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


Volume 24, Number 11

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:

The Easter Dilemma
Joe R. Price

The Easter dilemma is not that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion (Luke 24:1-12). It is not the assessment that His resurrection is the keystone of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:12-19). There is no dilemma in accepting that Christ’s resurrection assures the future resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:20-22). Here is the dilemma: Since the New Testament never speaks of an Easter celebration, how do those who profess belief in the Bible justify observing Easter in honor of Christ’s resurrection without giving up their claim of believing and following the Bible as the word of God?

The Scriptures are Silent

Bible believers hold the Scriptures as God’s inspired word, thoroughly adequate to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We will find it in His Scriptures if God approves an annual Easter celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Yet, it is not there. Note that belief in the resurrection of Jesus and the celebration of Easter is not the same. Early Christians firmly believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so do we (1 Cor. 15:4, 12-20; Matt. 28:6; Rom. 4:25). But an annual Easter celebration was unknown to the early Christians. Christ or His apostles did not institute it. The King James Version of Acts 12:4 mistranslated pascha as “Easter,” yet all admit it should be “Passover,” not Easter. “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the apostolic fathers. The sanctity of the special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians” (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., II:859). “There is no trace of Easter celebration in the N.T.” (H. Porter, I.S.B.E., II:889). The religious observance of Easter is the result of human will, not divine. Because Christ said true worshipers “must” worship God “in spirit and truth,” we conclude offering God Easter worship does not please Him (John 4:24). Easter worship is not offered to God by the authority of the Scriptures. The Easter dilemma is offering God something He did not ask for, convinced that it pleases and honors God (Matt. 15:7-9). Shall we go beyond the word of God by having an annual resurrection festival? Not if we intend to remain faithful to God’s word (2 John 9; Gal. 1:8-10).

The History of Easter

The history of Easter shows its human origin. The first definite reference to it comes from the middle of the second century (Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, New York: 1950, p. 64). Initially, it was called the “Christian Passover” (Philip Schaff, History of the Church, II:206). Intervening centuries developed Easter worship through blending the Jewish Passover with pagan spring festivals that honored Eastre (Saxon goddess of spring and fertility) until the present Holy Day Easter emerged. Facts are a stubborn thing, and these facts are not in dispute. The blending of paganism and post-New Testament observance of Christ’s resurrection produced the modern Easter holiday. This hybrid is no problem for those who accept extra-Biblical authority (like popes, synods, councils, and creeds). But Bible believers cannot endorse such things without forfeiting allegiance to the Bible. Easter has no Biblical endorsement. Can we define and offer whatever worship pleases us? We learn from Nadab and Abihu the answer is “no” (Lev. 10:1-3).

Offering God Easter worship does so with man’s authority, not Christ’s (Matt. 28:18-20). God did not ask for it, yet people offer it to Him.

Both Scripture and history show men created the religious celebration of Easter. It goes beyond God’s word and must be refused (like all other manmade religious celebrations, Col. 2:22-23; 3:17). The dilemma is easily solved. Be content to believe in Christ’s resurrection and do not corrupt it with the worship innovations of men.  -Reprint (edited),
The Spirit’s Sword, April 20, 2014


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


The Amazing Grace of God
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Titus 2:11-15

1. Grace is God’s favor toward sinners, unmerited and undeserved, Eph. 2:4-7.
2. Gratitude for salvation causes appreciation for God’s grace, Rom. 3:23-24; Heb. 4:15-16. It secures our hope, Rom. 5:2.
3. Titus 2:11-14 shows how to “grow in grace.”


  A. Grace is Revealed in Jesus Christ, John 1:14, 16-17; 1 Pet. 1:10-11.
  B. Grace has Appeared to All, cf. 1 Tim. 2:4.


  A. Grace is Given to Sinners by Christ Jesus, 1 Cor. 1:4; Heb. 2:9; gal. 1:6; Col. 1:6.
  B. Grace is Greater than Sin, Rom. 5:20-21; Eph. 1:5-7; Gal. 5:4 (Heb. 12:15); Rom. 6:14.


  A. Grace Teaches Us to Deny Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts, Rom. 6:1-2, 11-12; 1 John 3:4-8 (1:7-10).
  B. Grace Teaches Us to Live Soberly, Righteously, and Godly, James 1:21-22.


  A. We Rejoice in Hope When We Stand in Grace, Rom. 5:2; 1 John 5:13; 2:28-29; 3:3-7; Heb. 4:16.

1. The truth (the gospel) is calling the lost to be saved by grace, through faith.
2. Christian, do not fall from grace by turning back to sin and letting it have dominion over you.


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

Bible Answers to Suicide
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

1. In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 15-19 year-olds (21.5%) after unintentional injuries (34.5%).
2. What does the Bible say about suicide and its prevention? What can we do to help?

I. YOUR LIFE IS A GIFT FROM GOD, Gen. 1:26-27; Isa. 42:5; Acts 17:25.

  A. Life has Purpose, Perspective, and Possibilities, Eccl. 3:12-13; 11:9.
  B. Life Becomes Increasingly Meaningless in a Secular Humanist Society because God is Increasingly Rejected, Rom. 1:22-31.
  C. Jesus Gives is an Even Greater Gift than Earthly Life – Eternal Life, 1 John 5:11 (John 10:10).


  A. Suicide is Self-Murder, Matt. 27:3-5.
  B. Suicide is an Action of Utter Despair and Faithlessness (Rom. 2:2, 5); 1 Kings 19:1-4 (work to do, 19:15-18); Judas (Matt. 27:3-5), Contrast Peter (Matt. 26:75); Philippian jailer, Acts 16:27-30.
    -Physical suffering is not a valid reason for suicide, Job 3:11-13, 25-26; 42:1-6.


  A. Suicide Expresses Helplessness, but Jesus Christ is the Great Helper of All Who Come to Him, Matt. 11:28-30.
  B. Suicide Expresses Haplessness, but Jesus Christ is the Great Joy Giver, John 16:22, 33.
  C. Suicide Expresses Hopelessness, but Jesus Christ Lives and Gives Living Hope, 1 Pet. 1:3-5 (1 Cor. 15:19-20); Heb. 6:18-20.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Snatched out of the fire
Joe R. Price

On April 11, a 30-year-old woman was pulled from her burning vehicle entangled with live electrical wires after hitting a utility pole on Birch-Bay Lynden Road. Michael Nault, a 58-year-old stunt man who lives nearby, jumped the fence and saw the car on fire. Running down the road, Nault called 911, then climbed on the rear of the vehicle and pulled the woman out and away from the car that exploded multiple times before crews could extinguish the fire. The woman had non-life-threatening injuries, and the crash is under investigation as a DUI (Birch Bay resident saves woman from burning vehicle, The Northern Light).

We are impressed by Mr. Nault’s selfless act of bravery that likely saved this woman’s life. We are grateful for those who risk themselves to help others.

We can’t help but be reminded of Jude wrote, “save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 23, ESV).

(1) Sinners are in danger. They need saving from sin, and the gospel has the power to rescue them from eternal death (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1:16). Will we be the one who runs to their aid and teach them about Jesus?

(2) We should be thankful when someone tries to help save us. We should be grateful when someone tries to rescue us from spiritual death, not angry, resentful, or bitter against them (Gal. 6:1-2; James 5:19-20).

(3) We must take responsibility for our sins (Gal. 6:5). Should we need to be snatched from the fire, we pray someone will help us. We must take responsibility for our sins by repenting and obeying Jesus (Acts 17:30; 2 Cor. 7:9-11; 12:20-21).

(4) Snatch all we can out of hell’s eternal fire (Mark 9:43-48). Rescue the perishing (Matt. 9:36-38).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  04/18/2022

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
Send all questions, comments and subscriptions to the editor at: