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Apr 11, 2021

Why Baptism?

Why Baptism?

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Baptism Service

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: faith, bible, forgiveness, salvation, baptism, follow jesus, baptize, believe in jesus, what is baptism, be forgiven

Baptism is the public symbol that you are believing in Jesus, receiving His saving work as your own, and publicly declaring to others that you are His follower. As we look at scripture today, Pastor Matt shows us a few misconceptions about baptism, and why it’s a crucial part of faith in Jesus. Maybe you want to be saved today and follow Jesus. Maybe you have been saved, and you want to continue in obedience and be baptized. Then great, take the next step with us today – www.burnthickory.com/next

Well good morning church and I am absolutely still excited about last week's Easter services on the lawn. I know Marty had mentioned it a little bit earlier. But I just want to say from the most vulnerable to the most scared to the most, this whole idea of COVID is a conspiracy theory, we all got to be together as a family last week, and it was awesome. It was awesome. Just to let you know, we are walking through some steps slowly, to get back to what things could look like normal. But we want to be cautious. We just want to be right; we want to be good neighbors in it. But we also want to worship Jesus. So, we're going to do both all at the same time. Speaking of celebration, and resurrection, today that's what we're looking at, if you really think about baptism, and what it is. And that's our topic today. It is an incredible time of celebration of what Christ has done for us. You know, we're going to look at baptism today through this lens of what is it and why do we do it? We're going to look at is it necessary? Or is it just some antiquated ancient practice that we shouldn't worry about anymore. We're going to look at when we need to do it, how we need to do it, why we need to do it. And we're going to try to wrap our arms and our hearts around this theological concept and command given by God called baptism. Now, I got to start thinking about baptism this week. And the bottom line about baptism is, it's for those of us that think in black and white absolutes. Baptism is incredible and let me tell you why. There's a lot of things in this thing called faith, or in Christianity, that are a little bit ambiguous when you think about am I living it out or not? You know, when God commands us to love people, it's really hard sometimes to kind of put a stamp of approval on the fact of; Am I loving people or am I not? It's kind of hard to rate on a scale of one to ten am I loving people as a two, or am I maybe hitting a nine? Or when you think about faith is hard to do, right? It's hard to look at your faith and go well, am I absolutely living in faith? Or am I just maybe not living in faith? And it's a little bit ambiguous sometimes. One of the amazing things about the command of baptism is it's either you are baptized, or you're not. I mean, there's never like ambiguity in it. And I love it. Because I know that I can glorify God very easily just in being baptized as a believer in Jesus. And it's a step that God has called us to walk in. Did you know that you're one of four people in this room? Now, I realized that when I say that there are some of you like, well, you're judging me, you're throwing shame on me. Well, I get that. But here's the reality. None of us love to be labeled. But you're one of four people in this room or watching online. A you fall into the category of the you have never trusted Jesus. You've never given Him your life, you've never surrendered the Lordship of Jesus over to Him, you've never asked him to forgive you of your sins and come into your life. And so, you've never thought about baptism, you've never even had it on the radar for you. And you know what, I'm not judging. I'm not thrown any shame. But for some of you, that's where you are, you're in that category. The second category of people that are in the room, is that you have indeed made a decision to follow Jesus. You've trusted Him, you've invited Him into your life, but you have never followed through in Jesus's command to be baptized as a believer. You've never taken that next step. You've never trusted him enough to go public with your faith. There's the A category, never trusted Jesus. The B category of people is that you have, but you've never taken that next step. The third category of people in the room are those that were baptized as babies. They were baptized as babies. Now I'm not throwing any shame on that. I mean, hallelujah, your parents did think enough of you to be in church.

We'll talk about that in a minute. But there's some of you that you were baptized as an infant. You don't really remember a whole lot, but you run across a picture every now and then at grandma's house, and you had on this long flowy white gown at some point, whether you were a dude or a girl, it didn't matter, and you were baptized as a baby. Some of you are like, you're totally right. I know. You're baptized as a baby. That's the third category. And then there's the fourth category, and that is that you are a Christ follower and you submitted and gave yourself to baptism after you trusted Christ. You follow through with that commitment. And you said, Jesus, here I am, and I'm walking with you and I am coming out and I'm showing you what you have done for me. Listen, you have to fall into one of those categories. You have to there's no way around it. And so today, here's my goal. My goal is, that I want to speak towards every one of those categories. I want to speak to those. If you don't know Jesus, today, I'm going to speak about knowing Jesus. I want to speak to you today, if you have trusted Jesus, and you haven't made that commitment, I'm going to talk to you. If you were baptized as a baby, today, I'm going to talk to you a little bit and walk you through what that looks like. And for those of you that are Christ followers, you have followed through, I'm going to speak to you today in saying, remember that moment, trust that moment, celebrate that moment, because that's where you came out to the world and told everyone that Christ was your King. So, listen, baptism is incredibly important. And here's what we do. We celebrate baptism a lot, but we don't talk about it a lot. And it's fully understandable if you've been in church a long time, or maybe this is your first day for you to not have a grasp on the overall meaning of why baptism is so big. That's what we're going to do today. In fact, Jesus thought it was so big, that He put it as one of the last things that He said while He was on this earth. Do you realize that it was the one of the first things that we see Jesus doing? But on the other side, it's one of the last things that we see Jesus talking about. Before we go any farther though, let me just give you a baseline definition of what I'm talking about. I think that's fair. And I'll put it on the screen for you where it says this; Baptism is the public symbol, that you are believing in Jesus, that you are receiving His salvation work as yours and you are publicly declaring to others that you are His follower. That you are His follower.

And I want you to notice in this definition, that there are a couple of different parts of what you were actually doing in baptism. There's part of it that is internal, there's part of it where part of you is recognizing and celebrating with God, and there's part of it that is public, that is you proclaiming to the world, what you were doing. And fundamentally at the base of what baptism is, we've got to see that baptism is not something that's just man's idea. Baptism is not something that there were four guys sitting in a room in ancient somewhere back a long time ago and said, hey, how can we make it awkward for everybody who loves God? What can we do to them that nobody else has ever done? What can we come up with as a crazy ritual in eternal situation? That is not what baptism is. In fact, I'm not sure how much you know about the origin of baptism, but baptism didn't even start in the New Testament. It wasn't something that John the Baptist, that's his name, right, came up with one day and decided to go do in the wilderness. It started way back in the sacrificial system. If you remember, right, the priest had to go through the ceremonial cleansing, this bath of cleansing. And when he did that there was this representation of when he was cleansed, he could then walk into the presence of the Lord and represent all humanity in front of the Lord. And it carried on. There was baptism for Gentiles that were wanting to give their hearts over to Jehovah God, part of their coming to faith and part of their moving from their Gentile ways into their godly ways was one of the things they had to do was to be ceremonially cleansed in a body of water. And so, when you get to the New Testament, it wasn't like John was out there doing something new. I don't know if you've ever read it, but when John was in the wilderness, John the Baptist and he was baptizing, there weren't people walking by him in the wilderness going, Hey, I wonder what those guys are doing? The Bible doesn't even describe exactly why it is what John was doing, because it didn't have to. The Jews knew exactly what he was doing. It was a ceremonial cleansing to point their lives in the direction of Jehovah God. So, baptism is not man's idea. It was given to us by God as a symbol of what has happened in our heart. But also, baptism it's not just a denominational thing. I mean, it is a little bit ironic that this is Burnt Hickory Baptist Church, and we're talking about baptism, but it's not a denominational thing. It's a biblical thing. In fact, it's a biblical mandate. It's a biblical command. It's a biblical opportunity for you and for me, listen, to put an anchor into our faith story.

Now, that's important. Because an anchor is something that plants us somewhere, it's something that leaves us somewhere, and it's something that keeps us in a place that we can recognize where we are. And that's what baptism is. I love it because Jesus like we just said, He celebrated His baptism, but He also in Matthew chapter 28, the last thing that Jesus told His disciples, in fact, let me read it over us. It says this, Matthew 28:18 says, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples." Now, we've been talking about that a lot here at Burnt Hickory here over the last weeks, when we talked about the disciples, that's our job is to be disciples, and to make disciples, but I want you to keep going. It says, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age." Jesus, the last thing that He says, it has to be important, right? Jesus had a lot of really big things. But he checked up at this last moment, and he says, Hey, two things, boys, two things before I go, you got to remember this; make disciples and go baptize people, make disciples and go baptize people. Why? Because baptism is huge. It's huge. It's way bigger than just something that we do at the end of a service, or we throw into a service or we make time, so the pastor doesn't get to preach as long, right? It's way bigger than that. I love sitting in worship planning here. And they're like, Well, what do we have time to do that many baptisms. I'm like, are you kidding me? Is anything that I'm going to say any better than watching somebody's life that has been transformed, make a statement and put an anchor in their faith story? No, no! Why? Baptism is incredibly symbolic, and it's a command from Jesus. Before we go any farther, I think I need to talk through a couple of misconceptions of baptism. Because there are some very common ones. I just want to throw them out. Number one, it's the idea that baptism saves. It's a total misconception, total misconception. Now look, I'm not throwing shame on anybody's tradition, or how anybody grew up. Alright? I'm not doing that. But here's what I'm saying. Baptism does not save you. Faith in Jesus saves you. Faith in Jesus saves you. You say, Matt what are you talking about? I'm talking like this, if baptism saves you, two things need to happen. Number one, we need to call Jesus a liar when he's on the cross and says it is finished. Because it really wasn't finished. It had to be baptism. And number two, why don't we just go kidnap everybody we've ever met, and throw them into this water? Right? Why don't we just tackle them into the swimming pool and go baptized, there you're done. It doesn't work like that. Baptism does not save you. Your faith in Jesus saves you. Your faith in Christ, you are submitting your heart to the Lordship of Jesus saves you. Paul was incredibly clear in this in Romans chapter 10:9. He says, if you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." How are you saved Matt? You're saved when you realize that Jesus is who He said He was. And you confess that, and you believe He is who He is. That's how you're saved. Listen to me, some of you guys need to get saved right now. Right now, you need to give your heart Jesus, you need to surrender the control of your life to Jesus, you need to respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit prompting you. There's something inside of you going, you need to do this. Baptism doesn't save you. Baptism is a symbol that you have been saved.

It's a symbol that you have been saved. It's a declaration to the world of what has already taken place in your heart. Baptism doesn't save you. The number two misconception is that I can just be indifferent to baptism. It's really not a big deal. That I can just get around to it when I want to. I can do it if I want to. Maybe when I get older, maybe when I'm mature, maybe when life gets a little bit less crazy, and I get around to it, then I can be baptized. No! That is not what Jesus says. It's not what He says, in fact, Baptism is one of the central commands of Scripture that Jesus says you will either know, or you will not know if you are being called to follow Him. It's a response. Listen, it's obedience. Well Matt, I'm just kind of scared. Can I just flip that around a little bit and say I probably would rather just say that it's kind of scary not to be baptized? Why? Because I can't imagine understanding what Jesus did for me, what He went through for me, what He has done for me and what He is doing for me and not say that I'm willing to do that. Are you tracking with me a little bit in that? I'm trying to not be harsh, but I'm trying to just be real in the fact that when you understand the sacrifice that Christ has made for you, and when you understand what He has done for you a little bit of fear and a little bit of scared is not going to hold you back. It's really not. So, there's a little bit of a checkup in the heart of, if you're just scared to be baptized, that you really don't understand the sacrifice that Christ made for you on the cross. Number three misconception is that infant baptism is biblical. And now I feel the sincerity the air that just left this room, I get that. But let me say this, um, praise God, if your parents baptized you as a kid that they did. Praise God. You say Matt, whoa, where's this going? Thought this was a misconception. Let me flip that script a little bit and say this, praise God. You had parents that were in your life, that wanted you to grow up in the name of Jesus and walk in the name of Jesus and have a faith one day that followed Jesus. Praise God, you had that kind of support in your home? Praise God. But, ah you knew that was coming? Right? But infant baptism is not believer baptism. It's not believer baptism. So Matt, what are you talking about? Infant baptism is not the baptism we're talking about right here. Infant baptism is an incredible way for your parents to celebrate what they hope for you to become. In fact, infant baptism didn't even come out until the second the third century. And it was a way for them to try to figure out how to cleanse the original sin of that infant and that they could be saved in the name of their parent’s faith. And listen, that is not biblical. That is not in the scriptures.

Every single time you see a baptism in the scriptures, in the gospels, as well as all 47 of them in the book of Acts every single time it is a believer that is called on the name of Jesus and repented and then they were baptized, every single time and last time I checked, a one-year-old cannot repent or do anything on their own. They just can't and I'm not dogging you. You say Matt, you want me to go back to my parents and say that baptism was a false baptism? No, that's not what I'm saying. That conversation is not going to go well, I promise you. But here's what I am saying. Maybe just maybe today you realize that you have never had a believer’s baptism from the time you've trusted Christ and maybe you just call them up today and say, Hey, Mom, Dad, thank you for the foundation you gave me. Today, I was baptized as an adult because I fully understand who Jesus is. I guarantee you something that if they are godly people, they'll celebrate that. They'll celebrate it. infant baptism is not biblical. You can't find it. It's a tradition of man. You see, here's the deal. God has given us two ordinances as the church, as believers in Jesus. The first one is the Lord's Supper. We talked about that a couple weeks ago, right? It is the celebration of the body, and the blood of Jesus is us coming together as His redeemed people saying, Jesus, your broken body, and Your spilled blood has given me life. That is the Lord's Supper. That is an ordinance. The second ordinance is the ordinance of baptism. And what does baptism celebrate? It celebrates the same thing. It celebrates the fact that Christ came into the water of death, he died for my sins, He rose for my sins to give me life. That's what baptism is. It perfectly points to the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus and, listen to me, what He wants to offer you.

Jesus was baptized. And He showed us that we should be to. Matthew chapter 3:13. Let me just read it for you. It says this, "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now;” a little side note here, never argue with Jesus, it doesn't ever go well. "Jesus replied, let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." You might want to circle that in your Bible, if you're an outliner. Or you might want to highlight that whole verse, if you're a you version person, right? Why was he baptized? To fulfill all righteousness. Why are we baptized to fulfill our righteousness? "Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." Well, pleased. Could you imagine being there at this moment, one of the only times in all of the Bible that God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit had this intersecting moment, and we get to see it, we get to have a front row seat to it, and we get to see why it happened. It happened because Jesus was obedient and His baptism. And let me say this to you. When you walk into the waters of baptism, you are glorifying the God of heaven. And you are lifting up praises to Him. And right at that moment in the name of Jesus in the name of the Holy Spirit and in the name of God. That's why we say that over and over. Well Matt if they don't say it is it right? Yeah, it's right. But that's why we say that, because we're being baptized in the name that is above all names Jesus, Holy Spirit, God. You see, baptism in this moment was a fully accepted way for the church to know who the converts were. It's how they identified that we know of no unbaptized believers of the faith of the New Testament.

We know of none of them. Remember earlier when I said that baptism is an anchor in our faith story? I want to change that. And I want to say that baptism is the anchor. You see, an anchor is just a significant moment. The anchor is the first thing that solidifies what you have done in your heart. That's what baptism is. In fact, Paul portrays it in Romans chapter 6, and puts all the pieces together. Let me read it to you. Romans 6:1, Paul says, what shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" In other words, since we like grace, do we just keep sinning so we can have more of it? "By no means? Paul says, we're talking to believers, "We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism and to death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead, through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." Now I want you to start feeling the symbolism here. You start feeling right, we're baptized into Jesus's death. What do we do, we walked down from your left down into the water as Matt, as old Matt as sinner Matt, as one who needed grace, I stand into the water, I am put under the water as a symbol that I am aligning myself with the death of Christ, and I'm receiving this monumental public moment to show people that I in fact, have died in Christ? But I raise, I raise to walk a new life. That's what he says, Verse 5, "For if we have been united with Him and death like this, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His." Like His, what is Paul saying here? Paul's given us three statements of what baptism portrays. He's given us three statements of baptism. And number one, Paul is saying this, Paul says that baptism says that I'm taking hold of salvation and I'm letting go of my former way of life. That I'm letting go. That's what baptism says. He just told us right here that we have died, verse 4, "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death." Do you realize that when you give your life to Christ, ah this is so God, that your past no longer exists? That the stains, the pains, the shames, the mistakes, none of that exists anymore. And that's the symbolism of baptism. And it's showing the world that hey, that person that just walked into this water, that person doesn't exist anymore. That person is not here anymore. I know there's funny stories. I know there's yearbook pictures, I know, there's lots of stuff like that, but it does not exist anymore. I'm letting go of my former life. And why can we do that? Two reasons why we can, because Christ died for us and Christ rose for us. That's why we can do that. And it means two things. For us. It means that we're no longer the same person that we were prior to giving our life to Christ. And it means that we're no longer going to die the death that I deserve to die. That's the resurrection power. This is why Paul says in Philippians, chapter 3:14, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself having taken hold of it. But one thing I can do; forget what's behind me and strain on towards what's ahead? See, baptism is a symbol to yourself, that my former life has gone but number two, it's you saying that I realize I'm no longer a slave to sin, but I'm now free in Jesus. That I'm now free in Jesus, this is what baptism says. I'm no longer that person and I'm also no longer tethered to the sin that I had in my life.

Why is this? Because Christ died for it. Because He died for it. What does Paul say in verse 5? Romans 6:5 he says, "For if we have been united with Him and a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him and a resurrection like His." Verse 8, "Now if we died with Christ, we believe we will also live with Him." Catch this, I love this. Have you ever realized that no one ever stays under the waters of baptism? Well, there was that one time, but the normally, right? Normally. No one ever stays under the water. Why? Because you would die. What happens? The old self goes under, the old stuff goes under the old past goes under, and you are risen, now free. This is the symbol, right? Free from the bondage of what used to bring you down. This is what it symbolizes. No one stays under the water of baptism, we come up out of the water Colossians 2:12 says, "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." It keeps getting better verse 13, "When you were dead in your sins, and your uncircumcision of flesh. God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us for all our sins having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness." In other words, you don't deserve what you got. But now we can celebrate it because we have died in Christ and He has risen us. By the way, side note. This is why we think it's so important to be immersed. Matt is it okay to sprinkle. It's okay. But it's not the biblical mode. The word baptiso, it is a Greek word that doesn't even exist in English. So, they didn't even translate the word baptiso, they just transliterated it and came up with a new word called baptism. Prior to this, this word never exists. And it literally means to immerse someone underwater. That's what it means. It doesn't mean to dip or to sprinkle, it means to immerse you. And what does it do? It fully submits itself to the symbolism of what baptism is. I walked in as my old self, I was buried, and I was risen in Christ. Hopefully, it's starting to put the pieces together. Baptism is a symbol that you're free. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, I'm a new creation in Christ, the old has gone, the new has come" shows us what has happened to us and aligns us with what Christ has done. But number three, not only do we see these internal workings of baptism, right, the first two have been internal. It's been me looking at my former life. Me looking at, I'm now set free.

The number three thing that baptism says is that I'm proclaiming to the world, that my faith has changed me. My faith has changed me. I hope you're seeing this. There's an internal side and there's an external side to baptism. It's a public way for you to say I am a child of the King, and He is mine and I am His and listen, baptism is meant to be biblically speaking, as the first act of obedience that you step through after submitting your heart to Jesus. It's meant to be the start of our public ministry. Matthew chapter 3, we read it a few minutes ago of Jesus prior to Matthew 3, you don't see Him doing miracles, you don't see Him having crusades, you don't see converts coming to know God, you don't see any disciples or sermons or healings. Then Jesus was baptized, and all of a sudden, His public ministry took off and He went public with who He was. Here's what that means to us matter. Matt, are you trying to tell me the moment I give my life to Jesus, I need to submit to baptism, right, then? Yes. That's what I'm saying. But Matt, what if I don't understand it all? You're never going to understand it all. It's not an understand concept. It's an obedience concept. Here, side note, I'm going to say this real sensitively. If you don't understand the concept of baptism, I'm really not sure that you can understand the concept of salvation. They run in that much congruence. They run that much together. If you can't understand the fact that you're standing in the water, and Christ has saved you from your sins, and He is offering you His death and resurrection, then you don't understand the gospel. You can't understand the gospel. Matt, are you saying that as soon as I get saved, I need to right then run to the waters of baptism? Well don't run, but yes, I'm saying it needs to happen, then. It needs to happen soon. As soon as you can get your stuff together. Yes.

In fact, listen to what John Piper says about it. He says, "If you were to ask the decisive public way of taking a Christian stand in the New Testament, it would always be baptism, first. First. Well Matt, I can talk about Jesus. I'm just not sure about this baptism thing. I'm just really not sure it works that way. Quoting scripture, in fact you see it all the way through Acts. Acts chapter 2:38 says, "Peter replied, each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." There was an idea that repentance and baptism were always together. Acts 2:41, "Those who believed what Peter said were baptized." There's no indication that there was a length of time of understanding a whole lot of stuff. Acts chapter 8:13, when Simon the sorcerer when he gave his heart to God, look what happened. "Simon himself believed and was baptized." Acts chapter 8:36, "As they traveled along the road," this is my second favorite one, "the Eunuch looks at Philip," he's like, Hey, I get it now, I know it now. There's some water over there. What does he say? "What keeps me?" What keeps me, do you see the urgency of this? There was an urgency, my personal favorite Paul and Silas in Acts chapter 16. Paul and Silas are in prison one night, they're having this prayer meeting, they're singing a little bit. They're praying, God flings the doors of the cells open all over and the jailer that is present is like, Oh, no, this is not going to be good. And he thinks about killing himself in that moment, because he didn't have a good idea for his post. But Paul looks at him and he's like, Hey, we're all here. Don't do that. In fact, let me tell you about who Jesus is. Let me tell you about who God is and how you can have them in your life. And I love this story. Because they tell this jailer in the middle of the night about God, he gets saved. He gets saved and watch this in verse 32 of this passage. Acts 16:32 it says, "Then, they spoke the word of the Lord to him," that's the jailer, "and all the others in his house at that hour of the night." This is in the middle of the night; ah this is so cool. I never noticed this before. I don't know why. "The jailer took them. He washed up their wounds. And then immediately the jailer and all of his household were baptized" catch this, it gets even better. "The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before Him and he was filled with joy because he had come to know and to believe in God." Do you realize what just happened right here? A jailer went from being a Roman jailer to having almost taking his life to meeting Jesus and to put some Bactine and some bandages on the boys’ wounds to getting saved to being baptized in the middle of the night, in the middle of the night. And then they had some breakfast. That's urgency. But yeah, we're like ah I'll just get around it when I want to. Some of you been getting around for about the last 30 years. And it's time to be obedient. Some of you have never walked in baptism. It is an outward display of an inward decision you have made. Some of you were baptized as kids and today needs to be your day as a believer to proclaim to the world that you are a follower of Jesus. Baptism is the first act of obedience and listen to me real closely, you will never live out the best fulfillment of who God has called you to be if you've never submitted a baptism. It's impossible. It's impossible. So, here's the question. So, we start to land this plane.

Have you been baptized? Have you given your heart, have you given your life, have you submitted and said yes to Jesus? Have you? Are the requirements? Yeah, those requirements the requirement is that you know Jesus. That's it. That you have a relationship with Jesus. That's all. But Matt, I don't have an education and I don't fully understand a whole lot or everything? That's okay. I would posture that you will never fully understand until you walk the obedience out. But Matt, I'm just not sure. Listen, it's real clear you can sum it up by saying that scripture commands us to be baptized. Either you are or you're not. It's not me. It's Jesus. In fact, let me just give you a quick five-word summary. Some of you they're like bullet points; Number one, Baptism is the beginning. It's the beginning of your public, Christian ministry and faith. Number two, baptism is worship. It's worship. It's you standing in the water saying Yes, Jesus. You did this, thank you.

Number three is obedient. It's just obedience, it's you being obedient to the call, of what God has called you to do. And number four, baptism is identifying. It's you choosing a team, publicly saying that's whose I am. And number five it's a symbol. It's just a symbol. It's a symbol to the world of what is already happened in your heart. It's a symbol. So, here's the invitation. There's two this morning. Number one, do you need to submit your heart and life to Jesus today, just quite simply, there's some of you that are really good church people, but I don't know if you've ever given your heart to Jesus. And that concerns me, not in a judgy way. But just in a, have you ever come to a moment in your life where you realize that your sins have separated you from God and the only thing that can bring that back is the loving grace of the Lord Jesus coming into your heart and life. Today, do you need to quite simply say, Lord Jesus today, I know that I'm a sinner. And I know that I need you. Come into my heart, as my Lord. Listen, if that's you today, and you mean that today, if that's your heart today, listen, it doesn't take a prayer by me. It just takes you going, Hey, Lord, I'm yours. Come in, you're Lord.

If that's you today, welcome to the kingdom of God. Because today is the day of your salvation. We want to know about it. But here's how we want to know about it. If you just gave your life to Jesus today, we want you to be baptized today, right now, that's the second part of this invitation. Some of you, fall into the category that either you were baptized as a baby, or you've never been baptized as a believer in Jesus. What's holding you back from saying yes to the Lord? You say, Matt I don't have the stuff. We've already talked about that we bought everything Walmart has. But Matt, I rode with somebody here and they're not going to want to wait on me. Okay, watch this. If you rode with somebody, or if you actually if you drove somebody here today, if you drove somebody and you're not willing to wait on them to be baptized, would you raise your hand? That was wrong. Knocked that one out. Matt, if I'm baptized today, my parents I'm really not sure what they'll do. I'm pretty sure when you tell them how celebratory you are of the fact that Christ is your King, that they'll give you that blessing. But Matt, I don't want to swap the denominations. I don't care about that. We're not baptizing you the name of Burnt Hickory Baptist Church, were baptized the name of the Father, Son of the Holy Spirit. That's what it is. But Matt, I've gone a long time. If I do that, I'm going to tell people that I haven't been obedient. Yeah. But here's what I know about this faith family. They're going to celebrate the fact that you are now, you are now. But Matt, I'm not sure that I was a Christian when I was baptized. Well, why not be sure today? Isn't that like double jeopardy? You can do that. It's okay. It's fine. Listen, today's your day. Remember what I said earlier, two things. Baptism is an anchor in your faith story. And it's really clear if you're obedient or not. In just a minute, I'm going to pray for us. And as soon as I get done praying, we're going to stand together when I say Amen. And if that's you today, we've already got some more baptisms that are lined up so you're not holding anybody up. As soon as I say, Amen, if today is the day that you need to follow through in this, this door over here is going to be open. We've got deacons ready to go, we've got greeters that are going to walk with you, they're going to walk you through the whole process, we've done everything for you, except for you taking that first step of obedience today. We're going to stay and sing some songs and worship. And then we're going to celebrate over your decision. Lord Jesus today, God, I pray for those who have decided to give their hearts to you today. That as soon as I say Amen, they will stand up and walk through that door and looks at the first person in the eye that greets them and say, Hey, I met Jesus today. What do I do? And they'll take care of everything else. God give them courage.

God, I pray for those today that they're contemplating making this next step of their faith, really the first step. God give them courage today to stand and walk. Lord Jesus I pray that if people are beside people that they know that need to be baptized today that as soon as I'm done in this, they can look them in the eyes and say, Hey, I'll go with you if you want to go. Can I just pray that next time of sweet worship will be a movement for you? God, we will celebrate over those today that are putting up anchor and their life Lord Jesus and it's in your name we pray. Amen.

Let's stand together. If that's you, I just want you to exit right now. Don't wait. We got plenty of time. But we want this to be a day that you can celebrate the day of your salvation. And I know there's already people that are moving that way. So just go right there with them. And we'll celebrate with you.