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Sell Me This Power


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
SELL ME THIS POWER

William Andrew Dillard

In biblical Christianity there is power! Saints sing of it often in such hymns as “There Is Power In The Blood.” Repentant lost people rejoice in it at the altar of their heart. Saints who are wise reject the time consuming offerings of the world in order to know Him and the POWER of His resurrection as did St. Paul as he told the Philippians.
Jesus said that all power is consolidated in Him as He commissioned the church in Matthew 28:18-20. Just before ascending, He told His church that they would receive power after that the Holy Ghost was come upon them. According to Acts 2, they certainly did. But it was not a temporary power. It was an age long power to be resident in New Testament churches; power sufficient to bring them through the age with the proper testimony of God, and His love for the world.
But power is one of the objects of the sinful, greedy world which sees material advancement as the purpose of life. Thus the very existence of understood power draws men either to God and Salvation or to Satan and the ladder of materialism and creature comforts.
Such was the case of one Simon the sorcerer as noted in Acts 8. It is interesting to note that Simon was a long time practitioner of sorcery. Doubtless, he accumulated a considerable amount of wealth with it. However, the introduction of Bible Christianity in Samaria was mightily blessed of God so that many were saved and baptized. Make of this what you will, the Bible declares that Simon also was saved and baptized. Simon then continued with Philip, drawn by the miracles which he did.
Some days later Peter and John were dispatched from Jerusalem to Samaria who prayed for them, and laid hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit that had come upon the church in Acts 2. Simon was impressed, so impressed that he offered the apostles money to have their power conferred upon him. Peter minced no words rejecting the request, and directing him to repent of such wickedness, 8:22-24.
Unarguably, the apostolic years were filled with extraordinary displays of holy power as credentials of holy men in the absence of the New Testament. But with its completion, focus is shifted more precisely upon the church of the Living God. It is the pillar and ground of the truth under the constriction of the Holy Spirit and the eternal Word. In these things there is staying, aggressive, authoritative, energetic power from heaven. Surely, the world remains filled with satanic inspired charlatans, who emulate Simon saying, sell me this power that I may accumulate wealth through deception. But, as it was then, so it is now. The gifts and calling of God may be only enjoyed God’s way. They are not for sale.

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WAS PETER A POPE?


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
WAS PETER A POPE?

Much usage of the term “Pope” has been employed of late in international news. It is an interesting word that many attribute spiritually to one man, and credit him as father (pope. papa) to the church: the successor to the apostle Peter, they say. Around Easter, the subject appears more frequently. Never mind that Peter was never a pope or a papa to any church, or that he was a married man with a stated mother-in-law. Think about it!
“Father” comes from the Greek word “pater” meaning “father”. From this word, we get the extended adjective “paternal,” etc. Several languages have a similar form of “pater” to indicate that basic idea. The specific term “Pope” is often listed as Pope (from Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας pappas,[1] a child’s word for father. Of all the many ways these terms may be used, the basic idea of them all is that of origin, progenitor, and creator. We correctly recognize our male parent as “father” and although the idea of caregiver, provider, protector, and instructor may be associated with that person in one’s mind, the basic idea remains progenitor even in the synonyms of “Dad” or “Pop.” These terms certainly are most appropriate in designating our earthly relationships, but in the dimension of the spiritual world greater, more respectful, and worshipful restrictions apply.
Spiritually, the term “Father” became especially endearing to New Testament disciples of Jesus through Whom we came to know our Creator, not so much as “Lord God” but as “Our Father:” a much more loving, mature, and endearing term of close-knit, day to day relationship, as we live within the scope of His holy will. Jesus clearly and commandingly said, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” Matt. 23:9. Jesus also forbade ecclesiastical hierarchy in His church; Matthew 20:20-29. Moreover, those who minister spiritual things in the church are not to be considered priests any more than other members of the church because the entire church is a royal priesthood. I Peter 2:5. Neither is there any man on earth who may take ascendancy over others in regard to approaching God or finding acceptability or blessings from God. There is one mediator between God and man and it is that man Christ Jesus, I Tim. 2:5.
So, what does this writer think about all the hoopla? Well, it is just that,“ Hoopla.” But, it is more profitable to point out truth and errors than to negatively criticize. There is one Judge of us all. No one will escape an appointment before Him, and He will not deviate from His Holy Word. The personal responsibility to know, and to do righteously is too immense to entertain such foolishness for very long. So, is that fried chicken I smell coming from the kitchen? Maybe there is a biscuit and a little gravy there, too!

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What the Bible says about Inspiration


I. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT INSPIRATION.

2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

This Scripture is very clear how it addresses inspiration.

  1. Human Penmanship – “…holy men of God spoke…”
  2. Divine Authorship – “…moved by the Holy Ghost.”

The active source of the Scripture is God. The Greek word “pheomenoi” means “borne along.” God did not correct any mistakes because no mistakes were made. God gave the words and allowed the men to use their own choice of words that corresponded to their natural way of speaking. By Inspiration we mean the Holy Spirit moved the human writers of the Bible in such a way that they recorded the very words and sense of God, though couched in their own literary style.

  1. ALL

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

  1. I Peter 1:25 – “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

  2. Peter agrees with the endurance of the Word of God.

  3. Paul refers to all which would include the Old Testament. Surely no one would claim that the Old Testament Manuscripts that Paul had were the originals.

  4. Paul makes a request in II Timothy 4:13 “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

  5. The previous chapter recorded that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.

  6. There is very little doubt that Paul here called the copies of the Old Testament Manuscripts inspired.

  7. Inspired in the original manuscripts is no where in God’s Word.

  8. It was inspired by Satan and made up by man to attempt to allow what man wanted to do to God’s Word.

  9. When we claim that the Word was inspired in the original manuscripts then we are equating the ink, the papyrus and the pen to be inspired. That is not what Paul or Peter said.

  1. INSPIRED BY GOD

The Word was inspired, man was not inspired.

The phrase that carries so much importance is “…Inspiration of God….” The Greek word translated “inspired” is “theopneustos,” which means “God-breathed.”

There are several theories as to inspiration. I believe in the “Superintendence or Verbal Plenary Theory.”

We shall examine this theory:

  1. Verbal inspiration.

We mean that the very words of Scripture are God’s words. Inspiration goes beyond the concepts and message to actual words.

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Jer 1:9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

According to Matthew 5:18, Inspiration extends to even the letter “jot” and “tittle.” Luke 16:17.

God places emphasis upon His Words.

Consider these verses: Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 6:6; 12:28; 17:19; 18:18; 27:3; 31:12; 32:1,45,46; Joshua 8:34,35; 24:26; I Samuel 8:10; II Samuel 23:2; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5,6; Jeremiah 7:27; 23:36; 26:2; 30:2; Ezekiel 3:10; Daniel 10:9-11; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; John 8:47; 17:8; I Timothy 4:6; II Peter 3:2; Jude 17; Revelation 1:3; 22:18,19.

Every Word of God is important to Him. To ridicule, change or laugh at the Word of God, I believe is a serious infraction against God. To change the force, power or meaning of His word would be to diminish God and His utterances.

  1. Plenary Inspiration

This means “extending to all parts alike,” this leads us to the belief that all of the Bible is inspired and every part of the Bible is equally inspired.

II Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”

  1. Inerrant Inspiration

Inerrant means “not liable to error.” This means there is no mistake or anything false, therefore the Bible was written down correct in every detail.

Hebrews 6:18b; Titus 1:2c; Numbers 23:19; John 10;35

This kind of inspiration provides that the exact divine message be given. Both God’s truth and Satan’s lies are reported and recorded exactly. Inspiration does not change truth into lies.

  1. Infallible Inspiration

This means the Bible is without error in its teaching. It is incapable of teaching deception.

Psalm 119:160; John 17:17. The terms “infallible” and “inerrant” are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference:

  • Inerrant means without error in its recording.
  • Infallible means without error in its teaching.

Infallibility is obviously restricted to the intended assertions of Scripture understood in an ordinary grammatical exegesis of the text.”

In other words, infallibility takes into account such things as the use of poetic or figurative language, the use of simile, hyperbole, allegory, parable and symbolism, etc.

In most cases, what is inspired is authoritative, but not all cases. Some things in the Bible, though accurately recorded through inspiration, do not have the authority of God.

e.g. The Book of Job accurately records the words of God, Job, Satan, Job’s wife, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu. Some of the statements in the Book are consequently ungodly or in direct contradiction to other statements of Scripture. They are inspired, but not authoritative.

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The Gaze of Jesus


 

Luke 22:55-62

 

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice,” Luke 22:61.

 

 

Just a few hours before the Gethsemane prayer meeting, Jesus admonished Peter to pray for spiritual strength, to be on guard because Satan wanted to use him. Peter, like many, depended on his physical strength rather than his spiritual strength. It is better if we depend on God; for when we are weak He is strong, and He will help us when we depend on Him (2 Cor. 12:9). Peter had not yet learned this truth. Admitting our weaknesses is the first step in becoming a stronger Christian.

 

Most Christians fit into one of two categories: the tested and the testers. The tested Christians have been flat on their backs, either literally or metaphorically, and have learned to reach up and out to God and that He will help them. God is willing and honored when they ask Him to lend them His strength. The testers think that they are stronger than the temptations and trials they face or will face. This false thinking leads down a broken hearted path. Peter seemed to fit into the second category. He learned the hard way that failure has a great cost.

 

The rooster crowed—Jesus looked straight into the heart of Peter—shame filled his heart and tears filled his eyes.

 

 

REFLECTION

 

After a good cry, confession and repentance, Peter became one of the most spiritually strong disciples of Jesus. The change began with the heart piercing, loving eyes of Jesus.

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Peter Learned To Stand


 

Acts 2:22-24

 

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know,” Acts 2:22.

 

Peter Learned To Stand

 

Have you ever had enough and finally had to stand up for the real truth? Peter found himself in this very situation.

 

The filling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost came forty days after Christ’s ascension. The ability to speak a language other than one’s own happened as the result of the Holy Spirit blessing. In God’s plan, the gospel could be spread into multiple nations at one time during this gathering of nations. But someone always has to put a damper on the Lord’s work even when it is going great.

 

Soon the naysayers found fault with the preaching and began to accuse the speakers as being full of new wine or in other words intoxicated. Peter had had enough and he stood up and began to preach. The religious people of Jerusalem thought they had a monopoly on the gospel, but Peter quickly shattered that thought. He reminded them of a prophecy in Joel and preached to them concerning Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

 

Peter dared to preach the truth to a group of religiously nice but lost people and the Holy Spirit convicted their hearts. On that day about three thousand people believed the gospel and were baptized.

 

 

Reflection

 

Our responsibility as believers is to speak the truth and let the Holy Spirit convict.

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Peter’s Love for Jesus


 

John 21:15-17

 

 

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep,” John 21:17.

 

 

Pastors, at times, need the same admonishment that Jesus gave to Peter. As a whole, pastors strive to feed the flock every time they teach or preach. But, are they guilty of viewing the flock as merely church members instead of the lambs and sheep of Jesus and themselves as the undershepherd of Jesus? From time to time we need a reminder of the importance of teaching and preaching relevant, Holy Spirit inspired messages to Jesus’ sheep.

 

Most pastors, like Peter, love Jesus but do they really LOVE Jesus. There is a difference. Pastors like other believers can become cold and indifferent. Their love of Jesus can wane and become stagnant. And, like Peter, they need occasional reminding that they are prone to sin and failure and that the path to rekindling is always open.

 

Early in the morning, still damp from his swim to shore, Peter must truthfully answer Jesus’ question, “Lovest thou me?” His answer was in his actions. It was after that encounter with Jesus that Peter became one of the strongest, most steadfast and influential of all the disciples.

 

 

 

REFLECTION

 

Pastors, do not be discouraged, see the importance of your position and then feed His sheep and His lambs!

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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The Christ of God


 

“A Baby’s hands in Bethlehem were small and softly curled.

 

But held within their dimpled grasp, the hope of all the world.”

 

(L.S. Clark, Hymns For Children And Grownups To Use Together; Farrar, Strauss & Young, New York, NY, 1953)

 

 

 

Who are you? Your identity tells others who you are, where you came from and what you are uniquely capable of accomplishing. For some people, discovering their unique individuality might take a while, even lifetimes. We were all born into this world in the same chaotic, yet humble manner, and as we have grown, hopefully our unique talents and aptitudes have risen to the top, giving us purpose and functionality. Many of our difficulties lie in the fact that, as we are still discovering who we are and what we are here to do, we must get along with other human beings who are also trying to uncover their identities.

 

Jesus knew who He was. The problem He faced was trying to convince His followers of His true identity. When His disciples finally understood who He was, Peter proclaimed the answer—“The Christ of God.” Historically, Christ followers, including the original disciples, wrestled with what it meant for Jesus to be the anointed Son of God, but today, we know one thing is for certain. Jesus is the Savior of the world, and we begin to discover our unique purpose and identity when we immerse ourselves in who Christ is, becoming more like Him.

 

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you follow Jesus today?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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82 – March 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


A Fool hath spoken

 

In speaking of false teachers, Peter says that they will be “clouds without water”, and that they will be brought into bondage by what overcomes them.  While many compromise truth for pleasure or popularity, there are others that are overcome by their own intelligence.  Such a one was Crawford Howell Toy, who was born on March 23, 1836.  Baptists must not forget C.H. Toy who resigned from Southern Baptist Seminary and moved to Harvard and became Unitarian and a celebrated professor from that institution.  God had provided Toy with every opportunity to succeed as a champion of Fundamentalism.  He had an outstanding education, incubation into sound doctrine, the opportunity of walking with great men such as John A. Broadus, who he boarded with.  He wooed and won the hand in engagement of the lovely missionary Charlotte “Lottie” Moon, who he would later lose because of his infidelity.  He was noted for his bravery as he fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War under the direct leadership of Robert E. Lee.  He was wounded and captured by the Union forces, and he utilized his time studying Hebrew, which he would later become a foremost authority.  After the war he studied in Europe and no doubt began to drink the poison of liberalism.  Toy was an intellectual giant.  To this day it is not difficult to find his articles and writings.  Yet in the zenith of his walk among outstanding Bible preachers and professors he would imbibe Darwinism and shipwreck his faith.  The same Darwinism that godly Baptists steadfastly resisted in spite of the nearly overwhelming pressure of the intelligentsia of the day.  What a fool was Toy in spite of his great intellect.  And his former student would prove wiser than her teacher by refusing his hand in marriage.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp, 170 – 172.

 

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THY WORD


Psalm 119:89 – “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”

I dearly love this passage because it speaks to me. This passage is best understood in simplicity. It should have the same meaning for you that it has for me and that should be the mind of God and His meaning in this passage.

For instance, the term “forever” should never be mis-understood. We know that a permanent that is put in a persons hair is not permanent. We also know that a “life time warranty” is ambiguous at best. When God speaks the word forever, we know that the meaning is without end. No end in sight.

The phrase, “thy word,” expresses ownership. This is not my word that I make to mean what my prejudices or desires want them to be. They are the LORD’S words to be understood exactly as he means. We are not to attach our meanings to them. This reminds me of Paul writing to the Philippian brethren and said to them – “let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…”. So the mind of God in His words is the thought we should find. Since this is God’s word, I have no right to manipulate or change it to suit me or what I want.

The repository for all truth is in heaven. The LORD’S word is settled in heaven. No matter how man cuts, slices, or dices the word here on earth, it is forever settled in heaven. Now you must understand, I believe we have the inspired word today. I know I was taught in the seminaries I attended that inspiration was in the original manuscripts. This statement does not allow for those of us that stand in our pulpit and hold up what we call the word of God, and tell our people that this is inspired. If inspiration is in the original manuscripts, we no longer have the inspired word of God but rather are lying to the people and holding up something that is the product of man and we are relying upon man’s intelligence and honesty to produce something that is a reasonable facsimile of God’s Word. That troubles me. I have found man to be untrustworthy and intelligent deficient. I trust God to keep His word pure by preserving His word and thereby preserving the inspiration of His word. “Settled in heaven” is a promise and a warning. I am comforted in knowing that God’s Word does not change. This reassures me that what God has promised will come to pass. The warning is – do not trifle with the Word of God but accept is as God intended.

God has given us some scripture to show us the importance of all scripture. II Tim 3:14-17 Paul writes to his son-in-the-faith, Timothy. Paul wants Timothy to have proper respect for the Word of God. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assure of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly  furnished unto all good works.”

Paul explains the process of God delivering His word which is forever settled in heaven to man. Then Peter takes up the story in II Peter 1:21, where he states that the “prophecy came not in old time by the will of man” but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” God delivered His word the way He desired it to be delivered. We have no right to diminish or disregard any of it.

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT BAPTISMAL REGENERATION


All most all religions teach that baptism saves, helps to save, or is in some way essential to salvation. This cannot be sustained by the Scriptures. Baptism is NOT essential to salvation.

I. Some Scriptures used to prrove that baptism is essential to salvation.
   
A. Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Examine the verse: In the previous verse Peter had been asked: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Notice it is not “what shall we do to be saved?” Peter told them what they must do. “Repent” is second person plural. “Every one of you” is first person singular: thus, only those who had repented were instructed to be baptised. “For the remissi9on of sins” refers to those who were to be baptised. This does not indicate that through baptism they would receive remission of sins but that they were to be baptised with reference to remission of sins received through repentance. The Greek word “eis” is the word translated FOR. In this case it means “with reference to.” See Matthew 12:41 where the word is translated “at.” The same word is used in I Corinthians 10:2; “And were all baptised unto (eis) Moses.” Scripture must not be made to contradict scripture.

    B. Romans 6:3; “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into (eis) Jesus Christ were baptised into (eis) his death?”

The teaching is that of being baptised with reference to Jesus and with reference to His death. Surely none believe that a person is literally baptised into His death. The Israelites (I Cor. 10:1) were baptised with reference to Moses and not literally into him.

    C. Galatians 3:27; “For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ.”

The same Greek word “eis” is translated “into” and means the same as in the previous verses, “with reference to.” The argument put forth by some is that the phrase “have put on Christ” speaks of a spiritual birth and therefore it means baptised into Christ or baptismal salvation. There is a similar phrase in Romans 13:14: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” This is admonition to a people already justified by faith (Rom. 5:1), and a people already baptised (Rom. 6:3,4). They were to put on Christ in their daily walk and daily life. (Rom. 6:11-13), therefore the phrase “put on Christ” does not mean salvation by baptism.

Those addressed in this verse had become children of God by faith (Gal. 3:26). They had put on the livery of a Christian; had dressed up that Christ might be seen in them – that is, in their obedience.

II. If Baptism is essential to salvation then the following is also true.
    A. It would make the preacher the mediator between God and man. There is one mediator (I Tim. 2:5).

    B. It would make it impossible for one to be saved in a hospital, on the battlefield, or any place away from a preacher and water for baptism. No matter how much one might repent, pray, or believe on Jesus, he would be lost forever if he were not baptised.

    C. It would make Paul to leave out something in his address to the Athenians. Acts 17:30; “And the times of this ignorance God winked at but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Why didn’t he add “and be baptised”?

    D. It would make Paul guilty of rejoicing that he had left off an essential part of the salvation of some of the Corinthians. I Corinthians 1:14: “I thank God that I baptised none of you, but Crispus and Gaius.”

    E. If baptism is essential to salvation then salvation must be both by works and by grace.
Baptism is an act or work of righteousness. Matthew 3:15: “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.”
(See also Titus 3:5; Eph 2:8-10; Rom. 11:6).
The unregenerate man cannot be subject to the law of God, for he is under the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2-8. He must repent and believe in Jesus.

    F. Some object that baptism is an act of faith, therefore acceptable to God though the candidate be unregenerate. If it is an act of faith, who had the faith? If the one being baptised has it before he goes into the water, then he is already saved, before baptism. I John 5:1: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” If the one going into the water does not have faith, then the very act would be sinful. Romans 14:23: “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

This puts the “baptism essential to salvation” advocate in a dilemma. If he baptises one who says he has faith in Christ then he baptises one who is already saved. If he baptises one who says he has no faith in Christ then he baptises one to whom even baptism is a sin.

    G. If baptism is essential to salvation then the following examples are meaningless.

                PERSONS SAVED WITHOUT BAPTISM
        1. Thief on the cross (Luke 23:42,43). Where is paradise? (II Cor. 12:1-4; Revelation 2:7; I John 5:4).
        2. The publican (Luke 18:14).

III. Scriptures which teach salvation but which make no mention of baptism.

Rom. 1:16,17; 3:21-26; Eph. 2:8-10; Acts 10:43; John 3:14-16; 3:18; 3:36; 5:24; 6:40; Acts 13:38,39,48; Rom. 5:1,2; I Cor. 3:8; Gal. 3:26; Phi. 3:9; Rom. 10:4,8,9-11. In all of these passages baptism is omitted. if it were necessary to salvation surely it would have been mentioned.

IV. Baptism’s Message.

    A. Baptism affirms that Jesus died and rose again (Rom. 6:4).
    B. Baptism is a figure of the death, burial, and resurrection (I Peter 3:21).
    C. Baptism is a pictorial ordinance (Rom. 6:4-12).
    D. Every Christian ought to submit to scriptural baptism (Matt. 28:19,20).Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

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