Summary: A No U-Turn Decision
We're going to continue with our series Identity Check. I tell you, I don't know what part it is. I think it's part nine. We have a long way to go still, but if you have your Bible, I want you to open with me, and I want you to go with me to the book of 1 Peter, chapter 3. I want to pick back up from where we left off last week at verse 17. We begin reading, and it says:
"For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him."
Can I get an, "Amen," to the reading of God's Word?
When I was living in California… Both of Amy and my children were born out there in California. All of our family is from North Carolina, of course, so you can imagine being out there 13 and a half years that we didn't get to see family as often as we would like. Being back in North Carolina is a privilege. It's a joy. We can kind of run over to my mom and dad's house. We can go over to my in-laws' home. We can spend time with them.
For them to come out there was a long way. It was a 3,000-mile journey, or you had to jump on a plane, and it took several hours to get there. It was always a joy, and it was always time well spent when they would come out. I remember when my children were small, when Madison and Noah were little guys. Teresa had come out, and Randy had come out (my mother-in-law and my father-in-law).
We got together, and we decided we needed to get ourselves a swing set. We went and got a swing set. We picked it out. It had the slide and the swings on it, and it had the cool little ladder you climbed up, and it had a little playhouse on it. The kids were excited, and of course the task fell to Randy and me to put it together. Can somebody say, "Amen," or, "Oh me"?
Now, we guys have a real problem with instructions. I was out there with my father-in-law, and I think even Jason was out there, my brother-in-law who is sitting back there running the projector. We three grown men began to put together a swing set. We started, and we pulled everything out of the box. The first thing we pulled out of the box and threw away was the instructions. Come on. Are you with me? Who needs instructions, right?
I'll never forget. We were looking at this, and we said, "This is a no-brainer. There is no big deal. All we have to do is put everything together. They're large pieces. We understand the washers, bolts, and all this different stuff." We began to put it together. Sure enough, it began to come together pretty well. Everything started clicking in place. Everything was done. We spent several hours out there, and we got everything about it complete.
Everything was done, but there were just a few pieces in the box left over. That's not bad, not a big deal. You throw those away. Right? Well, it wasn't a big deal on a couple of little pieces, but then I got to looking, and I told Jason and my father-in-law, Randy… I turned to them, and there was this big bag of lock washers, the washers that when you put all the bolts on, it's one of those washers that keeps everything tight. We didn't put any of those on. We completely left the washers out.
Everything was done. It was tight. We had cranked down on it with the wrenches. Everything was done, and it felt sturdy, so we just said, "Well we have two choices. We can move on, or we can take this bad boy completely apart and put the washers in." How many of you know we voted on leaving the washers out?