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


Volume 24, Number 24

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price


In this issue:

The Times of Restoration of All Things

Joe R. Price

20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20–21, NKJV).

Jesus Christ is in heaven, ruling at God’s right hand (Acts 2:32-36). While He is there, “the times of restoration of all things” occurs. God spoke about the “times of restoration of all things” through His prophets. Let us hear God’s definition of this restoration.

Peter begins with Moses, who told of a Prophet God would raise up and to whom every soul must listen or be destroyed (Acts 3:22-23; Deut. 18:15, 18-19). Peter applied this prophecy to Jesus.

Next, he points out that “all the prophets from Samuel” onward “foretold of these days,” when the Prophet came bringing restoration. Peter and his contemporaries lived in “these days” and were witnessing “the times of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:24).

Thirdly, God sent His Servant Jesus to the Jews to begin the restoration of all things that He promised to their fathers (Acts 3:25).

What was this blessing of restoration? It was redemption from sin (“in turning away every one of you from your iniquities,” Acts 3:26). Soon, Gentiles would be brought into this redemption since “all the families of the earth” are blessed in Abraham’s Seed, the Christ (Acts 3:25; Rom. 1:16-17; Gal. 3:16).

The “restoration of all things” God foretold is now summed up in Jesus Christ. The gospel age is the “fullness of the times” when God sums up all things in Christ and administers redemption from sin with the eternal inheritance “according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:10-11).

The “restoration” is the spiritual renewal of sinners in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11-12). -Sword Tips #2009


How the Holy Spirit Works Today

Joe R. Price

The Holy Spirit is Deity, a member of the Godhead (Acts 5:3-4; Heb. 9:14; Ps. 139:7-10). The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force (like the wind). The Spirit is a “He,” not an “it” (John 16:13).

Some Christians hesitate to talk about the Holy Spirit and His work in their lives. Perhaps they want to stay far away from the Pentecostal errors of present-day miracles and the like. Maybe they are acutely aware that many say the Holy Spirit personally indwells them and guides them in a direct, individual way and do not wish to be associated with this error. Or, perhaps we fail to speak about the Holy Spirit because we do not understand and appreciate His role in our lives. If so, we can change that.

Jesus said the great work of the Holy Spirit is to “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). He does this by using the word of God, the New Testament of Jesus Christ (John 16:7-15).

The Spirit uses God’s word to convict the world.

   1) The Holy Spirit revealed God’s word (John 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:10).
   2) The Holy Spirit inspired God’s word (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 2:13).
   3) The Holy Spirit confirmed God’s word using miracles (Mark 16:16-20).

Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit works in the lives of the lost and the saved, but not through a miraculous event or an intuitive, “better felt than told” experience. Nowhere does the Bible teach such things. Instead, the Spirit works indirectly by using the Scriptures to produce faith, save the lost, and fortify the saved (Rom. 10:15-17; 1:15-16).

The work of the Holy Spirit is accepted when one believes and obeys the word of God. His work is rejected when one does not believe and obey the word of God. The Holy Spirit does not force Himself and salvation upon anyone. He does not impose “irresistible grace” upon sinners. In fact, sinners can resist Him. As Stephen said, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute” (Acts 7:51-52)?

What the Spirit is said to do, the word of God is said to do. Each of the following is accomplished by the Holy Spirit using (through the agency of) the word of God:

   1) Convicts the world (John 16:8; Acts 2:37)
   2) The new birth (John 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:22-23)
   3) Sanctification (1 Pet. 1:2; John 17:17)
   4) Salvation (Titus 3:5; Jas. 1:21; Rom. 1:16)
   5) Cleanses sinners (1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26-27)
   6) Leads us (Rom. 8:14; 1 John 1:6-7; John 8:31)
   7) Strengthens us (Eph. 3:16; Acts 20:32)
   8) Testifies we are God’s children (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3-6; 3:24)

Let us not be shy to endorse the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let us equip ourselves to explain from the Scriptures that the Spirit uses the word He revealed, inspired, and confirmed to accomplish His work today, not miracles, human intuition, human emotion, or human wisdom. It is no wonder the word of God is the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17).


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

Commit Your Soul to God
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 4:12-19

1. NT Christians were in danger, suffering for doing God’s will (1 Peter).
2. Commanded to commit (deposit) their souls to God for safe-keeping, 1 Pet. 4:19.


  A. By Becoming a Christian, Acts 3:19; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Phil. 3:5-8; Mark 8:34-38.
  B. By Being a Faithful Christian With…
    1. Your life, Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:15 (12).
    2. Your possessions, 1 Tim. 6:17-19.
    3. Your talents, Eccl. 9:10; Rev. 3:14-16.

II. COMMIT YOUR CHILDREN TO GOD, 1 Sam. 1:11; Judg. 13:8.

  A. Bring Little Ones to Jesus, Matt. 19:13-15; Deut. 4:9-10; 11:18-21; Eph. 6:4.


  A. Faith in God’s Committed Control of All Things, cf. James 4:13-15.
  B. A Heart Turned Heavenward, Luke 12:29-34 (Col. 3:1-4).
  C. A Life that Continues to Do God’s Will, James 4:16-17 (Heb. 10:36, 39).

1. Trust in the God of all grace, 1 Pet. 5:10.
2. Commit yourself to the Lord, 1 Pet. 4:16-19.
  a. God’s judgment compels us to give our souls to God.
  b. God will keep (guard for himself) your soul unto (until) “that Day” (day of reward), 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:8.


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

Sinful or Constructive Criticism?
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 4:2-6

1. No matter how well-intended, some don’t know how to take or receive criticism.
2. Bible condemns speech that tears down and commends speech that builds up, Eph. 4:29.
3. How do we avoid being sinfully critical while also reproving and rebuking sin (2 Tim. 4:2)?


  A. First, Examine and Cleanse Our Heart, Luke 11:39-40; 2 Cor. 13:5; Matt. 5:8, 1 Pet. 1:22.
  B. Knowledgeable, Discerning Love Forms the Basis for Constructive Communication, Phil. 1:8-11; 1 Cor. 8:1-2; 13:4-7; Prov. 27:6.

II. MARKS OF SINFUL CRITICISM, Luke 11:53-54 and Col. 4:5-6 (motives).

  A. Sinful Criticism is Faultfinding.
  B. Constructive Counsel Imparts Grace.


  A. Sincere (genuine) Love, 12:9-11.
  B. Constant Care, 12:12-14.
  C. Sympathetic Treatment, 12:15-16.
  D. Peaceful Patience, 12:17-21.


1. Stop faultfinding (cf. critical condemnation of liberties) and pursue things that lead to peace and edification, Rom. 14:13, 19.
2. “But we do all things, beloved, for your edification” (2 Cor. 12:19).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Southern Baptists Clarify "Pastor"
Joe R. Price

Leading theologians in the Southern Baptist Church published a statement this week in response to recent debates over the role of women in the Southern Baptist Church. They wrote, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” (A Statement Concerning the Baptist Faith & Message and the Word “Pastor,”

Indeed, the Scriptures reveal pastors (shepherds who oversee a congregation) are to be men (Eph. 4:11; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2). These are the elders or overseers of a local church whose qualifications clearly show them to be men, not women (1 Tim. 3:1-5). Rick Warren (Saddleback Church pastor, which has ordained women pastors) calls the matter of female pastors a “secondary issue” unworthy of dispute (Southern Baptist Theologians Release Statement Clarifying What the Word ‘Pastor’ Means,

Lest we think this is only a denominational problem, did you know the Minter Lane Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas, appointed two female elders in 2019 (Female Elders in a Church of Christ: Interviews, One Year Later,”

Not a few Churches of Christ have become like the nations around them, adapting and adopting the thinking and practices of apostates. Digression from the Bible patterns of worship, work, and organization has infected churches with sin. These things are not “secondary issues” because God’s word contains His revealed truth on them. We are mandated to follow His word on everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Col. 3:17).


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

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