Some time ago I posted about a study begun with a woman and her mother near the Anaheim meeting house, Betty and Marry.
Studies with this pair are continuing, having met for our most recent study last Monday afternoon. Duane Shelton of the Anaheim assembly is assisting me in this study.
Our study this past Monday had four additional family members present, who were visiting from Kenya, South Africa. The family came into the study at the end of the topic of confessing Christ and at the beginning of topic of baptism. All six members of the family considered themselves saved/born again at the start of the study.
Studying Acts 2:38 the question was asked if the 3,000 mentioned were saved before or at their baptism. All six initially answered, “before.” Upon asking them where they found their answer in the text some began questioning it. There was some discussion about the order of Peter’s instructions and four of the five, began thinking that maybe forgiveness of sins occurred at baptism rather than before. The other two were not sure yet. After studying Acts 22:16, Ephesians 4:4,5, Acts 8:35-39 and Romans 6:3-4 were studied in addition to Acts 2:38, Matthew 16:15-17 and Mark 16:15,16, five of the six became sure the Bible was teaching them that forgiveness of sins occurs at baptism.
The youngest of the group, probably in her thirties, suggested that if this were in fact true, that it would “change everything” for the family.
Saul’s conversion, the thief on the cross and the seven disciples who were re-baptized in Ephesus were discussed and studied also.
By the end of the study five agreed that the Bible teaches that one’s sins are forgiven at the time they are baptized in Jesus name and one was still unsure. Duane and I went around the room confirming each persons belief about baptism and asking whether they needed to just change their belief and teaching about baptism now, or also be re-baptized. Three believed their baptism was biblical and they would just need to change how they thought about it. Two thought they might need to be re-baptized and one was still on the fence. All were encouraged to continue studying the topic and come to solid conclusions on it.
The study ended and we all visited for another thirty minutes or so.
The visiting family are to go back to Kenya before our next scheduled study this Thursday.
“The bigger the number in a study the better” is not always true. Many differing backgrounds and personal questions of a large group can get in the way of each person receiving the text where they are. Smaller one on one studies help this issue. In the case of this study, the large number worked out beautifully, surely helped in big part by the prayers of faithful brethren for this work. Thank you!
The apostles were sent into all the world to preach to every nation, which they did. We have a similar commission to take Jesus with us as we go into all our personal world (Colossians 4:5,6; 1 Peter 2:9,10; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1). When we do, together, we will have opportunity to preach to many nations, like Kenya! God be praised!
What part of the world will your next attempt to share Jesus with the people in your life take the gospel?