Christian Baptism

Have you been baptized since you have received Jesus as Lord and Savior?

Baptism always comes after salvation but its not necessary for salvation. It is a response of obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord (Acts 2:38, 41). Baptism is your first opportunity to publicly tell others that you have given control of your life to Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).

God has a Purpose:

  • Fact – We declare our new life in Christ through baptism, Acts 2:41, 8:35-38, 16:25-34.
  • Fact – Baptism is a spiritual illustration of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, Romans 6:3-5.

Our Need:

  • Fact – We need to confess Jesus before others in baptism soon after we receive salvation through Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:32.
  • Fact – We need to obey Jesus’ command, Matthew 28:19.
  • Fact – We need to follow Jesus example, Matthew 3:13-15.
  • Fact – We need to get plugged in and join a local church, Acts 2:41.

God’s Provision:

  • Fact – Jesus began his ministry to others with baptism, Mark 1:9-11.
  • Fact – Jesus demonstrated baptism to us by being baptized, we should follow this biblical example, Mark 1:10.
  • Fact – Jesus told his followers to baptize, Matthew 28:19.

Our Response:

  • Act – You should find a local church to join and have them baptize you.
  • Act – You should be baptized to show that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, Acts 2:41.
  • Act – show others your commitment to your baptism, Acts 16:31-33.

My Commitment: What shall I do now?

  • Trust in Jesus for your salvation, not any good works you try to accomplish.
  • Find a local church to join and have them baptize you.
  • Follow Jesus example of baptism like being immersed in water, showing your identification with Jesus and His Church.
  • If you are willing to take the step of obedience and show others your commitment to Jesus, you can pray the following prayer for one like it.

“God, it is my desire to go pay you in to let others know I have new life in Jesus Christ. I pray that my baptism will show my love for you.” Amen.

Christian One-Liners

Our Youth Pastor found these and passed them along. Enjoy!

  1. Don’t let your worries get the best of you. Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
  2. Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.
  3. Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.
  4. It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
  5. The good Lord didn’t create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.
  6. When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there.
  7. People are funny. They want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.
  8. Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.
  9. Quit griping about your church. If it was perfect, you couldn’t belong.
  10. If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.
  11. God himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead, so why should you?
  12. Some minds are like concrete — thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
  13. Peace starts with a smile.
  14. I don’t know why some people change churches. What difference does it make which one you stay home from?
  15. A lot of church members who are singing “Standing On The Promises” are just sitting on the premises.
  16. We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
  17. Be ye fishers of men. You catch them. He’ll clean them.
  18. Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
  19. Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
  20. Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
  21. Forbidden fruits create many jams.
  22. God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
  23. God grades on the cross, not the curve.
  24. God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts!”
  25. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
  26. He who angers you controls you.
  27. If God is your copilot, swap seats.
  28. Prayer: don’t give God instructions, just report for duty!
  29. The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.
  30. The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you.
  31. We don’t change the message. The message changes us.
  32. You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.
  33. The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

[print_link] [email_link] [From Stumble Upon]

How to Keep from Stumbling

By the time we get to Acts chapter 11, Paul (Saul at the time) is reintroduced into the story. It was really a turning point in his ministry because after the Jews sought to kill him, Paul headed back to his hometown of Tarsus (Acts 9:29-30). We know that he went to Syria and Cilicia (Galatians 1:21) but it was five years from the time he left for Tarsus and we pick up in Acts 11. Some scholars call this the missing years of Paul. Let’s consider what might have happened during this time.

God told Ananias that He would show Saul how much he must suffer for His sake (Acts 9:16), and God began to bring this into focus right away. Paul writes about his life of hardships (2 Corinthians 11:23-27); prison, floggings, five times he received 40 lashes, beatings, a stoning, lost at sea, constantly on the move, danger in the city, the country, at sea and from false brothers, gone without sleep, been hungry, thirsty, cold and naked. God wasn’t kidding about the suffering. A lot of the persecution is not recorded in the book of Acts so perhaps these sufferings took place during these missing years.

Persecution scattered the early believers and those in Antioch were faithful, so much so that many people came to faith in Christ (Acts 11:21). When God desires to do a new thing (Isaiah 43:19), He generally seeks out a remnant of righteous followers who usually don’t conform to what others might expect. These types don’t really care about popularity or tradition. The news from Antioch eventually reached the leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 11:22) and when they came to see for themselves, they saw evidence of God’s grace (Acts 11:23).

One of my favorite characters in the New Testament, Barnabas, encouraged the believers to remain true to the Lord (Acts 11:23); to basically plan in advance to remain faithful to Christ. It is a practical reality that the most effective time to resolve to be obedient to Christ is in advance of the persecution or difficulty. It’s hard to make up your mind to be faithful in times of trouble or temptation at the time you’re going through it. A conviction ahead of time settles the issue and allows us to remain strong when the world around us tells us to compromise.

Application: People may not be trying to kill you, beat you or otherwise harm you, but it would make many people happy to see someone who claims to be a follower of Christ stumble and fall to a moral failure, or compromise in some area that required integrity, or give in to some vice or habit that is left over from the old way of life. How will you stand when those around you fall? We stand tall when we are on our knees (in prayer).

As we seek God and strive to follow His direction in life, we can determine ahead of time how we will respond to temptations, how to flee from the trap set by the enemy (1 Peter 5:8). That’s what conviction is all about. After I was able to develop a settled faith, no one has been able to sway me into compromise or to consider that Christ is not the ultimate reality in my life. It’s not that I am immune to personal failure (I’m only human and I know the darkness that lurks within), but I have certain convictions of right and wrong that do not cause me confusion in the midst of these temptations. Heeding the encouragement of Barnabas, I have resolved to be obedient to Christ in advance of the persecution, difficulty or temptation. By God’s grace I am able to trust that He will provide a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). How about you? Do you need someone to whom you will be accountable to remain pure? It’s imperative that you enter into relationships with godly men who will hold you accountable and encourage you when you are ready to give in or give up.

Too Much Emphasis on Conversion

One of the themes in the book I am reading (unChristian) is that Christians put too much emphasis on converting people to their way of thinking. This is a barrier to many people on the outside of the Christian faith.


Think about it, how do we react when the Mormons or the JW’s come to our door? We usually say exactly the same thing! “They’re looking to convert people to their religion” or “I just don’t want to talk with them, I don’t want what they’re selling.” Just as I would never take their invitation to consider their religion seriously, why would I think anyone would do the same when I knock on their door “peddling the truth?” (That is in quotes because do not all religious groups claim to have the truth?). The barrier is that there is no relationship established.


One story in the book was about a guy that moved across the country to NYC. He met another guy in town and they had a good conversation. The New Yorker was friendly, something the guy from out west did not expect. Eventually the Christian guy from NYC invited the newcomer to a Bible study. When he said, “no thanks” he never heard from the Christian guy again.


Wow, that sure emphasizes a negative side of Christians! Are they looking for the next convert; a notch on their conversion belt? Or are they genuinely interested in people?


I was on a business trip to China when I found a fellow believer who was teaching in a school in Shanghai. She told me a fascinating story about her work, the children, the city and the new friends she had met since arriving in town. Since it is not illegal to be a Christian, she would tell her friends (in the normal conversations of life) that she was a follower of Jesus. One new friend said, “You only want me to believe like you do.” The teacher corrected her and said, “I want to be friends whether you believe like me or not.” Great answer!


I’m convinced that Christianity is more caught than taught; living a life that honors God and hope that people see our sincere love for God shining through. Hopefully in the normal conversations of life, we will find opportunities to put in a good word for Jesus, not because we want to convert people, but because it is hard to keep silent about the greatest thing that has ever happened to us!

Christianity Has An Image Problem

There is a fascinating book called, unChristian (Kinnaman and Lyons) that declares Christianity has an image problem. I’ve known it for years but did not really have any research to support it. I often heard stories like:

  1. The church is only after my money
  2. Look at the lifestyles of TV evangelists
  3. Church is boring or irrelevant
  4. Remember Ted Haggard and Jim Bakker?
  5. The church is full of hypocrites
  6. I don’t need to go to church to worship God
  7. Too many priest sex scandals and cover-ups
  8. Christians are too narrow-minded

Once teenagers get their driver’s licenses, it seems participation in church activity is usually the first item scratched off the list. Remember that Christianity is a relationship more than it is a religion. Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit, so believers not living out what they say they believe is one of the greatest barriers to outsiders giving Jesus a try. Believers in Christ are the church; it’s not the building or an activity we do on Sundays. It seems I read that Gandhi would have become a Christian, but he could not find any of His followers.

So how has the Christian faith portrayed itself to a skeptical generation? What does Christian mean to you? For many, it means very conservative, indoctrinated, anti-gay, anti-choice, angry, violent, judgmental, illogical, hypocritical, too political, building their own empires, trying to convert everyone to their way of thinking, who cannot live at peace with anyone who believes differently than themselves. So, what did I leave out? A lot of this originates from the hurtful past of former believers.

How are Christians to overcome this negative stereotype? Today’s Christians are known more for what they are against than what they really stand for. Its one thing to know about Jesus, it is another to really know Him. Assent to a set of propositions is not what Jesus desires, but that we become His disciples, followers who live out what we believe. We are not alone, there are other authentic pilgrims on this journey.

I heard Greg Stier of Dare2Share Ministries tell a story of when he was a pastor, about being in a coffee shop, studying at a table with all his Jesus books in front of him. As he was leaving to pay, there was a Goth looking kid wearing a Marilyn Manson T-shirt behind him who noticed all his books. “Are you religious?” he asked, “Because I don’t like religious people.” Greg looked at the guy and said, “Me neither, I can’t stand religious people! You know who else didn’t like religious people? Jesus! Eventually those religious people had him killed.”

So, there he was with this kid with the Manson gear, both agreeing that religious people made them sick. But Jesus showed them by rising from the dead! Greg then went on to tell him about Jesus being into relationship rather than religion. In some ways people may be into spirituality or even into Jesus, but they don’t like the church. Sad reality, since believers ARE the church.