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Praying

REPENT, BELIEVE, BE BAPTIZED

IMPORTANT 8 MINUTES TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Thank you for taking time to read this. It might take eight minutes, but perhaps the most important 8 minutes of your life. Jesus Christ promises a new life, a spiritual rebirth, to those who choose to follow Him.

1. Relationship

God created man to have relationship with Him. Adam and Eve communicated with God, and "heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden (of Eden)"... Genesis 3:8

     Enoch (Genesis 5:22) and Noah (Genesis 6:9) both walked with God.

Even though our relationship with God is now broken, God wants a relationship with us. Jesus Christ said:

     - Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

     - I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me, shall never thirst. John 6:35

     - Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and dine

       with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

2. Rebellion

A combination of the devil's tempting and Adam and Eve's willful disobedience led to serious penalties: guilt, alienation (they were kicked out of the garden) and death. 

All of us have followed in their footsteps, suffering the same consequences for our sin. 

     - For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

     - All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way. Isaiah 53:6a

     - Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from

        you. Isaiah 59:2

     - They went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty. Jeremiah 2:5b

     - For the wages of sin is death... Romans 6:23a

     - For as in Adam all die... 1 Corinthians 15:22a

3. Reconciled

Because God loved us so much. He became human in the person of Jesus Christ so we might be restored back to a relationship with Him.

     For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but

     have eternal life. John 3:16

Christ's death on the cross is the means by which we are reconciled to God.

     - And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you

       in HIs fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach...

       Colossians 1:21-22

     - For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been

       reconciled, we shall be saved by HIs life. Romans 5:10

     - God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has

       committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

4. Redeemed & Ransomed

We have been redeemed (purchased) out of a life of sin and darkness. We have been ransomed (rescued) from Satan's power.

     - ...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give HIs life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

     - For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as

       a ransom for all... 1 Timothy 2:5-6a

     - Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us - for it is written: "Cursed is

       everyone who hangs on a tree..." Galatians 3:13

     - ...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life

       inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of

       Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19

     - ...our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to

       purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:13b-14

Christ's last words on the cross were "It is finished" (John 10:30). Those were common words in the business world. They meant the debt (of sin) was paid in full.

5. Resurrection

Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the Sunday after the Friday crucifixion, which declares Him to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4).

He presented Himself alive by many convincing proofs for a period of 40 days (Acts 1:4). Christ made 15 resurrection appearances, and on one occasion to more than 500 people at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Matthew, John, Peter, James, Jude and Paul were all eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ. Each of them wrote a book which is found in the New Testament.

Christ prophesied that He would rise from the dead on the third day (Matthew 20:19). He also said:

    - Destroy this temple (His body), and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:19

One of the 12 apostles, doubting Thomas, after seeing Christ alive from the dead called Him "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).

Christ raised others from the dead - a widow's son (Luke 7), Jairus' daughter (Mark 5) and Lazarus, his friend (John 11). Paul asked King Agrippa, "Why is it considered incredible if God does raise the dead?" Acts 26:8
 

6. Response

God wants us to respond to the Good News of Christ's death, burial and resurrection with faith. Faith is simply trusting and believing God's Word is true. Jesus said:

     - Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. John 6:47

     - I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies... John 11:25

     - I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

We must believe Jesus is Lord of all, meaning He is the highest power in the universe. He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

     - ...that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the

       dead, you will be saved... Romans 10:9

     - "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved..." Acts 16:30-31

     - For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result

       of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

7. Repentance

True faith involves repentance, which is defined as a change of mind that results in change of direction and behavior. Jesus taught the necessity of repentance:​

     - I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:5

     - ...the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15

     - I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32

The apostles commanded sinners to repent:

     - Therefore repent and turn, so that your sins may be wiped away. Acts 3:19

     - ...solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21

     - ...to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they

       may receive forgiveness of sins... Acts 26:18

     - ...Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins... Acts 2:38

8. Rewards

The rewards of becoming a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ are amazing:

     - Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have

       come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

     - ...And their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more. Hebrews 10:18

You will be empowered by God's Holy Spirit inside of you to experience His love, joy, peace, patience...self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You will also be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to endure times of hardships that every Christian will undergo because of your faith.

The best part is living forever in heaven with God and all of God's people.

     - ...I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3

If you commit your life to Christ, you can be assured of your salvation.

     - These things I write to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know you have

       eternal life. 1 John 5:13

ARE YOU READY TO RECEIVE CHRIST WITH A PRAYER OF COMMITMENT?

- But as many as received Him, to them He gave the

  right to become children of God, even to those who

  believe in His name... John 1:12

- ...for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will

  be saved. Romans 10:13

- Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone

  hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to

  him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

 Revelation 3:20

IF SO, PRAY THIS PRAYER:

God, thank you for loving me and sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins on the cross. I believe that He is the Son of God, Lord of all, and rose form the dead. I repent of all my sins. Come into my heart today. I receive you as my Lord and Savior. Amen

- If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

YOUR NEXT STEP IS WATER BAPTISM AS JESUS CHRIST COMMANDED

- ...go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit... Matthew 28:19

THE BELIEVER'S BAPTISM

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 them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end fo the age. Matthew 28:18-20

8 Examples of Baptism from Acts

1. The Day of Pentecost - 3000 Jews baptized

     Acts 2:1-41

2. The Samaritans, a mixed race of people

     Acts 8:4-24

3. The Ethiopian Official

     Acts 8:26-40

4. The Apostle Paul

     Acts 9:1-18

5. Cornelius, a Romans Soldier

     Acts 10:1-49

6. Lydia

     Acts 16:12-15

7. Philippian Jailer

     Acts 16:25-34

8. People of Corinth

     Acts 18:8

Why Immersion and Not Sprinkling?​

1. The Greek word translated "baptism" is "baptizo." This word means immersion or submersion (Vine's Expository Dictionary). A related word, "bapto" means to dip. "Rhantizo" means sprinkle. When Jesus told us to "go and baptize," He used "baptizo." In fact, the Greek word "rhantizo" doesn't appear in the New Testament dealing with the act of baptism.

2. There was a need of the person baptized and the one baptizing to go down "into the water" and to "come up out of the water." This is shown in Matthew 3:16 and Acts 8:38-39. It also required "much water" as found in John 3:23. The practice of sprinkling infants did not come into the church until centuries later when the unscriptural doctrine of purgatory and limbo brought fear into the hearts of the parents. Yet, Jesus assured that heaven belongs to children (Matthew 19:14).

3. Romans 6:4, "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism," indicates that baptism is equated to burial. When the candidate is raised up out of the water. Christ's resurrection is pictured. So, baptism by full immersion pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Sprinkling simply does not depict burial and resurrection.

4. Baptism is connected to a washing away of sin. Ananias told Paul, "And now why do you delay? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name" (Acts 22:16). Immersion conveys the image of complete washing in a way that mere sprinkling does not.

Common Questions Asked

Q. What church should I be baptized into?

A. One is baptized into Christ, not into a church.

Q. Who can baptize me?

A. Any baptized Christian, whether a relative, friend, or pastor.

Q. When should I be baptized?

A. Immediately after you believe in Christ. The jailer was baptized that very night (Acts 16:33). The 3000 were baptized the same day they came to faith (Acts 2:41).

Q. Where should I be baptized?

A. Any body of water will do. The church receives a tremendous blessing when all can witness your decision. We will make arrangements at the church, at a home or at the beach.

Who Is A Candidate For Baptism?

THOSE who BELIEVE in Jesus Christ. "...and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized." Acts 18:8

THOSE who REPENT of their sins. "Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." Acts 2:38

     - Repentance means "a change of mind that

        results in a change of direction."

THOSE who CONFESS Christ. At baptism, a candidate confesses aloud that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:9

Because the New Testament teaches the pattern of "believe, repent, and be baptized," we therefore do not baptize infants or small children who are incapable of true repentance. Further, Jesus said the Kingdom already belongs to little children (Matthew 19:13-14). For children ages 7-12, we recommend a private teaching session with a pastor or elder with the child and parent.

Baptism At Life Christian Church

- Come forward at the invitation at the end of the service to talk to a decision counselor about your faith and desire to be baptized.

- We have some baptism clothes available, but to be sure, you can bring your own. We will provide towels.

- Men can bring a dark colored T-shirt and pair of shorts. Swim trunks work well. Ladies can wear swimsuits under their clothes.

- We provide private changing rooms to get ready.

- After changing clothes, you will be instructed by the person baptizing you about what you will do and say.

- Be sure to invite friends and family to witness your baptism.

Jesus Was Baptized

 

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water. He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Mark 1:9-11

OBSERVATIONS

1. We are to be like Jesus, following and imitating Him in every way. If Christ submitted to baptism, we should follow His example.

2. Our Heavenly Father was well pleased with Christ's baptism. He sent a special anointing of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at that time. It prompted God to announce Christ's Sonship publicly. The Father is likewise well pleased when we are baptized.

3. According to Luke 3:21-23, Jesus was about 30 years old when He was baptized.

A Call To Baptism

Baptism is a command of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 28:19). Therefore, baptism is not optional or up for negotiation. Christ said, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46) So, our response to the Gospel is to obey Him by being baptized. It is always better to obey sooner than later.

Baptism is God's will for you to publicly identify yourself as a Christian. Christ said in Matthew 10:32, "Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven."