Baptism

You may have heard recently about LifePoint's upcoming Baptism Weekend on April 1st and 2nd.  This may leave you with a few questions about baptism, and that's okay!  We are here to help!

WHAT IS BAPTISM?

Baptism is the act of a believing Christian who wants to publicly confess their personal commitment to Jesus Christ.  Is is symbolic of the burial (going under the water) and resurrection (being lifted out of the water) of Jesus.  The act of baptism can be defined as an outward expression of an inward faith or reality.  

WHAT DOES BAPTISM MEAN?

Baptism illustrates Jesus' burial and resurrection.  

"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...he was raised from the dead." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

"For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized.  And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead." Colossians 2:12

Baptism illustrates new life as a Christian.

"For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.  And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." Romans 6:4

Baptism doesn't make you a Christian - it shows that you already believe.  Baptism does not "save" you, only your faith in Christ does that.  Baptism is like a wedding ring p it's the outward symbol of your faith in Christ and your desire to follow Him.

WHY DO WE GET BAPTIZED?

To follow the example set by Jesus and because Jesus commanded it.

"One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus Himself was baptized..." Luke 3:21

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19

WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?

As soon as you are ready to make a public profession of your faith in Jesus Christ.

HOW DO WE BAPTIZE?

We baptize by immersion, which means to be placed completely under water.  We baptize by immersion for two reasons:

  1. Jesus was baptized that way. "As Jesus was coming out of the water..." Mark 1:10
  2. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion. "He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water..." Acts 8:38-39

WHAT IF I WAS BAPTIZED AS A BABY?

That is a great question.  Since baptism is meant for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, we would encourage you to be baptized as a follower of Jesus.  However, please discuss this with your parents first.  You will want to present it in a way that is honoring and loving towards your parents, but also honoring of Jesus' command for believers to be baptized.

I WANT TO GET BAPTIZED!

Great!  That's so exciting!  LifePoint Church has church-wide baptism services twice a year, and you are invited to participate!  You can find out when the next baptism service is and register here.  If you have any further questions about baptism, please call 410-239-4700 or email studentministries@lifepointchurch.us.

 

Sharing About Jesus

One of the last things Jesus did before leaving the earth was command His followers to tell everybody about Him.  An account of this moment, found in Matthew 28, reads, “Jesus came and told His disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Any way you look at it, as followers of Jesus, we are supposed to tell people about Him.  This can get a little weird, though.  Sometimes it’s uncomfortable.  Sometimes it’s awkward.  It isn’t always received well.  So, how do we talk about Jesus with confidence?

First, it is important that we know what we believe! Here it is:

  • Romans 3:23 – All humans have sinned.
  • Romans 6:23 – Because of that sin, we all deserve death.
  • Romans 5:8 – But Jesus came to earth, lived a sin-free, perfect life and died on the cross for our sins.
  • Romans 10:9,13 – With His death, Jesus paid the price for our sins and we are saved from the death we deserve.
  • Romans 5:1 – We have peace because of this salvation.
  • Romans 8:1 – There is no condemnation for those who believe.
  • Romans 8:38-39 – We will live forever with God.

Second, we need to understand and acknowledge that Jesus and His message are worth sharing.  If we believe all those verses from Romans above, there are some pretty big implications for those that haven’t heard this message, as well as some pretty exciting things in store for those who do believe.  That excitement can often overcome fear or anxiety in sharing about Jesus. 

Finally, understand that sharing the message of Jesus is personal.  As a believer in jesus, there are no doubt some ways that your life has changed or been affected.  Don’t be afraid to tell others, especially your friends and those close to you, how your life has changed.  There may even be things you do that cause your friends to ask questions.  Answer them!  This is also one of the reasons we provide experiences on Sunday mornings, in small group throughout the week, and other events throughout the year.  These are all places you should feel comfortable inviting a friend who may be asking these types of questions.

When you do share about Jesus, make sure to let people know you are sharing from a stance of caring.  People who may react negatively to Jesus or religion will find it hard to fault you for genuinely caring about them.  

Reading the Bible...Where to Start

At first, the Bible can seem a bit overwhelming and intimidating, right? It is a rather long book.  But let’s talk for a moment about what the Bible actually is.  At LifePoint Student Ministries, we believe the Bible is the inspired word of God.  In plain and simple terms, the Bible is the story God and on its pages, you will find the very things God has chosen to reveal to humanity about Himself.  When you really start to think about it, this is amazing.  And it should make you wonder what He has to say.

Now, all of this doesn’t necessarily make reading it any easier.  You make still be wondering, “Where do I even start?”  As with any piece of literature, I would encourage you to start with something that interests you.  The Bible is a collection of many different types of writing, constructed over a period of about 1500 years by around 40 different authors.  You will find history, poetry, adventure, romance, drama, action, and many other genres.  Here is a simple guide, pointing to different books based on interests:

History:

Genesis – The history of how the universe was created, including the human species, as well as stories of important people like Noah, Abraham, and Joseph.

Exodus – Tells the story of Moses and his people, the Israelites.

Acts – The history of the early church and how it came to be in the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection.

Action and Adventure:

Joshua – He took over leadership of the Israelite people after Moses, and this book tells the story of how Joshua commanded their army.  If you are into war history, this may interest you!

Famous Women:

Esther/Ruth –  These books tell the incredible story of two important women.

Poetry/Romance:

Psalms – Here you will find many poems and songs about God. 

Song of Solomon – This is an interesting book about how to have a godly and romantic marriage.

The Gospels:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are called the gospels, and these are the biographies of Jesus; His birth, His miracles and teachings, His followers, and His death and resurrection. 

Paul’s Letters:

Many of the books in the New Testament are actually letters written by a guy named Paul to different first century churches.  What’s interesting about this is that each letter was written with a different purpose in mind, usually because the church was excelling in an area or struggling in another.  To name a few:

1 Corinthians: Paul wrote to the church in Corinth to deal with several moral problems and division that had arisen there.

1 Thessalonians: The church in Thessalonica was setting a great example for other churches in the face of tremendous persecution.

Galatians: This church had been misled into believing things that weren’t true.  Paul writes this letter to set the church straight on what freedom in Christ means.

We want you to understand that no matter what you are experiencing in your life, God has something to say to you through His word in the Bible.  It is our hope that reading the Bible becomes a habit of yours, but you have to start somewhere!  Before you get started, ask God to guide you, open your mind to what He has to say to you, and jump in.