Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
(Psalm 119:105)


Volume 02, Number 37

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

Web site: Mt. Baker church
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Editor......John Bass


In this issue:

David A. Cox

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord " (Romans 6:23).

In writing to the Romans, Paul refers to eternal life as "the gift of God." Many conclude from this verse that salvation is unconditional. The thought is, "why would it be called a 'gift' if there are conditions connected to it?" Paul does indeed use the word "gift," but notice he does not say that eternal life is an unconditional gift. Consider a couple of examples in scripture about the gift of salvation.

The Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, Jesus spoke of those who would enter the kingdom of heaven. He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). It is clear that Jesus says to enter the kingdom of heaven something must be done; the Father's will. This means the gift has some conditions that must be met to enter the kingdom of heaven or receive eternal life.

Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. In Ephesians 2:8, Paul mentions again the gift of salvation that we receive by the grace of God. The gift is not due to works of merit or something owed to us. Still, it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:9). In verse 10, Paul continues, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Paul is saying the gift of salvation is coupled with "good works" that God has appointed for us to do.

What We Must Conclude. From the previous passages, it is clear that there are conditions that God has ordained for men. What are these conditions that God has given for man to do?

1. Believe.
 In John 6:40, Jesus said, "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son of man and believes in Him may have everlasting life." Jesus also said, "if you believe not that I am He, you will die in your sins" ( John 8:24). John said, concerning the things that are written in the gospel record, "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." It is evident that to receive the gift of God, one has to believe.

2. Belief Will Lead One to Action. Believing something and not acting on it will not help you.  James said, "The devils believe and tremble" ( James 2:19), but surely we know they did not receive the gift of salvation.  Faith will bring one to change and respond to the offer of salvation.  The devils did not do that.  An example of this faith and action is observed in Acts 2.  The Jews gathered at Jerusalem and heard Peter preach the gospel to them.  Peter proclaimed, "...let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ." At this point, the Jews that heard believed the preaching of Peter and cried out, asking what they should do.  Peter responded, saying, "Repent,and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).  Peter told them to receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of salvation, conditions must be met.  Based on their belief and confession of faith, the conditions were to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.  On that day, three thousand responded in obedience and were baptized for the remission of their sins.

Salvation is an exceedingly great gift that God has given to man.  When one hears, believes, repents, confesses, and is baptized, he has complied with the conditions that God desires man to do.  Let each of us respond to receive the gift of salvation and then live each day faithfully serving Him. we live, serve the Lord and honor.


Joe R. Price

Hospice care is designed to ease physical pain and suffering as death nears. It is a helpful service that offers dignity, palliative care, and comfort to the person approaching death, as well as their families.

Surprisingly, many people will not even talk about death, their own, or that of a loved one. Of course, that does not slow death's approach or prevent its arrival. Perhaps they convince themselves that by not thinking and talking about death they can avoid its encroachment. Or perhaps the topic is too unpleasant and painful for them. Nevertheless, death is common to us all (Heb. 9:27).

Solomon, in his wisdom, said it is wise to go to the house of mourning because "that is the end of all men" and "the living will lay it to heart" (Eccl. 7:2). Visit the house of mourning with me for a moment as we ask ourselves a few questions.

(1) Am I ready to die? This is not a question about whether we want to die right now, but whether we are ready to die should it happen now. We do not know when we will die. This is why we must be watchful and ready; only a breath separates us from death. Paul could say, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21). He was ready to die because he was living for Christ. That is how we are ready to die as death nears (James 4:13-15).

(2) Am I right with God? How you answer this question depends largely on how you answered the first one. Being right with God does not mean I "think" I am right (remember the people of Matt. 7:21-23). Paul was not ready to die when he persecuted Christians, although he thought he was right with God (Acts 26:9-11). Later, Paul was ready to die because he had fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7). The man with great wealth was not right with God when his soul was required of him. That parable is a tragic illustration of treasuring up riches for ourselves but failing to be "rich toward God" (Luke 12:15-21). Get right with God now. Obey Christ's gospel and live by faith in Him. Then you will be right with God as death nears (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:36-41; Gal. 2:20).

(3) What spiritual legacy will I leave? In the end, what matters will not be how large a financial estate we leave behind. Each of us will leave some kind of spiritual legacy to the next generation. Will our lives speak beyond the grave of faith, love for God, and service to others (Heb. 11:4)? Will the next generation know God because we spoke His truth and lived faithful lives (Psalms 71:18)? What spiritual legacy are you preparing to leave as death nears?


3 John

Greeting to Gaius
1 The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Gaius Commended for Generosity
5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,
6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
7 because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

Diotrephes and Demetrius
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.

Farewell Greeting
13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink;
14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.


Created by John Bass, last updated.  09/10/2023

The Mount Baker Beacon is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149 or