Missions Update: September 2016
Norm and Gwen Bowman
Global Outreach International
“For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31
Well, this has been our “literal” experience in the past several months. We have literally been overwhelmed with life, ministry and all of the things that seem to invade our daily lives. After over 30 years in Spain we have become the “go to” folks for so many people, both near and far, and regardless of our efforts to create some healthy boundaries, the undertow of people-needs and ministry responsibilities in the stressed-out Spanish society in which we live and to which we minister, is relentless, and at times unmerciful. As a result, a lot of things that we need and want to do just go without doing, and this is why you have not heard from us for a while.
Joe Teisan: September 2016
IN WHAT FOUR WAYS IS INFANT BAPTISM UNBIBLICAL?
1. In The New Testament, only a person who believed in Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior could be baptized: “Make disciples . . . baptizing them” (Matt. 28:19). “Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John” (Jn. 4:1). “Crispus . . . believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). How does infant baptism violate both the child and the Scripture? In the infant there is no understanding, no will to choose, no faith, and no desire to serve Christ or become His disciple. Churches are charged to carry out the commands of Christ, but they have no authority to change the Word of the Lord. Christ wanted His churches to be made up of the saved, but infant baptism forces the unregenerated into the churches as members. In church history, the Anabaptists practiced believers’ baptism.
2. In the New Testament, immersion is the only mode of baptism: “And Jesus, having been immersed, immediately went up from the water” (Matt. 3:16, N.T. by K.S. Wuest). “No Baptist has written a lexicon of the Greek language, and yet the standard lexicons . . . uniformly give the meaning of baptize as ‘dip’ or ‘immerse.’ They do not give ‘pour’ or ‘sprinkle’, nor has anyone ever adduced an instance where this verb means ‘pour’ or ‘sprinkle.’ The presumption is therefore in favor of ‘dip’ in the NT” (A.T. Robertson, I.S.B.E., Vol, I, p. 415).
Odds & Ends: September 2016
Christ says, “Give me all. … No half-measures are any good. … Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked — the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”
—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Known as the “queen of gospel song writers,” Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) wrote more than 9,000 Christian hymns, including “Blessed Assurance” and “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” Blind from a young age, she developed a love for poetry and Scripture, memorizing about five chapters of the Bible each week. Crosby was the first woman to speak in the U.S. Senate, lobbying to support education for the blind. She also was an abolitionist who made friends with several presidents.
A well-meaning pastor once told Crosby, “It is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you.”
She responded that her blindness was a blessing she wouldn’t wish away. “When I get to heaven,” Crosby said, “the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.”
Pastor Cosand: August 2016
The End of All Things
meditation on 1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is at hand;
therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded
for the sake of your prayers.
That the end is near is a common New Testament theme. "The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand . . ." (Rom 13:12). ". . . not forsaking our own assembling together, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Heb 10:25). "Children, it is the last hour . . ." (1 Jn 2:18). "Be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand . . . the Judge is standing right at the door" (Jam 5:8,9).
The teaching in the New Testament that the end is near is meant to be a motivating thought for Christians. A fruitful life, inspired by the hope of eternity, is a source of strength as we go through life. Peter is encouraging a certain mentality here, a 'last days' mentality. We should live in a certain way because the end of all things is near.
But what is the force of the sentence, "the end of all things is at hand"? Peter wrote that 2000 years ago and so it does not seem that what he said, so long ago, is true. In what sense is it true that the end of all things is near? The answer is that the nearness of the end is not measured in terms of months or of years, but in terms of outlook. In the prophetic scheme of things, the kingdom of God on the earth is next. The coming of Jesus to the earth the first time signaled the coming of the end. Everything since then takes place beneath the shadow of the millennial kingdom of Christ (his 1000 year reign). So even though it has been 2000 years, the centuries after Christ make up the 'beginning of the end.' We are living in the time preceding the end. The next great event in God's timetable is the second coming of Christ.
Joe Teisan: August 2016
Did I choose Christ or did Christ choose me? Which five doctrines show the sovereignty of God in my salvation?
TOTAL DEPRAVITY or TOTAL INABILITY
“We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Is. 64:6). “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “Haters of God” (Rom. 1:30). “There is none that seeks after God” (Rom. 3:11). “Evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). “Dead in sins, we are unable to do anything that is pleasing to God” (Col. 2:13).
UNCONDITIONAL or UNDESERVED ELECTION
“Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). From the creation of the world, God for His own glory, foreordained some to eternal life in Christ. God also decided to pass over certain sinners, the unelect, leave them in their sins and punish them for it (Rom. 9:18, 21-22) (Acts 13:48).
LIMITED or PARTICULAR ATONEMENT
The ultimate purpose for Christ’s death is the salvation of His elect. “He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Although the death of Christ could have saved all persons had God so intended, the Atonement was limited by God’s purpose to save only those that He selected from before the foundation of the world (Rom. 9:11-23). “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9:15). The atonement is of infinite worth. It is limited only by God’s purpose and application. It is sufficient to save all mankind, but it is efficient to save only God’s elect ones. “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me” (Jn. 6:37). Christ even knew the names of those for whom He died. “Whose names are in the book of life” (Phil. 4:3, Rev. 21:27). While the benefits of Christ’s Atonement are offered freely to all people in the form of daily blessings, yet because we are dead in sin, only those are saved who are given the “power to become the sons of God” (Eph. 2:1, Jn. 1:12). If the Atonement was intended by God to save all, then all people would surely be saved since the will of God is the most powerful force in all the world. “No man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him by My Father” (Jn. 6:65, Jn. 10:27-28, Rom. 9:13, Rom. 11:7, Jn. 13:8, Jn. 17:9, Jn. 10:3).