THE BLESSINGS OF BAPTISMS

FROM PASTOR TIM:


Well it was a special Sunday seeing Ruthie, Chloe and Joy Stalcup being baptized. And I was blessed by so many people sharing how wonderful it was for them to be reminded of their own baptism and their decisions to follow Jesus.

There’s just nothing like publicly proclaiming your faith in Jesus. It is etched in your mind and heart forever, glorifies God and rekindles the flame of faith in those who are fellow followers of Jesus.

Growing up my family attended a Lutheran church regularly, and I was baptized as an infant. When I came to truly understand I was a sinner and needed Jesus, and believed, I resisted being baptized thinking that box had been checked off.

But at the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the guiding hand of a few people who cared more about God’s glory than my own insecurities, I could not resist what I think is the most biblical treatment of the issue, and I submitted to a baptism that is borne out of first becoming a changed, redeemed sinner.

When I gave my testimony, in much warmer running waters outside than the ice bath those Stalcup girls experienced (and will never forget), I remember saying that I was not denying the faith that my parents exercised in baptizing me as a baby. But I wanted to follow Jesus, who was circumcised and tell the world, and I’ve never regretted following Jesus in baptism like He modeled for us.

If you are struggling with the decision to get baptized or not, please come and see me. Like the Ethiopian eunuch said to Philip, “See, here is water. What prevents me from being baptized?” Nothing prevents a born-again sinner from being baptized, and we have plenty of water (we’ll work on heating it up!). After the baptism the eunuch “went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8: 36-40)

We stand ready to baptize anyone, any time, because God gets the glory, the Church is encouraged, and you will go “on your way rejoicing.”

One saint told me that when I preached on Simeon concerning the contentment we can have in what Jesus has done for us, they were reminded of Luke 10:20 where it says we should not be content with what Good Works God does through us, but instead, “rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Amen!

And that’s why we tell the Church, and the world, about Jesus. Tell someone this Christmas about your salvation and the joy you have in Christ. You could start by recounting your decision and testimony at your baptism. Then put their first name in the prayer basket so the Church can join you in praying for someone’s salvation.

Merry Christmas!
Pastor Tim


SERMON: SIMEON’S JOY AND THE ADVENT OF GOD’S SUFFERING MESSIAH


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