The Defense of the Faith

1 Peter

The Defense of the Faith

July 31st, 1960 @ 10:50 AM

1 Peter 3:15

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
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THE DEFENSE OF THE FAITH

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Peter 3:15

7-31-60    10:50 a.m.

 

On the radio you who are listening are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  Now the sermon this morning is entitled The Defense of the Faith.  And the text is in 1 Peter 3:15.  Last Sunday morning we left off with the verses immediately preceding.  Last Sunday evening, and this morning, we begin where we left off last Lord’s Day evening; and then tonight we pick up where we leave off this morning, and conclude preaching through the third chapter of 1 Peter.  The sermon tonight is going to be an exposition of 1 Peter 3:18 to the end of the chapter [1 Peter 3:18-22].  The sermon this morning is not an exposition; it is rather a subject sermon built around a text.  The text is this: 1 Peter 3:15: “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”  And we are going to do something this morning that I never did before in my life: but taking that as the text, we are going to follow through someone as they might be introduced to the faith, to the communion, to the gospel, to the message, as they would find it here in this beloved congregation.

“Be ready always to give an answer” [1 Peter 3:15].  The Greek word is apologia, and the old word “apology” referred to not the asking for pardon when you apologize, that’s a new meaning to the word, a modern meaning to the word; and actually, not a good meaning to the word.  The Greek word apologia means “defense.”  If a man is accused, when he replies the reply in Greek is called an apologia, a defense.  You are much familiar with the word in that sense if you’ve been to school, The Apologia Socratis, the apology of Socrates, or “The Apologia Pro Vita Sua,” which is one of the famous essays in the English language; an apology, a defense, a reply, a reason, an answer; here it is translated “an answer” [1 Peter 3:15].  Back yonder in the third and the fourth centuries there were men of the Christian faith of great stature and tremendous oratorical abilities and writing gifts, like Tertullian, a lawyer, or Athenagoras, or Justin Martyr; those men were all called “The Apologists,” the defenders of the faith.  That’s the word here, “Be ready to give an apology, apologia, an answer, a defense to every one who might ask you a reason of the hope, the elpis, the hope” [1 Peter 3:15].  The reason he calls it “the hope,” he is summarizing all the Christian faith in the word “hope.”  He uses it in the same sense that Luke does in the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Acts [Acts 28:20], and that Paul does in the first chapter of the Book of Colossians [Colossians 1:23, 27].  In times of severe persecution, the creed, the faith of the Christian church and the Christian people had with it a color of the future: it was tinged with the apocalyptic.  And that’s why he uses the word “hope,” the Christian hope [1 Peter 3:15].  He means by it the whole faith of the Christian religion.  So we’re going to start this morning, out there as one would come into the fold of our Lord, here in this church, and explain to him what it is that he sees and why it is that our faith and our communion and our church have in it the things that it does, and the practices and the procedures that he would find; a reason, a defense for anyone who might be interested of the faith that we preach and practice here in this glorious church.

All right, let’s begin with religion as such; with our Lord and Savior as such.  It’s hard to escape the confrontation of Christ in human life.  Somewhere, sometime, somehow, every man shall meet God; he cannot escape it.  When the Titanic sank, the unsinkable ship according to the builders—when the Titanic sank in 1912, it was late at night.  And the socialites, who largely comprised the company riding on the ship, were in a big ballroom, and the dance band was playing, and revelry was the order everywhere.  But when the great ship began to founder and to sink, the dance orchestra, in its last little assembly, on the end of the ship, played:

Nearer my God, to Thee, nearer to thee,

E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me

Nearer my God, to Thee

[“Nearer My God, to Thee,” Sarah F. Adams]

When the Lusitania was sunk by German submarine fire in 1915, there was a group of the Royal Welsh chorus, the men’s chorus, who were clinging to a broken life raft.  And as they clung to the raft in the cold waters of the north Atlantic, and in the dead darkness of the night, they tried to comfort themselves against the prospect of death.  First they tried to pray, but had great difficulty praying together.  Finally, they sang a song.  They sang:

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide

The darkness deepens, O Lord, with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee

Helper of the helpless, O Lord, abide with me.

[“Abide With Me,” Henry Francis Lyte]

And with that song they proposed to slip away into death.  In the providence of God, their singing carried over the bosom of the deep, and a deep horn responded.  They sang the second stanza, and brought to the place by the hymn, they were rescued.

Well, it’s all right for a while, I suppose, to listen to “Elvis the Pelvis” sing, “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.”  And in my day the teenagers were singing, “I’m red hot Henry Brown, I’m the hottest man in town.”  But it doesn’t last.  Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow these shallow silly songs of a moment and the life they represent just doesn’t comfort the soul or give an answer to the need of the human heart.

I had a mother one time bring a boy to me here at the church, boy about sixteen, seventeen years of age; and the boy had gone to his mother, being in deep trouble, and asked his mother how he might find God, and she couldn’t tell him.  She went to the neighbor, and said, “My boy asks how he can find God, and I don’t know what to say.  Can you answer?”  And she replied, “I do not know what to tell him either, but I listen to the pastor of the First Baptist Church every Sunday on the radio.  Take him to him; he can tell your boy how to find God.”  That’s where it begins.  I don’t say it’s now, but I do say that someday every man, every woman, and every child, and every soul that lives shall come face to face with the need of God.  You can’t escape it.  That’s where it starts.

So we pass by, and here is this great pile.  This is the First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas that covers a part of that block, and it covers the entire area of this block, and it covers a large section of that block.  This is the monument we’ve reared to the preaching of the gospel of the Son of God.  And it brings to our hearts the devotion of the people who have erected it and who support it.  Like those Korean housewives building their little Baptist church: every time they cooked a meal, they took out one spoonful of rice and dedicated it for the building of the little church.  Or like that sixteen year-old girl in Idaho, who labored hard under the hot sun picking up beets in the field, that she might earn forty dollars to buy a Lord’s Supper table for their little Baptist church.  And here we are down here in this great building.  Like that Brazilian woman, elderly, every Lord’s Day riding on horseback twenty-five miles to go to her church; or like that family in California who drives one hundred thirty miles every Lord’s Day to go to their little Baptist church.  It’s the reason sometimes I smile at people who live out here five miles or ten miles or somewhere, and when I invite them down to our glorious church they say, “Oh, but it’s too far, it’s too far, too far.”  Imagine it.

So here we are in this glorious church, and we walk into it.  And the first thing we see is the minister; and if you come on time, the deacons down here at the front, and we kneeing together in prayer.  Well, where are all the other orders of the ministry?  Well, they are not, because they are not.  There is no such a thing in the church of Jesus Christ but two orders of the Christian ministry, just two.  There’s not one, there’s not three, there’s not six; there are just two, only two.  You see them named in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Philippians 1:1, “Paul . . . to the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, with the bishops and the deacons”; that’s all, just those two: the bishops and the deacons.

Now the bishop in the Bible is called by three Greek names: he’s called an episkopos, he’s called a presbuteros, he’s called a poimēn.  Episkopos, which is the Greek word for “overseer,” is translated by the word “bishop.”  Presbuteros is the Greek word which is translated by the English word “elder.”  And poimēn is the Greek word translated “shepherd” or “pastor.”  And those three words are used interchangeably to refer to the same man, all through the Bible.

For example, in the first chapter of the Book of Titus, Paul says, “For this cause left I thee Titus in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders, presbuteroi, elders in every city. . .If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having his children faithful [Titus 1:5-6].  For a bishop” [Titus 1:7], you see, he called them “elders,” then the next verse he calls them “bishop”; in the first verse he called them presbuteros, in the second verse that I have read he calls them episkopos.  Now over here in the twentieth chapter of the Book of Acts, Paul uses the word first “elders” from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church [Acts 20:17].  And then in the twenty-eighth he refers to them as being shepherds, pastors [Acts 20:28].  Now there’s no exception to that in the Bible; and that’s all there is in the Bible.  There’s not anything else.  And there’s not anything else in a true Christian church.  There are just two orders of the Christian ministry: a pastor, who is sometimes called an episkopos, translated “bishop,” who is sometimes called a presbuteros, translated “elder,” but always the same man is referred to, the pastor, the bishop, the elder; and the deacon, and there’s not any other, that’s all, just those two.  That’s what you find when you come to this glorious church: you find two orders of the Christian ministry here.  There is a presbuteros, episkopos, a poimēn.  Here is one with his head down in his Bible writing my message down.  There’s one there.  And here’s one here.  We are elders, we are bishops, we are pastors of the church.

 In this staff ministry of our church I would say there are about seven or eight pastors who work in the great complex of our church organization.  Brother Johnny Barrett right now is preaching over there to the Good Shepherd department; he’s a fellow bishop, a fellow pastor, a fellow elder in our church.  Brother David Dean right now is preaching to the silent people over there in our church; then there are many others out here, all together comprising our pastoral ministry; and then these many deacons that are scattered all over the congregation.  Those are the two orders of the Christian ministry; and there are not but two, just they.

Then when you come into the church, you look at the preacher and you look at the congregation, and you follow the service, and you’ll see him open the Book.  And if he’s a true minister of Christ—and I try to be—what he does is to preach God’s message out of the Book.  As the Word testifies to itself, [2 Peter 1:21], “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  Or as Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2, “All Scripture,” not just pieces and parts and spots of it:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

Preach the word.

[2 Timothy 3:16-4:2]

That is the commandment of God.  Or as Cornelius said to Simon Peter, “Here are we all in the presence of God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of the Lord” [Acts 10:33].  That’s why we come to church: to hear the message that God has for our souls!  And that’s the only purpose for the gathering together of God’s people.  This is the Word of the Lord.  So when the man comes to church, here is the preacher opening the Book and preaching the Word of Christ.  That’s what he’s commanded to do, and he fulfills his high office when he is faithful to that commandment.

Then after he preaches, he’ll come down to the front and extend an invitation for people publicly to accept Christ as their Savior, and publicly to join themselves to the body of our Lord.  That is according to the plan of salvation:

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that He lives, that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart one believeth unto the God kind of righteousness, the righteousness that saves—with the heart we trust in Jesus—and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

[Romans 10:9-10]

Then when the people come—as at the 8:15 o’clock service this morning, we had so many people to come, they filled that entire front pew—when the people come the pastor will present them to the church.  Then he will ask the church what disposition is to be made of these who have come professing their faith in the Lord Jesus, and asking to be baptized into the body of Christ.  Well, why does the pastor turn to the congregation for that?  There are people who greatly object to that, and volitively inveigh against it.  Why, bless your heart, it’s a very simple thing that the Bible presents to us here, and it is this: when people come down the aisle and they say, “I want to be baptized,” or, “I want to join the church,” somebody has to receive them.  Now, it can be either the minister or it can be the church; it has to be one or the other.  Somebody has to do it.  Now, if it is the minister, then you have denied all of the prerogatives and authorities and privileges that belong to you, and you have placed them into the hands of an ecclesiastic; which is something the Bible never, never does.  All you’ve got to do is to get people to believe that in order to be saved you have to be baptized; then all you have to do is to get people to believe that the minister has the ordinance of baptism in his hands; then he has the power of life and death, of heaven and hell, of salvation and damnation over the people.  No thing like that is found in the Word of God.  In the tenth chapter of the Book of Acts [Acts 10:44-47], when the converts were presented there in Cornelius’ household, Peter turned to the brethren and said, “Can any forbid baptism that these should not be baptized, even as we who have received the Holy Ghost by faith?”  Turn to the brethren and ask that [Acts 10:47].

In the fifth chapter of the first Corinthian letter, Paul says, “When you bring the congregation into session, in together, into the service, exclude from your membership this man guilty of incest” [1 Corinthians 5:1-13]. He was living in open adultery with his father’s wife.  You can’t have a thing like that, said the apostle Paul, and that man cannot belong to the church; terrible, unnamable, incest.  You can hardly think of a thing like that.  And Paul said, “Well, that thing’s not even mentioned among the Gentiles [1 Corinthians 5:1], much less in the household of faith.”  So Paul says the church is to exclude that impossible, unbelievable sinner [1 Corinthians 5:13].  Then in the [second chapter] of the second Corinthian letter, he describes a man, and he says the congregation is to come together and to bring him back; he has repented, and to bring him back into the fellowship of the church [2 Corinthians 2:6-10].

So when people come down the aisle, and they say, “I want to be baptized, I want to belong to the church,” I do not receive them, for the ordinance of baptism does not lie in the minister, according to the New Testament; but it lies in the church.  It is a church ordinance.  Now the church could say, “No.”  I had a man one time come down the aisle while I was pastor in Oklahoma, and he was so such a man, and everybody knew why he was coming, that one of my deacons arose and said, “Pastor, not so.  I make a motion that we refer his case to the board of deacons.”  And it was referred to the board of deacons, and they met with the man, and they refused to receive him into the church because of his notorious iniquity and his vile and openly, flagrantly sinful life.  He hadn’t been converted; he was doing that for reasons that I don’t need to go into now.  Somebody must receive the man, according to the Bible; and the one to receive him is not the minister, but the church.  These are not minister’s ordinances, these are church ordinances.  They are not in the hands of the preacher; they are in the hands of the church, the body of Christ.  So, when you see somebody come down that aisle and present himself here, then you will see the two ordinances of the church: received for baptism, some; and received after baptism into the fellowship of the church and the breaking of bread and the Lord’s Supper.

Now you Baptists: what are you doing about those ordinances?  All your Baptist people are doing about those ordinances is this: Paul wrote in the eleventh chapter of the first Corinthian letter, “I would have you know that you remember to keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you.  Keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you” [1 Corinthians 11:2].  How many are there?  There are just two; and they are not sacramental, they are not sacraments.  They are never presented in the Bible as sacraments.  They are ordinances alone, and they have a meaning; they portray, as the Scriptures say, a certain meaning.  And this is their order: in the Great Commission, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, all people,” that’s first, you’re to be converted first; “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” that’s second; “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” [Matthew 28:19-20], one of which is the breaking of bread, the observance of the Lord’s Supper.  And that’s the way, always, in the Bible, they are presented.  First, you are to be saved; second, you are to be baptized; third, you’re to take the Lord’s Supper.  And that order is as much inspired as the content itself; and that’s why we’re called “closed communionists.”  And that’s what you mean by “closed communion.”  We believe that a man ought to be saved first, and then second he ought to be baptized, and third then to take the Lord’s Supper.  And that’s what you call “closed communion.”  And all you’re doing is just trying to follow through the Bible.

First, make disciples of the people; second, baptize them in the name of the triune God; and third, then “teach them to observe the things,” one of which is the Lord’s Supper, “to observe the things that I have commanded you” [Matthew 28:19-20].  And that is it.  It’s very simple.  You ought to be saved first; you ought to give your heart to Jesus first.  Second, you ought to be baptized.  Then third, take the Lord’s Supper.  And do it in that order.  People who are not converted ought not to take the Lord’s Supper.  People ought not to take the Lord’s Supper until they’re baptized.  First to be saved, then to be baptized, then to take the Lord’s Supper.  It is that simple, and that is all there is to it.  And that’s the Scriptures.

When you Baptists do something up here in this baptistery, why do you do that?  Very, very simple reason, very simple reason.  John the Baptist baptized at Aenon near to Salim, because, the Scriptures say, “there was much water there” [John 3:23].  John the Baptist was baptizing, the Scriptures say, “in the Jordan River, and Jesus went with John down into the Jordan River, and was baptized; and after He was baptized He straightway went up out of the water” [Matthew 3:16-17].

“And as they went on their way,” in the eighth chapter of the Book of Acts, “they came unto a certain water, and the eunuch said, See here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip answered and said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest” [Acts 8:36-37].  First to be saved.

If thou believest, thou mayest.  And he said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Then he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

[Acts 8:37-39]

They went down to the water, they were baptized, and they came up out of the water.  That word b-a-p-t-i-z-o, baptizō is a Greek word that these translators refuse to translate because it means “to immerse,” it means “to dip.”  To baptize is to be buried with our Lord and to be raised with our Lord [Romans 6:3-5].  Baptism has no other meaning in the Greek language except to immerse.  And wherever the Greek church is, you have a Greek Orthodox Catholic Church here in this city, wherever the Greek church is, wherever they use the Greek Scriptures, like it was written in, they’ve never had any other kind of baptism but to be immersed, but to be baptized.

I want to show you one little instance of the meaning of that word baptizō, b-a-p-t-i-z.  The Greek word is o, we made an English word out of it, put an “e” on the end of it, b-a-p-t-i-z-ō, baptizō.  In Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews—that’s the great ancient history of the Jewish people, written by Josephus—Josephus describes there how Herod the Great, who murdered the little children at Bethlehem [Matthew 2:16], how Herod the Great drowned Aristobulus, who was the brother of Mariamne, the last of the Maccabees.  Herod, in order to secure his throne in Judea, had married Mariamne the Maccabean princess; and she had a younger brother, seventeen years of age.  And she persuaded Herod to make her younger brother, Aristobulus, the high priest in Jerusalem, in the temple there in the city.  And when Aristobulus, Mariamne’s brother, the last Maccabean, when he donned all of his glorious robes as high priest, he led the people through a procession, in a procession through the city; and the people of Jerusalem went wild over that strong, good-looking, tall seventeen-year-old boy, and he was a Maccabee, and the last of the line.  And they entered in a tumult of acclamation and gladness and joy when this young fellow Aristobulus appeared.  And then Herod, who stuck his head out the window of his palace and saw that parade going by, young Aristobulus dressed in his high priestly robes and at the head of the procession, and when he saw the acclaim and enthusiasm of the people for him, he said in the back of his mind, “I have to destroy him.”

And this is the way he destroyed Aristobulus.  At Jericho were warm springs—they’re still there—and Herod had a bath, a Roman bath where the warm springs poured into the bath house; and so Herod went down there with Mariamne his wife, and with Aristobulus, and with the royal household, and he said to his servants privately,”I’m going to take Aristobulus with me swimming in the big bath.  And after I have been with him swimming in the pool for a while, I’m going to leave.  And after I leave and have time to go back to my wife and my family, you take the young man Aristobulus out into the middle of the pool and you play with him, and you duck him, you immerse him, you dunk him, you dunk him, you dunk him, until you drown him.  And then you hasten to me and tell me that Aristobulus has been drowned.  And in that way I’ll be rid of him.”

And they did exactly that.  Herod got Mariamne his wife, and Aristobulus, and the royal family, and they went down to Jericho to the bath at the warm springs of Jericho, and they all went in swimming in the big pool of the warm springs.  And then Herod left, he dressed, went back to his family.  And Josephus says, in the Greek language, Josephus says, “And then the servants of Herod took the young man Aristobulus out into the middle of the pool, and they baptizō, they baptizō, they baptizō, until they drowned him.”  Now you just try to translate that word baptizō, “and they sprinkled him, and they sprinkled him, and they sprinkled him until they drowned him.”  You can’t do it.  The word has one meaning and one meaning only, and it never has any other meaning: in the Greek language “to baptize” is “to immerse.”  And that’s what you see here in this church.

Now, I want to close with this word, and be patient to listen to it.  The other ordinance is the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.  “For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come, achri hou elthe” [1 Corinthians 11:26]; the presentation of the body of our Lord till He come.  And that’s the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, “till He come” [1 Corinthians 11:26].  And that’s the faith of the Book, and that’s the faith of the gospel message, and that’s the faith of our hearts: someday to see Jesus, Lord over all, when He appears from heaven with His saints and the holy angels [Jude 1:14].  That’s called in the Bible “the blessed hope” [Titus 2:13].  May I show you that in our church?

When the Japanese overran Korea, they called before their tribunal the pastor and the leader of all of our Baptist churches in Korea.  And they turned to this man, we’d call him the president of the convention there, one of the Baptist pastors, their leading one, and the Japanese military tribunal said, “Do you worship another Lord beside our emperor?”  And they said, “Yes.”

“And who is he?  And what’s his name?”

“His name’s the Lord Jesus Christ” [Acts 16:31].  And as they probed the pastor, they finally asked him, “And where is your Lord and King?”

“He is in heaven” [Acts 1:9-10].

“And what is to become of Him in heaven?”

“He is coming back again” [Acts 1:11].

“Oh?” said the Japanese tribunal, “Your Lord and King is coming back again?”

“He is coming back again,” said that Baptist pastor.  “Well, when He comes back again,” said the Japanese military tribunal, “then what?”  And the pastor humbly replied, “When He comes again, before Him shall bow every knee, and in His presence shall confess every tongue, that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” [Philippians 2:10-11].  And the Japanese military tribunal said, “Do you mean that includes our emperor?”  And the pastor humbly replied, “It includes all men, and your emperor.”  And the Japanese tribunal said, “Do you believe this privately, or do all of your preachers believe this?”  And the Baptist pastor replied, “We all believe it.”  And there upon they arrested every one of our Baptist pastors in Korea, and they put every one of them in jail, put every one of them in a concentration camp.  And in the long years of that terrible war, most of those Baptist pastors died.  And when the war was finally finished, and they were liberated, they came out emaciated and gaunt and their lives destroyed by famine and malnutrition.  And that pastor who headed our convention in Korea lived just a few days after he was liberated from that awful trial and that awful prison.  I would like to take my place by his side.

“Where is your Lord and King?  Where is your Master?”  He is in heaven [Acts 1:9-10].  “And do you hope to see Him again?”  We shall see Him again [Acts 1:11].  “And then what?”  Then every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father [Philippians 2:10-11].  “Do you believe this just personally?”  No sir.  Every man of God that preaches the gospel of the Holy Scriptures, that believes the faith, looks up to heaven to see it might be today, it may be tomorrow, but certainly someday this stolid earth shall be ablaze in the presence of His glory [Matthew 25:31], when Jesus receives His own [Jude 1:24].

It’s a great faith.  It’s a great communion.  It’s a precious fellowship.

Now in this moment that we tarry, while we sing a song of appeal and invitation, somebody you, give his heart to Jesus; somebody you, put your life in the fellowship of our church; while we sing the song, and while we make the appeal, would you come this morning?  “Here I am, pastor, here I come.  I make it now.”  If you’re in the balcony, there’s time to come to the front.  Down that stairwell at the back or at the front, come.  If you’re on this lower floor, into the aisle and down here to the front, “Pastor, I give you my hand; I give my heart to God” [Romans 10:9-10].  Or, “Here’s my whole family, we’re all coming this morning.”  As the Spirit shall say the word and lead the way, make it now, while we stand and while we sing.

IN DEFENSE OF THE FAITH

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Peter 3:15

7-31-60

I.          Introduction

A.  Apologia – “answer, defense” – not pardon for mistake

1.  Well known Apologia Socrates, Apologia pro Vita Sua

2.  Great defenders of the faith

B.  Elpis – “hope” rather than “faith” because in times of persecution so much of the Christian creed had a future color

II.         Our church, faith, communion

A. Religion as such

1.  Somewhere, somehow, sometime every man shall meet God

a.As Titanic sank, orchestra played “Nearer, my God, to Thee”

b. As Lusitania sank, Royal Welch Male Singers sang “Abide with Me”

2.  Every soul will come face to face with the need of God

B.  The buildings, location in the heart of Dallas

C. The minister and deacons

1.  Only two orders of Christian ministry(Philippians 1:1, Titus 1:5-9, Acts 20:17, 28)

D.  Preaching the Bible(2 Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2, Acts 10:33)

E. Receiving converts, disciples(Romans 10:9-10)

1.  It is the church who is to receive them(Acts 10:47, 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 13, 2 Corinthians 2:6-10)

F.  The ordinances(1 Corinthians 11:2)

1.  The order found in Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)

2.  Immersion baptism (John 3:23, Matthew 3:16, Acts 8:36-39)

a. Example in Josephus of use of baptizo, meaning “to dip, immerse” – the drowning of Aristobulus

3.  Lord’s Supper – “till He come”(1 Corinthians 11:26)

a. Korean Baptist pastor(Philippians 2:10-11)