Thursday, 21 June 2018

Water Baptism Part 1

15th June

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching the to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

What is water baptism?
Water baptism is a commandment from Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Water baptism is for believers. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Water baptism is by full immersion. The greek word 'baptizo' means to immerse or overwhelm.
Water baptism is a symbol of a christian dying to the sinful self, burying this old life and gaining a new life just as Christ died, was buried and rose again. (Romans 6:4)
Water baptism is an outward testimony of what Christ has done for us on the inside.
(Colosians 2:11-12)
When we baptize, we baptize in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost.
(Matthew 28:18-20)

In Acts 8, Philip comes across an Ethiopian man (a Eunuch) who was reading the scripture and not understanding it. The Eunuch invited Philip to explain the scripture to him. When they came to some water the Eunuch wanted to get baptized and because he chose to believe in Jesus Christ, Philip baptized him immediately. The Spirit then caught Philip away after the baptism.

Must we be baptized in water to be saved?
The thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) admitted that he deserved his crucifixion, while Jesus had done nothing wrong. He believed in Jesus and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus told him that he would be in paradise with Jesus that day. There was no time to be water baptized but yet he could still go to heaven.

In 1 John 1:8-9, it states that confessing our sins is what is what is needed to be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. There is no mention of water baptism here.
Likewise in Romans 10:9-10, it states that we must confess with our mouth and believe with our heart and we can be saved. Again no mention of water baptism.

Why do some people believe in baptismal regeneration? 
Some people will argue that we need to be water baptised in order to be saved. They will use verses like Mark 16:15-16 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved' to prove their point.

Another verse is John 3:5 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' But in this example (see the context John 3:1-7) the water is not referring to water baptism but rather the physical birth from a mother's womb. We know this because Jesus talks about flesh giving birth to flesh and the Spirit giving birth to spirit (John 3:6). So Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus that being born again means that the Spirit has to impart something spiritual in us.

Acts 2:38 'Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'
In this example Peter is referring to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. However, water baptism is again an external confession of an inward experience. Repentance leads to baptism and baptism showed in the Bible days that the Christians had received salvation.

Acts 22:16 'And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away they sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' 
Because this verse talks about being baptized and having your sins washed away, some would say that the water washes away your sin. However, only the Blood of Jesus can wash away our sins.
Acts 10:43 'through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.'


It is only what Christ has done for us on the cross that can save us. It was never meant to be anything that we have done that can earn us salvation. And it was always meant to be a simple confession with our mouth and belief in our heart that allows us to receive the salvation which Christ has already paid for with His life. Christ broke himself that in our brokenness we can be restored, healed and forgiven.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

The Ministry Part 5

8th June

Last week we discussed the first point
1. We need Ministers and people who are strong in faith like Abraham.

This week we discussed the second point

2. We need Ministers and people who are strong in conviction.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV)
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.:
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 

We can see that what Paul told Timothy is already happening. People are compromising the Word of God and allowing the world's standard to be acceptable when it is NOT. Even in churches many compromises are made and nonsense may be heard from church people who really should know better. Many choose to believe a lie, rather than the truth. So we must be careful to distinguish between compromises and The Word of God (sound doctrine). Then we won't get sucked into the lies.
We must also be ready to share God's Word when we are expecting to share and also when we are not expecting to share. We never know when the opportunities will pop up.

2 Thessolonians 2:8-12 (NKJV)
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The Antichrist will come prior to Jesus' second coming. We do not know if the Antichrist is already in the world or not, but he will be revealed later after the rapture. He is deceptive and many will believe his false signs and fake miracles. God is allowing the Antichrist to deceive people because they did not believe the truth in the first place.  We are also told that the Antichrist will be destroyed by the brightness of Jesus when He returns.

John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

The Truth is what makes us free, but we can only know the Truth if we abide in His WORD.

We need God to renew our convictions.
A. Convictions about sin and sinfulness 
     (Romans 6:23 - Sin brings death but the gift of God is eternal life)
     (Psalm 1:1 - Let us remove all sin from our lives and walk with the Lord in righteousness)

B. We need conviction about separation from all sin and every kind of wickedness. 
     (2 Corinthians 6:17 - Strive to be separate unto the Lord)

C. We need conviction and dedication to the Lord.
     (1 Chronicles 29:5  David challenged the people asking "Who is willing to consecrate his 
       service this day unto the Lord?)Note that David had already dedicated some of his personal 
       belongings including gold for the purposes of building the temple so he surely led by example)
      (Proverbs 23:26 - we must first dedicate our heart to the Lord before we can dedicate our                     resources, time, talents and other things)

We are not our own but were bought with a price so let's dedicate ourselves unto the Lord. Strengthen your convictions and serve the Lord with all your heart.

Conclusion of this chapter on The Ministry

We started this chapter with Ephesians 4:11-16 and focused on the different giftings and responsibilities in the church
(apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers for the edifying of the church).

Now consider verse 15-16: (NKJV)
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - 
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body of the edifying of itself in love.

In the human body, bones come together at joints and the joints will provide a fluid to lubricate the place where the bones meet so as to reduce friction. If pressure is put on the joints, more fluid will be released to bring more lubrication in order to help manage the pressure.

The body of Christ functions in much the same way. Where members come together, there are joints. These joints are the communication, interaction and inter-ministry between members. In the above verse, we can see the joints supply which means its the sharing and praying that happens between members on Sunday or during prayer meetings, bible studies etc which supplies what is needed and helps bring the 'lubrication' which is needed even more when the pressure comes (enemy attacks etc)
When the joints supply, then the body of Christ works effectively and therefore the church is edified and able to grow.

We need to flow with The Holy Spirit and The Word of God (like the oil and water which makes up the fluid in our physical body's joint) so that the joints can really supply as God purposed them to.
In this way the church can keep moving closer to God's vision for churches:

Ephesians 4:13
Till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: ...