Generous IRL – Week 2
Let’s focus on the IRL part of the series. Today we’re talking about Baptism. Baptism is how we demonstrate God’s grace and His generosity in real life. We’re taking His incredible sacrifice, His incredible gift, and we demonstrate it, in real life. Why do we do it? Well, it’s what I say to my sons all the time:
because Dad said so.
God told us to get baptized and I’ve got one goal today, to make sure every Christian adult has been baptized. Have you been baptized?
One day in Jerusalem, Peter was preaching to a huge crowd and he killed it.
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
This is the question a lot of people have when they become a Christian. What do I do now? And Peter told them:
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
First, repent and believe. That’s what justifies you. That’s how the relationship starts, but then there’s a next step. Just like when you get married, the steps don’t stop after the wedding. What’s the next step? Be baptized.
What is Baptism?
- A Command
- A wedding ring.
- A death and resurrection.
What does Baptism Require?
Let’s read the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1-15.
5 The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories.
Naaman is a rich and famous soldier. The equivalent of our day would be someone like Tom Brady.
But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy. 2 At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. 3 One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.”
4 So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. 5 “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.”
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, “Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? Why is this man asking me to heal someone with leprosy? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.”
8 But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes in dismay, he sent this message to him: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.”
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”
11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.
This is a rich and famous person hissy fit. Have you ever known what you should do, but your pride keeps you from doing it? Naaman wanted to be healed, but his pride wouldn’t allow him to dip in dirty water.
13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed!
15 Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”
So are you ready? Are you ready to dip in the water? To announce your marriage to Christ with a ring? To unite with Christ in His death & resurrection? On Sunday we had 35 people get baptized and you can join them.
Let us know if you want to be baptized.
Did you like this message, Generous IRL – Week 2? Check out more of our Sunday teachings here.