The Moore American

April 30, 2014

Message keeps coming back

By Kenny Dickerson
The Moore American

MOORE — Greetings, Moore American readers, welcome back to our weekly visit. We hope you’ve had a good week. It’s only mid-week, but we’re already looking ahead to the Lord’s Day. When we at the East Ridge church of Christ worship at 10 a.m., we’d like to invite you to come.

In the first five books of old testament Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy there are many great lessons. The book of Genesis contains the Origin period (Genesis chapters 1- 8), the Second chance period (Genesis chapters 9-11), the Pilgrim period (Genesis chapters 12-46), the Egyptian period (Genesis 47- Exodus) and the Wilderness period (Genesis chapter 47– Deuteronomy).

A powerful message that keeps coming back to us in this study is how the entire Bible connects so beautifully. The Lord provides “images” (or patterns) in the old testament that is revealed again in the new testament. One of those images emerges in the transition between the Egyptian period and the Wilderness period. Years after the Israelites cross the Red sea out of the land of bondage, the apostle Paul reflects back to that time and draws the new testament parallel.

“Our fathers,” says the apostle, “were under the cloud, and were baptized (G 907 immersed) unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2).

The apostle explains to the Corinthian Christians that the way the Israelites escaped from the bondage of Egypt, symbolic of the bondage of sin, was by being baptized in the cloud (a collection of visible vapor suspended in the atmosphere) and in the sea.

Please note that the Israelites did not escape bondage until they were baptized (entirely engrossed) in the cloud and sea (meaning by water).

The apostle Paul draws another image of our salvation in the sixth chapter of Romans. This time he turns to a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4).

Here’s that beautiful image: Just as Christ died, was buried, and rose again, so are we when we obey the gospel of Jesus Christ: We die to our sins, we are buried in baptism, and then rise from the watery grave to walk a new life. Please get your Bible and read 2 Corinthians 5:17.

The other evening while traveling around Oklahoma City, I turned on the radio and caught an articulate speaker from the area speak on Romans chapter 6. I was surprised because very few men I hear on the radio or television tackle this topic.

I was impressed with the man’s articulacy, and I was more impressed with his teaching. He drew the picture just as Paul drew it and developed the Lord’s pattern well, until he came to the end. Then at the end, I’m sorry to say, he disturbed the picture by drawing a man-made conclusion and digressed from the scriptures.

He did not draw the same conclusion the apostle Paul does in Romans chapter 6. In verses 17-18, after having established that we die our sins, are buried in baptism, and then walk a new life, Paul gives the natural conclusion: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

We will close this study and resume the thought of “obeying from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto us” Lord willing next week.

Have a great week. Join us on the Lord’s Day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Wednesday 7:30 p.m. at the East Ridge church of Christ, 728 S.E. 12th St. in Moore.

If you would like to study the Bible or have questions, call Richard at 254-405-4884, or email rrichaeg@netzero.com.