Mooresville church of Christ

Teaching The Gospel in Mooresville, NC and Around the World...

News & Articles News & Articles

What About Baptism?

What about Baptism?

The idea of baptism is not foreign to folks of the religious world, but there still remains a great deal of misinformation as to why and how one is to be baptized. Some are quick to point out that they have been baptized at some point, but when questioned as to why, various answers are presented. Some claim to have been baptized as an infant, but don’t remember it.   For what reason were they baptized?   When pressed, some are not sure except that their parents thought it prudent. They didn’t even have a choice in the matter.   The idea behind infant baptism is the erroneous doctrine that one is born in sin. This is sometime called the “Adamic nature”, or that the sin of Adam has passed on from Father to child since the beginning. That idea is quickly dispelled when one realizes according to Luke 3:38 which is the genealogy of Christ as given by the Spirit to Luke, for such a doctrine to be true, God would have to be the first sinner. Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God

Others are of the impression that it matters not when one was baptized or why so long as they were baptized.   This too will not suffice as there is a reason for all that God has directed man to do. In a previous article we pointed out the need of those in Acts 19 who knew only the baptism of John. These folks, when properly instructed were baptized “into” Christ. The difference was the purpose and the result of the baptism. Their first baptism (John’s) was one of repentance under the ministry of John and only applicable to the nation of Israel.    The baptism “into” Christ was different as it brought them into a New Testament relationship with Christ and God.   The baptism “into” Christ is where the operation of God spoken of in Colossians 2:11-12 takes place.   In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.                                        

Some contend they were baptized to “join a church”. This also is erroneous as we read in Acts 2:41 that one cannot “join the church” but can only be “added to the church”, and this only happens when one is obedient to the gospel. One can “join a club” but must be “born of water and the Spirit John 3:5 to become part of the kingdom. That is what baptism is; a birth. Acts 2:47b shows that when one is obedient to the gospel he or she is saved and become a part of the kingdom which is the church. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  This is how a person comes into having a “saved” relationship with God.   This is confirmed in 1Peter 3:21 where the Bible is very clear as to what “saves us”.   The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 

But, which “baptism” is the right one?   That’s simple as there is only one authorized and acceptable baptism according to the Bible.   In Ephesians 4:4-6 we find the answer. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.    The explanation of this is equally under-standable.   The one body (the church) is that which is proclaimed by the one Spirit (the Holy Spirit). Christ has “one body” (the church) and He is the head of that body. He calls us through the gospel. (2Thessalonians 2:14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.    It is the Word of the Spirit (the gospel) which directs us to that one hope of heaven (Colossians 1:5). For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;.   This was provided by the one Lord (Jesus Christ) in that one faith (system of belief) in Christ.   It was planned before the foundations of the world, and He was made manifest in these last days (1Peter 1:20). Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,.  Then, we read of the one baptism in Romans 6:3-4 which tells how it is that we contact the “blood of Christ” which washes us from our sins and prepares us for the resurrection that will take us to that heavenly home. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

We do need to address the “mode” of baptism, about which there is also a great deal of misunderstanding.    We can see from the scripture above that a baptism is a “burial”.  

A burial requires a “covering over” which indicates that the proper mode of baptism is “immersion”.  Therefore, sprinkling, pouring or any other mode will not put one “in Christ”.   This “baptism into Christ” is the means by which God determined in the New Testament age to save man from sin. This was the same plan that the Lord had Ananias bring to the ears of Saul in Acts 22:16 after Saul had been rendered blind by the great light on the road to Damascus. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. This proves that Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus, but he too had to submit to the plan of God.  

   Won’t you do what Saul did and have your sins washed away in baptism?      

                                                             Dennis Strickland - Mooresville

Why The Gospel?

Why The Gospel?

 In the religious world today, and for many years past there have been those who teach the “direct operation” of God on the heart of a sinner so that the sinner can be saved!   If such is true, there are a number of questions that need to be answered.   Why is the gospel necessary? What is the purpose of the commands given in the New Testament?   Why was Jesus given authority? And, why did He have to die on Calvary’s cross?   There are many more questions that come to mind, but if these could be answered perhaps much confusion in religion today could be cleared up.

   The word “gospel” appears nowhere in the Old Testament” yet when Jesus came we see in Matthew chapter four that Jesus set about gathering men to follow and learn of Him and in vs 23 we see: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” 

   Then in Matthew chapter 17 we read of the transfiguration of Jesus and the event that took place on a high mountain. As this occurred, the three apostles elect, Peter, James and John were in awe and afraid, having heard the voice of God as He spoke out of a cloud in vs 5 saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”   Then we see in Matthew 28:18 that Jesus, having come forth from the grave as He had declared that He would, reminding the apostles of the authority given to Him.   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Then in vs 19 and in the first part of vs 20 we have the command given by the one in authority as to how people were to be saved. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

   This is known as the “Great Commission” and covers the scope of the entire New Testament from the cross to the end of time. The great commission represents the constitution of the church. The law of pardon, or terms of admission into it, are clearly and unmistakably set forth. As time continues from the cross onward, we must be aware that God has a Will. In 2Peter 3:9 we are told what that Will is. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentanceThe gospel is the means by which this is to be accomplished.

     We have already touched on the authority given to Christ.   There are only three branches of authority – legislative, executive, and judicial. Christ is all of these. He is the lawgiver (legislative); the king (executive) and the judge (judicial) and so, has all authority.   Therefore He has the authority to issue the law, exercise rule over it, and reward or punish those subject to that law based on their observance or lack thereof.

     His law (the gospel) requires teaching, indicates that baptism is to be taught and that those taught and baptized be further taught to “observe all things” that have been commanded by Christ to His apostles. Also, we know what the Spirit had Paul write in Romans 1:16 in regard to the gospel.   He wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”    If the gospel is the “power of God unto salvation” (and it is),why do some hold to doctrines such as “the direct operation”?   It must be that they do not respect the authority of Christ.   Those who hold to and practice any doctrine not specifically taught in the gospel are not doing what God would have done and therefore will not and cannot be saved.  

     Many think that because they are good morally, or just because they have been baptized at some point in their lives that they have a “reservation” in heaven.   Regardless of how good one is, unless they are obedient to the gospel and the commands given therein, they have not complied with the law given by the authority of Christ and thus cannot rightfully lay claim to the promises of God.    We have alluded to the fact that the gospel requires baptism, but we must ask, is any baptism acceptable?   Does God allow any to be “baptized” for any reason or by any means and count it for obedience to the gospel?   If so, then the folks in Acts 19 should not have been taught that the baptism in which they had participated, (John’s baptism) was not sufficient to save them from their sins.   What was missing in their baptism was the blood of Christ, the same thing that is missing in these “good moral persons” who have been “baptized” in some denomination sometime in the past. It is the gospel that delivers that “form of doctrine” we read of in Romans 6:17.    That form of doctrine is the “death, burial, and resurrection of Christ” per Romans 6:3-4. and in that death Christ shed His blood.     According to Revelation 1:5 it is that blood and only that blood that washes us from sin. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  It looks to me that THE GOSPEL is pretty important.   Won’t you obey it today?  Your soul’s eternity depends upon it.

                                                            Dennis Strickland – Mooresville  

What Is Our Duty?

When one contemplates the Bible and the duty of man before God, perhaps the most well-known passage recalled is found in Ecclesiastes 12:13. This verse gives us the conclusion reached at the end of this volume, provided (as is all scripture) by the Holy Spirit. In this case it was provided to Solomon, son of David and king of Israel. The passage reads: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.    It is likely that when one reads this passage or hears it read they fail to remember how this book begins.   There the Spirit had Solomon point out that all is vanity. The world continues on and the things put in place at the creation and ordered by the Word of God Almighty continue on.   The only things that seem to really change are the generations which come and go.  

It is interesting that throughout this marvelous book the word “vanity” is used 33 times in the King James Version.      It then stands to reason that the conclusion to this book (chapter 12: vs 13) tells us the only thing that is not vanity, even after all that which constitutes life is examined, is to do as God would have us do.  It is in fact man’s duty to fear God and keep His commandments.

Duty is defined as that which is an obligatory task. In other words, that which is our duty is that which we are obliged to do or are required to do. Our “obligation” to God is to keep His Commandments.   Then, there are those that want to stress that this word duty is italicized in the Bible in this passage and that it was inserted by the translators.    Little do they realize that to read the passage without the italicized word changes the passage not at all.   It is as if to stress this point, those who do so try to minimize their obligation to God.   Let’s examine this passage without this italicized word and see if it changes anything. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man. (Yes, the word “is” also is italicized in the passage, but most fail to focus on that.)       But still, the removal of the word “duty” does nothing to change the meaning of the verse. The obligation of man; the “whole” of man is to fear God and to keep His Commandments. Without doing that, all is vanity.

We are also told in the New Testament in 1John 5:3 that to do the things God commanded is to love God and that His commandments are not grievous. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.   Why is it then that some of God’s people seem to have difficulty with some of the commandments of God?    Do we not realize that when we made the commitment to God, and responded in obedience that we committed ourselves to be the servants of God?   In Romans 6:16 the Holy Spirit had Paul remind the Roman brethren of this fact. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?   Then in vss 17-18 thankfulness was expressed for their obedience and deliverance. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 

It is wrong to serve the Lord “only” out of a sense of duty.   To do so would place one into the category of those Jesus identified in Luke 17:10 and would indeed make one unprofitable. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. As we go through life, let us not look at our service to God as duty only. We are told by Jesus in Matt 25:30 what the fate of an unprofitable servant is. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  The 14th verse of Ecclesiastes 12 tells us why the conclusion was revealed and when this will take place.   For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Let us be diligent to show our love for God by doing His commandments. In doing that which God has commanded out of love we can indeed be profitable servants and look forward to eternity with God.

                                                                             Dennis S - Mooresville

 

HALF COMMITTED?

Half Committed?

   The idea of total commitment is one that is clearly taught in the Word of God.   Although the word “commitment” is not found in the Bible, the concept is. The word vow is one Bible Word that states the idea behind the word commitment. The word “vow” is found forty one times in the King James version of the Bible, and most of these are in the Old Testament.   Perhaps “promise” is the most used New Testament word that best describes the idea of commitment.

   How do we feel when others make a promise, vow or commitment to us and fail to keep it?   How do we think it makes God feel when we do that to Him?  God has made promises to various people over the years as He carried out His plan, and showed His love to humanity. That plan was to bring Salvation to man and that plan was in place from the foundations of the world. The most important thing to note is that every promise, or vow that God has made, has or will be carried out.

   For example, God promised Abraham that he would have a son, the child of promise, even when Abraham and Sarah were both well past the age of childbearing.   We know that Isaac was born as promised as the plan of God moved forward to bring Christ to earth to bring salvation to mankind.  In the New Testament record of the account of Abraham in Romans 4:18-21 we read of God’s promise to Abraham, the faith Abraham exhibited in response, and God’s favor shown to him for his commitment to God. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 

     While we are aware that the plan of God was to save fallen man, perhaps we need to be reminded that none, while living, have obtained eternal life. In 1John 2:25 we are told how we have eternal life.   We have it in promise. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.   We should also remember that every promise is conditional.

     We see this time after time throughout the Old Testament as God dealt with the Jews, the descendants of Abraham.  One example is found in Deuteronomy 11:13-14 where God promised to bless Israel in a physical manner “if” they would keep His command-ments. And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my command-ments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.  Then Israel is given a choice of a blessing or a curse in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 and the conditions upon which each promise was based. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:  28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.  This required either a total commitment from Israel or a blatant refusal. Anything short of “total commitment” to follow God’s commandments is indeed a refusal to follow them.

   We are told that part of Israel did not keep God’s commandments. Ephraim is an ex-ample for us. In Hosea 7:8, the Holy Spirit directed the prophet to write about Ephraim as an example to the rest of Israel. This should also be a warning to us today. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned. 

   Now, I want you to imagine setting down to a plate of pancakes to find they had never been turned by the cook. Would you say that the cook was committed to his or her job? Would you not think that the cook was half committed? Was that good enough? What if our mechanic was only half committed when he worked on our car? Would we be willing to make a road trip upon receiving our car back from him?  

   We can easily see the application when it comes to something we are going to eat that has been prepared for us or work that others do for us, especially if we have paid for those services.  

Let us be again be assured of the fact that God Will do all He has said and will deliver on every promise. One place we can find confirmation of this in the New Testament is found in 2Peter 3:9, which also tells what God wants for us. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

   God has indeed paid for our salvation in sending His Son to die of Calvary’s cross. Christ also paid in that He laid down His own life to purchase the church so we could be saved. God also sent the Holy Spirit to bring us the Word, which will never pass away, which instructs us HOW to be saved.    None can say that God is anything but totally committed to His plan to save fallen man.

     How is it that we cannot see the application when our own commitment is in question? Can we afford to be half committed to God?   If we are not totally committed to God, but only half committed, should we expect Him to fulfill any promise to us.   Let’s not be unturned cakes as Ephraim was and miss eternity with God.  

                                                                                                                                                            Dennis S. – Mooresville church of Christ

Check Your Pulse

Check Your Pulse

   One of the first things the first responder is taught is how to take the pulse of a victim of an accident and the importance of so doing. Perhaps there are multiple victims and some do not have a pulse. What to do? The obvious answer is that those without a pulse are likely dead and do not need medical attention while those who do have a pulse can possibly be relieved of their pain, suffering and discomfort.

   This is perhaps the intent behind the letter to the church at Sardis in Rev 3:1.   Here the Lord warns against becoming a “dead” congregation. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. This is indicative of the fact that churches (congregations) can and sadly do, sometimes die.    What if the Lord was to “take the pulse” of the congregation where you worship?   Would He provide the same warning we find to Sardis in Rev 3:2? Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

     We know that these letters found in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation are to the seven churches in Asia Minor and are specific to them in the events that were unfolding in the destruction of Jerusalem. This would remove Judaism as a major deterrent to the spreading of the gospel, and foretold that the persecution which the church would suffer at the hands of Roman leaders would be great, but from which the church would emerge victorious.   Sadly, during this time some churches (congregations) died.

     But God is good!   He has provided for us the remedy if our pulse is weak and we begin to falter.   This too is found alongside the warning Sardis received. Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.   If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

   There is also a situation in which one is passing from this life, and barely has a pulse and therefore could be described as “good as dead”. This is an appropriate description of Sardis as in Rev 3:4 there were only a “few names” among them that were worthy. This verse and the one following also explains that only the “worthy” or faithful are those who will not have their names blotted out of the book of life. Rev 3:4-5 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

   Because congregations consist of individuals, the “pulse” of a congregation is dependent upon the individuals that make up the congregation. If the congregation has a “weak pulse” it is because the members do. Take your spiritual pulse. One cannot do that by placing a couple of fingers alongside the neck or on the veins of the wrist.   It can only be checked with the “pulse monitor” the Lord provided; His Holy Word.    Remember what Sardis was told so that their “spiritual pulse” could be strong.   These Words apply to all Christians.  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. Rev 3:3     Those who are not Christians (have not obeyed the gospel), do not have a spiritual pulse. 1Cor 15:22 helps us see that only those “in Christ” are alive.   That means one must be in Christ to have a spiritual pulse. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Check your spiritual pulse.

                                                                                           Dennis S.—Mooresville

The Reason For Scripture

The Reason For Scripture

Read more...

The Season of Light

                                                       The Season of Light

Many, upon reading the title of this article may think this is in regard to the festive decorations that grace many homes and communities during the holiday season.     While these are often beautiful displays, there is a light offered from the source of light which all men need to see and follow.

We know that God is the source of light.   In Genesis 1:3 we are told God spoke light into existence. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” From that time forward man has sought to “capture” that light and use it in whatever way that best suited his purpose.

Some of the things Christ said while on earth about light were things man had discovered for himself over the years. One such thing is found in Matthew 5:15.   Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. It did not take man long to figure out that things evil were best done in dimness and darkness so that they could remain hidden and avoid the rebuke and admonition of those who sought to do that which was good and proper to do.     Jesus spoke of this also and we have it recorded for us in John 3:20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

However, there is by far a much more important light offered to mankind by the same source of that light which warms our planet, promotes growth, and without which we would all die. That light is He who is identified for us in John 1:1-4 and provides the spiritual light which can save man from an eternity separated from God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.      We find in the book of Luke, the record of the prophecy of Zaharias the father of John the baptizer, as he was filled with the Holy Ghost regarding John and his purpose on earth.   Luke 1:79 tells us that John’s function in life was to introduce that spiritual light sent from God to man.   To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

As we return to the Words of Jesus, we find in John 12:46 that Christ Himself proclaimed that He came to give light to man. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.   And, when our Lord appeared to Saul, He told Saul who was later known as Paul (the apostle) in Acts 26:15-18 how that Paul would be a minister to direct them to that light. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

While the bright decoration of holiday lights are enjoyable to see, they are only available for a brief period of time.   Interestingly, the light sent from God, was also here in the flesh for but a brief period of time as He told us in John 9:5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. But, the plan of God is set so that His light could shine among men forever through those who are the sons of God, born through obedience to the gospel. That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15)  We are to shine as lights to help guide those who are lost in darkness.   In fact, our Christian life is to be a “season of light”. Let us shine brightly by reflecting the Word of God so that all can see to come to God in accordance to His Word.                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Dennis Strickland - Mooresville

Conversion

 

Conversion

Conversion is a part of religion that is as misunderstood as religion itself.   Perhaps this is because many of those in manmade religions have determined that they will be the ones to decide what conversion is and how one is to be converted.

While it is true that one must be converted to be in a proper relationship with God, it is not man who decides what one must do to be converted . . .but God.   Therefore, if we wish to fully understand conversion and participate in it so that we might be in a covenant relationship with God, we must look to God's Word to see what God says about the subject.

We understand that according to Mark 4:12 "true conversion" (conversion which is taught in the Word of God) is that which results in faithfulness to God.    However, during the earthly ministry of Christ, (before the establishment of the church) the mystery of the kingdom was not revealed to all.   This mystery was revealed to the apostles by Christ as they would spread the Word of the kingdom shortly after Christ purchased the kingdom (the church) by His death on the cross.  Mark 4:11-12  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

We must also be aware that some even today will not be converted because they refuse to hear God's Word, see the benefit of it, or understand the great change the Word of God can produce in their lives.

In Acts 28:25-27 the Spirit had Paul recount to the chief Jews then dwelling at Rome what the Spirit already had Isaiah say to the Jews many years before.  This applies to folks today as well and explains why they refuse to hear what God says in His Word.  And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is
waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their
eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.   This healing, (conversion) of which the Spirit directed Isaiah and Paul to speak, is a spiritual healing which is known in the New Testament as the forgiveness of sins.

If you look up the word "convert" you will find that one of the synonyms of the word is transform. In Romans 12:2 we see the word transform, and it is interesting that the Bible shows here that the conversion that takes place begins in the mind, and is to be carried out or completed in our actions and lives.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and cceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Conversion is a transformation that is controlled by the individual.    When reading the conversion accounts in Acts and throughout the New Testament, one cannot find a single instance in which the one being converted is not a willing and active participant in his or her own conversion.    In Psalm 19:7 we see the Psalmist, as guided by the Spirit, tell us it is the Law of the Lord which converts the soul.   The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.   So which is it, the Law of the Lord or the individual?  It is quite simple.   It is the individual
that applies the Law
of the Lord and makes the changes in their lives starting with how they think, which then is manifested in what they do.

In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 we see one of the actions required from the Word of God to those who will be the children of God.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Remember, "true conversion" is that which results in faithfulness to God.    Can one be involved in the world, manmade religions, or with those who teach and preach a perverted doctrine, and still rightly claim to be converted?    Can they truly lay claim to being the children of God?    Do you wish to be a child of God?   If so, you must be converted, and to be converted you have to be separate from the world.     That which separates you from the world is obedience to God's Word – the gospel.

God's Word directs one that wishes to be converted to: Hear – Romans 10:17; Believe – John 8:24; Repent – Acts 17:30;  Confess that Jesus is the Son of God – Matthew 10:32-33 and Be Baptized into Christ – Galatians 3:26-27.    Following this, one is a child of God – they have been converted.  Then they must remain faithful to God in continual obedience and growth so they can eventually spend eternity with Him in heaven.  We are told this in 2 Peter 2:20-21.

Won't you be converted today?   If so, you too according to Colossians 1:12-13, can be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints and will be translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

                                                            Dennis Strickland - Mooresville

Attendance article

Attendance - An article by Dennis Strickland

Read more...

Upcoming Events

Share This Page