A man asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17)? Contrary to what we hear today from the popular religious teachers, there is something that man must do to have eternal life. If that question is asked today, most preachers would say, “You do not need to do anything but accept Jesus as your personal Savior.” Therefore, a subjective faith—a mental assent that Jesus is the Christ, is the only condition of salvation. But even a subjective faith is something that man does mentally. And Christ said that belief in Christ is “the work of God.” His words are explicit:
“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:28-29).
Everyone is born into the kingdom of nature by a natural birth—of and from the womb. Those who become Christians are born into the kingdom of God by a spiritual birth—of and from water and the Spirit (John 3:5). At the last day, those who are faithful, having been born a spiritual birth will be born of and from the grave into the eternal glory of heaven.
BORN OF GOD
The expression “born of God” is used throughout the letter of 1 John:
• Those born of God will not continue to live a life of sin (1 John 2:29; 3:9; 5:18).
• Those who love as God loves will know God and are born of him—for God is love (1 John 4:7).
• Those who by faith and baptism are born of God will be saved (1 John 5:1; Gal. 3:26-27).
Preaching repentance was a prominent topic of Jesus and the apostles: Peter declared:
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago” (Acts 3: 19-21 ESV).
This statement was made by the apostle Peter, in a sermon delivered before the Jews, in Solomon’s porch, a part of the temple of God at Jerusalem. This passage emphasizes the prominent place that repentance held in the preaching of the apostles. The preaching of repentance was also a prominent topic in the preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3: 1-2); of Jesus Christ (Matthew 4: 17; 11: 20-22); of the twelve who were sent out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mark. 6: 12.); and likewise to the seventy who were sent out to preach to the people (Luke 10: 1-16). Continue reading “REPENT AND TURN”→
“The benefits of the gospel come to the person who has faith alone in Christ. The blood of Christ is applied to the sinner upon faith alone in Christ and not at baptism.” –Faith Alone Adherent and Critic
In previous essays we have amply demonstrated that the subject “faith alone” is not a biblical subject and therefore a subject not to be discussed. It has only been discussed so far because certain religious advocates vehemently insist that salvation is predicated on “faith alone!” It has been pointed out that the scriptures teach just the exact opposite. James explicitly states that salvation or justification from sin is “by works” and “not by faith alone.” James teaches the truth: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24 NKJV). Continue reading ““NOT BY FAITH ALONE””→
Matthew 3:16-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” NKJV
As I come before you today I recognize that there is a spirit among us of support, loyalty and joy for the hometown team. And I also believe that it is the case that we have that same loyalty and support and joy for the hometown congregation—the Heartland church of Christ. And that is why you are present today.
A few years ago, I presented the lesson that I am presenting today. And I was surprised that afterward a young man came to me and said, “I need to be baptized—I want to be immersed for the forgiveness of sins.” And I thought that this person was a member of the church already. And I learned a great lesson from this, that in almost every service that we will have like this, there are probably one or more people who need to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And so we preach on a lot of different subjects, but sometimes we assume that everybody sitting in one of the chairs has been baptized and become Christians. But that is not always the case, and therefore today I want to talk to you about the baptism of Jesus Christ. And I hope that I can make this lesson so simple that even a little child can understand it. That is my goal and that is my purpose in delivering this message. Our comments will cover the entire third chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew. Therefore you are encouraged to open up your Bibles and follow along to make sure that we faithfully present the record of the baptism of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “THE BAPTISM OF JESUS”→
Our Scripture reading is from Romans 12:1-2, where Paul says,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
This subject ought to be brought before young people and others continually. It is a topic that must be stamped indelibly upon the hearts of all who would please our heavenly Father and who would know the truth. It is a simple subject, and yet one that is not known or understood by many people. The subject is, “The Establishment of the Church.” Continue reading “THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH”→
While Paul was beginning his third evangelistic tour, Apollos came to Ephesus. The Bible tells us several things about his character and abilities as a preacher of the word: (1) he was a learned man; (2) he had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures; (3) he had been instructed in the way of the Lord; (4) he spoke with great fervor; and, (5) he taught about Jesus accurately. These things were all positive and good. However, there was one negative—he knew only the baptism of John the Baptist. This means that he baptized people into John’s baptism (Acts 18:24-26). But John’s baptism was not valid after the church was established! Now, the baptism of the great commission as given by Christ after his resurrection was to be practiced (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Continue reading “WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED AGAIN?”→
We’re glad to announce today that little Scotty Doss is a year old, and he’s a mighty fine-looking boy. In fact, he’s a big boy for a year old. A lot bigger than I thought he’d ever be, from the way that he started out in that incubator for so long in the hospital. We’re proud of him, and hope all of you will take a look at him on his first birthday this morning (April 23, 1978, SGF).
Every person is accountable for their actions and needs to be reconciled unto God. This is because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, the apostle Paul declared,
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-20 KJV).
We hear a lot about grants today. When young people are preparing to go to college they will check into scholarships that are available based on their track record, their grades and oftentimes they’ll receive these grants. Plus the federal government and the state many times will give dollar grants in different areas of education. We hear a lot about federal grants. The federal government has a grant for almost everything today. Many times our highways are blacktopped or repaved with cement as a result of the federal government giving the state a grant for the different highway systems. And in almost all of the Bills that are passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, there are all kinds of grants that are stuck into the fine print that pays off, you might say, the big city mayors. All of these grants are not just outright gifts with no strings attached. In fact, almost every one of them is conditional. There are conditions attached to each grant. Continue reading “GOD’S GRANT OF REPENTANCE”→