Index by Subject

Have You Seen Jesus?

We all have loved ones that we long to see converted and saved.  What will save the sexually immoral homosexual, fornicator and adulterer?  That which will forever change man from the power of darkness to light is to see Jesus as did the Apostle Paul.  Seeing Jesus will cause the murderer, thief, thug, agnostic, atheist, pessimists, evolutionist, pro-abortionist, prejudice, drug user and alcoholic to repent and obey God (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Seeing Jesus will transform the mind from corruption to righteousness (see Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 1:12-14).  A mind opposed to Christ will only come to receive Christ by seeing him.  Saul of Tarsus was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins because he saw Jesus (see Acts 22:16). Continue reading » Have You Seen Jesus?

Doing the First Works: The Mission of Christ and His Church

What Exactly IS the Mission of Christ and His Church? This seems like such an obvious question, yet there is so much confusion about such a simple and straight forward question. Is it possible to quickly walk through the clear steps listed in scripture, the book, chapter and verse, so to speak, to make easy understanding of this subject? I believe it is easy to do, if we give it even a few minutes of thought. Remember, every Christian is supposed to be able to describe this (1 Peter 3:15). Have you felt guilty because you never gave this even a little time to work this out? Continue reading » Doing the First Works: The Mission of Christ and His Church

11 – Wash Away Your Sins

Video Script: Wash Away Your Sins (11)

We affirm that the gospel is God’s power to salvation. That to be saved one must believe that gospel, repent of their sins and be willing to confess before men that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God.

When we affirm these things, almost everyone is pleased. Texts such as Romans 1:16, John 3:16, Luke 13:5 and Romans 10:8-10 clearly teach these truths.

We also affirm that baptism in water is necessary for salvation. And now we have a problem. Most people deny that one must be baptized to be saved. So why do we affirm it? Simple, just as belief, confession and repentance are clearly taught as necessary for salvation, so it is with baptism. Don’t believe me? Well, consider the following:

Continue reading » Video Script: Wash Away Your Sins (11)

Doing the First Works: New Testament Conversions

Did You Know That All Of The Conversions In The New Testament Are Found In The Book of Acts?

A very excellent fact to know is that all of the cases of conversion are very conveniently found in the Book of Acts. Added to this is the fact that all of these cases of conversion mention baptism. The prevailing denominational views of course minimize or eliminate the need for actual baptism over variations of grace only salvation.

I have rejoiced many times to see the happy amazement of so many Christians when this basic help to their understanding is revealed to them. They almost hate to admit that such an obvious truth has been right in front of them all along. But now that they know about it, they are thrilled with prospects of easier access, less bumbling and confusion on their part when they are attempting to convert the lost.

Continue reading » Doing the First Works: New Testament Conversions

"You Must Be Born Again"

(John 3)

This article consists of an analysis of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, recorded in John 3.  As the conversation is lengthy, and I desired to include the entire context in this one article, it too is rather long.

Born Again (John 3:1-5)

Jesus, in John 3, had a conversation with a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. While it is obvious by Nicodemus’ words he was impressed with Jesus, it must be noted that he was ignorant of who Jesus truly was, and was a bit cautious in his approach.

Nicodemus referred to the Lord as a “rabbi” (teacher), and acknowledged that the miracles Jesus performed marked Him as a man from God. However, the fact that John revealed the ruler’s approach to be “by night” indicates that Nicodemus may have desired not to be seen talking with such a controversial man.

Continue reading » "You Must Be Born Again"

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Some people today profess to be able to speak in tongues, receive divine guidance, and perform miracles. All of this is possible, they claim, because they have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Members of the various “Charismatic” or “Holiness” faiths, who claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit, are surprisingly divided over the purpose and timing of Holy Spirit baptism. For instance, the United Pentecostals believe that Holy Spirit baptism is a part of the “new birth” (being born of the water and the spirit – John 3:5). They teach that one can not be saved until he has been baptized in the Holy Spirit and in water. However, the Assemblies of God teach that Holy Spirit baptism is a “second work of grace” that comes after salvation.

Continue reading » The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Alexander Campbell Saved?

"I was wondering since Campbell was baptized by a Baptist how it is possible we have evolved to an understanding it is for remission of sins?  Understanding Campbell did not come to such conclusion till eight years after the fact and was never re-baptized for remission of sin. Was he too unsaved?" 

Reply: First, by reading pages 396-398 of Robert Richardson’s biography, Memoirs of A. Campbell, Vol. I, our querist might see Mr. Campbell’s view of the purpose of baptism when he was baptized by Matthias Luce.

Second, how one assesses the design of water baptism is not to be determined by a process of evolution.  Are not the Scriptures clear enough?

Continue reading » Alexander Campbell Saved?

Contending for the Faith: Baptist Baptism Delayed 20 Years

(A good friend and brother in the Lord, Don Craven, wrote concerning a Baptist preacher, James O. Newell, who was baptized recently during a Baptist service.  Several Baptists were confused about the matter and thought their preacher was being saved.  One Baptist approached Don and asked what he thought about it.  Don wrote the Baptist preacher and asked for an explanation.  Below is the explanation from the Baptist preacher and my comments on it.)

Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Baptist Baptism Delayed 20 Years

Contending for the Faith: Baptist Baptism VS Bible Baptism

I’m a member of the lord’s church.  I’ve been ordering your sermons (www.biblework.com), and it is an honor to receive and view those sermons on the word of God.  I just received the Wilkin / Hafley debate on water baptism.  You most certainly CRUSHED his idea on faith only!

Larry, my wife and I often have discussed the topic of denominational baptism.   We were both baptized in a Baptist church.  At a later time, I came to the understanding that they (the Baptists) were in error, but my wife, on the other hand, feels that she was baptized for all the right reasons.  Although they teach faith only, she says she was baptized for the remission of her sins.  I told her that you could not be taught wrong and be baptized right. Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Baptist Baptism VS Bible Baptism

Contending for the Faith: That "Church of Christ Cultist on Osage St."

(Tim Cryer is a local Baptist with whom we had correspondence in the fall of 1999. ["A Baptist On Jeremiah 6:16," and "Baptist Preacher Responds To Our Review." E-mail me if you would like to have a copy of those exchanges]. Mr. Cryer never replied after the second review. However, he has written again. Below are the details about a young lady’s confrontation with "a Church of Christ Cultist on Osage St.")

Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: That "Church of Christ Cultist on Osage St."

Solid Food: Let My People Go

Introduction

"I have surely seen the oppression of my people," said God to Moses while the bush burned. Thus begins the greatest rescue operation ever conducted on Earth as thousands upon thousands of slaves are removed from one nation to begin a journey to the land of promise.

The Bible contains a number of type and antitype situations. Isaac is a type of the antitype Jesus, as his father was willing to let his only son die. The salvation of Noah and his family through water is a type of the water baptism involved in the salvation of modern men (1 Peter 3:20-21).

In the exodus of fleshly Israel, the Lord provides us a type of the sinner’s departure from his own slavery to iniquity and the most wicked Pharaoh of all, Satan. God’s desire on either side of the Red Sea is answered in Exodus 6:6-7: "I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God."

Continue reading » Solid Food: Let My People Go

There Is … One Baptism

A reader asks for clarification:

"The Bible speaks of two baptisms – baptism with water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Both are referred to on several different occasions, so both are essential (a few examples include Matt. 3:11, John 1:3, John 3:4, Acts 10:34-38).

"Ephesians 4:5, however, speaks of there being one baptism. Since the Bible actually mentions two of them, then this must mean that one of the baptisms takes precedence over the other. …which baptism is referred to here? Explain what it means to have [either] one superior to the other."

Baptisms Of The Bible

Actually, the Bible speaks of more than "two baptisms." It speaks of a baptism of suffering (Mk. 10:38, 39; Lk. 12:50), "the baptism of John" (Matt. 21:25), a baptism of fire (Matt. 3:11), and a baptism "unto Moses" (1 Cor. 10:2), as well as the aforementioned baptisms of water and the Holy Spirit.

Continue reading » There Is … One Baptism

Contending for the Faith: Answering a Baptist Preacher’s ‘Unanswerable Questions’

COMMON SENSE QUESTIONS A "CHURCH OF CHRIST" PREACHER CANNOT CLEARLY ANSWER

By Pastor David Martin
Solid Rock Baptist Church

David Martin is pastor of the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 5893 Old Brownsville Rd. E, Bartlett, TN 38135 USA; phone: 901-634-1622. He is a 1984 graduate of Pensacola Bible Institute of Florida, and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1986. He has been in his current pastorate for eight years. His article on the Church of Christ cult is the result of in-depth personal conversation with a Church of Christ elder that led to a 3-day public debate with a Church of Christ evangelist in 1997. The debate was attended by 250 people nightly from within a 300-mile radius of Memphis, Tennessee.This is one of the most controversial articles on the church of Christ you will find anywhere. No church of Christ preacher can satisfactorily answer any of the questions posed by Pastor Martin.

Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Answering a Baptist Preacher’s ‘Unanswerable Questions’

God Understands Language

"For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." (1 Corinthians 2:10-13, NASB)

From this passage we learn that God has revealed Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit to the chosen apostles of Christ. The apostles are said to teach in words, “…not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit.” It is only reasonable to assume that the revelation of the mind of God in words are words that man can understand, and understand these words in the same way that God understands them. The issue of understandable language gets to the very heart of the issue of faith. Do we believe the Bible? Is it God’s word? Is the Bible God’s complete and final revelation of God to man? Does Hebrews 1:1-2 mean what it says about God’s speaking to man in these last times? "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world" (NASB). When you break down this statement without all the modifiers it says that God has spoken, that God has spoken to man, and that God has spoken to man through His Son. What do we believe?

Continue reading » God Understands Language

Contending for the Faith: Salvation, Baptism and the Finished Work of Christ

    Dear Larry,

    Due to the fact that you believe that you are saved in part or wholly by baptism, I must mark you as one still in darkness and as one who has not seen that we are complete in Jesus Christ and his finished work. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves. What is it about that that you don’t understand? Paul said if it be works it is something that God owes us but grace is the gift of God which is faith. Larry, due to the fact that the Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith, and you say that it is by some work that we do like baptism, or any other thing, I would bid you to repent and trust in the finished work of Christ and nothing else but Christ and God will save you. I hope you will take this as a letter of love and may God have mercy on you.

    By his grace, Frank L. McClanahan

 

Dear Frank,

Thank you for your letter and for your clarity of expression. I appreciate your willingness to state boldly what you believe. I trust that you will grant me the same right to respond with equal directness to your arguments.

(1) Baptism And The Finished Work Of Christ: Frank, suppose I were to say, "Due to the fact that you believe that you are saved in part or wholly by faith, I must mark you as one still in darkness and as one who has not seen that we are complete in Jesus Christ and his finished work," how would you answer me? Primitive (Hardshell) Baptists make the same argument against you as you have made against me. They do not believe that faith is essential to salvation. Thus, when you say that one must believe in Jesus, they will accuse you of not trusting "in the finished work of Jesus Christ." Tell me, Frank, how you would answer their charge?

Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Salvation, Baptism and the Finished Work of Christ

Walking Worthy: The Bias Against Baptism

In a recent exchange between a Christian evangelist and a Baptist "pastor," the latter stated that anything one needs to do in order to be saved is a work, and thus nullifies grace.

His Calvinistic "faith only" doctrine is coming back to bite him. Surely, he will admit that one needs to believe in order to be saved. Is belief a work that nullifies grace? Some of Christ’s followers asked him, "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).

But the Calvinist will also agree that a little confession is good for the soul. He submits to Paul’s teaching in Romans 10:9 which demands that oral confession precede salvation: "[I]f you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus … you will be saved." The minimal effort required to articulate such a confession as the Ethiopian eunuch made in Acts 8:37 is a facet of faith, the Calvinist argues and thus is not really a work. Oh?

Continue reading » Walking Worthy: The Bias Against Baptism

The Miller – Streutker Debate

September 24-25, 2001
Cincinnati, Ohio

In May of 2001, a David Steinmann challenged Tom Roberts concerning what Steinmann called “baptismal regeneration”. Tom, of course, had only stood for the truth of God’s word that Jesus commanded and His apostles taught water baptism for the remission of sins. Both Stan Cox, editor of Watchman Magazine and myself, as Associate Editor supported Tom and answered Mr. Steinmann through several e-mails. In an e-mail of May 26, under the subject line “Pony Up Stan” Mr. Steinmann offered a challenge to a public debate. His challenge was very weak, but did produce a serious response from Stan Cox:

Continue reading » The Miller – Streutker Debate

In the Steps of the Savior: Jesus, John & Baptism

If we want to understand the gospel which Jesus preached, we go back to its beginning. That beginning is not the personal teaching of Christ while on earth, but the preparatory work done by John the Baptist. Mark notes this fact as he begins his Gospel account with these words:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mark 1:1-4).

Hence, the following facts must be understood from the work of John the Baptist:

Continue reading » In the Steps of the Savior: Jesus, John & Baptism

White Unto Harvest: The Conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch

People often comment on how much things change with the passing of time. We also see this with things found in the New Testament. Many things we find therein are very different from what we see in modern day religion. A good example of this is seen when we compare cases of conversion from the book of Acts with some modern day concepts. Let us read of the case recorded in Acts 8:26-39:

Continue reading » White Unto Harvest: The Conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch