An Outward Sign of an Inward Change

06 Feb

Micah 7:19 (ESV) He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Everyone who really knows me and knows of my ministry knows how dearly I hold baptism. Baptism is one of two ordinances that Jesus left for His church. We see when Jesus gave us the Great Commission in

Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

he included baptism as the first identifying step to discipleship. We just started a new series at COAH called ROOTED. It is all about the call to discipleship and what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The first step following salvation and conversion is baptism. It is not an option it is a command from Jesus, who himself was baptized by John the Baptist. Baptism shows the world that we belong to Christ, that we identify with Christ, that we are a part of God’s family. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. It reveals the work that Christ has done on the inside. Work that was accomplished for us by the life (living a perfect sinless acceptable life), the death (paying sin’s penalty once and for all) and the resurrection (defeating satan, sin, and death offering eternal life) of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul reveals in Romans 6 that baptism is a word picture to the world. Going under the water symbolizes being buried with Christ and dead to sin and coming up out of the water symbolizes being raised with Christ to a new life. I love what Micah 7:19 says about our sins being cast into the depths of the sea. The depths of the sea are an unreachable place so they are gone forever. Easter Sunday April 8 at sunrise City on a Hill Church will be at Gandy Beach for our special Easter Sunrise Baptism Service. There is no place I’d rather be on Easter than in the waters of baptism. The significance is matchless. When that sun begins to rise on Easter Sunday you can’t help but see the double meaning. Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. It just doesn’t get any better than that! Baptism truly is an outward sign of an inward change. It is a time to invite friends and family to one of the most powerful spiritual markers in our lives. Every time I am privileged to share in this sacred moment memories of October 1991 come flooding back into my soul. When I stood in those waters of baptism I felt like I finally found my place. I felt like I was home. In my head plays a song by Clay Crosse, “I’ve walked along a 100 highways, some I wish I could forget. And I’ve burned a lot of bridges but there’s not one that I regret. Cause every path I’ve taken, they all have lead me to knowing my place is with You.” My baptism on that special day was an outward sign to the world that I had experienced an inward change. The last 21 years have been a testament to that change. My heart is to show that world that it is all about Jesus, it has always been about Jesus and it will always be about Jesus. I took my first step toward discipleship in March of 1991 when I publicly walked that aisle at Calvary Assembly of God in Dade City after Pastor Joe Register gave an altar call to salvation. I took my next step getting connected to a Saturday night Bible Study Small Group in June. I took my next step joining a Ministry Team called the Royal Rangers in July. I took my next step in October when the church offered the opportunity to be baptized. This has been a significant part if my journey. I am believing God for an HIS-toric baptism at COAH on Easter Sunday April 8, 2012. Every Friday from now until I step into those waters that morning I will be praying at Gandy Beach asking God for souls. Asking God to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), asking God to gather the wanderers (Ezk. 34) asking God to call Christians to discipleship and transform us all into disciple making disciples. I will be asking God for changed lives. My hope is that many will follow the Lord Jesus Christ in baptism and reveal to the world the outward sign of their inward change through baptism. If you’ve never been baptized or you have re-committed your life to Christ and want to show the world your renewed commitment take your next step. I can’t wait till Easter Sunday! My will be praying for you! Be encouraged!

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