Baptist Articles of Faith: Teaching Eleven
Introduction: The Baptist Articles of Faith should be reviewed from time to time, as suggested by passages like Titus 3:8. Today, we hope to discuss articles 21 and 22 of the Baptist Articles of Faith.
Read Article 21: Of Evangelism and Missions
Essentially, we believe that believers and the church as a whole are duty bound to help people get saved and minister to various needs. Helping people get saved is evangelism. Missionary work is ministering to various needs like food, clothing, health care, educational tutoring, home repair, and so on.
Teaching Points –
- Matthew 28:19-20 teaches that the church is to be about global evangelism. Every member and especially every disciple, should be equipped and diligent in at least inviting and bringing unsaved loved ones with them to church. However, they ought to also be able to lead people to Christ themselves.
In addition to personal evangelism, the corporate church should be involved in witnessing and trying to help people get saved. When visitors come, we need to gather information, so we can follow-up on them, in regard to their salvation, church membership, and discipleship.
We need to be prepared to lead people to Christ, who show an interest. We need to be sensitive to the needs of unchurched people.
For example, they want church to be two hours long or less, want the worship to flow, want to feel love, want things to be relevant, and want evidence that the gospel is changing lives. Let's make sure we don’t selfishly make worship what we want it to be and ignore our evangelistic duty.
- Ephesians 2:10 teaches that every believer has a good work to perform. Titus 2:14 teaches that we were redeemed to be people who are zealous about doing good works. Titus 3:8 shows Paul urging Titus to urge the people to be diligent in doing good. As important as evangelism is, we also need missionary work or other good work.
Whenever we respond to human needs in the name of Jesus to especially those outside of our church, we are doing missionary work. Avondale, other places in the United States, many places in Africa, Haiti, and India need missionary work.
One of the questions that confronts traditional Baptist churches today is, "Will we try to delegate missionary work to a missionary society that is stereotyped as a group of aged women who wear white, study a mission book, and go to the nursing homes, or will we be a missionary church, where all ministry groups and members are charged to do missionary work?"
We must put function over form – the function of doing missionary work over the form of how we do it.
In summary, based on our articles of faith, we believe that every believer and the corporate church should be highly involved in evangelizing the lost and providing missionary attention to those in need.
Read Article 22: Of the Resurrection
Essentially, we believe that Jesus' body was resurrected. We also believe that every human's body will be resurrected. However, the resurrected bodies are of a spiritual nature.
Teaching Points –
- Matthew 28:1-6 teaches that Jesus' body was dead but was also resurrected. Thank God for Jesus' death, which paid for our sins. Thank God for His resurrection, which confirms that the payment was received. And thank God that we serve a risen Lord. Let's live like Jesus is alive.
- John 5:28-29 teaches that everyone has to be resurrected. The righteous will be resurrected to live. And the wicked will be resurrected to be condemned. Let's make sure we are righteous by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith and urging others to do the same.
Let's also rest in knowing that those who have caused trouble in our lives and who don't have Jesus in their lives will get what is coming to them.
- I Corinthians 15:49 teaches that resurrected bodies are not like the physical bodies that we have now. These bodies are fashioned after Adam's body. But our resurrected bodies will be fashioned after Jesus' spiritual body.
Because I believe that God has new parts, not repaired or recycled parts, I am an organ donor, in process of donating my body to science as an act of benevolence.
Not to mention, that it is also a cheap way to dispose of my body. Remember my life, instead of simply weep over my death. I hear that the new bodies don't get arthritis nor cancer.
In summary, based on our articles of faith, we believe that in similar to fashion how Jesus' body was resurrected, our bodies will be resurrected. The righteous will live on, but the wicked will be condemned.
Conclusion: Let’s work on remembering, understanding, and living by our Baptist Articles of Faith. Let’s be mindful of the importance of evangelism and missions as well as the resurrection.
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