Archive for February, 2013


Baptists: Believer’s Baptism

download (1)Baptism Is Only for Believers

The New Testament records that baptism always followed conversion, never preceded it, and was not necessary for salvation (Acts 2:1-41; 8:36-39; 16:30-33). Since Baptists look to the Bible as our sole authority for faith and practice, we believe that baptism is only for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Furthermore, Baptists point out that in the New Testament a commitment to believe in and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior was always voluntary. Therefore, baptism as a sign of such commitment ought always to be voluntary.

Because of these convictions based on the Bible, Baptists do not baptize infants. This refusal has resulted in persecution. For example, Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard University, was forced not only from his office but banished from Cambridge for refusing to have his infant children baptized in the state-supported church.

Baptism Is Only by Immersion

Although some early Baptists baptized by pouring or sprinkling water over a person, Baptists concluded that immersion of a person’s entire body in water was the only biblical way to baptize. Therefore, in spite of persecution, inconvenience and ridicule, they began to practice baptism only by immersion. Today, that is the Baptist way throughout most of the world.

The belief in immersion as the proper mode of baptism is based on the Bible for several reasons:

– The English word “baptize” comes from a word in the Greek language—the language in which the New Testament originally was written—that means “to dip, submerge, or immerse.”

– John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River by immersion as Jesus began his public ministry (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11).

Christ’s disciples in New Testament times baptized by immersion (Acts 8:36-39).

– Immersion is a means not only of declaring that Christ died, was buried and was resurrected to provide salvation but also of testifying about our own hope of resurrection (Romans 6:5).

– The New Testament teaches that immersion is a way to symbolize that a believer has died to an old way and is alive to walk a new way in Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12).

Read more…http://baptistdistinctives.org/articles/believers-baptism/

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The Danger of Sudden Death

pastor_curtis_hutsonNobody knows when he is going to die. You may say, “I don’t like to hear talk about death.” Well, when people quit dying, I will quit talking about death. You don’t like to hear about death because you know you are not right with God. If you want to hear a little, quiet sermonette on Sunday morning, you are in the wrong place.If you say, “I don’t like all this hellfire preaching,” you too are in the wrong place.

Billy Sunday said, “If we had more preaching on Hell from the pulpit, we would have less Hell in the congregation.”

There is more in the Bible about Hell than there is about Heaven. Jesus preached more on Hell than any preacher who has ever lived! He just kept on saying, “You will go to Hell! The worm never dies! The fire is not quenched! It is a real place!” He continually warned men to stay out of Hell.

In this congregation sits a young man. I led him to Christ; I led his wife to Christ; I led his daughter to Christ. I spoke to him about two Sunday mornings ago at the door in the back, and I heard him tell this story.

He was so burdened about his brother, in his twenties, that he took off from work and went to Florida to try to lead him to Christ. He said to his brother, “I’m saved, and I want you to be saved. I want to tell you how to get saved.”

They prayed. As he tried to show his brother how to get saved, his brother laughed at him! “I’m young. I have plenty of time to get saved later on. Leave me alone! I am just in my twenties!”

This man came back to Atlanta brokenhearted because his brother wouldn’t accept Christ.

A week later his brother picked up a hitchhiker. The hitchhiker picked up a revolver and unloaded six shots into him and dumped him out in the desert in Florida.

He was found a few weeks later and brought back here. I conducted his funeral. When I stood over that casket, I could almost hear him say, “Leave me alone! I’m young! I am just in my twenties! I have plenty of time to get saved later on!”

So far as we know, he is now in Hell!

There is the danger of sudden death; you don’t know when you will die.

President Coolidge’s son went out and played tennis. A blister came on his heel, and in a few hours’ time he was dead with blood poison. You don’t know when death may strike you.

Dr. George Truett was saved as a child. When he was a young man, they were having a revival. He invited a school chum to go to the revival with him. The chum went.

George Truett said to him after the preacher had preached, “Now, will you trust Christ as your Saviour?”

The boy said, “Let me alone, George. Leave me alone, George. Not tonight, George. I’ll go tomorrow.”

George said, “Will you come back tomorrow?”

“Yes, I’ll come back tomorrow. But leave me alone tonight, George. Not tonight; tomorrow.”

George Truett said he went back to the meeting the next night, but the young fellow wasn’t there; the fourth night he wasn’t there.

George went to check on him. He knocked on the door. The boy’s mother came to the door, and George said, “Where is So-and-so?”

“He took sick that night after he left the service. He has pneumonia. The doctor says he may not pull through. Nobody has been let in to see him. But you and he were very close friends, George, and I think it is all right for you to see him.”

George Truett said, “I walked in. I saw his lips moving. I wanted to hear what he was saying. He had a very high fever and was almost out of his mind. I leaned my ear over to his mouth to hear what he was saying, and it was, ‘Not tonight, George. Not to-night, George. Leave me alone, George. I will go some other time, but not tonight, George.’”

This young man died and went to Hell!

There is the danger of sudden death.

Read more…http://www.soulwinning.info/sermons/dr_hutson/danger_of_delay.htm

images1 Thes 5:14-18 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The apostle Paul‘s epistle to the Thessalonians contains clear and powerful exhortations concerning the will of God for believers. These exhortations express the specific will of God in relationships with others, with ourselves, and with the Lord. Packed into these short verses are patterns of life and behavior which receive His blessing in all these relationships.

“Warn them that are unruly”; people who are idle, undisciplined, pleasure seeking, need to know the danger they are in.

“Comfort the feebleminded”; comfort people who are disheartened; come alongside them with brotherly affection and encouraging words, and pray for them.

“Support the weak”; our natural tendency is to despise and neglect weaker people, to stay away from them since they have nothing to offer us, and can damage our reputation. Jesus says no, find them, and lift them up however you can.

“Be patient toward all men”; realizing how patient God is with you, and that “patient” is the first thing that love is, [1 Cor. 13:4]. It means waiting in love and hope, with prayer, for people to see what they need to see, do what they need to do, change how they need to change.

“See that none render evil for evil;” do not allow evil men in this world to corrupt your own behavior and character. This is a constant temptation throughout life because evil people are everywhere, including the church.

“Follow that which is good”; being and doing good of every kind is our lifelong mandate as believers; there are millions of ways to obey it. This is God’s will for us toward all men – even those who don’t deserve it!

“Rejoice evermore”; Jesus has rescued your eternity from unspeakable misery and pain to everlasting joy and pleasure. The constant reality of your life is undergirded by an ecstatic future forever. You can afford to be quite happy about it.

“Pray without ceasing”; ‘impossible’, you say. Given the fact that your relationship with the Lord is wide open to communication with Him 24/7, why not continually include Him in your words and thoughts?

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”; gratitude is a life saver, apart from being the most appropriate response to having been created, redeemed, and blessed by our loving Lord. Thankfulness in all things turns you into the beautiful soul your were intended to be. Gratitude in the midst of suffering is a special perfume for the Lord.

The will of God is not so hard to figure out when we read these simple statements. Just obeying these exhortations is enough to do for a lifetime. Wherever the Lord calls you, He calls you to this lifestyle. God’s Holy Spirit inspired these words, and He alone gives the power to carry them out. Our part is to believe and act, He will fill us as we do.

 

Read more….http://www.worthydevotions.com/

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John 9:6-7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

I read this passage and I wonder how I would react if someone mixed their saliva with some dirt on the ground and put it on my face like this. Ewww! Why didn’t Jesus just heal this guy and be done with it? Why the messy prelude?

If you’ll notice, Jesus did two things. First, He placed mud on the man’s eyes. Then, He told him to go and wash himself in the pool of Siloam. Of course, the man willingly obeyed. If you had some gross concoction smeared on your eyes, wouldn’t you? The mud actually provided the motivation for his obedience.

My point? We don’t always have to understand why we find our selves muddy sometimes. Perhaps if we weren’t muddy, we’d never be motivated to obey! And obedience is crucial to a successful and flourishing walk with the Lord.

Let’s not despise the mud on our face today. We all have times of trial. Let’s use them for an opportunity to be obedient! God is just trying to help us see better!

 

Read more…http://www.worthydevotions.com/

You are Chosen and Changed

download1 Samuel 22:1-2 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Early in his life David was forced to flee from his king and father-in-law, Saul — to flee for his life. During this long season of exile and hiding David began to find himself surrounded by loyal friends who joined themselves to him. But these were friends of an unusual kind: they were men who had all been unhappy, distressed, helpless, or in debt — by and large, the outcasts of the world. But an amazing thing happened to these formerly hapless human beings when they joined with David; they were empowered and became his “mighty men.” When David finally became King of Israel, these men were ennobled and raised to be princes and officers in his Kingdom.

As it was with David, so it is with Jesus. Jesus came to save sinners, the wretched outcasts of this world, discontented, indebted, distressed and helpless … whom He clothes with His righteousness and fills with His Spirit, ennobles and transforms into “mighty men”, who will rule and reign with Him in His kingdom!

We have gathered ourselves to Jesus, the Messiah, the son of David, and He has chosen us as His brothers and sisters and fellow laborers in His Kingdom, never again to be outcasts, but rather embraced in His love, part of His enormous family, and delegated and empowered to serve  Him in His Kingdom. Let’s be encouraged remembering where we came from AND where we are going!

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“Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)
“Each believer is a priest, both before God for oneself and by caring for fellow believers and for persons in the world for whom Christ died.” 

From We Baptists, James Leo Garrett Jr. (editor-in-chief)

To say that a Baptist is a priest sounds strange to some persons. But we are. Every one of us. In fact, Baptists insist that all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior are priests, believer priests. The concept of the priesthood of believers is basic for Baptists. As with some other beliefs important to Baptists, we have varying interpretations of what the concept means, but we all treasure the biblical truth of the priesthood of believers.

READ MORE BY CLICKING HERE