Answers

You can use these links to browse the answers below. Click a question to jump to the answer. Please make sure to look up any references in your own Bible (like those in Acts 17:11).




What must I do to be saved?

This question is important enough to have its own page. Please click on the Salvation Page to find the answer.

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What is the church of Christ?

The answer to this question can be found on the About Page in the section labeled "What is the church of Christ?".

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What is the Bible all about?

Though there are 66 books which make up the Bible that were written over a period of about 1600 years by inspired men of God from various walks of life, this Book of books has one central message from Genesis 1:1 to the last passage in Revelation. The majestic message of the Bible centers around one theme - Christ and His coming.

A careful reading and study of the first 39 books of the Bible (the Old Testament) will reveal that God's message to men was CHRIST IS COMING! Having become separated from God through sin, mankind fell (Genesis 1-3). But God promised that One would come who could save fallen man (Genesis 3:15), namely Christ. This message is the common thread interwoven throughout the Old Testament (Genesis 22:18 & Galatians 3:16; Deuteronomy 18:15 & Acts 3:22; etc.).

As one begins a study of the New Testament, he finds four accounts of the life of Christ (Matthew through John). The principal message there is CHRIST HAS COME! Born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth, Jesus (who is Christ) indeed came into this world and lived among men. In His coming, He taught men how to live and to become reconciled back to God, giving numerous proofs that He is whom He claimed to be (John 20:30-31). But these books also record that though He came to save men, men crucified Him. Still, He overcame death, and arose on the third day never to die again, now reigning as King over His kingdom, the church (1 Peter 3:22; Acts 2:36-37; 1 Corinthians 15:57). The good news of Matthew through John is that Christ has come.

Finally, the remainder of the Bible shouts the common message that CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN! It teaches men how to prepare for that coming as Christ will be coming back to judge mankind at this time (Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Bible is about Christ and His coming. God promised He would come and He did, bringing salvation to all who would obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9; Mark 16:16). God promised He would come back bringing a reward to each of us depending upon how we use this life (2 Corinthians 5:10). Have you taken advantage of His initial coming and lived according to His will in order to be prepared for His second coming?

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Is The Bible Inspired?

What does it mean to say that “the Bible (the scriptures) is inspired?” Does it mean that various men enjoyed some internal creative impulse and produced a literary success - a #1 best-seller? Does it mean that God gave men concepts from above and allowed them to write these concepts down as they saw fit? To find the answer let us consider what the scriptures, themselves, teach about the inspiration of the Bible.

Perhaps no other scripture better sets forth the truth on the matter than 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God...” All 66 books from Genesis to Revelation has been given by inspiration of God. The original word translated “given by inspiration” in the King James Version means “God-breathed.” That is, the Bible finds its origin from within God, deity breathing forth every word of scripture. David added, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). The apostle Peter penned “...holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Peter pointed out that men did not speak their own words, but rather were moved (or borne along) by the Holy Spirit to speak God's words.

The irresistible conclusion is that the Bible came forth by the efforts of God and man - with God providing the EXACT words to be said and written and man providing the means by which these words could be said and eventually written down. Inspired Paul sealed the case when he wrote “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37; -also consider such passages as 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13; etc.).

What does it mean to say that “the Bible is inspired?” It means that the Bible is the completely and verbally inspired word of God finding its origin not in man but in deity and being written down by inspired men moved by the Holy Spirit. This being true, not only can we have complete confidence in it, but we must also realize that it contains God's will for you and for me. Study it and apply its teachings to your life - for only then will you be pleasing to God in doing the things HE has said (Hebrews 11:7; Romans 10:17).

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What does the Bible teach about baptism? (Part 1)

Perhaps no other Bible doctrine is misunderstood, mishandled or misapplied more than the doctrine of “baptism.” For example, some teach that it is but “an outward sign of an inward faith” for those who are already saved. Yet, the Bible doesn't teach this. Others assert that it is something administered to babies. Once again, this is not found in the Bible. If men desire to please God, they must walk by faith (Hebrews 11:6; 2 Corinthians 5:7) and this demands an honest examination and acceptance of Bible evidence, nothing more and nothing less (Romans 10:17). In this section, examination will be given the evidence from the original language and the scriptural testimony to the fact that there is only one “baptism” authorized by Christ, today.

There are five words in the Greek New Testament that are pertinent to this study, found a total of some 123 times. The basic meaning of all of them is “to immerse or submerge” (the element not included in the meaning but supplied by the context). Too many have consulted Webster's Dictionary for definitions of the English word “baptism” instead of seeking to find the meanings of the Greek words translated baptize, baptism, etc. The Bible definition has nothing to do with sprinkling or pouring as Webster's suggests. In fact, the word “baptism” is not even a translation of the Greek but a transliteration - the spelling of the Greek word(s) with corresponding English characters. It is important to understand that New Testament baptism is not a sprinkling or pouring but an immersion.

The apostle Paul wrote that there was only ONE baptism for men upon this earth at the time he penned Ephesians 4:5, about A.D. 62. However, since the Bible mentions more than one baptism, this begs the question, “Which one was the only one Paul could be talking about?” Let us examine the evidence and simply use the process of elimination.

It is not “John's baptism” (Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:4). This immersion in water involving a confession of sins was clearly no longer in effect by the time frame presented in Acts 19:1-5, about A.D. 55-58. It is not the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:4-8). This immersion in the Holy Spirit was a promise given specifically to the apostles by the Father which was realized in the events detailed in Acts 2. It is not the “baptism with fire” (Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:16-17). This immersion which Jesus Himself would do concerns an immersion in “spiritual” fire after the judgment day (Revelation 21:8; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 25:46). It is not a “baptism of suffering” (Matthew 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50). This immersion in suffering/sorrow was one that Jesus and the apostles would receive (at the cross, at the hands of the Pharisees, etc.) due to their preaching, teaching, etc. It is not the “baptism into Moses” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). These verses are speaking of the figurative immersion in water that the Israelites experienced when Moses led them through the Red Sea that they might be saved from the Egyptians. It is not a “baptism for the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:29). In Paul's day, a baptism in behalf of the dead (an unacceptable procedure) was being practiced by some (likely some of the heathen). Paul's point is that since baptism involves a death, burial and resurrection, what benefits would baptism in behalf of the dead be for those who do not believe in the resurrection (see the context of 1 Corinthians 15). The only one left which fits the evidence of Ephesians 4:5 is the “Great Commission Baptism” (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). This is immersion into water (Acts 8:36-38) which would last until the end of the world - an immersion all sinners must experience in order to be saved (Mark 16:16).

Please see Part two of the answer to this question as it will be devoted to what the New Testament says about the specifics of the “Great Commission Baptism.”

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What does the Bible teach about baptism? (Part 2)

If you have not already done so, we recommend you read and study “What Does The Bible Teach About Baptism (Part One)?” above.

In part one of this question we found that the Bible teaches there is but one baptism (immersion) in effect, today - only one baptism (immersion) authorized by Christ Jesus for all men to submit to and it is the baptism of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). This study will provide additional Biblical evidence concerning some of the specifics involved in this immersion.

First, it is a command of God that each believer must obey in order to become saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 10:44-48). That is, unlike what some teach, the Bible teaches that it is not optional (Matthew 7:21-23; Hebrews 5:8-9; etc.).

Second, it is required of all men and women who meet certain scriptural conditions. Before one can become baptized into Christ, he/she must be qualified in the eyes of God - that is, he/she must do other steps (meet other conditions) before he/she is a candidate for baptism. Jesus taught that one must first believe He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mark 16:16; Acts 16:31-33). This faith comes by hearing the gospel (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 16:32; 18:8; etc). Also, one must repent (a change of mind/heart evidenced in a change of life - Acts 2:38). Further, one must confess his/her faith (Acts 8:36-37; Rom. 10:10). And, it is implied that one must have an understanding of what baptism is and is for (Acts 8:36-38; Acts 2:38; etc.). When one meets these conditions then he/she is a candidate in the eyes of God to become baptized (See “What Must I Do To Become Saved?”). It is important to note that even the worst of people can change and be baptized into Christ (Acts 18:8 with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; the example of Saul in Acts 22:16; etc.).

Third, there are physical aspects of baptism that must be considered. As already discussed in Part One of this question baptism is an immersion, not a sprinkling or pouring. However, the word itself does not imply any specific element into which to immerse. The Scriptures do not leave us to guess or supply our own element, though, as the Bible makes it clear that God authorized “water” as the element in which baptism occurs (Acts 8:36-38; implied in Acts 10:47).

Fourth, there are spiritual aspects of baptism that must be considered. Romans 6:1-6 pictures baptism as a burial and resurrection, a spiritual picture of how one dead in sins may be buried and than rise to walk in newness of life (note: additional evidence that baptism is not sprinkling, pouring or aspersion). What actually happens when one is baptized? The Scriptures teach the following: (a) one gets into Christ's death (Romans 6:3-4). The point to consider is that this is where one receives the benefits of His death - i.e. His blood; (b) one gets into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27) where all spiritual blessings (such as redemption) are (Ephesians 1:3,7; 2 Timothy 2:10; etc.); (c) one is added by Christ to His body, the church of Christ (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13); and (d) one spiritually comes into contact with the blood of Christ so that his/her sins are forgiven, remitted, washed away - i.e. he/she becomes saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5).

Honest examination of the whole counsel of God will, indeed, reveal that there is one baptism in effect, today! It is that immersion into water for those penitent believers who have confessed Christ. It results in being added to the Lord's church, having all sins washed away. And, it is a command of God that must be understood and correctly obeyed if one desires to please God and enjoy eternal life. Have you been baptized into Christ for the remission of sins?

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