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Jesus and the Ressurection Life Part 3 - Baptism


Message Notes:05/05/2024

Catch Up:  Watch | Listen 


Spiritual formation in the way of Jesus (aka discipleship, apprenticeship, following Jesus) is the process of becoming more like Christ for the sake of others. A big part of that is to allow the Holy Spirit to change some long-held perspectives that are unhelpful to our progress. Here are three perspectives that have shifted for me as I have followed Jesus



The Garage: I used to think that proximity to people who followed Jesus would be enough, but now I know that personal responsibility and ownership are required!


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


Hanging out in a garage won't turn you into a car!

The Wash & Go: I used to think that having a "spiritual wash & go" on a Sunday was enough... but now I know that Jesus is about deep transformation from the inside out.


Matt 23: 27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.


Keeping a polished exterior, while leaving the mess inside the car unattended, is futile!


The Refuel: I used to think that going to church on Sunday was to refuel me for the week. Now I know that what Jesus had in mind was to be continuously filled with the Spirit (the whole week), and then to gather with others on a Sunday and worship him from a place of overflow!


Eph 5: 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be [CONTINUOUSLY] filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The church exists primarily to worship God, so it's less about what I can get from church and more about how I can be part of the church that gives honour and glory to Him!



 

Jesus' final charge to his disciples - this is key in our journey as it applies to everyone who decides to immerse themselves in the way of Jesus - and it's here that Jesus talks about baptism.

 

MATT 28:16-20 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


LUKE24:41-49 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”


  • THE PLAN: Jesus is launching a new type of humanity...

  • THE PART: Doubters, worshipers - Jesus doesn't discriminate, you've got the part - make disciples!

  • THE PEOPLE: The Gospel is good news for all people, all nations, all ethnic groups, everyone!

  • THE PROMISE: The power and presence of the Holy Spirit

  • THE PROCESS: (Making disciples of Jesus) Baptising and teaching



ON BAPTISMS (See Historical Theology, Gregg Allison) - here is a summary

  • Jesus commands it in Matt 28:16-20

  • 1st century Acts the pattern is immediate baptism in response to the Gospel

  • 2nd century Tertullian advocated it's for the forgiveness of sin deliverance from death/regeneration or the new birth / the gift of the Holy Spirit,

  • 3rd century Cyprian, Origen - original sin - baptize infants ASAP because of original sin

  • 4th century - Christianity became a legalized religion in the Roman Empire, and due to the influx of people, a catechism was put in place to check motivations before enrolling in the church

  • 5th century, official rite of the Roman Catholic Church, necessary for salvation, every Easter, eucharist

  • Middle-Ages, infant baptism came to the fore because of the mortality rate

  • 16th century Reformation - Anabaptists, advocated for believers' baptism (some were executed by drowning for their hardline approach)

  • Karl Barth (19th) - Baptism is a response to divine activity

  • Until today, some churches practice baptism of infants, others, believers baptism

So, where does that leave us today - in summary:

1/ Scripture doesn't seem to explicitly say anything about the baptism of children i.e. not for, nor against

2/  Baptism seems explicit from what Jesus said, and what we see in Acts, and is therefore something important to consider in one's spiritual formation journey. It is a pledge, a public declaration, an opportunity to demonstrate obedience to Jesus.


Maybe this is your next step?!



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