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A WEBSITE DESIGNED TO BE A RESOURCE OF CHURCH BULLETIN ARTICLES

 

      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN

ANY CHRISTIAN CAN BAPTIZE

Most people believe that a preacher must baptize them or it does not "count." This doctrine comes out of medieval church tradition; the Bible places no such restriction on baptism. If a man can teach another what to do to be saved, then he can also baptize him. The great commission applies to all equally (Matthew 28:19-20). Many people, following a Bible study with Christian friends, are surprised to find out that they do not have to wait to be baptized. They figure that there will be a special "baptismal service" at the end of the month or six months. In the New Testament, it is clear that in every case when people wanted to be baptized, there was no waiting (Acts 2:41; 8:36-38; 10:47-48; 16:14-15, 33-34).

What Jesus did for you and me was an incredible demonstration of genuine love.  What Jesus did for us, we do not deserve. What He did for us was an act of grace. We could never repay the debt that we owe Him. But. we can (and should) be grateful for Him and His life-giving sacrifice flee! Not a day should pass without us expressing our thanks to God for what His Son has done on our behalf; "But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57). Jesus did four amazing things for us.

HE CAME. He came from heaven to earth. He Himself said, "For I, came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38). In heaven Jesus shared in the glory of the Father "before the world was" (John 17:5), but He left heaven to come to earth. Why? "...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (I Timothy 1:151. Let us admit it without shame: if Jesus had not come. we could not be saved from our sins. Consider some of the beautiful words of the song "He Still Came:"

Yet the King of kings left heaven to become a lowly man
He left all heaven's glory to fulfill His Father's plan,
He still came just for me, He still came.
Knowing all He would endure,  He still came.
Disregarding every cost. from the manger to the cross,
He still came just for me, He still came.

HE WENT. He went to the cross. When the mob came to take Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, He could have called "twelve legions of angels" (72,(X)0) to protect Himself (Matthew 26:53), but He did not. Jesus had the power to run away from the interrogations of the Jewish council, Pilate, and Herod, but He chose not to do so. Instead, He endured mockery, physical and mental torture, and with the help of Simon carried His cross "to the place which is called Calvary; there they crucified him" (Luke 23:33). Why did our loving Lord go to the cross when He could have avoided it? The Bible's answer is plain: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" 1 Peter 2:24). If Jesus had not gone to the cross, we would still be hopelessly lost!

HE STAYED. He stayed on the cross. After He was crucified, He hung on the cross for six hours (Mark 15:25, 34-37). While He was still hanging there, some mockingly spoke these words of blasphemy: "Save thyself, and come down from the cross...He saved others; him-self he cannot save" (Mark 15:30. 31). Did Jesus have the power to come down from the cross? Of course! But He stayed right there until the end. Why? Because of His great love for us and because He knew that in God's plan. His death was a necessity.

HE RETURNED. He returned to heaven, where He sat down at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). He went "into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24). Upon His return to heaven, He was given "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom" (Daniel 7:13, 14), There He "ever livcth to make intercession for us" (Hebrew 7:25).

May we ever thrill at the story of Jesus!
—Roger D. Campbell