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Periodic Reminders

Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

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Salvation Is Life-Changing

November 25th, 2016

I’ve been excited by the recent baptisms. That is awesome!

Baptism is a sign (outward) of a change that has taken place in the heart (inward). Baptism was a death sentence for some people in the past. If they publicly declared that they had become a Christian (by getting baptized), they would be killed. Whoa.

Salvation is a life-changing experience—not just an eternity-changing experience. Sure, being saved ensures that you will go to heaven when you die, but it should also create a change in your day-to-day lives as you work to live for God.

Salvation can never be lost, but you can get to the point where it doesn’t affect you any more. It can get old. Boring. The Bible can feel like a rulebook.

Uh oh. Careful about that! If it EVER starts to feel like the Christian walk is a drudgery, you’re doing something wrong! The Christian’s life is a walk of peace. Joy. Love. All the fruit that results from walking in the Spirit is good stuff (Gal. 5: 22-23).

So, baptism is the first step of a spiritual life—trying to make decisions that feed your spirit (the part of you that is God-conscious). Before salvation, the human’s spirit is dead. When a person is saved, God makes that spirit come alive, and the Holy Spirit (God) communes with us through OUR spirit.

Too deep? Nah.

It’s actually pretty simple. When you are saved, growing as a Christian is about learning how to make spiritual decisions.

Baptism is the first spiritual decision. It identifies you as a Christian. It shows others—not just church people—that you became a Christian. If you are (or were) embarrassed about getting baptized… why? If you wouldn’t get baptized in front of your school, or your friends, or your extended family… why?

Bro. Michaels Note

Joseph (from the book of Genesis) was a great man. God used him in amazing ways. He didn’t trade in his bigger bag of skittles for a measly bag of sour skittles and a blow to the gut. He knew what he had in the Lord before he ever even got tempted by Potiphar’s wife. He recognized that sin was just simply not worth it. That’s a great truth. It is also a great story! But be careful…

We can hear great stories and great truths and leave them totally unchanged. I’m saying that a person can go to church faithfully for years, sing hymns, give their offering, and take preaching notes every time they hear a sermon, but never change. The Bible says that person is self-deceived. We all, at one point or another, have been guilty of this. So how does one become self-deceived? It’s simple: be a hearer of the word, and not a doer. We deceive ourselves when we hear God’s truth and don’t ever make any attempt to apply it and implement it into our life. Do NOT decieve yourself. If you know you have been struggling with taking the measly bag of sour skittles and the punch, then take a minute to apply God’s Word to your life. Write down all the things that God has blessed you with, and you’ll go into temptation prepared. If you know the path you are currently going down is the way of the wicked, then turn around and get on the path of wisdom. If you don’t, you’re just deceiving yourself. Be a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only. Even this morning. Listen to to the preaching with the intent to apply, and then apply it. It’s the only way anyone from anywhere will ever truly change; that includes me AND you.

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