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Posts Tagged ‘follow the Lord’

elevation Baptism 3Water baptism is one of the most exciting experiences for a Christian. It’s a declaration that you have decided to follow Jesus, but more than that it is a supernatural experience of separating from your old life.

Let’s take a look at these verses in 1 Cor 10:1-2  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, (ESV)

In many ways the events described in the Old Testament are examples of what our new life in Christ is all about. In fact Paul says the same in 1 Cor 10:11  Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). (AMP)

Many things in the Old Testament are types or shadows of the spiritual realities unveiled in the New Testament. As one famous preacher once said, “the New is in the Old Concealed and the Old is in the New revealed.” For example when the Israelites took a Passover lamb and slew it to place the blood on the door of their homes in Egypt just before the Exodus, this is a type or shadow of Jesus Christ becoming our Passover lamb and shedding His blood to cover our lives in order that death would pass over us and we would be saved from it.

In this picture, Egypt represents the world and slavery and bondage to sin. The Promised Land represents our new life of following Jesus and Passover is a picture of salvation.

Now back to the verse we first read – the children of Israel were baptised into Moses in the Red Sea. What does that mean?  In this story we understand that for 400 years the people of Israel had been living in the land of Egypt and away from their own land that God had promised them. Over the time that they were there, the Egyptians had become taskmasters over the Israelites and turned them into slaves. Their slavery had become harder and harder and the people of Israel began to cry out to the Lord for release. They had even forgotten that they were promised a new land through God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In the same way mankind has been living under the bondage of sin and death and the slavery of sin has been getting harder and harder. Think about the issue of the drug Ice for a moment. Its ravaging influence is destroying the lives of users, their families and many others who are victim of the users actions in crime and in hospitals etc. That’s just one issue, there are so many ways that sin and death are cruel taskmasters over people who are crying out for release.

God raised up a deliverer, Moses, who is a picture of Jesus. Moses went before Pharaoh, who represents the devil and says you must let my people go. God shows His mighty hand through many miracles signs and wonders and brings the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness on the way to a promised land flowing with milk and honey.

At the time of Passover, the lamb slain to place the blood on the door posts and lintel of each home where Israelites lived represents Jesus. His blood was shed for us to cover us and the angel of death must pass over us. What happens next is God says to the Israelite people pack up everything you’ve got and leave. Travel into the wilderness. Start your journey into the Promised Land. But the Egyptian army followed them. They represent the old life, the power of sin and bondage that you were once under before you were a Christian. They also represent the devil and his demons who have lost their power over you and want to get you back.

As the people of Israel cry out to God, He leads them to the Red Sea and as Moses lifts his staff (Representing authority) the waters part and the Israelites go through on dry ground. The Red Sea represents water baptism. As the Egyptians (representing all that is worldly and part of your old life) tried to follow Israel into the water; the Red Sea closed up over them and they were destroyed.

This gives us the picture that when you go through the waters of baptism the power of your old life to dominate you is destroyed. But more than that, now there is a great separation between Egypt and Israel. A Red Sea that cannot be crossed! The Red Sea represented separation from the old life, from bondage and from poverty. The water was life and victory for the people of Israel who had been saved by blood and it represented death and separation to the Egyptians, the old life of sin and bondage.

No wonder the Israelites sang and danced and rejoiced when they were safely on the other side and saw the Egyptian Army drowned. Ex 15:1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord, saying, I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider or its chariot has He thrown into the sea.(AMP)

What’s more is that the verse we read at first says “baptised into Moses” which is a picture of the body of Christ, as revealed in this New Testament verse that aligns with this statement. 1 Cor 12:13 For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit. (AMP)

If I haven’t been baptised in water yet – what should I do?

Be baptised by immersion as soon as possible. It is a glorious victory for you to leave the old life behind and be separated from the power of sin and the bondage of the old life.

If I have been already baptised since I believed, – what should I do? Exercise your faith. No need to be baptised again. Begin to believe that you are free, now separated from your old life and the powers of sin and temptation.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Do you think that your life as a Christian should be marked by supernatural experiences?

2. Why do you think it is necessary to be baptised by full immersion? (Hint see Romans 6:1-4)

3. Why is Jesus referred to as “The Lamb of God”?

4. What kind of things from “your old life” would you rather be set free from?

5. Can you believe that you are now free and delivered from your old life and the bondage of sin through your water baptism? Discuss.

 

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SALVATION FAITH  #2am  faith blocks

PERSPECTIVE

This year we are sharing the theme of faith, and this month the theme is on faith for salvation. The most important subject on earth.

And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 AMP)

Jesus really is the only way to heaven.

MY STORY

My salvation. I was brought up without any religious experience. Neither of my parents were believers or attended church. While in university, I witnessed a church outreach where Christians sang and witnessed their faith and a preacher shared a gospel message. When one of the group came over to me to speak about their faith and invited me to church, I considered the invitation and went along, encouraged by a friend who also attended this church.

At the church I was very surprised by what I witnessed, seeing miracles, healings, and testimonies of lives changed from alcohol addiction, drug addiction and broken marriage.  I did not accept Christ at that time but I went home and began to think about what I had experienced.  Over the next few days I considered the message and began to pray to God asking Him to show himself to me if He were real.  It was a interesting week. The following Sunday I went back to the church and made a decision to accept Christ. Right away I knew something supernatural had happened to me.

The witness at uni. – light comes. When you hear the gospel, you are hearing truth and the knowledge received is light.  Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life. (John 8:12 AMP)

Attend church – knowledge comes. Hearing again the message of the gospel makes the light even brighter, the call more clear. All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known. (Matthew 11:27 AMP)

Thinking it through – assent.  There comes a point where we have opportunity to respond and then a person makes a choice to agree or not that I must be saved.  But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name–[Isa. 56:5.] (John 1:12 AMP)

Going to Church a second time and responding to an invitation – Trust –  The decision to agree and then respond to the gospel if followed by placing ones trust in Jesus Christ. Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] shall not in any way enter it [at all]. (Luke 18:17 AMP)

Salvation comes through faith alone, and the simple process of how it works is knowledge, assent, then trust. There must be a knowledge of ones need for salvation and also of the offer of pardon granted through Jesus Christ. Secondly there must be assent, you agree that you need Jesus. You agree that you are lost without hope. After that there is a decision to trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation.

Repentance, a word that simply means to change your mind, and faith are two sides of the one coin. It’s not important to analyse which comes first or if there is any time factor involved at all; however at the time when one is saved faith is enabled by God, faith to believe the promise of salvation. Repentance is granted by God to change ones mind. That means to turn to Christ and to turn away from the old way of life. Repentance is a whole sale change of heart and means humility acknowledging that you were previously lost and were in enmity with God.

Faith isn’t hope. Faith is knowledge spiritually acquired and comes by way of revelation.

One doesn’t simply hope that by believing in God and attending church that God will accept you when you die. That is a vain hope. It’s religion really. Faith is a knowledge that you have got it! You have an assurance that you have Christ on the inside, you already are a child of the living God and you are adopted into the family of God.

TENETS OF FAITH

Tenets of faith means the important statements that express what we believe about these important topics.

  1. Salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ, the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross as He died a substitutionary death for all mankind and not by any works a man can do.
  2. All mankind is in need of salvation
  3. Only through Jesus Christ can a person obtain salvation.
  4. Salvation is available to all who turn to Christ calling on His name.
  5. God is sovereign in His choosing of who will be saved and this is known as predestination.

THE STORY OF ABRAHAM

Reading Gen 12:1-4

12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation,  and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Abraham was called. God communicated to him and asked him to do something in obedience.

GOD CALLS US – IT MAYBE IN OUR YOUTH OR LATER IN LIFE. IT’S A CALL TO GO; TO OBEY HIM.

A journey began, this part of Abraham’s life was a challenge and a promise. The challenge to go, obey and trust, and a promise of blessing and also to be part of Gods great plan to bless the whole earth with His salvation.

WHEN GOD CALLS YOU – THERE’S SOMETHING TO LEAVE AND YOU ARE CALLED TO TRUST AND ALSO THERE IS PROMISE OF BLESSING AND ALSO TO BE PART OF HIS GREAT PLAN. THE GOSPEL TO GO TO THE WHOLE EARTH.

Abraham began the Journey with no clear picture of where he would end up.

THE SAME FOR US.

While he began in faith, there was mixture in Abraham’s life, fear, lying, trying to accomplish Gods will in his own way etc.

THE FAITH JOURNEY IS NOT WITHOUT UPS AND DOWNS. WE SOMETIMES FAIL AND TAKE BACKWARD STEPS. BUT GOD IS PLEASED WITH FAITH AND HE WILL WORK WITHIN YOU TO ENCOURAGE INSPIRE AND ENABLE YOU TO WALK IN FAITH. YOU WILL GRADUALLY TRANSITION FROM TRUSTING IN YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN WAYS TO TRUSTING IN GOD COMPLETELY.

Initially Abraham experienced blessings even before God gave him his own son.

ALONG THE WAY IN OUR JOURNEY WE EXPERIENCE ANSWERS TO PRAYER AND GODS PROVISION TO TEACH US HE IS TRUSTWORTHY.

In Gen 15:1 God reveals Himself in a new way, as El Shaddai the all sufficient one.

Abraham immediately asks for the impossible. – a son.

It’s a big ask but God says yes and promises even bigger, not just a son but nations shall come out of you!

Right then Abraham has knowledge of Gods ability, he gives assent to His will and trusts that God will do as He has promised. Abraham believes God and God accounts to him righteousness.

GOD IS LOOKING FOR FAITH, IS PLEASED WITH FAITH, AND IS PASSIONATE ABOUT JOINING US INTO HIS PLAN.

HOW DO I KNOW I’M SAVED?

There’s been a life change.

A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. (Matthew 7:18 AMP)

There’s fruit of repentance in your life.

Bear fruits that are deserving and consistent with [your] repentance [that is, conduct worthy of a heart changed, a heart abhorring sin]. And do not begin to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father; for I tell you that God is able from these stones to raise up descendants for Abraham. (Luke 3:8 AMP)

You have an assurance that you belong to Him and you’re going there.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Have some members of the group share the story of how they came to be a Christian – your testimony.

2. Can anyone identify the steps of their salvation as knowledge, assent, trust?

3. What was your experience in terms of how you life changed after committing your life to Christ.

4. Now that you are a Christian, how do you feel about being part of His plan and purpose?

5. How can you share His plan for salvation to others?

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