The gospel was preached in Acts 2:22-24. The conclusion in verse 36, the agonizing question in v. 37 and then the graphic answer, showing the tie between the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the necessary response by the inquirers. The commands and promises in Acts 2:38 do not stand in isolation. Jesus is the centre and circumference of our obedience to the gospel. The sacrifice of Jesus, and that alone, gives meaning and satisfaction to the sermon and promises of Peter.

A sharp contrast is observed between Ephesians 4:16 and v.17. The exhortation to act like light and not the darkness they had come from begins. The verse shown here is in this section and continues the thought why not read, right now, Ephesians 4:17 through all of chapter 5?

                       

Ephesians 5:7–8

Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

bible.faithlife.com

One of the most impressive lessons that Jesus ever delivered is that of the Parable of the Sower. A parable is story that has a higher meaning. In this case Jesus explained to his followers what that meaning is. You are encouraged to read this in Luke 8:4-15. Jesus said a farmer went about sowing his seed for a crop, but as he used the broadcast method, the seed went in all directions, falling on different kinds of soil. The results showed up as extending from 0 to 100 percent. But Jesus was talking about a higher calling than simply putting little seeds in the soil. He explains, “The seed is the Word of God.” (verse 11). That’s that! The different kinds of seed reception and crop production are seen in verses 12 to 15. Some people are robbed by the devil and they never get to believe. Others are quick and happy to receive the Word but do not mature, being rootless. Still others find themselves chocked by worries and the riches and pleasures of this life. They too cannot reach maturity. Now hear this cogent statement from the lips of our Lord. He said that the seed (the Word of God) when planted in good soil (honest and good hearts) will produce followers faithful to the end.

Now…. When we are trying to reach the goal (below) who are we looking for? Any? All? Perhaps. But don’t be fooled by outward appearance or what it appears they have to offer. LOOK FOR GOOD AND HONEST HEARTS

 This tire s called “directional.” It is so named because it only can go on the car one way and is designed to use the arrows to help the car go forward in the snow. This is true of water baptism. It is not just something to be done without reason (or direction), instead it gets us going toward many good blessings, as seen in the Bible. We find:

We are baptised in order to be saved. Being saved is future until one is scripturally immersed. Jesus says this plainly in Mark 16:16. Peter says so in Acts 2:38 and writes it in I Peter 3:21

Baptism places one “in Christ.” Incidentally, this is said to be where we find “all spiritual blessings,” like salvation, redemption and reconciliation. See this in the Bible Galatians 3:26,27. Only in baptism is one in Christ. At least that’s what the Bible says.

Only at baptism do we receive the “gift of the Holy Spirit” This is also found in Acts 2:38. This is the gift that keeps on giving, the person who lives within Christians. So, what we reporting from the Bible is that baptism has purpose and direction. In the Acts 2:38 passage, “for” the remission of sins, is from a word which mean unto or into. In the Bible it describes a person walking into the water.

So, what we reporting from the Bible is that baptism has purpose and direction. In the Acts 2:38 passage, “for” the remission of sins, is from a word which mean unto or into. In the Bible it describes a person walking into the water. We hear today, when asked why he or she was baptised, “Well, don’t ask me, ask my parents.” That won’t do. This is a personal decision, not that of another individual. Others say, “ I was baptised because Jesus was.” That falls short too, because Jesus was sinless. That is not a Bible reason. The most prevalent answer to the question is, “I was baptised because all good Christians do that as soon as they are saved.” Definitely wrong. We have no Bible passage that says a saved person is baptized.

It is amazing in, an unfortunate way, that human beings will search in their own repertoire for a reason when the Bible, God’s Word, says it plainly. One is baptised to receive something: remission of sins, gift of the Holy Spirit, salvation, peace with God and made part of the family of God.

Occasionally we hear someone saying, “I don’t go to church ‘cause the building would fall down,” meaning, “ I never go, would not fit in and would not be welcome.” If the “not welcome” part has any truth to it, than the person had not tried visiting here. We have come to the understanding expressed by John Newton, who many years ago saw a drunk man wobbling along and said, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”

In our earthly state, we still understand that there is no one, not a single person, member of this or another church or just a visitor, who has any right to thing differently. At worst we are lost sinners, whom Jesus came to seek and save, and, at best, we are saved sinners, those who have recognized their low, lost estate and have called upon Jesus to save them.

This church is made of people just like you. We different in specific interests, hobbies, priorities and life’s employment, but we are all sinners—Romans 3:23, and that makes puts a burden on us to make sure we do not reap the consequences of those sins. They should be our responsibility but our Gracious God has seen fit to supply a suitable substitute. His name is Jesus and He was born so that “He will save his people from their sins.”-Matthew 1:21. You can find a place right. Why? Read Roman 6:23 and rejoice.

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)
Ancient athletes who competed for the prize devoted their whole lives to training and practised “self-control in all things,” hoping thereby to receive the victor’s crown someday.
There are 21 references to the victor’s crown in the New Testament, in either the verb or noun form. In most of these, the crown is used as a symbol of the Christian’s “incorruptible” reward at the end of his spiritual race.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, it is called a “crown of rejoicing,” speaking of the joy awaiting the faithful witness when he meets again with those he has influenced for Christ in this present life.

Paul spoke of our “crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8) when we shall be “like him” (1 John 3:2), with our old sinful weaknesses and desires gone forever. Peter said it would be an “unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4). James and John both said it is a wonderful “crown of life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), that is, eternal life, in contrast to this present life of faithful submission to trials and persecution and possible death, for Christ’s sake.

The first four references to this victor’s crown, however, refer to the crown worn by Christ Himself. “Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, Behold the man!” (John 19:5).

Marvellous irony this, that a crown intended as an instrument of ridicule and pain would be transformed into a kingly crown of triumph! “But we see Jesus . . . crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). In the very suffering of death, He defeated death and sin and Satan himself, and His crown of thorns became a crown of eternal glory and universal honor.

When we go to the dictionary to find out the meaning of baptism, it soon becomes clear that the lexicographer got his information from traditions of the churches. We find there that any one of three “modes” of baptism will suffice. However, when we turn the Bible, the scene changes. It is an immersion, plain and simple. Here is how we know:

Word Meaning: Baptism was not translated into English. It has been transliterated– brought into our language with minor changes while remaining the same. The Bible word for baptism is baptisma. This word literally means “to dip, plunge or immerse.” It was the common word used for dying a piece of cloth. Only immersion got the job done.

Bible Use: We read in John 3:23 that “ much” water was required. Philip met the request of the man from Ethiopia by having them both “go down into the water,” and he baptized (immersed) him, and they “came up out of the water.” Baptism is called a “burial” in the Bible. Romans 6:1-4 allows us to see that Christians are those who have been buried and raised to a new life.

BIBLE BAPTISM IS IMMERSION, PLAIN AND SIMPLE

We noted last week that the letter of John called Revelation has a point of origin and a destination. What about the time element? Here is what we find relative to the time of application.
Rev. 1:1- The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants, the things which must soon take place
Rev. 1:3– Blessed is he who reads…..and heeds … for the time is near
Rev. 22:6- the things which must soon take place
Rev. 22:10- “….for the time is near. “

“Soon” in these verses is the word found in II Timothy 4: 9- Make every effort to come to me soon. We get understanding from v.21. where he asks Timothy to come before winter. Soon means soon.

“Near” is the same as found in Mark 1:15– Jesus was promising the kingdom would come about 50 days after his death. This “near” is sometimes called “at hand.” Someone is bound to remember II Peter 3:8– God doesn't distinguish between one day and one thousand years.. However in passage in Revelation God is talking to human beings so this does not apply. This would be very confusing and misleading if we read in John that Lazarus had been dead for four days, and we then began to believe it might be many thousands. Revelation is a letter like Romans or James.

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