A Baptist Church: Should We Have Baptist Churches Today? – Matthew 28:18-20

Today is Wednesday, April 22, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 31

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Today is Professional Assistant Day! I would like to ask our church family to send Marilyn Bidwell a card and let her know how much you appreciate her. If you would like to give her a gift, I would encourage that too. I do not believe that we can over BLESS another person. Let’s shower her with appreciation today.

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Share these Facebook Live posts with all of your Facebook friends. Let’s use the quarantine as a time to get the GOSPEL out to people. Share the Good News with all of your friends.

Today in the News:

NYT reports – Governors are getting pushback from local leaders about reopening. Mayor of Savannah, Georgia said, “I am beyond disturbed.” This was in response to the governor wanting to ease restrictions while the coronavirus still lingers.

Washington Post reports: The Director of the CDC says that the next wave of the virus could put even more strain on the health-care system because it’s likely to coincide with the flu season.

VOX reports: Senate passed a $ 480 billion stimulus bill to replenish the small-business loan program, provided aid for hospitals, and increase testing capacity. The house is expected to vote on it before the end of the week.

Apple News – It’s Earth Day! It was all about recycling, build a greener world, fight against climate change.

 Well, I want to talk with you about CREATION DAY! This is my name for this day. Christians we have been given the dominion over the earth, and we are to care for it (Genesis 1:26). I believe that Christians are the better caretakers of God’s CREATION because we understand that this planet is a gift from God. However, we also aware that we live in a fallen world, that this world is NOT what God originally designed. But even in a fallen world we have a responsibility. Christians, I challenge you to do your part in caring for gift that God has entrusted into your care.
 
Download your copy of The History of Pandemics: The History of Pandemics

Church Bulletin Bloopers: Submitted by Jeff Floyd

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. 
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Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM . All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done. 
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The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. 
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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door. 
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The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 
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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. 

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson – ALS
  • SLBC family
  • Shut-in’s
  • Idaho to reopen soon
  • Revival across America and the world
  • That the Church would make a difference right now
  • Physical health/Spiritual health

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 28:18-20,

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

I want to have a Word with you about: A Baptist Church: Should We Have Baptist Churches Today?

 What is at the heart of Church Membership?  

  • It is the coming together for the Lord’s Supper
  • It is those who have self-examined (1 Corinthians 11:28) and who also have been examined by others (that is, by those who have not been excluded as an act of discipline).
  • Being baptized is part of the obedience that would be expected for one to come to the table.

Baptist have traditionally thought the baptism is a prerequisite to other rights and responsibilities in the church, including participation of the Lord supper.

John Gill put it, “After the ordinance of baptism, follows the ordinance of the Lord’s supper; the one is preparatory to the other; And he that has a right to the one has a right to the other; and none but such who have submitted to the former, ought to be admitted to the latter.”

In the New Testament we have no record of anyone taking the Lord’s supper who has not first been baptized. The sign of union with Christ – baptism – precedes the sign of communion together. In Christ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), baptism is mentioned before teaching them to obey everything that Christ commanded. It is clearly intended to be an initial step in discipleship.

Old Testament Analogy

Consider circumcision and the Passover meal. In the Old Testament, no uncircumcised male was to take the Passover meal – Exodus 12:48,

    And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.

We can surmise by that analogy that only those who are baptized are to take the Lord supper.

Should the church take members who have not been baptized?

What is the picture of baptism? Outward sign of inward change. It is a public profession of an inward possession. You are saying, I believe in the gospel – death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

People argue for what’s essential to salvation, and anything else is not worth talking about. But is that true? If baptism is not essential for salvation, then why have Baptist churches? We encourage baptism! We believe that baptism doesn’t save you, but it does identify you as a follower of Jesus Christ. We also believe that it is an essential when it comes to discipleship, being a follower of Jesus Christ.

Story of Missionary Maynord Seamand who served as a doctor in Nepal. He wasn’t allowed to proselyte, but if he was asked about his faith he could share about his own conversion. People in Nepal would ask him how to become a Christian, and he would tell them. They would pray and receive Jesus Christ into their lives, and the government of Nepal would do nothing. You see, in Nepal it is against the law to change your religion. You are born a Hindu and you are to die a Hindu. The government would only take action against someone when they went down to the river and were baptized. It was at the point that the government recognized that a person left being a Hindu, to become a Christ follower. Baptism was the outward sign of an inward faith.

There are a lot of things that are not essential for salvation, but are extremely necessary for a church to function. Church government, qualifications for membership, roles of men and women in the church. The use of spiritual gifts within the body of Christ. Worship music and meeting in a building. Non-essential to salvation, but important for the church to function.

It is also important that a church settle the fidelity of Scripture. If baptism is not essential for communion and church membership, it effectively becomes a matter of individual judgment. The desire for doctrinal inclusiveness and unity in the spirit ironically reduces obedience to a matter of subjective preference.
 
  • James 4:17 – Therefore, to him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
  • 1 John 5:2-3By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
If we know the commandments in the Bible, and we refuse to follow them, what are we doing? We are being disobedient, and what is disobedience? It is sin.

Is baptism a command? Yes, it is found in all four gospels, throughout the book of Acts, and is a part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

As believers how do we know what God considers obedience? By His own self-revelation – what He has revealed to us through His Word. There is no other sure and certain guide! If Christ has commanded Christians to be baptized, then countermanding that instruction, or substituting mere intention, even sincere intention, does not serve him best.

Christ glory is most displayed in the church when baptism guards both the regeneracy of church membership and the consistency of a church corporate witness. If we understand that Christ commands the church to baptize only those who believe, then it seems clear that it biblically faithful church is a Baptist Church.

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch. Make contact with your church family.
And as always, as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”