Herselt, BELGIUM (BNC) — Long-time missionary Roy Davison announced an update to his online biography June 2. The title of his announcement was, “Why did two friends send me the same Peanuts cartoon?”
His work is entitled, “Here I raise my Ebenezer,” a phrase taken from a popular hymn, because Roy considers his work “a monument to commemorate help received from God.”
Brother Roy arrived in Europe in 1964 as a single man. At Carl Spain’s suggestion, he went in faith without having full support from North American churches.
Today, he partially supports himself as a translator.
“My prayer is that the autobiography will help Christians understand that the Lord is active in our lives and uses them to His glory if they let Him,” Roy wrote.
Roy mentioned that the autobiography is a work in progress up to 1980. He hopes to extend it as time permits. It is available only on the Internet and is free of charge.
In a section entitled, “When Is a Prior Immersion Valid?”, Roy wrote about emphasizing in more recent years a person’s understanding of immersion as entry into the body of Christ, rather than a denomination.
In a series of lessons on conducting home Bible studies taught by Mid McKnight in his home, he warned us that people sometimes project new knowledge about baptism back to a former immersion that actually was not scriptural.
He suggested that when we first study with people we ask them if they consider themselves to be saved and if so, how they became Christians. He would then write down the process they described on a piece of paper. Often they would say that they were saved when they believed in Jesus and were baptized later.
After learning that baptism must be for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), if they claimed that their prior baptism was for that purpose, brother McKnight would take out the paper and show them what they had told him previously.
I have taken this precaution through the years, if not actually writing it down, at least having it stated verbally in a clear enough way that those I was studying with would remember what they had said.
Only recently, however, I have come to question whether it is enough for someone to understand that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.
In 1 Corinthians 12:13 we read: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” According to Colossians 1:18 Christ “is the head of the body, the church.” In a valid baptism, one is therefore baptized into the one body, the church of Christ!
Through the years I have at times accepted someone’s statement that he was baptized for the forgiveness of sins, when at the time of his baptism he thought it was acceptable to be a member of some denomination. In that case, was he actually baptized into the one body of Christ?
In recent studies I have emphasized that in addition to being baptized for the remission of sins, one must understand that he is being baptized into the one body, the church of Christ.
The autobiography is accompanied by a number of photos throughout Roy’s life. He also received permission to reproduce the Peanuts cartoon strip that he had received through the mail from two friends in North America.
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Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and five grandchildren. He enjoys his new home office. http://randal.us