Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 17
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
In this issue:
Is Baptism Essential to Salvation?
Baptism, and its relation to salvation is a much discussed
and hotly debated question. Is baptism essential to salvation? Will God save
a person without that person being baptized? Sincere people can be found on
both sides of the issue, but a person can be sincerely wrong. For example,
before he was saved, Saul of Tarsus sincerely thought he must do many things
contrary to the name of Jesus (Acts 26: 9), which he did "in all good
conscience" (v. 1)), but he was wrong as could be.
In the publication,
Good News, March 2, 1972, we read the following: "Is baptism necessary for
salvation…a plain definite NO! No, baptism doesn't save, doesn't help
save…it doesn't have anything in this world to do with the saving of a
soul." Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…" (Mk.
1: 16). Peter said: "…eight souls were saved by water. The like figure
whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…" (1 Pet. 3: 20-21). You
In A New Manual for Baptist Churches, p. 44-45, we read: "…We
say Acts 2: 38 does not teach that baptism is, in any sense, essential to
the salvation of a soul." Acts 2: 38 says, "…Repent, and be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…" You
publication The Truth that leads to Eternal life, p. 183- 184, says: "What,
then, does Christian baptism signify? It is not washing away of one's sins,
because cleansing from sin comes only through faith in Jesus Christ."
Revelation 1: 5 says, "…"Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins
in His own blood" Rev. 1: 5. Acts 22: 16 says, "And now why tarriest thou?
Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the
Lord." You decide!
“Living your Truth”
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17).
A modern expression that seems to be gaining
in popularity and acceptance is: "Live your truth." What does that mean
exactly? Writer Carly Victoria expressed it this way: "To live in your truth
simply means to live as your most authentic self, doing things daily that
bring you happiness and joy, living as true to yourself as possible." Kamal
Ravikant, author of the book, Live Your Truth, stated: "Whatever human
endeavor we choose, as long as we live our truth, it is success." In other
words, to "live your truth" suggests that truth is subjective and relative;
that truth is personal for each individual; to live your truth is all about
YOU; it's whatever you think, feel, desire, and makes you happy; it can
evolve over time; and you are your own standard.
Granted, the expression may be new, but the
mindset is quite ancient. "In those days there was no king in Israel;
everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). "And the LORD
said, 'Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have
not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, but they have walked
according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which
their fathers taught them'" (Jeremiah 9:13-14).
The Bible calls us to live God's truth, not
our own. After all, it is His Word that is truth and that sanctifies us.
Jesus declared to Satan: "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). As
Christ stood before Pontius Pilate, He stated: "For this cause I was born,
and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to
the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice" (John 18:37).
Furthermore, as Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus: "But you have not so
learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as
the truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:20-21).
Where do we find "truth"? The truth is in
Jesus! As the Lord testified to His apostles: "I am the way, the truth, and
the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Jesus
is THE TRUTH - not me, not you, or anyone else!
Perhaps one of the greatest lies of Satan
today is the belief that we can define truth and determine reality from
within ourselves. Let us resolve to live God's truth in our lives, by coming
to know His truth and obeying His truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1
John 5:3). And let us resolve to share that truth with one and all that they
might be truly set free (John 8:32).
Are You God’s Vomit?
Jesus had some harsh words for the church members of Laodicea when He wrote,
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were
cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I
will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). I’d imagine that Jesus
had a long time to watch over this church; His remarks weren’t made lightly.
Another way of describing the phenomena of
lukewarmness is putting it in the context of halfheartedness vs.
wholeheartedness. An example of wholeheartedness would be Jesus’ charge in
Matthew 22:37-38: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great
commandment.” Jesus didn’t want us to love God a little; He wanted us to
love God with everything we have.
Perhaps the most pervasive problem that
churches face now is lukewarmness. Saints are lukewarm when they don’t
support the work financially like they could. Saints are lukewarm when they
don’t volunteer in various congregational roles like they could. Saints are
lukewarm when they let other activities interfere with worshipping God like
they could. All of this makes members inherently weak. When these weak
members raise children, they either fall away or become replicants of their
weak parents. In either case, the local church struggles harder to advance,
and inevitably succumbs to dying interest and a dying membership.
The good part about lukewarmness is that it
can be corrected. Jesus told the Laodiceans, “As many as I love, I rebuke
and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). If you’re
lukewarm, all you have to do is repent and return to the zeal that you most
likely had when you became a Christian — a zeal that produced joy (Acts
8:39), hospitality (Acts 16:15), service (Acts 16:33), etc.
And yes, I understand the irony of issuing a
call to action to someone who has demonstrated that they care little about
the Lord. But remember that you are going to have to give an answer to what
you’ve done (and what you haven’t done). Jesus said that you can’t live with
a divided heart (Matthew 6:24). James said this makes you “double-minded”
and “unstable” in all your ways (1:8).
A Gospel Meeting
ourselves together (Heb. 10:25).
to hear God’s word (Acts 10:33).
to grow in Christ (1 Pet. 2:1-2).
power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16).
the word (2 Tim. 4:2).
the saints with the gospel (Acts
unto Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2).
things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5).
the works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).
faith (Heb. 10:36-39).
time to be holy (1 Pet. 1:13-17).
in prayer (1 Tim. 2:1).
is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).
and teach all nations (Matt. 28:19).
The Mt. Baker church of Christ
welcomes you to our gospel meeting, and invites you to join us for Bible
study as we learn God’s will for our lives (2 Tim. 2:15;
2 Cor. 13:5). One goal of our gospel meeting is for each person to hear the
word of God. Personal faith is produced and salvation is received by hearing
the Bible, believing it and obeying it (Rom. 10:17;
We welcome your Bible questions, and we will gladly study more of God’s word
with you if that is your wish. We want to live by faith, and we want that
for you, too. We live by faith in Christ
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149