What it Means to Say “I’m Sorry”




Wendy Donahue, a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, recently penned an article entitled “Give and take: The sport of apologizing.”  Our local Tampa Bay Times (TBT) picked it up.  While reading it, I was reminded of how difficult it is to simply say from the heart “I’m sorry.” It’s reminiscent of the 1976 hit by Elton John, when he crooned the mournful ballad “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

But it also occurred to me  how the word “sorry” seems to have changed its meaning and usage in our 21st century vocabulary. British journalist, Brandon O’Neill made this observation when he wrote, “These days, we use the word sorry not only to express sorrow for a misdemeanor, but also as an alternative to “pardon” (“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that”) and “excuse me” (as in saying sorry when we bump into someone – or even, rather bizarrely, when they bump into us)”.

If we’re not careful saying, “I’m sorry” can become an overused euphemism that really lacks sincerity, or even speaks to an issue that merits an apology.

The words “sorry” and “sorrow” have a connection in origin and etymology. They share the idea of pain, suffering and distress.  Saying “I’m sorry” ought to be rooted in sorrow. Being sorry means to feel regret.  Compunction. Remorse.  Sorrow is an expression of grief, sadness or distress caused by a loss, disappointment or pain.

When the apostle Paul wrote the first letter to the Christians at Corinth he had to correct error and condemn sin in a very pointed manner.  The letter was effective and corrections were made.  So, in the second letter he wrote, “ Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing” (2 Cor 7:9).

There are several things we can learn from this.

(1) Being sorry means to accept personal responsibility for wrong-doing.  An apology that blames others is not really an expression of guilt or regret.

(2) Being sorry should be the result of godly sorrow.  We’ve all heard apologies that sounded contrived or coerced.  Sometimes people are sorry they got caught.  That kind of sorrow is a carnal sorrow, not a godly sorrow.

(3) Being sorry should lead to repentance.  To repent is to change. To correct one’s course.  To make amends.  It is a change of heart that results in a change of behavior.  To say you are sorry, but to continue engaging in the same hurtful actions is insincere and hypocritical.

A couple of other thoughts may be appropriate to effective apology.  When possible apologize in person.  Not by phone. Email. Letter. Or Text.  There is something efficacious about looking someone in the eye and saying, “I’m sorry.”  Don’t make excuses by blaming someone else or circumstances.  Avoid any “apology” the begins, “I’m sorry, but..”  Or I’m sorry, if….”  You know where those sentence are going!

Ali McGraw’s character in the classic movie Love Story is  famous for saying, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  That may have sounded romantic in the movie, but quite the opposite is true.  Real life is about relationships where people make mistakes, use poor judgment, forget, or even sin.  And such actions always impact someone we love. Family. Friends. Neighbors. Or brethren.   So be willing to apologize.  Simply.  Sincerely.  Succinctly.  Because true love is always willing to say, “I’m sorry.”

“The Shame of Your Mother’s Nakedness”? Dave Miller, Ph.D.




Based on 1 Samuel 20:30, is it possible that Saul thought Jonathan was a homosexual?


The passage in question reads: “Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him, ‘You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?’” The word rendered “confusion” in the KJV is the normal Hebrew word for “shame.”1 It has the same latitude of meaning that our English word has. It does not include any hint of homosexuality. The word is used throughout the Old Testament to refer to the disgrace or shame that one experiences due to one’s own behavior, or the shame/disgrace brought upon a person by the behavior of another. See, for example, Jeremiah 2:26 where the prophet compares the shame of the caught thief to Israel’s shame due to her incessant involvement in idolatry. Or consider Bildad’s admonition to Job to admit his sin so that “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame” (Job 8:22). Regarding his enemies, David used a trilogy of synonyms in his request of God that they “be ashamed (bohsh) and brought to mutual confusion (chah-pher)” and “clothed with shame (boh-sheth) and dishonor” (Psalm 35:26). The word rendered “confusion” in the NKJV is rendered “confounded” in several other translations and means to “humiliate,” “embarrass,” “bewilder,” “baffle,” or “discomfit.” In the midst of national defeat, the psalmist moans: “My dishonor is continually before me, and the shame (boh-sheth) of my face has covered me.” Micah refers to the “naked shame” of the inhabitants of Shaphir (Micah 1:11). Hence, the word is even used of the mistreatment/shame that Jesus endured from His opponents: “You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; My adversaries are all before You” (Psalm 69:19; cf. Acts 5:41). In a psalm that possesses Messianic overtones, God declares concerning the Messiah: “His enemies I will clothe with shame” (Psalm 132:18). Again, in all these instances, no reference is being made to anything sexual in nature.

The context, indeed, all of 1 Samuel and Saul’s 40-year reign, makes clear that Saul was upset about the threat that David posed to his own throne and, therefore, Jonathan’s prospects for becoming the next king. Saul considered David a serious rival to the throne (his own in particular). Spiritually-minded Jonathan demonstrated that he was perfectly submissive to God’s intention to make David the next king. Hence, “chosen” refers to Jonathan’s willingness to acquiesce to David’s right to the throne. Other translations render the word “siding with” (CSB), “allied yourself with” (CEB), “chosen to be loyal to” (CEV), “chosen to support” (ERV), “on the side of” (NCV), “you are choosing” (NASB). The NLT says it well: “Do you think I don’t know that you want him to be king in your place?” No hint of anything sexual is in the text. Further, the allusion to “your mother’s nakedness” is simply a Hebrew way to refer to a woman giving birth to a child. Hence, Saul was using a harsh insult to try to bully his son into siding with himself by suggesting that by siding with David, Jonathan was disgracing/shaming the mother who gave him birth.


1 Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs (1906), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004 reprint), p. 102.


Does tattooing desecrate the body? by Roy Davison



Does tattooing desecrate the body?

“How sad when people desecrate their beautiful God-given bodies with tattoos.”

One brother objected when I made the above statement because people he loves have tattoos. I also love people with tattoos, which is why their tattoos make me sad.

First, although I will explain why a Christian should not get a tattoo, I wish to emphasize that there are fine, dedicated Christians who have tattoos as indelible marks of their former life. A tattoo is a permanent mutilation of the body. Thus, as one new Christian said, “When I was baptized my sins were washed away, but my tattoos are still there.” Another Christian comforted him, “Don’t worry! They will be gone in the resurrection!” Christians with indecent tattoos hide them from view if possible, of course.

Israel was told, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:28).

What does this mean and does it apply to a Christian? Christians serve God under the New Covenant, not under the law of Moses. Thus, as a law, this does not apply to a Christian. “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4), however, thus we must still ask if there are truths we can learn from this passage. And, are there teachings in the New Covenant that indirectly condemn getting a tattoo?

Some claim that Leviticus 18:28 relates only to idol worship and does not apply to tattoos in general. The verse itself, however, does not limit the condemnation to idol worship.

“In Leviticus 19:28 we find two prohibitions of an unnatural disfigurement of the body: ‘Ye shall not make any cutting in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.’ The latter (Hebrew: qa aqa, incision) refers to tattooing, and has no reference to idolatrous usages, but was intended to inculcate upon the Israelites a proper reverence for God’s creation” (Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Bible Dictionary, 1974 ed., p. 696).

“While ‘cuttings in the flesh’ have reference here to mourning customs [for the dead], the tattooing does not appear to pertain to such practice” (Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, 1975 ed., p. 1664).

Thus, from this passage we learn that God does not want us to mutilate our bodies.

The respect that we are to have for our bodies as Christians is raised to a higher level in the New Testament. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The body of a Christian belongs to God! “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

The body of a Christian is holy and ought not to be mutilated or subjected to needless harm.

Tattoos mutilate the body and make it vulnerable to infection. Each puncture of a tattoo needle involves a risk of acquiring blood-borne diseases.

Our skin provides protection against disease. A tattoo gun can puncture the skin up to 3000 times a minute. Each hole is about one millimeter deep and breaches the skin’s protective layer. A tattoo consists of thousands of puncture wounds into which insoluble ink has been injected.

“Tattooing poses health risks because the process exposes blood and body fluids. Because of this, a person who gets tattooed risks getting a disease or infection that is carried through blood. These blood-borne diseases include hepatitis B and C, tetanus, and HIV” (Bonnie B. Graves, Tattooing and body piercing, p. 40).

In 1991 Dr. Paul Fisher noticed among his patients an abnormally high amount of hepatitis C, a serious viral liver infection. By surveying 600 patients, he and Dr. Robert Haley discovered that the disease was being contracted through tattooing.

A Christian’s body belongs to God and ought not to be desecrated and subjected to needless risks by tattooing. Forgiveness is of course available to Christians who repent, but the mark will remain.
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

"BAPTISM" Baptism In The Teaching Of Peter by Mark Copeland




Baptism In The Teaching Of Peter

  1. In our first lesson we saw where Peter included baptism as part of his apostolic preaching...
    1. He commanded the people at Pentecost to be baptized - Ac 2:36-38
    2. He commanded the household of Cornelius to be baptized - Ac 10:47-48
  2. From the accounts in Acts, we saw that for Peter baptism was...
    1. For the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
    2. An act that involved water - Ac 10:47
  3. But one might properly ask: was Peter teaching...
    1. That baptism was for the forgiveness of sins, and therefore necessary for salvation?
    2. That one is saved by baptism in water?
  4. Fortunately, we do not have wonder, for in his first epistle Peter wrote...
    "There is also an antitype which now saves us; baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ," (1Pe 3:21)

[As stated in the KJV, "...baptism doth also NOW save us"! But while teaching that baptism saves us, Peter is careful to explain in what way. Let's take a closer look at the text to see what Peter is saying about baptism...]

      1. The Greek word is antitupon {an-teet'-oo-pon}, which means "a thing formed after some pattern; that which corresponds to a type"
      2. So you have two things that some how relate or correspond to each other; one is a type, the other is the antitype
      1. In the text, the waters of the flood are the "type", and the waters of baptism are the "antitype" - 1Pe 3:20-21
      2. In his commentary, Albert Barnes says...
        1. "The meaning here is, that baptism corresponded to, or had a resemblance to, the water by which Noah was saved; or that there was a use of water in the one case which corresponded in some respects to the water that was used in the other; to wit, in effecting salvation." (Commentary on 1st Peter)
        2. "The apostle does not say that it corresponded in all respects; in respect, e.g., to quantity, or to the manner of the application, or to the efficacy; but there is a sense in which water performs an important part in our salvation, as it did in his." (ibid.)
      3. Thus Peter was comparing Noah's salvation with our own...
        1. Remember that Noah was saved by:
          1. Grace - Gen 6:8
          2. Faith - He 11:7
          3. Water - 1Pe 3:20
          -- Grace was God's part, faith was Noah's part; water was simply an element by which God carried out His plan to save Noah
        2. So we are saved by:
          1. Grace - Ep 2:5
          2. Faith - Ep 2:8
          3. Water - 1Pe 3:21
          -- Grace is God's part, faith is our part; baptism is simply an element by which God carries out His plan to save us through the blood of Christ

        [Because baptism in water is somehow related to our salvation, Peter could speak of it as an antitype that saves us, just as Noah and his family were "saved through water"!

        How can this be? Aren't we saved by the blood of Jesus? Of course! The answer can be seen as we continue to note what Peter taught concerning baptism...]

      1. As Peter makes clear when he says "not the removal of the filth of the flesh"
      2. For indeed it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ one can be saved
        1. We are justified through His blood - Ro 5:9
        2. We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins - Ep 1:7
      3. To this Peter would definitely agree - 1Pe 1:18-19
      1. If He had not been raised, we would still be in our sins
        1. As Paul declares in 1Co 15:17
        2. Without His resurrection, His death would have been meaningless
      2. But because Jesus was raised from the dead...
        1. Those baptized into His death can rise to walk in newness of life - Ro 6:4
        2. Those united together in the likeness of His death (i.e., baptism) can share in the power of His resurrection - Ro 6:5
      3. In other words, the same power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is what saves us in baptism so we can be "made alive" - cf. Col 2:12-13

      [By God's saving grace and resurrecting power, then, baptism can indeed save us! Not because of any cleansing power in the water, but because of what GOD is doing at that moment through the blood of Jesus and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Tit 3:4-5).

      But notice finally, how Peter teaches that baptism saves because...]

      1. A difficult phrase, but it most likely means "an appeal to God for a clear conscience"
      2. This is supported by the following translations:
        1. "the craving for a conscience right with God" (Goodspeed)
        2. "the prayer for a clean conscience before God" (Moffat)
        3. "the request unto God for a good conscience" (Rotherham)
        4. "an appeal to God for a clear conscience" (RSV)
        5. "an appeal to God for a good conscience" (NASV)
        -- Thus one is baptized because they desire a clear conscience (i.e., to have their sins forgiven)
      1. In apostolic preaching, baptized was commanded:
        1. "For the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
        2. To have one's sins "washed away" - cf. Ac 22:16
      2. In N.T. times people who realized they were sinners were anxious to be baptized as soon as possible - cf. Ac 8:35-38
      3. Therefore one is baptized...
        1. To have a good conscience before God; indeed, to have their conscience "purged" by the blood of Christ - cf. He 9:14
        2. To have their sins washed away by blood of Jesus and so they can rise to a new life through the same power of God that raised Jesus from the dead!
  1. Does baptism save us?
    1. Many say "Baptism does NOT save us!"
    2. But Peter clearly taught "...baptism doth also NOW save us" (KJV)
  2. How does baptism save us? According to Peter...
    1. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
    2. As an appeal for a good conscience!
  3. This helps us to understand...
    1. Why he commanded it for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
    2. Why he commanded it even for those who had in some sense received the Spirit - Ac 10:47-48

Yes, through the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, working in conjunction with our faith in the blood of Jesus, baptism does indeed save those who are making an appeal for a clear conscience!

Is baptism essential to salvation? Let the preaching and teaching of Christ's apostles provide the answer! I believe that when we do, we can see why one should takes Jesus' own words with no equivocation:

"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." - Mk 16:16

It is my prayer that if you have not yet properly responded to the Word of the Lord, you will heed the same words given to Paul:

"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." - Ac 22:16

Have you made an appeal to God for a good conscience by being baptized into Christ?


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2022

"BAPTISM" Baptism In The Teaching Of Paul by Mark Copeland




Baptism In The Teaching Of Paul

  1. In our first lesson we saw where baptism played a prominent role in apostolic preaching...
    1. In every case of conversion described in the book of Acts, baptism is mentioned
    2. As G. R. Beasley-Murray, a Baptist scholar, observed: "Baptism is...a part of the proclamation of Christ. In an Apostolic sermon it comes as its logical conclusion." - G. R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism In The New Testament, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962, p. 393)
  2. And what did the apostles proclaim regarding baptism? We noticed that...
    1. It was commanded "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
    2. It was done to "wash away sins" - Ac 22:16
    3. It involved "water" - Ac 8:36-38; 10:48
    4. It was done "immediately", with no delay even if after midnight - Ac 16:25-33
  3. This would certainly suggest that baptism is necessary for salvation...
    1. But is this a fair conclusion drawn from the "preaching" of the apostles?
    2. Is this conclusion consistent with the "teaching" of the apostles, as found in their epistles?

[In this lesson, we will examine what Paul taught in his epistles regarding baptism. Let's start with by noticing what he said about baptism...]

      1. It is a baptism into the death of Christ - Ro 6:3
      2. It is a burial with Christ into death (His death, we are crucified with Him!) - Ro 6:4
      3. It is done in order that we might walk in newness of life - Ro 6:4-5
      4. It involves crucifying the old man, that the body of sin may be destroyed - Ro 6:6
      5. It thereby frees us from sin as we die to sin, that we might live with Christ - Ro 6:7-11
      1. Paul does not say that baptism "symbolizes things which had already occurred"
        1. Many say this is the purpose or design of baptism, often quoting this passage
        2. But read the passage carefully; Paul says no such thing!
      2. But rather, Paul describes baptism into Christ as WHEN such things occur
        1. We were buried with Him "through baptism into death" - Ro 6:4
        2. It is in baptism we are buried with Christ into death (His death); we thereby die to sin in baptism
        3. We were buried with Him, why? "That just as Christ was raised...even so we also should walk in newness of life" - Ro 6:4
        4. We are baptized in order to rise to walk in newness of life just as Christ did!
      3. Note also Paul's preface to these remarks: "as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were..."
        1. What blessings he describes pertain only to those who had been baptized!
        2. What of those not baptized? The blessings described would not apply!

        [In his commentary on Romans, Martin Luther wrote: "Baptism has been instituted that it should lead us to the blessings (of this death) and through such death to eternal life. Therefore IT IS NECESSARY that we should be baptized into Jesus Christ and His death." (Commentary On Romans, Kregel Publications, p.101).

        Though believing that we are justified by grace through faith (and he would say "by faith alone"), Luther understood that salvation by faith did not preclude the necessity of baptism! Why, we shall see shortly; but let's go on to consider what Paul wrote of baptism...]

      1. From Ga 3:26-27 we learn that baptism is involved in the process of becoming sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus
      2. The "for" beginning verse 27 begins an explanation as to HOW we become sons of God through faith
      3. Baptism is therefore the means by which we "put on Christ", and become sons of God!
      1. Paul wrote: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on..."
        1. "For as many" means no more or no less
        2. Only those who have been baptized into Christ have really received Christ into their lives!
      2. Many teach "receive Jesus Christ by saying the sinner's prayer..."
        1. But the Bible nowhere teaches that this is how one "receives Christ"
        2. Rather, one "puts on" (or receives) Christ when they are baptized into Christ!

        [In his commentary on this verse, Luther concluded: "Wherefore baptism is a thing of great force and efficacy." (Commentary On Galatians, Kregel Publications, p.222). How true, if in baptism we "put on Christ"!

        How this is possible without being a form of works-salvation becomes clearer as we consider what Paul taught concerning baptism...]

      1. A "spiritual circumcision" in which sins are "cut away" - Col 2:11
      2. A burial with Christ, and also a resurrection with Him - Col 2:12
      3. Made effective "through faith in the working of God" - Col 2:12
      4. In which GOD makes us "alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" - Col 2:13
      1. Here we learn that baptism is a work of God, not man
        1. Just as it was God who raised Jesus, so it is He who makes us alive, having forgiven our sins! - Col 2:13
        2. Our part is "faith in the working of God" as we are buried with Christ in baptism - Col 2:12
      2. God is the "Great Physician", who is cutting away our sins (through the blood of Christ)
        1. We are simply the patient, who humbly submits in faith to the surgeon's scalpel
        2. He is the One who makes us alive, that we might rise to walk in newness of life

    [Again, this is something Martin Luther clearly recognized, when he responded to those who would call this a kind of works-salvation:

    "Yes, it is true that our works are of no use for salvation. Baptism, however, is not our work but God's." (as quoted by Jack W. Cottrell in Baptism And The Remission of Sins, College Press, 1990, p. 32-34)

    Finally, let's consider what Paul taught concerning baptism...]

      1. Is Paul talking about baptism in Tit 3:5?
        1. The figure "washing" certainly alludes to the baptismal waters
        2. We have already seen where in baptism we are:
          1. Raised to walk in newness of life - Ro 6:4
          2. Made alive by God - Col 2:12-13
          -- Does this not suggest a "washing of regeneration..."?
        3. Martin Luther and many others understood this verse to refer to baptism
      2. Thus God saves us in baptism:
        1. It is a "washing of regeneration" - a washing in we are reborn
        2. It is a "renewing of the Holy Spirit" - a renewal in which the Spirit is at work
        -- Just as Jesus said: "...unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." - Jn 3:5
      1. This "washing" and "regeneration" does not occur because we have earned it!
        1. Baptism is not a work of righteousness by virtue of which we merit salvation!
        2. We are saved by the kindness, love, and mercy of God! - Tit 3:4-5
      2. It is by God's mercy that HE (not we) saves us!
        1. Which HE does through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit!
        2. Which HE does when we are baptized into Christ!
      3. Through such mercy in Christ Jesus, we are truly "justified by His grace" - Tit 3:6-7
  1. Paul taught that baptism is...
    1. A burial into the death of Christ
    2. How we die to sin as we are crucified with Him
    3. A resurrection with Christ so we can rise to walk in newness of life
    4. A putting on Christ, thereby becoming a child of God
    5. A spiritual circumcision in which sins are cut away
    6. The working of God, whereby we are buried with Christ, made alive as our sins are forgiven, and then raised with Him
    7. An act of God's grace and mercy, in which we experience a washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit
    -- If all these things when one is baptized, how can anyone say that it is not necessary?
  2. Sadly, many who say it is NOT necessary...
    1. Misunderstand those who say it is necessary
      1. Thinking that they believe in salvation by works
      2. When they truly believe in salvation by grace through faith!
    2. Misunderstand Martin Luther
      1. Whose coined phrased "saved by faith only" they themselves use so often
      2. When he differs with them on the necessity of baptism
    3. Misunderstand the apostle Paul
      1. Having him say things about the purpose of baptism he does not say
      2. Failing to appreciate what he clearly teaches about baptism
      -- All this, in their zeal to oppose what they mistakenly view as works-salvation!

In his commentary on Ga 3:27, Luther wrote:

"This is diligently to be noted, because of the fond and fantastical spirits, who go about to deface the majesty of baptism, and speak wickedly of it. Paul, contrariwise, commendeth it, and setteth it forth with honorable titles, calling it, 'the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost'. And here also he saith, that 'all ye that are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.' Wherefore baptism is a thing of great force and efficacy." (Commentary On Galatians, Kregel Publications, p. 222)
Do we deface the majesty of baptism, in our mistaken zeal to oppose what we perceive to be a form of works-salvation?

Or do we, like Paul, commend it by noting his own teaching regarding baptism, and like Luther, appreciate how that by the working of God it can be a thing of great force and efficacy?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2022

"BAPTISM" Baptism In The Preaching Of The Apostles by Mark Copeland




Baptism In The Preaching Of The Apostles

  1. Shortly before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave His apostles The Great Commission:
    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Mt 28:18-20)
  2. In the gospel of Mark, The Great Commission is worded in this way:
    And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mk 16:15-16)
  3. In both places we notice the mention of baptism...
    1. In Matthew, it is related to the process of making disciples
    2. In Mark, it is mentioned in connection with salvation
    -- Whatever the purpose of baptism, it must be important to Jesus, for He commanded it!
  4. But one might ask...
    1. What is baptism?
      1. Is it pouring, sprinkling, or immersion?
      2. Is one baptized in water, or in the Spirit?
    2. What is the purpose of baptism?
      1. Is it for the remission of sins, or because our sins have already been forgiven?
      2. Is it to be saved, or a public confession of faith having already been saved?
    3. Who should be baptized?
      1. Should infants be baptized?
      2. Should just anyone be baptized?
    4. Is there ever a need to be "re-baptized"?
      1. What if I was baptized as an infant?
      2. What if I was baptized for the wrong reason?
      3. What if I have sinned greatly after being baptized?
      -- These and many other questions are often asked when the subject of baptism is raised
  5. This series is devoted to answering these and other questions related to baptism...
    1. Since it was commanded by Christ, it is certainly worthy of careful consideration
    2. It is my intention to glean from the Bible what is actually taught on this subject
    3. It is my prayer that you will have the attitude of those in Berea - cf. Ac 17:11
      1. To receive the word with all readiness (i.e., listen carefully with a desire to at least understand, if at first you do not agree)
      2. To search the Scriptures (i.e., to read the Bible carefully to see if what I am saying is true)

[In this lesson, we will simply consider how the apostles carried out The Commission Jesus gave them; i.e., to see what they said about baptism in their preaching. We begin with...]

      1. In the first gospel sermon, Peter commanded people to be baptized "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
      2. Upon exhorting his audience to be saved, the response was for many to be baptized - Ac 2:41-41
      3. Does "for" mean "in order to" or "because of"?
        1. Note: We find the same grammatical construction in Mt 26:28
          1. Where Jesus said His blood would be shed for many "for the remission sins"
          2. Clearly Jesus meant "in order to" provide remission of sins, and not "because" remission of sins had already occurred
          3. With rare exception, the Greek word (eis) means "into, to, unto, for, toward"
        2. Note also: "be baptized" is joined by the conjunction "and" to the command "repent" - Ac 2:38
          1. Both are commanded "for the remission of sins"
          2. Just as people were commanded to repent "for" (in order to) the remission of sins...
          3. ...so they were commanded to be baptized "for" (in order to) the remission of sins
      1. In the first gospel sermon to the Gentiles, Peter followed up by commanding his audience to be baptized - cf. Ac 10:44-48
      2. It is evident that what Peter commanded involved a baptism in water - Ac 10:47-48
      3. A future study will examine whether the people were saved when the Spirit fell upon them, or when they were baptized as commanded by Peter

      [At the very least, we can say that Peter's preaching was in harmony with the statements of Jesus in the Great Commission: Preach the gospel, command people to be baptized.

      So far the indication appears that it was a baptism in water, and done for the remission of sins. Let's consider now one who was not actually an apostle, but certainly filled with the Spirit...]

      1. Though not an apostle, Philip went to Samaria and "preached Christ" - Ac 8:5
      2. The response to such preaching: "...when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized." - Ac 8:12
      1. To this very religious man, Philip "preached Jesus" - Ac 8:35
      2. Though we are not told the content of Philip's sermon, from the eunuch's question we can deduce that it included baptism - Ac 8:36-38

      [Like Peter, Philip "preached Jesus" not only by telling people about Jesus, but also what Jesus commanded. Baptism was an immediate result of such preaching. Is this surprising in light of Jesus' statements in Mt 28:19 and Mk 16:15-16? Let's now consider...]

      1. We note that again baptism followed apostolic preaching - Ac 16:13-15
      2. As evidence that she "gave heed" to the things spoken by Paul, she and her household were baptized!
      3. Notice also her comment in Ac 16:15
        1. How could Paul have judged her to be faithful to the Lord?
        2. By her response to the command of the Lord concerning baptism!
      1. Paul tells the jailor that he must believe on the Lord to be saved - Ac 16:30-31
      2. Paul went on to speak concerning the Word of the Lord to him and his family - Ac 16:32
      3. In response, they were immediately baptized! - Ac 16:33-34
        1. Evidently the word of the Lord stressed the need to be baptized quickly
        2. In fact, in EVERY detailed example of conversion found in the Book of Acts, people were baptized after only one lesson! (see chart below)
      1. Paul recounts his own conversion to the Lord - Ac 22:10-16
        1. He describes how he was told to go to Damascus, for there he would be told "all things appointed for you to do" ("what you must do" - cf. Ac 9:6)
        2. One of the things he was told was to be baptized without delay - Ac 22:16
      2. He was told to baptized in order to "wash away your sins"
        1. NOTE WELL: Despite seeing the Lord on the road to Damascus, having spent three days fasting and praying (Ac 9:9-11), he was STILL IN HIS SINS!
          1. Seeing the Lord had not saved him
          2. Accepting Jesus as Lord (cf. Ac 22:10) had not saved him
          3. Praying and fasting for three days had not saved him
        2. Not until he was baptized were his sins "washed away"! (exactly how we will examine later)
  1. That baptism played a prominent role in apostolic preaching becomes evident when we compare what is revealed in the examples of conversion...
  2. In every case of conversion described in detail in the book of Acts, baptism is mentioned...
    1. Clearly it is was an important theme of apostolic preaching
    2. G. R. Beasley-Murray, a Baptist scholar, has observed:
      "Baptism is...a part of the proclamation of Christ. In an Apostolic sermon it comes as its logical conclusion."
      - G.R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism In The New Testament, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962, p. 393)
  3. And what should be proclaimed regarding baptism? In this lesson we have seen...
    1. That it was commanded "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
    2. That it was done to "wash away sins" - Ac 22:16
    3. That it involved "water" - Ac 8:36-38; 10:48
    4. That it was done "immediately", with no delay even if after midnight - Ac 16:25-33
  4. This would certainly suggest that baptism is necessary for salvation...
    1. But is this a fair conclusion drawn from the "preaching" of the apostles?
    2. Is this conclusion consistent with the "teaching" of the apostles, as found in their epistles?

Our next lesson will examine what the apostles taught in their epistles regarding baptism, as we continue to seek Bible answers to such questions...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2022

Entangled? by Gary Rose


Spider webs, just an ordinary everyday thing. This one is a bit different in that it is coated in moisture, making it look like an intricate web of pearls. Most spider webs aren’t like this one, however. They have no coating and many times are invisible, which is quite an advantage to catching prey. Prey is not all they catch, however. As I leave my house and go past my truck at the end of the carport, I occasionally encounter one an quickly shrug it off. Nasty things, SPIDER WEBS!

As I think about it, spider webs are like sin; if you don’t avoid them, you can become entangled. For humans, it is an inconvenience, but if you were a fly, welcome to a very bad day.

So, how do humans become entangled in sin? I think its because they just don’t want to see sin and refuse to believe it can affect them. Instead of just following the good way God has designed for them, people just do what they want and suffer the consequences.

The Apostle Paul says…

Romans 1 ( World English Bible )

13 Now I don’t desire to have you unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.

14 I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish.

15 So, as much as is in me, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.

17 For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.

20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.

21 Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves,

25 who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature.

27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.

28 Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers,

30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful;

32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.

The good way is from God, the destructive way is from the devil. Simple concept, which millions of millions of people ignore to their own ultimate destruction.

Why? Simply put- they don’t want to obey and live. Sin, like the spiders web, will entangle you, control you and ultimately destroy you. God’s gospel of grace is the way to salvation from sin, the only way out.

I would rather obey and live. How about you?