How often do you hear someone say, “Oh My God”? You may hear this at work, at school, while in the grocery store and you may even say it yourself. Television is one place that you hear this often. It may be on a game show, home improvement show and I suppose about any other type of program.
“Oh My God” has become a very common saying. Probably some cannot imagine why it is so wrong to use this statement. In the Bible we find that men and women held the name of God in reverence and deep respect. Can you imagine any of the great Patriarchs of old (Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob etc.) referring to God in such a loose and irreverent manner? God is to be reverenced (Heb. 12:28). “Oh My God!” or substitute expressions such as “Goodness!” or ”Good Gracious!” or “Gee!” or “Gosh!” or “Golly!” are wrong. They are simply weak attempts to disguise the reference one is making to God. (Please look up these euphemisms in the dictionary along with “Gad, Egad, Good Grief, My Lordy, Darn, Dickens etc.) Remember, our speech reflects our character and attitude (Mt. 12:34-35). Let us determine not to be guilty of showing such low regard for the God of Heaven (Eph. 4:29). Please click on the following link for articles about the name of God.
One problem that seems to be a part of every congregation of the Lord’s Church is attendance. Some Christians seem to have a problem when it comes to meeting with the saints to worship God. We are all busy but we must remember that we have a duty to put God first before all things and all others (Mt. 6:33; 1 John 2:15-17; Lk. 12:15-21; MT. 10:37-39).We find in Heb. 10:25 concerning the assembly: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” This seems plain enough. We are not to forsake the assembly. When the church meets where we are members, we ought to be there unless hindered in some way. We may be too sick to meet with the saints on some occasions or there could be some emergency arise that would keep us from assembling. However, these should be the exceptions and not the rule!
Please click on the following links for further study on attendance.
http://www.netbiblestudy.net/bulletin/new_page_16.htm Our attendance of worship
http://www.thebible.net/modules.php?name=Read&itemid=128&cat=4 Is church attendance important?
In Acts chapter ten we find the account of Cornelius, a Roman soldier who became a Christian. Acts 10:2 describes him as “a devout man (one with deep religious feelings toward God) and one who feared God (he had reverence toward God) with all his household, who gave alms (he helped those in need) generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” He was a good man who feared God, prayed to God and helped the needy. However, please note that he was not a Christian at this time. He needed to “hear words” (receive teaching) which would tell him and his household what they must do in order to be saved (Acts 11:14). This teaches us that just being a good person will not save us. We must do those things that God has commanded us to do.
It is interesting to note the following points from this chapter: (1) In a vision he received a message from an angel of God (10: 3-7); (2) Peter “fell into a trance” while on the housetop and in this trance received a message from God (10:10 ff); (3) The Holy Spirit told Peter that men were seeking him and that he was to go with them (10:19-20); The Holy Spirit fell upon those who heard the word that Peter was teaching (10:41-46). Even though all of these things happened, Cornelius was still not saved!
In verses 47-48 we find: “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. Cornelius, and the other lost souls with him who wanted to be saved, still had to be baptized. Please note that these things mentioned earlier did eventually lead to his salvation, but Cornelius had to do something in order to be saved. That is, he had to be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins.
Many today claim that we are saved by a “mysterious operation” from God. However, you do not find that taught in the New Testament. The baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit that Cornelius and the others experienced did not save them. It was given to show the Jews that the Gentiles were acceptable to God on the same terms as the Jews. After the Holy Spirit fell, they were then commanded to be baptized (10:47-48). Jesus commanded baptism in the Great Commission when he said, “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). On the Pentecost of Acts 2, the day the church began, we find Peter commanding them to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Ananias said to 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). Note what Paul wrote in 2 Tim. 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (Emphasis mine L.B.) Then in Gal. 3:27 Paul wrote, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Emphasis mine L.B.)What is the conclusion about Cornelius and how he was saved? He obeyed to commands of God and was baptized into Christ for the remission of sins. Men are saved in the same way today; by obedience to the commands of the gospel. Have you obeyed as he did?
http://www.tftw2.org/Tracts/believersbaptized.htm Believers want to be baptized