Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Unbaptized Arm

Ivan the Great, the tsar of Russia during the fifteen century, converted to Greek Orthodox to marry the daughter of the king of Greece. Ivan said, “If I’m going to convert, so will my soldiers.” The Greeks sent tutors to teach Ivan and 500 elite soldiers about being Greek Orthodox, and assigned 500 priests to immerse the soldiers in one mass baptism.

Thousands of people gathered to watch hundreds of soldiers in full armor, along with hundreds of priests dressed in black robes and tall hats, all standing in the Mediterranean Sea.

But there was a problem. The church prohibited soldiers from becoming church members unless they gave up their commitment to shed blood in battle. They came up with a solution where they could become church members and keep their military commitment. 

Just before the priests baptized the soldiers, each man reached to his side, withdrew his sword, and lifted it high overhead. Each soldier was totally immersed underwater—except for his fighting arm and sword. The soldiers became church members but could still fight in wars because they all had “unbaptized arms.”

Compromising is when we ignore God’s standards to get something we want. We see it all the time, especially when it comes to sexual purity. Paul writes, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3). Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). When Jesus becomes the Lord of your life, you’ll do what He says. Is any part of you unbaptized?

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett