Bethel Baptist Church

"For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

The Beacon

truth for the head . . . fire for the heart

Music and songs have long been an important part of worship among God's people. When God brought the Israelites safely across the Red Sea, Moses wrote a song, recorded in Exodus 15. Standing safely on the banks of the watery grave which contained the strongest of Egypt's warriors, the people of Israel no doubt sang this song with passion and joy and awe.

“Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying:

I will sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea!

The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father's God, and I will extol Him.”
Exod 15:2

There was music and great joy when David returned the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem in 1 Chronicles 16. With delight and gratitude the people sang:


Definition: Baptism as seen in the New Testament is the immersion in water of a believer who has made a voluntary and public confession of faith in Jesus Christ. It is administered upon the authority of a New Testament church to show a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Mark 1:9-10, Acts 8:38-39, 2:41, Rom. 6:3-5).

Baptism shows our death to sin, our resurrection to new life in Christ and it points forward to our bodily resurrection (Col. 2:12, 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Believer’s baptism, which was commanded by Christ in the Great Commission, is necessary for membership in a local church (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 2:41, 47). If you were sprinkled as an infant, you have never been scripturally baptized. Baptism does not save or even help save you, but is only for those who are already saved, those who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9-12).

Charles Spurgeon Quotes:

  • I have a great need for Christ: I have a great Christ for my need.
  • We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.
  • If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.
  • It is not a matter of time so much as a matter of heart; if you have the heart to pray, you will find the time.


How to View Death

For the believer, the time of death becomes far less daunting a factor when seen in the light of eternity. Although death remains an enemy, an outrage, a sign of judgment, a reminder of sin and a formidable opponent, it is, from another perspective, the portal through which we pass to consummated life. We pass through death, and death dies. And the more a Christian lives in the consciousness of God’s presence here, the easier it is to anticipate the unqualified delight that will be experienced in God’s presence there. 

—D.A. Carson

meditation on Ephesians 5:18

Ephesians 5:18 is a familiar verse. "Do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." It is interesting to ask why Paul made reference here to being drunk. Why doesn’t he just say that we should be filled with the Spirit? There are probably two reasons. The first is with reference to the drunken, licentious worship that went on in Ephesus. The religious activity that went on in the Temple of Diana, in the name of worship, was detestable. There was drinking, immorality, and gluttony, all under the guise of worship. Paul is saying that for the Christian drunkenness is not acceptable because it is debauchery.

A second reason why Paul refers to drunkenness is to draw a parallel between being under the control of alcohol and being under the control of the Holy Spirit. The first part of verse 18 tells us something about the meaning of being filled with the Spirit. To be filled by the Holy Spirit means to be under His influence, to be controlled by His thoughts and desires. The verses which immediately follow show us what it is like to be filled by the Spirit. ". . . addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph 5:19-21).

There are four things here that result from the filling of the Holy Spirit … speaking to each other in songs … making melody in your heart to the Lord … giving thanks in all things … submitting to one another. This is what the filling of the Holy Spirit looks like.

Shan Reed
North American Baptist Conference
Ibukino 3 Chome 14-9-903
Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu
594-0041 Japan
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In October I will be heading back to the U.S. for home assignment. I look forward to thanking you in person and sharing how God is at work in Japan. Although my fall schedule is already full, after the New Year my schedule is wide open. Please let me know when you’d like me to visit your church for Sunday worship, Bible studies, Awana, youth group gatherings, retreats, camps, VBS, and/or any other fellowship gatherings.

I am grateful for Ken and Rachelle Johnson and their family as they have worked at Komyo Christian Church this past year while the Ewing family was on home assignment. Thank you for your prayers for us this year!

God’s richest blessings to you as you continue seeking and serving Him right where He has placed you.


  • Please pray for Komyo Christian Church as we study God’s Word together.
  • Pray for continued growth for each member and regular attender at Komyo Church.
  • Please pray for Paul and Melissa Ewing as they transition back into ministry in Japan after a year of home assignment.