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All right this morning as we gather, we're going to be looking at, for the next 3 weeks, we're going to be looking at traditions. We're going to be thinking about why we do some of the things that we do. And some of you have probably heard the story. I first heard the story when I was 10, 11 years old. This is this is one of those stories that makes the preacher rounds and if you're if you're familiar with kind of the Christian subculture there is, there's certain stories that kind of all the preachers use it once, but I'm thinking if it's been 20... how old am I? I'm looking at my wife here. If it's been that long since I heard the story maybe this will be new for some of you. So the story goes like this; there's two sisters and sisters are celebrating a holiday together and at the holiday, the one sister is preparing the ham for the feast, right, and she cuts both ends off of a ham and just throws them away. And the other sister says that's perfectly good meat. Why are you throwing that away? She's like well because mom always cut the ends off of the ham and threw them away. I'm looking to see if anybody know this story. She would always throw the end of the ham away, right? And the sister says well that doesn't mean you have to do that. She's like no, this is how you cook a ham. You have to do it this way. It's the tradition every time we have this feast, we cook the ham this way. Well the sisters argue back and forth about this for a long enough that one of them finally says, you know, what forget it. Let's quit arguing. Let's just call mom and ask her if this is how you have to do this. They call their mom and say mom, we're cutting the end off the ham we're throwing it away because you always did it that way. Is that the way you have to cook a ham? And mom laughs and she says no, I just never had a pan big enough to fit a ham in when we were growing up. Anyways, the idea is that sometimes we have Traditions that just kind of become a part of our story, become a part of who we are and this is true for us as individuals things that you just do. You don't know why you do them. But you do them little routines that you get in little little things that you like. Oh wait, it's not this holiday unless we do this thing a my day just doesn't go right unless I do this to start it out, right? We're all just a little bit OCD If we're honest with ourselves, all right, but it's true to not just rested individuals is true for the church that when we get together as Christ followers, we can kind of start piling things on top of the Gospel message. That's really pretty basic. It's really pretty simple. The gospel message is is simple; God created everything. He loved what he had made, and yet that portion of his creation that had the capacity to choose chose to reject the love of the Creator and to go their own way. That's us that's humanity. And God instead of giving us the righteous punishment. We deserved instead sets in motion this Grand Plan of Redemption to take what he loved that had rejected him and to bring it back into fellowship with him through his son Jesus Christ dying on the cross paying the penalty for that rebellion and bringing us back into fellowship with him as many as would choose to follow Christ. That's that's the gospel message. It's super simple. And yet when it comes to church sometimes we make it really super complex And that's to our detriment and so we have the next 3 weeks. We're going to look at some of those things that we do that that that proclaim the gospel message, but that are still very kind of traditional. We have Traditions associated with them. So we're going to look at the Lord's Supper next week. We're going to talk about church membership the week after that. But today we're going to look at the tradition of baptism baptism. Irsay. Alright, Forgetting everything that we've made it. What is it? Why is it how do we go about it and end in even more importantly, what does that mean for you here today? How do we respond not to the tradition of baptism, but to the teaching of that do a Jesus intended for it. So I encourage you to pull out your Bible. We're going to be looking at a bunch of different passages today. They will be on the screen but there's just something about holding the word of God in your hands and looking at it for yourself. You might have to flip quickly my apologies in advance for any paper cuts and crude. but the first passage I want us to look at as we think about why do we baptize the first pass I want us to look at is Matthew chapter 28 verse 19 because the first thing that we need to know ask christ-followers as those who say Jesus commands matter more to me than anything else. The first thing we need to know is if we're baptizing is it just tradition or is it something that Jesus told us to do and in Matthew chapter 28 verse 19. I think that question is answered that question is answered when we read Matthew chapter 28 verse 19 Go therefore and Make Disciples of all Nations baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now some context would be really helpful right here. First off the context of who is Jesus talking to was talking to his followers. He's not talking to the Pharisees who rejected him. He's not talking to the Romans who thought he was just some crackpot. He's he's talking to those who have acknowledged his resurrection had acknowledged his claims and recognized him as their Messiah as this promise when he's going to redeem that he's talking to his people. So if you're sitting here this morning and you recognize the claims of Christ, and you would Define yourself as a Christ follower he's talking to you. Go therefore and make disciples not Red Hills. We hear this a lot, right we seek to be a group of Christ followers who are intentionally obeying Jesus together love God love others. Make disciples right? That's what we're supposed to be doing. And Jesus says if you're going to do that, right if if you're committed to following me, here's what I'm telling you to do Go Make Disciples in the first element of that. He says his baptize them. Now when we see that word baptism and we see the Jesus is commanding us to do it. We probably better get straight in her head. What baptism right baptism is one of those words that it's not really an English word. Okay. It's it's basically if you're if you're a primary English speaker this morning, We just need to confess something together the English language just steals everything. We're not that creative. We're certainly not original. We just take other people's good words and make them our own right baptism is one of those words that we stole almost entire from the Greek language the Greek word baptism. So is what we took when we didn't say, let's translate it. We just took it instead. We'll just use that whole word baptized but it it means something in Greek it it it means immerse. It means to immerse and so Jesus is saying in Matthew 28:19 go therefore and Make Disciples of all Nations immersing them in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

How do you immerse someone in names? How do you do that? Is that what Jesus is saying? Is he just saying what you're going to do is you're going to go out and you're going to write Father Son and Holy Spirit like a thousand times. Some of you remember being punished in school, "I will not throw such and such in class." You had to write it a hundred times, right? Just write down father son. Holy Spirit a bunch of times put it in a vessel of some kind and then dunk people in those piece of paper. That's not what he's saying. He's not saying just immerse them in the idea of this right? He's not telling us, you know, what here's what you're going to do. You're going to go and you're going to make disciples and you're just going to teach about the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit until people are just immersed in it. immersion baptism baptizing. It means immersion in a liquid. You know, how we know this. So you guys think the Greek and church history or just the most boring subjects ever know how we realize how we came to understand exactly what was intended by the word baptism? A Greek pickle recipe. In which the person following the recipe was encouraged to immersed in liquid the thing that they were pickling. Alright, so we're not tickling anybody when we baptize them. But we are immersing them in liquid. So it's it's it's baptizing them in the name of the father son Holy Spirit, but it's to do so in liquid to baptize them in water would be the case. The Jesus is coming. So he says here's how you make a disciple you go and you immerse them in water. They have to be willing they have to be willing to can't do this just willy-nilly as you want to they have to choose this immerse them in water and then the next verse what they don't have on the screen, but since you've been following along in the Bible you have in front of you teaching them to obey all that. I have commanded you that's how you make a disciple. So Jesus commanded baptism. So why do we do it? Not just because it's tradition not because our sign says Baptist on the name, although you think that's it might be somewhat important here, but we don't do it just cuz it's tradition would do it because Jesus commanded it, but more than that. Jesus didn't just commanded Jesus modeled it. So you're in Matthew you're in Matthew turn back to Matthew chapter. 3 baptism is modeled by Jesus Matthew chapter 3.

Alright in Matthew chapter 3. This is this is the very beginning of the Gospel message right as the very beginning of Jesus's Ministry and were introduced to this guy named. John the Baptist and because he was ministering in the southern part of Israel. I like to think of it as John the southern baptist. Alright on the Baptist is preaching and teaching and as his name would imply baptizing. All right, and he's the one who is going before the Messiah who is prophesied from of old who is declaring. The Messiah is coming get ready. And as part of that message, he's encouraging people to be baptized to say and it's an outward symbol for John. He's calling them be baptized demonstrating a washing away of your sins a repentance from your sin a cleansing of yourself in preparation for the Messiah to come. All right, so that's the setting as John is baptizing. Okay, so he's he's baptizing he's preaching he's saying the Messiah is come. and then in verse 13 of chapter 3 Jesus comes to John then Jesus Came From Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him at this point. I have to say time out John is baptizing people as a way of them showing their Readiness for the messiah's them saying I reject my sin. I'm cleansed from my sin in preparation for the Messiah coming and yet Jesus is the one who John says is the Messiah. He's the one who's supposed to rescue the people from their sin. He can't be a sinner. He can't have sinned that he went. So why? When Jesus come to be baptized to be immersed in water symbolize in the rejection of his sin. Symbolize in the cleansing from the send that he doesn't have send and John get this like John is like oh, hold on. Jeezy know what I'm doing here, right? You know why I'm baptizing these people and he would have prevented him verse 14 says saying I need to be baptized by you and why are you coming to me John's confused? baptisms a sign of cleansing from sin You don't have sinned I do. Hey Jesus. How about you just baptize me instead of me baptizing you but Jesus says something he said let it be so now for that's it is fitting for us to fulfill. All righteousness. It is fitting for us to fulfill. All righteousness. Jesus was righteousness. Jesus was Perfection. He made him who knew no sin to become sin for us. Jesus did not send and yet he says it's important that I get baptized for the sake of righteousness. Not for his righteousness, but for ours when when we choose when you choose when I choose when when someone chooses to follow Christ, They are literally choosing to follow Christ. That means that what Jesus did his followers ought to do that means it when Jesus said his followers ought to say the way he live We ought to live. Others first not self first, we got to live lives of radical forgiveness because Jesus could forgive even on the cross. He looks at the people that nail them on it and says father forgive them. They know not what they do as a radical forgiveness. That's what we're supposed to live like We're not supposed to just be those who hang out with the people that look like that. The people that have the same interests us. We're supposed to be like Jesus who hung out with people who were completely different from him who society would reject and say these people are no good. Jesus said, I love them. That's what we're supposed to be like so when Jesus says it's fitting to fulfill all righteousness for me to be baptized. It's because he knows that there's going to be people coming after him people who are doing what he did saying what he said living like he lives and we would need to be baptized we would need to demonstrate. Did our sins have been Clans not that the water was magic? Not that it did anything but it just showed the fact that these people are saying I'm a sinner. I need God to fix that Jesus. Does it as a model for us? He does this to show us this this is what my people do. So Jesus commands baptism. He models baptism. So why do we baptize? Because Jesus commanded it he modeled it and how long ago did Jesus live on this Earth?

Roughly 2,000 years will give you it will give you points for getting close, right? Cuz I don't want to do the math. All right, so Jesus lived a long time ago. It's been a long time since his baptism. And today we could potentially be like to do it, right it does. It doesn't mean we actually have to carry through with this ritual And yet when we see Jesus followers right after his life the people that he lived with the people that were there at his baptism the people who learned directly from him. They didn't read about him. They saw him didn't hear about him Rising. They saw the resurrected Christ when we see those people and their actions, it should mean something to us. So not only is baptism commanded by Jesus. Not only is it modeled by Jesus. It was also practice by his earliest followers. It was practiced by the early church turn to the book of Acts. Acts chapter 2

in Acts chapter 2 we see one of the greatest sermons ever preached. And if the Lord could be so gracious. I would ask that Peter would be your preacher every weekend not me. Because listen to what happened, so Peter gets up and he preaches and in the people are cut to the heart he preaches about who the Messiah was and then he says you just killed him. And the people say what do we need to do to be saved? Peterson's repents submit to Christ as Lord be baptized as a sign of this and it says in verse 41 of chapter 2. So those who receive his word were baptized and they were added that day about three thousand Souls. The early church the first time this is this is quite literally. Quite literally the very first mass evangelism event in the New Testament and the response of the people who submit to Christ as Lord is to be baptized the church's response when these people say, alright, we believe you we believe that Jesus is the Messiah we believe he rose from the dead. What are we do? They said prove it by being baptized and so they immersed 3,000 people that day right later on in the book of Acts in app Acts chapter 8 Turn there with me. Acts chapter 8 and we're going to be in verse 36 I got to set the stage a little bit. So that's a mess, you know kind of evangelism event Peter stands up and there's this huge crowd and he speaks preaches the gospel in 3,000 people respond, but it's not just when a bunch of people respond that baptism is an effect in the early church. This this story here in Acts chapter 8 is about a guy named Philip and Philip is preaching the gospel. Everywhere, he goes he happens to be out on a road in the middle of nowhere. He joins an Ethiopian guy in his Chariot and they start talking about the the book of Isaiah. And in Phillips are telling him about the Messiah. So this is just one guy. Philip and the Ethiopian and they're just they're just talkin but Phillips words as he preaches the gospel from the book of Isaiah it for those who don't know the Old Testament still matters. The book of Isaiah is sometimes referred to as The Fifth Gospel. I highly encourage you if you are somebody who's not a part of the Christian tradition, you have not decided whether or not you're following Christ or what go read, Isaiah 53 written hundreds of years before Jesus. And then make your decision. Anyways, did the Ethiopians reading this and That Philip is sharing the gospel with him and the guys like okay, I believe I believe Jesus is the Fulfillment of what Isaiah said, I believe he's the Messiah. And then they're going out to the desert and they come up on a body of water in the Ethiopian says this in verse 36. And as they were going along the road they came to some water. The eunuch said see here is water what prevents me from being baptized and he commanded the Chariot to stop they both went down into the water Philip and the eunuch and he baptized him. He immersed him in that water. Right? So it's practice when there's three thousand people coming to Faith his practice was it just fill up in one other guy? the response that we owe to God is one of submission in faith, the sign of that truth the proof to the people outside of our head that we've actually made that commitment is baptism baptism doesn't save but it does demonstrate the fact that we have submitted ourselves to Christ. So why do we baptize it was commanded by Jesus? It was modeled by Jesus. It was practiced by the early church.

Jay so I think we've got a good enough. Why right? We're good with that. I'm good with it. Anyways in for the sake of time. I'm going to keep going. Another question that comes to my mind is not just why do we do this? Right? It's not just radition. We see that it's not just because we've always done it Jesus commanded. He thought of it. It's it's also we need to ask what does it mean to not only why do we baptize but what does baptism mean in the first thing I think baptism just publicly declares our faith in Christ. What does it mean it means? I'm choosing to tell anybody who's watching. I'm a Christ follower. That's what baptism means and so we look at Galatians chapter 3. Galatians chapter 3 turn there with me now Galatians is one of those fun books to find the after 2nd Corinthians before Ephesians. Okay. It's it goes Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians General Electric Power Company. Alright Galatians Galatians chapter 3 Paul is writing to the Galatians and and ended in the book of Galatians. Paul is at pains to say it is by Grace you have been saved. It is by Grace you have been saved nothing you could do on your own no work of righteousness. Would Merrett the love of Christ in your life. It's just by grace and yet Paul still talks about baptism as important look at verse 27 of chapter 3 For as many as you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. You don't need the law anymore. You have Christ. You're no longer to find by the kind of person you were before Jesus. You're defined by Christ as many of you has been baptized you put on Christ, right? That's that's Paul's thing is he's like what baptism is it a declaration of what happened to you? Don't submit to the law don't go back to send your baptism was a sign for you to remember your in Christ. Baptism in in Paul's language years. He says put on Christ, right? The idea is one of changing clothes shifting, you know kind of your your outward appearance. That's kind of the idea that's going on here. And so when I go to bed at night, Don't wear these clothes. I wear pajamas right? I'm ready for bed if I come to church next week in pajamas to preach. You guys should worry about my sanity first and foremost. But I didn't I wasn't prepared for the new situation that I'm in know when I when I leave the house. I'm going to change clothes right? There's a new situation that I'm in that requires a change of wardrobe, right if I want to go climb Mount Everest. I'm not wearing swimming trunks and flip flops, right that did reality requires some sort of external. Sign it something that proves that I understand that Everest is cold right. Bye. Bye by contrast. I would not wear the clothes that I would wear to Mount Everest to the beach, right? Actually, I would I'm quite susceptible to Sunburn. And so if I go anywhere where there's a lot of sun, I just generally just cover everything up. All right, but the idea is a new situation calls for a new external reality pulse is that is baptism. Your internal reality has changed. You've become a Christ follower. You've rejected self-dependence. You've rejected self-righteousness. You submitted yourself to Christ in baptism. Is that external sign that you put on Christ write your situation has changed just look back at your baptism. And remember it's a public declaration. I'm with Jesus now just like Jesus was baptized. I'm baptized. I want to be a disciple of Jesus. Therefore I baptize that's the idea here public Declaration of faith. And if it needs to be public right you can't say I'm a Christ follower.

But don't really want anybody to know.

And go baptize yourself in your bathtub. Okay, it doesn't work. Somebody else baptizes you in in a bathtub that's different story. But you cannot baptize yourself in the bathtub and say I've been baptized. It's a public declaration Bill hole with Navigators. Ministry said it this way baptism means going public as a disciple baptism means going public as a disciple. The reality is internal. The reality is I'm a Christ follower because I have confessed Jesus is Lord. I believe in my heart. God raised him from the dead and I'm submitting myself to him. How many of you can see what's in my mind? Good. Right, we can't we we have no ability to pop open somebody's brain case and look in there and say what's going on here that doesn't happen. But baptism is that means of sayings everybody. This is the decision. I've made it's a public declaration baptism means going public as a disciple for Christianity to flourish disciples must start out public and remain public. Nothing is more dangerous to Christianity than the attempt to keep it secret. An attempt to hide it and attempt to ignore its implications for my life. Nothing will kill Christianity quicker. Then a bunch of private disciples. So baptism means of going public baptism also symbolizes our spiritual death and Resurrection, right? It's meant to be symbolic. That's why I keep talking about this immersion thing right when you're in your lower Dunder the water you're just like Jesus was lowered into the grave when you're raised up out of the water symbolically. It's reminder that Jesus was raised out of the Grave, right? It's it's a symbol. It's a picture of the fact that I'm dead. in my sin I have nothing of spiritual good in me. on my own I'm a dead man walking in my own sin. I deserve to be in the grave but Jesus says I'm going to take that death and I'm going to make it new life and this life that was live for you and for your selfish satisfaction. I'm going to turn it to a life that has lived for other people and that is new life. So Jesus Takes that which is spiritually dead and makes it spiritually alive just like Jesus was physically dead and physically Made Alive. So to baptism shows this picture lowered into the grave raised up out of it. The good news is it just doesn't take three days right? Like Jesus did weed if you've never been baptized me a little worried about that. Trust me, you're not under for 3 days. It's fine. Right? That's why we have mercy Jesus. Jesus was buried were buried Christ was raised where things I say when I baptize someone as I say, Sometimes when I remember I say lowered with Christ in death raised to walk in new life. And that's one of the things that baptism picture Paul pull this out. Paul was one of the early christ-followers if you read the book of Acts through that you'll read a lot about Paul. He wrote a book Romans turn the Romans. It's right after acts turn the Romans chapter 6.

And I'm going to start a little bit earlier than what I have on the screen. And so be patient with me Dawn and you guys find it in your Bible. So you understand where we're at in Romans chapter 6 talking to believers. And he says what shall we say then are we to continue in sin that Grace May abound by no means how can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who were been baptized into Christ were baptized into his death Paul picks this up immersion baptism is a picture of our dying to ourselves just like just like Christ died when he died. Just as Christ. Was buried Burberry by baptism into we were buried there for with him by baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father. We too might walk in newness of Life write the symbol. This picture is given to us to remind us right. What does baptism mean it reminds us that I was a dead man, and now I'm dead to my send now, I'm alive to Christ. I meant to live differently and then it gets back to that other idea. Right then it just like John was saying it is also pictures being cleansed from our sin baptism pictures being cleansed. From our sin now, why do I send pictures if that's the best several times that image is it it depicts it at pictures it because the mad it's not Magic Water. Okay, it's not it's not some sort of Hocus Pocus going on here. There's no magic words a little formula at we say and in the water just transforms you it's a picture what's happening inside, but it's still an important picture baptism depicts this cleansing from our sin. Look at Acts chapter 22, I promised you guys would be turning a lot, right? Acts chapter 22 and Paul here who just wrote Romans who just talked about the fact that baptism and identity with Christ's death and with his resurrection that's named Paul is preaching the gospel and he's sharing his testimony know if you're not a part of the Christian tradition, if you if you haven't been around Church sharing your testimony may seem a little weird if you have been in any kind of know what it is. Your testimony is just your story of what God's done, right? This is your story of how Christ saved you as a Paul's doing is he's preaching the gospel. He's saying look, here's the truth about the Messiah but you don't have to you know, look at these page words on the page. You don't have to just hear the story. I want to tell you what God did in my life and so he's sharing historian and salt all stories really interesting. Okay, he's also known as Saul his stories really interesting. He was actually a persecutor of the church. He was somebody who wanted to stop this Christian religion out of existence. He did not believe Jesus rose. The daddy did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. He thought this was blasphemy and heresy against y'all way. He was a faithful member of the Jewish faith and one day he's going to a town to persecute the Christians. He's going there to lock them up and get them to stop preaching the gospel and Jesus shows up Paul had this Encounter With Jesus. He talks about this. This is who are you all ready? Cuz I'm Jesus of Nazareth Nazareth whom you are persecuting. So Paul change his mind pretty quick about the truth of Jesus's claims when the Dead Man shows up alive. You got a kind of reevaluate things and told us that but he he's struck by this encounter with Christ and he goes into the City and there he meets a Christ follower named Ananias and Ananias is terrified of Paul. He does not want to go but God says you need to go and you need to talk to him and so he does And in verse 16 Ananias says to Paul now, why do you wait rise and be baptized washing away your sins calling on his name? Ananias says Paul, look, you believe in Jesus now. What are you waiting for? Take the next step. What are you--Paul, Okay, you believe in Jesus prove it. Be baptized as a symbol of the fact that you've rejected your sin of persecuting the church, you've rejected your scent of self-righteousness. You've rejected trying to be this self-made man. Ok, Paul do it. Baptism is a picture of cleansing from our sin the baptism waters. I just say it again because people get confused on this point. It does not take away the sin right? It shows what Jesus has already done. Jesus takes away our sin when we confess and we put our faith in him. Our sin is gone baptism just shows everybody else around us this is what just happened to you right? How do we know that it's not baptism that's required to save you because on the cross, Jesus is speaking to somebody who's being crucified next to him a thief - somebody who deserved death and that Thief says I believe in you Jesus. And Jesus says I tell you the truth. You'll be with me today in Paradise. That thief had no opportunity to be baptized that thief had no opportunity to prove his faith and yet Jesus said that faith is enough to save you from your sins. You'll be with me in Paradise baptism wasn't required for salvation important as a declaration to those around as publicly. I'm with Christ as a symbolic Union with Christ in death and resurrection. And as a reminder that we have been cleansed from our sin as Paul said in Roman 6 should we go on sinning may it never be we've been baptized. We've been cleanse from that. We don't need to live in that anymore. So what does baptism mean it means? All of those things is an identification with Christ. It's an Obedience of Christ. It's a proof to those around us of the spiritual truth that's happened inside of us that we've been cleanse from our sin. So what is it? Why do we do it? Jesus commanded it Jesus modeled. It is early as followers did it? What does it mean public declaration cleansing from sin symbolic Resurrection. That's what it means. That's why we do it. What does that mean for you? See, here's the Temptation the Temptation for all of us is to approach this time in the service, and I'm so grateful for Bryant filling in last week and covering while I was on vacation.

Because I'm guilty of the same to come to this moment where we open the word of God together and get a few little nuggets like cool. Like there's three things that it means and there's three reasons why we do it. This is easy to remember that's a helpful mnemonic device. This is great. I can try out this information about baptism sometime this week. And yet that's not what we're supposed to do when we come to the word not merely supposed to take in information. So that we can regurgitated later. We're meant to approach the word of God and say okay Lord. What is this mean to me? What does it mean for me? It means one thing. It means what it means. But what's the application? What how does this apply to my life? What do I need to do in response to your word? We've gotten away from that idea. I think a lot in the church when the word of God is presented. There's a call for us to do something doesn't negate Grace but it does remind us Jesus is calling us to do something. So here's here's what I would say. If you are a Christ follower. And you have been baptized here is what I would ask you to consider as the Holy Spirit leads. If you are a Christ follower who's been baptized rejoice in the live in that baptism should not be something that happened to me 30 years ago baptism should be an ever-present reality in my life when I look back and think about my baptism. I heart to beat marveling at the grace of God. I had to be anxiously awaiting the coming salvation where the resurrection is accomplished in eternity is given as a gift to those who love Christ. That's what I should be doing. I said I should look at that baptism be reminded not just that I got wet. Look at my life. Changed when I met Jesus that I am no longer my own I am Christ. I was bought with a price. I have identified with him. It's not about me anymore the life that Christ lives now the life that I seek to live through the power of the spirit. I have to live in the reality of my baptism not to rejoice in it. Not as an act that saved me but is a reminder to me of Christ Grace and his Mercy to me Christ follower if you've been baptized dust off that memory. Dust it off and Marvel at the grace of God in your life. So if you don't have to dust off that much dust it wasn't that long ago. Some of you is a really long time ago. Doesn't matter. That's the reality you live in day-by-day. Don't forget that don't reject the truth symbolized in your baptism worship God when you think about that gif you have been baptized. But you are not following Christ. You should question your salvation.

I don't say that lightly. I do not believe that we can lose our Salvation. I believe that if Christ has controlled you if Christ has grabbed the hold of your mind and you have submitted to him. You will not lose your salvation, but I believe it's entirely possible. To latch onto an external thing. Oh, I was baptized. I'm good.

And say I don't need Jesus Anymore. I was baptized I'm in. Possible to fool yourself and a mistake the external sign for the internal reality. So if you were baptized, but you know, you're not a Christ follower. I would suggest you examine your heart. Paul even says this he says examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith faith is not just an assent to a set of principles faith is not just an awareness of some theological point of Doctrine faith is not even just the mental assent that Jesus once lived faith is the submission to Christ. The transformation of your entire character by the Holy Spirit at work in you progressively you're not perfect. But you're seeking to follow Christ. You're rejecting sindel you're denying yourself. You're taking up your cross. You're saying Jesus. What do you want for me? If you've been baptized, but you're not asking those kind of questions. You do need to ask am I really saved? Am I really saved? College football starts really soon you guys know that weight started yesterday. Most of you don't care. All right. I always get a kick out of this. I do the same thing. Okay, I get a kick out of the fact that I refer to my team. Using a collective pronoun. We we had a really good game. I know the guys on the field had a really good game. I sat on the couch and eat chips. Okay, but we have a tendency to do this and sometimes baptism can be like that like I'm a fan of Jesus. I was baptized. And yet you just sitting there metaphorically eating chips every Sunday and not letting it change the rest of your life. You're not practicing. You're not on the field. You're not listening to the coach. You're not working with your teammates. You just sitting back chilling baptism can be like that. It could be an allegiance to Christ without actually being a part of this team. Shouldn't baptized, but you aren't following Christ. You should question your salvation. If you're not a Christ follower, right? I'm under no Illusions. Okay, as to the fact that we are all on the same page when it comes to Jesus. You're somebody maybe just scoping him out. You maybe just checking it out and thinking wonder if there's anything to this if you're not a Christ follower. Choose to follow Christ first, then be baptized. I want to make that clear. It's pointless to get baptized and have this external symbol if the internal reality hasn't happened if you're like, I don't know about Jesus, but I'm going to go ahead and get baptized so that I can hang out with these people not forget that you don't have to get baptized to hang out with us. Okay. Why you want to hang out with us? That's a whole nother question, but you don't have to get baptized to hang out with this. Don't get baptized. Unless you're following Christ if you're not following Christ. Why?

Look up the truth of who he is. Look at the fact again over fertilize a look at that Isaiah was speaking hundreds of years before Jesus any talked about Jesus. very clearly Look at that and say how does that come about ask yourself is Christ who he claimed to be is Christ to his followers have claimed to be if so, I have to make a decision. I can choose to reject him or I can choose to follow him. I cannot sit in the middle, but don't worry about baptism. If you're not following Christ, if you start following Christ, then get baptized finally 1/4 groups that I think might be in here and my apologies if I've left anybody out. You don't feel like you fit into any of these groups. If you are a Christ follower who is not been baptized you should be If your Christ follower who has not been baptized why Jesus said this is how you're my Disciple This is how you follow me you get baptized if you are a Christ follower, you should be baptized. The New Testament pattern is very very clear on this as a matter of fact one writer that I was reading this week. He said this there is no record. Other disciple who chose to follow Christ who ate slapped worked did anything else before they got baptized? We have this reality going on today where people say, I'm a Jesus follower, but I'm not going to get baptized. Any delay baptism for years and sometimes the church is at fault on that. Sometimes churches have said what you got to prove it. You got a live like you're a Christ follower first and then will baptize you that's not the New Testament pattern and my apologies if I know I have in the past my apologies if I've ever said that here to anybody will wait to get baptized know if you follow Christ get baptized if you followed him for years and you're a little embarrassed you like. Why don't want people to know if you trying to impress.

No, this is about your relationship with Christ. This is the first step of obedience that Jesus would call his people to be baptized prove it right my wife and I have been married for 14 years. You know what I've done for those 14 years. I've worn a wedding ring. What do you think? My wife would think if I took my wedding ring off and said you know what? I'm going to go out with the guys tonight.

I think she feel about that. I didn't Jesus feels when we say you know, what Jesus? Yeah. I love you. But I'm not going to take the step of publicly declaring that to everyone else. I'm not going to take that step of having an outward symbol proving the reality of the commitment that I've made if you're a Christ follower, you've not been baptized you should be so I just want to review these point if you're a Christ follower who's been baptized rejoice in it live in it. If you are if you can baptize, but you aren't following Christ question your salvation. If you're not a Christ follower choose to follow Christ and then get baptized and if your a Christ follower was not been baptized. You should be now one of the things that I've been really trying to Did the train myself in asking God to help me in is to not be somebody who just preaches information? But to give an opportunity for us to respond. So here's what we're doing on September 8th at 3 up at the lake at the hill. We're going to have a baptism service and if you're somebody who you say I'm I'm not a Christ follower, but I think I want to Then if you're going to follow him, you should be baptized. If you're somebody who's a Christ follower, but you've never been baptized you need to get baptized. And so here's your opportunity on September 8th at 3 at Lake at the hill provided. It's not no cold or anything. We're going to have a baptism service and here's what I want you to I want you to sign up at the next steps table. I want you to take this step of public Proclamation. Yes. I am a Christ follower. If you've never done that if you're unsure of whether you should do that, give me a call this week my numbers on the back of the bulletin. Call Dan. Call Bryant. Don't call Richard right now. He's he's dealing with some stuff in his family. But call Danner call Bryant or call me. We'd love to talk to you about baptism whether or not you should do it, but we believe that it's important for a christ follower to a bay Jesus in this regard. So there's your opportunity to put this into action to put this into practice. It's an act of submission. It's an act of saying yes, I publicly identify myself with Christ. It's a reminder to you. That Jesus is your lord. It's a proof to those around you that you say yes. I'm stepping out on this journey of faith. I'm going to follow Christ. Would you pray with me?

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