Topical Studies                                                                                                          Power Point Show

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 11:20-30


October 2003



1.  Matt. 11:28-29 – In order to learn from Jesus those things that will give us rest for our souls, we must:

  a.  Come to Him (recognize our burden of sins & that He can relieve them; have an open, ready heart before Him).

  b.  Take His yoke upon us (symbolic expression of submission & servitude).

2.  Matt. 11:25 – May we have the innocence of babes & accept the truth He teaches us.


#1:  What is the purpose of “sackcloth & ashes” in repentance in the OT?  Is it binding today?


1.  Sackcloth:  a coarse material (goat or camel hair) that was used for making large sacks in which rough articles were carried on the backs of camels.; garments of such material usually worn in time of grief, mourning, sorrow or shame (indicative of intense sorrow) – Gen. 37:34; Psa. 30:11.

2.  Ashes:  The head, face &/or body with ashes was a token of grief, self-abhorrence & bitter humiliation – Job 2:8; Jer. 6:26.

3.  Signs of repentance Matt. 11:21; Jonah 3:5-10.

  -Heard God’s word (4:4) & responded with changed hearts & lives – This was (is) true “repentance” (Lk. 11:30).

4.  While wearing garments made of sackcloth & ashes is not bound on us today (neither was it bound in the OT), thorough repentance is bound on us (including “works befitting repentance”)!  Acts 17:31; 26:20 (Lk. 3:8-14)


#2:  How do you convince a lost soul that being baptized and living faithfully after baptism saves you (not just confession of faith)?


1.  When one refuses to humble his/her heart before God & His word, then nothing you do will convince him/her of the truth – Mk. 16:15-16; Jno. 8:43 (Lk. 8:5, 11-12).

  a.  Cf. God toward Israel – Rom. 10:16-21.

  b.  God sent His word to Israel to come back to Him, but they refused. 

  c.  Likewise, we can only use the truth to convince & save sinners.  (To try to convince with gimmicks will not convert the heart to Christ.)

    1)  No “easy fix” – we must preach the word (2 Tim. 4:2-5).

    2)  Urge the person to see that only truth frees us from sin, Jno. 8:32.

2.  Baptism:  Saves (1 Pet. 3:21; Mk. 16:16); Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27; etc.

3.  Faithful living after baptism Matt. 10:22; Acts 14:22; Rom. 12:1.


#3:  God says that baptism is essential for salvation, so what about the robber on the cross?  (Lk. 23:39-43)


1.  Regardless of how Christ saved the thief on the cross, the Bible still commands baptism in order to be saved (Mk. 16:16).  (Harmony of truth – no contradiction.)

2.  The thief lived before the death of Christ & under the first covenant.

  a.  Baptism is part of the new covenant – Heb. 10:9.

  b.  Therefore, since we live under the new covenant, we are obliged to obey it to receive its inheritance.

3.  While Christ lived on earth He often forgave sins – cf. Lk. 5:20, 24.

  a.  Christ was still living on earth when He forgave the thief.

  b.  Therefore, Christ forgave him as He chose (according to His authority on earth to forgive sins).

4.  Now, after the death of Christ, His authority to forgive sins is announced & described in His new covenant (gospel) Heb. 9:15-17; Mk. 16:15-16.

  a.  Christ’s testament came into force after He died (Heb. 9:17).

  b.  Therefore, only when we comply with the stipulations (commands) of His testament (will, covenant) will we receive the blessing it provides (redemption).

5.  Christ commands baptism of all sinners in order to be saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38).



1.  If there is sin in our lives & we refuse to repent (“in sackcloth & ashes”) we cannot expect that God will save us anyway (just because we want to sin without any punishment!).

2.  Salvation from sin is available in Christ & is received when we humble ourselves before Him & His word; take His yoke upon us & obey Him in faith! – Acts 2:40-41 (Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 5:9)