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March 20, 2020 1:00 am
So in the Gospels, someone becomes a disciple first and then there baptized effect throughout the book of acts.
Baptism is always preceded by belief. So baptism that is a declaration of faith, a public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus commanded the apostles and the church in the great commission in Matthew chapter 28 go and make disciples and baptize them teach them Bible teaching ministry pastor and author Stephen Stevens, the senior pastor of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina, and he's the president of shepherd's theological seminary also in Cary Stevens also are Bible teacher here on wisdom for the heart, and recently he's been working his way through a brand-new series from the book of Ecclesiastes called finding meaning under the sun working to interrupt that series today and set aside some time to answer questions that have come in from listeners Stephen before we get to our first question for the day were about 11 days away from launching a brand-new resource here at wisdom for the heart that were really excited about this friends were calling it heart-to-heart.
It's a mini magazine that includes a number of things that we believe will really enrich and equip you and encourage you is going to include a daily devotional and that will be written by our own staff. It's going to include articles that I'll be writing other staff members will be writing as well and for instance of this coming issue is going to deal with the subject of the day Jesus was crucified, I believe, by the way it was Thursday, and I'll explain why in the mini magazine and this is going to be for those who partner with us monthly. Never gonna send it to our entire mailing list and give you an opportunity to respond. But as we move forward. This will be going to the homes of those who are partnering with us on a monthly basis and a way to say thank you a way to help you in your walk with Christ will include feature resources will include our study guides will include all kinds of things Scott I think is going to be just a fantastic resource I agree were very excited about it and in addition to sending it to our wisdom partners were also going to send a complementary three month subscription to anybody who wants it a chance for them to get to know wisdom for the heart a little better and get some additional insight regarding the Christian faith, and articles of interest. Yes, if you want to get a hold of this contact us if you've never reached this before where you send this to you Scott said and I were excited about getting this into your hands. We we think that you're not going to be without it can go in your Bible with the half-size fit easily with your Bible.
It can go along with you as you travel, you go to work or there at your bedstand at your kitchen table. It's going to be the perfect complement to help you as you walk with Christ, if you already receive our monthly newsletter called heartbeat. There is nothing that you need to do organist send this to you automatically.
At least the first several editions of it so that you can see heart-to-heart so if you receive heartbeat newsletter. You don't need to call but if you're not on our mailing list and you'd like to be the number that you can call is 86 648 Bible.
That's 866-482-4253 and when you call. Just tell us that you'd like to be included in the next mailing of heart-to-heart and will see to it that you get a copy. All right, Stephen.
Let's get on with our first question for today sounds great now normally orderly conduct thinking. Thank you so much for calling in with your question Stephen Pam's in a church where they have started to have everyone praise simultaneously out loud and Pam is wondering about that shirt. Love Pam, thanks for calling in others know versus as you can't, there's no versus as you should.
There is a principal though and I think you alluded to in inverse goonies 14 in verse 40 where Paul is telling the church in Corinth that had become rather chaotic is is specifically related to speaking in tongues. There was this outburst taking place and so he gives some rules in a church that's going to do this course. This is a different subject. I think the rules rule it out because primarily it's for unsaved Israelites to be given the sign of times the judgments, that's another subject, but at any rate he say look, if you speak in its conduit to or at the most three take turns doing it. Verse 23 versus 27, 28, make sure there's an interpreter. First, keep silent. If there isn't one. So all of this is to bring order to a worship service so that it isn't distracting.
It's edifying. Frankly, I have a hard time praying, if people around me are praying out loud just keeping my own train of thought. It's hard enough for me to pray what is just me and quiet, much less somebody you know barking away my ear so I would recommend that you know you you have order that you take turns. This is how we would do it in our our church but again you know and be careful because the Bible didn't condemn it either may be times when you might ask the congregation to pray the same time quietly so they're not distracting, but typically you might gather in group were one person at a time is a leading in prayer. That person is going on behalf of everyone to the Lord in prayer. That's the prayer in the assembly and that's the normal practice send and so I would. I would encourage that. Just be careful will become legalistic and saying you should do it and I think is just as legalistic to say you can't do it just it's it's all orderly same idea you live. People ask me Pam. Can I raise my hands. You know, in the service of the verse that says you can or you can to reassure you, shouldn't David's early talks about lifting holy hands, but I think that's probably tortured a bit to talk about a worship service today. I think I and I responded people with lighting. Raise your hands.
But I just have a met stand behind your cousin Megan.
We will see to just be respectful of people in the assembly.
Don't be distracting.
This is a corporate service which means it's not about you it's not about me individually. It's about us together, approaching the greatness and the glory of God. Yet thanks Stephen, as you were talking. It made me think about the fact that if we are praying out loud as opposed to praying silently. The reason were praying out loud is for others to hear us. God hears us, whether we pray verbally or silently. God hears our prayers.
So for praying out loud it's for the sake of others who are hearing us, but if everyone's doing at the same time you can't make sense of any of it. Good point Scott will thank you so much Pam for calling in with your question number that Pam used, to ask Stephen. That question is 910-808-9384 910-808-9384. That's a phone number that's been set up simply to record your question.
That's not a number that we monitor it's not even a phone that we can answer here in the office, but it is an opportunity for you to call in, leave your question for Stephen to answer on a future broadcast I give that to you one more time 910-808-9384. And that's the number. This caller used North Carolina out the right way or a right that because in our church.
We had 13 young people how to wind a year-long confirmation class with a state picture and the end of the year. Now they just hold it. Perhaps you might not baptized the right way need to be immersed and he needs to be baptized, so he's very concerned about their marketing baptized again in the river. They will not do it because baptized you cannot baptized 19 married and you married, you can't do it over again on back at John 316 and Romans 10 nine that salvation time territory. What would be here in this problem. Thank you, thank you so much for calling in. I know that Stephen's going to have some insight for you from God's word for both you and your grandson.
So Stephen, there's a lot of layers to this. How do you want to jump in.
Well let's let's break it into into several different sections.
Let's talk about who and then when and then how I let's talk about who is supposed to be baptized. Well we been given a command in Matthew chapter 28 the church is been given what we call the great commission and the great commission is to do what going out there to make disciples and then your to do two things to disciples baptized them and teach them to observe all the things the Lord commanded or that he taught in so who gets baptized. It's a disciple that is someone who is heard the gospel and is believed. In fact, you know, those that believe in infant baptism. That would say you know you need to be christened or sprinkled as an infant, typically will go to acts chapter 16 in the Philippian jailer where you know the Philippian jailer believes, and they say to him you know you'll be saved you and your household. And then they spoke the word of the Lord to him, together with all who were in his house and he took them that very hour of the night. That is the Philippian jailer washed their wounds wash the wounds of Paul and Silas, and immediately he was baptized.
The food you jailer that is he and all his household and so you know I've had people tell me whether it's got a been a baby in there somewhere in that household.
So he was baptized is obviously there, sprinkled well all you need to do is keep reading is the next verse says, and he brought he the Philippian jailer brought them into his house and set food before them and rejoice greatly.
Having believed in God with his whole household.
In other words, his entire household became disciples by hearing the gospel and believing so in in the Gospels, someone becomes a disciple first and then there baptized effect throughout the book of acts. Baptism is always preceded by belief. So baptism that is a declaration of faith, a public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus commanded the apostles and the church in that great commission in Matthew chapter 28 go and make disciples and baptize them teach them so you have to be old enough to have believed the gospel and be willing to publicly profess faith in him by being baptized. So who was baptized disciples.
When are they baptized well after they become disciples after they've become followers of Christ through salvation by faith in him alone, so the really then would not be any chronological age requirement, it would just be a matter of verifying that if a child for example, verifying that that child has a testimony of faith in Christ, absolutely, and I would recommend for parents to wait as long as you can until that child is mature enough and old enough to understand, among other things, that water is it washing away their sin. Only salvation makes a member of the community of faith and so we would just encourage parents to wait until that child is able and willing to make a public profession.
Understanding the significance that it's a metaphor identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and whom they've placed their faith. I think that's a good reminder when I was a children's pastor, I would have parents contact me in the parents wanted the child to be baptized, but the child really didn't affect the idea of standing up in front of the church was just so terrifying that they wanted nothing to do with the but it was important to the parents right. It is what you can get a say. I mean if the spirit of the parents say we want you to be baptized to be says no this could be like eternal timeout.
He's in deep trouble. So it was easier to say yes so parents don't push your children just wait until they get it they understand it and they know in whom they've placed their faith and why baptism matters.
So Stephen Diana's grand child went to camp and was told at camp that he needed to be immersed.
Can you comment then on the on the mode of baptism is, is that the right advice. That's a great question and and that's a bit of a longer question and Diana I want answered is much as I can with the time we have, because I know others are listening and they want to know as well, but I am also concerned about your grandson.
I want to create a dilemma with your church but you've asked me question them to give you an answer based on the word of God. Now let's begin. However, with something that most people don't often think of or are aware of most pastors should be and that is we have a New Testament that was given to us in the Greek language Greek and Aramaic, and the purpose of a translation is to give you the meaning of a verb in the language of the reader. So for instance when I read that word baptized.
That should be a translation of the Greek word well. The Greek word happens to be baptism, so my all I've said and saying baptized is I've transliterated the word without giving the meaning of the word and the reason for that is you go all the way back to the Geneva Bible in the 1500s.
They were sprinkling their infants having come out of the Roman Catholic Tradition and you don't immerse babies a lease. Typically you don't and they got to this root word baptism.
So which means to immerse and they knew they had a problem and so instead of translating it to immerse or immersed, or immersion. They transliterated it and simply created an English word baptism to translate bed to the zone by so the English reader for centuries has never had that word translated so every time you read baptize, you don't know that that actually means. Immerse not can it have a symbolic meaning. Guess it's used for ceremonial cleansing. But here's the interesting key never in the New Testament is the word for poor, or the word for sprinkle ever used in a passage related to Christian baptism. The Greeks are actually pretty clever, then which Michael Mizuno poor means they always use the baptism root words in those passages and why, because it wasn't just some little ordinance it was identifying people publicly with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans chapter 6 buried with him in baptism raised to walk in newness of life. I think that text relates to spirit baptism but it is perfectly illustrated in water baptism and how you identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus with a little water on your four head you identify in this manner. This is why was so significant when you are immersed you are buried to signify death and burial of Christ and a we believe in the resurrection.
Praise God's will bring you up out of the water to signify your identifying with the resurrection of Jesus Christ are simply no other way to identify in this manner other than to do with the word means and that is to be immersed right, Stephen.
There's more to this delicious positive and kind of Where we are. Who is baptized is disciples when there baptized is after their salvation. And when they understand the meaning of baptism.
How there baptized is immersion. One thing that she didn't ask. Specifically, Diana. I mean, is she alluded to the idea of where her grandson wants to be baptized. She mentioned the river what you think about the place where baptism should happen. Well, be careful snakes and things like that part of that there's under all of the rivers of the wrong with the end of the Jordan people get Israel in a row that you, the Caribbean rubber producer sitting here's wife is baptized or what what I do want it mentioned is this is in the private thing.
This is a corporate thing is for the assembly your identifying only with Christ. But the body of believers who have also identified with Christ. This is an ordinance of the church. This is the private thing and so I don't do private baptisms never have and I don't encourage people to try to do something private. Make sure the body is invited. Believers are invited and the assembly can rejoice over this public profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
It's not something that a father doesn't a bathtub. Yes, exactly. I remember in the early days of of your church, Stephen took place at the local YMCA. Yeah this right was there was no baptismal tank and we had. We use the Jacuzzi to big Jacuzzi and you know I was always trouble when people wanted to stick around after but I kicked them out. Well, let's just get to one more issue that Diana brought up in.
And that's the idea of being baptized again. You already mentioned know you don't want to open a can of worms in her church, but she did ask and other leaders of her church are. They don't want this boy to be baptized by immersion. Well I think she's asking a question that has such a rich history behind it in and something that's easy for us to take for granted in a we track our history back to people who were called Anabaptists that is Anna again baptized, and these were people who just from their study of Scripture during the days of the Reformation, they became convinced as I am to this day, that baptism should follow salvation, and so that they been sprinkled in those babies. They were called Anabaptists and they were they were, they were persecuted they were put to death. They would make these big seesaws at the edges of rivers, put them on one end and they would dump them until they drowned. So yes for us it something you know, we can take lightly.
I hope we don't. But there were people who died for this conviction that a disciple is the one is baptized or there baptized after their salvation.
And then there following the biblical motive immersion and so if someone has been sprinkled as an infant. They're really not being baptized again baptize means immerse so they've never been baptized.
They been sprinkled. They've had a little water poured on them, but they've never been baptized. That word means immersed. Now let me add this if somebody is baptized by immersion as a child and they didn't understand that they grew or maybe they had a period of time to 13 years early adult years where they were walking with the Lord and not really sure that they were saved as a child, or they can't really remember at the didn't have the significance it should have. It is possible for them to be baptized by immersion again.
It's really a matter of their conscience. So II would certainly encourage that this become a profession of their faith, but I don't like to tie it to just simply growing in Christ because we all have to be baptized again. Every other year because were always growing and learning, but someone was baptized by immersion is a younger person didn't get the significance of it begin to live for Christ leaders in adult and wanted to be baptized by immersion again. At certainly do that but does been sprinkled as infants then been baptized, baptizing them again. There being baptized by immersion baptized correctly biblically for the very first time Stephen so we've covered a lot of ground. Talked about who and when and how and where baptism but I just want to bring you to one more thing that Diana mentioned and that is that her grandson is actually concerned about this. He's worried and so what what we say. If for some reason he's unable to be baptized in his church.
I think the great point to bring up so will wrap it up there with let's just make sure we understand that baptism is an act of obedience and so someone can be saved without having been baptized by immersion baptism by immersion is not in of the ratification of salvation. Some believe it isn't the end of the handle on the doorway into heaven. It is something you do after you've become a part of the family of God as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God. John chapter 1 Paul in Romans chapter 10 makes it very clear that wonderful verse. Danny might just encourage her grandson with that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be say there is no additional and by the way, if you're baptized by immersion you your saved. That's an act of obedience. We are not saved by obeying God we are saved by faith in Christ alone. We are justified by faith alone were not justified by faith plus baptism or anything else. So encourage him that he can be saved belong to Christ and not be baptized, but it's something that should trouble him in the sense of how one obey the Lord absolutely. I don't want to take that away from them and I hope that one day he will Diana, thank you so much for calling in with your question.
We were glad to hear from you and hope that this time has been an encouragement and help to you and your grandson. Please call us back if you would like more information will Stephen we mentioned this at the beginning but some blisters may have joined us late. We have a brand-new resource launching in just 11 days from now. Really excited about this magazine were calling it heart-to-heart. It's going to be designed to specifically and especially encourage and enrich the lives of you are listening family I were going to include articles on topics that are to be of utmost importance or interest were going to include a daily devotional for you to follow along a brief devotional but something for every day of the month were going to include a course or radio log and listener responses and other informational things that will be of interest in and in key resources as well.
Deeply discounted for those in our family.
I know the article I've written for this launch. Since were in Easter that that month when we celebrate, especially around our world, the resurrection of Christ, but that this special season of the article is going to be on the day Jesus was crucified.
I'm asking the question, was it Friday I happen to believe it was Thursday and so I'll give some details as to why that matters. Although I'm not suggesting we change to good Thursday anymore than I was ill at celebrate Christmas on December 24. If we had more information, but it's going to be important because it ties in to the killing of the Passover lambs and it's a beautiful pic