Worship Services




February 7, 2010


The family of God here at Dowagiac Church of Christ wishes to extend to you a warm welcome. If you have questions about our worship services and why we do what we do, we will be glad to give you a biblical answer. The uniqueness of the church of Christ is that we are trying to restore to the best of our ability those things that we see the first century church doing. We are also working hard at building the spirit, unity, and love that Jesus taught and prayed for. We have no clergy, but are working together as equal co-workers trying to serve one another and the area in which we live. Come study with us, grow with us, and serve with us as we strive to do God’s will in all things.


POTLUCK: Today is our usual first Sunday of the month potluck. Ifyou did not bring any food, do not worry about it. There is alwaysa surplus. After the potluck we will have a ladies' meeting and at men's meeting. These will not be long, but we need to identity some needs and start sharing ideas for the work of the Church in 2010.

TAKE A LOOK! We have had a major construction project going on in the basement. All of the water damaged walls have been removed and new classrooms are under construction. Since we have solved our water problem we can make full use of the downstairs area. Bill Gibson has headed up this project, and it is well along. Walk downstairs and see what is going on. Our thanks to Bill for his work and leadership in getting this done. and our thanks to everyone who has assisted him.

LOTS TO PRAY ABOUT. We have a lot of folks who are in need and who need to be on your prayer list. Here are a few of them: Janice Love's grandson Andrew is having significant health issues. Larry and Lana Fox had an accident in Florida. Audrey Gibson has been ill. Bill Salmons continues to recover from his foot surgery. Jim and Brenda Harasewicz are undergoing medical tests as both of them have been fighting difficult medical problems. Our brethren in Niles are still reeling from the tragic death of one of their members who was injured working on the building. These are just a few we know of--there are others.


Esther 4

INTRODUCTION--A great story of the history of Israel.
King Xerxes--ruler of the Upper Nile
Vashti--His Queen
Haman--Leading politician who hated the Jews Mordecai--Leader of the Jews
Esther--His adopted daughter
Story line--
Vashti gets ousted as queen.
Esther wins beauty contest, becomes queen.
Haman cons Xerxes into destroying the Jews.
Morecai pushes Esther to intercede--risky to do.
Look at the odds against her.
A woman, Jew, poor, no experience
Look at what the Church is up against today:
Ephesians 4:11
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
We need everyone in a role.
"Murder in the Church"
1 Timothy 4:14
Matthew 25:14-30--especially verses 28-30--Don't lose your gift!!
Look at Esther's commitment:
Verses 15-16--"If I perish, I perish."
She goes to God--what do we do when trouble hits? Esther 5:1-5--The outcome--What is your outcome?

Tonight--After services
Come to Bible study tonight at 6:00--afterwards
Caravan to the Clayton's--rides available
Pizza, popcorn, and drinks provided
Bring dessert, salad, chips, or nothing
Watch the game--eat--fellowship
Enjoy being with your brothers and sisters tonight



For the past month, we have been studying Romans 6-8. The emphasis of these passages is how we as Christians should live. The concept of dying to sin and living spiritual lives is a challenge that all Christians struggle with, and we have tried to make practical suggestions about how to do this. We have prayed together about our individual weaknesses and struggles and we have had some wonderful discussions about very practical aspects of Christian living.

Another aspect of these passages that we have not talked about is how they teach us about baptism itself. In the religious world there are a lot of different teachings about baptism. Many denominations do not believe that our decision about being immersed in baptism is important. There are a variety of beliefs about what baptism does for the person--whether it is essentially an initiation ceremony, validating membership of the person, or whether it is essential to our relationship to God.

While it is hard to miss the message of passages like Acts 2:37-39 or the urgency in the jailer in Acts 16, Romans 6 should seal any dispute. In verses 3 and 4 Paul makes the beautiful picture of what happens to us in baptism saying "... all of us who were baptized into his death ... we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead ... we too may live a new life. Ifwe "have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection." We cannot have a new life if we have not been united with Christ in resurrection, just as we cannot be in heaven until we die physically.

Baptism is not a work, it is a union with Christ. In Romans 7:1-3 Paul compares this union with marriage. I do not know of anyone who would define marriage as a work or say that we earn something by getting married. Marriage is a union of a man and a woman in oneness. Baptism brings us oneness with Jesus Christ, and is as essential to being saved as marriage is to producing a family.

Many times I hear people complain that they do not see any change in their lives that has come about by their becoming Christians. When you start asking questions about what they have done to become a Christian you find that they have just given mental assent to believing in Jesus. We need to die to sin, to the world. We need to be united with Christ in death and raised to start a new walk with him. We need to come in contact with his blood that washes away our sin and brings us in a covenant relationship with God (See Hebrews 9:11-28). Baptism is God's plan, and we need to obey what God has told us to do.