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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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What is truth?




"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).


"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).


"But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:4-5).


No one who believes the Bible to be the divinely inspired word of God doubts for a single moment the truthfulness of the above texts.  No one believes (or should believe) that he or she can earn or merit salvation from sin and eternal salvation in heaven.  These are possible only because of the love, grace, and mercy of God.  But the love, grace, and mercy of God must be accepted in humble submission and obedience by the person who would be the beneficiary of God's love, grace, and mercy (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9).


Through the love, grace, and mercy of God . . . 


1. Christ died for our sins (Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 15:3-4).


2. The church was purchased with the blood of Christ and established by Him (Acts 20:28; Matthew 16:18).


3. The Holy Spirit guided the apostles and prophets of the New Testament into all truth (John 16:13; Ephesians 3:3-5). 


4. People were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). 


5. The first members of the church continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers (Acts 2:42). 


6. Paul wrote the commandments of the Lord (I Corinthians 14:37). 


7. Strict warning was given about perverting the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-9). 


8. It was revealed that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:16). 


9. God's people are exhorted to walk worthy of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). 


10. We are told to avoid false teachers who use "smooth words and flattering speech" and to be wary of "captivating" speakers (Romans 16:17-18; Colossians 2:8). 


11. Timothy was urged to hold the pattern of sound words (I Timothy 1:13). 


12. Christians are instructed to deny themselves of ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-14).


How are you responding to the love, grace, and mercy of God?


Hugh Fulford


Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Forever Family

A Michigan kindergarten class recently took a memorable field trip. They
went to a court house! They weren't witnessing a trial; they were
supporting a classmate, Michael Clark, Jr., age 5, who was being adopted.

Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton became Michael's foster parents about a year
ago, but now they were adopting him into their family. Michael wanted his
classmates from Wealthy Elementary in East Grand Rapids with him. His
classmates were present, holding red and pink paper hearts on sticks,
celebrating with Michael and his new family.

"I understand we are joined by Michael's kindergarten classroom and
teacher," 17th Circuit Court Family Division Judge Patricia Gardner told
those gathered on December 5, 2019, which happened to be the annual Adoption
Day. "Welcome to the courthouse on this amazing day," she said.

"The lesson is put a little love in your heart. We rise when we support
others," said their teacher, Kerry McKee.

When we were "orphaned" due to our sins, the Heavenly Father revealed His
plan and purpose to adopt us into His Forever Family. In order to adopt us
into His holy family, we would have to be redeemed from our sins. The
Heavenly Father gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins
on the cross. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

If we accept the Father's gracious offer, He will adopt us into His Forever
Family, the church of Jesus Christ. And one day, He will take us to His
eternal home in heaven.

God will save, adopt into His family, and give eternal life to those who
place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins
in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10),
and are baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He
will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of
His Word (1 John 1:7-9).

The Apostle wrote to some who had accepted the Father's invitation to
adoption: "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to
fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba,
Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's
children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and
co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we
may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not
worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:15-18

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be
called children of God!" (1 John 3:1).

He wants YOU in His family.

Won't YOU accept His offer?

-- David A. Sargent

* Information gleaned from "Michigan boy's entire kindergarten class shows
up to adoption hearing: 'Too cute!'" by Caleb Parke of and
"Boy invites entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing" by the web
staff of

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Must One Be Baptized To Be Saved?

"Must" expresses compulsion, obligation, or certainty. The Bible clearly teaches that one must be baptized to be saved.

1. The Jews On Pentecost Were Baptized To Be Saved: When they asked, "What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37), they were told, "Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ..." (Acts 2:38). Those who gladly received his word were baptized (Acts 2:41).

2. The People Of Samaria Were Baptized To Be Saved: When Philip went down to Samaria, he preached Christ (Acts 8:5), and "both men and women were baptized" (Acts 8:12).

3. The Man Of Ethiopia Was Baptized To Be Saved: Philip preached Jesus to the man of Ethiopia (Acts 8:35). Upon the man's confession of faith in Christ (Acts 8:37), "both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him" (Acts 8:38).

4. Saul of Tarsus Was Baptized To Be Saved: Saul was instructed, by Jesus, to go into Damascus where he would be told what he "must do" (Acts 9:6). Ananias told Saul, "arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Acts 9:18 shows that Saul arose and was baptized.

5. Cornelius And His Household Were Baptized To Be Saved: This devout man, along with his house, upon hearing the Word of God, were commanded "to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48).

6. Lydia And Her Household Were Baptized To Be Saved: Lydia and her household heard the Word of the Lord spoken by Paul and were baptized (Acts 16:14,15).

7. The Philippian Jailer and His Household Were Baptized To Be Saved: He asked Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). He believed (Acts 16:;31, was penitent (Acts 16:33) and was baptized (Acts 16:33).

8. The Corinthians Were Baptized To Be Saved: Acts 18:8 says, "many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized."

9. The Ephesians Were Baptized To Be Saved: When those of Ephesus heard God's Word, "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5).

Have you been baptized to be saved?

- by Johnie Paul Edwards


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