Coming to ChristBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, May 9, 2010.
Coming to Christ I. Men are variously bidden to come to Christ. MAT 11:28; LUK 14:26; JOH 7:37; 14:6; HEB 4:16. II. Those who would truly come to Christ must have faith. HEB 11:6. A. Faith is a fruit of God's Spirit obtained as a gift through the righteousness of Christ. GAL 5:22; PHIL 1:29; 2PE 1:1; 1JO 5:4. B. True faith is proven by righteous works of obedience. JAM 2:17-20. C. The believer in the gospel is commanded to be baptized. MAR 16:16; ACT 8:35-38. D. He who truly believes will be baptized. ACT 8:12; LUK 7:29-30 c/w MAT 21:32. E. Truly coming to Christ demands that one be baptized. LUK 6:46-48. 1. One has not truly come to Christ as His Lord if he does not obey Christ's command to be baptized. 2. Baptism is INTO Christ. GAL 3:27. 3. If one is baptized into Christ, he obviously comes to Christ. F. 1PE 2:4-5 teaches that in coming to Christ, believers are built up a spiritual house. 1. This spiritual house is the gospel church. 1TI 3:15 c/w EPH 2:19-22. 2. Church membership results from coming to Christ in believer's baptism. ACT 2:41. a. The Lord adds to the church such as should be saved. ACT 2:47. b. Those who are baptized should be saved. MAR 16:16. c. The Lord adds them the same day they are baptized. ACT 2:41. 3. So tied are baptism and church membership to believing, that a conversion is sometimes described as simply believing. ACT 13:48 & 14:1 c/w ACT 14:21-23; 21:20, 25 c/w ACT 16:4-5. a. Note that those who believed are also referred to as churches. b. Belief and baptism obviously constitute church membership. 4. According to ACT 5:14, believers are added to the Lord. a. They come to Christ. b. In coming to Christ, they are added to the church. c. Since the church is the body of Christ (1CO 12:27), it is called Christ. 1CO 12:12. d. Therefore, to be added to the church is to be added to the Lord since the church is the body of the Lord. e. Similarly, to persecute the church is to persecute Christ. 1CO 15:9; ACT 9:5. f. Through baptism one enters into the church which is IN Christ. 1TH 1:1. g. He is thus baptized INTO Christ. GAL 3:27. h. The believer thus separates himself unto Jesus Christ as His Lord. ACT 2:36; 11:21 c/w 1CO 10:1-2. III. What about the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip baptized ( ACT 8:26-40)? Why should we conclude that he was added to a church when he was baptized since there is no mention of a church in that account? A. First, the lack of specific mention of his being added to a church does not overthrow the pattern of ACT 2:41-47 which establishes that baptism results in church membership. Coming To Christ 5-9-10 Page 1 of 3 B. We are to compare spiritual things with spiritual ( 1CO 2:13) so as to harmonize Scripture, not bang one Scripture against another as if the Bible were full of contradictions. C. The prophecy of ISA 56:3-7 sheds light on this situation. 1. Under the O.T., no stranger or eunuch was admitted into the congregational service of God's house. EZE 44:6-9; DEU 23:1. 2. Isaiah could have been prophesying of the temple of God in heaven of which the O.T. temple was a type. HEB 9:24; REV 11:19. a. But God's elect, regardless of earthly status, have always had a place within the walls of the heavenly temple from the standpoint of God's covenant in Christ by which their RELATIONSHIP with God was/is established without consideration of their obedience. ROM 9:11-16; TIT 3:5. b. Isaiah was clearly predicting N.T. times when Gentiles and eunuchs would be admitted to the service of God's house in the gospel church by which their FELLOWSHIP with God would be established by their obedience. 3. In vs. 4-5, the promise is made to eunuchs that God would give them a place IN GOD'S HOUSE if they would: a. keep God's sabbaths. b. choose those things that please God. c. take hold of God's covenant. d. join themselves to the Lord to serve Him, to love His name, and to be His servants. 4. The Ethiopian to whom Philip ministered the gospel was both a stranger and a eunuch to the O.T. church. a. The O.T. sabbaths were merely a shadow of Christ and His finished work of salvation. COL 2:16-17. (1) Sabbath means rest. (2) When a person believes the gospel he enters into rest, thus keeping the N.T. sabbath. HEB 4:2-3; MAT 11:28-30. (3) Therefore, by believing the gospel the Ethiopian eunuch kept God's sabbaths. b. The eunuch chose the things that please God. (1) He obeyed the commandments of God to repent, believe the gospel and be baptized. (2) Keeping God's commandments pleases Him. 1JO 3:22-23. c. The eunuch took hold of God's covenant. (1) Jesus Christ was given as “...a covenant of the people...” ( ISA 42:6). (2) Belief and baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ are commandments of the New Covenant. (3) When a person is properly baptized, he PUTS ON CHRIST (GAL 3:27). Now, that's taking hold of the covenant! d. Since in baptism the eunuch put on Christ, he certainly joined himself to the Lord to serve Him. This is the very purpose for baptism. ROM 6:4. e. Under the law, the house of God was a distinct entity within the church. (1) The nation of Israel as a whole was the O.T. church. ACT 7:38. (2) The tabernacle or temple where the ark of the covenant was kept, where sacrifices could only be brought (LEV 17:3-8; JOS 22:29), where those sacrifices could only be made by God's priests ( NUM 18:7) and where communion could only be had with God ( EXO Coming To Christ 5-9-10 Page 2 of 3 25:22) was the house of God. 1CH 6:48; 2CH 5:14. (3) A eunuch could there be a church member, but not have access to the house of God. (4) But under the New Covenant, the church IS the house of God (1TI 3:15). To be joined to one is to be joined to the other. f. The Ethiopian eunuch met all four requirements of ISA 56:3-7. (1) As such, the Lord had said He would give him a place IN HIS HOUSE, which logically must be concluded as the gospel church. (2) When any person does as this eunuch, he may expect the same. ACT 2:47; 5:14; 11:24. (3) As a church member he is made a priest of God's house and so is authorized to make sacrifices that are acceptable to God. 1PE 2:4-5. IV. Those who come to Christ in humble, penitent faith to be baptized unto their Lord and made part of His church in this world are blessed people indeed. A. Their faith and obedience shows that they are justified and that righteousness is imputed unto them. JAM 2:21-24. 1. They now find rest and a bearable burden. MAT 11:28-30. 2. They are made to drink of Christ and issue forth rivers of the Spirit's living water. JOH 7:37-39 c/w 1CO 12:13. 3. They are made priests of God's house whose spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God. 1PE 2:4-5. 4. They enter into apostolic fellowship with God and Christ. ACT 2:42 c/w 1JO 1:1-4. 5. They have found the gate of heaven where they in worship enter into the glory world's worship of Jesus Christ. GEN 28:17 c/w HEB 12:22-24. B. Their coming to Christ thus is obviously doing good in God's sight and is therefore the proof that they will come to Christ in eternity at the resurrection ( JOH 5:28-29) where He will cause JOH 6:37 to be fulfilled. C. (Psalms 65:4) “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”