Tag Archives: Ordinance

Feast of Unleavened Bread


Exodus 12:15-20


And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever,” Exodus 12:17.



Perhaps the Israelites in bondage could not fully understand it at the time, but when God instituted the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He was setting up a picture of the body of Jesus Christ. Leaven is fermented dough and nearly always represents sin or decay in the Bible. A feast that focused on unleavened bread served as a reminder of the purity of heart God requires.


When churches observe the Lord’s Supper today, they use unleavened bread, just as Jesus used when He instituted the Lord’s Supper, which symbolizes the perfect, sinless body of Jesus. “Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt. 26:26).


The picture continues further when we realize how we behave as the body of Christ today when we serve God through a church. As we serve the world around us in love, we become the hands and feet of Jesus. The only way a church can represent Christ truthfully is to maintain a standard of health and holiness within the church through a unified pursuit of Christ and accountability to that commitment. That is why Paul tells the church in Corinth to enjoy the fellowship of the church by walking in “sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8).





Will you walk in sincerity and truth today? 


Mark Clements



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First Baptist church in Illinois


1823 – James Lemen passed from this earth. Even though he was fifty years old when he was licensed by his church to preach, he was an active and zealous minister of the gospel. Lemen, along with his wife Catherine, and two others, had been baptized when they had to break the ice in Fountain Creek, to administer the ordinance in Monroe County, Illinois. James had been converted to Christ, when the first evangelical minister came into the state in 1787. However he did not receive baptism until Josiah Dodge from Kentucky came to preach in the area. John Gibbons and Isaac Enochs were the other two that Dodge baptized. On the appointed day a great multitude gathered from all parts to witness the first baptismal service in the State of Illinois. At the waters edge a hymn was sung, scriptural authority for baptism given and prayer offered.   Two years later the Lemens, along with a few others, united in forming the first Baptist church in Illinois. There pastor was Rev. David Badgley.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 10-12.


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Dr. Graves is not to be charged with bringing on the conflict with Methodism. It cannot be said that he sought to shun it, but he could not have avoided it if he had so desired. There was the choice, either to accept the challenge or quit the field. Dr. Graves would have left the plumed knight of Methodism to go his own way when the Baptists were left with the same freedom, but when the proud champion “shook his javelin in challenge to personal combat,” this ruddy youth who had come to make his home in the West “laid his lance in rest and accepted the challenge.”



However, much their successors may deplore this combat, some things would inevitably happen. Here is how it came on. Dr. McFerrin, in The Christian Advocate, said that “Baptists believed that infants were lost because not baptized by them.” Dr. Howell, in The Baptist, indignantly denied this, averring that baptism had nothing to do with the salvation of anyone and that, in the case of adults, the saved were fit subjects for baptism. This has ever been the position of the Baptists. Dr. McFerrin said, in reply, that the Disciples taught baptismal regeneration and showed his proof by saying: “Are these men, when a Baptist urges upon believers the duty of baptism as the approved form by which the unholy assumes religion and as an expression of love and obedience to Christ, to exclaim, ‘Cambellism, Campbellism?’”



Dr. Howell responded that no Baptist believes that baptism is a saving ordinance or that the unbaptized are necessarily unsaved.



Things were in this shape when Dr. Graves, on becoming editor of The Baptist, took up this charge as well as the McFerrin denial that the Methodist taught Baptismal Salvation. Here are Dr. Graves’ ringing words: “Mr. Wesley says, ‘by water as a means – the water of baptism – we are regenerated and born again,’ that this teaching utterly denies that faith is the only condition or medium of justification is self-evident. It needs no argument. If baptism is ever in any case an instrument of justification, it is always so, for there is but one medium. If it is always by faith it is never by baptism – and if by baptism then it is always by baptism and never by faith.



According to the above teaching (in the Methodist Advocate), no adult ordinarily can escape original sin or attain to justification or regeneration except in or by the water of baptism as a means. Is not this the old Roman dogma to all intents and purposes? Is it not a rejection of the vital doctrine, by all its far-reaching and powerful machinery, by its itinerary, its mammoth book concern and its capital, to subvert the gospel of Christ, to abolish from the land the great and only soul-saving doctrine of justification by faith?”



It was thus that Dr. Howell practically turned over the challenge of the Methodist to his young associate, who was, at the same time, really his pupil. Dr. Graves took up this defiant call. He wrote, lectured, preached to thousands all over Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, portions of Georgia and Kentucky in attack and defense before thronging multitudes. He, like a knight clad in full armor and grasping his glittering sword, stood in the arena ready to do battle with any who denied the truth. He debated over the whole territory with the champions of Methodism and turned the tide, we may say, in a way to an extent that no one in those states had previously done. And Methodism still remembers that Dr. Graves lived.


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123 –May 03 – This Day in History Past


Young in the Ministry, Aged in Theology


Little could Rev. Cantlow realize the spiritual and historical significance of the baptismal service on May 3, 1850, when he immersed the teenager, Charles Haddon Spurgeon in Isleham, England.  The teenaged lad had walked seven miles from Anew Market to Isleham because he had become firmly convinced that believer’s immersion was an ordinance of the Lord and not a sacrament.  Desiring to serve, the young man made himself available to the Lord.  Though he had received limited formal education, within a year he was called to the pastorate of the small Baptist church in Waterbeach, England.  Quickly his fame spread to London, and on April 28, 1854, he accepted the call to pastor the New Park Street Chapel where famed Baptist predecessors had served.  Charles Spurgeon was still a teen, but soon his name would be known throughout Great Britain, and he would be addressing thousands of people every Lord’s Day. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was soon targeted for criticism by the press in London.  He was made the subject of political cartoonists, and the general Christian public examined his doctrine closely. As Spurgeon grew older, he shifted some of his emphasis in theology.  His doctrinal emphasis moved more to the fundamentals of the faith concerning the person and work of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, and similar central doctrines. This speaks highly of the man. He matured as a Christian; he matured as a theologian.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 256 – 257



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“…they have increased their number above all sects in the land.”
December 26, 1646 – The Presbyterian Parliament in England under Cromwell passed an  ordinance that called for severe penalties against anyone who would “preach or expound the scriptures in any church, or any other public place, except they may be ordained, either here or some other reformed church, as it is already prohibited in both houses of the 26th of April, 1645, and likewise against all such ministers, or others, as shall publish or maintain, by preaching, or writing or any other way, anything against, or in derogation of church government which is now established by authority of both houses of parliament.” It went on to tell how the authorities were  to enforce and punish the offenders. The persecutions were directed mainly against the Baptists because they denied the necessity of infant baptism. Almost every prominent Baptist preacher was sooner or later committed to prison. The troubled times of the civil war gave the Baptists in England an opportunity for real growth. Robert Baillie, one of their enemies said, “…they have increased their number above all sects in the land. They have 46 churches in and about London. They are a people very fond of religious liberty, and very unwilling to be brought under bondage of the judgment of any other.” The Baptists joined in great numbers to Cromwell’s army. Many officers were accustomed to preaching, and both commanders and privates were continually searching the scriptures and praying in meetings. Because of this, many more became Baptists. One of the distinguished leaders, Major General Harrison was a Baptist. Cromwell had him thrown into prison when Harrison became disenchanted with Cromwell’s commitment to liberty. Baptists soon realized that the Parliamentary Party was not a real friend to the Baptists.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 541-42.

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Massachusetts, passed a law against the Anabaptists

November 13, 1644 – The General Court in Massachusetts, passed a law against the Anabaptists that backfired against them with the general citizenry. In the body of the law, the Anabaptists were called among other things, “…incendiaries of commonwealths, and the infectors of persons in main matters of religion, and the troublers of churches…and they have held the baptizing of infants unlawful…some have denied the ordinance of magistracy, and the lawfulness of making war, every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment.” However, pressures mounted on the General Court so that, though they would not repeal the law, they publicly confessed that the Baptists were ‘peaceable’ citizens amongst them.” There is a difference in the Baptist position of religious liberty based on freedom of conscience and the religious toleration allowed by some “state churches.” Baptists believe that a free church in a free state is a New Testament principle…The right of every soul to direct access to God is an inalienable right, with which the state must not interfere.” State churches have arrived at the position of allowing other churches to exist, but favorable laws and/or fiscal levies are often to be granted the favored church. This is thought by some to be “toleration,” but Baptists believe that the end of governmental administration is equal justice under law. Baptists, therefore repudiate every form of compulsion in religion or restraint of religious freedom. In 1644, a poor man, Thomas Painter, was tied up and whipped because he refused to have his child baptized. This is what led Thomas Painter to become an Anabaptist.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/ Thompson/ , pp. 472-73.

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