Paul’s defense to Agrippa is very powerful, and something all Christians should study to understand, and be able to recite.
Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
I OPENLY DECLARE…
I Worship the God of the Bible. John 4:24 God is Spirit: then let his worshippers give him worship in the true way of the spirit.
I Believe all things which are written in the Law (of Moses) and the prophets. Luke 24:26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to go through these things, and to come into his glory? 27 And he made clear to them all the things in the Writings, from Moses and from all the prophets, which had to do with himself.
I Have Hope toward God. Heb 6:19 And this hope is like a strong band for our souls, fixed and certain, and going in to that which is inside the veil;
I Hope in the Resurrection of the dead, (both of the just & unjust). 2Cor 5:10 For we all have to come before Christ to be judged; so that every one of us may get his reward for the things done in the body, good or bad.
I Strive to have a conscience without offense toward God. 1Thess 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
I Strive to have a conscience without offense toward mankind. Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
None of the above is to be separated from the New Testament to make a creed we recite in a rote manner. These are the words the Apostle Paul came to know and Believe through inspiration of the Holy Spirit as he gave his defense before Agrippa.
Nobody is immune to sorrow, loss, and pain. Sometimes we add in guilt for feeling joy during times of celebration.
It is possible to be happy and to experience Joy without guilt. While I’m no expert, I have experienced GRIEF and have gone through its seven stages.
I’m no expert; I’m just a student of the Bible and have found some strategies that have helped me. Perhaps they can help someone else who may be struggling with the weight of GRIEF.
It may help to know that after every winter there is a spring.
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”
5 Strategies for Living through GRIEF, (from my own experience).
1) You never get over death, nor should you, but you may GROW through it. That hole in our hearts never gets smaller, but our hearts can GROW larger with time. If we will Look up, we can GET UP. [1King 19; Col 3:1-4]
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” [Jas 1:2-3]
2) It’s OK to REMEMBER our loved one that sleeps. If you mention my mother’s name you might make us cry. If you don’t, you’ll break our hearts. Talk about your loved one who sleeps. A word of warning; it’s possible to steal another’s joy. You can end every conversation by REQUIRING others to REMEMBER your pain. This may be difficult to understand right now while you’re engulfed in sorrow, but be aware of other’s joy or pain and that it’s unfair to steal another’s joy. There’s a time for every season. [Ecc 3:1-13].
RECOGNIZING other’s Pain or Joy gives one perspective. Perspective is powerful, but it’s up to you to RECEIVE it. Perspective is a self-soothing tool. It’s no real comfort to say that somebody else has it worse than you. How would you comfort that person with the most pain? (REMEMBER Job? Jas 5:11). But there is Someone who feels what you feel.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” [Heb 4:15]
3) Don’t IGNORE your feelings, nor your physical health. It’s easy to let GRIEF permeate every part of our life and destroy it. Don’t IGNORE your emotions, but also don’t IGNORE the rest of your life. Get up & move, take a shower, and do what needs to be done. Keep doing those IMPORTANT things. Also, don’t ISOLATE yourself from others. You’ll be surprised by how many people are grieving something. You can grieve & still do what is IMPORTANT. Go to worship [2Sam 12:20-23], celebrate birthdays, and do your work. You’ll discover an INCREASE in strength you never thought possible.
“And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” [1Kings 19]
4) Ecclesiastes 7 talks about the “house of mourning.” It’s better because it’s there that we will consider our own END and take it to heart. The end of the book concludes with this lesson; “fear God & keep keep His commandments.” Life is frail & short [Jas 4:14]. Think on ETERNAL life. The hope of being resurrected unto ETERNAL life is our only true comfort. [1Thess 4:13-18]
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” [1Thess 4:13]
5) Prevent the repetitious spiraling FALL into darkness. GRIEF doesn’t have to define you & become your identity. Instead, FOCUS on the FUTURE and the FRUITFUL things you can do. There are people you can help, like those that have helped you. It’s possible to FEEL joy again. Ask yourself this, “What would your loved one want for you?” Do they want you to give up or to FEEL joy again? We know, through scripture, what they truly want for you. [Php 3:13; Luke 16:27-28]
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [Phil 3:13-14]
It may not feel like comfort at this moment, but you’re not alone. One thing I noticed during my two plus years of trial & loss was how many others needed help. There were others who were just beginning their grief as I was working through mine. Your pain now can become another’s lifeline later. We’re all in this together.
Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ that meets at Franklin & Juniper Street in Borger, Texas.
6 more SIMPLE OBJECTION #2; What happens when you’re under the water at baptism?
The Objection goes like this: “What’s in the Water?” They mostly ask this in a mocking tone as if we believe in ‘magic water.’ This seldom is asked seeking an answer. Let’s answer this question without the mockery in which it is asked.
WATER has been in God’s word for a long time. Noah was saved by Water. Peter says in his 1st letter, “eight souls were saved by water.” [3:20]. He uses that example to explain that Water Baptism saves us. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” 
At another place, Naaman was told to dip (be baptized) in water to rid himself leprosy. [2King 5:9-14] According to the Holy Spirit through Paul, Moses & Israel were baptized by the waters of the Red sea; “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;” [1Cor 10:2] These are just 3 examples of many. People that reject water baptism are rejecting God’s use of water throughout scripture.
ACTIVE FAITH is in the water. Submission to God’s commands is in the water. Paul said, “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:” [Acts 26:19] What did Paul (then called Saul) obey? He was BAPTIZED. [Acts 22:16] James chapter 2 clearly shows that faith is active & obedient.
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” [2:24]
TRUSTING faith is in the Water. We trust that God cleanses us of sins & saves us in the water. We can’t do it; we submit through faith.
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” [Col 2:12. emph mine seb] That phrase, ‘the operation of God’ is showing that God is doing the work while we are faithfully submitting to His will to repent & be baptized. [Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 22:16] Trusting Faith is in the water.
ENTRANCE into the church is in the water. Jesus is the savior of the church (His body). [Eph 5:23; 1:22-23; Col 1:18]
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” [Acts 2:41]
“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” [Acts 2:47]
This is not local church membership as some have supposed. Water Baptism is when GOD adds to the universal church of Christ. Denominational baptism is not God’s baptism.
RESURRECTION to newness of life can only occur after Death, Burial & Baptism into water. Salvation occurs upon faithful baptism. [Acts 2:41; 16:30-34] Baptism is obedience to the Gospel. Jesus will take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9]. How does one obey the gospel? Since the gospel is the Death, Burial & Resurrection of Jesus [1Cor 15:1-4], It harmonizes that water baptism is Death to sin, a Burial and Resurrection to walk in newness of life. [Rom 6:3-4]
Sprinkling or pouring are not emblematic of a burial. [Col 2:12]