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Verbally, we will surely preach on the resurrection of Jesus Christ this Lord's Day. This is the reason we worship on the first day of the week. It is the day our Lord rose from the dead. We have no message, mission, or motivation to exist as churches apart from this central truth.

The Gospel is stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," (NKJV).

The New Testament commands two ordinances to the church which visually communicate this Gospel. The first is the Lord's Supper--and it looks to the empty cross, where Jesus once and for all died for our sins. We are commanded to remember that as we regularly look at the unleavened bread symbolizing His body given and the fruit of the vine representing His blood shed for us. The second is baptism and it looks at the empty tomb--a crucified Christ buried and risen--so we picture our dying with Christ by being immersed in the water, and then portray our union with His resurrection to walk in new life, which ultimately leads to our glorification.

So, I want you to prayerfully consider observing Baptism Sunday, the week after Easter. Hopefully, as people invite friends to come with them on Easter Sunday and as they hear the Gospel with its power to save, there will be souls won to faith.

Preach the Good News verbally and portray it visually! We pray that Good News will lead to a good response. Last year, this emphasis on evangelism and baptism resulted in a 41% increase in baptisms in NC Baptist churches! May the Risen Christ manifest Himself in His redemptive power in the coming days!

Because He Lives,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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