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This We Believe

Jul 07, 2024 | Tony Hunt

By remembering we have forward clarity


The Holy Spirit marks those who are God’s children thus identifying the true church.  As part of the church, we gather to edify and strengthen the church as instructed in scripture. 


The Gathering of the Church

1 Corinthians 14:26b, 40 “…Everything must be done so that the church may be built up…But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” 

Hebrews 10:24-25And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The Ordinances of the Church—Baptism and Communion.

  • The decreed practices of our gatherings.
  • Both were given by Jesus.
  • Both were given to the church to serve a profound purpose.
    • To solidify our faith from the inside out.
    • To the benefit and invitation of others.
  • Both were built upon previous practices.
  • Both help us remember in a way that helps us going forward.

HISTORICAL context of Baptism

        baptizw- (def) to dip or to pour.

Washing to worship- a preparation to serve and or worship in the House of God.

  • The literal water did nothing to purify a person’s sin or to make amends for any wrongdoing.

  • This was both a Jewish practice and Middle Eastern practice. *Dome of the Rock washing station.  IMAGE

  • By washing with water, it prepared the heart.
    • Reminded each person of God’s holiness and their sinfulness.
    • Provided opportunity to identify sin that needed to be confessed.
    • Exposes our need for God’s mercy and grace.

Washing to signify change—a ritual cleansing utilized to signify a gentile’s conversion to Judaism. Eerdman

Baptism was utilized to prepare one’s heart for worship and to signify a shift identity or purpose.

John the Baptist  Matthew 3:1-12

  • He baptized as a preparation for the coming of Jesus.

  • He baptized with a call to repent. Come clean. Live different.

Jesus’ baptism Matthew 3:13-17

  • To fulfill righteousness in pointing to God’s way of making a person righteous.
    • He was already righteous.
  • To correctly identify who he actually is.
    • He was already the Son of God.

Baptism decreed.  Matthew 28:19-20

  • Identifying with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  • By identifying publicly with Jesus our faith is strengthened and others are benefitted.

  • Baptism by water testifies to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in making a person new. John 7:38-39

  • Because we have been washed clean by the Spirit once and for all, we no longer wash before we worship. John 13:10

  • Each person’s baptism is a reminder to us all the wonderous mystery of the gospel.

  • Best we can tell (mode)…
    • They utilized both immersion and pouring.
    • Age was not a qualifier, but the most defensible is for believers’ baptism.
    • Who can baptize is not prescribed, but church leaders were the ones listed in Acts and by Paul.

HISTORICAL context of Communion

The Passover Exodus 12

  • 10th plague the killing of all first born.

  • Redemptive provision of God.
    • Kill a one-year-old, unblemished, male lamb and spread his blood upon the door frames.
    • Remember the state of their slavery.
    • Remember the promises of the Lord are secured.

The Passover foreshadows Jesus as the Passover Lamb.  1 Corinthians 13:7

  • His blood on the Cross protects us from death.
  • We go from slavery to heirs.

  • We anticipate a home He is making for us.

The Lord’s Table- Communion.  1 Corinthians 11:17-34

  • The purpose of remembering.
    • Reinforce our faith.
    • Acknowledge our blessings are because of Him.
    • Grateful heart.
    • Illustration: birthdays, anniversaries, Memorial Day, Independence Day.
    • “By remembering we have forward clarity.”
      • In our identity.
      • In our purpose.
      • In our hope.
  • How we participate in Communion matters.
    • We, the true church, are all equal at this table. (17-22)
    • We examine our hearts. (28)
    • We are mindful of Christ as we partake—a warning to both believer and unbeliever. (29)
    • We take it together. (33)
    • We don’t seek to satisfy hunger at this table. (34)

Communion Preparation 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

  • Examine your heart.

  • Be mindful of Jesus and His body.

  • Let’s take together.

Benediction: Invitation for Baptism 

Series Information

What are the essentials of faith that we must hold to with committed unity? This series "We Believe" identifies the essentials that we stand on as a church. This will be a rich series that will provide clarity on where to stand resolutely and where we can with charity agree to disagree on matters that are biblically arguable.