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


Volume 24, Number 23

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
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Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

Be Patient

Joe R. Price

The Holy Spirit taught Christians the patience of faith in James 5. The patience He commanded in James 5:7 means to be “long-spirited” (G3114) and is translated as “longsuffering” in 2 Peter 3:9. Instead of hastily retaliating against being wronged. God commands us to “be patient” in the face of withering oppression and uncertain tomorrows.

(1) When you are defrauded (James 5:4-8). Laborers were to exercise patience when greedy landowners withheld their wages. Under these conditions, they were to remain grounded in their faith (establish their hearts, v. 8). Their faith was to stay firmly fixed on the Lord of hosts (Lord of the armies, Isa. 1:9; Rom. 9:29), who heard their cries for justice and relief. The Lord judges and punishes those who fatten themselves at the expense of others. Even now, Christians must resist the temptation to lash out with angry vengeance when treated dishonestly. Our faith in the Lord to address such wrongs tempers our anger and strengthens our resolve to “be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord” (v. 5:7; Eph. 4:26-27). Illustrated by the farmer waiting patiently for his crop to mature, Christians know the Lord’s judgment against oppressors is sure (v. 8). Therefore, we patiently wait for that day.

(2) Remember the Lord also judges us. “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned (James 5:9; 4:11). Moments of stress and oppression tempt us not to love our neighbors and brethren. Envy, jealousy, bitterness, grumbling, and judging one another can occur during periods of economic uncertainty. The Lord who judges the oppressor also judges the oppressed. The “long-spirited” saint remembers to be patient in word and deed. Avoiding rash statements is one way we apply this patience (James 5:12).

(3) We have examples to help us be patient when oppressed (James 5:10-11). God’s prophets suffered greatly for speaking His word (v. 10; Matt. 23:29-32, 35; Acts 7:52). The Lord blessed them for their endurance (a mark of patience). Job stands as a model of perseverance (v. 11). He endured tremendous losses, yet the outcome was compassion and mercy from the Lord. Like these faithful ones, we must endure mistreatment and persevere through moments of trial. The Lord is faithful, compassionate, and merciful to bless the patient bringing judgment upon all who impatiently and selfishly oppress others.


The Church of Christ is Not a Denomination

Joe R. Price

The church of Christ is not a denomination within so-called Christendom. It was built by Jesus and purchased with His blood (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). It and it alone is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-32). It is the kingdom of Christ (Matt. 16:18-19; Mark 9:1; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9). Under another figure, the church of Christ is the house of God, His temple in which His people worship and serve Him (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:5).

Now, back to the first statement of this article. Protestantism generally believes  Christ’s church is subdivided into many different denominations, all of which have merit and approval before God. Simply put, Protestantism believes the Church is composed of Churches (i.e., denominations). This idea is expressed in the common phrase, “Choose the church of your choice.”

Several questions arise out of this Protestant view of Christ’s church:

(1) Where in the Scriptures does Christ or His apostles endorse, encourage, and elaborate on denominationalism?

(2) Where in the Bible did God give people the right to choose the church of their choice?

(3) Are you willing to give up denominations and the church of your choice if these things are not in the Bible? (Gal. 1:8-10)

The Bible’s answers to these questions are:

(1) Christ did not teach denominationalism. It is the division of believers along doctrinal and organizational lines. Christ condemns such division by praying for unity among believers based on truth (John 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-6).

(2) The Lord adds saved souls to His church (Acts 2:41, 47). He does not offer a choice of denominations to those He saves. That is an addition of men that developed many centuries after the life and work of Jesus Christ. The church of Christ is composed of Christians, not churches.

(3) Jesus said to follow Him, we must deny ourselves and put His will first before everything else (Matt. 10:34-39; Luke 9:23; 14:25-35). Are you ready to do that?

The false teachings of men will never be a refuge against sin or give hope of an eternal inheritance. Christ is our only hope. His truth must be our only guide (Acts 4:12; John 8:12; 12:48).


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

Answering "Why?"
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Romans 5:6-11

1. Ask yourself some “Why?” questions.
2. Answering “Why?’ reveals motives, reasons, and purposes. 


  A. Because You Believe Jesus is the Son of God? John 20:30-31
  B. Because You Know the Value of Your Soul? Matt. 16:24-27
  C. Because You Want to be Saved? Acts 16:30-34
  D. To Please Someone Else? Gal. 6:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:10
  E. To Avoid Hell? 1 John 4:17-19
  F. To Live for Heaven? Phil. 3:13-14; 3:20-21.


  A. Out of Curiosity? Matt. 11:7-8; John 18:34; Acts 17:18-21, 32-34 (John 1:45-49).
  B. Searching for “Something Better” in Your Life? (cf. Matt. 9:36)
  C. Because you Had to (made to) Come? Luke 14:15-24
  D. Because You Want To Please God, 2 Cor. 5:9.


  A. Because God is Real (Exod. 5:2), Rom. 1:20; 11:22; John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10-11.
  B. Because Jesus Died for you, Rom. 5:6-11.
  C. Because Jesus Lives, 1 Cor. 15:12-20.
  D. Because You Matter to God and Others, Matt. 10:31 (Luke 19:10).

 Sin destroys souls; Jesus saves souls. Will He save you? (Acts 2:40-41)


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

I Searched for a Man
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 22:23-31

1. God looked for a man who would “stand in the gap,” Ezek. 22:30 (Psalm 106:23).
2 God still looks for godly men, Titus 2:1-2, 6-8.


  A. Legal Age (18/21 years; cf. 1 Kings 12:6-8).
  B. Physical Strength, Ps. 71:9; Prov. 20:29.
  C. Wealth (Luke 12:15; cf. 9:58).
  D. Machismo (tough-guy, Prov. 21:4; 16:18); Matt. 8:9.
  E. Gender Fluidity, Gen. 1:27.

II. SHOW YOURSELF A MAN, 1 Kings 2:1-3.

  A. God’s Man is Strong in Faith, 2:2 (Josh. 1:6, 7, 9); 1 Cor. 16:13 (cf. 2 Pet. 1:5).
  B. God’s Man is Obedient, 2:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
  C. God’s Man is Responsible, 2:3; Gal. 6:4-5.

III. GOD IS LOOKING FOR A MAN, Jer. 5:1; Isa. 66:2.

  A. Who is Just and Fair, Jer. 5:1.
    1. Toward his wife, 1 Pet. 3:5-7.
    2. Toward his children, Col. 3:21.
    3. Toward his word, Psalm 15:4-5.
  B. Who Seeks and Defends Truth, 5:1 (Ezek. 22:30); 1 Tim. 6:11-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (2 Tim. 2:15).
  C. Who Blesses Others, 5:1; Gal. 6:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:12.
  D. Who Knows His Limitations and Puts His Faith in God, Isa. 66:2; Micah 6:6-8; Ps.8:4, 9.

1. There is no man who has not sinned in these matters, 1 Kings 8:46.
2. God provides forgiveness; men should reverence Him, Ps. 130:3-4.
3. Whose man will you be: The world’s or God’s?


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

A Rose By Any Other Name…
Joe R. Price

Shakespeare’s adage from Juliet’s lips, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” “describes the power, or lack thereof, of names” ( Today’s news illustrates the point.

The Asian giant (aka murder) hornet has been given a new name, the northern giant hornet. “The Entomological Society of America (ESA) chose to rebrand the invasive species as the northern giant hornet, with the ESA concluding the political climate contributed to the need to change the name.” Their statement explains, “Although the descriptor ‘Asian’ in this context is not at all pejorative, and is geographically accurate, its association with a large insect that inspires fear and is under eradication may bolster anti-Asian sentiment among some people” ( So, using “Asian” could lead to discrimination and might raise fear. Thus, the name change. Will this change reduce anti-Asian sentiment? Doubtful.

This misguided approach occurs among Christians, not about hornets but the gospel. They want a “softer message for the lost.” (We are not discussing the need for kindness when we teach the lost.) When examined, the softer approach to which we refer means a less direct gospel about sin, error, and salvation. This is the old “accentuate the positive” and “eliminate the negative” approach. (Truth offends evil hearts, Matt. 15:12, 1-14.) Some have changed their signage from a church of Christ to “Christians meet here,” not wanting to prejudice gospel prospects. But the church is still the church, and some will turn away when that truth is taught (John 6:60-68).

Watering down the gospel does not save souls. We must be “straightforward about the truth of the gospel” concerning the church of Christ, the plan of salvation, true worship, or any other Bible topic (cf. Gal. 2:14; Heb. 1:2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Changing names virtue signals but does not change hearts and lives. The truth of the gospel does (Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 4:17-24).


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  08/04/2022

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