First Thoughts

Why Do Baptists Baptize? (Part 2)

| Richard Lucas |
Baptists are thankful for our rich and deep heritage. But sometimes, even in Baptist churches, people can be confused as to why we baptize. In this post, I am describing three reasons that people often think are the reasons that Baptists baptize but are actually not. 1. Not Because Baptism Is Required for Salvation  This is a vitally important clarification to make. Baptists obviously think that baptism is very important; it’s in our name, after all. However, we want to be crystal clear that …

Why Do Baptists Baptize? (Part 1)

| Richard Lucas |
Christ has given to his church two ordinances to be continually practiced by his people in the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In some cases, these ordinances have become traditions, rites, and ceremonial practices that we might have forgotten the reason why we do them. In this first post, I will share three positive reasons to answer the question, why do Baptists baptize? For these three reasons, I want to discuss how baptism should be done, who should get baptized, and what baptism i…

Celebrating Your Resurrection This Easter

| Heath Lambert |
Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4  Celebrating Easter Every year at Easter, Christians celebrate the historical, literal, physical, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was really dead, and he really came back to life. He is alive now and reigning in heaven, and we are awaiting his historical, literal, physical, and bodily r…

Death Hath Confronted Us

| Ernie Baker |
In the last week, I have had two significant conversations about death. A friend suddenly lost his wife from Covid as he was in the hospital recovering from his own case. As we visited, we discussed the truths of 1 Corinthians 15. We cried. We reminisced. We talked about the importance of family, and we hugged. Most importantly I prayed for my friend as he grieved and appealed to Yahweh to comfort him. We thanked the Lord for the hope we have for eternity. Then came one of the most difficult …

Praying Without Ceasing

| Scott Connell |
Most Christians know that 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we are supposed to “pray without ceasing.” But how are we supposed to start a prayer that never ends? Don’t we have to live life in a way that requires us to say “amen,” then get up and go do the stuff we have been praying about? Recently I have begun to think more seriously about what it means to lead a life of ceaseless prayer. While I believe some aspects of this kind of life will always be “under construction,” I also have begun to …

Knowing God More!

| Scott Connell |
We used to sing the following words of a worship song written by Steve Green many years ago: Oh, I want to know you more Deep within my soul, I want to know you Oh, I want to know you… During the heyday of the worship renewal movement, words like this seemed fresh and intimate when they arrived on the scene. They described a deep desire that lay beneath the surface of one’s life. But for those paying close attention, this type of language demonstrated a depth of desire that could easily be ne…

SBC Survival Guide | Part 5: Hope

| Heath Lambert |
The previous posts in this SBC Survival Series on abuse, the ERLC, the Baptist Faith and Message, and race might all seem a little discouraging. Emphasizing all we must overcome might seem overwhelming. It is true that we have much to overcome in the serious problems we are facing as a convention. The problems are not overwhelming, however. Our Hope in Times of Hardship You begin to see that the problems are not overwhelming when you notice a common thread in each of the issues I addressed. O…

SBC Survival Guide | Part 4: Race

| Heath Lambert |
Divisions Over Race Division over the issue of race is one of the greatest threats to unity in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This breaks my heart. Some of that heartbreak goes back to something I learned from my mom in childhood. Before my mother became a Christian, she would never have been confused with a virtuous woman, but with all her faults she was never a racist. My mom won scorn and lost friends when she invited an African American woman to join her and several other women at…

Should Christians Date Non-Christians?

| Sean Perron |
All the right factors seem to be in place-cute charm, dreamy looks, social suave, a pleasant appeal, and even conservative convictions. The only thing missing is… Jesus. Perhaps you have thought something like: “They are so close to the truth, and they love so many good things the Bible supports! Surely they would be compelled to follow Christ fully if they were enticed by a godly companion!” As tempting as it might be to date a nice unbeliever, I am not convinced this is the way to go about …

SBC Survival Guide | Part 3: The Baptist Faith and Message

| Heath Lambert |
Unity and Truth The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is as divided now as it has been at any point since the conservative resurgence. That resurgence began in the 1970s, long enough ago that we can no longer take for granted that it is understood by the youngest in denominational life. The conservative resurgence began in response to division in the SBC, and that division was over theology. On one side of the division were the liberals (called moderates) who proved to be the minority in Sout…

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