Tom Scott - 9/08/2015
Date: August 10, 2015
In the E-letter Thursday, I mentioned that it was my dad’s birthday. Well, today is my mom’s birthday. Yesterday afternoon we had the family over for a birthday party for both mom and dad. It was a low key affair with a little cake and lots of grilled food. Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 15 that there will be more celebrating in Heaven over the one who repents then over the 99 who do not need to repent. Watching someone being baptized in Christ is cause for celebration. It is always a happy occasion when someone acknowledges their faith in Jesus by submitting to Christian baptism. Yesterday, we looked at the core value of baptism and why we baptize people here at Cumberland. Let me ask you to take some time reflecting upon the message by working through these five questions.
1. Many different religions offer means by which you might be saved or made right with God. Sometimes people like to get into arguments about the topic of grace and salvation. Baptism is something that separates us from other religions. Do you remember the last discussion you had with someone about baptism?
2. Paul wrote to the church at Colosse because false teachers were trying to lead the Christians astray. They were trying to lead the church back into the practice of circumcision. Paul wants to remind them of the truth as given to him by Jesus. Where does the authority to baptize come from and why is this important?
3. When it comes to the method of baptism, we believe that someone must be immersed in water. Paul writes that we are buried with Christ in Colossians 2 and Romans 6. Throughout the book of Acts we read stories of how people were baptized in water. Why do we believe that true baptism comes in the form of a submersion in water?
4. In Acts chapter 2, we find Peter standing before a crowd of people talking about the death of Christ on the cross. When the people felt convicted and asked what they must do, Peter replied that they must repent and be baptized. He would go on to share two reasons for why they should do this. The first was for the forgiveness of sins. Why is baptism a better way of finding forgiveness of sins than the Old Testament sacrifices given by Moses?
5. The other reason for being baptized was for the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Titus 3:5, Paul says that we are renewed by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8 has a lot to say about the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some might dispute this issue, but we believe that we receive the Holy Spirit upon our being baptized. Is there someone that you need to share this good news with today?
Some of you may have noticed the passion in the sermon yesterday. The reason for that is twenty some years of ministry experience. This is an important topic and I believe we need to understand what we believe about baptism. It is my sincere prayer that you can share your beliefs with others as called upon. Again, thank you for the positive comments. Next Sunday, we are going to look at why we take communion each week during our service. Have a great week in the Lord and let’s keep on praying for one another.
Aug 9th Title: What is baptism? Text: Colossians 2:9-12
Theme: Baptism is where we completely surrender to God