Public Faith – Its Time to Get Baptised

For those who are struggling to understand baptism, I hope this helps. I think we have typically overcomplicated baptism in churches today, we have turned into into an ‘daunting milestone’ and a complex ‘development-program’ when it should be very simple. I beieve its glorious public display of a ‘life changed by Jesus’ and it really should be an exciting time for a new believer who has found a new freedom in faith!

In the New Testament, the significance of baptism is seen more clearly. John the Baptist was sent by God to spread the news of the coming Messiah—Jesus Christ. John was directed by God (John 1:33) to baptize those who accepted his message. John’s baptizing is called “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:4 (NIV). Those baptized by John acknowledged their sins and professed their faith that through the coming Messiah they would be forgiven. Baptism then is significant in that it represents the forgiveness and cleansing from sin that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Purpose of Baptism:

  • Water Baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead – Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

    “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.”Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

     

  • Water Baptism identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

    “When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure–the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:11-12 (NLT)

    “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.”Romans 6:4 (NIV)

     

  • Water Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer. It should be preceded by repentance, which simply means “change.” It is turning from our sin and selfishness to serve the Lord. It means placing our pride, our past and all of our possessions before the Lord. It is giving the control of our lives over to Him.

    “Peter replied, ‘Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church–about three thousand in all.”Acts 2:38, 41 (NLT)

     

  • Water Baptism is a public testimony – the outward confession of an inward experience. In baptism, we stand before witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord.

     

  • Water Baptism is a picture representing profound spiritual truth:

    Death – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

    Resurrection – “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 6:4-5 (NIV)

    “He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.” Romans 6:10-13 (NLT)

    Cleansing – “And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”I Peter 3:21 (NIV)

    “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”I Corinthians 6:11 (NIV)

Hope this helps you in your decision to be baptisted, if you have any questions please contach me! God Bless!

Extract take from: http://christianity.about.com/od/faqhelpdesk/f/whatisbaptism.htm

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Christ is Above All and In All – Allow Christ to Dwell In You

Christians have made the gospel about so many things … things other than Christ.

Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.

It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts.

Seek a truth, a value, a virtue, or a spiritual gift, and you have obtained something dead.

Seek Christ, embrace Christ, know Christ, and you have touched him who is Life. And in him resides all Truth, Values, Virtues and Gifts in living color. Beauty has its meaning in the beauty of Christ, in whom is found all that makes us lovely and loveable.

“Christians don’t follow Christianity; Christians follow Christ.”

My prayer today:

May God have a people on this earth who are a people of Christ, through Christ, and for Christ. A people of the cross. A people who are consumed with God’s eternal passion, which is to make his Son preeminent, supreme, and the head over all things visible and invisible. A people who have discovered the touch of the Almighty in the face of his glorious Son. A people who wish to know only Christ and him crucified, and to let everything else fall by the wayside. A people who are laying hold of his depths, discovering his riches, touching his life, and receiving his love, and making HIM in all of his unfathomable glory known to others.

Extract From: http://ngkok.co.za/Artikels/AJesusManifesto.pdf

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Its Greater to Give than receive – A Quick Lesson

The world teaches us to be self-focused, greedy and to get ‘what you want when you want it’. Today I learnt a lesson. Christ is changing my heart, he is making me all mooshy and loving… Lol What A Christ!

Yesterday I was sitting with my family in a café and the Holy Spirit pointed out a elderly asian man sitting by himself. Acts 20:35 came straight into my mind, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” For some reason it didn’t really matter who he was or what he thought, it didn’t matter what I thought, what mattered was that God was telling me to give to this man..so I did. I walked up to the register and said to the lady standing behind the counter, “please give me that mans bill, I want to bless him today”. I quickly scribed on a scrap piece of paper – ‘God Bless You, Have a wonderful day” and we walked out praying God would be revealed to this man.

I pray today that you too can give from the abundance that Christ has already blessed us with, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ through You!

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What is a body without a head..? What is Church..? – Article by Neil Cole

What Is Church? by Neil Cole

Posted on February 27th, 2012

In the Bible the church is not defined but instead is described with pictures: a flock, a field, a family, a body, a bride, a branch, a building made of living stones. Never is it described by the pictures we typically have today: a building, a business, a school or a hospital. We have replaced an organic and life producing view with an institutional one that does not produce life but at best simply tries to preserve it and contain it.

The predominate way of seeing the church today contains, conforms and controls the people. The biblical pictures of the NT are all about releasing and reproducing the life of the church, not managing and controlling financial interests.

Inorganic things can produce, but not reproduce. As Christian Schwartz points out so eloquently, “A coffee maker can make coffee (praise God), but it cannot make more coffee makers.” Jesus intends for his bride and body to be fertile and for his branches to bear fruit. Jesus didn’t use images of an institution, nor should we.

With much study, research, experience and time spent seeking wisdom from smarter men than us, we have come to understand church by this simple yet profound description: “The church is the presence of Jesus among His people, called out as a spiritual family, to pursue His mission on this planet.”

While the Bible uses a number of metaphors to describe the nature of the church, these metaphors have one very striking thing in common. They all imply that the church is a living thing. What about the building you might ask? Remember, it’s built with living stones and is a dwelling place for the Living God. The church is alive, and Jesus in her midst is her life. What is a body without a Head? A corpse. What is a bride without a groom? A widow. What is a branch without a vine? Firewood. What is a building without a foundation? Rubble. What is a flock without a shepherd? A wolf’s all-you-can-eat buffet. Every New Testament picture of the church points to the living connection with Jesus as the most essential component of its being.

God’s presence is not only a necessary part of the definition of church, it is the most essential one. It is the starting place and the one thing that separates the church from any other organization or institution on the planet. In Acts chapter one the believers were together, they had been instructed to pray, worship, practice the ordinances and they had appointed leadership, but they were instructed not to leave the upper room. Church was born in Acts chapter 2. What’s the only ingredient added in chapter two to establish the church? It is the presence of the Spirit of Jesus in each follower that was the breath of life that animated the body of Christ in Acts 2. The threatened demise of the church in Revelation 2:1-7 is to be removed from the presence of Jesus.

If the church is a living thing, then it has to be treated differently than your run of the mill organization.  Living things are organized differently than non-living things.

Post By Neil Cole – View Here – http://www.cmaresources.org/article/what-is-church_neil-cole

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Satan “Flee from me!” – Facing the Devil Head On

Its a interesting thought, and we often ignore it, that the Devil likes to ‘blind the eyes’ of not just the world – but christians as well. We get too comfortable in Life and forget where our life sustaining living water comes from… we find it easier to sit back and let someone else ‘fight-the-good-fight’.

A famous preacher once said “if you wake up in the morning and don’t run into the enemy head on, then maybe your going in the wrong direction”

Im learning rapidly that when you take a stance against “that what is evil” and stand for Christ, it puts you dead smack in Satans gun sight! To often we forget about the spiritual implications of our actions and what we are praying for. So should this worry us as Jesus-Followers? Not really – For 1 John 4:4 reminds us that “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

In think its time we all had a good, hard look at our walk WITH and IN Christ. Lets be honest now, is God happy with the time you are spending with Him? Are there any ‘fiery darts coming from the evil one’ in your life? – If not, why not? I think its time you weighed up some big questions.. Christ or Me?

Wherever the church is alive and growing hell is aposing it, one sign of a healthy church and christ-centred life is that you face hostility from Hell – reflect today where you stand, in the war or in the battle? Are you hiding in the forest watching from a distance or are you fighting in Gods armour on the front line?

If you arnt going to join me.. please pray for me!

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Leaders in Simplifying Church Life – Gaining Perspective

I have recently fallen into the international ‘book-worm nerd’ category. In my eyes these two guys are great, simple to understand and are changing the landscape of following Christ today! They are both leaders in learning how to be transformed by Christ from the inside out! If you really want to see how we are meant to function as the living ‘Body of Christ’ you should start with these guys… they make it easy for all of us simple minded folk.. lol 🙂

Neil Cole – Organic Church (http://www.cmaresources.org/)

Frank Viola – Organic Church (http://www.ptmin.org/)

Here is an interview where they both answer the question ‘What is Organic Church?”

http://www.cmaresources.org/article/organic-church_n-cole_f-viola

Organic

Reimagining Church – Know Your Church and Your Christ @FrankViola

Here is a challenge.. I think every Christian who is serious about Christ should read this book! For those who know me, ill even give you a guarantee. If you dont like it, ill buy your copy back from you!

Reading this book will really challenge your walk with God, your Family and your Church Life. I guarantee your walk with God will be changed forever and you will start searching for the Living Christ in a whole new way.

I have attended church my whole life and was never satisfied with all the ministries or groups I was involved with.. there had to be more! I never really understood why things functioned the way they did and for what purpose they did. I never knew ‘why’ we did the things we do, and for ‘what’ reasons we all did them.. we just did.

After reading this book, my love for Jesus has grown ten-fold and my walk with Christ and His Church is VERY different. My family life is very different also.

This book will re-challenge, reshape, remould and teach you to re-learn the gospel in a whole new light. You will get offended and even upset, but thats what is needed sometimes to shake you out of your overly comfortable and unchallenged christian walk.

I dare you to get this book and join me on a new journey into discovering Gods Purpose for our lives and church life. Details below.. Let me know if you want me to ship a copy to you.. ! 🙂

PS. I have read it three times and many other books since then..

http://www.reimaginingchurch.org/

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Whos Spiritual Voice Was That ? – Testing All Spiritual Things Through Christ

In 1 John 4 I have gained some amazing insight into learning how to interpret Gods voice from your own, false teachers and ungodly influences. So often we think with a ‘spontanious mindset’ and dont endure in Christ through longsuffering or obedience in Him. I find myself sometimes praying and expecting the Holy Spirit to show up in my timing to do what I ask of him.. how selfish of me..

The first part of 1 John 4 speaks about ‘testing the spirits’. I frequently applied this to spiritual things in those times where God manifested himself, but today I have read this verse in a whole new light. The Holy Spirit reminded me of Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

If I consider the above verse and its implications for my daily walk IN Christ (not just with him, because He is ‘In Me!’ What-A-Christ!) I really should be looking to test all the things that cross my path. I should be alert and aware, discerning all things so I wont not be railroaded by my own thinking, false teachers and ungodly influences. Testing through prayer those things that could be of a spiritual nature or physical. So often we become too comfortable and numb in our lives, forgetting the sharpness that the readiness of the ‘living-gospel’ brings to our circumstances.

Today, be refreshed in the knowledge that “This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” v13-16

Speak from the confidence that Christ has given us In Him, who dwells In YOU, dont speak from the viewpoint of the world. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spiritof truth and the spirit of falsehood.” v4-6

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Gods Mystery and Purpose Revealed to me – ‘In Christ and through Faith In Him’

Gods Mystery and Purpose Revealed to me – ‘In Christ and through Faith In Him’

God is Gracious.. I cannot fathom the awesomeness of our Christ. I would never have imagined that God revealed His mystery to me so I may have an eternal relationship with Him. I am learning that God revealed to us His Son, blameless and pure so that we might have an eternal and abundant life in Him.

You could say that God kept Jesus inside himself (the GodHead, Trinity) knowing that one day he would reveal Him. God intended to reveal and expose His mystery to us and it came to us in the form of a man – Jesus. Christ, who was in God, during creation and has been in Him for eternity has now been made known to us! But don’t forget His eternal purpose… God has made known to us His mystery, and has even exposed to us His eternal purpose. His eternal purpose is ‘His body here on earth’, His functional spiritual body – the ekklesia (the church)

It’s truly amazing to think about.. the living and real Jesus Christ ‘Lives IN US’ and he wants all of us to confidently and boldly function as ‘The Body Of Christ’ here on earth. And not in the way that I used to do it, thank goodness the living Jesus has refocused my families journey!

If one understands the implications of what Christ has done, achieved, fulfilled, made-known, revealed, exposed, transformed and established they will be forever changed. I cannot walk the same ‘christian walk’ that I have been doing for so long. I am incapable of returning to my old-life of living in a passive, hierarchical, minimal-worship, program driven, traditional and legalistic Christian community. Christ is real and transcends all my understanding, he is making himself known to us more each day and we are finally seeking a functional spirit-filled community and JESUS centred and focused life. I know that I am still a sinner, but sin and death cannot hold me down anymore…

Ephesians 3:1-13

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

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Books – Absorb over a book a week

A great brother in Christ told me about the iphone app ‘Audible’ and it is allowing me to read more than a book a week. 4 months ago I struggled to get through every book I read, now I can plough through every book I want!

The trick is… let someone else read it to you! If your always travelling or on the go, this is the best way to consume as much knowledge as you can.. This app is worth every penny! Check it out!

Audible – http://www.audible.com/

Audible_snap

His Blood – 20 Amazing Things

Christ’s Blood that was shed for us!

1. It remits sins (Matt. 26:28).

2. It gives life to those who consume it (John 6:53).

3. It causes us to dwell in Christ and He in us (John 6:56).

4. It is the means by which Jesus purchased the church (Acts 20:28).

5. It is the means by which Jesus becomes our atonement through faith (Rom. 3:25).

6. It justifies us and saves us from wrath (Rom. 5:9).

7. It redeems us (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).

8. It brings those who were far away from God near to Him (Eph. 2:13).

9. It grants us the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14).

10. It brings peace and reconciliation to God (Col. 1:20).

11. It has obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).

12. It cleanses our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9:14).

13. It is the means by which we enter the most holy place with boldness (Heb. 10:19).

14. It speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24, NIV).

15. It sanctifies us (Heb. 13:12).

16. It makes us complete for every good work (Heb. 13:20-21, NKJV).

17. It cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

18. It bears witness in the earth along with the Spirit and the water (1 John 5:8, KJV).

19. It is the means by which Jesus washes us (Rev. 1:5; 7:14).

20. It is the means by which we overcome the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:11).

Summary: Thank God for the “precious” blood of Christ . . . the “sprinkled” blood of Christ . . . the blood of “the new covenant” . . . the blood of “the eternal covenant” (1 Pet. 1:19; Heb. 12:24; Luke 22:20; Heb. 13:20).

“The life is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11).

Created and posted by Frank.V in his blog – HERE

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