Baptism 101

Baptism can be a very controversial topic among Christians. What is it? What is it not? What method to use? All these questions are valid and important questions. I remember being younger and the sacrament of baptism was confusing to me. My [amazing] children’s pastor at my church did a whole lesson on baptism when I was about seven years old and that was when I began to get a better understanding of the topic. I was baptized on my eighth birthday and it is one of my favorite memories. This is a brief, “to the point” post that can hopefully help you better understand baptism.

First, we need to discuss what baptism isn’t. Many people think that baptism is necessary to be saved and to get into heaven. IT IS NOT! Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith–and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” This verse clearly states that FAITH ALONE saves you. There is NOTHING we can do to earn the grace of God.

So we know that baptism is not necessary for salvation, but what is it?

Baptism is an outward testimony of of an inward change.

When you are baptized, you are proclaiming to the world and to the church that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony. Baptism is an expression of your faith in Jesus. Baptism isn’t just something you do for fun. Only be baptized if you have truly confessed your sins to God and desire a relationship with Him. Because although baptism doesn’t save you or get you into heaven, it is a covenant you are making with God. Its a testimony that you are choosing to follow and serve God, and that is not something to take lightly.

What method to use? This probably causes the most controversy in the evangelical church than any of these other points I have mentioned in this post. There are three main methods of baptism:

  • Immersion
  • Sprinkling
  • Pouring

Some people believe that there is one way to be baptized and that its the only way to do it. However, I challenge you to think of it this way, “If baptism doesn’t save you, why does it matter what method you use?” Seriously. Think about it! My opinion on it is, use whatever method you want or you feel the most comfortable with. I’m not trying to offend anyone who has different opinions on this matter. That is totally okay if you have different views than me, however I want everyone to pray about it and think about if it truly matters and is worth arguing and having conflicts with people over.

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” Matthew 28:19

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. I hope you stop by again to read future blog posts! -Maddie

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Don’t Just be a Believer, be a FOLLOWER 

Hey Guys! This is a topic I am super passionate about and I hope you enjoy😄 

James 2:14-26 says, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

I know that’s a long passage but I really felt the need to have it all there. Now don’t get me wrong, your actions are NOT what get you into Heaven or help you “earn” your salvation. That’s not what this passage is saying. Your salvation comes from Christ and Christ only. We can do nothing to earn our own salvation. However, what this passage is saying is that what’s the point of believing in something and not acting upon it? Notice in verse 19 it says even demons knew who God is and believe in Him. There are so many people in this world who believe in God and Jesus, but not many of them follow Him. I present you this: 

Don’t just be a believer, be a FOLLOWER! 

To follow someone’s advice doesn’t just mean to listen to them, it means to actually do what they say. Following = ACTION  John 13:15 says, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” Notice it says “DO” not just simply “listen”. 

Being a follower means ‭‭striving  to do the will of God and actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ. ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:11 says, “Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.” 

Finally, being a follower means living in a way Jesus would. It means striving to portray His character and be an example for God in all we do. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I challenge you to not just be a believer of Jesus but to be a follower  -💜Maddie

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Giving God the Glory🌱

I feel like so often we get caught up in a legalistic viewpoint of religion. One where “I did this, you did that. It was MY help that brought them to Christ.” As humans, we want to take credit for things, and there are times you can be proud of yourself (in the right way). However, especially when it comes to God and the work of the Church, we should stop glorifying people’s work and aspirations. I was in a service one time and Dr. David Busic was speaking. He said that so often people ask him what is his view for the church or what are his goals for the church. He went on to say that it doesn’t matter what his personal thoughts are! It only matters what God’s goals are and what His will is! While doing the work of God and following His will is of utter importance, in the long run, it is God who helps the seed grow. We should give Him the glory instead of getting ourselves caught up in the legalistic religion that the world wants us to be. As human beings we want people’s approval and glory. But remember what Galatians‬ ‭1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”‭‭‬Another scriptural example is found in Colossians‬ ‭3:17 “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” This reminds us that no matter how amazing our work is, in the end, we need to give the glory to God because without Him, no good would even be possible. It’s God who makes the seed grow. 🌱

-Maddie

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