July 29, 2008 at 5:18 pm #19179
This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down. – 1 Samuel 17:46 NIV
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. David didn’t have the rank, equipment or training, but he had the winning attitude. So great was his level of expectation that he “ran quickly toward the battle line to meet [Goliath]” (1 Sa 17:48 NIV).
While Saul and his soldiers were hiding, David was running to meet the challenge. How’s that for great expectations? Now we’re not talking about faith in our own ability, but in “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph 3:20 NIV).
Martin Seligman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, did some research on a major life insurance company and found that sales people who expected to succeed sold twice as much as those who didn’t. Researchers have discovered that there’s a greater correlation between self-confidence and achievement than there is between IQ and achievement.
Know what? The God who lives within you is limited by one thing only: your inability or unwillingness to believe in yourself. The more you believe in yourself, the more you’ll be able to accomplish. And if you keep believing and expecting, you’ll someday find yourself doing what you once considered impossible. Why? Because “With God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).
It’s said that if Michelangelo had consulted his doubts or his critics, he’d have painted the floor of the Sistine Chapel instead of the ceiling, and his work wouldn’t be around for us to admire. The truth is, great results begin with great expectations!
SoulFood Bible Readings: Acts 27-28, Lk 10:13-24, Ps 78:17-31, Pr 16:26-30July 30, 2008 at 12:04 am #19187
Tukweyanza Tonto olwe bigambo bya Mukama ebya leero. Erinnya lye litenderezebwenga bulijjo. Amiina.July 30, 2008 at 12:52 am #19190OmumbejjaParticipant
Munnange obugambo bwo obwo Tonto bwongera obusomyo mu binywa ebibadde bigenda binafuwa olwokwetikka omubiri ogubetenteddwa okumala ebbanga egwaavu buno obugambo buwomerawo bulungi nnyoAugust 3, 2008 at 9:21 am #19259
The Word of God Today.
The Enriching Rewards of Obedience (Part 3)
Luke 4:37, 42-44; Luke 5:1-11NIV
4. Never proves to be disappointing.
Obeying God never leaves us disappointed. Look what happened; Peter got in the boat and took Jesus out there. And he must have been listening, sitting so close to Jesus. Peter no doubt must have been feeling good all the time, because, here he was, it was his boat, and this was the master, he had chosen his boat. Here he was getting blessed. He is the one that the Lord chose and he is the one who had the big catch. When you think about what happens when we obey him and how he responds, it is not a disappointment. There is nothing disappointing here.
Sometimes a person says he obeyed the Lord Jesus and it did not work out the way he expected to. I didn’t say it will always work out the way you expected. Here is what I am saying. There is no disappointment in Jesus. There are times in my life when I have obeyed him and things did not turn out the way I wanted them to. But I can tell you this. Every single time they turned out better.
If you will obey the Lord, he will give you more than you ask for, more than you expect, and more than you deserve. I can tell you; that is absolutely true. If you obey him whatever he requires of you, he will give you more than you ask for, more than you expect and more than you deserve. That is, in any facet of life. We are not talking about just money. We are talking about every aspect of life, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and love and peace and contentment and joy and all the rest. He will enable you to face and walk through situations and circumstances and go through storms. Why? That is a kind of God he is. He is a loving father.
When I look at what happened to Peter, I do realize that all that happened to him absolutely transformed his life. Supposing Peter had said on the shore; “sorry, too busy”, or “I do not want to do that”, or “get someone else to do it”. This is what he would have been saying; I am too busy to obey the Lord. That is the Lord who gave me talents and gifts and skills and life itself. I am too busy to honor him. And besides that, I do not want his best blessing. I just want what I can do.
Our heavenly father has the best plan for you. He is not going to force it on you. Think about the very simple principle; no disappointment. If things do not work out as you expected at first, you may feel disappointed. I understand that. But ultimately, you won’t be disappointed. Will we suffer hard sometimes? Yes.
Without Jesus you are going to hurt and suffer anyway. It is better to suffer with him rather than suffering without him. There is no excuse for disobedience. You say you are afraid? Afraid of what? Afraid of making mistakes? We all do. Afraid of what people will say? Who cares what they say? As long as you are being obedient to God, that is all it matters. Afraid that an Omnipotent, Omniscience, all-supportive and loving God can’t take care of you? Yes he can.
That first little step is so extremely important. The first little things that God requires of you today, or tomorrow, whenever it might be, could be a stepping stone to the most fantastic aspect of your whole life if you just do what he says.
So here is the principle. You are not going to be disappointed. He is in control. Think about what happened to Peter. Because he said you may have my boat; because he said he was willing to push him out in the deep; one day Peter was out in the deep in a big storm. The same Jesus, who controls all the waters and the fish, was the same Jesus who answered Peter’s call when Peter said; “Lord if that is you, call me to come to you”.
And he called Peter, and Peter walked on the water. Peter remembered that the Lord and Master had such control over those waters that he could fill up two boat loads. Peter must have thought in those moments; if he can control the fish in the water, he can control the man on the water. And he walked to Jesus. In that moment of doubt, fear and anxiety, when he began to sink, all he had to do is to say; “Lord save me”.
It doesn’t make any difference where you are in life, what you are facing in life and how difficult the situation may be, if you are in a situation where you are obeying God, all you have to do is to say; “Lord save me”, “Lord help me”, “Lord here is my request”. You will not have to wonder at his listening. He is always listening to his children. He is honored by our obedience to him.
5. Allows him the privilege to demonstrate his awesome power.
Jesus demonstrated his awesome power to Peter. He goes to his fishing spot, fills up two boat sinking loads of fish. Supposing Peter had said; “No “, he would have missed an awesome miracle in his life. What are you saying to the Lord Jesus about your life? Are you saying “No” to him and not realizing that you are preventing him from demonstrating his awesome power in your life?
If you disobey him, you do not know what he could do. If you obey him, you position yourself in your relationship to him, so he can demonstration his awesome power. He did not stop performing miracles in Peter’s day. Jesus is still in the business of performing awesome miracles in people’s lives, in situations and circumstances. But you have got to obey him. You have got to trust him and allow him to do it his way. And this is exactly what happened. Peter obeyed the Lord and God did an awesome work in his life.
He transformed this fisherman into an awesome leader and a powerful preacher. At Pentecost he was the chosen man to preach the message of the Pentecost when the church first started and the Holy Spirit came upon them all. 3000 were saved that day and the church got up to a fantastic start. This was the fisherman.
He walked with the Lord Jesus as he learnt to be obedient to him. Was he always in agreement with him? No. One time Jesus said to him; “Peter you are acting like a devil”. “You are interfering with the plan of God”. But he never gave up on Peter. And Peter never gave up on him. Do you know where all this started? Down on the sea shore when he said; “Peter, I am getting in your boat, push me a little ways”. You never know the far-reaching results of an act of obedience.
You might say I have written the same thing many times in this massage. I want it to ring in your ears that those small acts of obedience are stepping stones to awesome blessings, unforeseen blessing, and transformed life once you allow the Lord Jesus to have his way and be obedient to him.
Have you ever said in your life that “Lord Jesus whatever you want, that is what I want”? Would you say to him as Peter said; “I will do as you say”? You know, there should come a time in our life when we make that commitment. This is how simple it is: “Lord from this point on, I will do what you say. By the help of the Holy Spirit, I will do what you say”. That is a commitment to be obedient to him, regardless of the circumstances, not a matter of preferences. On the basis of conviction, I am going to do what you say. Do you know what happens? You fling the doors open in your life for God to bless you in ways you have never dreamed God can bless you.
If you are looking for God to do something in your life – change your life, you do not like your circumstances, you do not like what is going on, you want God to change it, here is what you do: Get down on your knees before the living God and say to him with an open Bible, take this chapter and say to him; “Lord today I say to you with Peter, with all my heart, from this moment on I will do as you say, no matter what it is”.
Peter did not say “I will consider it”. He did not say “I will think about it”. He said “…never the less, I will do what you say”.
6. Gives us a better understanding of who he is and of ourselves.
Peter obeyed God against his reasoning. In his mind he probably said; “there is no fish there and besides I am too tired”. But he did not say that. He just said; “Lord whatever you want that is what I want. Whatever you choose that is what I choose”.
Do you want a better understanding of the Lord? Many people say they just do not understand the word of God. There are reasons why people do not understand the word of God. (1) They do not read it. (2) They do not obey what they read. Why should Jesus Christ give you a deep understanding of himself, when you just read it out of curiosity?
This is what happened to Peter. When he saw what the Lord did, the scripture says; he fell down. We read in Luke 5:8: 8When Simon Peter saw this, (the boat was full and sinking with fish) he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken. He saw the Lord in a whole different light. This was a son of God. He did not have that full understanding of him at the time, but he was getting it fast. He knew he was the Lord and master in control over the waters. He now had a better understanding of who Jesus was. But he also understood who he was – a sinful vile fisherman.
When you start obeying God there is no room for pride. Do you want an intimate relationship with the Lord, to feel his love, to understand him, to feel his presence, to feel his power in your life? Here is the way. Do the next thing God tells you to do. You might say there are some things in your past you should do. Whatever he brings up to you; do it. And this is what happens; you begin to understand yourself better. The more you understand who he is, the better you understand yourself.
The more I understand him the more holy I see him to be, and the more sinful I can be if I am not walking in absolute total obedience to him. We are all sinners by practice at times. It should not be our life style but an exception. We can walk holy and obedient before him. But it begins with that little act of obedience. It may be God will tell you; “I want you to go and apologize”. “I want you to go and give this person something”. “I want you to be baptized”.
People often say they do not understand why they do not have this kind of intimate relationship with Jesus. But since they began to talk to him, they have never been baptized. He did not say he suggests that you be baptized. It is a command. When you violet, or refuse, or ignore to obey God, what you are doing is you short-circuit your relationship with him. You close the door to the blessings of God upon your life. You will never understand nor experience his best for you. You will have to go through life wondering what you missed if you had only obeyed him.
Is there something that God wants you to do, something very simple, and not all that significant at all? Do you want his best? Do the next thing he tells you to do.
7. In small matters will result in dramatic changes in your life.
Peter moved from fisherman to preacher. He moved from an insignificant Galilean to a significant man of God. Why? He was willing to obey a simple command. Do you want God to change your life? Do you want God to do something significant in your life? Here is a wonderful thing about God. He is absolutely beyond our comprehension. We can understand many things about him. But you will never be able to foresee what he would do in your life.
You can obey God and see what he will do in your life. Or, you can disobey God and spend the rest of your life wondering what God would have done in your life had you obeyed him. I can tell you something; nothing is worth missing God’s best for your life. Nothing.
It is a choice you have to make, and you won’t make it once. There will be many decisions, but remember this; every single one of those decisions is important, because beyond that, lies the blessings of God in ways you would never be able to foresee.August 3, 2008 at 9:57 am #19261
Tonto ebigambo bya Mukama waffe byotuwa bikulu nnyo. Twaala nga ebya leero, singa ffena tumugondera Mukama waffe, singa atujja mu bizibu byetulimu. Ate nze mbadde mutengu okumala emyeezi, mbu kubanga kansooke nkole ebirala. Webale kunzijukiza nga.
August 4, 2008 at 7:45 pm #19287
The Word of God Today
When There’s No Logical Explanation
[God] rides across the skies to…help us. – Deuteronomy 33:26 CEV
When Steve Anderson’s mother-in-law developed cancer, his wife flew out to see her. Steve wanted to go too, but money was tight, so he prayed and his friend Joe offered to fly him in his two-seater Cessna airplane. Approaching their destination, they encountered thick fog, and after contacting the tower they learned that the airport was closed. The controller recommended they turn back, but fuel was low, so Steve prayed again.
Finally a voice said, “Okay, we’re readying the ground crew. Come in on emergency landing.” Then as they descended the controller shouted, “Pull it up! Pull it up!” Through a break in the fog they saw that instead of approaching the airport they were over a busy highway and had narrowly missed an overpass!
The controller continued, “Listen to me and I’ll get you down,” and calmly issued instructions till they landed safely. Picking up the radio, Joe told the tower, “We’d never have made it without you. Thanks, you saved our lives.” The controller replied, “What’re you talking about? We lost contact with you right after we told you to turn back. In fact, we were stunned when you broke through the clouds over the runway for a perfect landing!”
So, if the controller didn’t guide them in, who did? There’s no natural explanation, but on a supernatural level, “[God]…rides across the skies to…help us…He carries us in His arms!” (Deut 33:26,27).
The Psalmist wrote, “God will command His angels to protect you wherever you go” (Ps 91:11 CEV). Steve Anderson agrees, “I believe God sent an angel to bring us in safely.”
And He’ll do the same for you!
SoulFood Bible Readings: Deut 14-17, Luke 11:45-54, Ps 119:9-16, Pr 17:4-6August 5, 2008 at 1:23 am #19288OmumbejjaParticipant
This is so true thank youAugust 5, 2008 at 5:38 am #19299
Praise the Lord.August 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm #19304
ebintu ebibadde ku page eno birazeewa?August 8, 2008 at 8:12 pm #19313
Baptism: Option or Obligation? (Part 1)
Acts 8:26-39; John 4:1-2; Acts 2:37-38; John 3:1-6; Mark 16:12-16;
2 Timothy 1:8 NIV
Some people approach the Bible like they approach a Food Store. What they do is to pick and choose. You pick what you want and ignore what you don’t want. But that is not exactly the way you approach the word of God. Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
One of the things Jesus made very clear is this; “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you, and I shall be with you even at the end of this age”.
Baptism is a command of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not optional. It is an obligation to every believer. Not only an obligation, but it is an awesome privilege, because in baptism we make a public confession of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in his death, burial and resurrection and the fact that we too are going to follow him. Baptism is not an option. It is an obligation.
Some of you no doubt have been saved and you know you are saved. But you have never been baptized. You might say it is not necessary. You might say, you know you are saved, why be baptized? There are some reasons why believers put baptism off. May be you do not understand or may be you are afraid.
Putting baptism off is a snare of Satan. If Satan can get you to delay baptism by making you think that it is not all that important, he has then got a little foothold in your life. If he can get you to compromise at that point, he will get you to compromise in some other area of your life and thus causing you to be disobedient to God.
Someone might say; that is not the worst sin in the world. When you consider baptism and you know that Jesus said to his disciples that they go throughout the entire world and win them, disciple them and baptize them, and you refuse to be baptized for whatever reason, what do you call that? In other words, when God says that he wants you to do this, and that this is his will, and you say that you are not going to do it, but that you are going to do something else. What do you call that? Here is the answer. It is called “rebellion”. You have rebelled against God. You have deliberately, willfully chosen not to obey him. That is exactly what refusing to be baptized is all about.
Reading in Acts 8:26-39:
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31″How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.
34The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”
37Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
39When 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.
Only those who believe in Jesus Christ should be baptized.
With that in mind, I want you to notice verse 37; Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
So I ask this question. Who should be baptized? Someone might say; “anybody who wants to be a church member should be baptized” No, that is not true. The Bible is crystal-clear about who should be baptized. All the way through the scriptures, you will find incidence after incidence after incidence. It is only those who have believed in Jesus Christ who should be baptized. Now let’s clarify that.
To say “I believe in Jesus Christ” means that you do not only consent to the fact that he did what he said he did, but also that he is who he says he is. Given your consent to that, you go beyond just giving mental assent, because then you really and truly believe. When you truly believe in Jesus Christ, something is going to happen in your life.
If you take the word ‘believe’ way through the New Testament, you will discover that every single time without exception when somebody believed in Jesus, they took an action – something happened. The word ‘believe’ is action-based, as is the word ‘love’. If you love someone something happens – you show it in some fashion or the other.
When you place your trust in Jesus Christ, when you believe in him, something happens in your life. When you truly believe in him, there is confession and repentance that follows. There is a change that takes place in your life when you place your trust in him.
He said; “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” (Verse 36) And Philip answered: “37 “If you believe with all your heart, you may”. What is Jesus saying? He is saying that the father has seen him from heaven. Whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus shall not perish but have eternal life. Paul put it this way. All those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved. Therefore it is those who believe that are baptized (verse 37).
Baptized a few weeks after birth
Someone says; “What about me? When I was probably a few weeks, after I was born, my parents had me baptized”. Notice what happened. Your parents had you sprinkled or poured on and that was the form they said of baptism. Let me ask you a question. When you were eight days, or one month or two months or one year or whatever it might be, was that a decision you made, or was it a decision your parents made? This was your parents’ decision. Your parents cannot get enough water on you or in you to make you saved.
You might say that you know you were baptized when you were a baby and you are saved. Let me ask you a question. When you read the New Testament, is that what it says? Infant baptism is unscriptural. There is what is known as “baby dedication”. Dedicating your child means a challenge to the parents to raise this child in a godly home, praying for them, teaching them to read the word of God. The parents make a commitment to raise their children in a godly fashion. You bring your child of, say, two months old, to church, and have him dedicated to Jesus so that at an early age, he may receive Jesus as his Saviour. That is not baptism at all.August 9, 2008 at 12:28 pm #19314
Thanks Tonto for the Sermon. Let me add this small piece please.
The purpose of Holy Baptism
1. To remove the consequences of the ‘original sin’.
2. To wash away all other sins committed before the time of Baptism.
3. To unite the person to “The Body of Christ” (that is, the Church), and to open the door of salvation and eternal life to him or her.August 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm #19319
Baptism: Option or Obligation? (Part 2)
Acts 8:26-39; John 4:1-2; Acts 2:37-38; John 3:1-6; Mark 16:12-16;
2 Timothy 1:8 NIV
Many churches baptize – pour on or sprinkle on the child – and that child grows up believing sincerely that they are saved and are on their way to heaven because of something you as a parent did to your child, something your child has nothing to do with.
Follow what the word of God teaches
What you have to decide is not what some church practices, but what the word of God teaches. And the word of God teaches; “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved”. When we speak of believing in Jesus Christ, we mean that; “I am placing my trust in him, on the basis of his atoning death at Calvary and paid my sin debt in full, and I am surrendering my life to him, I am dying to my old way of life, and now I am walking a new way because Jesus Christ is now my Saviour, my Lord and the Holy Spirit is living within me to enable me live a godly life”. That is what believing in Jesus Christ is all about. So the only people who have a right to be baptized are those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
Therefore infant baptism does not work. It does not matter how many years you have been a member of the church following your parents, and your grand parents, and your great grand parents. What matters is what the Bible teaches. If you were sprinkled or poured on as a child, you need to get your life right with God. If somebody sprinkled you, poured on you, bless them for caring enough about you to at least carry you to the church and do what may be they thought was the right thing. But I want to say to you that until you have personally placed your faith in Jesus Christ, you are not saved. Your name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life and you are not going to heaven until you place your faith in Jesus Christ. What someone else did to you, God understands that, but it did not make you saved. It is a choice you have to make.
What are the methods of baptism?
There are three primary methods. The first method is to be poured on. Somebody pours water over you, first, in the name of the father, second time in the name of the son, and third time in the Holy Spirit.
The second method is sprinkling. Water is sprinkled over your head, and they pray over you. Someone asks; is that enough? Well, you be the judge of that.
The other form of baptism is by immersion. The very word ‘baptize’ in Greek is the word ‘baptizo’. The way to discover what a word really means is you ask yourself a question: “how was it used back in those New Testament days? When they used that word what did it mean?” Well, it did not mean pour, nor did it mean sprinkle. For example, they used the word ‘baptize’ when a ship sunk or when somebody drowned. The Greek word for pouring or the Greek word for sprinkle, neither of them is used at any time in the New Testament to mention baptism. It is always the word ‘baptizo’ that is mentioned when referring to baptism.
Why do we immerse?
You may ask; what is the meaning of baptism? We know it is a command, but what are we trying to say in baptism?
Baptism is scripturally sound. It has something very specific and very definite to symbolize. When a person is baptized, they stand in the water, they are taken under the water for a second, and they are brought back up. It is all about the picture of what happened to Jesus. He was crucified and died, was buried, and then he rose from the dead. There is a direct relationship between the true meaning of baptism by immersion and what happens when we trust Jesus Christ as our Saviour. We die to our old way of life. We are united in Christ through our faith in him, and we rise and walk in newness of life. There is a change in our life. We have now a new life.
It also says something about what we believe. Not only do we die to our old way of life, buried in Jesus Christ, we walk in newness of life, and one day we too will be resurrected. So there is a symbolic meaning of baptism. What you want to ask is this. Do I want to be baptized by immersion as the word of God teaches, or am I satisfied by having been sprinkled or poured on? When you refuse to be baptized, which is the purpose and will of God, you are living in disobedience to God, and you are saying: “I know that is what he says, but that is not what I am going to do”. The truth is you need to be baptized.
When should you be baptized?
Being baptized is a symbol and an act by public confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is the mistake people make by not being baptized quickly after they are saved. If you say that you are going to be baptized one of these days, what you have done is, you have refused to make a commitment that you started out with when you said that you trusted Jesus as your personal Saviour and that you will follow him. When you follow Jesus, you follow him in baptism.
Jesus was not a sinner. Why was he baptized? Jesus was baptized in order to identify with sinful mankind. In order to fulfill all righteousness Jesus insisted on being baptized by John. Isn’t baptism for people who trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour? Yes. What did he mean by fulfilling all righteousness? Here is what he meant.
That in order for Jesus to fulfill the will and plan of God, Jesus, although he is God, must be identified on the same level with sinful man. He was God in the flesh. And while he was God in the flesh, he walked among sinful men, identified with them, ate as they ate; spoke as they spoke so that they could understand him. Jesus was baptized not because he needed it, but to identify with sinful man.
Why can’t I wait to be baptized some other time? I will repeat this on purpose. It is a satanic snare to put off baptism. If Satan can get you to consider baptism as not essential; and now that you are saved, you can put off baptism, what Satan is saying is this; “just do not obey God. Do not obey the word of God. Don’t worry you will get baptized some other time”. If you follow what Satan is saying, you have given him a foothold in your life. And that is all he needs for you to compromise the word of God in the area of baptism, the next thing you know, you compromise in another area of your life. And that weakens your resistance to the devil. Putting off baptism is an act of clear disobedience. According to God’s word, it is very clear that you have to be baptized.
In the New Testament, it is clear that they were baptized soon. In the times in which the New Testament was written, those days when Jesus was resurrected, the New Testament church was brand new, and in the midst of prosecution. When a person was saved the church expected them to take a public stand. The day a person had received Jesus Christ as their Savior, it was very important that they were baptized quickly after they were saved. The primary doctrine was the doctrine of the resurrection. To believe in the resurrection – that Jesus raised from the dead – was absolutely essential. Paul put emphasis on this because there were many people preaching all kinds of things, and that no body had risen from the dead.
As a child of God, you know that you are saved. How can you live with something that you know is an act of rebellion against God? God says be baptized. Baptism is a clear-cut teaching of the word of God. It is something you can do once and for all, and settle the issue of your willingness to say; ‘I am a follower of Jesus Christ’. Now, why would you not be baptized? The Bible teaches it. Why would you not follow Jesus Christ?
Do you want to tell me that Jesus Christ was baptized, but somehow you do not want to do that? If Jesus was willing to identify himself with sinful man, are you not willing to identify yourself with the son of God? Your salvation rests upon him. The real truth is that there is no acceptable excuse unless that no body ever told you that this was what the word of God teaches; that you need to be baptized. Jesus Christ loved you enough to come down to man’s level as far as he could, to be baptized without being a sinner. What he is saying to you is; “If I have saved you, will you not identify yourself with me now as one of my followers?
Who can baptize?
In the New Testament, John 4:1-2 specifically says that Jesus did not baptize but his disciples did. In the New Testament church, the pastors are the ones who baptized. Can any body else baptize besides the pastor? Supposing you are somewhere, and there are no pastors around you. You get saved and want to be baptized. Can some other godly person, one who believes the word of God, baptize you? Absolutely. In such situations you may be baptized by any other godly person. There are conditions where one may be baptized by some body who may not be a pastor. The wisest thing to do is to be baptized by your pastor wherever you go to church.August 9, 2008 at 3:32 pm #19320
Thanks again Tonto. All praise be to God.
And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself ” (Acts 2:38,39).August 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm #19330
Thank you so much for your input, Kalibattanya. Readers’ contributions enable us to view the subject from different angles. That way, we learn more. Do please go on and make these contributions. They are very helpful. I would like to hear what other readers say.
I however suggest that we should always go by what the Bible teaches. In case of baptism to babies, children or adults, think about what the Bible teaches:
a) Acts 2:37-38
37When the people heard this, (his message) they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
> This scripture does not refer to babies or children, if there was any. Specifically, I do not expect a baby to have heard what Peter preached and was cut to the heart.
b)38Peter 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.
> If anyone intends to baptise a baby, first ask him or her whether he has repented. If he or she says “yes”, then baptise him or her.
c) Mark 16:15-16
15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
> If you intent to baptise a baby or a child, first preach to him, and then ask him whether he believes Jesus Christ, if he says “yes”, then do baptise him or her. Believing is a prerequisite to baptism.
d)38Peter 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.
> The Bible teaches, that when you are baptised, that is, in the right way, according to the word of God, you get a gift. None other than the Holy Spirit. Anyone who is properly baptised gets the gift of the Holy Spirit, says Jesus Christ.
The majority of people today were baptised as babies. Considering what is going on today, would anyone say that all those baptised as babies have the Holy Spirit, a divine gift that would follow automatically to them?
It is impossible that anyone who has the Holy Spirit, will murder, steal, rape, use drugs, be drankards, be dictators, etc., as we see the majority of people today. It is impossible. They received a fake baptism.
We are all sinners, but the Holy Spirit improves people. It is a holy, divine gift.
Jesus loves babies and children. No doubt about that. But there are certain issues in the christian life which Jesus reserves for adults only. Baptism is one of them.
If a reader was baptised as a baby, and you continued to be a christian into adulthood, then, compare what you know today, and judge whether the baptism you got as a baby is enough or whether it was fake. The dicision is yours.August 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm #19321
Bytheway, all the previous postings have disappeared! Is there a way we can keep the previous postings from disappearing, so that readers can review them right from the first one?
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