The story is told about a distinguished carver who set out to create a great masterpiece in ivory. For many years he labored and labored until the piece began to take on a beautiful form. He only needed a little more effort and the work would be finished. Then, for some reason, the artist lost interest. He cast aside the partially finished carving and refused to take the final steps that would have produced an outstanding piece of art.
It is difficult to understand the
motivation that would thus throw away the conscientious toil
of a lifetime.
The road to Christianity is something
like that carving: the sincere searcher finds little
difficulty in accepting a faith based on the Bible.
Likewise, he is willing to find a new
direction and is happy to confess Jesus as the Christ, the
Son of the living God.
There also does not seem to be a problem
with repentance of past sins, but immersion seems to be a
stumbling block. They ask the question: “Why should
one submit to so humbling a process?”
And so this person refuses to take the
final step that brings one into Christ Jesus and that makes
us part of His body, the church; unwilling to finish the
“For as many of you as have been baptized
into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
This, then, is still not the finish, for
after this new life is born, it must be kept alive by
steadfastly feeding upon the word of God and putting it into
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also
walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25)
The carving must not only be completed,
but it must also be used.
- Author unknown, via
THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the
Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who
serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the
congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com