Saturday, January 29, 2022

Family Sunday - Last Lessons


It was great to see so many water baptisms last week and this week and it’s possible we will enjoy seeing several more next week. I’m excited to see the numbers of individuals and families devoting their lives to Jesus and making public professions of their faith in Christ and their personal commitment to follow Him for the rest of their lives.

Have you been born-again, water baptized, and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit? If not, why not … and why not today?

For those of you on campus this morning, I’ll be happy to water baptize you and pray for you as we conclude our services this morning. For those of you watching online today, contact me at Click on ‘Connect,’ fill out the information and indicate you want to be water baptized and we will find a way to make that happen for you.

Today is Family Sunday at our Church. About every 13 weeks, effectively 4 times a year, we enjoy a 5 Sundays in one calendar month. When a 5th Sunday comes around, we plan what we call “Family Sunday.” Family Sunday is the Sunday when during our Second Service we encourage our families to worship and hear the word together in the main sanctuary instead of having separate children’s services, classes, teachings, puppets, and plays that Sunday for ages 3 through the  6th grade.

These Family Sundays are also designed to allow the wonderful workers and special teachers who serve in our children’s department to attend worship in the main sanctuary together with their families that Sunday. This morning I have prepared a message with these things in mind and so without further explanation, let’s get right into the Word together.

Please don’t be overly concerned with a little extra movement or some small amount of distraction this morning from the children during the service. They are used to being in a little different environment than our large sanctuary and they normally have a little more room to move around and make a little noise. Parents and guests, on campus and online, won’t mind stretching a little this morning so that you might enjoy big church with the kids and maybe even take advantage of explaining some facet of the Word or Church with them. I also want to encourage those attending church from home this morning to gather your family with you this morning so you might also enjoy church together today. It will be a special morning for all of our Church On The Rock families.

With those things in mind let’s prepare for the Word today by turning to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 18, Luke 18.

This account of Jesus takes place during the last 10 days of His earthly life and ministry before He finally arrives in Jerusalem where He will be arrested and crucified by the Roman soldiers as a sacrifice for all of the sins of mankind. Jesus and His disciples were walking along a road that ran beside the Jordan River from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the Dead Sea in the south. They were almost to the city of Jericho where they would turn west and cross over the Jordan River before heading up the steep mountains of the Judean desert to the city of Jerusalem.

It was on this last long walk that Jesus taught so many truths to His disciples and those listening. The lessons we will discuss today are among the “Last Lessons” Jesus taught. Let’s read:

The First Last Lesson for today:

Luke 18

1 ¶  Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,

2  saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.

3  “Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’

4  “And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,

5  ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

6  Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.

7  “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

8  “I tell you that He will avenge His children speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

A Second Last Lesson

9 ¶  Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11  “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.

12  ‘I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’

13  “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

14  “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Our Third Last Lesson from Jesus this morning:

15 ¶  Then they also brought children to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

16  But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

17  “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

There are a several other lessons Jesus taught on the walk that day which cannot all be covered in only one Sunday. Let me encourage you to read the whole chapter and find the other important truths that were on His heart and mind that day and share them one by one with the family. Every one of them has the potential to change our lives and powerfully impact how we act and react to the challenges life presents us today.

In light of the goals the Holy Spirit hopes to accomplish in our lives today, let’s turn our attention to one more lesson Jesus teaches us from Luke 18 this morning.

For The Final Last Lesson today, let’s look at verse:

31 ¶  Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.

32  “For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon.

33  “They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

Perhaps above all the other last lessons that day, Jesus had something quite heavy on His heart that He wanted to share with His closest friends. Sharing our hearts, hopes, and hurts with others who care is not only a natural desire but seems also to have been a spiritual need of Jesus. No doubt Jesus wanted them to know, and He could have used some encouragement along the way. But that didn’t happen.

It was not the first time Jesus attempted to share His burden with His friends and it would not be the last time either. However, every single time Jesus tried to get some support from His friends concerning what He was facing, it appears they weren’t listening, nor did they even try to understand. I feel a little sorry for Jesus. He seems to have been a better friend to His disciples than they were to Him. slipped right by them.

34  But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.

The phrase, “this saying was hidden from them,” does not indicate that God kept them from understanding. Rather, their own narrative and what they believed kept out all truth to the contrary of what they wanted. There was just no way in the world they could imagine the Messiah being scourged or spit upon, let alone crucified and killed.

Our prejudices can make it hard for us to recognize the truth. Perhaps we should all be quicker to listen than we are to think and talk, even to ourselves. So much truth is hidden behind the curtains of an already made-up mind.

It is evident from these last lessons of Jesus that:

1.   God wants us to not grow weary, get disappointed, and quit praying. He is hoping that no matter how difficult things may get from time to time that when Jesus returns to earth, He will find people who are still praying and believing for the best.

2.   We should not see ourselves better than others. Only God can judge. Be humble and let God take care of the rest.

3.   Jesus loves children, and in many ways, He wishes we were all more like them.

4.   We should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and even slower to judge what Jesus says by your own accepted narrative. He may have something to say that lies beyond our already made-up mind.

Have you enjoyed Family Sunday today? Next week we will be enjoying communion together with our congregation on campus and online. Let me encourage those of you who plan on attending from home next Sunday, February the 6th, to take some time this week to prepare. Get some grape juice and a tortilla and be ready next Sunday to partake in the Lord’s Supper together as a Church family.

If you have not yet prayed to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you would like to be saved right now, pray with me while we all stand together and seal today’s word in our hearts. You know you believe in Jesus and if you will sincerely ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart, your soul will be saved and you can begin a new life in Christ.

Let’s all stand and pray right now.

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module 2 – New Creation Realities Block 1 – In Christ


Our initial 12 lessons comprised the first of 4 Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship modules. That first module, entitled “Redemption”, was designed to bring a person to the recognition of Jehovah as the one and only omnipotent God and Creator of the universe. Those 12 blocks also challenged us to affirm our faith in the grace of God who loved so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, as payment for the sin which had separated us.

The Redemption Module concluded by teaching righteousness, identification by water baptism and the power available to every believer through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Seeing that we have covered these initial 12 lessons, let us now go on to the next step and discover what we get when we get saved.

Module 2 is entitled, “New Creation Realities.” We will begin with our:

Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

One of the New Creation Realities is our subject for this life block lesson: that of being “In Christ”.

Being “In Christ” is a positional reality. From the moment a person is saved, God sees them forever “In Christ”. They become brand new creations; the past no longer controls the future and new realities are brought to birth in Christ.

Acts 17:28  For in Him we live and move and have our being …

77 times in the King James Version we find the scriptures make direct reference to being “In Christ”.

Our “New Creation” status and the position we occupy “In Christ” are both significant factors which afford us great advantage. It is from this position we take advantage of our relationship with God and begin to change things within us and change things around us.

One of the first things we need to change is how we see ourselves.

Ephesians 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

It is simple. When you could do nothing, Jesus did everything, and by your faith in Him, God made you a new creation in Christ. God sees you “In Christ” and so we also should see ourselves as He sees us.

·        We are not Sinners trying to do right … rather we are the Righteous resisting temptations to sin.

·        We are not the sick trying to get healed … we are the healed and whole denying sickness a right to occupy our body.

·        We are not those shouting louder, praying longer, or singing sweeter trying to get God to notice us – we are “In Christ” and God hears our every thought and knows our every need.

·        We don’t do good works hoping God will love us and let us into heaven … rather we do good works because He does love us and because He created us in Christ to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10)

2 Corinthians 5

17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

To reconcile means to settle accounts; to balance the books; to make up the difference. Reconciliation is an exchange of coins whereby an adjustment is made to equal the so that no variance exists.

God was “In Christ” making up the difference between God and man and has settled the accounts and balanced the books for all who are “In Christ”. Jesus is both the door and the store of grace.

For God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God “In Christ”.

Important Points

1.   To be “Born Again” is to become a “New Creation in Christ.”

2.   God desires we live our life from the New Creation perspective.

3.   The Bible teaches us these New Creation Realities.


        Every person who believes and receives Jesus as Lord and Savior is born again and becomes a “New Creation in Christ”. This is a positional advantage.  Each Believer will face and should grow to embrace their new creation realities as well as their new creation responsibilities.

        God was “In Christ” reconciling man unto Himself, making up the difference and settling accounts. Once a person has entered the grace of salvation by faith in Jesus, old things pass away and all things become new. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are “In Christ” who live and move and have their being in Him. (Romans 8:1; Acts 17:28)

        If we belong to Christ we are Abraham’s seed and heirs of God according to the promise. (Galatians 3:28 & 29) The scriptures reveal our inheritance and teach us how to take advantage of the righteousness we have been made to be “In Christ”. The truth is simple: Jesus is both the door and the store and you have come through Christ into Christ to live in His grace. Let’s search the Word of God together and discover our “New Creation Realities”.

2 Corinthians 11:3  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Gospel of Peace


Ephesians 6 NKJV

13  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

18  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — 

We are encouraged to have our feet shod with the gospel of peace, while being armed with the Word and prayer. (Note: It’s like a policeman or soldier having both a weapon and a radio to call for backup.)

Perhaps the single most important pursuit of God is to live in peace with mankind both in this life and in the next. God has ultimately aimed everything He has done, is doing, and will yet do, towards the end result of peace. He wants to live in peace with people on earth and throughout eternity … and He will. The question is … will you?

People who choose to not accept the Gospel of peace, which was made possible by Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will one day simply not live at all. This approach may seem harsh to some human ways of thinking but not to God. He is unwilling to allow people to destroy the peace of His eternal kingdom. God has put up with the unruly and ungodly for a long time, but the Bible says that He won’t always do it, (Genesis 6:3). God is not going to live the rest of His life like this.

Certainly God is patient and does not just swoop down on an individual, a nation, or a generation and take an undeserved swipe at them. The patterns of God’s purpose and process can be seen throughout the whole Bible. As Proverbs 26:2 says: The curse will not come without a cause.

God has provided a way to live in peace with Him through Jesus, the Prince of Peace. God is determined to have peace at all costs.

Acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to obtain peace with God. The Gospel of Christ is the power God unto salvation for everyone. There is simply no other way to live in peace with God.

The list of the armor of God which we are encouraged to put on in Ephesians 6 clearly paints a picture of a soldier prepared for war. Why associate peace with an image of war? Throughout the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, God demonstrates the lengths He is willing to go in order for Him and His family to live in peace.

·        Peace with God comes from being right with God.

·        Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that grows in a life submitted to God.

·        Our struggle for peace is often a struggle between two opposing forces within us. Namely, doing, saying, thinking, feeling what we want, which is often destructive to others, versus doing, saying, thinking, and feeling what God wants. Which is a blessing to others.

Peace is not agreeing with everything someone else says or does, unless that someone is Almighty God. The peace we must pursue is first peace with God … not first peace with man. When we have peace with God, we will live in peace with everyone else who has peace with God.

Just because someone says they have peace with God, does not mean they do. God does not peacefully co-exist with people who are filled with lusts, driven by greed, hungry for power, motivated by personal gain, practicing deception, intending harm, causing pain, discarding truth, or living in sin. Those who practice ungodliness without conscious conviction are reprobate, not righteous. 

Having our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace means we are prepared for war should peace demand it. And we must be willing and prepared to fight for peace. This is seen not only in the scriptures but also throughout world history.

What would have happened if the Allies had been unwilling or unprepared to go to war with Hitler and the Nazi regime during WWII? I dare say today we would all be living under a tyrannical dictatorship with our children more subject to the state’s wishes than to those wishes of their parents.

Your sons and your daughters would be taken from you without permission or recourse and, as happened during the early 1940’s, the young teenage girls would be placed in dormitories and subjected to involuntary sex with those smart, strong, blonde, Arian-type males in order to raise a super race of superior warriors for the Fuhrer and his vision for the future.

All other sorts of people would be enslaved and relegated to the workforce and often disallowed to reproduce or if flaws in mental or physical acuities were found, they were simply euthanized.  

I’m not talking in some hypothetical sci-fi futuristic sense; this was actually happening and the only way to protect a world from the loss of all peace of life and liberty was to go to war to secure that peace. There can be no lasting peace without Jesus and Jesus just does not do things like that.

Peace with God demands a person is right with Him. And Where there is no peace with God there can be no peace between neighbors and nations.

(Note: Consider recounting GTCOTR’s long standing contention and eventual lawsuit with Amoco Pipeline. God gave us a scripture:)

Deuteronomy 20 NKJV

10 ¶  “When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it.

11  “And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you.

12  “Now if the city will not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it.

13  “And when the LORD your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword.

We have been armed with the Gospel of peace. The Gospel will not always be popular or readily accepted in a society which is absent of the righteousness of God. However, this Gospel message of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior, must still be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations. We can ill afford to lose our freedom or disregard our mandate to be a light of truth shining in the darkness of this world.

This is why it is so important for us to remember that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood but against sinister dark and evil spirits which manifest their will and wreak their havoc by using people to achieve their goals. There is no doubt that Adolph Hitler, and many others throughout history, were possessed by devils and were strategically working against God and set on destroying the will and the ability of God’s children to resist. This has happened all throughout history and continues to this day.

Six million Jews and countless other numbers of people who stood in the way of what the demons wanted were executed by a man possessed of evil. Thank God for those who refused to stand by idle and uninvolved. In pursuit of peace, they stood up and spoke up and ultimately placed their lives on the line in order to secure peace for their families, and generations to come. They also delivered many they never met and restored all that was right.

Today God is speaking to us and encouraging us to put on the whole armor of God and be to be armed with the Word of God and prayer so that we might be able stand against the methods of the devil. Don’t be deceived, evil forces will attempt to bully you into letting them have their way in this world over what is best for our families and friends. The devil may deceive the lost, but we cannot afford to be caught up in his deception. Souls are hanging in the balance, and they need to know the truth. Don’t leave it up to someone else to tell them. We must be prepared with the Gospel of peace. Peace comes from being right with God …

Don’t let anyone stop you from telling others about Jesus.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Pursue Love


So much has been written about love and yet I still find it difficult to define in some strict sense. Love can be described from various standpoints and experienced in different ways. Love does not always mean getting what you want. It’s hard to separate love from the wisdom it often demands. Love drives both God and man to pursue and protect what they value most.

I believe love is the most powerful force in the universe.

·        Sometimes love makes us happy

·        Sometimes love makes us sad

·        Sometimes love challenges us to go along

·        Sometimes love demands we stand apart

·        Love can join and love can separate

·        Love can say yes, and love can say no

·        Love does what is best even when it will be misunderstood

·        Sometimes it is easy to love

·        Sometimes it is hard to love

·        Love can blind us

·        Love can open our eyes

·        Sometimes love is returned and at other times despised

·        Love motivates both God and man

·        Love drives us to pursue and protect what we value most

·        Love is a choice

·        Love is always the right choice – Always the best choice

·        Love is the measure of God in the person who chooses love

·        Love never fails

·        And Love is work

1 Corinthians 13 NKJV – The Love Chapter

1 ¶  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 ¶  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

5  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

6  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 ¶  Love never fails …

13  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 14

1 ¶  Pursue love …

God is love (1 John 4:8&16) … but … love is not God.

·        Do not love sleep (Proverbs 20:13)

·        Do not love money (1 Timothy 6:10)

·        Do not love the world (1 John 2:15)

1 John 2:15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We are given so many pictures of the right kind of love from God’s Word:

·        Love the Lord your God with all your heart (Mark 12:30)

·        Love you neighbor as you do yourself (Mark 12:31)

·        Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44)

·        Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)

·        Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6)

·        Jesus was moved by love to heal people (Matthew 14:14)

·        Greater love has no man than his, that a man would lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)

We love God because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

God’s love for us will not save us … our love for God will.

God’s love makes salvation available. God so loved He gave … (John 3:16)

Love, true love, God’s love, your love, can only be measured by giving. Lust is taking. Love is giving your best to and for others, even when your best may not be appreciated by others. Love drives us to pursue and protect what we value most.

Your eternal covenant relationship with God is conditional and based on a:

·        Love offered and Love accepted basis.  

How can you accept the love offered to you by God?

·        It will be a choice and it will not be as hard as you have imagined.

·        Drop your defenses … take a deep breath … open your mind and let the Spirit of God confirm His Word by giving you His peace right now.

·        Thank God for loving you.

·        Ask Him to forgive you.

·        Invite Jesus into your heart.

·        Accept God’s love and watch Him begin to change your life little by little every day.

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Block Twelve – Baptism of the Holy Spirit


Key Scripture: Acts 2:39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

The “Promise” spoken of herein is the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Important Points:

1.   The Baptism of the Holy Spirit gives power to the Believer.

2.   This power enables the Believer to manifest the Word and works of God as a witness to the world.

3.   Believers receive the Holy Spirit when they pray and obey.

Joel the Prophet foretold it:

Joel 2:28  “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.

John the Baptist reminded his disciples:

Matthew 3:11  "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Jesus confirmed it:

Acts 1

4  And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me;

5  "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

The Followers of Jesus experienced it:

Acts 2

3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The First Century Church embraced it:

Acts 4:31  And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 8:14-17 Philip in Samaria; Peter and John sent to pray for water baptized Believers in Jesus to receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:44-48 Peter is preaching and the Holy Spirit falls on Cornelius and his household and baptizes them with that same power and anointing.

Acts 11 (Peter gives his defense to the Apostles in Jerusalem.)

15  “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

16  “Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

17  “If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”

18  When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Acts 18:1-6 The Apostle Paul found a dozen disciples in Ephesus and asked a reasonable question: Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? They said no. Paul then led them in water baptism and when he prayed for them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and prophesied.

The Promise of the Father through Jesus the Son is that we shall receive Power to be a witness and manifest that witness to the whole world.

Acts 1:8  "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

All of the accounts we have discussed testify that God has a continuing plan to baptize Believers in the power of His Holy Spirit. He can and has given His Holy Spirit before, during and after Believers are baptized in water. God can do things any way He desires without regard to what anyone else thinks.

He does tell us that He gives the Holy Spirit to those who:

·                    Obey Him – Acts 5:32

·                    Ask Him – Luke 11:13

Would you like to pray and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and passion to be a witness? Let’s do that now …


After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and told them to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit. He further told them that they would be endued with power once the Holy Spirit came upon them and charged them to manifest this power of God as a witness to the world. The first Church was birthed only a few days later on the day of Pentecost. In response to the united prayer of the believers assembled in Jerusalem, God poured His Spirit upon people, and they became a great witness. Similar occurrences took place throughout the New Testament revealing how one generation became a witness to their whole known world. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit was given to empower people to manifest the works of God. This like empowerment has happened in each generation since and must continue until Christ comes again. The Church must be birthed in every generation through the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. For this promise of the Holy Spirit is unto you and unto your children and your children’s children in their generation for as long as the Lord calls men to be saved. Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit since you believed?

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Block Eleven – Water Baptism


Matthew 3

13  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

14  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"

15  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him.

16  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

17  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Water Baptism is an outward sign of an inward conviction that when followed by faith releases great power and witness.

Baptism is immersion, as though a pearl were dropped into a barrel of oil and finding its place fully engulfed in and completely surrounded by that oil, the pearl is said to be baptized in oil. There are several baptisms spoken of in the Word of God including baptism in water. Jesus went down into and came up from the water – a picture of immersion.

From the second day of creation to the flood in Noah’s day; from the crossing of the Red Sea to the crossing of the Jordan; from the Rock which brought forth water in the wilderness to Naman the Leper who was cleansed by dipping seven times in the Jordan River; from John the Baptist to Phillip the Evangelist to Paul the Apostle, the Ethiopian Eunuch and Cornelius the Centurion … all were baptized in water by the will of God.

Baptism opens the heavens to the believer in new and wonderful ways. It did for the earth, Noah, Israel, Naman and Jesus and it will for you.

Water Baptism is a covenant act of identification. Jesus was not water baptized so He could become the Son of God but rather He was water baptized because He was the Son of God and desired to publically identify Himself with Jehovah, the God of Israel. It was at this point of water baptism that God chose to identify Christ to His followers and to the whole world by the confirmation of the Spirit and the Word.

Water Baptism does not save or secure by the washing away of the filth of the flesh, but rather water baptism cleanses our conscious towards God. Water Baptism is not a legal act but rather a spiritual act.

Water Baptism recognizes the death of the old and symbolizes its burial and resurrection. It is in water baptism that a new day dawns for the believer. Jesus was at the Jordan, the crossover for God’s people.

Just as it did for the Children of Israel at the Red Sea, Water Baptism quiets the haunting enemies of our past. What is freedom and deliverance for the Believer becomes a watery grave to the pursuing armies of Pharaoh. We are no more the Children of God afterwards than before.

 Key Scripture: Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

… “for” the remission of sins …

·        for – Greek – eis = because of (indicates an action in the past)

·        same as: Jesse James “Wanted ‘for’ Robbery” – not wanted to rob but wanted because he did rob – an action of the past.

Important Points:

1.   Water Baptism is Immersion.

2.   Water Baptism is an act of obedience which follows salvation.

3.   Water Baptism is Identification with Christ.

4.   Water Baptism cleanses our conscious toward God.

5.   Water Baptism is the burial of our old man and the resurrection of the new.

6.   Water Baptism quiets the haunting enemies of our past.

Support Scriptures:

·        1 Corinthians 10:1-2

·        Mark 1:9-11

·        Luke 3:21

·        Acts 8:36-39

·        1 Peter 3:22

·        2 Kings 5:14