Birthdays and Anniversaries
4-16 Maksim Camacho
Emma Reames new doctor, working it out
Chaney Reames is undergoing extensive dental work.
Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.
Bill Grubbs recovering from back injury.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.
Teresa Weeks, Steve’s sister, having age related issues. She has Down’s Syndrome. Also a fractured shin.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues
Darla Nitti, mini stroke, but doing ok
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
Although they live in a retirement home, their minds are sharp. So it saddened me to witness one of the participants punt to her feelings when the Bible would not support her viewpoint.
Our weekly Bible study is currently stepping through 1 Corinthians. Last week our focus was the latter part of chapter 15 including that enigmatic statement “baptized for the dead.” As to what this means, I offered no better than a couple of suggestions others have made and pointed out that for Paul the reality of the resurrection is connected to baptism (1 Corinthians 15:29).
At the mention of baptism, class discussion took off on a rabbit run. In the midst of this, someone’s comment dismissed baptism’s relationship with salvation. I observed that not everyone would agree. Why the difference?
Some churches assume faith and baptism can be separated. Thus they understand that a person can be saved at one moment of time and baptized later at another.
Other churches, however, following texts like Galatians 3:26-27, Colossians 2:12 and even the oft ignored early Christian teaching of Mark 16:16 understand faith in Christ and baptism to be connected. To rely upon Christ crucified entails relying upon and contacting Christ’s saving blood and death in baptism (Romans 6:3; Hebrews 10:19,22).
While the discussion atmosphere was cordial, one participant then quipped she had heard a well-known writer use the thief on the cross to destroy any connection between baptism and salvation. At this juncture, I chose to point out a few details about the thief on the cross, baptism and faith.
Suffice it to say Christian baptism is a baptism into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3). Hence the thief cannot be an exception to the gospel’s call for us to be baptized. Furthermore, during his earthly ministry Jesus demonstrated his desire and power to forgive! Neither the thief, nor the sinful woman nor the paralytic, none of whom were baptized, represent exceptions to the gospel’s command to trust in Christ crucified by being baptized (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
It was at this point that another participant shared her experience about inviting Jesus into her heart. She said she felt something wonderful.
Did she realize our feelings arise out of our beliefs whether those understandings be right or wrong? Was she aware outside forces or another’s will do not impose feelings within us?
Feelings do not reveal reality. They expose what we assume to be true. Did she realize she was appealing to her feelings to order to nullify the clear teaching of God’s word? While not unexpected, her approach saddened me.
Mike was not at this particular Bible study. However, this senior citizen had listened carefully to a similar discussion months ago at this retirement home. This past Sunday after worship he made a beeline to our preaching minister. His words were direct and simple, “I want to be baptized.”
In the following discussion he explained that he used to think baptism was just symbolic. He said he had been wrestling with this for months. Now he was ready to be baptized. Stepping down into very cool water, Mike was baptized into Christ.
Barry Newton, link to original article