What is Baptism? What does it mean and why do we practice it? This morning we take a deep dive into this Christian ordinance to better understand its origin, meaning, and purpose.
God has designed, gifted, and called His Church to be diverse and unified.
We all wrestle with the questions, “Is this life all that there is?” and, “Does my life on this earth truly matter in the grand scheme of all eternity?” Scripture powerfully addresses these questions and more, while also giving us an urgency in our response.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. How then is a loving, yet perfect, holy and just God to respond to man’s sin? The answer is at the cross, where God’s love, holiness, and justice come together to rescue and redeem mankind by grace, through faith in Jesus.
Jesus calls His followers to not only know the truth, but to respond to the truth in obedience. One of the ways that God uses to grow and develop us in our obedience and faithfulness to Him is through our relationships with one another. This entails accountability, humility, grace, and a commitment to grow together.
Often we look to Matthew and Luke’s gospels during the Christmas Season, as they beautifully and powerfully narrate the birth of Jesus and surrounding events. John’s gospel, on the contrary, may not seem very christmasy on the surface, as he does not narrate many of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. Instead, John goes back to the beginning of time, to creation itself, for his readers to see and understand that Jesus is more than a man. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
The book of Jonah is full of contrast. The prophet Jonah runs from God, while everyone else in the book runs towards God; Jonah’s response to God has sharply contrasted the response of the pagan sailors and also the response of the wicked people of Nineveh. Here in chapter 4, we see the sharp contrast between the anger of Jonah and the compassion of God.
God is the God of second chances. He is relentless in his loving pursuit of the lost. In chapter 3 of Jonah, we see God’s patience and grace for disobedient Jonah, as well as for the people of Nineveh.
Jesus is the one and only hope for the brokenness of sin. In John 8:1-11 we read of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, and we see how Jesus responds to this woman in the midst of her brokenness, shame, and need. Jesus, the only perfect and holy one without sin, capable of throwing the first stone, instead offers forgiveness, love, grace, and a changed life. He offers us that same hope today.
The holy person is not one who cannot sin. The holy person is one who will not sin.
– A.W. Tozer