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


Volume 24, Number 16

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:
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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

Lights in the World
Joe R. Price

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain (Philippians 2:14–16, NKJV).

Just as the influence of light removes darkness, Christians diffuse sin’s darkness when we “do all things without complaining and disputing” (v. 14).

We are to live in peaceful unity, maintaining the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:1-8). By doing so, we avoid “complaining” (grumbling, murmuring against others, James 5:9) and “disputing” (arguing over words that ruin the hearers instead of strengthening them, 2 Tim. 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:3-4).

Like the first century saints, we live in the middle of a generation that is immoral, “crooked” (warped), and “perverse” (distorted, corrupt). By contrast, children of God are “lights in the world,” refusing to participate in sin with the world (v. 15).

We are to be (1) Blameless (free of censure, 1 Thess. 3:13), (2) Harmless (“unmixed,” guiltless, Rom. 16:19), and (3) Without fault (unblemished, blameless, not needing a reprimand, 2 Pet. 3:14).

Christians are lights in this dark, sinful world. Do not extinguish your light (influence) by becoming part of the problem, sinning with the world. Like the Philippians, we will be victors when Christ returns if we hold “fast the word of life” delivered by the apostles of Christ (v. 16; 1 John 5:3-4).  -Sword Tips #2454


"I Let the Spirit Guide Me"
Joe R. Price

Many years ago I had a conversation with a gospel preacher about the personal evangelism he was doing to start a new congregation in western Washington. He reported great and exciting activity, so I asked how he was going about arranging Bible studies. His answer shocked me. He said he typically took out the telephone book and randomly opened it to “let the Spirit guide” him to call the right people. I discussed this with him since the Bible teaches that is not how the Spirit of God communicates with us today (Heb. 1:1-2). He was not convinced. (Coincidentally, the church that started through his work no longer exists. Are we to conclude the Holy Spirit did not “guide” him to the right people for a stable, enduring congregation to exist?) Christians should understand how the Spirit of God leads us, lest we fall into error (1 Tim. 4:1).

The Bible indeed says the Spirit of God leads us (Gal. 5:18). “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). When the Spirit leads us, we “walk in the Spirit,” “live in the Spirit,” and bear the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16, 18, 22-23, 25).

he issue is not whether the Spirit leads and guides us but how He does so. Does the Spirit lead people today apart from the word of God? Or, does the Spirit lead us by the gospel He revealed, inspired, and confirmed (Eph 3:3-5; 1 Cor 2:1-13)? Or are we to conclude He does both?

The Spirit of God leads us by the word He gave us. He guided the apostles into “all truth,” and by that truth, the Spirit convicts the world “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:13, 8-11). Every action of the Holy Spirit in human conviction, conversion, and consecration is carried out by the revealed word of God that produces faith and obedience from the heart (Rom. 10:17; 6:17-18; John 17:17). We exercise our free will by faith and choose to be led by the Spirit. (He does not force Himself on anyone.) When we refuse to follow the word of God, we are resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51-52).

We do not deny God’s providence at work in the world. However, this is a warning against assigning random acts to the Spirit leading us. Without revelation from God about what He is doing, we do not have the knowledge, wisdom, or power to make such assignments (Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Pet. 1:20-21; 1 Cor. 2:10-13).

So, we put our faith in the word of truth the Spirit of God gave us (2 Tim. 3:16-17). By His word, He directs us to serve God and others (Mark 12:28-34). We obey the command to be “filled with the Spirit” when we fill ourselves with His word (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:16).

If you believe the Spirit leads you apart from the Scriptures, how do you know it is the Holy Spirit and not a lie from the devil (2 Thess. 2:9-12)? Who told you the Spirit leads through visions, intuitions, and feelings? Not the Bible. The Spirit of God leads us when we choose to believe and obey the gospel. We are following the Spirit when we follow the Scriptures.   -Reprint (edited), The Spirit’s Sword, 11/21/2010


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

Why Did They Crucify Jesus?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  John 15:18-25

1.  Apostles preached Jesus as the Christ on Pentecost, Acts 2:36.
2.  Rejection of Jesus Christ was Israel’s crowning act of rebellion, John 15:20-25.
3.  Why did the house of Israel crucify the Messiah they claimed to anticipate? John 1:11


  A. The Rulers Did Not Believe Him, 1 Cor. 2:7-9; John 7:32, 45-52; 11:47-53; 12:42-44.
  B. The People Did Not Believe Jesus, John 6:26-27, 66; Mark 10:17-22; Matt. 27:20-25


  A. They Ignored the Prophets, Acts 3:18.
    1. Messiah’s salvation, Acts 2:21.
    2. Messiah’s resurrection, Acts 2:24-31.
    3. Messiah’s exaltation, Acts 2:33-35 (30).
  B. They Ignored the Words of Jesus, John 7:46; John 8:37-40; 1:1, 14 (John 6:68).
  C. They Ignored the Works of Jesus, John 10:31-39 (12:37).
  D. They Hated Jesus Because They Did Not Know the Father, John 15:20-25.


  A. Beware of Unbelief, Heb. 3:12-13 (5:12-14; Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31).
  B. Ignorance Not Acceptable on Judgment Day, Acts 3:17-19; 17:30-31; Eph. 5:17 (3:3-5).
  C. Resisting Truth brings Condemnation, Acts 7:51-53; 2 Tim. 4:3-4.

Conclusion   Beware and do not crucify Jesus again through unbelief and ignorance.


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

"Why Didn't Jesus Heal Everyone?"
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  John 5:1-15

Didn’t Jesus care for those who were left unhealed?” (John 5:2-3)


  A. Not Because He Couldn’t Heal Them (lacked power), Luke 5:17 (Acts 10:38); Jn. 5:19.
  B. Not Because He Wouldn’t Heal Them (a sinful attitude); Matt. 14:14; Gal. 6:10 (1 Jn. 3:18).
  C. Truth: His Healing Miracles Prove His Power and Heart to Heal.


  A. Universal Healing of the Flesh was Not the Work the Father Gave Jesus to Do, John 5:30 (6:38).
  B. His Miracles Served as Signs of a Greater Work, John 3:2; 5:20. (saving souls), Jn. 5:36; Jn. 10:37-38; 2:11; Mk. 2:10-11; Matt. 12:27; Mk. 5:19.
  C. His Miracles Were Sufficient to Fulfill These Divine Purposes, John 17:4; 20:30-31.

III. LESSON: JESUS CAME TO HEAL THE SOULS OF ALL WHO WILL BELIEVE, Matt. 8:16-17 (Isa. 53:4); 1 Pet. 2:21-25.

  A. His Miracles Assure Us He Can Save Our Souls From Sin, Luke 4:18; John 12:37-40.
  B. Jesus Did All Things “That You May be Saved,” John 5:34, 13-15 (Luke 19:10).
  C. His Miracles Teach Christians to Trust His Grace through Trials of the Flesh, 2 Cor. 12:7-10; Luke 17:15-19.

Conclusion  Just as Jesus healed all who came to Him to be healed, He saves all who come to Him.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Sons of Peace in a Violent World
Joe R. Price

Our hearts ache for the family and friends who have lost loved ones in the mass murders taking place far too often in America, including the school shooting in Uvalde, TX, and the medical facility in Tulsa, OK.

Some say the answer to this problem is to outlaw certain guns and firearm equipment. Others say we must harden schools and facilities with more security protocols. Some say we need red flags laws to identify and restrain people who show signs of threatening, violent behavior.

We hear politicians talk about the root causes of immigration, inflation, crime, and other social troubles. Well, the root cause of criminal violence is the heart. That is where evil begins and from which evil is inflicted on others (Mark 7:21-22). Until the heart is converted, the “wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness’ of crime will “grow worse and worse” (2 Tim. 3:13).

Loving God and others as ourselves prevents one from harming others (Rom. 13:8-10). Therefore, we must live by God’s moral code, not merely give it lip service.

Intact families bring stability and accountability to society. Conversely, the destruction of the God-arranged family lies at the root of violent crime and self-centered disregard for life (Matt. 19:3-6; Eph. 6:1-4).

The gospel of Jesus continues to shine the light of truth and peace in a violent world (John 8:12). Christians do not repay evil with evil and we do not avenge ourselves. Instead, we act honorably, having regard for “good things in the sight of all men,” and make every effort to “live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:17-19). The evil heart is the root cause of criminal violence, not the law-abiding, God and neighbor-loving citizen.


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  06/06/2022

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