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


Volume 24, Number 09

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
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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

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


In this issue:

Take Heart and Encourage Others
Joe R. Price

22 “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.” (Acts 27:22–26, NKJV)

A terrible storm had wreaked havoc on the grain ship and its 276 souls for almost two weeks. They were lost at sea. All seemed hopeless, but God’s revelation to Paul and his faith in the Lord formed the basis for confidence amid chaos.

Paul, the prisoner, became Paul the encourager. Twice he urged those on board to take heart, to “be of good cheer, of good courage” (Thayer, 258). We can take several points from this event to help us be encouraged and also encourage others.

(1) Paul trusted God’s word (v. 25). We must trust God’s revelation as we face life’s storms. God’s word prevails.

(2) Paul was confident in the purposes of God (v. 24). The Lord’s angel told him he “must be brought before Caesar.” When we rely on God’s purposes, we can take courage to face every trial (1 Pet. 1:5-7).

(3) Paul was also a realist (v. 22, 26). He was honest about the trouble ahead. Encouragement does not sugar-coat the situation. It is compassionate yet straightforward with its analysis and recommendations.

Whatever storm you face, take heart in the Lord, His purposes, and His truth. He will not fail or forsake you (Heb. 13:5). Then, encourage others.  -Sword Tips #2315


"The Rains Descended, the Floods Came"
Joe R. Price

The power of water is often taken for granted. Water gives life to every creature on this planet. (Even our bodies are composed mostly of water.) When harnessed, the power of water generates electricity, brings life to arid soil, and serves the human good in countless ways. We would die without water.

Yet, the water power can be devastating, as witnessed by the flooding this week here in Whatcom County and across the state of Washington. Tens of thousands of Washington residents had to evacuate their homes. Lives were disrupted, and homes were destroyed. In addition, floodwaters shut down travel and commerce in parts of the state.

God used water long ago to execute His judgment against sinful man. The flood in the days of Noah saved and destroyed. Eight souls were “saved through water,” and “the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water” (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:6). Behold the goodness and the severity of God.

God was gracious to Noah because Noah “walked with God” (Gen. 6:8-9). By faith, Noah obeyed God and built the ark according to the commandment of God (Gen. 6:14, 22; Heb. 11:7). Noah heard the word of God and obeyed Him, thus becoming an “heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7).

In order to be saved by grace through faith, every sinner today must hear the words of Christ and obey them. Jesus said: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matt. 7:24-25). The rains and flood of sin will not overwhelm the person who hears and obeys Jesus; He saves “all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).

But, to resist and refuse to obey the words of Christ will bring the destruction of sin into one’s life. And like a mighty flood, the power of sin will destroy the soul: “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matt. 7:26-27).

The water of baptism will save you from your past sins through the death and resurrection of Christ, just as water saved Noah when he obeyed God by building the ark (1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:3-4). Be protected from the devastation of sin by the power of Christ and His gospel. Hear and obey Jesus now by believing in Christ, confessing your faith, repenting of your sins, and being baptized into Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 17:30; Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). Hear and do the words of Jesus to be eternally saved. (Reprint edited, Jan. 11, 2009)


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

In the Hour of Trial
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 4:12-19

1. “Why do good people suffer?” “Why does God allow it?”
2. Jesus’s life was full of trials, Luke 22:28.
3. Christ assures protection and victory to His faithful in the hour of trial (Heb. 13:5-6).

I. VARIOUS TYPES OF TRIALS WE FACE, James 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:6.

  A. Trials of Suffering, 1 Pet. 4:12 (try, test).
  B. Trials of Temptations, James 1:12; 2 Pet. 2:9.
  C. Trials of Physical Illness (ailments), Gal. 4:14-15 (treat and trust God, 1 Tim. 5:23).
  D. Trials of Persecution, Heb. 11:36-37; Acts 20:19-20 (humility, zeal, and courage).
  E. Trials of Judgment, Rev. 3:10 (Isa. 24:4-6); Rev. 3:11-13.


  A. They Grieve Us, 1 Pet. 1:6 (distress).
  B. They May Frighten Us, 1 Pet. 3:13-14 (Isa. 8:12-15); Phil. 1:28.
  C. They Train (discipline) Us, Heb. 12:4-6, 9-11; 2 Cor. 12:7-10.
  D. They Purify Us, 1 Pet. 1:7-9; Heb. 12:11; 1 Pet. 4:15-16; Heb. 12:1-3.


  A. Do Not Think it is Strange When They Happen, 1 Pet. 4:12.
  B. Rejoice to Partake of Christ’s Sufferings, 1 Pet. 4:13-14 (2:21).
  C. Do Not be Ashamed, Remain Faithful, 1 Pet. 4:15-17.
  D. Commit Your Life to God, 1 Pet. 4:19; Matt. 26:41 (38-39); 1 Pet. 2:19-23; 1:6-9.


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


Worshiping Images
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 115:1-11

1. God’s command to Israel clear: No carved images, Exod. 20:4-5 (Isa. 42:8); Deut. 4:15-18.
2. Yet, Israel repeatedly did so and was punished, 2 Kings 17:10, 16.
3. We must flee idolatry, 1 Cor. 10:14 (Acts 15:20).


  A. Jesus is the Image of God, 2 Cor. 4:4 (John 14:8-9); Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3.


  A. No Image Conceived and Made by Men is to be Worshiped, Rom. 1:22-23.
  B. People Painted and Sculpted Depictions of Jesus, Cross, Apostles, Mary, Followers...
  C. Scripture Gives No Approval to Use Carved Images of Christ and Others as Focal Points of Worship, John 4:23-24; Matt. 28:20; Col. 3:17), Col. 2:23; Matt. 15:8-9.


  A. Covetous Person is an Idolater, Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5 (Exod. 20:3); 2 Tim. 3:2, 4.
  B. Some Worship the Image of Self, 2 Tim. 3:2; Gal. 6:3; 3 John 9; Rom. 12:3, 16; Luke 18:14.
  C. Some Worship the Image of How Others Think about Them (Acts 6:3), 2 Tim. 3:5; Matt. 6:1, 5, 7, 16; John 12:42-43.


1. In the wilderness, Israel carried shrines to gods they used to satisfy their personal superstitions, Amos 5:25-26.
2. We must destroy any image (real or in our hearts) we carry in our hearts.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Transgender Day of Visibility
Joe R. Price

As a follow-up to last week’s article, “Can You Define Man and Woman,” did you know March 31 was International Transgender Day of Visibility? Neither did I. Marking the day, President Biden announced “a series of measures in support of transgender Americans” (“Biden to mark Transgender Day of Visibility with new measures in support of transgender Americans,” “‘On this Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor transgender people who are fighting for freedom, equality, dignity, and respect,’ Biden said in his proclamation Wednesday. ‘We also celebrate the parents, teachers, coaches, doctors, and other allies who affirm the identities of their transgender children and help these young people reach their potential’” (Ibid). In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs released a document Thursday that includes support for gender reassignment surgery, puberty blockers, hormone therapy for transgender minors (Gender-Affirming Care and Young People-PDF).

We categorically refuse to support, affirm, and celebrate transgenderism. One reason is because it abuses children by promoting gender identity (Eph. 5:11). We applaud efforts to restrain the twisting of facts and truth about transgenderism, including the Florida law preventing teaching K-3rd graders about gender identity. Children are a “heritage from the Lord” to be protected and treasured, not exploited and damaged for political gain and societal approval (Ps. 127:3; Eph. 5:12-17).

Americans think 20% of the U.S. population is transgender. In truth, only .06% are (

Truth frees the soul from sin (John 8:31-32). It also frees minds and lives from false information and the deception spawned by political, personal, and immoral agendas. We are in a battle for truth, our children, parental rights, our nation, and most importantly, our souls. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Tim. 6:12; Jude 3-4).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  04/04/2022

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