Posts Tagged ‘Baptism

07
Oct
16

Hearing The Voice Of Jesus

John 5:24-30 (NIV)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Jesus brings life to the dead. As a pastor, my favorite thing in the whole world is baptizing someone. When someone hears about His love for them and they come to the realization that He wants to save them, I get really excited. When they trust in God’s grace and put their faith and trust in Jesus for salvation, it is an awesome thing. When they go under that water and come back out as a brand new creation, the angels in Heaven rejoice and their name is written in the Lamb’s Book Of Life. The Holy Spirit fills them and begins the work of transformation in their life. They start to look, act and talk more like Jesus and they start to experience the abundant life that Christ offers. That is what it is really all about. It begins with hearing the voice of Jesus.
What is your story? When did you hear the voice the of Jesus? When did you begin to trust Him for salvation? When did you get baptized? Have you made that step of faith? Have you heard His voice yet? He’s calling out to you today! He’s calling out from Heaven for you to believe in Him, repent from your sin, confess Him as Savior and Lord and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. This is your moment! This is the day of salvation! Don’t put it off another day!
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, help me to hear the voice of Jesus today. Help me to walk in the newness of life. Help me to trust in Your grace and mercy for forgiveness. I thank You for loving and forgiving me in the name of Jesus, amen.
12
Aug
16

Born Again

John 3:4-8 (NIV)

4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

In the late-night conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, Jesus says some things that are puzzling to Nicodemus. He tells him that we must be born again and that we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God unless we are born again. Nicodemus takes Jesus’ words at face value and tries to imagine a grown man literally being born from his mother’s womb a second time. Jesus wasn’t speaking literally, of course. He was speaking spiritually.

We need to be born of the Spirit. How are we born of water and the Spirit? Through baptism into Christ. Peter said on the Day of Pentecost,


Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:38 (NIV)


When we put our faith in Christ, we are born agains when we express our faith in repentance and by being baptized. We are then filled with the Holy Spirit of God. All of this is made possible by God’s grace. Without the grace of God, we are lost and dead in our sins. But by God’s grace through faith in Christ, He washes away our sins when we call on His name. Let us give thanks for the amazing grace that has made forgiveness and salvation possible through Jesus.

PRAYER: Thank You for the grace that has rescued me from my sins, O God. Thank You for saving me through Your Son, Jesus. I turn to You in repentance today and humbly confess my sins to You. Thank You for Your forgiveness in Jesus’ name, amen.

16
Jun
16

The Biblical Plan Of Salvation

The message from Griffith First Christian Church from June 5, 2016.

11
May
16

God’s Voice Of Truth

Zechariah 3:1-5 (NIV)

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

 

The Hebrew word for Satan in this passage literally means “Adversary.” We see that Satan’s function is to accuse the high priest of Israel. The high priest was Israel’s representative before God and when the adversary accused the high priest, he was accusing Israel of all of her sins.  The high priest stands before God in filthy clothes, not in those that were specified in the Torah. This shows us just how filthy the sins of God’s people were. But God does not cast the high priest away from His holy presence. Instead, in His gracious love, He forgives the sins of His people and gives the high priest new clothes to wear. God ignores the accusations of the adversary and chooses to forgive His people.

We still have an accusing adversary. God is our judge and His Son, Jesus, is our defense attorney. The accuser brings up the charges and accuses us of all that we have done. Jesus defends us by His death and resurrection. He laid down His life for us. He is our defense! Without His sacrifice, we’re done for. Our self-righteousness is not enough to tip the scales in our favor. Without Jesus, the charges stick. But with Jesus, we are forgiven and the Judge renders His decision: “Not guilty!”

The Bible says in Galatians that those who are baptized into Christ are clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Just like the high priest of Zechariah 3 was given new clothes to wear, the same is true for the born-again believer in Jesus Christ. When you are clothed with Christ in baptism, God no longer sees you in your filthy rags of sin. Instead, He sees you in the pristine robes of His Son’s righteousness. He doesn’t see you in all of your failures! He sees Jesus in all of His perfection! You are clean and forgiven by His grace. Rejoice in His forgiveness today!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving me. Thank You for clothing me in the righteousness of Jesus. Help me to hear Your voice of grace and truth above the lies and accusations of the adversary today. In Jesus’ saving name I pray, amen.

01
Mar
16

My Dirty Laundry

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.  (Isaiah 64:6, NIV)
Everything I do that I do for Jesus is nothing compared to what He has done for me.  The sinless Savior is my model and example.  Yet I fall short and miss the mark and sin on a regular basis.  The righteous things I somehow manage to do cannot compare to His perfection.  How I desire to be better!  Yet sin comes calling and crouching at my door.  Temptation seizes me and my weakness leads to my failure.  I need the righteousness of the truly Righteous One to be imputed to me.  I need to be clothed in Christ.  Praise God that on the day I was baptized that is exactly what happened!  Galatians 3:27 says that “all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (NIV).  How great is this amazing love and grace of God that He has declared me righteous because of His Son’s death.  Now my acts of righteousness are not done to earn His favor but rather they are done out of gratitude.  I do what I do because Jesus did what He did on the cross.  Praise be to His name!
PRAYER: Thank You, God, for washing me clean and clothing me with Christ.  Help me to live for You today because Jesus died for me so long ago.  Amen.
20
Nov
15

Blessed Are We

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” — Romans 4:7-8 (NIV)

In the ancient Greek, the word translated as “blessed” in this passage literally meant “free from daily cares and worries.”  When was the last time that we worried about our sins?  When was the last time we fretted over the fact that we are sinners?  Paul quoted David from Psalm 32:1-2 in this passage from Romans.  We see that God covers our sins and He does not count it against us.  Could there be a greater promise?  To know that through Christ’s sacrifice our sins are forgiven!  They have been washed over in His saving blood.

It is not by our works or good deeds that we are saved.  It is by God’s grace applied to our faith that we find our sins covered and forgiven.  The Bible says that when we are baptized, we are literally clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27, NIV).  God covers us with His Son.  When we are baptized, we are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3, NIV).  Our sins are washed away in His death.  We should count ourselves blessed for our sins are covered and God will not hold the fact that we are sinners against us!  Praise His holy name!

What sins are you holding against yourself that God has promised not to hold against you?  Ask God to remind you of His gracious and perfect forgiveness and to help you let go of your sins.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank You for washing my sins away in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son.  My sins are many and my weaknesses are great.  I fail to live up to Your righteous standard daily.  I ask that You would forgive my many sins and cover me with Jesus’ righteousness.  Thank You for Your grace, mercy and forgiveness.  In Jesus’ saving name I pray, amen.

13
Oct
15

The Cross’ Power

…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)

I love the Greek word for “power” in the New Testament.  It is the word dunamis.  It’s the word from which we get our word “dynamite”.  God’s mighty power is unleashed in the cross of Christ.  The world may look at Christians as though we are fools.  The world may look at Christianity and think that it is a crutch for the simple-minded.  Those who are dying in their sin may see the cross of Christ and the grace of God as foolish.  But to Christians, the cross is the dynamite God uses to blow up sin!

When we feel weak and powerless, we must remember that we have dynamite at our disposal!  The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that dwells in us in the person of the Holy Spirit.  The power of God that conquered sin and the grave is the power in us to overcome temptation and sin.  There is no power like God’s power!  The power of the cross can overcome ANY sin and can save ANY sinner who will accept God’s gracious offer of salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  Believe (Ephesians 2:8-9), repent (Acts 2:38), confess (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized (Acts 2:38)!  The dynamite of the cross of Christ will break the power of sin and the bonds of slavery to it.  The power of God will save you from sin and give you the promised inheritance of eternal life with Him!  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

​PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the power of the cross of Jesus.  I cannot be saved by anything else other than Your grace applied to my faith in Him.  Today I claim the power of His cross to overcome the sins and struggles in my life.  Fill me with the power of the cross today.  Amen.




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