Vol.VII No.VII Pg.3
September 1970

The Family Record

Jim R. Everett

A person believes that those who claim to be his parents are such. He does not know it. He bases his belief upon records and his confidence in those who love him. The records could have been falsified, his confidence could be blind faith — his faith will not change the actual fact. Many conscientious, sincere people have a blind faith with reference to their spiritual parentage. They do not, and will not, investigate the written record for they believe that God must surely be their Father, if they believe it strongly enough.

There is a record that each can examine to learn of his true sonship. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, (Gal. 3:26-27). Being sons of God is descriptive of our being in covenant relationship with Him who is our Father. Being in Christ, being saved, having the remission of sins and being in the body of Christ, all describe our relationship with God as His sons. Certainly, there are no sons who are not saved, and there are none saved who are not also sons.

Jesus said, For if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins, (Jn. 8:24); therefore, he commissioned his apostles to go and tell the world, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned, ( Mk. 16: 15—16). One who refuses to believe and be baptized can never be a child of God. Every man who denies Christ and blasphemes that holy name, has rejected the only means of being adopted by God — Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, (Acts 4: 12). The record so states — who can deny it?

Peter was carrying out Christs commission when he said, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 38). He later said, The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Pet. 3:21). Repentance involves a change of heart and mind and, like all other commands of God, baptism must be done from the heart, (Rom. 6:17-18). This is not a ritual or a ceremony that has saving power within itself!

A person who obeys the truth has his soul purified and is born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever, (1 Pet. 1:22-23). This record has not been perverted by passing time.

The enduring truth that purifies says that one must believe in Christ, repent of sin, be baptized to wash away sin. Man does the obeying; God does the washing and adopting. No one should imagine that he is a son contrary to the record of God. Let no one beat his chest and boast of his sonship until his life conforms to what the Father has said. It is written! I CAN KNOW! ——verett.