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


Volume 24, Number 28

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:

God's Plan of Salvation

Joe R. Price

Franklin Graham and others are running TV commercials telling people to be saved by praying to Jesus. But, is a prayer by the repentant believer how Jesus saves sinners? It was not how Jesus saved Saul nor how He saves sinners today (Acts 9:9-11; 22:16). Graham’s message is just one of many false salvation plans promoted and practiced worldwide. The Bible reveals the true path to salvation.

A plan is a program of action, “a scheme for making, doing, or arranging something” (Webster). Football teams have game plans, architects have building plans, and teachers follow a lesson plan. Before smartphones, many people used day planners to arrange their daily activities.

Having a plan indicates order and definition. Ephesians 1:3-14 shows God has executed His plan of saving the lost through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we refer to God’s plan of salvation in Christ as the “scheme of redemption.”

When we speak of the plan of salvation, we refer to the arrangement sinners must believe and follow to receive God’s salvation from sin. The gospel of Christ reveals God’s plan (arrangement) by which He forgives our sins in Christ (Eph. 2:1-9).

Here is a brief outline of the plan of salvation God has revealed in the Scriptures that results in saving every sinner who obeys it.

First, one must hear the gospel to be drawn to Christ and believe in Him (John 6:44-45; Acts 2:22; Rom. 10:17).

Next, one must believe in God and Christ (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24). Without faith, nobody will be saved. Sinners are brought to faith in Christ by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

The gospel that causes faith also commands sinners to confess their faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:37). Confession of faith is unto (in the direction of) salvation (Rom. 10:10).

Faith in Jesus also compels sinners to repent (another commandment of Christ for salvation, Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 20:21).

Having changed one's mind toward God and sin, what remains is for Christ to wash away one’s past sins, which happens when the sinner is baptized into Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27).

Saved in Christ, the Christian is added by the Lord to His church and taught to live an obedient life of service to Jesus (Acts 2:47; Rom. 6:17-18; 12:1-2; Titus 2:11-12).

Yes, God has a plan of salvation, but not the one Mr. Graham advocates. So the question is, have you obeyed God’s plan of salvation? Why not do so now (2 Cor. 6:2; Acts 22:16)?


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

What a Sinner Learned After Death
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Luke 16:19-24

1. God wants you to think about your death, Psalm 90:10-12; 39:4-6.
2. Luke 16:19-31: Jesus spoke of a sinner and lessons he learned after his death.


  A. He Learned Earthly Wealth is Nothing, Luke 16:19-22 (Eccl. 5:15). (You can’t take it with you.)
    1. We must not trust in riches, 16:14.
    2. The riches of the righteous, 16:19-22.

  B. He Learned Punishment for Sin is Real, Painful, and Eternal, Luke 16:23-25. (“I am in agony in this flame!”)
    1. Hell is hot and it hurts, Mark 9:43-48.
    2. Its punishment it is unending and cannot be eased, Luke 16:24.

  C. He Learned Death is Permanent, Eccl. 9:3-6. (“You will never pass this way again!”)
    1. Death permanently ends material existence, Luke 16:27, 30.
    2. Death permanently brings rest or punishment, Luke 16:24-26; Rev. 14:13.

  D. He Learned Misery Does Not Love Company, Luke 16:27-28. (Where have all the good times gone?)
    1. Sinners entice weak and naïve to join them in sin (Prov. 1:10-19); Prov. 18:24; 27:6.

  E. He Learned the Inspired Word of God (Bible) is Sufficient, Luke 16:27-31. (Do not refuse Him who speaks.)
    1. It is enough to convict and convert sinners, John 16:8; 2 Tim. 3:16.
    2. It is enough to complete us in Christ, 2 Tim 3:17.


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

Peer Pressure
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 1:10-19

1. Desire to be accepted by others (family, friends, teachers, coaches, spouse, employer, co-workers, etc.) can be good (Heb. 10:24, righteous influences) or take us down wrong, sinful paths (Prov. 1:10-19).
2. Peer pressure is a strong impulse.


  A. Define Peer Pressure.

  B. Tactics: Who is Affected by Peer Pressure? (Everyone).

  C. Bible Warns Against Pressure to do Evil:
    1. Prohibited in Law of Moses, Exod. 23:2.
    2. Be wise and avoid, Prov. 1:10-15.
    3. Avoid, turn away from it, Prov. 4:14-15.
    4. Know power of influence, 1 Cor. 15:33-34.
    5. Carefully choose associates, Psalm 1:1-2.

  D. Bible Failures and Successes: Noah (Gen. 6:5-9, 22); Aaron (Exod. 32:1, 21-24); Joshua and Caleb (Num. 13:26-14:10); Jewish rulers (John 12:42-43); Peter (Matt. 26:69-75); Jesus (Matt. 26:56); Mob (Matt. 27:20, 22): Crucify Him!


  A. Courage and Conviction, Josh. 24:14-15; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 6:10-13.

  B. Set and Keep Godly Priorities, Matt. 6:33; 1 Pet. 4:14-16 (Acts 5:29).

  C. Pay the Price of being a Christian,

Matt. 16:24-26 (Phil. 3:7-8).

1. Solution? Shift our desire for approval from earth to heaven, Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:1.
2. Do not fear man, but God, Matt. 10:28 (33).
3. Do not be ashamed of Christ, Mark 8:38.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Droughts Bring Needed Message
Joe R. Price

News reports tell of historic droughts around the world. One study states Europe is in its worst drought in 500 years ( Drought and a record heatwave are hitting half of China ( In addition, 39% of America is experiencing “moderate to exceptional” drought ( Drought leads to increased livestock deaths, decreased crop yields, famine, falling water levels, and more frequent wildfires.

Some say climate change is the cause of the intensity of current weather events. They appear to think humans are in charge of the weather. They willfully forget God created weather and sustains our lives with it (Gen. 1:14; 8:22; Ps. 74:16; Acts 14:17).

Weather sends messages we should hear and heed. For example, weather’s fruitful seasons testify of God’s presence and goodness (Acts 14:17). Droughts signal the need to turn to God and rely on Him instead of ourselves.

God’s prophet Amos told Israel their drought should have caused them to turn their hearts and lives back to Him from their false worship and sinful conduct. But they refused (Amos 4:7-8). Famine increased, crops failed, and pestilence plagued the nation, yet still, Israel would not repent (Amos 4:6, 9-11). Finally, God’s judgment to overthrow Israel was near. They needed to “prepare to meet your God” in judgment (Amos 4:12; 5:24-27).

Drought reminds us of who is really in charge. It is past time for repentance around the world. Hearts need to change toward God (Acts 20:21; 17:30). Repentance happens one soul at a time (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38). Whether we lead a nation or dig ditches, we cannot resist God without falling under His judgment. The wise will repent and obey Him while the foolish continue to rush headlong into condemnation (Jonah 3:4-10; Luke 11:32).


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

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