The Janie Chapman Offering supports the International Seafarer’s Ministry of the Charleston Baptist Association. Christopher Dale serves as the Port Chaplain. He visits crew members aboard commercial shipping vessels daily to serve and share the Gospel. This is what happened during a visit.
I went aboard the Kokuka Glorious and spoke with Dennish, the Filipino 2nd Officer. He asked what religion the Bible study materials were from. I told him we have stuff from several denominations, but it is all about the Bible. I said that the important thing is that we place our faith in Jesus. He asked what church I go to, and I said I go to a Baptist church. He asked if we believe that Jesus is God. I said we believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We went through several other doctrines with his apparently being surprised that we believe the same things about Jesus. I pointed out that we read the same Bible except for the 7 extra books in the Catholic Old Testament. I again said that we follow Jesus because He died for our sins rather than any church. I said we should place our faith in Him alone for salvation. At this point, he said we need to also do good things for salvation. I said that we do good things because of the change He makes in our hearts when we are saved rather than to get saved. He didn’t seem to follow that.
I said that Jesus died for our sins and offers us salvation as a gift when we place our faith in Him. He said that salvation is not by faith alone; we must work for it. I then asked him if we must do good works for salvation, how can we ever know we had done enough. He didn’t know. I then opened the New Testament I had brought to 1 John 5:13 and had him read it. I asked him if knowing we have eternal life is possible if we must work for it. He thought about that but didn’t answer. I then had him read Matthew 5:48 about God’s standard being perfection. I said that if we want to work for salvation, we must be perfect – it’s impossible. He agreed. I then pointed out Ephesians 2:8-9 for him to read. He focused in on the “gift of God” part. He thought about those for a bit, but he didn’t seem sure about it. I pointed out that those three passages were from St. John, the Apostle, St. Paul, and Jesus, Himself, and that they are all pointing to the same thing. I wrote down the three references for him, so he could read back over them for himself in coming days if he so desired. He thanked me and returned to work.