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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Why Save a Criminal?

Why Save a Criminal?

"Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although
perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die."

Why would a police officer risk his life to save a criminal?

Bridgeton (NJ) police received a burglary call from an ambulance station
very early last Sunday morning. Officer Sean Peak, age 49, responded to the
call around 1:30 a.m. When he arrived, he saw a person running through some
nearby woods who then jumped or fell into the Cohansey River.

Fearing that the person might drown, Peak, in full gear, jumped into the
river to save the burglary suspect.

The suspect, a 29-year-old woman later identified and arrested for the
burglary charge, eventually made it across the river. Peak, weighed down by
his gear, was pulled from the water by other officers. He was taken to the
hospital where he was treated and released. Later that morning, however, he
was found unresponsive in his home by family members. An autopsy was
ordered to determine the cause of death. It would appear that his death was
related to his attempt to save the burglary suspect from potential drowning.

Again, why would a police officer risk his life to save a criminal?

Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari Sr. answered: "Sean made a decision
as would any officer and entered [the] water in [an] attempt to pull the
person from the running waters no matter what the circumstances." Peak was
simply doing his duty. Yes, he was seeking to apprehend a burglary suspect,
but he was also trying to prevent the same suspect from potentially
drowning. *

"Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although
perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die." This is a quote from
the Scriptures. It is Romans 5:7 in the New Century Version.

The Apostle Paul, by inspiration, wrote these words in the context of
discussing what Jesus did for sinners. Read verses 7-8 together:

"Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although
perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. But God shows His
great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still

But why would Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, give His life for ALL

Here are two reasons:

1. God loves us. He created us, but we turned against Him in rebellion.
But He loves us anyway. God was not bound by duty to save us; it was His
love that moved Him to do it.

2. God wants to save us. He "desires all men to be saved and to come to the
knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4).

The truth is that ALL of us are sinners and "drowning" in our sins. But
Jesus came to our rescue, not because we deserved it, but because He loves
us. And only Jesus could save us, because only the sinless Son of God could
pay the price for our sins. He paid the price with His life by dying on the
cross for our sins.

The Apostle Peter wrote to Christians: "You were not redeemed with
perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited
from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and
spotless, the blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18-19 NASB).

God will save from sin 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
(immersed) 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).

Why would a holy God save sinful man? Because He loves us. Won't YOU
accept His loving offer by accepting it through your trusting obedience?

-- David A. Sargent

* Information gleaned from "NJ officer dies hours after jumping into river
to save burglary suspect" by Robert Gearty,

David A. Sargent, Minister

Church of Christ at Creekwood

1901 Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama 36695

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Monday, September 14, 2020

What does God require of me?



Christians are to encourage one another and build up one another (I Thessalonians 5:11, NASB).  This week’s edition of “News & Views” is intended to give encouragement in two important areas.


First, to my friends, neighbors, and loved ones who have only had water sprinkled or poured on them (whether as an infant, in childhood, or as an adult) and such action called baptism, let me urge you to pick up your Bible, turn to the first book in the New Testament, the Gospel according to Matthew, and read chapter 3, verses 13-17.  After reading that account of Christ’s baptism ask yourself, “Is that how I was baptized?”  Then check out Mark’s account of the matter.  Mark is the second book of the New Testament.  Read Mark 1:9-11 and ask yourself, “Was I baptized the way Christ my Savior was baptized?” 


Now look at an example of how people were baptized in New Testament times.  Read Acts 8:26-40.  Were you baptized the same way that man was baptized?  Then read some passages from the pen of the apostle Paul: Romans 6:3-6 and Colossians 2:12.  Once more, ask yourself, “Is that how I was baptized?” 


Look at passages telling the purpose of baptism: Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Galatians 3:27; I Peter 3:21; et. al. and ask yourself, “Is that why I was baptized?”


Eternity is too long for anyone to take a chance on such a simple but important act of submissive obedience to the Lord as immersion in the name of Christ for the remission of sins.  If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and are willing to turn from your sins in genuine repentance, then please reach out to a faithful member of the church of Christ or to a faithful minister of the gospel of Christ at a nearby church of Christ and ask to discuss this important matter with him.  Your obedience to the gospel will result in your being a Christian only, a member of the one undenominational body (church) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  You can then meet and worship with these people, knowing that your worship is according to the will of God and pleasing to Him.


My second word of encouragement has to do with the importance of reading the Bible.  In order to understand the Bible, one must read the Bible.  (That sounds like a “given,” doesn’t it?)  A person who never reads God’s message to man will never know God’s will for his or her life.  Let me encourage you to pick up your Bible, turn to the New Testament, and come over to the gospel of Luke to begin your reading.  It is the third of four accounts of the life of Christ and comes after Matthew and Mark.  I would suggest beginning with Matthew, the first gospel account, but Matthew chapter one could be intimidating to the new reader with all of its many difficult and hard to pronounce names found in the Jewish ancestry of Jesus.  Therefore, I suggest starting with Luke, and coming back to Matthew, Mark, and John later.  They each provide marvelous insights into the life of our Lord.  In Luke chapter 3 you also will encounter the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam, but by then you already will have been introduced to Him and several interesting events in His early life, and may not be so intimidated by the names of His human ancestors.


After you finish reading Luke, turn to the fifth book of the New Testament, the book of Acts.  It also was written by Luke and continues the story of Christianity after the ascension of Christ back to heaven.  Check out how the ending of the book of Luke (Luke 24:44-53) dovetails with the beginning of the book of Acts (Acts 1:1-11) to show the continuity and connectedness of Luke’s two-volume work.  The book of Acts tells of the beginning of the church, how people were saved and added to the church, the spread of the gospel, persecutions and problems that the early church faced, when the followers of Christ were first called Christians, and many other exciting events.  One will read many interesting stories of people being converted to Christ, including Saul who started out as a rabid enemy of Christ but who went on to become the great apostle Paul and accomplish so much for the cause of Christ. 


After reading Luke and Acts, you will have a good foundation of biblical Christianity.  You can then turn your attention to the other gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, and John), the letters of Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude, and the book of Revelation.  As long as you have life, it is never too late to start this exciting journey of reading and comprehending God’s saving message to humanity, but someday it will be too late.  Do not die having had a Bible in your home but having never read it to find out what God would have you do to be saved forever in heaven.


A closing thought:  Our emotions, feelings, and “think-so’s” do not determine how one is saved, who is a Christian, how we are to worship, or how we are to live.  Our parents and grandparents do not set the standard for these matters.  Many courageous people have left their parents’ religion in order to be right with God. Modern religious sociology does not determine the nature of the undenominational church of which we read in the Bible or who comprises that church.  The word of God alone determines these matters.  The Bible is to be our sole standard for determining the answer to religious questions and our only standard of religious authority. 


Hugh Fulford


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