Feb. 8 & 9, 2020

God has given us timeless traditions and elements to practice that bring us into a closer relationship with Him. This week we’re studying baptism, which includes:

1. The truths that baptism symbolize

a. We are forgiven of sin

b. The old self has died

c. We are a new creation

2. The tension between what God says is true and our lived reality

3. The battle to believe and the weapon of baptism

In Romans 6, Paul explains what baptism is all about and what it symbolizes.
Some people think that being saved lets them go on sinning because they have been forgiven in the past, present and future. Paul emphatically says the opposite.

Romans 6:1-11 When we believe in Jesus, we give our lives to Him, and the following three things happens:

All of our sins, mess-ups and mistakes are fully forgiven.
Our old, sinful self dies, and our connection to sin is severed.
We become a new creation in Christ.
2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Baptism symbolizes our death to sin when we go down into the water, and it symbolizes our new life as a new creation when we come up out of the water.

The tension between what God says is true and the reality we live can seem to be in conflict. (Romans 8)
God has killed our old, sinful nature and made us a new creation in Him.

Our old self seems to have power over us trying to bring us back to our sinful desires, but it’s dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.

Our battle to believe follows us throughout our new lives and baptism is a weapon to help in this fight.
The parts of ourselves that want to go on sinning even though we are new creations make it feel like a battle of belief is being waged.

In this battle, we radically overestimate the power of sin and radically underestimate the power of the Spirit.

We can choose to believe that God can and will free us from our sin when we live in faith.

1 John 3:5-9 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning… No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed (or Spirit) remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”

This means that God is actively changing us, and we don’t have to live in habitual sin forever.
These promises give us Hope.
Philippians 1:6 “I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

We are commanded to be baptized because it is a powerful weapon in the battle of belief.

Baptism grounds us as a reminder of how we died to sin and arose a new creation in Christ.

If you are ready to take your next step and be baptized, click here to sign up to talk to an area pastor. Our next baptism weekend is on Feb. 22 & 23.

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