The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them
to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
October 13, 2013
1) Seven Good Reasons To Be Baptized (George Hutto)
2) Who is the "Faithful & Discreet Servant"? (Greg Gwin)
Seven Good Reasons To Be Baptized
by George Hutto
There are objections to the necessity of baptism for sinners
today. Folks say that being dipped in water has nothing to do
with salvation from God. But twenty-first-century sinners are
no different from first-century sinners, and the gospel remedy is
just as effective today as it ever was.
Here are seven good reasons a sinner should be baptized today.
1) Baptism is a command of God. "And he commanded them to be
baptized in the name of the Lord..." (Acts 10:48). "...baptizing
them... Teaching them to observe all things that I have
commanded you..." (Matt. 28:19,20).
A preacher once explained that baptism is certainly a command, but
not necessary for salvation, which is quite a confusing idea for
folks trying to learn about God. The commands of God are for
obeying, not for violating.
The command to be baptized in water is not impossible, is not a
request for sinless perfection, is not a work which merits
salvation, and is not an act of self-righteousness. Baptism is
simply an act of obedience, and is required of all (Mark 16:15-16).
2) Baptism washes away sin. "And now why are you
waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins,
calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Centuries
before Christ, Naaman the Syrian came to the man of God for
cleansing from his leprosy, and the instruction was to dip seven
times in the Jordan. When he obeyed, he was cleansed of his
leprosy, but not until he obeyed (2 Kings 5).
As the water of the Jordan was not the actual cleansing agent for
Naaman's leprosy, so is the water of baptism not the actual
cleansing agent for the sinner. The cleansing agent is the
blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5), but the cleansing happens at the point
of baptism. Saul, from the passage above, was not a special
case. The sins of every sinner can be washed away at the very
point of baptism (Hebrews 10:22).
3) A previous baptism may not be sufficient. The folks
at Ephesus had been baptized only with the baptism of John before
Paul came to the city, but upon hearing the word more completely,
they were baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:1-5).
Some people are baptized as infants, some to become a member of a
denomination, and some just because it is expected by parents or
friends. In the Bible, "believers" were to be baptized,
requiring a certain age and understanding. Also, these
believers were baptized for the purpose of having the guilt of their
own sin forgiven (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-38).
Those who objected to infant baptism during the Protestant
Reformation were labeled "anabaptists," meaning "re-baptizers," and
persecuted for their insistence on baptizing after a confession of
faith. Today in America, infant baptism is not so much the
norm, but the reason a person is baptized should always be
4) It is where the new birth happens. Bible students
remember Nicodemus; and the Christ said to him, "Except a man be
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God" (John 3:3-5). The term "born again Christian"
originates right here.
The apostle Peter said, "Since you have purified your souls in
obeying the truth..., having been born again, not of corruptible
seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and
abides forever..." (1 Peter 1:22-23). This new birth happens at
baptism, the point in one's conversion which Peter compares to
Noah's salvation in the ark (1 Peter 3:21).
5) Baptism buries the "old man of sin." "...As many of
us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His
death... Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into
death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life...our old
man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away
with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin" (Romans 6:3-6).
The subject here is repentance, and repentance accompanies baptism
in the conversion process. The first gospel sermon included
the command to "Repent, and be baptized..." (Acts 2:38). Luke
captures the Lord's very words, "that repentance and remission of
sins should be preached in His name to all the nations..." (Luke
Turning from sin, baptism for remission of sin, and burying the old
man of sin in repentance -- these go together, and baptism is
key. God saves us from our sin -- He does not save us in our
sin. The "old man" has to go.
6) Baptism puts one into Christ. "Or do you not know
that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized
into His death?" (Rom. 6:3). "For as many of you as were
baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).
The repentant sinner is baptized into Christ: where the spiritual
blessing are (Ephesians 1:3); where God's grace and kindness are
shown to sinners (Ephesians 2:7); where there is consolation
(Philippians 2:1); where there is promise of life (2 Timothy 1:1).
Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one cometh to
the Father but by Me" (John 14:6). To be in Christ, one must
7) Baptism breaks the ice of procrastination. The man
of God asked Saul of Tarsus, "And now why are you waiting?
Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name
of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
Often, a person puts off obeying the gospel as Felix did, hoping for
a convenient time (Acts 24:25). A convenient time to serve God
may never come -- we must put one foot in front of the other in our
service until we learn to walk. God's religion is an active
religion, not a passive one, and it begins with the question of the
Ethiopian: "Here is water, what hinders me from being baptized?"
Now, folks may not object to baptism as much as they object to the
necessity of baptism for salvation. Above are seven good
reasons for being baptized, assuming a person believes in Christ as
the Son of God and he is willing to confess his faith. They
are taken from the primary source for Christianity, the Bible.
Thank you for giving them your serious consideration.
-- Via Market Street Messenger, February 5, 2012, Volume IV, No. 6
Who is the "Faithful & Discreet Servant"?
by Greg Gwin
In the context of teaching about impending judgment, Jesus said:
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made
ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so
doing" (Matthew 24:45-46). It is clear that the Lord was
speaking of all those who understand their obligations to Him and
constantly work to fulfill their duty. When He comes and finds
them doing so, He will reward them.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of the Jehovah's Witnesses
claims that they, specifically, are that 'faithful and discreet
slave' that has been put in charge over God's household. The
'meat' which they dispense is their unique interpretation of God's
Word. Here's a sample of what they have said about themselves:
"The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is the greatest corporation
in the world, because from the time of its organization until now
the Lord has used it as his channel through which to make known the
glad tidings" (The Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1917).
"Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his
praise. To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a
sealed book" (The Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p 402).
"We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the
Scriptural guidance we need outside the 'faithful and discreet
slave' organization" (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981, p 19).
It is obvious that these false teachers have perverted the clear
message of Matthew 24:45-46 and are using it to promote their false
doctrines. Consider these points:
1. How are these 'faithful and discreet slaves' appointed to the
Watchtower Society, and by what qualifications? We read
nothing of such a board in the pages of the New Testament.
2. How did men ever understand God's truth before this man-made
board was formed in 1881, and later claimed the role of 'faithful
and discreet slave'?
3. If it is impossible to understand God's Word without the guidance
of the Watchtower Society, then Paul was lying when he said we could
read and understand the inspired message. Note: ". . . By
revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore
in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge
in the mystery of Christ" (Ephesians 3:3,4).
In demanding unquestioned allegiance to their teachings they have
exposed themselves as 'the blind leading the blind' (Matthew 15:14).
-- Via The Beacon, December 13, 2011
"I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before
long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how
one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the
church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth" (1
"For we write nothing else to you than what you read and
understand..." (2 Cor. 1:13).
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom.
10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can
be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
9923 Sunny Cline Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 6 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (225) 667-4520
(Gospel Observer website)