Christians of all people should live confident, hopeful, and joyful lives. Paul in the Book of Romans helps us see why. First, He speaks of the great love of God in the giving of His Son. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:6-8)
Second, he gives us the logical implication of such divine love in these words: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rom 5:9-11) Note here the “much more” of Paul’s inspired reasoning. If when we were sinners God gave His Son for us, will he nor now that we are justified “much more“ save us from wrath to come? If when we were His enemies God reconciled us to Himself, will He not now that we have been reconciled by the death of His Son “much more” save us by His life?
It’s no wonder that Paul ended the passage in these words: “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Rom 5:11) The faithful Christian should always be able to live a confident, hopeful, joyful life.
In Acts 11:27-30 we read of a great famine in Judea which came in the days of Claudius Caesar. We are told of the help sent to the brethren from the church at Antioch: “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Paul.” (Acts 11:29-30)
Recently there was heavy flooding in parts of West Virginia. We have an opportunity to help through the Church of Christ Disaster Relief Effort out of Nashville, TN. They have already sent a semi-truckload of supplies that the Elkview congregation distributed on June 28. We as a congregation can help with this and other national disasters through this Disaster Relief Effort. If you would like to be a part of this good work, give your gift to Phil.
Remember the words of the apostle Paul, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
On one occasion Jesus said to the apostle Peter, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) Keys mean authority – particularly the authority to open and grant admittance.
On the first Pentecost, following the resurrection of Christ, the kingdom was established. And on that first day when the people asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter – the man with the keys – issued this command: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:37-38) Peter further added that this was open to all people, then and now, in these words: “For the promise is unto you, and your children, and all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) The record continues: “Then they that gladly received the word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)
Sometimes people wonder why we place such great emphasis on baptism. Why is it so important? One reason is the fact that the man to whom Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom bound it on the very day the kingdom began. Furthermore, Jesus had said to him, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”