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


Volume 24, Number 03

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


In this issue:

Not Being Ashamed of the Gospel
Joe R. Price

The gospel of Christ is powerful. It has the ability to penetrate our hearts and thoughts, expose our sins, and transform our minds and lives (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 12:1-2). For it to do so we must let it enter and dwell in our hearts (Matt. 13:14-15; Col. 3:16). As the “sword of the Spirit,” God’s word has the power to defeat Satan’s attempts to ensnare and destroy our souls (Eph. 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:24-26). It saves sinners (Rom. 1:16-17; Mark 16:15-16).

What is your attitude toward the gospel?  It is one thing to affirm allegiance to it when among friends, but how do we react when among foes? Peter’s denial of Jesus stands as a warning when we are tempted to remain silent instead of speaking up for Christ and His gospel (Matt. 26:69-75).

When you are at work and your buddies start telling vulgar jokes, do you listen and join in with the laughter, or register your protest by refusing to participate? When your fellow students urge you to join them in doing things that violate God’s will, do you obey the truth regardless of what your friends say (1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 1:10-16)? Do you resist the false teacher when false doctrine is taught and souls are drawn away from the truth, or do you remain silent (Jude 3-4; Gal. 2:5)? These questions are intended to help us examine how serious we are about the power of the gospel in our lives (2 Cor. 13:5).

The apostle Paul did more that say he was not ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). His life proved it (Rom. 12:1-2). He abandoned a promising future in the Jewish religion for the sake of the gospel (Phil. 3:5-7). He was repeatedly persecuted, imprisoned, beaten, harassed, and ultimately killed for his faith (1 Cor. 4:11-13; 2 Cor. 11:23-28; 2 Tim. 4:6). Are we ready to be “faithful unto death” like the apostles and the brethren in Smyrna (Rev. 2:10)?

Jesus was not ashamed to die for us and call us His brethren (Heb. 12:2; 2:11). If we are ashamed of His gospel He will be ashamed of us when He returns (Mark 8:38). May we avoid that most terrible outcome by not being ashamed of Jesus and the power of His gospel.


Continue Steadfastly
Joe R. Price

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42, NKJV).

Full of zeal and enthusiasm, they were dedicated disciples of Jesus. Attentive to living for Christ, they set a worthy example of living for Christ.

They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching. They were convinced the apostles of Jesus spoke God’s word they were fervent to believe and obey (1 Thess. 2:13). The apostles’ teaching is the end of the matter in all things that have to do with life and godliness (1 Cor. 14:37; 2 Pet. 1:3). We must obey all of the apostles’ doctrine (Gal. 1:6-10).

They continued steadfastly in fellowship. They did not define fellowship as “food, fun, and frolic.” In the NT fellowship among saints is spiritually defined, describing the participation and sharing of Christians in God-given work and worship (Gal. 2:9; Phil. 1:5; Phil. 4:15). Here, it most likely refers to sharing daily needs (Acts 2:44-45). We ought to devote ourselves to similar sharing today.

They continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread. This is the Lord’s Supper, not a common meal (Acts 2:46; 20:7). Weekly memorial of Christ’s sacrifice was vigorously observed, not neglected.

They continued steadfastly in prayers. They knew the power of prayer and boldly approached God with supplications and thanksgivings (Acts 4:24-30; 12:5).

If the Holy Spirit were describing our devotion to Christ, would He say we are continuing steadfastly?


“I Have Seen That You Are Righteous Before Me”
Joe R. Price

hen the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1, NKJV)

God called Noah and his family into the ark after Noah built the ark “according to all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). Why was Noah allowed to enter the ark and saved from the impending flood? God said, “Because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.”

Does God see your righteousness? Some would have you believe there is no righteousness ever to be seen in human beings by contorting Isaiah 64:6, “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” Was Noah’s righteousness like filthy rags? Obviously not. Nor was it self-righteousness as in the Pharisee who trusted in himself (Luke 18:9-14). Noah’s was “the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7). We must practice this kind of righteousness to be born of God and righteous in His sight (1 John 2:29;  3:7). God counts righteous the person who exercises obedient faith. Without such faith, there is no grace from God. Otherwise, all would have been allowed into the ark and saved from the flood. But only the righteous are saved. Just like Noah and his family obeyed God and were saved through water, baptism “now saves us” (1 Pet. 3:20-21). When you believe and obey the gospel you will be saved, having “the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7; Rom. 10:10; 6:16).  -Sword Tips #1480


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

Why We Must Love God
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 John 4:7-11

1. Love is the greatest virtue, yet we often have a hard time defining it, understanding it, appreciating it, and showing it, 1 Cor. 13:13.
2. Focus on why we must love God. Next lesson, how we must love God.


  A. Because God is Love, 1 John 4:8 (cf. God is light, 1 John 1:5); 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
  B. Because Love is of God, 1 John 4:7-8.
    1. God showed His love for us. Rom. 5:8; 1 John 3:17-18, 1 (John 3:16); 1 Cor. 13:4-8.
    2. God’s love is our pattern to love others, 1 John 4:11; Eph. 5:1-2.


  A. God Created Us, Ps. 139:13-16.
  B. God Sustains Our Lives, Matt. 6:25-34.
  C. God Loved Us First, 1 John 4:19.
  D. God Sent His Son to Die to Give Us Life, 1 John 4:9-10 (3:16).
  E. God Saves Us in Christ, Eph. 2:4-9.
  F. God Gives Us Ways to Escape Temptations to Sin, 1 Cor. 10:13.
  G. God has Prepared Eternal Life for Those Who Love Him, 2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12.

1. How many reasons do we need before we will love God?
2. Stubborn, hard heart will never have enough reasons, Acts 7:51.
3. To open, responsive hearts, the love of God in Christ is enough, Rom. 8:38-39.


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


How We Must Love God
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Deuteronomy 6:1-9

1. How we love God makes all the difference between pleasing Him and dishonoring Him.
2. How we love God impacts whether God accepts us.
3. Study and understand how to love God.
4. How we love God shows how we love others, Luke 11:42; Luke 10:25-29.


  A. Don’t Compare Your Love for Christ to Others, John 21:15 (Peter, Matt. 26:33).
  B. Combine Saying You Love Christ with Conduct that Shows Your Love for Him, John 21:16 (Peter).
  C. Honestly Assess Your Affection for Christ, John 21:17 (Peter).


  A. With All Our Being, Mark 12:30 (heart, soul, mind, strength).
  B. By Keeping His Commandments, John 14:15, 21, 23; 1 John 2:5; 5:2-3.
  C. First, Before All Others, Matt. 10:37; Rev. 2:4 (love’s priority).
  D. In Purity and Hope, 1 John 3:1-3.
  E. By Loving One Another, 1 John 4:7-8, 11, 12, 20-21; 3:17-18; Matt. 25:34-41 (John 21:18-19).
  F. By Abiding in Love, 1 John 4:16. (Put on love, Col. 3:14; Walk in love, Eph. 5:2)

1. The love of the world brings eternal death, but loving God, eternal life, 1 John 2:15-17.
2. Love God and do all things with love, 1 Cor. 16:14, 22.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Wrong Word Invalidates Catholic Baptisms
Joe R. Price

Catholic priest, Father Andres Arango, resigned from St. Gregory Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona, this month “after he was found to have performed baptisms incorrectly throughout his career, rendering the rite invalid for thousands of people” ( He was off by one word. “During baptisms in both English and Spanish, Arango used the phrase “we baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He should have said “I baptize,” the diocese explained” (Ibid).

The Diocese of Phoenix explained on their website, “The word in question is the use of “we” in place of “I.” It is not the community that baptizes a person and incorporates them into the Church of Christ; rather, it is Christ, and Christ alone, who presides at all sacraments; therefore, it is Christ who baptizes. The Baptismal Formula (the words used in the Rite) has always been guarded for this reason: so it is clear that we receive our baptism through Jesus and not the community. If you were baptized using the wrong words, that means your baptism is invalid, and you are not baptized. You will need to be baptized” (

(1) The Catholic Church makes a person’s baptism dependent on a ritual instead of faith. Furthermore, infants are incapable of belief, which invalidates such Catholic baptisms (Mark 16:16).

(2) The Scriptures do not contain a “Baptismal Formula” that legitimizes baptism. Christ authorizes baptism by His word (Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 10:48; 19:5).

(3) Scripture does not describe baptism as a sacrament or Rite of the Church. Instead, baptism is an act of faith by the person submitting to baptism (Acts 8:36-38; Gal. 3:26-27).

Will the Catholic Church legitimize the other sacraments (like communion and marriage) that they accepted due to these invalid baptisms? It takes more to be a Catholic than it does to be a Christian (Acts 2:41-42, 47).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  02/21/2022

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