The Expression of New Birth through Baptism

Ok, we all know by now that the weather does not look real promising for a cookout on Sunday.  So, we are going to plan for rain….we just don’t want to get wet…unless, of course you are a part of the baptism.  Every week we continue to wait on God’s perfect plan for our relocation and it seems like every week we end up with just enough information for the following week.  I guess, God really meant it when He said not to worry and He will provide.

I must admit, I was blown away by last Sunday.  In my mind, I was thinking that we may be a little down in attendance since we have had no advertising, we were in a temporary location a few miles away from our previous location and of course there is road construction.  The fact that we had 196 is simply a testimony to God’s grace and your resilience.

This week we are going to have another UNIQUE opportunity for worship.  We are planning to start our 10:45AM service with a baptism at 712 Central (see map below) and then we are changing plans for our cookout/service and will be heading to the Loose Park Shelter at 5200 Wornall Road.  We will have printed maps for everyone at the Baptism.

So, why do we go through all the “hassle” to allow believers to express their decision to follow Christ through baptism?  Expression is a word that denotes an incredible amount of meaning and leaves much room for interpretation.  Expression is something that can be seen on someone’s face by a smile, frown, laugh or tear. Expression can also be interpreted on our face as condescension, disappointment, contentment or anticipation.

Far beyond the facial expressions available for all to see is something often called self-expression.  The other day, both girls were in a foul mood and Leigh-Ann and I were not far behind.  Instead of wearing a sign that says, “Beware of my foul mood” we all began to express our “grumpiness” with sarcasm and stubbornness.

Since I am on the topic of expression, I will ask a question that has been bugging me, “What is the motivation behind self-expression?”  Why do some people decide to express themselves with multiple piercings or tattoos while others express themselves eloquently in conversation?  Is there a right and a wrong way to express yourself and if so, who makes the rules?  The answers to the questions on expression will depend on your beliefs in regard to the supernatural.

For a Christian, meaning in life is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  This “New Birth” is expressed to others by baptism. On the surface it may seem a little strange to ask adults to participate in a “formal dunking.”  Baptism is a rite that was started by Jesus Christ at the very beginning of His earthly ministry.  In Matthew 3:13-17 we read that Jesus made the 40 mile journey from Galilee to the Jordan to be immersed in the river.

Why would Jesus choose to be immersed in water?  The answer is in the text, “To fulfill the righteous plan of His Father.”  Jesus expressed His obedience to the Father by having John the Baptist dip Him under the water.  This expression was a picture of the coming death and subsequent resurrection that Jesus would voluntarily experience.

According to Scripture passages such as Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 baptism pictures the death of Jesus when one goes under the water and the resurrection of Jesus when one comes up out of the water.  In its simplest form, baptism is an expression of the New Birth that can be experienced by all who ask forgiveness for their sins and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ by faith.

As a body, we get to watch several new believers express their faith.  We have a day planned that you will not want to miss and you will certainly not forget.

In Him!

Troy

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