Is Baptism Just a Symbol?

Is Baptism Just a Symbol?

I believe baptism is for the remission of sins, that one is born into the kingdom of God through baptism in Jesus’s name, and that baptism is necessary in order to be saved.  When I teach about baptism, what I sometimes hear in response is, “Baptism is important, but it’s only a symbol.  We are…

From Gethsemane to Golgotha

From Gethsemane to Golgotha

It was late.  According to one researcher, probably well after 11 pm.  Earlier that night, Jesus and the eleven had exited the city, travelled east/northeast over the Kidron Valley, and entered a garden near (or on) the western slope of the Mount of Olives.  “Gethsemane” meant “oil press.”  Probably the “garden” was an olive orchard,…

Christian Identity:  Who Am I?

Christian Identity: Who Am I?

If someone asked you, “How do you define Christian identity,” how would you respond? I recently heard an insightful comment on a podcast I listen to regularly. During one segment, the participants discussed the issue of identity, a hot topic in our day and age. One of the participants observed, “Augustine (of Hippo, the esteemed…

What Lies Ahead

What a challenge this must have been for patriotic Philippian citizens who had spilled their blood for the glory of Rome, or who sat at dinner tables with empty chairs where fathers or sons or husbands should be, or who grew up with the pageantry and pride of the national festivals. How might one feel if he had fought valiantly for Rome in the past, but in the present, he must decide, “Shall I serve Caesar or Christ?” Imagine how natural feelings of patriotism, fraternity, and national identity might complicate matters when the local magistrate took notice of the Christian assembly and applied passive or aggressive pressure. If you were a Christian and a Roman citizen of Philippi, you might well feel your allegiance torn in two.

From Dust to Dust

From Dust to Dust

Whatever accomplishments I might have achieved, whatever possessions I might have owned, whatever status I might have attained, even my reputation — those things won’t fit inside my urn. Nor do those things define me in the eyes of God. He is not impressed by the awards hanging on the wood-paneled walls of my paid-off house in this upscale California suburb. Even my new iPhone 12 Max Pro with 128 GB of memory does not raise His eyebrows.

A Bad Day

Who wants to be known for who they were in their worst moments? A snapshot in time, a moment of weakness, or a careless word can permanently change our view of someone.