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Order Makes A Difference

By Don Loftis | 06.22.11

Have you ever tried to put one of those prefabricated desks together? There are 27 pieces of wood, 40 screws, and 21 steps on the instruction sheet. One thing I have learned the hard way several times (I’m a slow learner) is that you must perform the steps in order. If you get ahead of yourself, things won’t fit, and you will have to disassemble. Following a recipe in the kitchen is exactly the same. It is not that one piece of wood or one ingredient is more important; it is just the reality that the order matters.

When the eunuch asked to be baptized, Philip told him he could, if he believed (Acts 8:37). Belief and baptism are both essential aspects of our response to the Gospel (Mark 16:16), but faith must come first. Faith without baptism is incomplete; baptism without faith is pointless.

This principle is valuable in understanding the relationship between Christ and the church. The church is a very important part of God’s plan and various congregations provide the context for much of our New Testament (Romans, Galatians, etc.). However, the church makes sense only in light of knowing Christ. Jesus purchased the church; He is the head of the church; He adds people to the church.

Paul wrote the Corinthians that when he first came to them, he preached nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. As we reach out to the lost, we need to explain the value and role of the church; but first we must preach Jesus. The beauty and power of the church is not in our ministries or Biblical doctrines. Its beauty and power lies in its head and owner — Jesus Christ. Let’s talk about Him, first.


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