100

Disciple Up # 100
What Is A Disciple Anyway?
By Louie Marsh, 3-20-2019

DISCIPLE

(1) Usually a substantive (μαθητής, mathētés, “a learner,” from manthánō, “to learn”;

Latin discipulus, “a scholar”):

The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts. But it is good Greek, in use from Herodotus down, and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher

In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct.

The word has several applications. In the widest sense it refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life. Thus the disciples of John the Baptist,  14  Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Matthew 9:14 (ESV)

also of the Pharisees, 33  And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” Luke 5:33 (ESV)

But its most common use is to designate the adherents of Jesus.

  • In the widest sense, 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. John 6:66 (ESV)

It is the only name for Christ’s followers in the Gospels.

  • especially the Twelve Apostles, even when they are called simply the disciples, 1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2  The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Matthew 10:1-2 (ESV)

In the Acts, after the death and ascension of Jesus, disciples are those who confess Him as the Messiah, Christians, 1  Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2  And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Acts 6:1-2 (ESV)

26  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Acts 11:26 (ESV)

Even half-instructed believers who had been baptized only with the baptism of John are disciples: 1  And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2  And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3  And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Acts 19:1-3 (ESV)

The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as “one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example.”

Jesus used the term disciple but never Christian.

To Be Disciple Requires Some Radical Commitments:

  • To Becoming Like Jesus NOT the culture
  • To The Bible As God’s Word
  • To being completely accountable for who I am
  • To take ownership of everything I do
  • To view repentance as a lifestyle
  • To rely on the Holy Spirit

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 99

Disciple Up #99
Wounded by the Church, Pt. 3
By Louie Marsh, 3-13-2019

Very common problem –

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/wounded-church-harvest-bible-chapel-elders-resign-mars-hill.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/08/amid-a-wave-of-church-hurt-one-boston-pastor-tries-to-repair-christians-relationship-with-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.baf5369876bf

Focus on ASSESSING my wounds,

3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4 (ESV)

 You are blessed if you are spiritually poor or mourning, but only if you KNOW that! Without a real, honest, frank self assessment you are in real trouble!

 3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

The real hope here is that when we see it, admit it and turn to God for help, HE WILL HEAL US AND HELP US TO GROW THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE NOT JUST GO THROUGH IT.

Closing Promise:

26  He confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the plan of his messengers. He says about Jerusalem, “It will be inhabited.” He says about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt.” He says about their ruins, “I will restore them.” Isaiah 44:26 (GW)

Restoration: Rise From the Ruins

Step Two: Fight to Forgive

By Louie Marsh; 4-28-2013, Parker AZ

 FORGIVENESS IS…

 1) What GOD HAS DONE for me in Jesus.

 22  That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24  but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25  who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:22-25 (ESV)

Forgiveness (what God has done for us in Christ) is a gift given to us by God. In Christ our sins for forgiven immediately when we repent and cry out to God, because of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection. We are declared forgiven and right with God in an instant.

This has to be the starting point for any discussion of forgiveness for the disciple of Jesus, because our forgiveness is motivated by and modeled after Jesus’ forgiving of us.

9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

This forgiveness from God continues to be active in our lives to continue to cleanse us from our sins as we ask Him too.

So God’s forgiveness to me is in two parts or sections, or has two sides to it. One is immediate when I’m declared righteous and a forgiven status with God is credited to me through Christ’s account.

Secondly the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from the guilt of our sins. We know this continues because John wrote that verse in the present tense, which means continual action. The blood of Jesus continually washes us clean when we turn to Him – Hallelujah!

2) DIVORCING MYSELF from the pain.

Original Word: ἀφίημι, aphiēmi

(1) send off or away, let go (MK 4.36); (2) as a legal divorce (1C 7.11); (3) abandon, leave behind (MT 26.56); (4) of duty and obligation reject, set aside, neglect (MK 7.8); (5) of toleration let go, leave in peace, allow (MK 11.6); (6) of sins or debts forgive, pardon, cancel (LU 7.47)

47  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47 (ESV)

11  (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:11 (ESV)

Its things like this that just make me love the Bible! Who would have ever thought that you could translate a word forgive in one place and divorce in another!

So the first thing that forgiving consists of is letting go. To send off and away from us the pain, hurt, anger, remorse, guilt, etc that is associated with the issue in question. Or to put it another way, and this is how I often think of it, DIVORCE YOURSELF FROM THE PAIN.

3) DISMISSING the hurt and pain.

Original Word: ἄφεσις, aphesis

Usage Notes: denotes “a dismissal, release” (akin to A, No. 1); it is used of the remission of sins, and translated “forgiveness —Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

77  to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77 (ESV)

Another powerful image, one that supports the first one as well. It doesn’t’ mean dismissing in the sense of belittling it, saying “Oh it’s not that bad.” No it means I am to Let it go, turn it loose, and keep turning it loose until it’s gone! I’ll come back to this image later..

4) RELEASING God’s grace into broken circumstances.

Original Word: χαρίζομαι, charizomaiUsage Notes: “to bestow a favor unconditionally,” is used of the act of “forgiveness,” whether Divine, Eph. 4:32; Col. 2:13; Col. 3:13; or human, Luke 7:42, 43 (debt); 2 Cor. 2:7, 10; 2 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:32 (1st mention). Paul uses this word frequently, but No. 1 only, in Rom. 4:7, in this sense of the word.—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

You may have noticed this word contains the word Charis – or Grace! Now there’s some good news. Grace is unearned, unmerited favor from God. That’s what we pass on to others each time we forgive.

 God wants his grace to active in every situation and every human heart, but it won’t be and can’t fully be there until I begin to forgive. Then I release it or inject it into myself and the situation.

32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

Note again our forgiving is modeled and motivated by Christ’s forgiveness of us.

FORGIVENESS IS NOT…

 1) Forgiveness is not…

Approving or diminishing sin

  • Enabling sin
  • Denying a wrongdoing
  • Waiting for an apology
  • Forgetting
  • A onetime event
  • Trusting – built slowly, lost quickly
  • Reconciliation – it takes two – “do your best to be at peace with all men…”

  FIGHT TO FORGIVE…

So forgiving means I let go of my anger, resent, and all ill feelings towards those that hurt me.

5  Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6  For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7  so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8  So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9  For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10  Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11  so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (ESV)

The Two Hand Method:

One Hand –– LORD FILL ME WITH THE SPIRIT

  • The Other Hand – LET THE PAIN GO TO GOD

 6  Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)

29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:29 (ESV)

21  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)

Learning to forgive takes time – a lot of time – and is always accompanied by pain. Its part of following Jesus, and like much else in the authentic spiritual life is often painful.

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 98

Disciple Up #98
Wounded By the Church, Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh, 3- 6-2019

Very common problem –

My Personal Story: Don’t focus on blame – focus on responsibility and YOUR responsibility in particular. Get on with fixing that instead of futilely trying to fix blame – let God do that.

DO NOT buy into the Victim Culture! – Rom. 8:37 “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us…”

Three Don’ts:

  • Don’t DEMAND MY (OR OTHER’S) rights
  • Don’t focus on WHAT I’VE LOST
  • Don’t let my ANGER OR PAIN drive me

14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15 (ESV)

Three Do’s:

  • Focus on WHOSE you are.

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Whose am I? My self? My family’s? My culture’s? Or JESUS’?? 

You know what the right answer should be to that question. What you need to do now is to find out if the REAL answer and the RIGHT answer are the SAME answer!

  7  For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:7-8 (NIV)

  • Focus on OBEYING God’s Call.

18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 (ESV)

2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3  to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 4  They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Isaiah 61:2-4 (ESV)

God’s Call on All Disciples: To Proclaim…

  • The Good News
  • Liberty to the Captives
  • Sight for the blind
  • The Lord’s Favor & Judgment
  • To comfort those who mourn
  • To strengthen them to maturity
  • To restore what has been devastated

3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:3-4 (ESV)

You have to keep working for the Lord through this process. He will bring healing and understanding to you through the work you do for him.

 Right now there are people here who aren’t doing anything and others who are doing far too many things. Those of you not really engaged need to step up to those doing too much and say, “Hey, I’ll take that.”

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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My books – 

Episode 97

Disciple Up #97
Wounded By the Church, Pt 1
By Louie Marsh, 2-27-2019

Very common problem –

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/wounded-church-harvest-bible-chapel-elders-resign-mars-hill.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/08/amid-a-wave-of-church-hurt-one-boston-pastor-tries-to-repair-christians-relationship-with-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.baf5369876bf

My Personal Story: Don’t focus on blame – focus on responsibility and YOUR responsibility in particular. Get on with fixing that instead of futilely trying to fix blame – let God do that.

 The CCR Story and My Response

Restoration: Rising From the Ruins Again

Remember Whose You Are

By Louie Marsh, April 14th, 2013

Christ’s Church on the River, Parker AZ

Three Don’ts:

  • Don’t DEMAND MY (OR OTHER’S) rights

38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39  But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:38-45 (ESV)

This runs against our fallen human nature. We want things to be “right” or “fair,” and can easily justify fighting for that. TALK ABOUT MY “RIGHTS” FROM 2 YEARS AGO, AND MY DECISION NOT TO PURSUE THEM.  But what does God say?

19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)

When I fight for my rights or others, I am pushing God aside and in effect saying, “I got this Lord, don’t worry about it.” But Scripture says we are to leave this to God, for only God knows what is ultimately right and He and He alone is the one judge.

34  And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34 (ESV)

This is the ultimate example of not fighting for your rights. Here is the great act of evil ever committed on planet earth.  How does Jesus respond? Not by claiming his rights, but by in effect saying, “Father, release these people from the consequences of their actions. No consequences Father, just another chance for them to get right with you.”

Don’t focus on WHAT I’VE LOST

19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

I lost my job, possibly my career, many friends, my house.  And that struggle became a revelation when I realized what it showed was not how bad they were, but that my heart was in the wrong place.

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 96

Disciple Up # 96
The Gifts & Being Filled with the Spirit
By Louie Marsh, 2-20-2019

Cognitive Dissonance

What is the Relationship Between the Gift of the Spirit and being Filled with the Spirit?

4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4 (ESV)

1  Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2  And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3  Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. Acts 6:1-3 (ESV)

15  who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16  for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19  saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:15-19 (ESV)

44  While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45  And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46  For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, Acts 10:44-46 (ESV)

4  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5  and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (ESV)

11  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 (ESV)

Fake Bible Verses From Politicians:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/speaker-pelosi-called-out-for-repeatedly-using-fake-bible-verse

James McDonald Fired:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/james-macdonald-fired-harvest-bible-chapel.html

 Please Get In Touch!Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 39

Disciple Up #39
The Great Commission Pt 3 Baptism – More Than Just A Dunk
By Louie Marsh, 1-17-2018

Welcome back – third week on the Great Commission verbs – today we look at baptizing. Why did Jesus put this in the Great Commission? It’s left out by many Evangelicals today, yet it was important enough to Jesus that he commanded us to do it.

So let’s look at what it is, what it’s important and why this symbol is critical to our discipleship and our following of Jesus.

The starting point for any discussion of baptism ought to be what the word is and means. Right here we discover the first reason people are confused about it – it’s a Greek word!  That’s right, baptism isn’t English at all! It’s a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo.

Baptism is the normal Greek word for immerse, dip or plunge. They had other words for sprinkle or pour, just as we do in English. It was used of ships sinking, of dipping a cloth into dye to change the color, etc.

All the great church leaders of the past clearly stated this was so – even when their own church traditions and practices didn’t conform to the Biblical command!

Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran Church and the one who began the whole Protestant Reformation) said, “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”

John Calvin (a younger contemporary of Luther, the Presbyterian and other churches look to him as a founder) said, “The word “baptize” signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church) said, “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”

So while the meaning of the word is clear, is there any support for this in Scripture? The answer is yes, there are several passages that make it clear that baptism is immersion.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 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. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. Romans 6:1-5 (NIV)

In the book of Acts there’s a great story of Phillip being sent by the Lord to share the Good News with the Ethiopian eunuch. After he presents the Gospel from an Old Testament passage, look what happens.

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 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 8:36-39 (NIV)

If baptism can be done by pouring or sprinkling why did they have to wait till they found a body of water and then go down into it? Why not use stop and use some water from a water bag they surely had on hand?

The evidence is clear and overwhelming, baptism is to be done by immersion!

Who Should Be Baptized?

Jesus made this about as clear as it’s possible to make anything at the end of His Ministry in the Gospel of Matthew.

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 of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

This is called the Great Commission and is repeated in various forms in Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21 and Acts 1:8.

Jesus expected all those who put their faith in Him as their Leader and Forgiver (Lord and Savior) to be baptized as part of becoming His disciple. This is clear as crystal from this command. Remember this is a command, not a suggestion! Baptism isn’t optional because it’s part of Christ’s very commands to His Apostles before they launched out on their mission to bring salvation to the ends of the earth!

If that’s true, you would expect to see the early church in the book of Acts follow this pattern. And that’s exactly what they did. When you study the Bible you find that the normal patter for people coming to Christ involved hearing the Gospel, believing it, turning away from their sin (repenting) confessing their faith in Christ to others, being baptized into Christ. Often they are then called saved.

Look at the chart below to see how often these important factors are mentioned in the book of Acts as Luke, guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, recorded the major or historically noteworthy conversions in the early history of the church.

Conversion Chart From the Book of Acts

Heard Believed Repented Confessed Baptized Saved
Pentecost – 2:22-41 Vs. 37 Vs. 38   Vs. 38.41 Vs. 41
Samaria – 8:4-15 Vs. 12     Vs. 12-13  
Eunuch – 8:26-39 Vs. 36     Vs. 38 Vs. 39
Saul – 9:1-9 22:10     Vs. 18 22:16
Cornelius – 10:1-48 Vs. 43 11:18   Vs. 48 11:1
Lydia – 16:13-15 Vs. 14-15     Vs. 15  
The Jailer – 16:25-34 Vs. 31,34 Vs. 30 Vs. 30 Vs. 33 Vs. 34

Interesting isn’t it? The only things that are mentioned in every conversion occurrence is  belief and baptism! That’s probably the exact opposite of what most of us would expect, yet that’s precisely what we find in God’s Word.

Baptism Quotes:

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/baptism

 Baptism is not only a sacrament of our union with Christ; it is also a sacrament of our communion as the body of Christ. – Michael Horton
In baptism, new Christians become part of a body of fellow believers who are called to spiritually encourage one another and hold one another responsible for consistent Christian living. – Tony Campolo

All of us who desire the kingdom of God are, by the Lord’s decree, under an equal and rigorous necessity of seeking after the grace of Baptism. – Saint Basil

Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know. – Samuel Butler

Religion needs a baptism of horse sense. – Billy Sunday

When Paul was exhorted to be baptized and to wash away his sins, there was an evident allusion to the use of water in the ordinance of baptism, and had there been no application of water on which to ground such an allusion, we may be certain that we should never have heard of washing away sins in baptism. – Adoniram Judson

The Sign of the Covenant:

 The important place that baptism holds in the life of the Christian is not only hinted at by how often it’s mentioned in the book of Acts, it’s spelled out by the Apostle Paul for us in a way that is often over looked because it’s tied into the Jewish heritage our Christian faith rests on.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:8-12 (NIV)

Notice here again Paul uses the imagery of burial in connection with baptism. He also ties baptism into the ancient Jewish rite of circumcision, thus confusing a lot of Christians who don’t really understand what circumcision was in the Old Testament.

God established circumcision as the sign of His covenant with Israel before the Law of Moses. He gave it Abraham as a sign and as something that absolutely must be done if a man wanted to be part of God’s Community.

You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner–those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:11-14 (NIV)

Baptism is different from circumcision in a crucial way, a difference that illustrates and celebrates what a wonderful covenant that all people have with Christ. Baptism is for everyone – both men and women!

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV)

Salvation in Christ is offered to all, whether you are Jew, Gentile, woman, or man. It makes no difference because the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all! In Christ men and women have equal status before God as His redeemed children, with full access to his throne!

Baptism as Metaphor

1  For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2  and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (ESV)

5  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:5 (NIV)

I like to think of Baptism in a metaphorical sense and a symbol for real and total commitment as well as being tightly focused on God. You can think of it as being immersed in the things of the Lord.

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