|Volume 21 Number 6 June 2019||
“Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14). This verse is about Naaman, a Syrian official. Naaman had been told by Elisha to submerse himself seven times in the Jordan River to heal his leprosy. Naaman thought it ridiculous that he should do such. It did not make any sense to him, and, in fact, he was insulted by such advice from Elisha. His servants finally convinced him to follow Elisha’s directions.
All of us will sin. Sin is the transgression of God’s law. A child has no sin. Ezekiel 18 makes it plain that a child does not inherit his father’s sin. God does not hold a child accountable for his father’s sin. Sin gives our soul spiritual leprosy. Today, we are told to be baptized to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16). By washing away the sin, God makes our souls like the soul of the child—clean and safe in God’s eyes.
Many people today are like Naaman. They think it is ridiculous that they should be baptized. They will accuse others of practicing ‘water salvation.’ Naaman was not cured because of the water. He was cured because of his obedience. Today, individuals can be cured of their sin. It is not the water that cures them, but it is their obedience to God’s command to be baptized that takes away sins.
If you are still a child, you are not guilty of sin. One day, you will be old enough to know right from wrong. Once that happens, you will sin. Your soul will no longer have the “flesh of a little child.” You will need to follow God’s command to be baptized. Then, you will once again have your soul as the “flesh of a little child.”
Study your Bible. Obey God. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
The Bible and Spelling Bees
Donald R. Fox
I am thankful for aids such as Webster’s Dictionary of English words. I am a terrible speller; I have to look up the same words repeatedly. I marvel at those youngsters that participate in these national spelling bees. The judge in our national spelling bees needs a standard. That standard is our English dictionary. We understand that some of our English words can be spelled differently. Some words are considered archaic. Ancient words belong to an earlier English-speaking period. Our dictionary is the standard for the proper spelling, usage, definition and pronunciation of our English words.
Have you ever heard of anyone denying the fact that the English dictionary is a standard? We all understand alike our English alphabet, do we not? Further, we have a “Table of Weights and Measures,” and these are also considered to be standard. Who in his right mind would deny that 12 inches equals 1 foot? Observe, however, the following cautionary note.
Good dictionaries or encyclopedias will accurately describe all of the ways an English word is used today. But our English dictionaries can fail miserably to inform us about the message in our English Bibles. Why? Translators select English words to accurately convey an idea from the original languages of the Bible into English. Unfortunately, many times our English words carry additional meanings foreign to what the biblical word meant. It is these additional English meanings which can create havoc. (Newton)
Using the dictionary as an example of a standard, I affirm that the Bible, the Word of God, is our standard for what we believe as Christians. All we know about the Godhead—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—we have learned through the Word of God, the Bible. All we know about what God requires of mankind, we have learned through the Bible. The New Testament gives us God’s plan of salvation for us mortals. We learn through the New Testament the answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” We learn about the church, the body of Christ, and how to worship our God. We learn how to live the Christian life and die without fear of the beyond. We also learn that the Word of God, the Bible, will be the standard that judges us. No other documents or creed books written by mere man are needed or will serve as the standard of final Judgment.
When obeyed, the New Testament of Jesus Christ will cause man to repent of sin.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-1 KJV)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12)
In this essay, we have used the dictionary as a standard for the spelling of English words. In using this illustration, we also used a spelling bee as an example of how the dictionary is the authority to determine the correct spelling of words. With that illustration in mind, we ponder, what if a youngster misspelled a word and then challenged the judge who used the standard, the dictionary? What if the judge showed the contestant the right spelling in the dictionary? Then, the spelling bee contestant said, “Well, I feel in my heart, my whole being, that I am right.” Would that affirmation change the outcome of the judge’s ruling?
Many feel that they are right in the sight of God; however, they refuse to obey simple commandments contained in the Word of God. Is the Bible your standard?
Newton, Barry. “Please, Not Webster’s Again.” Forthright Magazine. November 18, 2009. <https://www.forthright.net/>.