Why Baptize?

Why was Evalise baptized? The most obvious reason is that she is being raised by faithful Christian parents, attends a Bible-believing church, and has a basic understanding of what Jesus did for her, and why. Perhaps a better question is why should anyone be baptized, and how.

Many would admit that baptism is a good thing, and that every believer should do it. They may not think it’s essential for salvation, but do think it’s a good way to demonstrate your faith. And they seldom think the way you are baptized is all that important. Obviously I disagree.

After being confronted with their sin, and asking what they should do about it, the hearers of the first gospel sermon were told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. (Acts 2:38) After being blinded on the road to Damascus, Saul was told to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins. (Acts 22:16) And after Philip was sent by an angel to tell an Ethiopian about Jesus, he was baptized along the road in a pool of water. When they came out of the water, he went on his way rejoicing. (Acts8:39)

The bottom line reason for baptism is found in Peter’s first letter. After making it clear that Christ died for everyone’s sin, he focused on the flood and how Noah’s family was brought safely through the water. How they were the only people on earth to obey God and get on the ark built according to God’s instructions.

He also noted that Jesus went to those who had been disobedient in Noah’s day. What He declared to them we’re not told, but I assume it dealt with their refusal to believe what Noah had told them, and their refusal to get on the boat God designed.

I guess it’s possible that when they saw what Noah was building, they thought they ought to make a boat of their own. If they did, it didn’t float. I’ll let you make the connection between that supposition and alternate forms of baptism.

Peter did make it clear that baptism has nothing to do with physical cleansing, but is an appeal to God for a good conscience. And he explicitly stated that baptism saves us. That’s why we do it, and why we do it as instructed.

God Bless, Rick

Living Life Backward

There is little doubt that we will still live in a strange new world as we enter 2023. Trying to understand that world, however, proved to be more difficult than we thought.

We did our best on Sunday nights to explore how the thinking of philosophers laid the foundation for the strange gender confusion we are currently experiencing, and we affirmed a biblical understanding of who we are and why God made us the way He did. I do have to admit, however, that we stopped mid-stream.

We covered the historical thinking, but decided to simply summarize how that thinking has gone main-stream today, and encouraged the class to read the second half of the book on their own. Hopefully those who are doing so will be even better equipped to answer the questions that are bound to find their way into our homes.

Having confessed that we stopped mid- stream, and acknowledged what has gone main-stream, I feel a need to swim up- stream and admit that sometimes you can’t even lead a horse to water, let alone make it drink.

Back in October I reviewed Living Life Backward by David Gibson in detail. I was convinced everyone would benefit greatly from reading it. But since no one asked for a copy, I’m going to try once again to lead you to it. In fact, I’m going to actually help you drink it in. Yes, Living Life Backward will be our Sunday evening adult study for the new year.

If you don’t want your resolutions for the new year to end up in vain, this study of Ecclesiastes will get you started in the right direction. Instead of setting your sights on a future that is unsure, and a path through life that is guaranteed to end with you crying out “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity”, you’ll learn how to live a successful life by living it backward.

Unlike our previous study, this book is an easy read. You could wade in by yourself without danger of drowning, but if we swim through it together we’ll make some good waves and really stir things up.

Dive in with me at 6:30 on the 8th, and you’ll be glad you did.

God Bless, Rick