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


Volume 24, Number 14

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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  Bellingham, WA 98228
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Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

The People Were in Expectation
Joe R. Price

Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not (Luke 3:15, NKJV).

John was not the Messiah. He came to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Luke 3:4; Isa. 40:3). As the Lord’s messenger, John preached “a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,” preparing hearts for the Lord’s coming (Mal. 3:1; Mark 1:4; Luke 1:17).

John was the promised Elijah (Mal. 4:5-6; Matt. 11:7-10; 17:10-13). John’s work excited the people’s expectations of the Messiah (Luke 3:15). Sadly, those expectations were often misguided. Many looked for a military leader to deliver Israel from Rome (John 6:15, 26; Luke 24:21). Others expected Messiah to support the traditions they bound (Mark 7:1-13). What are your expectations of Christ?

(1) Some expect faith in Christ to bring them wealth and health (the prosperity gospel); A perverted gospel (1 Cor. 4:11-13; 2 Cor. 12:7-10). Many faithful ones are impoverished (Heb. 11:37-38).

(2) Some expect Christ’s grace to allow them to continue living in sin; A perverted gospel (Rom. 5:21-6:2). Grace will not abound when we continue in sin.

(3) Some expect Christ to save them by faith only; A perverted gospel (Mark 16:15-16; Heb. 5:8-9). An obedient faith saves, not faith only (James 2:24).

(4) Some expect Christ to save them because of their sincere conscience; A perverted gospel (Rom. 10:2). The blood of Christ washes away sins, not sincerity (Acts 23:1; 26:9; 22:16).

(5) We should expect Christ to bring salvation to sinners without the doctrines of men. He does (Acts 4:12; 10:34-43; Rom. 1:16-17; Gal. 1:6-12; Col. 2:20-23). Expect Jesus to save you when you believe and follow Him (John 8:12, 31-32; Matt. 7:21-23). -Sword Tips #2446


Is There Not a Cause?
Joe R. Price

The giant’s incredible size loomed over the valley as he hurled insults toward the armies of Israel. He was a champion among the Philistine warriors and everyone knew why. He was huge! Several feet taller than the average man, no one could hope to survive hand-to-hand combat with Goliath of Gath. No one, that is, except a youngster named David. Armed with faith in God, David displayed remarkable courage as he challenged and defeated this giant of a man. His confrontation with Goliath is a remarkable display of faith, courage, conviction, and the victory God gives those who rely upon Him (please read 1 Samuel 17).

David’s oldest brother scolded him when they heard his proposal to fight Goliath. David responded, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam. 17:29). His declaration reminds us of the giants that even now defy the army of the living God. Causes still exist that move the faithful to action. We are the Lord’s army and we must, by faith, be ready to fight His foes (Eph. 6:10-18). Our faith must be strongly anchored to the power and truth of God when the enemy seems too large for us to battle. Our victory is in Christ (Rev. 11:15; 17:14; 1 John 5:4).

The enemy of false doctrine must be battled. Contending for the faith is not fashionable these days (Jude 3-4). When a soldier of the cross engages in a battle of faith with a false teacher over his false doctrine, the advocate of error often gets more sympathy, respect, and encouragement than the one standing for God’s truth. Nevertheless, where error tries to infiltrate the church and hold souls captive, a cause exists that compels the faithful to action (Gal. 2:4-5). Do you join David’s brother in faithless rebuke of a needed conflict against error? Or, in the day of battle, do you hold up the hands of those fighting the good fight of faith (Exod. 17:8-13)?

The enemy of worldliness is a formidable giant we must engage in battle. Every day the world defies the armies of the living God. Living amid the enticements of the world induces some Christians to retreat from the high and holy ground they have gained with Christ as their Captain (Heb. 12:1-2). Soldiers of Christ can be intimidated into inaction by this giant enemy of faith while others succumb to its power (1 Pet. 2:11-12; 2 Pet. 2:18-22; Rom. 13:12-14; Gal. 5:19-21). Like David, we must stand our ground and live holy lives, trusting in God to deliver us from this enemy’s assault (1 Cor. 10:13; 16:13).

The enemy of complacency is an insidious giant. Complacency is an intimidating opponent that infects Christians with a lethargic approach to godliness. Compla­cency leads to neglect, procrastination, toleration, and compromise with sin. Complacency prevents the lost from becoming Christians. It will cause the strong to grow weak and the weak to grow weaker. But, through faith, this giant can also be slain (Rom. 12:11; 13:11-12; Heb. 6:11-12).

David knew the urgency of stopping the mouth of Goliath. Like David, we must assess the causes for which we fight and be sure we are on the Lord’s side (Matt. 12:30). As soldiers of Christ we engage the enemy, with faith in God’s power to deliver us from the foe as we “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-13). 

-Edited, The Spirit’s Sword (May 19, 2002)


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

Eve, the Mother of All Living
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Genesis 2:18-25

1. Eve is the prototype female, a distinction with many firsts.
2. Key passages: Gen. 2-3; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:13-15


  A. Woman, Gen. 2:22-23, 18; 1 Cor. 11:8-9.
  B. Adam, Gen. 5:1-2 (KJV), Mankind (NKJV), Matt. 19:6; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 11:3, 11-12.
  C. Eve, Gen. 3:20; 1 Cor. 11:12; 1 Tim. 2:15.


  A. The First Woman, Gen. 2:18, 21-22; 1 Tim. 2:13.
  B. The First Wife, Gen. 2:23-24; 1 Pet. 3:1; Eph. 5:22-25; Prov. 31:10-11, 28 (12:4).
  C. The First Mother, Gen. 4:1-2, 25 (Luke 2:19, 34-35, 51); Cain, Gen. 4:16; Seth, 4:25-26.
  D. The First Beauty Queen, Gen. 2:22-23; 1 Pet. 3:3-4.
  E. The First to be Tempted (Deceived) by Satan, 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14 (Gen. 3:1-7);  1 Cor. 10:13).
  F. The First Sinner, 1 Tim. 2:14; Gen. 2:16; Rom. 6:23; 5:12.
  G. The First Seamstress, Gen. 3:7, 21; 1 Tim. 2:9-10.

1. Though Eve sinned, she would express faith in God’s love, mercy, and provisions, Gen. 4:25 (Seth, “appointed” by God).
2. Her seed (Christ) defeats Satan, Gen. 3:15.
3. From Eve we learn:
  a. To believe and obey God above our desires and enticements.
  b. God is merciful, forgiving, and gives (eternal) life through her Seed (Christ).


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

Steps Toward Apostasy
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  2 Timothy 4:1-5

1. Satan never leaves Christians alone, Rev. 12:17; 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
2. This is a personal battle; God is with us in the battle and we need not surrender, yet some do, Eph. 6:10-13; Rom. 8:37-39.


  A. Apostasy is Departure from God’s Standard (Revealed Truth), 1 Tim. 4:1.
  B. Apostasy is Defection from:
    1. The word of God, Luke 8:13.
    2. The faith, 1 Tim. 4:1.
    3. God, Heb. 3:12.
  C. History Filled with Examples of Falling Away from God, Matt. 10:22; 24:12-13; 1 Cor. 10:12; Rev. 2:4-5.


  A. First Step: A Wrong Attitude toward Truth, 4:3 (1-2) (Prov. 4:23; 23:7; Ps. 119:97, 140).
    -Prevention: Seek, welcome, and practice truth, 1 Thess. 2:13; Col. 2:6-7.

  B. Second Step: Becoming Comfortable with Error, 4:3; Mark 4:18-19; James 4:1-4; 1 Kings 22:5-8, 22 (2 Cor. 11:4; Eph. 5:8-13; 2 John 9-11).
    -Prevention: Instead of being comfortable with sin and error, we must contend for the faith with all humility, Jude 3; James 4:7-10.

  C. Third Step: Abandon Truth and Replace it with Error, 4:4; Col. 2:18-19; 1 Tim. 6:20-21 (Warnings, 1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14).
    -Prevention: Be watchful, endure and work, 2 Tim. 4:5; Keep hearing and obeying all truth (Rom. 10:17; John 8:31-32).

  Any step into apostasy is too far, 1 John 2:1; Rev. 2:4-5; Matt. 6:33; Heb. 3:13.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Attitude of Gratitude
Joe R. Price

The news this week (like every other week) is filled with bad news. Statistics on inflation, worrisome predictions of a recession, Supreme Court breaches of confidentiality, and protests over a possible overturning of Roe v. Wade are among the headlines. War continues to rage in Ukraine. Suicides shatter local families and friends. Crime is a constant and growing threat.

There is a lot of bad news. But suppose I were able to promise you $10 million cash. Would that put a smile on your face? Would all the bad news seem to fade into the background? Would that give you a new lease on life?

What if I only put one condition on you getting the $10 million; You would not wake up tomorrow. Today would be your last day on earth. Now, would you take the $10 million? Probably not.

If your answer is “no,” you are saying that just waking up tomorrow is worth more to you than $10 million dollars.

Why don't we see and value life that way every day we wake up? Instead, we wake up anxious about the tomorrow that has become today. As a result, we complain about life and the people in our lives. We worry over things beyond our control, overlook our blessings, and forget to be thankful (Phil. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:18).

Life is a gift from God (Acts 17:25-28). So shouldn’t we wake up with gratitude toward God for life itself?

The eternal life of your soul is more valuable than the whole world, much less $10 million (Matt. 16:25-26). Yet the gift of life on earth and eternal life in the Son is often squandered. The life-giving power of God’s word is choked when we are consumed with the “cares of this world” (John 6:63; Mark 3:18-19).

Salvation in Christ is good news. Be thankful every day.


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  05/09/2022

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