People of the Book

FL - Yeakley 150x150About 20 years ago some friends of our family moved from Jenks, OK, to the huge metropolis of Houston, TX. The big city made them long for the less hectic Oklahoma way of life, and they especially missed their brothers and sisters at the Jenks Church of Christ.

A few years after they moved our friends were stuck in Houston traffic right beside none other than a Jenks Church of Christ van. They didn’t recognize any of the van riders (it’s a big church), but they excitedly started waving to get their attention. Unfortunately, the frantic arm waving only made them look like a bunch of Texas nut cases.

Out of desperation, one of our friends took a blank sheet of notebook paper, wrote ACTS 2:38 in big, bold letters, and held it up to the window. Upon seeing their sign, the van occupants immediately began smiling and waving back, recognizing that these must be fellow Christians.

This is a humorous story that underscores an unfortunate fact: Many people who believe in Christ have totally missed one of the clearest teachings in the Bible, so much so that the ACTS 2:38 sign was an obvious indication to the Jenks van riders that our friends were probably members of a church of Christ.

In Acts 2:37 the Jews who heard Peter tell them they crucified the Messiah were “cut to the heart” and asked what they should do. In very simple terms, then, he told them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” How much clearer could Peter be? “Take these two steps and you’ll get this result.” And yet so many people who believe in Jesus totally miss the true meaning of this and many other verses that teach baptism is the point at which our sins are washed away.

Members of churches of Christ used to be known as “people of the Book.” We studied the Bible and knew it well. Taking a strong stand on the true meaning of verses like Acts 2:38 contributed to that reputation. But today I don’t hear that compliment as often.

Last Sunday Northside launched a 90-day New Testament reading plan, and I hope YOU are participating in it. If you want to grow, you need to read the Word of God daily. Let’s all be people of the Book!