Summary: Number One in a Four Part Look at Baptism. This sermon talks about what the Churches of Christ have to offer on the topic of Baptism.
You know you are Church of Christ if…
You have ever heard an invitation at a Funeral and a wedding
You have never been in a sanctuary but you have been in lots of auditoriums
Sermons on the Birth of Christ always come in July
A Church get together always involved Pot Luck
If you had ever wondered what would happen if the preacher did not have a ready recollection of the things he had prepared.
If you think tithing is wrong but you believe every Christian should give 10%
If during a service you have laughed, cried, dropped a book, spanked a child, gone to the bathroom, emptied your purse on the pew, chewed some gum, eaten a cookie, taken medicine, whispered to the person beside you, winked at a friend, coughed, sneezed, burped, or said Amen, but you have never never clapped.
Easter was celebrated with Chocolate Eggs and Jelly Beans
If you believe Jesus turned water into Grape juice
You believe that the age of miracles has passed but you do believe that a closing Prayer will ask God to leave so that you can have a business meeting or a chorus.
And if before you buy a Bible you check out the translation of Acts 2:38
Is there anyone here today Guilty of that? Hold up you hand. I’ve done it.
You see Acts 2:38 has sort of been our verse. Because we have grown up with a prominent teaching on Baptism. And I am not here to say that’s all wrong. Baptism has a prominent place in Scripture.
But you know we hear a lot less about Baptism today. I wonder why that is? It’s not because the Scriptures are silent about the subject. We will look today and see the Scriptures have a lot to say about it. But let me give you three reasons today that I think we hear a lot less about it than we used to.
1) A Reaction to an over emphasis.
I believe that many of us got very uncomfortable going to a church where once a month there was a sermon on baptism. And as we got uncomfortable we realized that we were hearing a lot more about baptism than we were hearing about Jesus. The more I study the scriptures I see that Baptism is the reaction to Jesus and not the message.
I have heard people say that the Plan of Salvation is the Gospel. Now I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation. I won a few ribbons in the 2nd and 3rd grade because I could quote it. But the Gospel is not the plan of salvation. The Gospel is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I remember when I was 19 years old working with a congregation is Hazel Green Alabama. I got to preach 4 times while I was there. After the first time one of the Elders told me that I needed to end every sermon with the Plan of Salvation, Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized, and Live A Godly Life. I agreed because I knew it was a good idea. But then I started reading my Bible and I realized that there is not a single sermon that wraps up with the plan of salvation. In fact that usually came because the audience interrupted the sermon and wanted to know what am I supposed to do? Then they would mention Baptism.
2) A Concern for Works of Righteousness.
Many of us are reacting to a Legalistic teaching that says Baptism is something I do to save myself. And that’s really what Legalism is all about when we believe that by my thoughts, deeds, actions, and reactions I am able to secure my salvation.
I have always been afraid to ask members of the Churches of Christ why are you saved, because I knew the answer would be, Because I got baptism right.
Family the only reason that you are saved today is because what Jesus Christ has done for you.
Many of us react to that. And we react to what other beliefs say about our teachings on Baptism.
It’s like that old story where a man is studying with His neighbor and he agrees to be Baptized. On the way to the Church, you can see the building, a Log truck come out from no where and hit’s the car the unsaved man is in and kills him. Now my friends from other beliefs would ask, “Is that man going to hell?”
Now many people were appalled when I would look at them and say “Absolutely, he is lost.”
We as a Church have reacted to that and don’t preach baptism anymore.
3) Not wanting religious controversy
I believe that it’s kind of like a men’s meeting. You get to the point that you are to tired to argue so you just let it go.