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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Luke 23:34, "Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."

Acts 7:60, "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

This morning, we consider two more contrasting statements made by Jesus Christ and Stephen.  Yesterday, we pointed out two other contrasting statements that are sometimes mismatched in preaching, and these are another set that are sometimes misplaced and should not be. We are told to let the mind of Christ be in our mind, and indeed, His example is one that we should strive to achieve every moment of every day. However, there are some things about Christ that we cannot emulate, nor is it our responsibility to try. For, they are things that pertain to His office work and are not applicable to any minister or other person that walks this earth.

Our Saviour declares to the Father to forgive these men for their actions. Therefore, I do not have to wonder about whether they are children of God or not, for our Lord never beseeched to His Father on anyone's behalf that was not one of His (otherwise He would be a failure, which is a foolish notion). The ones under consideration must have been children of God, but they were engaged in a heinous act under the influence of wicked rulers to attempt to put Jesus to death by crucifixion. Jesus mediates on their behalf for forgiveness of sins. 

This morning, I boldly declare that no other person has this authority (including Stephen). No man can say we are forgiven because of who we are. All we can do is pray that our sins are forgiven, but that prayer again MUST go through our Mediator to even be heard in glory.  Without Him, we are but as the flower of the field that fadeth away. When we fall into error and transgression, the only hope for righting our ship is for the Lord to direct our paths. Therefore, again, Christ was and is the only One that can speak and declare such. Now, let us again examine Stephen.  

His statement is one born out of hope in his Lord. "Lay not this sin to their charge." When we have acquaintances that we like who walk in ways in which they should not, our prayer (out of our love for them) is that their transgressions are not laid to their charge. We also pray that for ourselves that our faltering is not put on our slate. It is the hope of every child of grace that their sins were covered by the sacrifice of Christ. So, if we are His, our sins are not laid to our charge. Christ drank the ENTIRE cup of the bitter water for His bride. (Numbers 5) He did not shoulder part of the load and leave the rest to us. He drank it all, and our sins are not charged to us, but they are removed from us so far that the Lord remembers them no more.  

This is why non-Primitive Baptists many times want a Primitive Baptist minister to preach the funeral of one of their non-religious relations. They may have never come to church, been baptized, professed their Lord and Saviour, but still given evidences of a changed heart. There is only one doctrine that I know of that could offer a grieving family member any consolation during that time, and that message is grace, grace, grace, and that not of ourselves. Therefore, our Lord beseeches the Father to forgive us, and we hope that our sins and the ones of others are not laid to our charge.

In Hope,

Bro Philip