Then the heavens grew black. Darkness covered the land for the space of three hours, as it did among the Nephites. There was a mighty storm, as though the very God of Nature was in agony. And truly he was, for while he was hanging on the cross for another three hours, from noon to P. As the peace and comfort of a merciful death freed him from the pains and sorrows of mortality, he entered the paradise of God. When he had made his soul an offering for sin, he was prepared to see his seed, according to the messianic word. These, consisting of all the holy prophets and faithful Saints from ages past; these, comprising all who had taken upon them his name, and who, being spiritually begotten by him, had become his sons and his daughters, even as it is with us; all these were assembled in the spirit world, there to see his face and hear his voice.
Then, in a way incomprehensible to us, he took up that body which had not yet seen corruption and arose in that glorious immortality which made him like his resurrected Father. He then received all power in heaven and on earth, obtained eternal exaltation, appeared unto Mary Magdalene and many others, and ascended into heaven, there to sit down on the right hand of God the Father Almighty and to reign forever in eternal glory. His rising from death on the third day crowned the Atonement.
Again, in some way incomprehensible to us, the effects of his resurrection pass upon all men so that all shall rise from the grave. As Adam brought death, so Christ brought life; as Adam is the father of mortality, so Christ is the father of immortality. And without both, mortality and immortality, man cannot work out his salvation and ascend to those heights beyond the skies where gods and angels dwell forever in eternal glory. Now, the atonement of Christ is the most basic and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and it is the least understood of all our revealed truths.
Many of us have a superficial knowledge and rely upon the Lord and his goodness to see us through the trials and perils of life. But if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived. May I invite you to join with me in gaining a sound and sure knowledge of the Atonement. We must cast aside the philosophies of men and the wisdom of the wise and hearken to that Spirit which is given to us to guide us into all truth. We must search the scriptures, accepting them as the mind and will and voice of the Lord and the very power of God unto salvation.
We will come to know that such a creation, now unknown to man, was the only way to provide for the Fall. We will then see Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, step down from their state of immortal and paradisiacal glory to become the first mortal flesh on earth. Mortality, including as it does procreation and death, will enter the world. And because of transgression a probationary estate of trial and testing will begin. Then in Gethsemane we will see the Son of God ransom man from the temporal and spiritual death that came to us because of the Fall.
And finally, before an empty tomb, we will come to know that Christ our Lord has burst the bands of death and stands forever triumphant over the grave.
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Thus, Creation is father to the Fall; and by the Fall came mortality and death; and by Christ came immortality and eternal life. If there had been no fall of Adam, by which cometh death, there could have been no atonement of Christ, by which cometh life. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.
I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. That identity is in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Romans says, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Baptism not only idenfies us with Jesus Christ, but it also identifies with His local church and its doctrine.click
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When you are baptized at Calvary Baptist, you become a member of this local church. And they continued stedfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and prayers. The Bible teaches that baptism is for anyone who has personally accepted Christ as Savior. Baptism does not save or wash away sins. It is simply an outward expression of an inward decision to accept Christ.
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If you have accepted Christ and never been baptized, you should choose to be baptized as soon as you can. Acts says, "And Phillip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. Christ Commands it: Matthew says, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
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The Word baptize literally means to plunge or to dunk. The Bible teaches that you should be baptized in water by immersion rather than sprinkling. Because baptism is a picture of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, only immersion correctly pictures this. Mark says, "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. In the Bible, baptism always took place right after salvation. Rather than taking a thirteen week course before you can be baptized, you should choose to be baptized as soon as you can after your salvation decision. Acts says, "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. While baptism is not required for salvation, it is an important step of obedience to Christ. The Christian who refuses to be baptized could be compared to a wife who refuses to accept her wedding ring. How can my relationship with Christ start off right if I refuse to follow Him and if I am ashamed of Him before others?
I am missing the blessing of committing myself to Christ through obedience and losing the testimony I might have through my public identification with Him. John says, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
The Bible tells us that the "church" is the body of Christ. The church is also a group of people that is committed to each other.
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We also find that the members of the church are there to serve each other. During the invitation time of any morning service of Calvary Baptist Church, come down to the front of the auditorium and tell the invitation worker you would like to become a member.
That worker will ask you to give your salvation and baptism testimony to him or her before you are presented to the church. Upon a satisfactory testimony of salvation and baptism, the pastor will present you to the church for membership. There is no public speaking required.
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