In Romans 6 Paul likens baptism to the death, burial , and resurrection of Jesus. In baptism we die to sin, we are buried with Christ, and we are raised to walk in newness of life. Another very important point concerning baptism is in regards to its purpose. Peter was very careful in Acts to make this clear. It is for the purpose of obtaining the forgiveness of sins. That is the motive for baptism. The vast majority of the denominational world teaches that baptism is merely a symbol of a previous salvation that one has obtained. You may also have been taught this.
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Many say that it shows the church that an individual has already been saved and that they have made past tense a commitment to Christ. This is a very significant matter because God always wants us to do the right thing for the right reason.
The reason we do something matters to Him. There is no reason that this word should be translated one way in one verse and another way in a different one. Please read: Mark , 1 Peter , and Acts These passages clearly state the purpose of baptism and link it directly to salvation.
Since New Testament baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, it is always portrayed as an urgent matter. The Ethiopian had the chariot stop so that he could be baptized while on his journey back from Jerusalem. Paul baptized the Philippian jailor in the middle of the night see Acts , Why such urgency? Sin is an urgent matter! Baptism is the final step of obedience before God washes our sins away! Now briefly notice with me the other time in Scripture when it was asked what a man should do to be forgiven.
If we stopped reading right here we might not get the complete picture. The concept of belief is sometimes used to represent the entire process of conversion. It would be rather awkward if the Bible writers thought they had to spell out the entire plan of salvation every time they spoke of conversion. In the narrative we are looking at, we notice that the jailor repents. It is likely that he is the one that put the stripes on Paul and Silas… now he is tending to their wounds.
Notice that not only was the family baptized, but the act of baptism was not something that should even be put off until the next day. Again, this emphasizes the urgency of being baptized and having our sins washed away.
Why is it urgent that we turn away from our sins and are buried with Christ in baptism? It is urgent because baptism is the dividing line. It separates saint from sinner.
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It separates the lost from the saved. Today we have the opportunity to make things right with God. The truth is, tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Are you waiting? Have you been buried with Christ in baptism for the forgiveness of your sins. It can wash away all of your sins so that they are remembered against you no more! The truth can set you free! Did you know that within a couple hundred years of the establishment of the church in the first century, man corrupted the simple organizational pattern God had established?
Many decided it would be better if the organization of the church mimicked the structure of the Roman Government. Thus, men became bishops, ruling over multiple churches, and eventually a man was selected to rule over the entire newly organized church. Since that time church organization has evolved in many different directions. An extremely important principle we will notice is that God established an organizational pattern for His Church in His Word that man has no right to tamper with.
In fact, here is a question to carefully ponder: If we change the organization that God ordained for His church, does it remain His? Notice that nowhere in Scripture do we see the authority for any governing body above the local level. I am afraid that this simple principle has fallen by the wayside in the religious world is a whole. In the Scripture we see that each congregation was autonomous.
Peter tells elders in 1 Pt. Again, this simple Biblical principle of autonomy is widely ignored today. Some churches have individuals that are over many churches usually in a certain area. Sometimes churches have boards and councils that serve as governing bodies for those particular religious organizations. The church as God intends is simply made of overseer, deacons, and saints.
But sadly, few religious groups follow that pattern. Does yours? God intended the church to be led by overseer He also referred to them as pastors, bishops, and elders. He intended deacons to serve under them. Both elders and deacons have prerequisites they must meet before serving in these positions 1 Tim. Instead, the Bible teaches that all Christians are priests of God see 1 Pt. Many religious groups have one man that they call the pastor, who serves as the leader of the church. Never does the New Testament teach that there should be a single man called by any name who has authority over the church.
Every time elders or pastors are mentioned in the Scripture, there is a plurality of them see Acts ; James ; Titus ; 1 Pt. The Bible teaches that Christ is the head of the church Eph. Being the head, He directs His church through His Word. No man may add to or take away from what God has said see Deut. What about the organization of the church you attend? As we have already mentioned, Scripture itself claims to be a pattern see 2 Tim. A part of that pattern is the worship that God intends for Christians to engage in as they assemble together.
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There are many things that God has left to our discretion. For instance, He does not command us to gather at a certain hour for worship.
Likewise, He does not designate what kind of facility we should worship in. Since this is true, we are free to use our judgment. These are matters of opinion, not of faith or of necessity. Patterns, however, have always been important to God.leondumoulin.nl/language/help/seventy-six-trombones.php
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Noah was told to build the ark according to the pattern that God gave Him and he was commended for doing so; see Gen. In Leviticus 10, we see two individuals who did not think it was important to worship according to the pattern. Evidently it was important because God took their very lives for ignoring, or making a substitution, for His plan see verses These actions alone are authorized by God for worship. We cannot devise our own system of worship.
It is a man-made practice. In fact, it was the primary reason for the gathering see Acts Who is man to change this pattern? Do we have the right to say as some argue , it will be more meaningful if we do it less frequently?
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In Acts we see that Paul had delayed his stay in Troas so that he could break bread with his brethren on the first day of the week before he left. Or, does it make more sense that they were doing this each first day of the week and Paul knew that? It was what we refer to as acapella that is, without instruments. Instruments in the church assembly were not introduced until hundreds of years after the time of the apostles. In Colossians and Ephesians Paul commands singing.
He, in fact, commands singing with the heart.