The Meaning and Mode of Christian Baptism

Pastor Mark Blair

January 2019

The risen Lord Jesus Christ commands his followers to be baptized. Through this symbolic act the believer is identified with the Lord and His Church. Baptism is a symbol of new life in Christ, a seal of the covenant of grace, and a sign of the forgiveness of sins. Water is an outward symbol for the inward work of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is for those who have repented and believed on the Lord Jesus.

The Gospel in a Godless State

We received an email forward from friends in Hawaii about government control of the church:

Pastors in China report that they've been forced to integrate (the) President....'s words into the(ir) biblical (messages)... the Chinese Communist Party increasingly pressures church leaders to infuse their sermons with political ideology...

They asked...

Suicide of a Professing Believer

Dayna and I are so sorry to hear about .... your loved one's .... homegoing. I say homegoing because as far as we can know she is with the Lord. My confidence for this, and our only hope in life and death, is in Jesus. We are not saved because of anything we do, and we do not get to heaven by our good finish! When the Bible calls us sinners that never changes until we get to heaven. Only then and there will our sin be fully and forever removed. Yet even in heaven we will be forgiven sinners. That is why we will sing, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain! " Because it is only the blood of Christ that restores our relationship with God.

A Call for Hospitality Evangelism

    We are God's children, we have been welcomed into His family. In Jesus Christ we have been made the objects of God's abundant mercy. "For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." (John 1:16) We were really in bad shape. It's not just that we didn't know God - we were actively suppressing all knowledge of God. It's not just that we could not keep God's Law - in our rebellion we loved to break it. We, who because of our sin were such stench in the very nostrils of God, are now Beloved children of our Heavenly Father. We are clothed in Christ's righteous garments. Since His robes are royal we are made to be a Kingdom, and Priests unto His God. Our Father receives us with the love with which He loves His Son. God is hospitable. Once we were not a people, but now we have been made the people of God.

Sharing Jesus with Others

What Evangelism is Not

1. It is not the same as filling the pews of the church.

2. It is not an occasional raid by a visiting celebrity.

3. It is not repeated, impassioned, pleas for a decision. 

4. It is not a system - a packaged formula.

Some Thoughts on the Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit

The Two-fold work of Jesus Christ:

CLEANSER OF SIN - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said "Look, the Lamb of GOD, who takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29 

BAPTIZER WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT - "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." John 1:33

Developing and Sending out New Leaders

1. Find Them

Help them find you!

Regardless of the size of your church, a minimum of 1/3 of your time should be spent focusing on developing leaders.

Talking to them after Service / Section Shepherds

Visiting Small groups

Poll your leaders "who do you see as potential leaders?"

Multi-Cultural, Inter-Generational, Leadership Team: we're all biased / limited - culture, prejudices, theology, experiences.