Summary: Two weeks ago I began Part 1 of this 3-part sermon series by telling you about a conversation I had with a young lady. She had attended a particular church all her life but had never become a Christian. (Powerpoint Available - #222)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(REVISED - 2016)
(Powerpoint slides are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #222.)
ILL. Two weeks ago I began this 3-part sermon series by telling about a conver-sation with a young lady I had never met before. To make a long story short, she had attended a particular church all her life but had never become a Christian.
As we talked, I asked her why. She answered, “In my whole life nobody has ever suggested that I become a Christian.”
Even though she had been surrounded by Christians all her life, & had attended church regularly - no one had ever urged or even suggested that she accept Christ as her Savior & her Lord!
A. Then I asked you, “Is it possible there is someone here who feels the same way she did? I hope not! We don’t want anyone ever to think that we’re not concerned about you & your relationship with God.”
In Mark 16:15-16 Jesus told us, “Go into all the world & preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes & is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
B. Do you want Jesus to be your Savior, & do you want to be with Him in heaven? I do. "But how?" That’s the question we began considering two weeks ago. And the first thing we learned is that we must have faith - we must believe.
We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He is risen from the dead & is alive forevermore.
Then we learned that repentance is also necessary. Jesus said in Luke 13:3, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish." We need to repent - to turn from the world & turn toward God, to change our attitude & the way we think & behave.
Then we talked about confession. The Bible teaches in Romans 10:9 that "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' & believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Now up to this point, almost everybody agrees. Almost everybody agrees that faith is necessary. Almost everybody believes that repentance is necessary, & confession, too.
C. But today, I'm going to talk about baptism, & in the religious world baptism is a controversial subject. And for me to discuss those controversies thoroughly would take more time & patience than we have available this morning.
Now if you would like to study what the Bible has to say about some of these controversies, I would be happy to arrange a time when we can sit down together & carefully review what the Bible says about them.
But right now let me just mention what some of these controversies are.
1. We don't agree on how to do it. Some think you ought to be baptized by immersion, while others believe that pouring water or even sprinkling a few drops of water on the candidate's head is baptism
2. We don't agree on who should be baptized. Some feel that infants ought to be baptized, while others feel that those being baptized ought to realize that they have sinned & need a Savior, & are able to make their own decision to accept Jesus as their Savior & Lord.
3. Perhaps the greatest controversy is over why people are baptized.
There are those who believe that baptism is so essential for salvation that even babies need to be baptized because they're "born in sin," or guilty of what they call "original sin."
In fact, some believe so strongly in the power of baptism that, in comparison, everything else is of lesser importance. They feel that as long as you’ve been baptized, then you’re assured of heaven.
ILL. Yakov Smirnoff, the Russian comedian, wrote a book, "Seeing the USA on Six Rubles a Day." In it he tells about being overwhelmed when he first entered an American supermarket & saw the great variety of products there. He just couldn't believe it.
He wrote, "As I walked down the aisles, the first thing I noticed was powdered milk - ‘Just add water & you get milk.' Then I saw powdered orange juice - ‘Just add water & you get orange juice.' Then I saw baby powder, & I thought to myself, ‘What a country!'"
Now some people seem to feel that way about baptism. "Find a sinner & apply water, & you end up with a saint."
It was reaction against that teaching that caused some to come up with a salvation that leaves baptism out completely. Some have gone so far in their reaction that they teach that baptism is not a part of God's plan of salvation at all.