Monday, June 29, 2009

Truths on Baptism

I made a quick note explaining our beliefs of baptism and what the Bible states in our family's dedication post below. Well, This weekend, Pastor Mike did a whole sermon on external signs like baptism, so I thought I'd post the information here for further study. You can hear the sermon--which I highly recommend--at It is called: The Gospel According to Abraham, Part 3 "Rethinking outward signs and inward realities."

If you want even more study on this topic, here are other sermons Pastor Mike has given which give much Bible study about the topic.You can go to and then click on Focal Point to download these sermons for FREE.

CD # 0706 – A Crash Course on Christ’s Two Ordinances
CD # 0615 – A Crash Course in Justification & Sanctification
CD # 0634 – Why Don’t We Have to Keep All Those Old Testament Ceremonies?
CD # 0801 – Realities Instead of Rituals
CD # 0836 – No Hiding Behind Religious Trappings

Here are the questions on the back of the sermon (to spur application and further thought):

Application Questions
These questions are provided for your further study and application of today’s sermon. Thoughtfully writing out the answers to these questions will help to drive home the point of today’s study.

1. What are some of the dangers of failing to differentiate between the biblically commanded ceremonial signs and the realities they are supposed to represent?
Why do you think so many prefer to check the box of participating in an “external sign” rather than to engage in the “inward reality” of trusting completely in Christ?
2. Read Jeremiah 4:4 and Deuteronomy 30:6. Why are these passages so important in understanding the limitations of the Old Testament sign of physical circumcision?
3. Why do most couples (or why did you) choose to add a variety of symbolic formalities and ceremonial elements to their wedding event as opposed to simply filing the legal paperwork?
4. Read Matthew 28:19-20. In the New Covenant, Jesus commanded us to baptize those who have become his disciples. Have you been baptized by a church leader after you became a follower of Christ? If not, when will you? If so, what was that like?
5. How would you respond to someone who tells you that because water baptism does not save him, he is not going to do it?

Here are some resources which may assist you in a deeper study of the truths presented in this week’s sermon.
Carson, Alexander. Baptism: Its Mode and Subjects. Reprint. Kregel, 1981.
Conant, Thomas Jefferson. The Meaning and Use of BAPTIZEIN. Reprint. Kregel, 1977.
Dyer, Larry E. Baptism: The Believer’s First Obedience. Kregel Publications, 2000.
Erickson, Millard. “The Initiatory Rite of the Church” in Christian Theology (Second Edition). Baker Books, 1998.
Feinberg, John S. Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship Between OT & NT. Crossway, 1988.
Jewett, Paul K. Infant Baptism & the Covenant of Grace: An Appraisal of the Argument. Wipf & Stock, 1978.
Malone, Fred A. A String of Pearls Unstrung: A Theological Journey Into Believers’ Baptism. Founders Press, 1998.
Schreiner, Thomas, ed. Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ. B & H Academic, 2006.
Unger, Merrill F. The Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Moody Press, 1974.
Watson, T. E. Should Babies Be Baptized? Grace Publications, 1995.
Waymeyer, Matt. A Biblical Critique of Infant Baptism. Kress Christian Publications, 2008.
Whitney, Donald. Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church: Participating Fully in the Body of Christ. Moody, 1996.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Little Reminder on True Beauty

If only we were as concerned with our spiritual beauty, as people in our culture are with their external attractiveness. Unfortunately, like the world, we often fail to value what God finds attractive. The kudos received for losing a few pounds or getting a hair cut are seemingly more gratifying than the benefits of a heart strengthened by grace or a character fortified with patience. But you can be sure that when the Scripture highlights the comparison between spiritual and physical attractiveness, our "inner beauty" is asserted to be of "great worth in God's sight" (1Pt.3:4). While we may not be complimented by our coworkers for a beautiful heart, we can know that God treasures the attractive spirit. He is quick to defend, support and draw near to those who, through thoughtful preparation, take the time to draw near to him by starting each day with the question "How does my spirit look today?"Pastor Mike

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Many New Posts and Zumba

Well, I haven't been the best blogger lately, but I think everyone in the blogging world has been more remiss due to Facebook and life's busy pace. I have a few more posts below this one. Enjoy! I promise to TRY and be better about posting.
This video shows a kids' Zumba class that Carter takes for free at the YMCA. We go after naps, and he gets to run around and get out all his energy. He is one of the younger kiddos, and he really just does his own dance routine, but he loves it! It is great entertainment for me too!

Swim Lessons

Carter took swim lessons this summer. He did an amazing job for a little boy with a strong will and an aversion to anything in his face--including water. He was so excited about swim lessons, and he wanted desperately to jump off the diving board (which he eventually did). He learned to swim short distances with great "kickers" and "splashers" (legs and arms). He is rolling over to float on his back when he is tired, and he can swim to the wall, hand-walk along the wall and then crawl out of the pool from the wall. It was a great start to getting him pool safe. Enjoy some video! (You can turn off the music on the right hand side of my blog.)

Micah's Baby Dedication

We got Micah James dedicated on Father's Day. We believe the Bible is clear that baptism is a step of obedience a person makes after they become a Christian--repent and put their faith in Christ. Obviously, an infant cannot make that decision and cannot become a Christian, so we do baby dedications. Really, the dedication is a parent focused activity. Ryan and I pledged, before our church body, to rear Micah in a godly home and to teach him about God's Word. Our prayer is that someday Micah may repent of his sin (for all have fallen short of the glory of God) and make Christ Lord of his life. It was a great day to focus on godly parenting. Micah and Carter did a great job on stage!

Monday, June 8, 2009