DO YOU DISPARAGE BAPTISM?
Many in the religious world stress the importance of faith in Christ in becoming a Christian, but the importance of baptism seems to elude them.
Jesus came to earth to do God's will according to John 6:38. So it isn't surprising to find him wanting to honor the ordinance of heaven concerning baptism.
When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John was very reluctant until Jesus said, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness" (Matt. 3:15 NIV). Then John consented. If Jesus had declined or refused to be baptized, as did many of the Pharisees and lawyers who rejected the purpose of God for themselves in their refusal (Luke 7:29-30), Jesus would have been disobedient to God and could not have fulfilled "all righteousness."
So even though John preached a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and Jesus had no sins, he still wanted to honor God by being baptized. He proclaimed that it was the ‘proper' thing to do. If Jesus had obeyed every command of God except the one to be baptized, he would not have obeyed all of them and that would have been improper.
In our case we need baptism for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), and those who desire to honor God will gladly submit.
Jesus was acknowledged by God for his obedience. The record states, "And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17).
Rest assured that God will likewise be pleased with your submission to the ordinance of baptism. It's the fitting, proper, and becoming thing to do. John Gipson,
Windsong, Little Rock, Arkansas
NEW MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY
Our pocket size directory for 2004 is now available in the foyer and other exits from the auditorium. Please pick up your copy soon and put it to good use. If you discover any errors, you would be doing the church office a favor to make that known. We are always grateful to Ann Bivins for her time and effort on this major project.
All elders, deacons, ministers, former elders, deacons, ministers and their wives are invited and encouraged to attend the Annual Shawnee Area Leadership Dinner at the Seminole church building at 6 p.m. on March 12. The cost will be $7 to $8 per person. You will enjoy seeing their new church building north of Seminole on Highway 99 if you've not already done so. The speaker will be Dr. John deSteiguer. We need to RSVP no later than March 8, so we'll be calling you soon.
We express our appreciation to Chuck Carter for preaching and teaching in Dwyane's place while he was in Abilene last week.
We express our best wishes to Angie Gober for being on the President's Honor Roll at East Central State University; also, to Danielle Flores who is on the Dean's Honor Roll.
We express our congratulations to Marcia Dennis on her retirement from Integris Health this past Friday. (Editor's note: Does this mean I'm going to start getting home cooked meals now?)
Aubrey Mercer was involved in a major auto accident on Friday of last week that resulted in two punctured lungs and other injuries. He is in ICU at Everett Tower. He is the stepfather of Tim McGalliard. Virgil Beasley is now in rehabilitation at Unity South, room 303, and is doing well. Doris Whittern's daughter, Phyllis Heald, remained in Unity North, room 218 at the time the Gospel Guide was prepared. She was expecting to be transferred to Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital sometime this week. Helen Morgan's family was told that her brain aneurysm is inoperable in Memphis, Tennessee last Friday. She was returned to Searcy, Arkansas and has been taken off of life support. She is the sister of Lil Sullivan.
CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS
OF CENTRAL MEMBERS & FRIENDS
Gertrude Andes, Jack Aylor, Harry Barlow, (son-in-law of Inez McNutt), Gwen Barrett, Louise Barrett (Kathy Peerson's mother), Jearline Bates, Chad Beard, Betty Bernard, Lucille Bowers, Letha Buford, Harold Carothers, James Childers, C.F. Drain, Ola Fitzwater, Mary Gaines, Elizabeth Garbe, Geneva Green, Dwight Harber, Phyllis Heald (Doris Whittern's daughter), Anna Jarvis, Earnest & Vesta Johnson, Phil Lairson (Rosie Brightwell & Ellen Childers's nephew), Lloyd Lofties, Betty Martin, Ida McIntyre, Don Allen McNutt, Harvey Moore, Ruth Nevills, Winnie Page, Monroe Pettyjohn, Ruth Pratt, Polly Reese, Horace & Leoh Roberts, Sarah Smith, Don Stevens, Chub & Dorothy Strickland, Charles Thomas, Floy Turner, Alvie Vanlandingham, Dean Wall, Doris Whittern, Argil Wiggins, Emma Wilson, Carl Worley, Viola Yates, Verna Nell Young, and Tollie Zitterkopf. All these members and friends have continuing health concerns or other special circumstances. They appreciate your remembrance of them in prayer.
If you don't remember that the Shawnee football team won the state championship this school year, take a look at Jason Perry's hand! The football team received their championship rings last week. Congratulations again to Jason.
Basketball season is over and soccer season is underway! We have two kids from the youth group playing soccer for the Wolves this year. Kristen Gober and Adam Beard are both kicking the ball around the field this year. If you get a chance, go see them in action.
We have several youth group members getting ready to head to Florida with the Shawnee Band on Spring Break. They are Lindsey Perry, Leslie Gettle, Zach Qualls and Nathan Kelly. It's a tough thing to have to go to sunny Florida and Disney World, but I'm sure they'll endure.
March 5 & 6, Friday & Saturday, Spring Visit at OC
March 6, Saturday, Youth Forum and Spring Sing leave at 8:30 a.m. return by 7:00 p.m.
March 7, Sunday – AWTG at Wilshire, leave at 4:00 p.m. return by 8:00 p.m.
March 8, Deadline to RSVP for Leadership Dinner
March 12, Annual Area Wide Leadership Dinner, Seminole, 4200 Highway 99 North, 6 p.m., John deSteiguer
March 21, New song class, 7 p.m.
April 4, Daylight Saving Time begins
April 15 – 18, Gospel Meeting, Tecumseh, Leon Dennis, Westside, Norman