jesus and salvation
You are not here by accident. God created you, loves you, and has a plan for your life. Scripture tells us that God knew you even before he formed you in your mother's womb. He created you to walk in a love relationship with Him.
But there's a problem. Sin. You're born with it; it's already part of who you are. Since Adam and Eve first disobeyed God at the beginning of creation, sin has been a curse that all men are born into. Neither you or I are exempt; no matter how "good" we believe ourselves to be. Most people tend to classify themselves and others as either "good" people or "bad" people. But the reality is that every person who has ever lived is a sinner, and that sin separates us from God.
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." _Romans 3:23
So, if we are separated from God, how are things made right? How is that relationship restored? It's not by working hard or trying to live a morally upright life. It's not by rituals or sacrifices. The great news is that even in our sin and brokenness, God still loves us. In fact, there's nothing we could ever do to make God love us less...and there's nothing we could do to make God love us more. He loves us; fully and unconditionally. He even showed us how much He loved us.
"God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." _Romans 5:8"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." _Romans 6:23
For your relationship with God to be restored, your sin problem has to be dealt with. But it's impossible for us to do on our own. Being a better person doesn't make us right with God. Only God can rescue us from our sins; and the beautiful truth is that He offers salvation to each of us because of His love for us.
"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy." _Titus 3:5
That salvation is a free gift. You can't earn it. You can't work your way to God. Salvation comes not by works, but through faith in Jesus..
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." _Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus paid the price for our sin by giving His life on the cross. His death was the final and perfect sacrifice that was paid in our place so that we could be restored to a right relationship with God. After his death, God raised Jesus from the dead after three days. This forever defeated the power of sin and death. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, He provided the way for you to have a relationship with God.
"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." _Romans 10:9-10
God says that if you come to faith in Jesus, you can live forever with Him, walking in a restored relationship with your Creator. Through faith, we have the assurance of God's presence in our lives today and we have hope for the future. If you have questions about Jesus, we would love to talk with you. That's why we're here - to help you understand God's love and purpose for you, no matter who or where you are. Contact us anytime and let's start the conversation.
"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." _John 3:16
We celebrate with you your desire to be baptized. It's an important step in your faith journey. There are always a few questions that come up when we start talking about baptism. We've listed a few of them below. Take some time to read through them, as well as some of the Scriptures referenced to get a better understanding of what baptism is and it's significance. When you're ready to take the next step, contact us here in the church office. We'll connect you with one of our pastors and schedule you for baptism at an upcoming service.
What is baptism and what does it mean?
Physically, baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. But it means so much more. It's proclaiming to the world what you believe; that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to defeat sin and bring you back into a relationship with God. It's an act of obedience that symbolizes your death to sin, the burial of your old life, and the resurrection to walk in the new life Jesus gives.
How does baptism identify me with Jesus?
First, you are crucified with Jesus. When you profess faith in Jesus, you turn from your old life of sin. That's called repentance. It means you "die" to your old life; you're crucified with Christ and from this moment on, He lives in you. See Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:6-7, and Romans 6:3. Second, you are buried with Jesus. See Romans 6:4. Third, you are raised with Jesus. When you emerge from the baptismal waters, you are raised from death to life (a new life free from the power of sin). See Romans 6:5-8.
Why should I be baptized?
While salvation is a gift of God's grace, the authenticity of a person's salvation is demonstrated by obedience. We believe every follower of Jesus should be baptized because it is in keeping with Jesus' example set forth in Mark 1:9, it expresses my love for Jesus and gives public testimony to the people around me of my faith in Him, and it's in obediece to the commands of Jesus as seen in Matthew 28:19-20. Simply put, baptism is an act of obedience that preaches a message to the world around us of the life that Jesus brings.
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
Baptism is an act of obedience; it has no special saving power. It identifies us openly and publicly with Jesus, but it doesn't save us. We're saved by grace through faith. See Ephesians 2:8-9. Saying that baptism is necessary for salvation is dangerous because that would mean there is something that we must do in order to be saved. We are saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus. Nothing else.
Should I be baptized again?
That depends. If you had actually professed faith in Jesus prior to being baptized, there's no need to ever be baptized again. As was mentioned earlier, baptism is an outward testimony of something that has happened in your heart. But, if your first baptism was as an infant, or if you had not professed faith in Jesus prior to being baptized, then you should consider baptism now as a believer. Sound confusing? We'll help you process this. Just let us know.