OceanSide church of Christ

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (4)

Victor M. Eskew

INTRODUCTION

A.             The definition of a question.

1.                An interrogative used to test knowledge.

2.                An interrogative used to gain understanding.

3.                A subject or aspect in dispute or open for discussion.

B.              Jesus was the Master of questions.

1.                He knew how to answer questions.

2.                He also knew how to ask questions.

3.                The first time we see Jesus using questions was when He was twelve years old in the temple (Luke 2:46).

And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

C.              We do not claim the wisdom of Jesus, but we do acknowledge the importance of questions.  Several questions have been submitted.  We will answer three of them in this lesson.

I.        WHY IS THE BOOK OF REVELATION NOT PREACHED?

A.             There are at least three reasons why Revelation is not preached.

1.                It is a difficult book because it is filled with figurative language (Rev. 1:1).

2.                It is a controversial book, especially when viewed with a premillennial mindset.

3.                It can be a very time-consuming book to study.

B.              This being said, we need to keep in mind Revelation 1:3.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein:  for the time is at hand.

II.      AS A BAPTIZED CHRISTIAN, IF ONE HAS SINNED WILFULLY, IS THERE TRUE FORGIVENESS?  See Hebrews 11:26).

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.

A.             A consideration of the words of John.

1.                John says that as Christians we still sin (I John 1:8, 10).

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in usÖ.If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2.                John said that he wrote his epistle so they would not sin, but if they did they had an Advocate with the Father (I John 2:1).

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

B.              The sin the Hebrew writer addresses is more involved that the occasional sins that we commit.

1.                In the book, we learn that the Jewish Christians were departing from Christianity and were going back to Judaism.

2.                If they returned to the Old Covenant, they had no sacrifice for sins.  Judaism offered them nothing to cleanse their sins.

a.         Hebrews 10:4

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin.

                                    b.         Hebrews 10:6

In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure.

                                    c.         Hebrews 10:11

And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

3.                Only Christianity offers a sacrifice for sins.  Only the sacrifice of Christ can remove sin (Heb. 10:9-10).

Then said he, Lo, I came to do thy will, O God.  He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

C.              The lesson here is very important.  There is no sacrifice when we turn from Christianity.

1.                There is no sacrifice for sins in Judaism.

2.                There is no sacrifice for sins in the world.

3.                There is no sacrifice for sins in World Religions.

4.                There is no sacrifice for sins in denominationalism.

5.                There is no sacrifice for sins in the New Age movement.

III.     WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JOHNíS BAPTISM WHEN PRESENT BAPTISM RELIES ON CHRISTíS CRUCIFIXION?

A.             Johnís entire ministry was preparatory.  He was paving the way for Jesus Christ.  His preaching and his baptism were part of this work (Matt. 3:1-6).

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness ofJudaea, and saying, Repent ye:  for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  And the same John had his raiment of camelís hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

B.              Johnís baptism was for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4).

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

1.                The validity of this baptism had to be predicated on the death of Jesus.  For without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb. 9:22).

2.                The question that many have is whether those who were baptized with Johnís baptism had to be baptized again when the Christian dispensation began.

a.         Some say, ďYes,Ē and some say, ďNo.Ē

b.         This speaker leans more to the ďNoĒ category.

            1)         In Acts 18:24-28, we read of a man named Apollos.

                        a)         He came to the city of Ephesus to preach.

                        b)         He knew only the baptism of John.

c)         When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly.

d)         There is no mention of his being baptized with the Lordís baptism.  Most believe that he was baptized with Johnís baptism prior to Calvary and Pentecost.

2)         In Acts 19, on the other hand, a group of about twelve men at Ephesus were found by Paul.

a)         Paul asked if they had received the Holy Spirit since they believed.

b)         They said they had not even heard of the Holy Ghost.

c)         This made Paul question their baptism.  They told him that they had only been baptized with Johnís baptism.

d)         These men were baptized with Johnís baptism after the cross of Calvary.

e)         These men were baptized again with the Lordís baptism (Acts 19:5).

Now when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

                                    c.         Two more points:

1)         One weakness in this theory involves the number of people who were baptized with Johnís baptism (Mark 1:5).

And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

According to John 4:1, Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.  Question:  Did none of these individuals have to be baptized after Pentecost?  Were they all just added to the church when it began (Acts 2:47)?

2)         Whether they had to be baptized again or did not makes no difference today.  The Lordís baptism is the only valid baptism (Eph. 4:5).  We must be baptized with it in order to be saved (Mark 16:15-16).

CONCLUSION

            A.        Have you been baptized with the Lordís baptism?

B.        Are you being steadfast in your service to Christ?  Are you tettering as were the Jewish Christians of the first century?  We exhort you to hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering (Heb. 10:23).