What does it means to be a Christian?

It begins with a spiritual birth – John 3:3 (GW) "No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” How does one experience a spiritual birth? As a text… John 3:16 (NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

 

THE GOSPEL IN HAND – to illustrate…

Thumbs up means something GOOD; your purpose in life is good. God made me to have a LOVING RELATIONSHIP with him that last forever! John 3:16 (NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

  • The greatest tragedy in the world is to go through life an never know why you were here
  • The most basic question a person can ask is, “What is the meaning of life?”

 

Our index finger indicates we are in TROUBLE. Romans 3:23 (NLT) "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard."

 

The middle finger towers above all the others reminding us of Jesus towering above the earth on a cross to SOLVE the problem of sin. John 14:6 (NIV) "Jesus Christ said, 'I AM THE WAY, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except THROUGH ME!'"

  • Christianity is unique from all religions.
  • Major world religions are systems of doing with the hope of being acceptable
  • No other person stands out in history like Jesus and offers personal relationship.

 

The Ring finger is a sign of a COMMITMENT of faith.

  • Like marriage, it is a commitment to a unique relationship of one
  • Getting on airplane is a commitment of your life to the plane and crew
  • It is not faith plus. You cannot earn salvation
  • Faith releases the power of that which is TRUSTED.

 

The Little finger represents a little PRAYER of faith. Romans 10:13 (NIV) Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

  • I want you to know for certain
  • Can’t base it on feelings

 

Being a Christian means working out our commitment to Christ. Philippians 2:12-13 (TEV) "Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, 13 because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose."

  • Being Christian is more than saying a prayer. It is developing gift of salvation.
  • There is more to a marriage than the wedding.

 

Being a Christian means becoming more like the character of Christ. Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV) 22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

 

  • Fruit of the Spirit spells out some of the characteristics of Christ.
  • The Christian life is a life long process of developing this character.

 

Being a Christian means living under new management. Galatians 5:16 (NIV) 16 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Ephesians 5:15-18 (TEV) "Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit."

  • The Christian life is impossible to live so he gave Spirit to live within & empower
  • Be continually filled (controlled). Life-style of breathing spiritually

 

Being a Christian means growing spiritually. 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV) 18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen."

  • The Christian life is to be growing life; developing in to all God designed us to be.
  • We are serious about helping you grow c. no such thing as nutrael in the Christian life

5. Christian growth is developed in practicing spiritual disciplines … Prayer, Bible study, Community (fellowship), Service (sharing)

 

Baptism

February 2013 Baptisms:

December 2012 Baptisms:

Baptism is a witness to God and others that you are publicly demonstrating your acceptance of Christ. Baptism does not save anyone. Anyone can be saved without baptism, like the thief on the cross was. Salvation comes from a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

We will baptize anyone who is old enough to make a personal choice of Christ. The age is different for each person, as we are all in various stages of maturity and our spiritual walk. It is particularly important that each person make their own decision to become baptized without coercion from others.

Matthew 3:16 says, “Jesus came out of the waters,” meaning the Jordan River. And in Acts 8:26-39, the Ethiopian eunuch upon seeing a body of water wanted to be baptized soon after accepting Jesus as his savior. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention any other kind of baptism. The Greek word “baptizomi” literally means “to immerse.” So we practice baptism by immersion either in a baptismal tank, a swimming pool, lake or stream. Several scriptures tell us that baptism is an act that should follow our conversion experience. I encourage you to look up Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16.

These verses tell us several things. First, baptism must have been very important if it was something Jesus felt He must do (remember, he was totally God already). We can assume that what He did was for our benefit and as an example to us. Secondly, we can see from this scripture God was very pleased with His obedience. It is worth noting that before Jesus attempted to perform any public ministry He felt it necessary to be baptized.

 

 

Baby Dedication
Prior to the “age of accountability,” every little one is acceptable to God if he or she should die. Since baptism doesn't save anyone, we do not baptize infants. However, we are glad to offer baby dedications. Baby dedication (sometimes called christening) is actually more of a dedication on the part of the parents to raise their child to know Jesus, and does not guarantee the salvation of their child. This special time also incorporates the commitment of the church to be a support. Parents who did not have their children dedicated when they were young may want to do it when they are older.