Phil. 4:19.


VI. Pardon: "And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors" - v. 12.

A. We Need Forgiveness - Jno. 8:21, 34, 36.

B. God Forgives Us Just As We Forgive Others - v. 12; Lk. 11:4 (God's Proviso - 6:14-15; 7:2).


VII. Protection: "And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one" - v. 13.

A. Pray To Not Be Led Into Temptation - Matt. 26:41 (Lk. 22:40); 1 Cor. 10:13.


VIII. Preeminence & praise: "For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." - v. 13; Rev. 4:11; 5:13-14.


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



Scripture Reading: Isaiah 5:18-25



God's unchangeable word is the final word on right & wrong! - 2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17



A. Determination To Do Right - cf. Jno. 7:17.

B. A Commitment To Conform Our Life To Christ - Rom. 12:2; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:5.

C. Total Trust In God’s Decisions. (Faith!) - 2 Pet. 1:3; l Jno. 1:3-4.



A. "Everyone Else Does It." - Matt. 7:13.

B. "I Like It And It Doesn't Hurt Anyone Else." - 2 Cor. 6:17

C. "I Can Afford It." (Matt. 16:26)

D. "This Has Always Been Done." -Matt. 15:3-6

E. "My Conscience Doesn’t Bother Me." - Acts 23:1 (24:16). cf. Prov. 14:12; 16:2; 19:21



A. Is There Bible Authority For It? - Col. 3:17; Matt. 21:23-25; 2 Jno. 9.

B. Will It Offend My Conscience? (Do I have doubts about it?) - Rom. 14:1-5, 23.

C. Will I Become A Stumbling-Block To Someone Else? - l Cor. 10:23, 31-33; 8:10-13

D. Will It Adversely Affect My Body & Health? Rom. 12:1; l Cor. 6:19-20.

E. Will It Encourage Unlawful Desires (Which Promote Sin)? - cf. l Jno. 2:15-16 with Phil. 4:8.

F. Will It Show Christ To The World? - Matt. 5:16; Phil. 1:27.


(Current events in the light of Scritpture)


Texas Inmate Gary Graham Executed
Updated: Fri, Jun 23 03:55 AM EDT (

by Michael Graczyk, Associated Press Writer

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A defiant Gary Graham struggled as he went to his death, insisting he was innocent moments before an execution that presented Gov. George W. Bush with the loudest outcry over capital punishment since he began his run for president.

Graham, 36, received a lethal injection Thursday night for killing a man outside a Houston supermarket in 1981. The state parole board and appeals courts rejected Graham's arguments that he was convicted on shaky evidence from a single eyewitness and that his trial lawyer did a poor job.

Bush, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said he supported the execution, the 135th during his 5 1/2 years in office. He said the case had been reviewed by 33 judges in 19 years.

"Mr. Graham has had full and fair access to state and federal courts," Bush said less than an hour before the execution. "After considering all the facts, I'm confident justice is being done."

Bible Commentary

Joe R. Price

The Bible is clear, concise and compelling on the right of the state to punish the evil-doer with death. From the days of Noah forward it reveals a consistent theme: The person who sheds innocent blood is worthy of the punishment of death. Hear God on the matter:

Justice. Deterrence. Protection of the innocent. These are just some of God's reasons for allowing governments to take the life of the evil-doer. Who are we to fight against God?! (Acts 5:39; 11:17)

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

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