Scripture: Mark 16:15-16, Acts 8: 35-38, Acts 8: 17- 18, Acts 2: 37-41
EXACTLY WHAT IS BAPTISM?
A wedding ring is an outward sign that you are married. A military uniform is the outward sign that you are in a particular branch of service. Baptism by water immersion is an outward sign that you now belong to Jesus Christ. It is an ordinance that was designed by God.
Baptism in essence is a spiritual funeral.
ROMANS 6:4 tells us that when we are lowered fully in the water, it was like the burial of Jesus into the tomb. And when we were raised up out of the water, it was like the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Remember: is not the water that saves you.
And your baptism doesn’t ‘buy’ your salvation. Christ’s blood does that.
Do you want to sign that contract of commitment with Jesus Christ?
Scriptures: Romans 6:1-6
Major events in our lives become marking points in our memory: graduating from high school, graduating from college, getting married, having children, getting our first job, becoming a Christian, etc. Mark Twain said: "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why."
Being baptized is a marking point in the life of every Christian. Baptism symbolizes the death and burial of the old way of life. Coming up out the of water symbolizes the resurrection into a new way of life. It's a time in our life when we deal with our sinful nature and we put it off. We bury the sinful nature, so we can start anew.
How does baptism help us? The power of sin is broken in our lives and we are no longer under obligation to it. Baptism reminds us that we belong to Jesus! 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 says: "or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
We all need marking points in our walk with God. Definable moments when we can reflect on our commitment; like a marriage ceremony it a reminder of our commitment to each other. Each year we celebrate the anniversary of our marriage. These moments become anchor points and holding points in our commitment to Jesus. We can tell ourselves sin is no longer our master, because we have died out to sin and buried our sinful nature. You have been raised to new life!
Scriptures: Genesis 41:8-14
In these verses, we read that when Pharaoh's butler was freed from prison he forgot about Joseph. The butler had Joseph to thank for his freedom, but he forgot about him for 2 years! Joseph became a part of the fellowship of the forgotten.
No one enjoys being forgotten. Human memory is powerful and fragile: we all have sometime in life forgotten something important. People equate feeling forgotten with worse than being lonely; calling it "their worst fear." In Isaiah 49:14-15: God promises that He will not forget us. He never forgets his children. He will never leave or forsake you: He promises this many times in scripture. God will never abandon you! To Jesus: nobodies are some bodies! Joseph was forgotten by his family, by the people he tried to help, and yet God never forgot about Joseph! He had great plans for Joseph, which we find in Genesis 41:41-44: "And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See I have set you over all the land of Egypt…I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." Joseph went from prisoner to leader: only God can do that!
Do you feel like you are part of the fellowship of the forgotten? Remember you have always been on God's mind. He will not fail you; He will not forsake you! He has a day planned for you just like He had a special day for Joseph.