Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 37
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
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In this issue:
THE GIFT OF SALVATION IS
David A. Cox
the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord " (Romans 6:23).
In writing to the Romans, Paul refers to eternal life as "the gift of God."
Many conclude from this verse that salvation is unconditional. The thought
is, "why would it be called a 'gift' if there are conditions connected to
it?" Paul does indeed use the word "gift," but notice he does not say that
eternal life is an unconditional gift. Consider a couple of examples in
scripture about the gift of salvation.
The Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, Jesus spoke of those who would
enter the kingdom of heaven. He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord,
Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My
Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). It is clear that Jesus says to
enter the kingdom of heaven something must be done; the Father's will. This
means the gift has some conditions that must be met to enter the kingdom of
heaven or receive eternal life.
Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. In Ephesians 2:8, Paul mentions again the
gift of salvation that we receive by the grace of God. The gift is not due
to works of merit or something owed to us. Still, it is a gift from God
(Ephesians 2:9). In verse 10, Paul continues, "For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand
that we should walk in them." Paul is saying the gift of salvation is
coupled with "good works" that God has appointed for us to do.
What We Must Conclude. From the previous passages, it is clear that there
are conditions that God has ordained for men. What are these conditions that
God has given for man to do?
1. Believe. In
John 6:40, Jesus said, "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that
everyone who sees the Son of man and believes in Him may have everlasting
life." Jesus also said, "if you believe not that I am He, you will die in
your sins" ( John 8:24). John said, concerning the things that are written
in the gospel record, "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence
of His disciples...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His
name." It is evident that to receive the gift of God, one has to believe.
2. Belief Will Lead One to Action. Believing something and not acting
on it will not help you. James said, "The devils believe and tremble" (
James 2:19), but surely we know they did not receive the gift of salvation.
Faith will bring one to change and respond to the offer of salvation. The
devils did not do that. An example of this faith and action is observed in
Acts 2. The Jews gathered at Jerusalem and heard Peter preach the gospel to
them. Peter proclaimed, "...let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and
Christ." At this point, the Jews that heard believed the preaching of Peter
and cried out, asking what they should do. Peter responded, saying, "Repent,and
let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Peter told them to receive forgiveness of
sins and the gift of salvation, conditions must be met. Based on their
belief and confession of faith, the conditions were to repent and be
baptized for the remission of sins. On that day, three thousand responded
in obedience and were baptized for the remission of their sins.
Salvation is an exceedingly great gift that God has given to man. When one
hears, believes, repents, confesses, and is baptized, he has complied with
the conditions that God desires man to do. Let each of us respond to
receive the gift of salvation and then live each day faithfully serving Him.
we live, serve the Lord and honor.
Joe R. Price
Hospice care is designed to ease physical pain and suffering as death nears.
It is a helpful service that offers dignity, palliative care, and comfort to
the person approaching death, as well as their families.
Surprisingly, many people will not even talk
about death, their own, or that of a loved one. Of course, that does not
slow death's approach or prevent its arrival. Perhaps they convince
themselves that by not thinking and talking about death they can avoid its
encroachment. Or perhaps the topic is too unpleasant and painful for them.
Nevertheless, death is common to us all (Heb. 9:27).
Solomon, in his wisdom, said it is wise to
go to the house of mourning because "that is the end of all men" and "the
living will lay it to heart" (Eccl. 7:2). Visit the house of mourning with
me for a moment as we ask ourselves a few questions.
(1) Am I ready to die? This
is not a question about whether we want to die right now, but whether we are
ready to die should it happen now. We do not know when we will die. This is
why we must be watchful and ready; only a breath separates us from death.
Paul could say, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21). He was
ready to die because he was living for Christ. That is how we are ready to
die as death nears (James 4:13-15).
(2) Am I right with God? How
you answer this question depends largely on how you answered the first one.
Being right with God does not mean I "think" I am right (remember the people
of Matt. 7:21-23). Paul was not ready to die when he persecuted Christians,
although he thought he was right with God (Acts 26:9-11). Later, Paul was
ready to die because he had fought the good fight, finished the course, and
kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7). The man with great wealth was not right with
God when his soul was required of him. That parable is a tragic illustration
of treasuring up riches for ourselves but failing to be "rich toward God"
(Luke 12:15-21). Get right with God now. Obey Christ's gospel and live by
faith in Him. Then you will be right with God as death nears (Mark 16:16;
Acts 2:36-41; Gal. 2:20).
(3) What spiritual legacy will I leave? In
the end, what matters will not be how large a financial estate we leave
behind. Each of us will leave some kind of spiritual legacy to the next
generation. Will our lives speak beyond the grave of faith, love for God,
and service to others (Heb. 11:4)? Will the next generation know God because
we spoke His truth and lived faithful lives (Psalms 71:18)? What spiritual
legacy are you preparing to leave as death nears?
Greeting to Gaius
1 The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just
as your soul prospers.
3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that
is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Gaius Commended for Generosity
5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for
6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them
forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
7 because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the
8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for
Diotrephes and Demetrius
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence
among them, does not receive us.
10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does,
prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he
himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to,
putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good
is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And
we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen
14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to
you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
Created by John Bass, 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