Monday, March 27, 2017

Saint David

Yes, you read that right.  I am a saint.  And I have the Bible, God’s Word, to back up my claim. 

Some believe “saint” means a really good person.  For example, a man says, “My wife is a saint.”  In that respect. I will have to leave it up to others whether they would consider me that kind of saint.  As a believer I can claim the righteousness of Jesus Christ, but I’ll deal with that another time. 

Some believe a saint is a person so named by a church denomination.  The candidate must be deceased.  Then they go through a process of investigation, veneration, beautification, until finally the Pope bestows the title of saint on the candidate. 

Baptists, and many other Christians, look to the Bible alone as their final source of faith and practice.  What does the Bible, and specifically the New Testament portion of the Bible, say about saints? 

According to Holy Scripture, there is basically one rule for becoming a saint.  That rule is that the candidate has personally trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  If a person believes Jesus, God the Son, died for his sins and rose again, and that person repents of his sin and turns to Jesus, he is saved.  And, he or she immediately becomes a saint.  You don’t even have to die; once you have trusted in Jesus, you are a saint. 

How many saints do we have?  Millions.  All those who have placed their faith in Christ. 

Where is the biblical evidence for this belief?  I’m glad you asked!  The Bible refers to common, everyday followers of Jesus Christ as saints.  A few examples: 

Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.  -Acts 9:32

Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.  -Acts 9:41

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  -Romans 1:7

But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 
-Romans 15:25

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also.  -1 Corinthians 16:1

 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.  -2 Corinthians 1:1

All the saints greet you.  -2 Corinthians 13:13

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.  -Ephesians 1:1

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints.  -Ephesians 5:3

Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.  -Philippians 1:1

All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.  -Philippians 4:22

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  -Jude 1:3 

Notice how the word “saint” is used of regular, living, believers in Christ Jesus. 

Saint – “Title for all God’s people but applied in some contexts to a small group seen as the most dedicated ones…Saints are people who name Jesus as Lord.”  -Holman Concise Bible Dictionary

Despite all the evidence above (and there are a number of other Bible verses about saints), I’ve never been able to convince my church members to call me Saint David!  I guess I’ll have to be content with Brother David, Pastor David, David, Brumbelow, or “Hey you.”

To all the believers out there, enjoy your sainthood. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 27, AD 2017. 


 Many other articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Proper Use of the Public Invitation

“A theology student from England was sent by a professor to hear a noted preacher on the weekend.  He came back with a kind of sophisticated disgust and said to his professor, ‘Why, that man didn’t do anything but say, ‘Come to Jesus.’ 
‘And did they come?’ his professor gently inquired. 
‘Well, yes they did,’ the student grudgingly replied.
The professor then said, ‘I want you to go back and listen to that man preach again and again until you can say, ‘Come to Jesus’ as he did and people respond.’”  
-Roy J. Fish, Coming to Jesus: Giving a Good Invitation; 2015. 

The Public Invitation, or the Altar Call, is under attack by many Young, Restless, Reformed preachers today.  Most of the criticism, however, seems to be of the improper, rather than proper use of the Invitation. 

I grew up thinking everyone used a Public Invitation.  I was saved during a Public Invitation, and have seen many others come to Christ in this part of the Worship Service.  I strongly favor the use of the Invitation in every Sunday morning Worship Service, and where appropriate, in other services, especially when lost folks are present. 

The Public Invitation is effective, biblical, even psychologically sound.  Pastor, do you want to be a more effective evangelist?  Do you want your church to be more evangelistic?  Do you want to reach more people for Christ?  One way to accomplish this is to learn the reasons for using the Invitation.  Also, learn the proper use of the Invitation. 

How do you learn how to give a good Public Invitation?  Go hear and read good pastors and evangelists and see how they do it. 

Also, read books that defend and explain the use of the Public Invitation. 

Below are some excellent books on the Invitation or the Altar Call.  Every young preacher should read at least one of these books.  They will also serve as a great refresher course for seasoned pastors and evangelists.  They will put a revival fire in your soul. 

The EffectiveInvitation by R. Alan Streett

Drawing the Net by O. S. Hawkins

R. Alan Streett is professor of evangelism at Criswell College and editor of the Criswell Theological Review.  

Roy Fish was a long-time professor of evangelism at Southwestern BaptistTheological Seminary. 

O. S. Hawkins is the former pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas and First Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He is now the president of GuideStone Financial Resources. 

Come to think of it, why not get all three books on the Invitation?  They're worth every penney. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 6, AD 2017. 

Other Articles in lower right margin.