November 4, 2018 Speaker: Dan Davis
Topic: Baptism Verse: John 18:36, Philippians 3:20
This Sunday in our worship services at both campuses we have a total of 22 people publicly professing their faith in Jesus Christ through believers baptism. Along with communion, baptism has been a central part of Christian worship in the church for the last 2,000 years. These two ordinances keep pointing us back to the firm foundation of our faith—Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection for us. Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian, but it does tell the world that you are one. Baptism proclaims that you identify with Jesus and that you are all in with Him.
A Word about Election Tuesday
At Hopevale Church, we want you to vote, but we’re not going to tell you how to vote. We encourage everyone who calls Hopevale their church home to do these three things: learn, pray, vote. On the other hand, we believe it’s not the church’s role to get involved with partisan politics because you can’t equate a certain political party with Christianity--they’re not the same.
Linking Election Tuesday and Baptism Sunday
While we think politics are important, we just don’t think they’re most important. For the believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches that we live in this world as dual citizens. So we’re citizens of this wonderful country of ours, but we’re also citizens of greater kingdom known as “the kingdom of heaven.”
John 18:36 NIV
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
Philippians 3:20 NIV
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
"Our Citizenship is in Heaven"
While we as Christians live as dual citizens in this world, our allegiance isn’t identical (… or at least it shouldn’t be). So when Paul says “our citizenship is in heaven,” he’s reminding us of where our hope should ultimately lie--the kingdom of heaven that Jesus inaugurated at His first coming will be the kingdom that’s consummated at His second coming. That’s why we “eagerly await” our Savior’s return. This is our big “H” Hope.
Identifying with Jesus Christ
While this service is a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual milestone for those who were baptized, it's also an opportunity for all of us to ask the question: “How am I identifying with Jesus Christ today?”
For some of us, it means taking a step toward knowing Jesus personally as our Savior. For others, it means pursuing believers baptism for ourselves. For the distracted, it means repenting from being too wrapped up with fear, anger, and hatred over what's happening around us politically and returning our devotion back to the Lord because "our citizenship is in heaven." For the discouraged, it means claiming our hope in Christ in the midst of our hurt and "eagerly awaiting" our Lord's return to bring His peace to a broken world.
A lot of people will be baptized this Sunday at Hopevale - men, women, teens, and children. In Saginaw and in Bay City. Wait until you hear their stories of saving faith in Jesus!
So we decided not to do a regular Connections this week. Instead I encourage you to preview our baptism teaching videos (see link below) then view and discuss them in your group meetings.
We use these videos in our baptism classes, including our online class on RightNow Media. Our online baptism class (see link below) is a great tool for you to use in helping people in your group prepare for believer's baptism.
Speaking of online resources, Rena and I have found Vote411.org (see link below) very helpful in preparing to vote on Tuesday. The League of Women Voters offers this informative, truly nonpartisan website.
Let's keep learning and following God's life-changing Word in all matters of faith and life!
Link to our baptism class videos: You'll find four videos here that Dan and I put together for our baptism classes. Check them out then view and discuss them with your group.
Link to our online baptism class: Our online baptism class is in RightNow Media. You will need to log in to use it. Let us know if you have questions.
Link to Vote411: We've found this site informative and helpful in preparing to vote on Tuesday.