Good News!

God has made a way for us to be right with Him through faith in Jesus.

BY GRACE

THROUGH FAITH

AT BAPTISM

FOR GOOD WORKS

This is the message from the Bible: We were created to be in relationship with God and to manage the rest of his creation. This makes us special!

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:27-28 NIV)

Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness!” (John 10:10 NIV)

God relates to us through love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NIV)

God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love!” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

We are to relate to God through worship by living in reverent obedience to him.

Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT)

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:3-5 NIV)

But there’s a problem. People choose to rebel and to ignore God’s good principles for living. The Bible calls this rebellion sin.

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, and each of us has turned to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6a NIV) • If we say that we never sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refuse to accept the truth. (1 John 1:8 NLT)

Sin breaks our relationship with God. It causes us to ignore God or even flee from him as we try to live our lives outside of His will.

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

When our relationship with God is not right, we create problems in every area of our lives (such as marriage, career, relationships, and finances). When people have problems, they often try many different ways of coping before turning to God.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 16:25 NIV)

The Bible points out that our sin puts us into a state of double trouble:

Guilt – An eternal death penalty

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)

Sin Sickness – A tendency to do evil

When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:28-32 NLT)

Now for the Good News! God has come up with a rescue plan. He saves us…

BY GRACE

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

Grace is the free and undeserved favor of God . Despite our state of rebellion, God came to earth to bring us back to him. If we could save ourselves through other means, such as by being good enough to earn God’s favor, Jesus would not have had to come. The way to God is through Jesus!

Grace = God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me!” (John 14:6 NIV)

Jesus took care of our sin problem through his sacrifice on the cross.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)

God did this because he loves us and wants us to know him intimately.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NIV)

God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still separated from God by sin, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)

God has done his part to restore our relationship with him . He now seeks our appropriate response, which is faith.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)

Faith is assent (belief with your head) and trust (active belief with your heart).

Believe that Jesus is God’s son.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Believe that Jesus died, rose again three days later, and is alive today.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)

Faith includes confession and repentance.

Confession means agreement. You agree that you are at odds with God, that you need him in your life, and that faith in Jesus is the way to God.

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. (1 John 4:15 NIV)

Repentance is sincere remorse for your wrongdoing. Repentance leads you to decide to turn your life toward God’s good principles and purposes.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord… (Acts 3:19 NIV)

Baptism, submitting oneself to immersion into and up from water, is the occasion God has chosen to give you all that you have accepted through faith.

Peter replied, “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)

Jesus came to them and said: “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything that I have told you…” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

The Importance of Being Baptized

What is the meaning of baptism?

1) It joins us with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4 NIV)

For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. (Colossians 2:12 NLT)

2) It brings us into a new life as a Christian.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4 NIV)

Why baptism by immersion?
1) Because Jesus was baptized that way.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. (Matthew 3:16 NIV)

2) Every baptism in the New Testament was by immersion.
And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:38-39 NIV)

3) The word Greek word βαπτίζω (“I baptize”) literally means “to immerse” or “to dip under” water.

4) Church leaders throughout history understand baptism to be an act immersion under water.

“I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imparts and the mystery signifies.” – Martin Luther

“The word baptize signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.” – John Calvin

“Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.” – John Wesley

Who should be baptized?

Every person who has put faith in Jesus Christ.

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:41 NIV)

But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12 NIV)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27 NIV)

At Mount Carmel Christian Church, we wait until our young people are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.

Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until he is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about three hundred years after the Bible was completed. This practice is different from the baptism practiced in scripture, which was only for those capable of affirming belief. The biblical purpose of baptism is a faith response to the Good News about Jesus Christ.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 NASB)

Our relationship with God is not restored by our good works (that is, being a good person or doing good things), but by what Jesus has already done at the cross for us. Our salvation is not dependent on our goodness; it is based on God’s love and promises. Therefore, we are free to live for God without being afraid. We are motivated to follow his way because of our gratitude and love for him.

God has already done his part to restore our relationship with him. He took the initiative. Now he waits for each of us to trust in what he has done for us.

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