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Posts Tagged ‘baptism’

Some people think the Bible is too hard to understand.

It’s true that some apocalyptic language is veiled to many people, yet the vast majority of the Bible is readily comprehended.

That doesn’t mean it’s readily embraced, however.

Such reluctance is not a matter of intellect, but instead a matter of the will.

The core message of the New Testament is the Gospel.

And the core path of connecting with God is Kindergarten-simple to understand.

We just have to decide if we’ll walk that path or not.

Here’s a nutshell description of path to peace with God described by John the Baptist before Jesus began His ministry.

“Before he came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized.” (Acts 13:24)

Here’s the nutshell description of the path to peace with God described by Peter after Jesus concluded His ministry.

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)

Before Jesus and after Jesus, the path to peace with God is the same — repent, turn to God and be baptized.

I pray that you’ve done these things.

If you haven’t, please do so and join me on the path to eternal joy.

I’d like to be with you forever.

As always, I love you
Martin

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God told the Hebrews, via Moses, to prepare for the Passover night by covering the door frames of their homes in Egypt with the blood of flawless, yearling lambs or goats.

When the death angel saw the blood, the firstborn of the house would be spared.

When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” (Exodus 12:13)

It was the death of the innocent, flawless animal that saved the families from terrible suffering.

Those who didn’t take God’s Word seriously suffered horribly.

The principle still applies for those wanting deliverance when death comes to their door.

If the blood covering of the innocent, flawless Lamb of God is seen on the soul, spiritual death will not come to the person.

We need the covering of Christ’s atoning blood on our souls.

Please heed the Apostle Paul’s words and make sure that you have that covering.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)

I want God to see Christ’s blood covering my sins. That’s why I was baptized.

I pray that you’ve made the same decision. Or that you will.

As Paul wrote, it’s what the children of God do through faith.

As always, I love you
Martin

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On the day the Church was born, the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter told the people how to be born again from a life of sin into a life of salvation:

“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

Verse 41 reports that 3,000 accepted the message and were baptized, adding them to the roster of the saved.

Before repentance and baptism, they were outside of the Church, still covered in sin.

What joy was theirs when God’s promise of forgiveness became their surrendered hope!

Please embrace this teaching given from the very beginning of the Christian church.

Please make sure that you have done what the 3,000 did.

For this is what Jesus was referring to in John 3:5 when He said that unless a person is born of the water and of the Spirit, he or she will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.

And you can be sure that I REALLY want to see you there.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s good to be reminded by scripture of just how important baptism is in the mind of the God.

He certainly didn’t see it as optional.

“And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross — not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. So we have these three witnesses — the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree.” (I John 5:6-8)

There were a zillion ways that God could have declared to the world that Jesus was His Son, yet He chose the moment of Christ’s being raised from the watery womb.

“This is My beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased,” God said after Jesus submitted to baptism (Matthew 3:17).

God didn’t say this before the baptism, but instead after.

God doesn’t command that we shed our blood on the cross. Jesus did that for us in an amazing act of grace by the Father and the Son.

He does command baptism, though, and Paul explains why in unmistakable fashion in Romans 6:4-7.

Please celebrate your baptism as the time that your obedience to His commaned revealed you were a child of God.

If you haven’t been raised from the watery womb of baptism, please find a Christian to baptize you as soon as possible.

It’s the ultimate witness protection program.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We all know what it’s like to be buried with work.

This describes me lately.

Some of us also know what it’s like to be buried with grief.

Or with relationship stress.

Or with an avalanche of health problems.

There’s another kind of burial that isn’t burdensome, though.

In fact, it’s life-giving.

I’m talking about being buried with Christ.

I’m talking about that time when our old, pre-conversion, sin-stained soul is washed clean by the blood of Christ.

“Your sinful nature was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” (Colossians 2:11-13).

If you haven’t been raised spiritually from the watery grave of baptism, please make the decision to obey scripture in this way. You can’t get rid of your sinful stains and sinful nature on your own. If you could, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross and be buried in the tomb.

Please share with Him in the likeness of His burial and resurrrection as Romans 6 commands. Then you’ll have the absolute confidence of sharing with Him in the resurrection into eternity that Colossians and Romans promises.

So much confidence, perhaps, that you’ll share this Good News with somebody else.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that new insights can be found in your Word as often as I look.”

It’s so good to know that I have much more to learn from those scriptures that I’ve already read countless times.

Why is this pleasing to me? Because it shows me that the Bible really is a living document that comes to life within me no matter how many times I read it.

And that reinforces my interest each year in renewing my journey through the One-Year Bible.

I’ve noticed several new, telling insights since starting this journey, prompting me to wonder how I hadn’t picked up on these before.

Oh well…. I saw them this time around and that’s good.

One such insight that I want to share is found in Genesis 3:6-11.

I’ve known since my childhood days in Sunday School that Adam and Eve stitched together fig leaves to cover their private parts once they sinfully ate the forbidden fruit, lost their innocence and felt naked.

And I’ve known since childhood that Adam and Eve hid behind trees in the Garden of Eden when they heard God walking down the path in search of them.

What intrigued and instructed me this morning, though, was what Adam said when God asked, “Where are you?”

Remember now, Adam and Eve are clothed with garments stitched together with leaves.

Yet, this is what Adam said:

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Naked? Or clothed with leaves? Which was it?

It was actually both.

Even though Adam and Eve had covered the nakedness of their flesh, they still felt naked in the presence of God.

Wow.

That’s what sin does, my friend.

When our conscience reveals to us that we’ve been duped by the Devil, our pride attempts to cover the damage in a way that we don’t feel guilty.

And apart from the presence of God’s Spirit and revealing Word, we might even feel OK. After all, look at all the people around us wearing hand-stitched fig leaves in one form or another.

Some people craft fig leaves in the form of personal popularity with peers.

Others craft fig leaves in the form of material prosperity that fuels ego.

And there are those who craft fig leaves with upwardly mobile careers.

When we encounter an approaching God, though, our fig leaves are failed veils.

God knows the truth of our sin, and so do we.

That’s why we hide rather than run to Him for cleansing and covering.

If you’ve been duped by the Devil with a recent choice, don’t reach for fig leaves.

Don’t hide in the bushes, thinking that God is blind and stupid.

He sees you and me before, during and after our sins.

Our spiritual nakedness is not hidden from Him just as it is not hidden from us.

There’s one remedy for tasting forbidden fruit — the covering provided by God.

That’s the blood of Jesus that takes away the sin of the world.

Including yours and mine.

Be clothed with Christ. (Galatians 3:27).

Confess Him as Savior with your lips and be covered by His blood in baptism.

That way, you won’t have to hide from God when you sense His approach, but instead you can run to Him as your Abba Father.

As always, I love you
Martin

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