A Christian’s Voice From Raymore – October 16, 2009

Does Your Heart Burn Within You?

Recently, as I was doing my daily bible reading, I reflected upon the account in Luke 24 of Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus with two of his disciples. After these disciples finally recognized that it was Jesus that they had been talking to and he “vanished” from their presence, they made an observation to one another. Verse 32 contains the words they spoke, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

As I reflected on that verse, I engaged in a little self-analysis. I asked myself, “How long has it been since my heart has burned within me as I have contemplated Jesus and my service in His kingdom? Consider with me, dear reader:

Does your heart burn within you when you open the Scriptures?

There are many sources of information in our world today. With the immediacy and breadth of the internet, you can “google” anything, it seems, and receive back tons of information in a matter of seconds. Some of this information is reliable and some is not. If one is not careful, he can allow the internet’s abundance of data to stymie him and hinder productive investigation and growth.

The Scriptures provide for us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3). They do not contain all that Jesus did or said (John 20:30-31; 21:25) or all of the acts of all of the apostles or even all of the issues of all of the churches. In the Scriptures however we have the account of man’s fall and man restored. From Genesis to Revelation we have the greatest story ever told. We have many treasures to uncover that bring us to know our wonderful God, the tremendous love he has for his people and how “longsuffering” and patient he is when we turn our backs on him. We read of the wonderful place that he has prepared for us to inhabit once this life is over. Truly our hearts should burn within us as we read. Our hearts should burn within us as we set our daily agendas to prioritize the reading of those uplifting, growth-encouraging, faith-building words of Scripture.

Does your heart burn within you when you contemplate opportunities to serve?

God has given us a heart to serve (Matthew 20:26-28; 24:36-40) . There are those around us who are hurting. There are those around us who are looking for direction and guidance in their lives. There are cultural factors that create stress that have an impact on the happiness and well-being of people. If you are a young person who was raised in a two-parent home, where God’s word and His model for the family is respected and followed, you know that you have friends who do not have those benefits.

Does your heart burn within you as you look upon the lost condition of those who do not place their faith and confidence in Jesus? Do you weep like Jeremiah did over the sin of his people (Jeremiah 8:18-9:3; 13:15-17)? Do you empathize with Ezekiel in his concern for that his people were profaning the holiness of God among the nations around them (read such passages as Ezekiel 36:22-38).

I encourage you to seek out these opportunities to be a listener, a friend, a counselor, and an encourager. You will receive blessings for “giving” in this way. You will feel a sense of satisfaction and you will be a source for “spreading the “fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.“ “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15).

Does your heart burn within you when you anticipate the greatest of all family reunions?

Have you gone to family reunions where you felt like a stranger? A couple of factors may have caused you to feel this way: you had not associated with these people regularly and you did not have a lot in common with them, other than the family tie. And so it may be that as the time of the family reunion approaches, you dread the prospects of attending.

Contrast this bond with physical family to the bond with your spiritual family. Jesus expressed it this way, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50).

As you anticipate that greatest of all reunions in heaven, does your heart burn within you. Death may have separated you from loved ones but you can take joy in the fact that you will see them again in that wonderful family reunion in heaven. I am comforted by the words of the song I AM a Poor Wayfaring Stranger, “…I am going there to see my Father, I’m going there no more to roam …” I lost my dad to bladder cancer in 2006 but I can rejoice in the fact that he has gone “there” and I will be reunited with him, (my small “f” father) and with God (my capital “F” Father).

I encourage you to read often the descriptions of heaven in the Scriptures and allow it to move you and motivate you to greater services. Allow your heart to burn within you as you identify those in need of encouragement and reach out to them. Allow your heart to burn within you as you consider how “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15) and all the wonderful depth of meaning in the statement.

Thanks for reading with me and please resolve to be a positive influence in another’s life today.

— Randy Sexton


A Christian’s Voice From Raymore – October 7, 2009

He Restores My Soul

One of the things that the Psalmist reminds me about my relationship with God is that “He restores my soul.” I quite frequently give more emphasis to that which precedes and that which follows this great blessing. Indeed, I can be confident that he “makes me to lie down in green pastures … and leads me beside still waters … and leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

But, dear reader, please ponder the greatness of the thought that he also restores your soul. I love what the author Terri Blackstock says in the afterword to her book, Trial By Fire:

“He’s restored my soul when I’v beaten it and bruised it through my careless actions and terrible choices. He has restored my soul when I’ve allowed it to run empty, and he’s restored it when I’ve filled it up with things it wasn’t made to hold. He has restored my soul when others have crushed it. He has restored my soul when there was no hope of restoration.”

Terri Blackstock is one of my favorite authors in the genre of literature that is commonly called “inspiring fiction.” In this book, she describes the transformation in the life of Issie Mattreaux, a young lady who is 24 years old as the events of the book unfold. Issie struggles to keep her nephew, 16-year old Jake, from repeating some of the same mistakes that she made as a teenager. Issie also fights to overcome the effects of previous poor life-choices and finds herself being drawn to an unlikely romantic interest in the town’s single preacher, Nick Foster. Eventually Issie allows Nick and other godly friends to penetrate her tough exterior and she begins to experience God’s restoration in her life.

There are many things that can influence you in your life. You will control whether the positive influences prevail or the negative ones. My prayer for you is that you will seek the counsel of God and of godly people as you make choices, as you fill up your soul, when others attempt to crush your soul and when there appears to be no hope of restoration.

Thanks for reading with me, beloved. Be a positive influence in someone’s life today!

–Randy Sexton


A Christian’s Voice From Raymore – September 30, 2009

A Christian’s Voice From Raymore – September 30, 2009

Listening to God’s Voice

I have been thinking a great deal lately about the voice of God and how he speaks to Christians in our day. Sometimes I yearn for the type of guidance that he provided to many of his great leaders of the past. I have studied the lives of great men like Moses (Exodus 3) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1) who were hesitant to heed the clear call of God. There was Joshua who did not seem to bat an eye when called to take up the challenge of leadership with God’s tremendous encouragement (Joshua 1). And then there were men like Gideon (Judges 6:36-40) who were not quite sure and asked God for a series of signs that he was indeed calling them for a specific mission. I am a believer! I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God! I believe that my faith has increased in the past 4-5 years and has increased my desire for ministry and outreach. This increased faith and recent circumstances in my professional life, have brought me to a decision point where I am earnestly seeking and listening for God’s voice. I am passionately pursuing his will for my life and I have reached a decision point. I have just finished reading Lloyd Reeb’s book Success to Significance and definitely am a proponent of the “halftime” philosophy. Through suggestions offered by Mr. Reeb, I hope to find my place to serve. The key questions I must answer are: 1) Will I serve in the marketplace, in the church, in the community or internationally? 2) What are my gifts and talents and how will I carve out a ministry assignment that matches who I am and what God is calling me to do? 3) What model for serving best fits (how much time will I work on it and will my ministry be paid or unpaid)? Knowing that God does not speak to me directly and orally as he did with Moses, Jeremiah, Joshua and Gideon, I look for his providence in the happenings of my life. I spend time with him early in the morning and throughout the day to seek his guidance in the decisions I make. I listen for his voice, speaking through wise counsel offered by godly men and women. I look for guidance from spiritual mentors and leaders. If you would like to leave your comments, feel free to do so. If you would prefer to respond to me privately, e-mail at randy.sexton@achristiansvoice.com. May God bless you in your walk with Him, as you seek to listen to His voice and to find his direction for your life! –Randy Sexton

A Christian’s Voice From Raymore, Volume 1, Number 3: September 15, 2009

Musings from My Journal

I went to work yesterday as I had for the last ten years and seven months. But today was different. Today I was to begin day 1 of a new phase of my life. My company had completed a merger on July 1st and the integration process, which had been slowly grinding on, today impacted me in a special way. Today I learned that there would not be a place for me in the new organization.

Now understand that in my 35+ years I had been through similar circumstances, so I was not “blown away” by the news. In 1988 when I experienced it for the first time, I needed the help of my main confidant (my dad) to help get through the next week.

I left work and drove home and while my boys, ages 8 and 11, were outside playing with their friends, I shared the news with my wife. She was immediately concerned about how I was taking the news. I assured that I was doing ok and we agreed that we would not stress over the situation but would continue to explore our options.

As I awoke this morning, I was at peace with the approaching end of my career with my current company. I prayed about our situation and as I left home to take the kids to school, I was more excited than I have been in a while about the future. My thoughts immediately turned to entertain the idea of transforming A Christian’s Voice (ACV) into a ministry and outreach and to be a voice for advancing causes such as Sacred Selections (www.scredselections.org), Youth Friends (www.youthfriends.org), etc. My vision for ACV would involve me in such activities as: consulting, counseling, writing, public speaking and perhaps teaching in a public or private capacity. These are all works in progress. They are presently my ideas and I am listening for God’s voice to discern whether they are His plans for me too. (I will have more reflections on this in the next issue of my blog.)

As I opened Facebook this morning, in my inbox was the most recent issue of Spiritual Manna, an e-newsletter published by Ethan R. Longhenry. That issue began,

“Then Mordecai bade them return answer unto Esther, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father’s house will perish: and who knoweth whether thou art not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14).

Ethan goes on to make application of the principles here,
“The example of Mordecai and Esther ought to be quite encouraging for us. After all, we are living in the days when we do not get the word from God regarding our specific situations. It may seem many times that God is not there in the midst of our trials and difficulties, and it can be hard to know what to do.

Just as with Esther, so it may be with us. God’s will has been functioning and continues to function in this world (Ephesians 1:3-14, 3:10-11). We may find ourselves in unique situations that allow us to be an encouragement to someone, or perhaps we are put in a position where we can make a great demonstration of the love of God for all men (cf. Matthew 5:13-16, 1 John 4). When we find ourselves in a difficult position, and when we wonder how we shall act in the face of challenging options, we might do well to ask Mordecai’s question: perhaps we were put in the situation we are in for some divine reason!

Far be it from anyone to presume to know for certainty the ways of God and His providence; that is not necessarily for humans to know (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9). Nevertheless, we must at least be open to the possibility that God is providing us with opportunities to accomplish His will and lead people to His relief and deliverance (Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 1:16).

But it is not enough to just be in the right place at the right time: one must take advantage of those opportunities. Esther only acts after Mordecai’s encouragement to recognize the value of the opportunity she has. Perhaps it will be, as Mordecai firmly believed, that deliverance may come from another source. Perhaps someone else will be able to accomplish the Lord’s will if you decide against it. But how tragic it is when someone is in the right place at the right time and yet is unprepared or unwilling to do what the Lord would have them to do (cf. Matthew 21:28-29, 25:14-30)!

Mordecai and Esther lived in dark times and were faced with difficult decisions and no specific and direct word from God. Nevertheless, they held fast to their faith in God as their deliverer and were not disappointed. They recognized the possibility that God’s providence had led Esther to her position, and she was willing to do what was necessary to accomplish what was ultimately manifest as God’s purpose.

It may be 2400 or so years later, but we can easily identify with Mordecai and Esther. Let us also be open to God’s providence, have faith in God and His providence even if He does not directly speak to us today, and take advantage of the opportunities we have been given. After all, who knows whether we have been placed where we are for such a time as this?” — Ethan R. Longhenry

This is great food for thought as I go about my activities today! As you read these musings, please pray that God’s will be done in my life and that I listen to the admonition of the Lord, “Listen, and be still for I have plans for you.”

Thanks for reading with me dear friends.

Revised 9-22-09

–Randy Sexton

A Christian’s Voice From Raymore, Volume 1, Number 2, April 18, 2009

Success To Significance

I am a member of a local church in Kansas City, MO. I have been attempting to organize the men of our congregation to meet regularly for an early morning devotional. I love getting my days started with prayer and reflection upon God’s plan for my life.
Several men from the local church will begin meeting for study and discussion of the to topic “Success To Significance” based upon the book of the same name written by Lloyd Reeb. The series will begin April 24th and run through July 10th. This study will deal with topics of particular interest to those in their “halftime years” and beyond.
The location of these meeting is 217 South Washington, Raymore, MO. The time is 7:00-8:30 AM. The dates and the titles of the lessons in this series include:
April 24th – Session #1-Redefining Success
May 15th – Session #2-Overcoming Obstacles
May 29th – Session #3-Preparing for the Journey
June 12th – Session #4-Finding Your Direction
June 26th – Session #5-Creating Margin
July 10th – Session #6-Finding Your Place to Serve
If you live in the Raymore area and are interested in joining us for this study, please RSVP to me via e-mail (run2randy@yahoo.com) by Tuesday, April 21st, and I will send you the study/discussion material for the first session.
We look forward to sharing ideas with you as we meet to pray and to reflect upon God’s plan for our lives. May God bless you today and each day as you strive to live a life of significance for him!
As Mr. Reeb says in the introduction of this material, “Success to Significance will challenge you to engage your world with passion and purpose. You will learn how your experiences and skills can benefi t your local church, your community, and your world. Through this study you will discover a process that can help you implement your own personal talents and resources to help others and make a signifi cant difference in the world today. This book is written for you and other people at midlife who want their life to count in signifi cant ways.”
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Matt. 25:37-40).
–Randy Sexton

A Christian’s Voice from Raymore, Volume 1, Number 1, March 21, 2009

Finishing Well

After my father’s passing in 2006, I entertained the idea of trying to keep his e-Bulletin alive. I came to the decision that it was not a realistic objective, considering the other things going on in my life. But more recently, my thoughts have been dominated by desire to spend my latter days of this earthly life doing things that have significance.

I am currently reading Bob Buford’s book, Finishing Well, in which he describes sixty individuals whom he calls “pathfinders.” Peter Drucker, Roger Staubach, Ken Blanchard, Dallas Willard and others recount the circumstances that led them to move from feeling they had to prove themselves to a time when they can give back and make a difference.

This is the third Buford book that I have read in the last couple of months and his message resonates with me. I would highly recommend for your reading this and his other books including Halftime, and Beyond Halftime.

I hope in my journey in Life II, as Bob describes it in his book, to make contributions that will have lasting impact on others. In my passion to make a difference, I have taken on projects that I pray will have positive impact on the lives of young people. I volunteer in the YouthFriends school-based mentoring program by mentoring two elementary school children in two different school districts and in their Classroom Speakers Program. This is just one of many worthwhile programs that exist to help young people address challenges they face and to help them reach their potential in life. I am happy to be a part of a program like YouthFriends and would encourage you to get involved as well. There are many more children who need mentoring than there are caring adults willing to help.

I will leave you today with the Ten Principles for Life II that Mr. Buford includes in Appendix 3 of Finishing Well. This list was compiled by the infamous management guru, Peter Drucker:

#1 Find out who you are.

#2 Reposition yourself for full effectiveness and fulfillment in life’s second half.

#3 Find your existential core.

#4 Make your life your endgame.

#5 Planning doesn’t work. (Ultimately “opportunity comes in over the transom and that means you have to be flexible, ready to seize the right opportunities when they come.”)

#6 You have to know your values.

#7 You have to define what finishing well means to you.

#8 You have to know the difference between harvesting and planting.

#9 Good intentions aren’t enough. You have to define the results you’re after.

#10 There’s a downside to “no longer learning, no longer growing.”

Thanks for reading with me. I hope you have a rewarding life devoted to helping others because, “We are made to work; and to maintain meaning in our lives, we need to be engaged in work that has meaning and purpose.”

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:7-8).

A Christian’s Voice – May 8, 2005

A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up

Volume 7 May 8, 2005 Number 25



This Week’s Challenges

We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application

1. Memorize: (Ezra 3:6)

2. Mediation: See how the people who returned after 70 years of captivity to restore the worship, but the foundation of the temple what not the first order of business.

3. Application: If we are trying to restore the worship, God’s plan as He revealed it, we have to start and work according to the plan revealed in the New Testament, today!

Comment from another brother in India,

My Dearly Beloved Brother in Christ Bill Sexton,

Thank you for your continually messages through the CHRISTIAN VOICE. These are very useful to us to use these sermons among the people who are attending to worship in our Local Congregations and open meetings also. I have been preparing these lessons in to Telugu Language and will distribute to all of our brethren by Xerox papers.

I appreciate our brethren who commenting to this Edition. And we are praying for you and your health that may God our almighty will use you in His work as a Powerful Vessel. Closing with Love.

Yours Fellow Laborer in His Service

G.Ambedkar,India

Editor’s Comment: How wonderful to have brethren around the world that we can communicate so freely with today, and learn of their success in reaching others with the gospel.

Sayings: “Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? “Success formula: “To get things accomplished, plan your work and then work your plan.”
Christian Parent Arrested After Being Denied Say-So in Son’s Education Jody Brown, Agape Press
A Massachusetts group battling judicial activism and the advancing homosexual agenda in their state is reporting that the father of a kindergarten student was arrested on Wednesday during a scheduled meeting with the principal of his son’s school. The father of the six-year-old had been attempting to get his son opted-out from discussions portraying homosexuality as acceptable. David Parker and his wife Tonia had been in contact with the school principal regarding material brought home by their son. The “Diversity Book Bag” included a book titled who’s in a Family, which portrays same-sex parent families as morally equivalent to traditional families. The Parkers attempted to make it clear they wanted their son removed from the classroom any time discussions or displays dealt with homosexuality — and they sought a commitment from the principal that their desires would be accommodated. “You are not permitted to infringe upon our religious beliefs and parental rights or obviate our freedom of choice, to exclude our son from material that would expose him to beliefs contrary to the Word of God in our Christian faith,” the Parkers wrote in an e-mail to the principal. During a meeting with the principal Wednesday, April 27, Mr. Parker reiterated his requests and they were reportedly denied by the principal, the director of education, and the superintendent. Parker refused to leave the school unless his requests were granted and school officials had Parker arrested for trespassing

Today’s Schedule of Yours truly: 10:00 AM at Waveland Church of Christ, Philippians chapter 4; 11:00 AM Sermon: Formula For Success-Choose Right Grandmother (1 Tim. 1:3-5;.6:00 PM, attend evening service. at Access Road in Van Buren.


MOTHERS….!! Do We HONOR THEM???



II Timothy 1:5 “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”

Paul, the aged apostle, guided by the Holy Spirit, wrote to Timothy, a young man, relative to his background. Paul was appreciative of the influence that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had had in contributing to his present state of faithfulness to God.

Timothy, would then naturally, be required to show respect and be appreciative of his mother. That is true of us today: Mothers and Grandmothers!

This year May 8th, is designated as “MOTHER’S DAY.” This indicates that society, also, recognizes that mothers contribute to the stability and ongoing well being of the social groups, as well as to the individuals in our communities. At least people of the past though this and thus designated it as such.

We would emphasize the need for each individual to see the contribution that his/her mother has made to their well being. We recognize that mothers are human beings, and thus make mistakes at times, but they are usually doing what they are doing for the “good” of the child, as they perceive it to be. Although the results may be far from what is actually good for the child, because mothers are usually more lenient than any one else in the child’s life, they work to that end. Yet, the mother who really loves the child and understands the development of character, will discipline the child for his/her good, knowing that each child needs discipline. Yet, the discipline may indeed be painful for the parent, too.

The child that does not receive the proper kind and amount of discipline early in his/her life is really getting cheated, because there is no child but that needs discipline. There are different kinds of discipline to be sure; however, each child needs to be restrained at time from doing what he/she wants to do. Also, each child needs to be made to do some things that he or she would not do otherwise.

The child that does not learn to appreciate and show respect for his/her mother is in for a life of misery, shame, and heartache for self and bring a lot of hurt to others, also. One who does not learn to respect mother will NOT respect any one else, either. That kind of person is destined to suffer pain in life. Let each of us look back and see how our mothers directed us, and conditioned us to survive in the present world. Aren’t we glad they were there for us!

Each person needs to acknowledge early in life, that he/she cannot always have his/her own way. Other people’s concerns are to be reckoned with. That means we cannot always do what we want to do; nor can we always keep from doing things that we rather not have to do!

The child that does not learn early in life to respect his/her mother shall have trouble in this life and also shall miss heaven, that eternal bliss that is available to the soul.

Mothers should recognize the need and make the effort to contribute to the faith of their child. That is, point to the evidences of God, show the scrip‑ tures which affirm the nature of Christ and proclaim the teachings that have been brought about by the grace of God; Point to the productive lives of godly people. They need to learn early in life what God would have them do. Among the things that God would have us know is that respect for parents is basic in developing character! Hear Paul: Show them your daily Bible reading habit, help them to develop the desire to read, perhaps memorize passages.

Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

Immediately after instructing the children, he points to the responsibility of parents: Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! What a privilege, responsibility–William C. “Bill” Sexton


Scriptural meanings of “Law” and “works”

–Some misunderstandings of such!


I’ve heard a lot of people in times past try to argue that law is NOT a principle that one has to obey in this gospel age. Neither is Works involved in salvation. To many, Grace and Faith nullifies any (all kinds of) law keeping. Now lately I read of a number of brethren having trouble with these two concepts. Beloved this is a serious issue, and we need to know what the New Testament teaches on this. We need,to believe and accept it,! And we need to act according to the New Testament teachings in this regard, as well as in ALL matters.

Let us recognize there are different references (meanings) of Law: There is the Law of Moses, which was to last till the gospel age came (Gal. 3:18-25), when one would be under the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2). Likewise, there are different types of works: works devised by men, works that are aimed at meriting salvation,. There are works of obedience required by those who obey the gospel to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ (Jn.6:29 ). So let us look at these categories one at a time.

1. There is the law of Christ so clearly stated in two New Testament passages: “21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.” (1 Cor. 9:21) “2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

2. One has to lay aside that which hinders one receiving the word of truth which is able to save one’s soul (Jas. 1:210) However, one must be careful NOT to be just a hearer, but one who putsto practice in his/her life, making application of it to his/her everyday life. The point is made that there is a danger of being deceived in that regard, and going away without making the application. The point is made empathically as to who will be blessed: The one who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues therein, doing the work that is required!

However, if one has his/her mind made up that there is only one use of the word “law” in the New Testament, and sees that one is not saved by that law (Gal. 2:16), then when he/she comes to such passages, they skim right on by! Let us see that often the Law of Moses is intended, and it has passed to history now, not effective in our salvation. To try to be saved by it is to fall from grace, we are told (Gal.5:4). Any law that man will devise to be governed by is to be rejected, of course (Matt. 15:8-9; Col. 2:21-23).

2. Works are also of different kinds. Many fail to see that there truly are works involved in each person’s salvation. He/she has to follow the directions given by the inspired writers of the New Testament scriptures in order to be saved by God’s grace, for the blood of Christ to be effective in taking away those sins. These are acts of obedience on (1 Pet. 2), man’s part in his own salvation which has been provided by God the Father’s foreknowledge, the Holy Spirit reveling to words, and Christ performing the sacrifice to pay for the sins. Unless man is active in the process he’ll remain outside Christ where salvation is located (2 Tim. 2:10).

The process that man MUST follow is simple enough, if man will not be blinded by the devil and his workers (2 Cor. 4:3-4). Remember Jesus told Saul (who later became the apostle Paul) to go into the city and it would be told him what he “must do.” (Acts 9:6). Remember what he was told when Ananias came and tells him what he must do: “arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”(Acts 22:16). Is there anything about that which it too difficult to understand, if one doesn’t have a prejudiced mind.

That is the one passage I never could get around when I was taught that I was saved at the point of faith, and could not be lost. When convinced that I’d been taught wrong, then I accepted the truth and obeyed. Granted I worked hard to find an honest way around that, but there is no way IF one is truly honest with him/herself and the Lord. Please be honest with yourself. Your soul is at stake. –William C.”Bill” Sexton


Book Of Colossians –An Introduction


Introduction: This is another of the “Prison Epistles,” the third in line, with Ephesians, Philippians, and the fourth is Philemon.The theme of this book we’ll call the Preeminence of Christ. The main point in this book seems to be CHRIST–as the head of the church.

Paul is the author, and his companion is Timothy, and it is written to the saints at Colosse. This was a city, I’m told: “of Phrygia on the Lycus river, one of the headstreams of the Maeander. It stood at the head of the gorge where two streams unite, and on the great highway traversing the county from Ephesus to the Euphrates Valley, twelve miles from Hierapolis and ten miles from Laodocea.” (A Commentary on the New Testament Epistlers, By J. W. Shepheard, page 244).

Paul a prisoner, was not complaining about his state, rather he was telling them how glad he was to hear of their faith in Christ Jesus. He tells them that his prayers have been going up for them He is pleased to hear of their love for all the saints. He wants them to grow and be faithful and secure in Christ, appreciative of the privilege they have of redemption in Christ. The letter was sent by Tychicus, a “faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord.”

1. Chapter one basically deals with amplifying the greatness of Christ, in the material Creation as well as the spiritual.

2. Chapter two is a chapter telling that they are complete in Christ, and thus beware of false teachers and doctrines that can and will lead to destruction if they will yield. Thus awareness of such can enable them to be safe IN CHRIST!

3. Chapter three emphasizes the need to seek the things that are above, now that they have been raised with Christ. He tells them to be sure that all that they do in word or deed does have Christ’s stamp of approval on it. Like in the book of Ephesians, he points to the responsibility in the family relationship of mate’s parents and children.

4. Chapter four has Paul telling them to continue in prayer, watching and giving thanks, remembering him as they speak with the Creator. He wanted them to mention that doors be opened to him to retell the mystery of Christ, even though he was in bonds. He urged them to be careful that their “speech be always seasoned with salt,” that they may know how they ought to answer every man.

Paul instructs them to walk in wisdom toward them that are with out, redeeming the time. Each of us need to be wise relative to the time and resources we have, how we use them.

Lastly, in this chapter he identified several people he has been personally associated with, even while he is in prison.

1, Tychicus, who would relate to them Paul’s concern for them, being a servant of God, as evidently he had related their condition to Paul

2. Onesimus, who had been converted and sent back to his master, as we’ll learn in the book of Philemon, is mentioned favorably.

3. Aristarchus, a fellow prisoner, Marcus, nephew of Barnabas, Justus –all Paul’s fellow workers in the kingdom of God

4. Epaphra, one of them is mentioned as saluting them. Paul wanted them to know that Epaphras had been laboring fervently for them in prayer, that they would stand perfect and complete in the will of God

5. He mentioned the church at Laodicea and them at Hierapolis.

6. Demas is mentioned along with Luke the physician. You’ll remember that Demas later departed, loving the world (2 Tim. 4:10) a lesson one can and some do FALL.

7.Archippus is mentioned, too. We’ll meet him again in the book of Philemon. Closings, Paul ask them to remember his “bonds.”

__________________________________________Waveland Church of Christ

Corner of Highways 309 and 10

Waveland< AR 72842

A Christian’s Voice – May 1, 2005

A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up

Volume 7 May 1, 2005 Number 24


This Week’s Challenges

We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application

1. Memorize: (Ezra 1:5)

2. Mediation: Understand how God had spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Prophet. How God kept His promise.

3. Application: Can/Do we find comfort in the fact that God will keep His promise to save the obedient?

Comment from a brother in India, Joshua.

“Dear Brother in Christ…Bill Sexton,

Thank you for your Gospel Material, you are doing a great job by sending these materials to many people. WE are so thankful for your help. My kind regards to all of you. In Christian Love,

Joshau and family.

Another Comment: “My dear beloved brother Sexton, Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Thank you very much for your post with a good sermon, about Abraham’s Temptation. It gives moral strength to all of our Brothers, we need this kind of lessons, The VAN BUREN church doing good Job to all of Christians. I appreciate the Christian voice, my great thankful to you, Closing with Christian Love. In His Work, S.Lenin Babu.

Editor’s comment: We appreciate hearing from others who read this bulletin, and especially from those across the waters. Our prayers for these brothers in India shall continue that they’ll be faithful to the lord, putting their trust in Him that He’ll see them through what ever difficulties they face. That is what we desire for all of us, of course. The Lord is able and we can survive if we so act.

LEAVE IT TO THE DEVIL

I read about a French atheist who died and willed his house and farm to, of all people, the Devil. The courts deliberated on the curious case for quite some time. Finally it was determined that the best way to carry out the wishes of the deceased testator was to allow the farm to grow up in weeds and briars and to leave the house to decay and ruin.

It occurs to me that the same thing can be said about our soul salvation. It’s not necessary to commit some terrible sin, nor, to engage in great evil in order to be lost. All we have to do is nothing. “Allow the farm to grow up in weeds and briars and leave the house to decay and ruin.” Dear reader, neglect, indifference, and unconcern will just as surely condemn us in the judgment as murder, theft, or immorality.

The Bible asks, “How shall we escape (eternal punishment) if we NEGLECT so great a salvation…?” (Hebrews 2:3). The answer is, “We won’t.”– –Mike Benson, Forthright Magazine, via, SUSQUEHANNA SENTINEL May 1, 2005

Editor’s comment: Yes, It is easy to leave our spiritual house unattended, and consequently be a complete failure in life. If at the end of life, regardless of what we have accumulated, we are going to leave it behind (Cf. 1 Tim. 6:7) But what we do with our spiritual treasures (Matt. 6:19-2l).

We at Van Buren had a very good meeting last week with brother Bill Cavender. Thanks to him. He preached the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17)!!!

Today’s Schedule of Yours truly: 10:00 AM at Waveland Church of Christ, Philippians chapter 3; 11:00 AM – Sermon: The Book of Life (Phil. 4:3; 2: PM, speak at Belt Cemetery; 6:00 PM, attending evening service. at Access Road in Van Buren.


The Head of The Body, The Church


Colossians 1:17 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; “

What is our attitude toward the church?

Facts:

1. He, Christ, is before all things!

2. By Him, Christ, all things consist.

3. He, Christ, is the head of the body.

4. The “body” is The Church.

5. He, Christ, has the “preeminence.”

6. This, the preeminence, was given him By the Father.

7. Such pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell!

Question: Is our attitude in tune with the Father’s? If it isn’t, what should we do?

It seems clear that many do not have the attitude toward the body of Christ that they should have. When Christ loved it so much that He gave His life for it, then can one honestly love Christ and at the same time show little or no appreciation for the Church which he manifested so much love for. Can we?

No, I believe that many people who claim to believe in and Love the Lord Jesus Christ don’t have the right attitude toward His body, the church. I find many saying such things as the “church can’t save you. You can be saved and never be in the church…” Often they speak lightly, unappreciatively of the CHURCH which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). Can you degrade the church and not include its head?

True, the church does not save; Christ is the Savior. However, the saved constitute the church. The Lord adds the SAVED to the church ( Acts 2:47 ). Consequently, no one will be saved who is not a MEMBER of the church. Neither will anyone be saved who is not under the authority of it’s head!

That means that we must be governed by His authority in all that we do. When we do not obey Him in becoming a Christian, we are not under His rule, even though we may claim that He is our Savior. The question He asked long ago is still appropriate:

Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Congregations which do not allow Him to govern them in all that they do: in work, worship, organization and terms of membership, even though they may wear His name, in fact do not belong to Him. Look at the statement that Jesus made in Matt. 15:13: “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” Beloved he was talking about corn or plants in the field or garden, but the context shows he was talking about religious people who were not governed by His father in Heaven! There is coming a rooting time. If we are not in that which has been planted by the Creator, we shall be gathered and burned! I don’t want to be there, and I really don’t want you to be there either.

The church at Ephesus was told that it’s candlestick, meaning it’s identity, would be removed unless it returned to it’s “first love.” It was called upon to recognize it’s fallen state, repent, and do it’s “first works.” ( Rev. 2:5). Beloved where are you, spiritually? What is your REAL attitude and disposition toward the family of God?

“God is the family name of the Deity, of which Christ is a member, making that word his own name as well as the Father. Hence the name church of God is equivalent to ‘church of Christ.’ It is his church because he purchased it with his own blood.” (E. M. Zerr Bible Commentary, page 333) William C. “Bill” Sexton


Despising One’s Birthright!

( Gen. 25:34; Hebrews 12:16‑17 )



“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”

History records many transactions of men in which a great deal was given away for a moment of pleasure. Seen in its light, such is really so foolish! Many in our day, like Esau of old, are selling their birthright for a mess of meat.

I mean that people are trading their soul, their

Right to Heaven, for a moment of worldly pleasure.

The per son who does that, like Esau, despises the

birthright. failing to value it as highly as he should.

What a poor trade! Think with me briefly:

1. One has to be born again, “of the water and of

the Spirit” ( Jn. 3:5), “of incorruptible” seed, the

word of God (I Peter 1:22‑23) to become a child of

God. In short that means giving adequate hearing

to the word of God, allowing it to enter and dwell in

the intellect, touch the emotions, and activate the

will. In obeying from the heart (Rom. 6:16-18), one

purifies his/her soul in that obedience (1 Pet. 1:22

23)

2. Having believed in Jesus, repented of one’s

sins and Confessed his/her faith in Him ( Acts

8:36‑37) and been baptized in water for the

remission of sins ( Acts 22:16) one is a child of

God. Heaven is their home, conditioned upon them

remaining faithful till death Rev. 2:10; Mt.

24:13).

3. Yet, many look away‑‑to the world‑‑ and learn

to love this Present world to the extent that they turn

back and walk no more with Jesus in the path of

righteousness ( 2 Tim. 4:10; 2 Pet. 2:20‑22). When

one so acts, he/she, like Esau of long ago—is

making a very unwise, foolish TRADE! Time will

cause them to see that they made a foolish

exchange, but it will be too late then.

While their soul is worth more than the whole

world, they exchange it ( Matt. 16:24‑26) for

something that will pass with the time and materials

( I Jn.2:15‑17). Beloved, we ask each of us to

examine our selves (2 Cor. 13:5) to see if we be IN

the Faith. We can and we must continue in the faith,

if we are to be eternally secure! Yes, I’m aware of

the teachings that says once you get it you can’t lose

it. However, there are many passages that tell us

other wise. Listen to the Hebrew writer: “Takes

heed brethren lest there bi in any of you an evil

heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

(Heb. 3:12). Beloved, in all seriousness: You can

depart from a place you’ve never been!

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in ex‑change for his soul?”

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 Jn. 2:15-17).

Beloved, don’t despise your spiritual birthright! It is in your hands to respond to the Lord as directed and be ASSURED that heaven will be your home, or be negligent or careless and lose it. The alternative is a place as horrible as you can imagine.

If you have not rendered obedience to the gospel, God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16-17), tomorrow won’t be a good time to do that; do it now, today (2 Cor 6:1-2).

If you have initially denied your self and submitted you life to Christ by obeying the first principles, being purified, born anew, please not allow persecution, difficulties, of worldly things to keep you from enduring to the end (Matt. 24:13). –William C. “Bill” Sexton


A Study in Book of Philippians Chapter 4

Rejoice in Steadfastness in the Lord


Introduction: This fourth chapter we describe as the joy of standing steadfast in the Lord, making their request known to the Him. That is where each of us should be SURE we are, and find a measure of satisfaction in that, even is difficult times and situations. Also, be in frequent communication with God in prayer.

1. Based on what has been said before, Paul appeals to them, as “beloved,” to “stand fast in the Lord.” Then he mentions some individuals: two ladies whom he asks to “be of the same mind,” suggesting that perhaps they were at odds with each other. Additionally, he speaks of those who labor with him in the gospel, naming Clement, all of which he affirms: “whose names are in the book of life.” (Phil. 4:1-3)

2. He calls upon them to “rejoice always,” and even repeating that call, which seems to indicate that it is something we can do, but may be more reluctant to do that we ought. We need to be able and willing to let our stand “known to all men,” recognizing that the Lord is at hand. We need be anxious for nothing, instead speak to God about the matter. Ask for His wisdom, making “supplication with thanksgiving. “With that trusting behavior, he says: “the peace of God,” which passes all understanding, “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” What a promise! (Phil. 4:4-7)

3. Finally he advises them to THINK on the right things and names seven different things: true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, adding “if there be any praise.” Then he says what they have: learned, received, heard and seen in him to DO, affirming “the God of peace shall be with you.” Now, he tells them that he rejoices to witness their “care” for him has “flourished again,” in that they have taken advantage of the “opportunity to provide support to him. He expressed that this was not so much for his good, as it was to see their spiritual growth, strength, and willingness to “communicate” with his affliction. (Phil. 4:8-14).

4. He refers to their behavior of sending to his sup-port from early in their existence as a congregation. This is in harmony with what is stated in (2 Cor. 11:8-9) instead of creating another origination or some sponsoring church to send money through. He points to Epaphroditus having brought the “things which were sent” from them. He describes them as ,”a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.” He expressed his confident that “God shall supply” their needs according to His riches through Christ. Closing out, he sends salutations to every saint in Christ. Also, he says all the saints in Caesar’s household, along with all saints salute them. (Phil. 4:15-23)

Questions:

1. What did Paul say about his “joy and crown” (Phil. 4:1)?

2. What is mentioned about certain people (Phil. 4:2-3)?

3. What behavior did he repeat and what was to be made known “unto all men” (Phil. 4:4-5)?

4. What is said about praying, instead of what, with what promise (Phil. 4:6-7)?

5. Name the things they were to “think on,” and” DO (Phil. 4:8-9)?

6. What had “flourished again” and how did he fell about it and why (Phil. 4:10-11)

7. What had Paul come to “know” and his real concern (Phil. 4:12-14)?

8. What has these Philippians done in the “beginning” (Phil. 4:15-17)?

9. What had Epaphroditus done and what promise did Paul make to these (Phil. 4:18-19)?

10. What is said about “Caesar’s household?

Waveland church of Christ

Corner of Highways 10 and 309

Waveland AR 72

acv-5-1-05

A Christian’s Voice – April 17, 2005

A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up

Volume 7 April 17, 2005 Number 22

This Week’s Challenges

We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application

1. Memorize: (2 kings. 22:8)
2. Mediation: See what was found in the House of the Lord and conditions that had developed.
3. Application: Is this same item lost to many today in our land and that accounts for similar conditions!

Quote: “Wise men learn by the mistakes of others; fools insist on learning by their own.”

Gospel Meetings: In my area there has been five gospel meetings going on this last week, within driving distance. I have not been able to attend them all. But have attended the one’s I can. I find it a bit disturbing that so many in the same area will schedule a meeting at the same time. However, I guess the argument can be made that we are trying to reach the lost rather than the saved. However, I like to attend meeting. I wish we didn’t conflict so much.

I’ll be speaking this week, Sunday 17th to Friday 22, in a meeting with the Prairie Hills congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. I’m looking forward to meeting a number of people I’ve know in the past, and perhaps meet some I haven’t met before, and hopefully the Gospel preached will be what is needed and people will be lifted up, and drawn closer to the Lord and be encouraged to work harder for the Lord’s cause

Next week we plan to be back in Van Buren, and be in a meeting at the Access Road congregation, Brother Bill Cavender doing the preaching. We tried to schedule it at an earlier date, so it wouldn’t conflict with others in the area, but Brother Cavender couldn’t make it at the earlier date. It conflicted with his schedule.

Paul says that God has chosen that through preaching (which some call foolish) to save them that believe. I’m a bit discouraged with what I see today as far as how many look at gospel meetings. Years ago, it was not unlikely to see a meeting last two weeks, or at least start on Sunday and go a week and then to Friday night the next week. Now, many of them are just weekend meetings and perhaps three or four days. That indicates to me that people are not as hungry for or as appreciative of spiritual matters as they used to be. I recognize, too that most are busy in so many different things. Yet, I wonder if the evil one is not making it easy for us to get our attention focused on material things rather than on the spiritual. That would suit him fine, would it not? Are we mindful of the opportunities?
–William C. Sexton

Today’s Schedule of Yours truly: 10:00 AM at Prairie Hills congregation, St. Joseph, MO. Lift Up Your Eyes and Look (Jn. 4:35-42) 11:00A.M, Sermon- FAMILY God Designed (Gen. 2:18-24); PM. FAMILY that produces Happiness (Eph. 5:22-64).

This week’s subjects

Monday, Our view of the Bible (Matt. 22:29)
Tuesday: Eternal Destiny Heaven (Jn. 14:1-6; Rev. 21:4)
Wednesday: Real Hope (I Pet. 3:15)
Thursday: Eternal Punishment (Mk. 9:43-37; Matt. 25:31-46)
Friday: Methods of Growth, Individual and Congregational (Eph. 4:15-16)

ABRAHAM TEMPTED TO OFFER HIS ONLY SON!

At times we have things in the Bible, the word of God that requires a lot of mental effort and reasoning in order to understand. Such presents us with a challenge! Once we work our way through such, we can be stronger than before.
In Genesis 22:1 2 we have such a challenge: 1) We are told that “God did tempt Abraham,..”; 2: Abraham was told to offer his “only son Isaac…” We learn form other passages that God does NOT TEMPT man (James 1:13) and that Abraham had other sons, ( Gen. 25:1 7). How can we understand these passages?
God’s word does not contradict: its truths are always harmonious. Where is the key to understanding?
1. First regarding temptation: There are two meaning in temptation. One is to try or test with “a beneficial purpose and effect. “Such testing and or trying God does permit as He did with Abraham to test his faith. Two, temptation is used in the sense of exciting or soliciting to sin, as we bait a hook to catch a fish God never does participate in such, rather all such is the work of the devil or/and of the flesh.
2. Meaning of Genesis 22:2, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou loveth,…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”
Note he actually had two sons at this time: Ishmael and Isaac!
Pulpit Comm.: “meaning the only son of Sarah, the only legitimate offspring he possessed, the only heir of the promise, the only child that remained to him after Ishamel’s departure…” page 283.
“Isaac was Abraham’s ‘only begotten son’ in respect of Sarah and the promises: he sent away his other sons by other wives ( Gen.25:6.” Jameson, Fausset and BROWN, page 1434.
This is somewhat akin to the fact that we, Christians, are all sons of God ( Gal. 4:5 6). Yet, Christ is the “only Begotten Son” ( Jn. 3:16) This points to and affirms his uniqueness, His divine nature. Let us read with discernment and appreciation. When God speaks we should be eager to listen and learn. He never says something that is unimportant. His word is truth and it’s forever “settled in heaven” (Psalms 119:89).
Let us understand that there is a sense in which Christians are children of Abraham, when like Abraham they manifest their faith in God, to do what He teaches without question, doubting, understanding that God never tells man to do what he is unable to do. Also, what God tells us to do is for our good. When we have this disposition and attitude we’ll be careful to act BY FAITH to do all that the Lord demands of us, knowing that He’ll keep His promises, regardless of the time element involved! We may not always understand just how or why something it, but with faith in God, we act as directed. Observe the following scriptures:
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: Rom. 4:11)
“16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” Rom. 4:16)
Gal. 3: “6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
“9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
James: 2:23-24: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
William C. Sexton

Baptism that leaves one unsaved!

Baptism is a subject that if one goes to the Bible and looks carefully they will have little trouble understanding that baptism is essential to being saved. If one will just take the passages on baptism and mark on a piece of paper the order which is presented, one will see that baptism always comes be fore salvation in any and every passages where the two are mentioned. Example:

Mk.16:16: Believeth and is baptized=salvation
Acts 2:38: Repent and be baptized == remission of sins!
IPet.3:21:Baptism does also save us: baptism==salvation!
In order for baptism to be effective, however, it has to meet God given conditions! We need to be aware of those conditions and be sure that we have met them.
Acts 19 gives us an example where people who were in a sense “disciples,” and had been baptized, but they had not meet the conditions God has set forth, so thy had to be baptized in order to meet God’s condition to be SAVED!
Let us look at this passage and keep it in mind as we consider the subject of baptism:
Acts 19:1 5 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Notice that these had been baptized, but for the wrong reason!
When Paul discovered the reality of their case, he taught them the truth and they then were ready candidates for baptism and they were baptized.
1. They had been baptized unto John’s baptism, which required that one look forward to the one who was to come. That is the Christ.
2. Now that Christ had come and died, they had to look back to the one who had come, and put their trust in Him. When Paul pointed to this plain teaching, these people easily saw that they had not been baptized for the correct reason, so they were baptized as the New Testament teaches.
3. The New Testament teaches that in order for one to be a valid candidate for baptism he/she has to believe ( Mk. 16:15 16); repent ( Acts 2:38) confess (Acts 8:37; Matt. 10:32 33) then one is to be baptized in order to have the “remission of sins.”
Many people have been baptized without these conditions being met. They are not saved by the blood of Jesus, they are still lost in their sins, and the only biblical thing for them to do is to hear the truth, believe it, turn to God, confessing their faith and be buried with him in baptism ( Rom. 6:3 4).
Beloved, salvation is too precious; being lost is too terrible, to go to the judgment without complying with God’s teachings. Be as sure as you can about your soul’s salvation. Satan has many ministers, persuading people to remain in their unsaved state ( 2 Cor. 11:13 15).
Beloved God’s word is right, understandable, and practicable. Will you study it carefully and find what it says and then DO IT!
I recognize that when you teach such today, many people will become angry at you. Some charge you with being a person that is not likable, perhaps “mean,” and with believing in various things that are not true. Having been there once, due to having been taught the wrong thing in the first place, it was difficult for me to open my eyes to the truth, and accept it. However, having that honest and good heart (Lk. 8:15), in time I saw the simple teaching, and admitted that I was wrong and submitted to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is because I love the souls of people that I try to get ALL to see the truth, by which they can be saved! God loves all. William C. Sexton

Study Of Book of Philippians Chapter 2
The Joy of Having the Mind of Christ

Introduction: In this second chapter, Paul tells how these Christians can “fulfill my Joy” by conducting themselves in the way that is appropriate. “that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Strife and vain glory is to be rejected in favor of lowliness of mind and care for each other (Phil. 1:1 4).

1.The behavior that is to be exhibited is seen in Christ. Thus each is urged to have the mind of Christ. See Him who was willing to come to earth from His place with the Father, become a man and take upon himself the form of a servant, that He might enable men to be saved! He humbled Himself and became “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Having done that, it becomes a fact that ultimately every knee shall bow to His rule and confess His name. However, each has the opportunity to voluntarily submit NOW, in this life, and be eternally blessed. If not, finally they’ll do so to their eternal ruin, ultimately come to the realization that He is who He claims to be and deserves to be submitted to (Phil. 2:5-11).

2. “Therefore” having considered this example, Paul advises them to work out their own salvation by allowing God to work in and through them. I have seen people misuse this passage to claim that God does all the working. Beloved, be not deceived. If that were the case, Paul’s advice to them would be useless, if there were noting for them to do! There is something that each of us has to do in order to make our salvation secure. All the teaching to the contrary has it origin in the evil one, whose aim is to deter us from the blessing God has provided!(Phil. 2:12-13)
3. He instructs them to be “blameless” and harmless as children of God, holding forth the word of life in the midst of crookedness and darkness of the world. This is to be done without grumbling and complaining. This would enable this apostle to rejoice even if he is sacrificed fro what he has taught and encouraged people to serve God (Phil. 2:14-18)
4. In the last section of this chapter, he speaks of sending two of his helpers to them: Timothy and Epaphroditus Paul says this will make it possible for him and them to be encouraged an comforted. These were faithful men who deserve to be respected for their work in the Lord. They had served with Paul and on the behalf of the Philippian Christians, evidently taking their support and regard to Paul.

Questions:
1. How could these Philippians “fulfill” Paul’s “joy” (Phil. 2:12)

2. How where these to let “noting be done,” instead how to “look”(Phil. 2:3-4)?

3. What kind of “mind” were these to have (Phil. 2:5-8)?

4. What will all people do ultimately (Phil. 2:9-11)

5. What were these to “work out” and how (Phil. 2:12-13)?

6. How were all things to be done with what results (Phil. 2:14-16)?

7. Under what conditions would Paul be able to “rejoice” for what reason (Phil. 2:17-19)?

8. How did the one he was sending to them stand in contrast with others he mentioned (Phil. 2:20-23)?

9. What did he hope to do soon (Phil. 2:24)?

10. What is said about Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30)?
Waveland Church of Christ
Corner of Highways 10 and 309
Waveland, AR 72842

A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up

Volume 7 April 17, 2005 Number 22

This Week’s Challenges

We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application

1. Memorize: (2 kings. 22:8)
2. Mediation: See what was found in the House of the Lord and conditions that had developed.
3. Application: Is this same item lost to many today in our land and that accounts for similar conditions!

Quote: “Wise men learn by the mistakes of others; fools insist on learning by their own.”

Gospel Meetings: In my area there has been five gospel meetings going on this last week, within driving distance. I have not been able to attend them all. But have attended the one’s I can. I find it a bit disturbing that so many in the same area will schedule a meeting at the same time. However, I guess the argument can be made that we are trying to reach the lost rather than the saved. However, I like to attend meeting. I wish we didn’t conflict so much.

I’ll be speaking this week, Sunday 17th to Friday 22, in a meeting with the Prairie Hills congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. I’m looking forward to meeting a number of people I’ve know in the past, and perhaps meet some I haven’t met before, and hopefully the Gospel preached will be what is needed and people will be lifted up, and drawn closer to the Lord and be encouraged to work harder for the Lord’s cause

Next week we plan to be back in Van Buren, and be in a meeting at the Access Road congregation, Brother Bill Cavender doing the preaching. We tried to schedule it at an earlier date, so it wouldn’t conflict with others in the area, but Brother Cavender couldn’t make it at the earlier date. It conflicted with his schedule.

Paul says that God has chosen that through preaching (which some call foolish) to save them that believe. I’m a bit discouraged with what I see today as far as how many look at gospel meetings. Years ago, it was not unlikely to see a meeting last two weeks, or at least start on Sunday and go a week and then to Friday night the next week. Now, many of them are just weekend meetings and perhaps three or four days. That indicates to me that people are not as hungry for or as appreciative of spiritual matters as they used to be. I recognize, too that most are busy in so many different things. Yet, I wonder if the evil one is not making it easy for us to get our attention focused on material things rather than on the spiritual. That would suit him fine, would it not? Are we mindful of the opportunities?
–William C. Sexton

Today’s Schedule of Yours truly: 10:00 AM at Prairie Hills congregation, St. Joseph, MO. Lift Up Your Eyes and Look (Jn. 4:35-42) 11:00A.M, Sermon- FAMILY God Designed (Gen. 2:18-24); PM. FAMILY that produces Happiness (Eph. 5:22-64).

This week’s subjects

Monday, Our view of the Bible (Matt. 22:29)
Tuesday: Eternal Destiny Heaven (Jn. 14:1-6; Rev. 21:4)
Wednesday: Real Hope (I Pet. 3:15)
Thursday: Eternal Punishment (Mk. 9:43-37; Matt. 25:31-46)
Friday: Methods of Growth, Individual and Congregational (Eph. 4:15-16)

ABRAHAM TEMPTED TO OFFER HIS ONLY SON!

At times we have things in the Bible, the word of God that requires a lot of mental effort and reasoning in order to understand. Such presents us with a challenge! Once we work our way through such, we can be stronger than before.
In Genesis 22:1 2 we have such a challenge: 1) We are told that “God did tempt Abraham,..”; 2: Abraham was told to offer his “only son Isaac…” We learn form other passages that God does NOT TEMPT man (James 1:13) and that Abraham had other sons, ( Gen. 25:1 7). How can we understand these passages?
God’s word does not contradict: its truths are always harmonious. Where is the key to understanding?
1. First regarding temptation: There are two meaning in temptation. One is to try or test with “a beneficial purpose and effect. “Such testing and or trying God does permit as He did with Abraham to test his faith. Two, temptation is used in the sense of exciting or soliciting to sin, as we bait a hook to catch a fish God never does participate in such, rather all such is the work of the devil or/and of the flesh.
2. Meaning of Genesis 22:2, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou loveth,…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”
Note he actually had two sons at this time: Ishmael and Isaac!
Pulpit Comm.: “meaning the only son of Sarah, the only legitimate offspring he possessed, the only heir of the promise, the only child that remained to him after Ishamel’s departure…” page 283.
“Isaac was Abraham’s ‘only begotten son’ in respect of Sarah and the promises: he sent away his other sons by other wives ( Gen.25:6.” Jameson, Fausset and BROWN, page 1434.
This is somewhat akin to the fact that we, Christians, are all sons of God ( Gal. 4:5 6). Yet, Christ is the “only Begotten Son” ( Jn. 3:16) This points to and affirms his uniqueness, His divine nature. Let us read with discernment and appreciation. When God speaks we should be eager to listen and learn. He never says something that is unimportant. His word is truth and it’s forever “settled in heaven” (Psalms 119:89).
Let us understand that there is a sense in which Christians are children of Abraham, when like Abraham they manifest their faith in God, to do what He teaches without question, doubting, understanding that God never tells man to do what he is unable to do. Also, what God tells us to do is for our good. When we have this disposition and attitude we’ll be careful to act BY FAITH to do all that the Lord demands of us, knowing that He’ll keep His promises, regardless of the time element involved! We may not always understand just how or why something it, but with faith in God, we act as directed. Observe the following scriptures:
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: Rom. 4:11)
“16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” Rom. 4:16)
Gal. 3: “6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
“9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
James: 2:23-24: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
William C. Sexton

Baptism that leaves one unsaved!

Baptism is a subject that if one goes to the Bible and looks carefully they will have little trouble understanding that baptism is essential to being saved. If one will just take the passages on baptism and mark on a piece of paper the order which is presented, one will see that baptism always comes be fore salvation in any and every passages where the two are mentioned. Example:

Mk.16:16: Believeth and is baptized=salvation
Acts 2:38: Repent and be baptized == remission of sins!
IPet.3:21:Baptism does also save us: baptism==salvation!
In order for baptism to be effective, however, it has to meet God given conditions! We need to be aware of those conditions and be sure that we have met them.
Acts 19 gives us an example where people who were in a sense “disciples,” and had been baptized, but they had not meet the conditions God has set forth, so thy had to be baptized in order to meet God’s condition to be SAVED!
Let us look at this passage and keep it in mind as we consider the subject of baptism:
Acts 19:1 5 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Notice that these had been baptized, but for the wrong reason!
When Paul discovered the reality of their case, he taught them the truth and they then were ready candidates for baptism and they were baptized.
1. They had been baptized unto John’s baptism, which required that one look forward to the one who was to come. That is the Christ.
2. Now that Christ had come and died, they had to look back to the one who had come, and put their trust in Him. When Paul pointed to this plain teaching, these people easily saw that they had not been baptized for the correct reason, so they were baptized as the New Testament teaches.
3. The New Testament teaches that in order for one to be a valid candidate for baptism he/she has to believe ( Mk. 16:15 16); repent ( Acts 2:38) confess (Acts 8:37; Matt. 10:32 33) then one is to be baptized in order to have the “remission of sins.”
Many people have been baptized without these conditions being met. They are not saved by the blood of Jesus, they are still lost in their sins, and the only biblical thing for them to do is to hear the truth, believe it, turn to God, confessing their faith and be buried with him in baptism ( Rom. 6:3 4).
Beloved, salvation is too precious; being lost is too terrible, to go to the judgment without complying with God’s teachings. Be as sure as you can about your soul’s salvation. Satan has many ministers, persuading people to remain in their unsaved state ( 2 Cor. 11:13 15).
Beloved God’s word is right, understandable, and practicable. Will you study it carefully and find what it says and then DO IT!
I recognize that when you teach such today, many people will become angry at you. Some charge you with being a person that is not likable, perhaps “mean,” and with believing in various things that are not true. Having been there once, due to having been taught the wrong thing in the first place, it was difficult for me to open my eyes to the truth, and accept it. However, having that honest and good heart (Lk. 8:15), in time I saw the simple teaching, and admitted that I was wrong and submitted to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is because I love the souls of people that I try to get ALL to see the truth, by which they can be saved! God loves all. William C. Sexton

Study Of Book of Philippians Chapter 2
The Joy of Having the Mind of Christ

Introduction: In this second chapter, Paul tells how these Christians can “fulfill my Joy” by conducting themselves in the way that is appropriate. “that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Strife and vain glory is to be rejected in favor of lowliness of mind and care for each other (Phil. 1:1 4).

1.The behavior that is to be exhibited is seen in Christ. Thus each is urged to have the mind of Christ. See Him who was willing to come to earth from His place with the Father, become a man and take upon himself the form of a servant, that He might enable men to be saved! He humbled Himself and became “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Having done that, it becomes a fact that ultimately every knee shall bow to His rule and confess His name. However, each has the opportunity to voluntarily submit NOW, in this life, and be eternally blessed. If not, finally they’ll do so to their eternal ruin, ultimately come to the realization that He is who He claims to be and deserves to be submitted to (Phil. 2:5-11).

2. “Therefore” having considered this example, Paul advises them to work out their own salvation by allowing God to work in and through them. I have seen people misuse this passage to claim that God does all the working. Beloved, be not deceived. If that were the case, Paul’s advice to them would be useless, if there were noting for them to do! There is something that each of us has to do in order to make our salvation secure. All the teaching to the contrary has it origin in the evil one, whose aim is to deter us from the blessing God has provided!(Phil. 2:12-13)
3. He instructs them to be “blameless” and harmless as children of God, holding forth the word of life in the midst of crookedness and darkness of the world. This is to be done without grumbling and complaining. This would enable this apostle to rejoice even if he is sacrificed fro what he has taught and encouraged people to serve God (Phil. 2:14-18)
4. In the last section of this chapter, he speaks of sending two of his helpers to them: Timothy and Epaphroditus Paul says this will make it possible for him and them to be encouraged an comforted. These were faithful men who deserve to be respected for their work in the Lord. They had served with Paul and on the behalf of the Philippian Christians, evidently taking their support and regard to Paul.

Questions:
1. How could these Philippians “fulfill” Paul’s “joy” (Phil. 2:12)

2. How where these to let “noting be done,” instead how to “look”(Phil. 2:3-4)?

3. What kind of “mind” were these to have (Phil. 2:5-8)?

4. What will all people do ultimately (Phil. 2:9-11)

5. What were these to “work out” and how (Phil. 2:12-13)?

6. How were all things to be done with what results (Phil. 2:14-16)?

7. Under what conditions would Paul be able to “rejoice” for what reason (Phil. 2:17-19)?

8. How did the one he was sending to them stand in contrast with others he mentioned (Phil. 2:20-23)?

9. What did he hope to do soon (Phil. 2:24)?

10. What is said about Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30)?
Waveland Church of Christ
Corner of Highways 10 and 309
Waveland, AR 72842

A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up

Volume 7 April 17, 2005 Number 22

This Week’s Challenges

We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application

1. Memorize: (2 kings. 22:8)
2. Mediation: See what was found in the House of the Lord and conditions that had developed.
3. Application: Is this same item lost to many today in our land and that accounts for similar conditions!

Quote: “Wise men learn by the mistakes of others; fools insist on learning by their own.”

Gospel Meetings: In my area there has been five gospel meetings going on this last week, within driving distance. I have not been able to attend them all. But have attended the one’s I can. I find it a bit disturbing that so many in the same area will schedule a meeting at the same time. However, I guess the argument can be made that we are trying to reach the lost rather than the saved. However, I like to attend meeting. I wish we didn’t conflict so much.

I’ll be speaking this week, Sunday 17th to Friday 22, in a meeting with the Prairie Hills congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. I’m looking forward to meeting a number of people I’ve know in the past, and perhaps meet some I haven’t met before, and hopefully the Gospel preached will be what is needed and people will be lifted up, and drawn closer to the Lord and be encouraged to work harder for the Lord’s cause

Next week we plan to be back in Van Buren, and be in a meeting at the Access Road congregation, Brother Bill Cavender doing the preaching. We tried to schedule it at an earlier date, so it wouldn’t conflict with others in the area, but Brother Cavender couldn’t make it at the earlier date. It conflicted with his schedule.

Paul says that God has chosen that through preaching (which some call foolish) to save them that believe. I’m a bit discouraged with what I see today as far as how many look at gospel meetings. Years ago, it was not unlikely to see a meeting last two weeks, or at least start on Sunday and go a week and then to Friday night the next week. Now, many of them are just weekend meetings and perhaps three or four days. That indicates to me that people are not as hungry for or as appreciative of spiritual matters as they used to be. I recognize, too that most are busy in so many different things. Yet, I wonder if the evil one is not making it easy for us to get our attention focused on material things rather than on the spiritual. That would suit him fine, would it not? Are we mindful of the opportunities?
–William C. Sexton

Today’s Schedule of Yours truly: 10:00 AM at Prairie Hills congregation, St. Joseph, MO. Lift Up Your Eyes and Look (Jn. 4:35-42) 11:00A.M, Sermon- FAMILY God Designed (Gen. 2:18-24); PM. FAMILY that produces Happiness (Eph. 5:22-64).

This week’s subjects

Monday, Our view of the Bible (Matt. 22:29)
Tuesday: Eternal Destiny Heaven (Jn. 14:1-6; Rev. 21:4)
Wednesday: Real Hope (I Pet. 3:15)
Thursday: Eternal Punishment (Mk. 9:43-37; Matt. 25:31-46)
Friday: Methods of Growth, Individual and Congregational (Eph. 4:15-16)

ABRAHAM TEMPTED TO OFFER HIS ONLY SON!

At times we have things in the Bible, the word of God that requires a lot of mental effort and reasoning in order to understand. Such presents us with a challenge! Once we work our way through such, we can be stronger than before.
In Genesis 22:1 2 we have such a challenge: 1) We are told that “God did tempt Abraham,..”; 2: Abraham was told to offer his “only son Isaac…” We learn form other passages that God does NOT TEMPT man (James 1:13) and that Abraham had other sons, ( Gen. 25:1 7). How can we understand these passages?
God’s word does not contradict: its truths are always harmonious. Where is the key to understanding?
1. First regarding temptation: There are two meaning in temptation. One is to try or test with “a beneficial purpose and effect. “Such testing and or trying God does permit as He did with Abraham to test his faith. Two, temptation is used in the sense of exciting or soliciting to sin, as we bait a hook to catch a fish God never does participate in such, rather all such is the work of the devil or/and of the flesh.
2. Meaning of Genesis 22:2, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou loveth,…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”
Note he actually had two sons at this time: Ishmael and Isaac!
Pulpit Comm.: “meaning the only son of Sarah, the only legitimate offspring he possessed, the only heir of the promise, the only child that remained to him after Ishamel’s departure…” page 283.
“Isaac was Abraham’s ‘only begotten son’ in respect of Sarah and the promises: he sent away his other sons by other wives ( Gen.25:6.” Jameson, Fausset and BROWN, page 1434.
This is somewhat akin to the fact that we, Christians, are all sons of God ( Gal. 4:5 6). Yet, Christ is the “only Begotten Son” ( Jn. 3:16) This points to and affirms his uniqueness, His divine nature. Let us read with discernment and appreciation. When God speaks we should be eager to listen and learn. He never says something that is unimportant. His word is truth and it’s forever “settled in heaven” (Psalms 119:89).
Let us understand that there is a sense in which Christians are children of Abraham, when like Abraham they manifest their faith in God, to do what He teaches without question, doubting, understanding that God never tells man to do what he is unable to do. Also, what God tells us to do is for our good. When we have this disposition and attitude we’ll be careful to act BY FAITH to do all that the Lord demands of us, knowing that He’ll keep His promises, regardless of the time element involved! We may not always understand just how or why something it, but with faith in God, we act as directed. Observe the following scriptures:
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: Rom. 4:11)
“16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” Rom. 4:16)
Gal. 3: “6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
“9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
James: 2:23-24: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
William C. Sexton

Baptism that leaves one unsaved!

Baptism is a subject that if one goes to the Bible and looks carefully they will have little trouble understanding that baptism is essential to being saved. If one will just take the passages on baptism and mark on a piece of paper the order which is presented, one will see that baptism always comes be fore salvation in any and every passages where the two are mentioned. Example:

Mk.16:16: Believeth and is baptized=salvation
Acts 2:38: Repent and be baptized == remission of sins!
IPet.3:21:Baptism does also save us: baptism==salvation!
In order for baptism to be effective, however, it has to meet God given conditions! We need to be aware of those conditions and be sure that we have met them.
Acts 19 gives us an example where people who were in a sense “disciples,” and had been baptized, but they had not meet the conditions God has set forth, so thy had to be baptized in order to meet God’s condition to be SAVED!
Let us look at this passage and keep it in mind as we consider the subject of baptism:
Acts 19:1 5 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Notice that these had been baptized, but for the wrong reason!
When Paul discovered the reality of their case, he taught them the truth and they then were ready candidates for baptism and they were baptized.
1. They had been baptized unto John’s baptism, which required that one look forward to the one who was to come. That is the Christ.
2. Now that Christ had come and died, they had to look back to the one who had come, and put their trust in Him. When Paul pointed to this plain teaching, these people easily saw that they had not been baptized for the correct reason, so they were baptized as the New Testament teaches.
3. The New Testament teaches that in order for one to be a valid candidate for baptism he/she has to believe ( Mk. 16:15 16); repent ( Acts 2:38) confess (Acts 8:37; Matt. 10:32 33) then one is to be baptized in order to have the “remission of sins.”
Many people have been baptized without these conditions being met. They are not saved by the blood of Jesus, they are still lost in their sins, and the only biblical thing for them to do is to hear the truth, believe it, turn to God, confessing their faith and be buried with him in baptism ( Rom. 6:3 4).
Beloved, salvation is too precious; being lost is too terrible, to go to the judgment without complying with God’s teachings. Be as sure as you can about your soul’s salvation. Satan has many ministers, persuading people to remain in their unsaved state ( 2 Cor. 11:13 15).
Beloved God’s word is right, understandable, and practicable. Will you study it carefully and find what it says and then DO IT!
I recognize that when you teach such today, many people will become angry at you. Some charge you with being a person that is not likable, perhaps “mean,” and with believing in various things that are not true. Having been there once, due to having been taught the wrong thing in the first place, it was difficult for me to open my eyes to the truth, and accept it. However, having that honest and good heart (Lk. 8:15), in time I saw the simple teaching, and admitted that I was wrong and submitted to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is because I love the souls of people that I try to get ALL to see the truth, by which they can be saved! God loves all. William C. Sexton

Study Of Book of Philippians Chapter 2
The Joy of Having the Mind of Christ

Introduction: In this second chapter, Paul tells how these Christians can “fulfill my Joy” by conducting themselves in the way that is appropriate. “that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Strife and vain glory is to be rejected in favor of lowliness of mind and care for each other (Phil. 1:1 4).

1.The behavior that is to be exhibited is seen in Christ. Thus each is urged to have the mind of Christ. See Him who was willing to come to earth from His place with the Father, become a man and take upon himself the form of a servant, that He might enable men to be saved! He humbled Himself and became “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Having done that, it becomes a fact that ultimately every knee shall bow to His rule and confess His name. However, each has the opportunity to voluntarily submit NOW, in this life, and be eternally blessed. If not, finally they’ll do so to their eternal ruin, ultimately come to the realization that He is who He claims to be and deserves to be submitted to (Phil. 2:5-11).

2. “Therefore” having considered this example, Paul advises them to work out their own salvation by allowing God to work in and through them. I have seen people misuse this passage to claim that God does all the working. Beloved, be not deceived. If that were the case, Paul’s advice to them would be useless, if there were noting for them to do! There is something that each of us has to do in order to make our salvation secure. All the teaching to the contrary has it origin in the evil one, whose aim is to deter us from the blessing God has provided!(Phil. 2:12-13)
3. He instructs them to be “blameless” and harmless as children of God, holding forth the word of life in the midst of crookedness and darkness of the world. This is to be done without grumbling and complaining. This would enable this apostle to rejoice even if he is sacrificed fro what he has taught and encouraged people to serve God (Phil. 2:14-18)
4. In the last section of this chapter, he speaks of sending two of his helpers to them: Timothy and Epaphroditus Paul says this will make it possible for him and them to be encouraged an comforted. These were faithful men who deserve to be respected for their work in the Lord. They had served with Paul and on the behalf of the Philippian Christians, evidently taking their support and regard to Paul.

Questions:
1. How could these Philippians “fulfill” Paul’s “joy” (Phil. 2:12)

2. How where these to let “noting be done,” instead how to “look”(Phil. 2:3-4)?

3. What kind of “mind” were these to have (Phil. 2:5-8)?

4. What will all people do ultimately (Phil. 2:9-11)

5. What were these to “work out” and how (Phil. 2:12-13)?

6. How were all things to be done with what results (Phil. 2:14-16)?

7. Under what conditions would Paul be able to “rejoice” for what reason (Phil. 2:17-19)?

8. How did the one he was sending to them stand in contrast with others he mentioned (Phil. 2:20-23)?

9. What did he hope to do soon (Phil. 2:24)?

10. What is said about Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30)?
Waveland Church of Christ
Corner of Highways 10 and 309
Waveland, AR 72842

A Christians Voice, April 17, 2005