Normally, this time is a quick review of the happenings from Sunday morning, and the outline of the sermon. Since, however, we have a new webstie, I would love to do a couple different things with this space! First, welcome to the website of Slater Baptist Church. You will find here sermons, a calendar of events, what we believe, and directions to and service times for our worship gatherings!
Second, since our sermons are available online now, I would love to take this blog time to talk about some different things. This week, we have the blessed opportunity to celebrate one of the two things that our Lord gave the church to do as often as we can in obedience to Him:
This Sunday, we have the glorious opportunity to celebrate baptism! We rejoice in the glorious privilege to do this. It does though, beg the question: Is Baptism important? If so, why?
The Bible teaches, and we as baptists practice, baptism. Our culture, however, tends to minimize its view, especially when talking with friends who attend churches who don’t practice baptism the same ways we do. Although baptism is certainly not essential for salvation, which is solely by grace through faith, it is important to the believer and the life of the church. Why? Five reasons come to mind (although there are a lot more, so this list is by no means complete):
- Our Lord commanded it – the last set of instructions Jesus gave His disciples, which we call the Great Commission, makes it seem clear that part of our work in obedience to Jesus is baptism. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you, even to the end of the age.” These words give for us a pattern: go, make disciples, and then baptize them. For us at Slater, Baptisms give us the unique opportunity to fulfill every part of this command of Christ.
- It represents what has happened spiritually – Paul describes our baptism in Romans 6:3-4, and gives information about what it represents. “Therefore we havve been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Death to life is represented in baptism, and death to life is what has happened in the soul of the one baptized. We do baptism, then, to serve as a physical picture of a spiritual truth.
- It represents our union with Christ’s church – baptism represents our dying to our old selves and our union with Christ. When we are unified with Christ,we become part of the body of Christ. The celebration of baptism represents for us this union. This is why, for the new believer, baptism is the entrance into church membeship.
- It serves as a public profession of our new life in Christ – baptism is one of the first opportunities for the new believer to obey the commands of Christ. It also serves as a great opportunity to proclaim to the world that I am no longer my own; I am bought with a price (I Cor. 6:19)! We have baptism services to serve as a testimony of the believer that he is owned by Christ, and is hidden in Christ.
- It leads us to greater worship – finally, as we come together, a baptized body of believer celebrating the truth of the resurrection, we rejoice together that another has passed from death to life. Having the opportunity to baptize amplifies our joy as we celebrate this through the physical sign of spiritual lfie change!
That being said, what a great opportunity to invite your unchurched friends to see and experience Christ’s church, unified and rejoicing, this Sunday at 11 AM! I hope to see you all there!
For His Glory,