Baptism and the conjunction AND

  • The conjunction “and” is an important part of our world.


  • On almost any Bible subject we can say: “The answer to your question is found in the word ‘and’” –
  • If we look at the AND in Mk.16:16, what do we see?
    1. We find an important word appearing before AND and an important word appearing after
    2. Then we find the word SAVED.
    3. He that believes AND is baptized shall be SAVED.
  • A three letter word makes the subject of baptism very understandable.
  • Acts 2:38 – SLIDE
  • When some people were willing to believe, Peter told them to REPENT (Acts 2:38).
    1. Repentance is a turning from sin; it is turning from what is wrong to what is right.
  • Peter said, “AND” be baptized.
    1. AND be baptized leads to salvation (Mk. 16:16) as well as the “remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
    2. Two times in the Bible the little word AND helps explain what baptism is
  • If God joined baptism with AND two times, might He have done it a third time?
    1. Acts 22:16.
      1. SLIDE In this verse we have three ANDS.
    2. Hebrews 10:22. SLIDE
  • The way in which these people were brought to Christ is described; begins in the middle of this verse –
    1. At the end of this verse we find our AND —
    2. The bodies of these Christians were “washed” with “pure water.”
  1. Acts – the 10th
  • We have an AND and BAPTISM connected with Peter in Acts 2, but we also find this in Acts 10.
  • When we come to verse 48 – the last verse in this chapter – we find an AND – SLIDE
  • Would we be willing to wait in a long line – in cold weather – to be baptized?
  • What would we be willing to give up or pay to be baptized?
  • AND be baptized if we want to be saved, go to heaven, have our sins forgiven, and be right with God.
  • Today there is no excuse for us to be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. If we have been delaying…


Bautismo y la conjunción Y

1. diapositiva
2. La conjunción “y” es una parte importante de nuestro mundo.


1) En casi cualquier tema de la Biblia podemos decir: “La respuesta a su pregunta se encuentra en la palabra ‘y'” – 2) DIAPOSITIVA
3) Si miramos el AND en Mk.16: 16, ¿qué vemos?
a) Encontramos una palabra importante que aparece antes de AND y una palabra importante que aparece después de AND.
b) Luego encontramos la palabra SAVED.
c) El que cree Y es bautizado será SALVO.
4) Una palabra de tres letras hace que el tema del bautismo sea muy comprensible.

1) Hechos 2:38 – DIAPOSITIVA
2) Cuando algunas personas estaban dispuestas a creer, Pedro les dijo que SE ARREPIENTEN (Hechos 2:38).
a) El arrepentimiento es un cambio de pecado; está pasando de lo que está mal a lo correcto.
3) Pedro dijo, “Y” sean bautizados.
a) Y ser bautizado conduce a la salvación (Marcos 16:16) así como a la “remisión de los pecados” (Hechos 2:38).
b) Dos veces en la Biblia, la pequeña palabra Y ayuda a explicar qué es el bautismo

4) Si Dios se unió al bautismo con AND dos veces, ¿podría haberlo hecho por tercera vez?
a) Hechos 22:16.
i) DIAPOSITIVA En este versículo tenemos tres ANDS.
b) Hebreos 10:22. DIAPOSITIVA
5) Se describe la forma en que estas personas fueron llevadas a Cristo; comienza en el medio de este verso –
i) Al final de este versículo encontramos nuestro AND –
ii) Los cuerpos de estos cristianos fueron “lavados” con “agua pura”.
a) Hechos: el décimo capítulo.
2) Tenemos una AND y BAUTISMO conectados con Pedro en Hechos 2, pero también encontramos esto en Hechos 10.
3) Cuando llegamos al versículo 48 – el último versículo de este capítulo – encontramos un AND – DIAPOSITIVA   1) DIAPOSITIVA
2) ¿Estaríamos dispuestos a esperar en una larga fila, en clima frío, para ser bautizados?
3) ¿Qué estaríamos dispuestos a renunciar o pagar para ser bautizados?
5) Y ser bautizado si queremos ser salvos, ir al cielo, que nuestros pecados sean perdonados, y estar bien con Dios.
6) Hoy no hay excusa para que seamos bautizados para el perdón de nuestros pecados. Si hemos estado retrasando …

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The Mystery Revealed: The Gospel in Romans “A Partial Hardening Has Happened to Israel” Romans 11:17-36

    Paul wrote at the end of his letter of Romans, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:25-26). 

    That mystery has now been revealed through the Gospel and the Gospel is Paul’s theme in the letter of Romans (1:16). But, that Gospel is open and applies to both Jews and Gentiles. Yet, the Jews wondered how they fit into God’s plan if God were not saving people as Jews anymore. Thus, Paul wrote chapters 9-11 to explain God’s plan in that context.

    Beginning in 11:17, Paul builds on a metaphor that he introduced in verse 16, the idea of a tree whose root is holy so that its branches are holy as well. As Paul builds on that metaphor, he shows that the root is the Jewish nation as God intended it to be with natural branches being Jewish individuals while the branches are Gentiles which have been grafted in to the natural tree.

    The unbelieving Jewish branches were cut off for their lack of faith, evidenced in their lack of obedience. But the Gentile Christians should not be “arrogant” (used twice in verse 18) nor “conceited” (vs 20) toward the Jews because if they become unfaithful, they too will be cut off. God demands faithful obedience to Jesus Christ from all who would be saved. Through that whole discussion, Paul is emphasizing the continuity that exists between Gentile faith and the original Jewish faith. Unity in the one body is his over-riding concern.

    Back in verse 7, Paul had said that some of Israel had been hardened through the ministry of Jesus Christ. That hardening had influenced some of Israel to send Jesus to the cross. That was bad for them but great in God’s overall plan since it brought salvation to everyone, including the Gentiles. Yet if the Jew’s failure to fulfill God’s plan had brought riches to the Gentiles (vs 12), what would happen if Israel were to fulfill their own reason-for-being and become Christians? There would be a massive evangelistic force for the cause of Christ.

    So here in verse 25, Paul points out that this partial hardening of Israel occurs while the Gentiles, the “fulness” of the Gentiles, comes in. The Gentiles, now, are to fulfill their “reason-for-being” – sharing the Gospel of Christ with everyone, including Jews. In that way, the promise of the Hebrew prophets might be fulfilled, that they can be saved. Israel needs to accept Jesus Christ, the “Deliverer from Zion” (quoting Isaiah 59:20-21).

    Yes, Jews have been the enemies of the Gospel (vs 28), but they are still “beloved.” They still need to hear the Gospel and they still have the opportunity to become members of the body of Christ. The Gentiles were disobedient, but received mercy from God through the disobedience of the Jews (as they crucified Jesus). In the same way, Jews might receive the mercy of God, despite their disobedience, through the Gospel preached by the Gentiles.

    Can we not stand and marvel at the wisdom and knowledge of God (vs 33)? No one has been or could be God’s advisor or counselor (vss 34-35). Appropriately, Paul concludes this theological section of Romans (chapters 1-11), with a doxology in praise of God (vs 36).

Paul Holland

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A Strong Bible School Program

    The best Bible school program begins in the home. Parents, read the Bible (or Bible story books) to your young children. Provide good reading material for their age that is Bible based and appropriate to their age. Read the Bible yourself and frame all discussions about morality, spirituality, religion, and creation in the framework of: “Let’s see what the Bible says first.” Don’t say, “The church of Christ has always done…” That’s not the right statement. The best statement is: “Jesus, in the Bible, teaches us…”

    With Bible-saturated, Jesus-focused homes, the Bible school program at church will be / can be even stronger. Bring your children to class every Wednesday and every Sunday. They can’t learn if they aren’t present in class. Encourage them to read the text along with the teacher, ask questions of anything they don’t understand, and be reverent toward the Word of God. If your children have a disagreement with the teacher, inform your child to disagree respectfully and that the Bible is always the standard, not the teacher’s opinion nor the parents’ opinions.

    You can also ask your child questions Sunday at lunch: “What did you learn today?” But also ask questions that require deeper thought: “What did you learn new today?” “What were some lessons you can take away from the study?” And “What verse(s) do you need to memorize to make the lesson more permanent?”

    Our Bible class teachers are great teachers. They love Jesus Christ. They respect the Bible. They want your children to grow, mature, learn, and be faithful. They desire the classroom to be up-to-date, with any visuals necessary to aid learning, bright, and inviting. More than anything, they want to see your children fall in love with Jesus Christ. With love comes commitment and a lifetime of devoted service.

    Together, we can strengthen our children’s faith and ensure their eternal salvation.

Paul Holland

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The Guardian Psalm 4

    An Andy Capp cartoon shows the lead character walking home from a pub, arm in arm with a friend, singing, “Dear old pals.” As he enters his house, he calls out, “Yoo hoo, it’s me!” Then he collapses on the floor.

    His wife walks over to him and covers him with a blanket. Andy says, “Thanks sweet heart.” His wife says, “Don’t mention it,” and she leaves him laying on the floor. Then she looks at the reader and says, “Never take your problems to bed with you.”

    “Never take your problems to bed with you.” Far too many people look for peace of mind at the bottom of a bottle or somewhere else but they also take their problems to bed with them.

    But David does not. Let’s meditate on Psalm 4 as David directs us to trust in his guardian…


    This stanza has three commands addressed to God:

    1. “Answer me” when I call.

    2. “Be gracious” to me.

    3. “Hear” my prayer.


    This stanza is addressed to David’s peers, “sons of men,” a typical designation for human beings. How do David’s peers treat him?

    1. His honor is a reproach to them. Or, to word it another way, they do not appreciate his honor; it is shame to them.

    2. They love what is worthless, what is empty (literally).

    3. They also seek after lies or what is deceptive. They love what is false more than what is true.

    In the third verse, David continues his talk to the “sons of men,” but he tells them about His God, His Lord.

    1. The Lord Jehovah has set apart for himself the “godly.” These are those who have found righteousness in Him (vs 1).

    2. Yes, the Lord Jehovah hears when David calls to Him (vs 1).


    This stanza illustrates David’s heart for his enemies. All the verbs in these two verses are plural verbs and here is what David calls on his enemies to do:

    1. Tremble in the presence of God. This verb means to “be caught in restless motion.” We might think of someone who is agitated and can’t stand still or can’t sit still.

    2. Do not sin. The word “sin” here literally means to “miss the mark.” It means to fail to meet expectations. God expects us to live right and we do not. That is sin. David calls on his enemies not to sin.

    3. Meditate in your heart, on your bed. The verb translated “meditate” is actually the simple verb “to speak.” David is saying, “Speak to yourself in your own heart.”

    4. Be still. 

    5. Offer sacrifices of righteousness. In other words, give to God what God requires, what is right. Our sacrifices are “righteousness” when they are “right” before God and they can only be “right” in the eyes of God when they are what God requires.

    6. Finally, David says trust in the Lord.


    This final stanza has David speaking again of the good things provided by God. He speaks of “many” who ask the question: “Who will show us any good?” Where does “good” come from? If you want “good” in life, where do you seek it?

    In order for these to know where good comes from, David directs a prayer to the Lord Jehovah: “Lift up the light of your countenance [literally, “face”] of Jehovah upon us, O Lord.” How can David be so sure that “good” comes from the Lord? He mentions three “good things” in verses 7-8:

    1. “Gladness” – Jehovah put “gladness” in David’s heart, more than any gladness that could be had from grain and new wine that abound. David seeks gladness from his relationship with God, not from food or drink. This “new wine” is fresh juice straight from the grape. He is not talking about alcoholic wine but the same principle would hold true. He finds gladness from God, not from physical pleasures. What is “good”? It is “gladness” from the Lord.

    2. “Peace” – David has peace and he can sleep in peace. Why? Because his righteousness comes from the Lord (vs 1). He can trust the Lord (vs 2). Gladness / joy come from the Lord (vs 7). All of that gives David peace so that he can sleep in peace.

    3. “Safety” – David lives and walks in safety because he knows the Lord walks with Him. The Lord is his guardian.

    Meditate on Psalm 4 and its message and find strength and support from the blessings of our heavenly Father.

Paul Holland

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    If you had been sitting in Egypt, at the time the events of Exodus 1 transpired, or during the days of the plagues on Egypt, how would you have understood Genesis 4? What would have been your thoughts? We are examining the book of Genesis, the “Book of the Fathers.”

If “faith comes by hearing…the Word of Christ” (Rom 10:17), how would the Israelites’ faith have been framed and grounded from the events recorded in Genesis?

An outline of the biblical text:

    4:1-5a – The first recorded act of worship: Cain is the first born, “with the help of the Lord.” The next son was Abel. At a given time, they brought an offering, a “gift, tribute, or blessing” The text is not clear on why God accepted Abel’s rather than Cain’s.

    God does right (Gen 18:25). Surely, they were told what God expected. Could it be God wanted an animal sacrifice, for atonement (Lev 17:11)? Perhaps but grain offerings were also allowed in the Law of Moses. Could it be Abel brought his best while Cain did not? That seems to be the suggestion in the text’s use of “firstborn” as well as the phrase “their fat.” God “had regard” (“to gaze, look at”) for Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. From later biblical history, God might have sent fire from heaven (cf. Lev 9:24; 1 Kings 18:38-39; 2 Chron. 7:1) to show His “regard.”

    4:5b-15 – The Consequences of Cain’s Choice: Cain became angry; evidenced by his facial appearance as “fallen.” Hamilton suggests the phrase better suggests depression rather than anger (224). Does Cain’s behavior suggest depression or anger? On the other hand, Mathews sees Cain expressing “no inkling of remorse; only self-pity and resentment” (277).

    God suggests Cain has the responsibility to master this sin (the first time this eminently biblical word is found in Scripture). The pronoun “you” is emphatic in the Hebrew, vs 7. Cain has a choice, even a responsibility to control his desire. Cain will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth. God would set a mark on Cain so that no one would slay him.

Insights from “Acceptable Worship” for the nation of Israel:

    The offering (211 times in Hebrew) brought by Cain is used in a generic way as well as a grain offering. The basic idea seems to be “gift.” The Israelites would understand that offering gifts to God was the expected response to God’s nature and actions.

    God would kill the “firstborn” in Egypt while He redeemed the firstborn of Israel: Exo 11:5; 13:13, 15; Num 3:12, 40-41; 18:17; Deut 12:6.  This account teaches as strongly as anything that God has expectations in worship. Israel was to leave Egypt to “sacrifice” to the Lord (Exo 3:18). Israel would see in Cain’s reaction that sin could act like a lion, ready to pounce upon the desires of one’s heart. Yet, in the words of God: “you must master it.”

    Fratricide or even abusive behavior among family was not to be tolerated among the Israelite nation: Exo 23:6 and a host of other passages. In 4:2 and 8-11, the brotherhood of the two is emphasized seven times. The blood of Abel “cried out” to God. He heard the cry. When Israel “cries out” to the Lord, He will surely hear their cry: Exo 2:22-25.

    If Israel did not respect the commands of God, Moses will warn in Deut that Israel, too will be “vagrants” and “vagabonds.” The same words are not used but the idea is expressed in Lev 26:33; Deut 28:63-65.

Lessons for the present generation:

    Because God is holy, worship in any generation must meet His specifications. We cannot worship without faith (Rom 14:23), which is based on a message from God (Rom 10:17). Christians must be “brothers’ keepers,” indicated by the plethora of passages that teach love, care, and respect for one another: Rom 14:19; Gal 6:1, 10. God, alone, has the right to implement judgment / discipline. We might do it on His behalf but we need to do it His way: 1 Cor 5; 2 Thess 3:14-15.

–Paul Holland

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I’m going to fire you

A boss approached one of his most ambitious men and told him, “I’ve had my eye on you. You’re a hard worker, and you’ve put in long hours. You’re very ambitious.”

“Thank you,” replied the employee. But the boss added, “So, consequently, I’m going to fire you. It’s men like you who start competing companies.” That boss didn’t want that ambitious employee to learn any more about the company that could be used against him!

What is your ambition? For 2018? As Christians, we are worshipers. That’s what mankind was created to do, be in God’s presence and worship Him. That’s who we are. But, what do we do? What is our vocation? A “vocation” is your career or your occupation. What is your occupation as a Christian? Let me say very simply that our vocation as Christians is to bring souls to Christ. Pure and simple.

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor 5:9 that his ambition was to be pleasing to Christ. But in that context, he wrote in verse 11 that he wanted to “persuade” men. To evangelize. To save souls.

Paul’s behavior is not very different from the message that he preached, because he tried to live the gospel in his life. Now, does not the exhortation to imitate him in 1 Corinthians 11:1 include Paul’s lifestyle of evangelism and missions?

Consider some thoughts from 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. First, Paul wants the Corinthians to understand that he is “free” in Christ. He is nobody’s slave except Jesus Christ. Why does Paul make himself a “slave to all?” Please underline that phrase: “so that I might win some.” The words “so that…” shows purpose or result. “Win” is a missionary term. At least that’s the way it is used in this text.

Notice in what positions Paul will put himself in order to “save / win” souls. Four different ways: to the Jew (study Acts 21 and 16:1-3 for examples), to those under the law, to those without the law, and to those who were weak.

Thus we see that Paul altered his social standing depending on the audience and with whom he was associating. He was not changing the Gospel to fit his audience. He was changing the presentation of the Gospel depending on his audience. We will not take the time to study this distinction but we only have to compare the sermon Paul gave in Acts 14 when the audience was Jews with his sermon he gave in Acts 17, when the audience was pagan philosophers. In that sermon (17:23), Paul will quote a pagan philosopher. Paul does the same thing in Titus 1:12.

A young man asked a successful salesman for the secret for his success in selling. The salesman said, “You just have to jump at every opportunity that comes along.” The young man asked how he would know an opportunity was coming. The salesman responded, “You can’t. You have to keep jumping.”

If we, as the church of Christ, want to honor Christ, we need to “think souls” and work at winning them to Christ. We need to jump at every opportunity to study or to invite to worship and not get discouraged when people turn us down. Just keep jumping.

In 2018, let’s keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to those who need to be won to Christ and enslave ourselves to them in order to save their souls.

Paul Holland

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Spiritual alertness

  • This morning we are going to use the word WATCH as an acrostic.
    1. The “W” in watch will represent the word WHEN.
    2. The “A” will introduce the word ANYWHERE.
    3. The “T” will lead us to the word TEACH.
    4. The “C” will represent CHRIST’S WILL.
    5. The “H” will bring things to a conclusion with the word HELP.


  • WHEN should we think about and try to “water the seed” (nudge people along spiritually)?
    1. 6:10.
    2. Jesus made a similar point in Jn. 9:4 when He said “we must work while it is day.”
  • We need to develop a habit of looking for opportunities to “water some seed for God.”
  • Mike – there are lots of people like him.
  • If we are a Christian, we want to start thinking, WHEN can I water some seed for God?
  • If not today, will we pray to God, PLEASE LET ME WATER some tomorrow?
  • Our “A” in the word WATCH stands for “anywhere.”
  • WATERING the seed of God’s word can be done virtually anywhere.
    1. Are we having some people over? Intend to have a good time? Don’t forget about watering the word.
    2. For the visitor who comes to services, get out the can and water the word.
    3. For the child in your neighborhood that isn’t liked? Here is a seed; seek to water it.
  • Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman).
  • Johnny understood the “W” and the “A” in watch – it was always time to sow seed somewhere.


  • We may not feel like a natural “waterer” when it comes to spiritual matters.
  • It is the will of Christ for us to “water the seed.”
  • Jesus once said those who refuse to confess Him before men will be denied before the Father.
  • We should want tired arms from the watering. Our arms should be so tired we pray for renewed strength.
  • We should have a desire to water spiritual seeds in the lives of others because people need help.
  • God wants us to WATCH –
    1. He wants us to look for opportunities in all places and at all times.
    2. He wants us to see if we can’t help teach people, even if it comes in bits at a time.
  • By now most of us are aware of the false missile alert which happened yesterday.
  • This event is an opportunity to plant or water seed – It is a chance to nudge people towards God/salv.
  • If someone says they are scared, ask them why? Let them know there is true safety in Christ.
  • If someone says they don’t want to die, let them know there is hope beyond their wildest imagination.
  • Some opportunities to water the seed for God are simply “golden” and this is one of them.
  • This question is one we are going to be asking at this congregation every Sunday this year.
  • Can we look at the little line in the bulletin and put in a number other than zero?

    Estado de alerta espiritual

    1) Esta mañana vamos a usar la palabra RELOJ como un acróstico.
    a) La “W” de guardia representará la palabra WHEN.
    b) La “A” introducirá la palabra DONDEQUIERA.
    c) La “T” nos llevará a la palabra ENSEÑAR.
    d) La “C” representará la VOLUNTAD DE CRISTO.
    e) La “H” hará que las cosas concluyan con la palabra AYUDA.
    2) ¿CUÁNDO deberíamos pensar e intentar “regar la semilla” (empujar a las personas espiritualmente)?  a) Gal. 6:10.
    b) Jesús hizo un punto similar en Jn. 9: 4 cuando dijo “debemos trabajar mientras sea de día”.
    3) Necesitamos desarrollar el hábito de buscar oportunidades para “regar algunas semillas para Dios”.
    5) Mike – hay muchas personas como él.
    6) Si somos cristianos, queremos comenzar a pensar: ¿CUÁNDO puedo regar algunas semillas para Dios?
    7) Si no es hoy, ¿vamos a orar a Dios, POR FAVOR DEJARME AGUA mañana?
    9) Nuestra “A” en la palabra RELOJ significa “en cualquier lugar”.
    10) RIEGO La semilla de la Palabra de Dios se puede hacer prácticamente en cualquier lugar.
    a) ¿Estamos teniendo a algunas personas más? Intentar pasar un buen rato? No te olvides de regar la palabra.
    b) Para el visitante que acude a los servicios, saque la lata y riegue la palabra.
    c) Para el niño en su vecindario que no le gusta? Aquí hay una semilla; busca regarlo
    11) Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman).
    12) Johnny entendió la “W” y la “A” de guardia: siempre era hora de sembrar semillas en alguna parte.
    1) Puede que no nos sintamos como un “aguadero” natural cuando se trata de asuntos espirituales.
    2) Es la voluntad de Cristo que “rieguemos la simiente”.
    3) Jesús dijo una vez que aquellos que se niegan a confesarlo ante los hombres serán negados ante el Padre.
    4) Deberíamos querer brazos cansados ​​del riego. Nuestros brazos deben estar tan cansados ​​que rezamos por una fuerza renovada.   5) DIAPOSITIVA
    6) Deberíamos tener el deseo de regar semillas espirituales en las vidas de los demás porque las personas necesitan ayuda.  7) Dios quiere que Miremos –
    a) Quiere que busquemos oportunidades en todos los lugares y en todo momento.
    b) Quiere que veamos si no podemos ayudar a enseñar a las personas, incluso si se trata de partes a la vez.
    9) Por ahora, la mayoría de nosotros conoce la alerta falsa de misiles que sucedió ayer.
    10) Este evento es una oportunidad para plantar o regar semilla – Es una oportunidad para empujar a las personas hacia Dios / salv.
    11) Si alguien dice que tiene miedo, pregúnteles por qué? Hágales saber que hay una verdadera seguridad en Cristo.
    12) Si alguien dice que no quiere morir, hágales saber que hay una esperanza más allá de su imaginación más salvaje.
    13) Algunas oportunidades para regar la semilla para Dios son simplemente “doradas” y esta es una de ellas.
    15) Esta es una pregunta que vamos a hacer en esta congregación todos los domingos de este año.
    16) ¿Podemos ver la pequeña línea en el boletín y poner un número que no sea cero?

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    I began 2018 supplementing my Bible reading with a new (to me) devotional book published in the 1800’s by Hannah Whithall Smith. I love to read books from this era as they tend to be free of much 21st century biblical error. Smith’s devotional for Jan. 1 carries the title of my devotional message. Her writings have a unique way of joyfully stirring my soul into deeper biblical thought. As I read her brief thoughts, I began to think of the Fatherhood of God. I ran biblical references and want to share some verses with you that affirm God as our Father in heaven.

As the “Father of lights” (Jms. 1:17), God provides “every good and every perfect gift” that blesses our daily lives. Every soul (Christian or not) is the recipient of “every good” blessing of this life (Matt. 5:45). Christians also enjoy being recipients of “every perfect (spiritual) gift” that the Father provides only “in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3). God’s redeemed children are doubly blessed by the Father’s goodness and love.

When spiritual eyes are open to the Father’s love, a natural response is sincere prayer arising from grateful hearts: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted . . . and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” (2 Chron. 29:10-12). From David’s prayer, we note the NKJV translation “LORD” (all solid caps) in addressing God’s formal name (YAHWEH) which includes the entire Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Remember this as you read some translations of the Old Testament for a richer insight into our great God!

In the Christian age, prayers to the Father should include our Lord Jesus, for the inspired prophet said He Himself is “Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6). Jesus taught His disciples to direct their prayers to “Our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). What His disciples did not understand at the time is that Jesus was “Everlasting Father” on earth. Jesus devoted His ministry to proving the vital truth: “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (Jn. 5:23); “I and My Father are one” (Jn. 10:30); “he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9).

If we limit our understanding of God to the “human concept” of father and son” (two totally different people) we will labor under the false impression that our God is two separate gods.

Such a concept contradicts the inspired Scripture that “The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deut. 6:4). Warren Wiersbee says: “The Hebrew word translated ‘one’ (ehad) can also mean ‘a unity’ as well as ‘numerical oneness.’ It’s used that way in Genesis 2:24, describing the oneness of Adam and Eve. Jehovah is unique, for there is only one true God; He is God alone . . . and He is a unity, which Christians interpret as leaving room for the Trinity”. (Bible Exposition Commentary on The Pentateuch).

When God sent Jesus to earth, He sent part of Himself as His “only begotten Son”. As God’s word from “the bosom of the Father” (Jn. 1:18), Jesus was dispatched from heaven into Mary’s womb that He as the Son of Man might accomplish what the Father in heaven could not do: be tempted “in all points . . . as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). As a sinless Sacrifice, Jesus “by Himself purged our sins and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). Today, Jesus occupies God’s throne of glory on the right hand of His Father in heaven.

As in past history, the Father continues to receive the glory of the hosts of heaven for: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:14).

Today, the Son also shares the Father’s glory from the heavenly hosts: “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). It’s interesting that John uses four words in describing the heavenly praise of God the Father as contrasted to seven words of praise to God the Son. In a way, this should not come as a surprise, for without Jesus’ redeeming work in the flesh, we would have no relationship with our holy God and would be eternally doomed! God not only created us in His own image, He redeemed us from our sin through His work on Calvary. Praise God the Father for His creation and praise God the Son for His work of redeeming us from Satan’s kingdom of darkness! When we praise the Father, we also praise the Son for they are not two separate “gods” but one and the same God of eternity. As noted from John 5:23, to honor the Son is to honor the Father! Let us not fail to give the Father His full and complete glory and honor by including Jesus in our prayers of praise and thanksgiving to our God in heaven!

When properly understood, our GOD IS ENOUGH. He is all we have ever needed and all we ever will need! As our God, Jesus is our life (Phil.1:21), our joy (Jn. 17:13) and our peace (Jn. 14:27). Bill Tyner summed it all up in the song He Is My Everything: “He is my ev-’ry-thing, He is my all. He is my ev-’ry-thing both great and small. He gave His life for me, made ev-’ry-thing new; He is my ev-’ry-thing. Now how about you?

By Ralph Weinhold; Danville

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Jesus: Pure and Simple

    Who are you and what are you doing? There are so many people, this season of the year, for whom Jesus is just an “elf on a shelf.” That is, for so many people, Christmas is about Jesus and Jesus is about Christmas and they don’t have much to do with Jesus the rest of the year, unless it’s around Easter. As we know, who understand what Jesus expects from a Christian lifestyle, Jesus demands a walk with us every day. Not just on Sundays or holidays.

    If we are not careful, we can turn our Christian walk into a “mutual admiration” society and keep our faith to ourselves and not follow Jesus: Pure and Simple. Christians have their own music. Their own movies. Their own concerts. Their own clothes. We feel, sometimes, like we want our own Christian community where we don’t have to deal with the outside, non-Christian world but when we do that, our Christianity has made Jesus into an “elf on a shelf,” which is as useful as a nativity scene on the mantle. Nice to look at once a year but it does not serve much of a purpose.


    When we live our lives “between Christmases,” do people see us about our Father’s business? When we are at work, do people see Jesus or me? When we are at school, do our friends see Jesus or me? At family gatherings, who do people see – Jesus or me? 


    Jesus was not a “nativity scene” for these two men. Peter and John rejoiced at what God was doing through them. Following Jesus means taking Him, pure and simple, and letting Him be the foundation, the focus, and the fire in your life, every single day.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE – Matthew 5:15-16:

    Who are you and what are you doing here? It is December 26th, the day after Christmas. But on August 26th, where are you going to be? Jesus did not ask us to create a “Christian sub-culture” in our society; He did call us to live counter-culturally, living like Jesus and calling our friends and family to live like Jesus.


    Both our cars have the tire pressure monitoring system and it lets us know when the tire pressure on our cars is too low. It happens every winter and we have to adjust the pressure in our tires. We have our Christmas lights on timers that are plugged in and these timers are not very precise and every two weeks or so, I have to reset the time so that the timer itself will turn on when we want the lights to turn on. Recalibration.

    The great commission should recalibrate us. It should reset our lives to the focus that our lives ought to have. Satan is doing everything he can to get us distracted from that mission. Even as a preacher, if I am busy writing sermons (two a week most of the time) and preparing a Bible class lesson for Wed night and another one for Sunday morning, and trying to visit people in the hospital and being at church activities and visiting members so we can develop our relationships… I can forget that a big part of my job as a preacher is to visit with non-Christians, to try to teach the Gospel to non-Christians. If the devil can get me to just focus on keeping Christians saved (which is an important responsibility to be sure!) but I don’t share the gospel with non-Christians, then he is happy. Because I’m not fulfilling the great commission!

    Let Jesus remove superficialities from your life. Otherwise, you will become what you did not intend. Follow Jesus and His Gospel, pure and simple.

Paul Holland

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Contrasts between Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Water Baptism

    In Holy Spirit baptism, the Spirit is the “element” in Whom certain individuals were immersed (Acts 1:5). In water baptism, it is water that is the element (Acts 8:36; 10:47).

    Relative to Holy Spirit baptism, it was Jesus Christ who performed it (John 1:33; Matt. 3:11). In water immersion, it is human beings who perform it on others (Matthew 28:19; 1 Cor. 1:14).

    Holy Spirit baptism was a promise, not a command (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1-4). Water immersion is a command (Acts 2:38; 10:48). It must be obeyed.

    The purpose of Holy Spirit baptism was to confirm the message about Jesus Christ (John 16:13; Hebrews 2:3-4). The purpose of water immersion is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 1:4).

    Holy Spirit baptism was not done in the “name” of any one (Matt. 3:11). Water immersion is done in the “name,” by the “authority,” of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; Acts 19:5).

    One is not raised in / from Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 2:1-4). But one is buried and raised in water immersion (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-4).

    Holy Spirit baptism does not put one into Christ (Acts 8:12-14). Water immersion does put one into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27).

    Holy Spirit does not save anyone (Acts 2:1-4). Water immersion is for salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21).

    Holy Spirit baptism is no longer needed (John 16:13; Hebrews 2:3-4). Water immersion will be needed as long as sin exists (Mark 16:16; 2 Timothy 2:10).

    Holy Spirit baptism ceased to occur by the time Paul wrote Ephesians (around A. D. 64; Eph. 4:5). Water immersion will last until the end of the world (Matt. 28:19-20; Eph. 5:26-27).

Paul Holland

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