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


Volume 24, Number 21

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:

Gospel Preaching Gets Personal

Joe R. Price

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
(2 Timothy 4:2, ESV)

Preaching the gospel ought to include personal applications. After all, its purpose is to convict hearts of sin and convert souls to the Savior. That’s hard to do without getting personal.

Nathan got personal when he exposed David’s adultery with, “You are the man!” (2 Sam. 12:7). Peter got personal when he preached, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Stephen got personal when he said, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears! (Acts 7:51).

There is a lot of “no application” preaching these days. It is also known as a “softer message” by Christians adverse to the kind of preaching Jesus did (Matt. 15:7-14; John 6:60-66). Jesus made personal applications and we are to be like Him (Luke 6:39-40).

One popular preacher, Joel Osteen, will not use the word “sin” when he preaches. (He does not preach the gospel of Christ.) Some brethren resist making personal applications that identify sinners with their sins as Paul did when he named Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus and their error (1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-18). Gospel preaching cuts us to the heart of the hearer (Acts 2:37). Good hearts respond with faith and obedience while evil hearts refuse and resist (Acts 2:38-41; 7:54). Of course we must speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Doing so does not contradict making personal applications when needed (Mark 10:21-22).

However people react, we must preach the applications of God’s word or our preaching does not profit the listeners (Acts 20:20). Application-less preaching fails to declare “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). When gospel preachers preach there will be personal applications that “reprove, rebuke, and exhort” (2 Tim. 4:2). Listen for the personal application of truth in your life. Oh yes, gospel preaching gets personal. -Sword Tips #1799 (adapted)


Correct Without Quarreling

Joe R. Price

24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26, NKJV)

On page one we learned that gospel preaching gets personal by making personal applications to convict and convert sinners. This by no means sanctions personal, verbal abuse while doing so. “Defending the truth” is not a cloak behind which rudeness, envy, and strife successfully hide (1 Cor. 3:3-4). Identifying a false teacher is not a personal attack when it is supported by scriptural evidence of error being taught, endorsed, and promoted.

Publicly identifying opponents of the truth is entirely scriptural when it is aimed at (1) Saving the lost and (2) Protecting the saved (Rom. 16:17-18; 1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 4:14-15; 3 John 9-10). This differs from being quarrelsome and malicious with our words (which today’s passage forbids). Gentleness (not weakness), when combined with the ability to teach, endurance, and humility, produces a strong faith that equips the servant of the Lord to correct those who oppose truth (25) so they may repent and escape the devil’s clutches (25-26). The servant of the Lord remembers the “good fight of faith” is not about himself but about laying hold of eternal life by helping others do the same (1 Tim. 6:12).

-Sword Tips #1800 (adapted)


Delivered or Reserved?

Joe R. Price

then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment”  (2 Peter 2:9, NKJV)

We all need rescuing from the powerful surge of sin that sweeps souls away from God into eternal punishment. God delivers sinners from sin’s bondage and death through the gospel of His Son (Rom. 1:16; 6:17-18; 6:23). God also knows how to deliver godly ones from the trials and temptations they face from “the unjust.” God delivers the godly while reserving the ungodly for punishment. God “did not spare the angels who sinned,” but cast them into the abyss awaiting judgment (2 Pet. 2:4). God punished the ancient world with a flood while saving Noah and his family (2 Pet. 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). God turned Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes because they “gave themselves over to sexual immorality” and had “gone after strange flesh” (2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 7). In that moment of judgment, God delivered righteous Lot from being “oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked” (2 Pet. 2:7-8).

These examples serve to boost and secure our faith in moments of doubt and spiritual struggle. God does not abandon the righteous, nor does He forget the wicked (2 Thess. 1:4-10). The Lord’s day of judgment is coming when the unjust will reap their just punishment. The gospel call from God is to repent while you have the time and the ability to do so. Do not harden your heart. God does not want you to perish, He wants you to repent and obey Him to be delivered from sin’s terrible penalty of eternal death (2 Pet. 3:9). -Sword Tips #1805


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

No Sin Too Big, No Life Too Sinful
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 1:12-17

1. “No sin is too big for Jesus to forgive. No life is too sinful for Jesus to change.”
2. Do you want to be forgiven? Are you willing to do what Jesus commands to be forgiven? Will you do your part to change your life?


  A. His Mockers, Matt. 27:44; Luke 23:39-43.
  B. His Murderers, Luke 23:34; Acts 2:36-41.
  C. His Deniers, Matt. 26:31-35; Mark 16:9-11, 14.
  D. His Persecutors, Acts 9:1-6, 10-18 (22:16).
  E. Sinners of Every Stripe, Acts 2:21; 1 Tim. 1:15-16 (chief); Luke 19:10.

-Lessons for us-

  1. Our need for forgiveness.
  2. Never decide not to forgive someone.
  3. We will be forgiven as we forgive.


  A. Political Zealots, Luke 6:15 (Mark 3:18).
  B. Those in Religious Error, Acts 6:7; 19:18f.
  C. Agnostic Unbelievers, Acts 17:32-34.  D. Immoral Hedonists, 1 Cor. 6:9-11.

-Lessons for us-

1. Conversion begins with a decision of faith.
2. Faith produces changes in how we live.


  A. When we Continue to Sin, Rom. 6:1-2.
    1. Unbelief, Mark 16:15-16; Acts 17:23.
    2. Willful sin, Heb. 10:26-27.
  B. Refusal to Repent, Acts 24:24-27.
  C. Do Not Obey the Gospel, 2 Thess. 1:8-9.

Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 10:34-35; Matt. 7:21


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

God's Word is not Bound
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  2 Timothy 2:8-13

1. Although Paul was in chains as an evildoer, the word of God was not bound, 2 Tim. 2:8-10.
2. God’s word is not restricted, Phil. 1:12-14.


  A. Because of its Source (God), 2 Tim. 3:16; Isa. 55:8-11; Micah 2:7.
  B. Because Our Basic Spiritual Needs Are Unchanged, Rom. 1:16; 2 Tim. 4:2; Matt. 4:4.
  C. Because of its Universal Application, Mark 16:15; Hosea 14:9.


  A. It’s Still God’s Power to Save Us, Rom. 1:16.
  B. It Still Works in Believers, 1 Thess. 2:13.


  A. It is Sufficient to Make Us All God Would Have Us Be, 2 Tim. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:3.
  B. Everything Added to or Deleted from the Bible is Man’s Rejection of God’s Work, 1 Pet. 1:22-25.


  A. It is the Standard By Which Everything is Measured, John 12:48; Rom. 2:16.

1. Only sense in which God’s word can be bound is in our rejection of it, Acts 13:44-46.
2. We must not make the eternal mistake of binding (restricting, limiting) its relevance, power, sufficiency, and judgments in our lives (law of liberty, James 1:25).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Looking into Deep Space
Joe R. Price

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) orbits the sun over 900,000 miles from the earth. This week, its first photos of deep space galaxies, nebula, etc., were released. The images are stunning, reaching over 13 billion light years into space. Far from disproving the existence of God, these images support biblical truth about God and His universe.

(1) The power of God. “Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also” (Gen. 1:16). Man has built a powerful telescope to observe the powerful universe God created.

(2) The presence of God. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there…” (Ps. 139:7-8). God is already in the deepest recesses of space that the JWST is glimpsing for the first time. Indeed, the enormity of God surpasses our understanding.

(3) The glory of God. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun” (Ps. 19:1-4). The design and intelligence of the universe display God’s wisdom that accompanied Him at creation (Prov. 8:27).

We marvel at the complexity of the astrophysics, mathematics, and science that conceived, constructed, and now operates the JWST. It did not randomly come into existence; people did that. Why then is it thought to be incredible that God’s wisdom and power created the universe? Science confirms the creative work and majesty of God; God did that.


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  07/18/2022

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