By Homer Hailey (ca. 1970
It is Thanksgiving Day as I sit at my typewriter thinking -- thinking of the many things for which to give thanks. I am thankful that for the seventy-nine years plus of life I have had a kind and merciful Father to govern and control my life and its destiny. The years have not always been smooth and even; there have been rough spots and periods of disciplining, and for these also I am thankful. These have molded and developed character; they have made me cognizant of the needs of others and of our kinship in sharing life's burdens as well as life's joys. I am thankful that when days were dark there was always "a song in the night," for faith and hope raised their voice in thanksgiving and trust -- there would be sunshine and joy on the morrow.
Today both nationally and internationally the clouds hang low and are fraught with threatenings of disaster; but worry and fright grip only the hearts of unbelieving men and women, those that know not God. I look out my back door and see the towering mountains, born at the dawn of creation, timeless sentinels to the power and enduring majesty of their Creator. These have been witness through the thousands of years in which nations, races and individuals have come and gone -- fighting, worrying, loving and hating --that the Lord of Heaven rules and all things will continue until His purpose is accomplished. For this I am thankful. I take a walk each day, and along my trail are giant Saguaro cacti, some estimated to be two hundred years old, or older, with their arms extended toward heaven as if praising their Creator and making petition for frail and faithless man. These can testify to the passing of frightened men and women, fleeing from the danger of fellow men, or worried where the next meal or drink of water will come from. Or it may have been an Indian hunter or warrior who paused in the narrow shadow of this towering giant for a moment's rest. Fear or fury may have filled the souls of these passerby, but the Saguaro with outstretched arms to heaven has survived all these. Now that those who passed have gone on, their bodies now slumbering in the dust, to what avail was their worry, fear, hate -- each possessing a problem that had to be urgently solved. All is quiet now, and somehow the urgent problems are forgotten and the world has continued to survive. I am thankful for the lesson. For soon I, too, will be gone, and to what avail has been any anxiety about problems and cares and emotions and bitter feelings (if any)? These agitations of soul and furies that burned in the breasts of men will be quiet and seem so foolish to those who follow after. The world will survive all of these, the mountains will still be here and the giant cacti will continue pointing to heaven, monuments to God's power and care. And for this I am thankful.
In the midst of the world's turmoil and the personal concerns and uncertainties in the hearts of men, I am thankful that there is a remedy for all this; the gospel of Christ. It is a matter of getting people to listen and then give heed to the Father's call and offer. God has seen fit to lay the responsibility of announcing this message on the hearts of His children. For this I am thankful, for such responsibility has given me a feeling of fellowship with Him in the great work of redemption: He provided the means; and for some fifty-five years I have had the joy of telling it, pointing people to Him. For this I am thankful.
When I add to these the joy of a happy home, reigned over by a loving and sharing Christian wife, children and grandchildren whose love and respect I possess, scores of beloved friends and myriads of brothers and sisters in Christ, I am most thankful. Then let me not forget the wonderful land in which I live, the comfortable home which my Father has provided, the daily food and clothing, good health, a beautiful world in which to behold the Father's handiwork and the glorious hope of heaven -- my thanksgiving knows no bounds. Truly, today and every day should be a day of thanksgiving and praise to Him who created and provides all. Let us give praise to His matchless name! &
“BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHRIST” AND “INTO HIS DEATH”
By Bob Myhan
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. (2 Tim. 2:10).
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom. 6:3-4).
Given that "salvation ... is in Christ Jesus" and that one is "baptized into Christ Jesus," baptism “into Christ Jesus” is essential to salvation. Baptism “into Christ Jesus” is baptism into spiritual union with Him. One who is “baptized into Christ Jesus” is "baptized into his death" because it was His death that made this union possible. Further, to be “baptized into his death” is to be baptized into the benefits of His death because the benefits of His death are enjoyed only after one is baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).
Many teach that it is Holy Spirit baptism that puts one into Christ, rather than water baptism. They say one is saved when baptized in the Holy Spirit, and merely shows that he has been saved when he is baptized in water. Thus, they have two baptisms, one in the Holy Spirit and one in water. However, the Bible says there is "one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5), not two. The "one baptism" is either Holy Spirit baptism or water baptism; it cannot be both. If it is Holy Spirit baptism, why should anyone submit to water baptism, today? No apostle commanded anyone to submit to Holy Spirit baptism in the New Testament. But people were commanded to submit to water baptism (Acts 2:38; 10:47, 48; 22:16). Furthermore, water baptism is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), so water baptism must be the "one baptism" that puts one into Christ and is essential to salvation. If this is not the case, why is it not? &