Posts Tagged ‘Baptism’


As Capt John Rasmussen reports, “I was in a hurry to get to his physical training exercise. It was raining “cats and dogs”. Traffic was backed up at Fort Campbell, Ky., and was moving way too slowly. I was probably going to be late and I was growing more and more impatient. The pace slowed almost to a standstill as I passed Memorial Grove, the site built to honor the soldiers who died in the Gander airplane crash, the worst redeployment accident in the history of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Because it was close to Memorial Day, a small American flag had been placed in the ground next to each soldier’s memorial plaque. My concern at the time, however, was getting past the bottleneck, getting out of the rain and getting to PT on time.All of a sudden, infuriatingly, just as the traffic was getting started again, the car in front of me stopped.

A soldier, a private of course, jumped out in the pouring rain and ran over toward the grove. I couldn’t believe it! This knucklehead was holding up everyone for who knows what kind of prank. Horns were honking. I waited to see the butt-chewing that I wanted him to get for making me late. He was getting soaked to the skin. His BDUs were plastered to his frame. I watched-as he ran up to one of the memorial plaques, picked up the small American flag that had fallen to the ground in the wind and the rain, and set it up right again.

Then, slowly, he came to attention, saluted, ran back to his car, and drove off.

I’ll never forget that incident. That soldier, whose name I will never know, taught me more about duty, honor, and respect than a hundred books or a thousand lectures. That simple salute — that single act of honoring his fallen brother and his flag — encapsulated all the Army values in one gesture for me. It said, “I will never forget. I will keep the faith. I will finish the mission. I am an American soldier.”

As I read this stirring reminder of what Memorial Day is all about, I thought, “How many Christians are willing to bow before the Cross of Christ and say, I will never forget. I will keep the faith. I will finish the mission. I am a Soldier for Christ!”

Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr once said:

So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching.” [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. at an address delivered for Memorial Day, May 30, 1884, at Keene, NH.]

Tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day. Many will visit the grave site of loved ones who have passed on into eternity. Many of us will celebrate outdoors with picnics and barbeques. One day a year is all we set aside to remember our fallen soldiers. One day a year. But God wants us to remember Him 365 days a year.

Throughout the Bible there are references to Memorials and things we should remember about Him!

  • God placed the rainbow in the sky so that mankind would remember His covenant with us, not to destroy the world again by flood.
  • The Hebrews were to celebrate a special day, the Passover, as a memorial to God and His faithfulness in delivering them from the Egyptians.
  • The ephod worn by the High Priest has a stone on each shoulder that served as a memorial of the children of Israel. Exodus 28:12 says: “Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial.”
  • The Priests were to take grain offering, oil, and frankincense and burn it on the altar as a memorial unto God. Lev 2:2 says it was a sweet savor to the Lord.
  • The Priests took a portion of the meat offerings and burnt them as a memorial unto the Lord. Lev 2:9
  • The Festival of Trumpets was a solemn day of rest, of blowing of Trumpets as a Day of Memorial to the Lord.
  • A Stone memorial was erected after the crossing of the River Jordan by Joshua and the Israelites, so that they would remember how God brought them across.
  • Even their clothes were to be a reminder:

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.” Numbers 15:37-41

  • The prayers and alms of Cornelius were even a memorial unto God, and led to the salvation of Cornelius and his household. Acts 10:4

Our Lives are to be a Daily Memorial to Jesus Christ

God wants everyday of our lives to be a memorial unto Jesus Christ!

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

The very act of presenting ourselves to God is a memorial to Jesus Christ. We will look closely at the next step in deliverance from sin (PRESENTING) next week.

  • As Americans, we must never forget those who have given their lives for the sake of our freedom.
  • As Christians we must never forget the One who gave His life for the sake of our freedom from Sin and Satan.

Peter gives us some excellent words on Remembering our Savior:

2 Peter 1:12-21 Peter wants to Stir us Up!

Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind. For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:12-21

Peter’s life is nearly at an end, and he wants us to remember some things, even though we are established Christians, and even though we think we already know them.

Verses 12-21 flow from what Peter wrote in verses 1-11.

POWER & PROVISION: In verses 1-4 Peter says that God’ power always comes with provisions for living and for godliness in our own life. He enables us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust by empowering us to partake of His divine nature.

  • God has provided everything we need to live Godly Lives
  • We have been learning about this in Romans 6

PURSUIT OF HOLINESS: In verses 5-7, Peter calls for Christians to pursue the path of discipleship. We are to experience these divine provisions by diligently and energetically pursuing holiness (faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love).

  • God’s Provisions Must be PURSUED if they are to Profit us.

THE PROFIT OF OUR PURSUIT: In verses 8-11, Peter speaks of the profit of our pursuit of holiness, as provided for by God (verses 1-4) and as pursued by the Christian (verses 5-7).

  • When we pursue these things, we shall always stand, we shall always abound, we shall always be assured of our salvation.

Starting with vs. 12, Peter is intent on reminding us.

  • We already know these truths. But we must be reminded to pursue God’s goals for us.
  • Peter is committed to “always remind them” (verse 12). It is clear from his words that he intends his reminding to persevere. He will continue to remind them as long as he has breath. He will do so with his dying breath.
  • Memories stir us up, and so Peter is insistent upon reminding us.
  • His letter is a Memorial to Remind us!
  • Peter reminds us of the TRUTH! TRUTH direct from God (vs. 21)
  • God’s Word is TRUTH. It is God-breathed
  • We do not follow cunningly devised fables.
    • Peter was an eyewitness of the majesty and power of Jesus Christ
    • Peter heard the voice of God giving glory and honor to His son: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

This truth is encased in the Word of God

  • No private interpretation
  • Illumined by the Holy Spirit
  • Provides light for our walk.

More than anything, we are to be aware that Jesus Christ is not a cunningly devised fable, not a beautiful love story, but truth that is worth building our lives around. Truth that is worth pursuing as though it were a billion dollars.

We are to build our lives around not someone who is dead, but a Savior who is alive, who is with us every day of our lives, who gives us the gift of grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very reason for living.

For the Christian, every day is to be a memorial day, remembering not just a crucified Savior, but our Crucified, Resurrected and Living Savior!

Our Orders from Commander Peter are to remember the Truth of Jesus Christ, truth that is essential for our life, truth that is worth dying for. We are posted on this earth to pursue our living Savior, Jesus Christ. He is to be our life!

Walking the Mat before the Tomb of the Unknowns

There is a meticulous ritual the guard follows when watching over the tomb of the unknown soldiers.

The soldier walks 21 steps across the Tomb. This alludes to the 21-gun salute, which is the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary in America. His weapon is always on the shoulder opposite the Tomb (i.e., on the side of the gallery watching the ritual).

On the 21st step, the soldier turns and faces the Tomb for 21 seconds.

The soldier then turns to face the other way across the Tomb and changes his weapon to the outside shoulder. After 21 seconds, the first step is repeated.

This is repeated until the soldier is relieved of duty at the Changing of the Guard.

The mat is usually replaced twice per year: before Memorial Day and before Veterans Day. This is required due to the wear on the rubber mat by the special shoes worn by Tomb Guards. The guards have metal plates built into the soles and inner parts of their shoes to allow for a more rugged sole and to give the signature click of the heel during maneuvers. The guards are issued sunglasses, which are formed to their faces, due to the bright reflection from the marble surrounding the Tomb and the Memorial Amphitheater.

The guard is changed every 1/2 hour during the summer months.

The guard change is very symbolic, but also conducted in accordance with Army regulations. The relief commander or assistant relief commander, along with the oncoming guard, are both required for a guard change to take place. The guard being relieved will say to the oncoming guard, “Post and orders remain as directed.” The oncoming guard’s response is always, “Orders acknowledged.”

The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Inclement weather does not cause the watch to cease.

In 2 Peter, Peter realizes it is time for the “changing of the guard.” He wants us to remember our Post, and remember our Orders! He wants to hear us declare: “Orders Acknowledged!”

There are two ways we follow those orders and keep to our post, two ways we Memorialize Jesus Christ:

1.  Baptism

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4

Baptism acknowledges to Jesus that you value what He did for you so much, that you are giving Him your life. You are telling the world that you died with Him, that your sins are washed away, and when you stand up from the baptismal waters, you are declaring to the world that you no longer walk in your old life, but you have a new life in Jesus Christ. You are declaring that you are now a walking, breathing Memorial to the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2.  Communion

One of the most important ways we remember our Savior is through the Lord’s Supper, or what we call communion. The night before Jesus was carried away to be crucified, he shared the Paschal meal with His disciples. At that meal Jesus revealed that He was going to become the paschal lamb, that He was going to die for the sins of mankind. Paul wrote of that meal in 1 Cor 11:232-26:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

When we partake of the elements, the bread and the wine, we are affirming before God our union and communion with Jesus Christ. We are honoring Him. When we eat the bread, we are acknowledging His broken body. We are acknowledging that by His stripes we are healed. We are acknowledging that Jesus is the bread of life; He is the means of our life!

When we partake of the wine, we are taking into our body the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We are acknowledging our new life based upon our faith in His blood, the blood of our new covenant with Holy God! We are proclaiming to God that we are totally dependent upon the blood of Jesus for our life and our salvation. We are declaring that through the body and the blood we are one with Jesus Christ.

We Honor the Memory of Fallen American Soldiers with our Respect and Appreciation

Petty Officer Second Class Mike Monsoor was a US Navy SEAL assigned to Task Unit Bravo in Ar Ramadi in Iraq.  He was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq on September 29, 2006.  He died after throwing himself on a grenade to prevent it from killing others whom he had been assigned to protect on a rooftop. He had already earned a Silver Star for Bravery and a Bronze Star for separate acts of valor.

His funeral took place in October 12, 2006 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

Navy SEALs lined the procession and slapped the trident devices from their uniforms to affix them onto the casket.  The trident is a U.S. Navy special warfare badge worn by SEALs.  It represents the three aspects of SEAL special operations, sea, air, and land.

On April 8, 2008, Monsoor was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously officiated by President George W. Bush in a ceremony at the White House.

PETTY OFFICER MONSOOR TOOK POSITION WITH HIS MACHINE GUN BETWEEN TWO TEAMMATES ON AN OUTCROPPING OF THE ROOF. WHILE THE SEALS VIGILANTLY WATCHED FOR ENEMY ACTIVITY, AN INSURGENT THREW A HAND GRENADE FROM AN UNSEEN LOCATION, WHICH BOUNCED OFF PETTY OFFICER MONSOOR’S CHEST AND LANDED IN FRONT OF HIM. ALTHOUGH ONLY HE COULD HAVE ESCAPED THE BLAST, PETTY OFFICER MONSOOR CHOSE INSTEAD TO PROTECT HIS TEAMMATES. INSTANTLY AND WITHOUT REGARD FOR HIS OWN SAFETY, HE THREW HIMSELF ONTO THE GRENADE TO ABSORB THE FORCE OF THE EXPLOSION WITH HIS BODY, SAVING THE LIVES OF HIS TWO TEAMMATES.

We Honor the Memory of Jesus Christ with our Life!

Today, honor Americans who have given their lives so that we might worship here in freedom.

Today, we honor one man who gave His life so that we might be freed from sin and from judgment. This one man, our Lord Jesus Christ, received no medal of commendation, had no funeral service attended by thousands. In fact, he was scorned, mocked, and treated as a diseased dog. All his followers ran and hid while He died the most horrible death.

Yet today, our Savior does not lie in a grave, He reigns at the right hand of Father God!

Peter wants us to stir us up by reminding us of how much we owe Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded of what He has done for each one of us. Those memories serve to stir our heart up to action, the action of once again giving Him our lives, once again of confirming to Him that He is Lord of our life!

He asks each one of us to do one thing, one thing that He was not afraid to do. He asks us to give Him our life! He asks us to be a living memorial to His Love for us.

Are you living your Christian life with enthusiasm and Faith, as Oliver Wendall Holmes said?

To act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching.

Do you love Jesus with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength? Is eternity with God and end worth reaching? Then search your heart this morning! Have you made Him Lord of every aspect of your life? Are you willing to live as a sacrifice as a memorial of what He has done for your life?

To give yourself to Jesus with enthusiasm and faith is to live greatly!

Peter, writing before his death wanted us to remember dearly our need for Jesus Christ. As he changed guard he was saying:

“Post and orders remain as directed”

Will you bow and respond:

“Orders Acknowledged!

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A brunette, a red-head and a blonde were in jail when they decided to break out. The girls broke out and the brunette said,”Let’s hide in that barn, they’ll never find us.” So they climbed up the ladder and then the blonde threw it down.

The next morning, the cops said, “Come out with your hands in the air!”

The red-head said, “Hide in those baskets, they’ll never find us!”

So the Brunette got in the first one, the red-head got in the second one and the blonde got in the third one. Meanwhile, the cops were getting a ladder set up and trying to get up there. Once they got up, the sergeant ordered them to kick the baskets.

So the cop kicked the first one: “RUFF.”

“It’s just a darn dog!” yelled the cop.

The cop kicked the next one: “MEOW.”

“It’s just a darn cat,” yelled the cop.

The cop kicked the next basket and the blonde yelled, “POTATOES!”

As a young teenager I fell in love with the movie “The Great Escape” Steve McQueen was my hero, and I loved watching him test the Germans, bouncing his baseball, getting thrown in the cooler. I was rooting for him as he made his escape on the German motorcycle. My heart leapt when he tried to jump the barbed wire fence, which would have meant his freedom. He almost cleared the fence, but, wrecks and gets caught. Most of the other men who escaped are gunned down in cold blood.

The end of the movie finds my hero (Capt Hilts-McQueen) being led back into the Stalag, bruised, bloody, but defiantly marching back in. Only when he hears of the capture and murder of the other 50 men, does he stagger as he is led off to the cooler.

It was a sad ending to a great movie.

What the Great Escape Lacked was a Great Deliverer!

Paul has just taken us to the Cross of Jesus Christ in Romans Chapter 1-5. They are glorious chapters of how condemned men are made right with a Holy God by our Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Sinful men are made righteous in Jesus Christ. Romans 1 – 5 are summarized in Romans 5:18 and Romans 5:21:

Romans 5:18 (ESV) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

  1. All men are condemned
  2. Jesus act of righteousness allows God to Justify us
  3. Justification removes the sentence of death and brings us LIFE!

Romans 5:21 (ESV) so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  1. In place of sin reigning in our flesh, resulting in death,
  2. grace now reigns through the righteousness of Christ,
  3. Leading us to eternal life.

Righteousness has replaced God’s wrath, the power of God’s Grace has replaced the power of Sin and Life in Jesus has replaced the life of death

Romans 1-5 told us how the blood of Jesus dealt with our sins and our guilt! But what about this sin nature that lurks in my heart and soul?

Paul Cries Out

As Paul cried out in Romans 7:24 (ESV) Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Now God’s Word reveals to us the Power of the Grace of Jesus, for it is the Power of Deliverance from Sin! What good is a salvation that deals with our past sins and past guilt, if it does not deliver us from the power of sin that put us in its barb wire prison?!

So many Christians don’t fully understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Grace that it provides, because just like the Great Escape, just when you think you are going to escape from the prison of sin, you get caught up in the barb wire of sin, and back you go to the cooler.

So many Christians whose sins are forgiven and lives made new at the cross of Jesus, whose spirits soar into the heavens in their New Relationship with God, will find themselves days, months, years later tangled up in the Barb Wire of Sin. Many finish their Christian lives in the “Cooler” whiling away the rest of their life by following the bouncing ball of an up and down Christian walk. Christians need to realize that we not only enjoy the Great Escape from Sin at the foot of the Cross, we have Great Deliverance from Sin ON the Cross!

Galatians 1:4 (KJV) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father…

How Did You Receive Forgiveness?

How did you receive forgiveness for your sins when you first came to Jesus Christ as Savior? You realized that Jesus died on the Cross as your substitute, and bore your sins upon Him, and that His Blood was shed to cleanse away your sins. When you saw your sins and felt your guilt, did you say Jesus, please come and die for my sins?

NO! You only thanked Him for what He has already done! By faith you believed your sins were taken away, by faith you believed you were made right before Holy God! What is true of Forgiveness is also true of Deliverance. The work is done. There is no need to pray, but only to PRAISE GOD! Much of Romans 6 describes a past event! Through the miracle of grace, God has placed every believer IN JESUS CHRIST!

As we will see here in these first few verses of Romans 6, we were all crucified when Jesus was crucified. Our old man was very much killed on the cross along with Jesus. So when you find yourself wrapped up in the barbed wire of sin, and feel hopelessly trapped, there is no need to pray “God, I am a very wicked person, I am trapped in my sins, would you please crucify me, so that I might die to these sins and get freed. Please Lord, crucify my flesh so that I might not do this or that sin anymore!”

As we look at Romans 6, 7 and 8, we will discover that such a prayer is wrong, and reflects a lack of belief in what God’s Word Says.

The Four Steps of Deliverance

Paul wants to open our eyes to the Great Deliverance from Sin that has already been provided for us, and can become ours as we continue from the foot of the cross to go through the Cross. The next three chapters are pivotal for your Christian life and walk, if you are to understand how the Cross is the means to your Great Deliverance from the power of sin. Our study of Romans 6, 7 and 8 will show us the way of deliverance in Jesus Christ! There are FOUR concepts in these chapters that must be grasped:

  1. Knowing
  2. Reckoning
  3. Presenting ourselves to God
  4. Walking in the Spirit

To enjoy the life that Jesus wants you to live, His abundant life, what He considers a “Normal Christian Walk”, you must experience all four of these steps. All four of these steps will take us through the cross and into the life Jesus wants us to live!

In Romans 6:1 Paul asks a pivotal question:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? Romans 6:1 (ESV)

  • continue (epimenō): abide, tarry; remain. Shall we remain in sin as a continuing habit? (present tense)
  • Sin (hamartia) is Deviation from a right line; missing the mark. lawlessness
  • abound: to have in surplus

Perhaps Paul was reading their minds, knowing they were thinking: Since grace abounds all the more when sin abounds, isn’t it OK to keep sinning so that we might experience more of God’s grace?

Paul wants us to understand something about our new Life in Jesus Christ. While our justification introduces us to a new world of TRANSFORMING GRACE, it takes us out of the world of CONDEMNING SIN and lawlessness.

And just as Paul emphasized in Rom 1-5, this “new life”, this “great deliverance” is entirely of God and the Power that He works in us THROUGH HIS GRACE!

I. The Power of God’s Grace

We can see grace as a passive “gift” or “favor” that is always ours…

“If you profess belief in Christ, no matter what you are like as a person, how you behave, God has received you in Christ and has forgiven you. When you die you will go to Paradise to live forever in love, joy, and peace.” (wrong)

We can see grace as the active power of God that works to conform us to Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The Grace of God is not a gift you can put on the shelf and neglect or ignore. Our New Birth brings the most powerful force in the universe into our life, the GRACE OF GOD!  Grace never cleans you up and leaves you there. Grace is the power that washes us, sanctifies us and justifies us. The power of God’s Grace takes his children and works to conform them into the image of His Son!

Grace Empowers Salvation

Ephesians 2:8 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. John 1:12 (KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Grace Empowers Christ-like Living

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age… (Titus 2:11-12NIV)

Grace Empowers us to abound and be generous in giving:

2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV) while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.

Grace Empowers us to serve God

Hebrews 12:28 (KJV) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

Grace empowers our Christian ministry and labor

1 Corinthians 15:10 (ESV) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

Grace empowers those who are weak

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (ESV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Grace empowers our relationship with God

Romans 5:1-2 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Grace Empowers us in times of need

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • The Grace Of God Makes Room For Every Sinner At The Foot Of The Cross.
  • The Grace Of God Makes Room For Every Child Of God At The Foot Of The Throne.

The Grace of God never wants to leave you at the cross, a born again child of God, but remaining a baby, soiling yourself, mired in your sin, missing the mark. At the foot of the cross you are born again, brought into a right relationship. There is to be no more “deviation!” Grace will then take you through the cross by empowering you to become like Jesus Christ! Grace empowers us to be conformed to Jesus Christ. Your sanctification or transformation takes place as you experience the POWER of the Grace of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

We Need To See Ourselves As God Sees Us! We Need To Trust In The Truth Of God’s Word!

Paul states a most Mysterious fact in verse 2:

Romans 6:2-3 (ESV) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

  • God forbid, (me genoito μὴ γένοιτο )

“How is it possible for such as we are, born-again children of God, to do such a thing. It is against our nature to habitually yield to the evil nature. We are not persons of such a nature as to do so.”

  • Died to sin (apethanomen tēi hamartiāi).

Second aorist active of apothnēskō. Refers to our new quality in relation to sin. We have been totally made new at the very moment of our new birth. ἀπεθάνομεν does not mean will be dead, nor have died, but died. It refers to a specific act in our past history. This is not a reference to something that will happen in the future. God’s Word says “We are dead to sin!”

IF GOD SAYS WE ARE DEAD TO SIN, WE EITHER BELIEVE HIM OR WE CALL GOD A LIAR.

God Performs Surgery

Through the mystery of the New Birth, God performs a major surgical operation in the inner being of every sinner that He saves. This operation does two things:

1. Breaks the power of indwelling sin by removing the “old man”

Verse 2: “We are dead to sin,”

2. Gives us New Life by implanting the divine nature. God gives us His divine nature, which through grace gives us both the desire and the power to do God’s will.

Verse 4: “We walk in newness of life.”

THIS IS NOT JUST A REMODEL JOB, NOT A FACE JOB. This is a radical life changing operation whereby we are made NEW; we are made alive to God!

Christians are dead to sin. Sin, is the sinful nature. We are dead to the sinful nature.  (we’ll see how a bit later)

The wording in “died to sin” pictures the separation (apo-off, away from) of the born again Christian from his old self.

When Adam sinned, his nature was forever changed. There was a cleavage between that which God once called “good” and sin. This cleavage, this corruption, was passed onto all men from that day forth. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:18 & 19:

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men…For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners.

God uses His surgical knife to cut the believing sinner loose from his old self. The old self is removed and a new creature is transplanted.

This occurs when the believing sinner identifies with the Lord Jesus in His death on the Cross (Rom 6:3-7), the moment he places his faith in Jesus as Saviour. Instead of being in the old ADAM, we are now in the NEW ADAM!

The tense of the verb is aorist, which speaks of a once for all act. God has worked a separation between the believer and the old man (Adam) which is a permanent one, a once for all DELIVERANCE of the person from the evil old self. This surgical operation is never repeated. So far as God is concerned, He has so thoroughly done His work that that separation is to be permanent.

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 (ESV) 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 but it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV) And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

Our righteousness, our redemption… none of it would be possible if we were left in the prison of Adam, if we were still slaves to our old nature, our old self.

To complete the deliverance, God imparts His divine nature by placing us IN CHRIST which gives the Christian a hatred of sin and a love for righteousness. In addition to this, the Holy Spirit takes up His permanent residence in him to guide and empower each Christian to battle against sin, and live this Christian life.

This is why Paul cries out: “How is it possible for such as we who have died off once for all with respect to sin, any longer to live in it?”

Or to translate and interpret, “How is it possible for such as we, Christians, who have been separated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer to live within its grip?”

  • Live therein:

To spend one’s existence, simply to pass one’s life, from which is derived our word “biography,” the narrative of how one spent his life. You have a new nature! It’s time to write a new biography! How can you keep living the old life? Why do we PERSIST in Sin when we are in a new identity, writing a new biography?

II. Grace BRINGS US INTO New LIFE IN Christ

Romans 6:3-4 (ESV) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life

  • Know ye not (ἀγνοεῖτε) Are you ignorant?

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (ESV) For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

  • Were baptized into Christ (ebaptisthēmen eis Christon)

baptizo, “the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition.” (Wuest’s Word Studies)

Galatians 3:27 (KJV) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Did put on Christ (Christon enedusasthe).  As a badge or uniform of service like that of the soldier. Baptism was the public profession and pledge, the soldier’s oath of allegiance to Christ, taking one’s stand with Christ, the symbolic picture of the change already accomplished by faith

  • baptized into his death:

“to be brought into union with them, as their disciples, or worshippers, as the case may be. In like manner, in the expression baptized into his death, the preposition expresses the design and the result. The meaning therefore is, ‘we were baptized in order that we should die with him,’ i.e., that we should be united to him in his death, and be partakers of its benefits.” Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.

Something Happens When The Holy Spirit Baptizes Into Jesus Christ. That happens the moment we are born again. Water Baptism is a picture of what happens, a picture of something very powerful.

  1. Death
  2. Burial
  3. Resurrection

Is it something magical, something super spiritual? No. It doesn’t save you; it doesn’t make you more holy! It is done in complete obedience to Jesus Christ. Now does Baptism represent something amazing, even mysterious? Yes! It also represents something that many Christians do not fully understand.

III. We are united with Jesus in Death; Our Old Man is Dead!

Romans 6:5-6 (ESV). For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

What dies? What happens to the Sin Nature?

Even though God gives us a new nature which has been surgically separated from our old nature, the power of sin is very much alive. John makes this very plain:

1 John 1:8 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Sin here is the nature, not the act, and for two reasons;

  1. The word is without the article, and such a construction in Greek emphasizes nature, quality, and
  2. Because the word is singular.

The word “ourselves” is in the emphatic position, John’s thought being that any person who holds the theory that the sinful nature is eradicated at a certain point in the Christian’s experience is only deceiving himself!

John tells us the sin nature remains in the Christian throughout his earthly life and is not eradicated until that Christian dies or is glorified.

Yet even though our sin nature has not been eradicated, God tells us that our New Birth DELIVERS us from the power of sin. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Romans 6:6 (Darby) knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin.

Three Major Elements from this verse

  1. sin
  2. old man
  3. body (of sin)

Sin here is our sin nature, the root of sin.

  • We were all once slaves to sin, our sin nature.
  • Sin is a power in and of itself, for it enslaves us
  • Sin seeks to draw us into obedience to our old man (self) so that we might sin.

Old man represents everything we inherit from Adam.

  • We recognize the old man by knowing our new man, for the old man is everything the new man is NOT!
  • Whatever in our life is not of the new man must belong to the old man.
  • Our new man embraces everything which flows from our Lord Jesus Christ at regeneration.
  • We sin because our old man loves sin and is under its power.

Body of Sin refers to our body, our flesh.

  • ´ Our corporeal body is the puppet of all our sinning.
  • ´ It is subject to the power of sin, fully laden with the lusts and desires of sin.

Understanding this, Knowing this

Sin is the power which pulls us to do sin.

Old man is the inward being of what we inherit from Adam.

Body of sin is the outward flesh we inherit from Adam.

First there is sin, next the old man, last, the body. Sin radiates its power to attract the old man and force him to sin. Since the old man delights in sin, he condones it and gives in. This instigates the body to sin.

Sin takes place because of these three elements:

  • The compulsion of sin’s power
  • The inclination of the old man
  • The practice of the body

How does God deliver man from sin?

Some theologians say that since sin is the first cause we must annihilate sin in order to attain victory. They cry for the “eradication of sin.” After all, if the root of sin is pulled out, we shall never sin again. Others say we must subdue our body if we are to overcome sin, for isn’t it our body that practices sin?

So the choice is to get away entirely from sin and any temptation thereof, or to practice asceticism,

Asceticism (from the Greek: ἄσκησις, áskēsis, “exercise” or “training” in the sense of athletic training) describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals.

Either choice promotes legalism and removal from the world.

We can see these expressed in religious sects such as the Amish, or in monasteries, or in church rules such as don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls that do. These are not the goal of Jesus Christ. He desires worship that is in “spirit and truth”. He desires us to be in the world but not of the world.

The fleshly thinking is that once we overcome the demands of our bodies we shall be holy.

None of these is God’s way of delivering us from sin.

God neither eradicates the root of sin within nor suppresses the body without!

God deals with the old man in between!

When our Lord Jesus went to the cross, He not only took our sins with Him, He also took our beings, our “old man.” Paul underscores this when he says “that our old man has been crucified with Him.” Crucified is in the aorist tense, meaning that our old man was once and forever crucified with Him.

The Cross of Christ is an accomplished fact. The crucifixion of our old man is an accomplished fact as well!

We don’t question the reality of the crucifixion of Christ, so why should we doubt the reality of the crucifixion of our old man?

The error that enters the church is that since our old man is dead, and since we don’t feel like he is dead, it is up to us to try our best to crucify ourselves! We think we must get on the cross and deny ourselves. This teaching denies the power of the real Cross of Christ and puts any attempt at holiness on the back of what Christians can do by themselves. It is a fleshly attempt at holiness. It is a fleshly attempt to deal with the flesh. As such it is doomed to failure. The Bible never, never instructs us to crucify ourselves.

Romans 6:6 categorically states that our old man is already crucified. This is the beauty of the phrase “in Christ!”

Our faith in Him places us IN CHRIST. We are united with Jesus so that we can say that when Jesus went to the cross, we went there in HIM! When Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him! This is a mystery, a truth that is not discerned by brain power. It is discerned by the revelation of the Holy Spirit!

Only the Holy Spirit can transcend our fleshly ways and open our fleshly eyes to see that we are in Jesus Christ and we are united with Him in one. The Holy Spirit alone can show us how our old man was crucified with Christ simply by being in Christ!

Jesus said the truth will set us free. He said this because He was aware that divine truth revealed to sinful man it becomes a power in man, and that power (or grace) empowers us to believe! Faith comes through revelation. As we see God we believe God. As we see the truth we believe the truth!

The most important prayer you can pray is for God to reveal this truth to your spirit; pray until God gives you revelation so that you can declare with all your heart “my old man has been crucified with Jesus”. Seeing will empower you to know! As Paul say, KNOWING THIS!

The Consequence of the Crucifixion of Our Old Man

The body (of sin) is annulled (withered, unemployed).

Before, when sin stirred, our old man responded and as a result the body practiced sin. With the crucifixion of the old man and its replacement by the new man, sin may stir within and attempt to exert its power of control, but it fails to get the consent of the old man in driving the body to sin. Sin can no longer tempt the believer for he is a new man, the old has died.

The body’s occupation was formerly of sinning, but this body of sin is now unemployed. He has been terminated.

Why does God crucify our old man with Christ and render our flesh unemployed? His purpose is that “we should no longer be enslaved to sin”

Our divine deliverance makes it possible for us not to yield to the pressure of sin, nor be held in its power. Sin has no dominion over our dead “old man!”

TURN THE TV OFF

The Christian has the same power over the old man that he has over his television. When a program suddenly comes over the air unfit for Christian eyes and ears, he can turn the TV off with a “There, you cannot bring that smut into my life.” Before salvation, the old man could do nothing but be a slave to sin. Sin had total dominion over our old self. Since salvation has crucified our old man, sin is annulled, it has no power over our old man, and therefore, the body of sin is unemployed.

We have a new King reigning in our body, the Grace of Jesus Christ: Romans 5:21 (ESV) so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When you are born again, the Holy Spirit places a NEW KING on the throne of your heart and life. King Jesus comes into your life, removes the power of the old self, and brings you new life in HIM!

Doe Jesus always stay on our throne? No, He does not! Does He want to always be on your throne? Yes He Does! and we will see from His Word how this can be possible!

PLUG IS PULLED

A floor lamp is connected to a wall outlet. The light is possible because of the electricity that flows from the outlet up through the cord into the light bulb. Just so, a sinner has this old man, this nature of Adam that is under the domination of Sin. Remove the old man, and Sin no longer has a conduit to appeal to the man’s flesh! When a new believer understands that the old man is truly dead, that he has been crucified on the cross, it presents an entirely NEW WAY of praying when faced with the temptation of sin!

Our prayers should confess confidence in the fact that the old man is dead, that he was crucified and buried, and that now we are in Christ.

Here is the Truth of Jesus that will set you free:

You are offered deliverance from sin as no less a gift of God’s Grace than was the forgiveness of your sins.

God’s way of deliverance is totally different from man’s way.

  • Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it.
  • God’s way is to remove the sinner, to crucify the old man.

Most Christians mourn over their weaknesses; thinking only if they were stronger all would be well. We think the failure to lead a holy life is because of our impotence, our weakness and so we put undue stress upon what WE MUST DO TO BE HOLY! We keep trying to escape, to jump over the barbed wire fence. When we become preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to jump over the barb wire, we naturally conclude that to gain victory over sin, we must have more power, a more powerful motorcycle so to speak.

We plead with God: If only I was stronger, if only I could control my temper, if only I could control these lusts, if only I wouldn’t worry so much, and so we plead with God to strengthen us so that we can exercise more self control.

That is not NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ. That is a cleaned up old man trying to work his way into holiness.

God’s way is to get us weaker and weaker until we finally see that Jesus has put our old man to death on the cross. God delivers us from sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him do anything but by removing him from the scene of action.

My prayer is that each of you would enter into the wonderful grace of Jesus by coming to the cross and seeing your old man hanging there with Jesus. This is a realization that only the Holy Spirit can take you into. KNOWING THIS…that your old man has been crucified!

Would you ask God to reveal this to you?

John 6:26-29 (NIV) 26 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”


I had a call this week from the daughter of a couple that lives near our church. Many of you would recognize her parents name. Seems her parents have been living together the last 20 years or so and never got married. Now they are thinking about making it legal and are looking into having a quaint church wedding. She said that because I was the priest they would want me to do the wedding. I corrected her of course, but I said that as Pastor I take marriage very seriously.

For Your Information I have four prerequisites that must be met before I will bless the marriage of a man and woman.

  1. The couple must believe that marriage is a Covenant Vow before God
  2. They must not be living together
  3. They must go through premarital counseling before I agree to marry them.
  4. They must have the blessings of both sets of parents.

We see the church out of focusSome of you are thinking, Brother Jim, that seems pretty harsh. After all, they have been living together and need to make it official. Plus they are our neighbors, and this is a chance to reach out to them. I understand your thoughts, but consider this: Do we ever have an excuse to take God for granted? NO! God is Holy, He is Righteous. He has standards and He reigns in Heaven whether we acknowledge Him or not. One day everyone will have an appointment with the God who created them and will answer for why they took Him for granted. If we can’t ever take God for granted, then we can’t take Jesus for granted. And if we can’t take Jesus for granted, we can’t take His wife for granted. And the church is His wife. Now when it comes to the church, the bride of Christ, we see a Universal application, but we also see a local application.

I believe Pleasant Prairie Baptist can be a great church. I believe we are sitting in a mission field. And we need to start taking our church more seriously. We can not take it for granted, just as we wouldn’t dare think of taking God for granted. I believe the community around Pleasant Prairie takes us for granted. They see us as a qaint little country church instead of seeing us as the powerful Bride of Jesus Christ. I think that is because we have failed to be a church, we have failed to be a bride, we have taken the Word of God for granted.There seems to be a couple problems in America:

  • We are extremely self-loving.
  • We dishonor the Word of God.

Because we love ourselves we tend to do what we want when we want it. Because we dishonor God’s Word, we dishonor God, we dishonor the church, we dishonor preachers, we dishonor pastors. When you dishonor God’s Word, you start to dishonor everything about God and what God says is important. We dishonor marriage, we dishonor the family, we dishonor our relationships with each other.

So for the next two weeks I want us to see from God’s Word Why Pleasant Prairie Baptist Church was put here on the corner of 215th & Y, and then I want to see from God’s Word what we should be doing so that we do not take God’s Word for granted. To do so we need to answer 2 Questions:

  • What Makes a Church?
  • What is Membership All About?

First, let’s look at Black’s Law Dictionary and see what our Courts say a church is.

A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government by the profession of one faith, and the observance of the same rituals and ceremonies. Black’s Law Dictionary 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th eds.

jesus keys to peterLet’s see how this meshes with how Jesus Views His Church:

  • He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, THOU ART THE CHRIST, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, THAT THOU ART PETER Petros (stone), and upon this rock petra (Christ is the great foundation, the “chief corner-stone,”—Vincent’s) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:15-19

1. Jesus says the church is something He is Building.

  • Jesus is the Architect, the owner, the developer, the reason there is a church.

2. Jesus says His church has Great Power.

  • Stronger than Hell, Able to Bring Heaven down to Earth

3. Jesus says His Church is built upon Stones that all Declare the same Message.

  • Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The Church is all about Jesus and His Living in us, empowering us to reach out to those who are without Jesus.

1. The Church is a Living Building of “Called out Ones”

Jesus says “I will build my church”

  • Church Universal
  • Church Local

Church made of Living StonesChrist appears here, not as the foundation, but as the architect: “On this rock will I build.” The church is a collection of pieces of living rocks that when combined by the power of God are impenetrable. Peter was the first, just as Abraham was the first.

A. Jesus Selects Living Materials:

  • John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
  • John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
  • What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

church is an altarB. Jesus Transforms “called out believers” into “LIVING STONES”

  • To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5
  • And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16

The church is to be like the altar of stones upon which the Jews sacrificed to Holy God.

  • Exodus 20:24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

C. Jesus Uses Special Stones to Build the Church

  • And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4:11-1

2. The Church is the Power of Christ to an Enslaved World

We have the AUTHORITY & POWER of our King.

  • King Jesus Will ReignMatthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
  • Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another.

We follow an unseen King, and obey His commands. That obedience keeps us in His Kingdom and not in the devil’s. As long as we obey our King, we have our King’s Authority in this world.

reconciliationWe are ON MISSION to be Ambassadors to the World

Since Jesus is reigning in an undisclosed location, and since He is still seeking more living stones to keep building His church, He needs you and me to be Ambassadors to this enslaved world.

  • Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 jesus pierced cross

We are always on mission. This world is always watching the King’s people. We are to go into all this world and hold up the Good News of Jesus Christ. But we are not to merely say it, we are to show it!

3. The Church consists of Believers in a Covenant Relation with Jesus Christ.

  • We Have a Responsibility to Each Other because We are in Christ.

We are not a collection of lonely islands. No we are a collection of stones that are made into a huge rocky peak, by the power of God through our Belief and Confession of this Blood Covenant.

  • From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16

I can’t see it, I can’t even feel it sometimes, but there is a bond that is stronger than anything else I’ve ever faced. That bond is my marriage with my wife. That bond may be just a piece of paper filed in the Jackson County Courthouse. But it is a bond designed by God to be so tough, that if you ever break it, it will mess your life up and leave scars that only Jesus can heal.

God_cuts_covenant-abrahamWhen you come to Jesus because His Holy Spirit has convicted you of your sin, and has spoken into the wee small crevices of your heart, a bond was forged between you and God. God says that bond will never be broken because He places the seal of His Holy Spirit within your life. You may not feel it, you may not sense it, but GOD LIVES IN YOU! And if you turn away from God, you neglect His word, it will mess you up! If it doesn’t mess you up to ignore Jesus Christ and neglect Him, there never was that bond.

It’s like marriage, you know it when you neglect it and turn away from it.

Now because of this Bond we have with God through Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to love and pray and support others who have entered into this relationship with Jesus. The easiest way to take care of one another is through a local Bible Believing, Bible Preaching Church. The local church is built by Jesus on the Power of our Communion with Him through our Covenant Confession with Him.communion-WITH-JESUS-HANDS

I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:15-17

My wife and I have experienced the Power of our Covenant Relationship in Joining in the care of our Children and now our grandchildren. We have begun our own body of Tompkins, and I pray that we will all be built upon Jesus Christ.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

  • We Have a Responsibility to Build Strong Marriages and Families because they Reflect the Power of Christ to the World.

The Church is the Bride of Christ:

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:21-33

The Church (those written in the Book of Life) is the Bride of Christ

bride christ marriageAnd there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:9-27

We See that as far as God and His Plans are concerned, the Church is central, it is key.

So Why is it important to Join a Church? When we are born again we become members of the church universal, we are baptized into one Body. Why do we need to join a Local Church?

How Important is Church Membership?

The leadership of Pleasant Prairie Baptist Church considers membership to be important from a polity and relational perspective.

  • Polity: only members are allowed to have a say in the direction of our church by voicing their concerns and by voting.
  • Relational: Membership enjoins us to certain responsibilities and obligations as detailed in our church covennt.

We believe church membership is very important for our Spiritual Well-Being, as the following illustrates:

Five Proofs of the Mandate for Membership in a Local Church

Each of these proofs reveal that lack of membership would minimize or deny our spiritual growth in Christ.

1) The Metaphor of the Body

Church membership is implied in the metaphor of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. The original meaning of the word ‘member’ is member of a body, like hand and foot and eye and ear. That’s the imagery behind the word ‘member’ in the text. Verse 12: “Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”

So the question this imagery raises for the local church that Paul is describing in 1 Corinthians 12 is: Who intends to be treated as a hand or foot or eye or ear of this body? There is a unity and organic relationship implied in the imagery of the body. There is something unnatural about a Christian attaching himself to a body of believers and not being a member of the body.

2) Christians Required to Submit to Their Leaders

Church membership is implied in the biblical requirement of Christians to be submitted to a group of church leaders, elders, or pastors. The point here is that without membership, who is it that the New Testament is referring to who must submit to a specific group of leaders? Some kind of expressed willingness or covenant or agreement or commitment (that is, membership) has to precede a person’s submission to a group of leaders.

Consider the way the New Testament talks about the relationship of the church to her leaders.

  • Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. (Hebrews 13:17)
  • We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)
  • Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17)

How is this leadership and this submission going to work if there is no membership defining who has made the commitment to be led and who has been chosen as leaders? If we downplay the importance of membership, it is difficult to see how we could take these commands to submit and to lead seriously and practically.

3) Shepherds Required to Care for Their Flock

shepherds care for the flockChurch membership is implied in the way the New Testament requires elders to care for the flock in their charge. Of course elders can extend their love to anyone and everyone, and should, within the limits of their ability. But the question is whether the Bible tells elders that they are to have a special responsibility and care for a certain group—a group of members. Consider Acts 20:28 where Paul tells the elders how to care for their flock.

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:8

This verse does not say elders cannot visit unbelievers or those who are not yet members. But it does make clear that their first responsibility is to a particular flock. How are they to know who their flock is? Who are we as elders and pastors responsible for? For whom will we give an account to God?

The way Peter speaks to the elders in 1 Peter 5 is even more clear on this point. Verses 2-3: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”

“Those in your charge” (your portion, your lot) implies that the elders knew whom they were responsible for. This is just another way of talking about membership. If a person does not want to be held accountable by a group of church leaders or be the special focus of the care of a group of church leaders, they will resist the idea of membership. And they will resist God’s appointed way for them to live and be sustained in their faith.

4) The Church Is to Discipline Its Members

Church membership is implied by the way the church is supposed to discipline its members. Consider the implication of Matthew 18:15-17 where “the church” (ekklesia) appears to be the final court of appeal in matters of church authority as it relates to membership.

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

If there is no church membership, how can you define the group that will take up this sensitive and weighty matter of exhorting the unrepentant person and finally rendering a judgment about his standing in the community? It’s hard to believe that just anyone who showed up claiming to be a Christian could be a part of that gathering. Surely, “the church” must be a definable group to handle such a weighty matter. You know who you mean when you “take it to the church.”

5) Excommunication Exists

Church membership is implied by the simple fact that excommunication even exists. Paul implies this in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 where he deals with the necessity of putting someone out of the church. He says, “What have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’”

There are two implications here: One is that there is an “in the church” group and an “outside the church” group. Being in the church is definable. The other implication is that a person can be removed from being “in the church.” Such a formal removal would not be possible if there were no such thing as a clear membership—who is an accountable part of this body, and who is not?

Expectation for All Believers

So for these five reasons and more we believe that membership is a New Testament expectation for all believers. Each of us should be a member of a local body of believers.

  • We should take responsibility to discipline those of the body who do not repent from public sin that brings reproach on the name of Christ.

  • We should declare ourselves part of the body so that if we are wayward, we ourselves would be liable to such exclusion.

  • We should take our position under the leadership and authority of our church leaders.

  • And we should find our place in the organic whole as a body part—a member—of a local body of Christ.

That is God’s plan for us and for Pleasant Prairie Baptist Church. That is what we mean by membership. All of those aspects of membership are rooted in the truth that the local church is an expression of the universal church. Part of what it means to belong to the body of Christ is to belong to a local body.

A Blood-Bought Gift of God’s Grace

Church bought through the crucifixionThe New Testament tells of no Christians who are not accountable members of local churches in the sense that we have just seen. “Lone-Ranger Christians” are a contradiction because becoming a Christian means being united to Christ, and union with Christ expresses itself in union with a local body of believers. It seems to us that in the New Testament, to be excluded from the local church was to be excluded from Christ. This is why the issue of membership is so important.

Are you an accountable member of a local church? Not just: Is your name somewhere? But, are you committed to discipline and being disciplined according to biblical standards? Have you publicly declared your willingness to be shepherded and to be led by the leaders of a local church? Do you see yourself and your gifts as part of an organic ministering body? Do you show by your firm attachment to Christ’s body that you are attached to Christ?

Church membership is a blood-bought gift of God’s grace. More than most of us realize, it is a life-sustaining, faith-strengthening, joy-preserving means of God’s mercy to us. We urge you not to deprive yourself of this blessing.

Jim and Clare TompkinsWhen I was about seven years old, my mom went away for a while. I did not know what was going on, but I found out later that there was problems between my mom and dad. Dad was a traveling salesman, gone 4 and 5 days a week, and Mom was raising three rambunctious boys. I think something serious happened, because Mom went away to Texas to live in a Psychiatric Hospital. She had a nervous breakdown. She went through electro-shock therapy. I had to go live with a strange family for a while because my Dad still travelled. My Mom and Dad almost didn’t make it. Somehow, Mom came back home and started dragging us to the Prairie Baptist Church down the street. She started making friendships with good caring friends. A couple men started visiting my dad. Glenn and Merl faithfully called on my dad, and didn’t judge him when he smoked and drank in front of them. They just kept inviting him to church. Finally he went, and went and went. Something different was going on in my family. Mom and Dad weren’t fighting like before. Before I knew it, Mom and Dad joined the church. Dad started taking a leadership role. He was different! It was that church and Jesus Christ that made a difference in our family, and the same has continued to make a difference in my family and now my kid’s families.


The church is Vital and Powerful and is used by Jesus Christ to transform sinners into the children of God!


Congratulations! You have made a life-changing decision! Perhaps you are asking, “Now what? How do I begin my journey with God?” The Six steps mentioned below will give you direction from the Bible.

1. Make sure you understand salvation.

1 John 5:13 tells us, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

God wants us to understand salvation. God wants us to have the confidence of knowing for sure that we are saved. Briefly, let’s go over the key points of salvation:

  • We have all sinned. Our sinful nature means we are separated from our Holy Righteous Creator God. (Romans 3:23).
  • Because of our sin, God has declared us “guilty” and the punishment for our sin is eternal separation from God in Hell. (Romans 6:23).
  • Because God loved us, He sent His only son Jesus to die upon the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved. His resurrection proved that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay for our sins.
  • God grants forgiveness and salvation to all those who place their faith in Jesus – trusting His death as the payment for our sins. Faith means that we have opened our heart to believe that which is unseen, yet we know in our hearts is true. (John 3:16; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:1).

Jesus-Salvation-in-No-One-ElseThis is the message of salvation! If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved! You have entered into a Covenant with God sealed with the blood of Jesus His Son. God will not break His Covenant. All of your sins are forgiven, and God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Romans 8:38-39; Matthew 28:20). Remember, your salvation is secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29). If you are trusting in Jesus alone as your Savior, you can have confidence that you will spend eternity with God in heaven! Salvation is entirely because of what Jesus did for you. It is a totally free gift. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

There is nothing that you can do to make you good enough or worthy enough to enter into heaven. You are “saved” ONLY by what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. When your heart is opened to believe in Jesus as your personal Savior, you are born again and the proof of you being a new creation, a child of God, is the seal of the Holy Spirit who now lives within you.

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

2. Find a good Church that teaches the Bible.

churchDon’t think of the church as a building. The church is the people. It is very important that believers in Jesus Christ fellowship with one another. That is one of the primary purposes of the church. Now that you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, we strongly encourage you to find a Bible-believing church in your area and speak to the pastor. Let him know about your new faith in Jesus Christ.

A second purpose of the church is to teach the Bible. You can learn how to apply God’s instructions to your life. Understanding the Bible is key to living a successful and powerful Christian life. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

A third purpose of the church is worship. Worship is thanking God for all He has done! God has saved us. God loves us. God provides for us. God guides and directs us. How could we not thank Him? God is holy, righteous, loving, merciful, and full of grace. Revelation 4:11 declares, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”word

3. Set Aside Time each day to focus on God.

prayerintimacyIt is very important for us to spend time each day focusing on God. Some people call this a “quiet time.” Others call it “devotions,” because it is a time when we devote ourselves to God. Some prefer to set aside time in the mornings, while others prefer the evenings. It does not matter what you call this time or when you do it. What matters is that you regularly spend time with God. What events make up our time with God?

(a) Prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. Talk to God about your concerns and problems. Ask God to give you wisdom and guidance. Ask God to provide for your needs. Tell God how much you love Him and how much you appreciate all He does for you. That is what prayer is all about.

(b) Bible Reading. In addition to being taught the Bible in church, Sunday School, and/or Bible studies – you need to be reading the Bible for yourself. A good place to start is with the Book of John. John presents the majesty and beauty of Jesus in the flesh. In John you will discover the Love of Jesus for His disciples.

The Bible contains everything you need to know in order to live a successful Christian life. It contains God’s guidance for how to make wise decisions, how to know God’s will, how to minister to others, and how to grow spiritually. The Bible is God’s Word to us. The Bible is essentially God’s instruction manual for how to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him and satisfying to us. You have a new Teacher living within you – the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to teach you as you read the Bible.

4. Develop Relationships with people who can help you spiritually.

friendswalking1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” The Bible is full of warnings about the influence “bad” people can have on us. Spending time with those who engage in sinful activities will cause us to be tempted by those activities. The character of those we are around will “rub off” on us. That is why it is so important to surround ourselves with other people who love the Lord and are committed to Him.

Try to find a friend or two, perhaps from your church, who can help you and encourage you (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24). Ask your friends to keep you accountable in regard to your quiet time, your activities, and your walk with God. Ask if you can do the same for them. This does not mean you have to give up all your friends who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior. Continue to be their friend and love them. Simply let them know that Jesus has changed your life and you cannot do all the same things you used to do. Ask God to give you opportunities to share Jesus with your friends.

5. Be Baptized.

baptism pictures death burialMany people have a misunderstanding of baptism. The word “baptize” means to immerse in water. Baptism is the Biblical way of publicly proclaiming your new faith in Christ and your commitment to follow Him. The action of being immersed in the water illustrates being buried with Christ. The action of coming out of the water pictures Christ’s resurrection. Being baptized is identifying yourself with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism also makes you a part of a local church, and assures you of the watch care of a group of believers who will have your best interests at heart.

Baptism is not what saves you. Baptism does not wash away your sins. Baptism is simply a step of obedience, a public proclamation of your faith in Christ alone for salvation. Baptism is important because it is a step of obedience – publicly declaring faith in Christ and your commitment to Him. If you are ready to be baptized, you should speak with one of the Pastors at the church you attend.

6. Allow Christ’s Holy Spirit to Control Your Life.

Realize you can chose how you will live your Christian Life. These two diagrams illustrate in a simple way the struggle we will have to allow Jesus to lead our life, or to follow our own ways:Christ-Directed-versus-Self

In order to live a Christ-Directed Life you need to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit. We must realize that this is what God designed us for when we are “Born Again”.

1. God Has Provided For Us an Abundant and Fruitful Christian Life

  • Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).John10_10
  • “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
  • “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
  • The Spiritual (Holy Spirit Controlled) Man – Some spiritual traits which result from trusting God:Holy-Spirit-Directed-Life

    The degree to which these traits are manifested in the life depends upon the extent to which the Christian trusts the Lord with every detail of his life, and upon his maturity in Christ. One who is only beginning to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit should not be discouraged if he is not as fruitful as more mature Christians who have known and experienced this truth for a longer period.

    • Why is it that most Christians are not experiencing the abundant life?

    2. Christians who follow the Flesh Cannot Experience the Abundant and Fruitful Christian Life

    The self-directed man trusts in his own efforts to live the Christian life: He is either uninformed about, or has forgotten, God’s love, forgiveness, and power (Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 10:1-25;1 John 1; 1 John 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:9; Acts 1:8).

    • He has an up-and-down spiritual experience.
    • He cannot understand himself – he wants to do what is right, but cannot.
    • He fails to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 7:15-24; 8:7; Galatians 5:16-18)

    The Fleshly (Self-Directed) Man – Some or all of the following traits may characterize the Christian who does not fully trust God:Self-Directed-Life

    The third truth gives us the only solution to this problem…

    3. Jesus Promised the Abundant and Fruitful Life as the Result of Being Filled (Directed and Empowered) by the Holy Spirit

    The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through us in the power of the Holy Spirit

    • One becomes a Christian through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, according to John 3:1-8. From the moment of spiritual birth, the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at all times (John 1:12; Colossians 2:9, 10; John 14:16, 17). Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are filled (directed and empowered) by the Holy Spirit.
    • The Holy Spirit is the source of the overflowing life (John 7:37-39).
    • The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ (John 16:1-15). When one is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is a true disciple of Christ.
    • In His last command before His ascension, Christ promised the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:1-9).

    How, then, can one be filled with the Holy Spirit?

    4. We are Filled by the Holy Spirit by Faith

    Then We Can Experience the Abundant and Fruitful Life Which Christ Promised to Each Christian.

    holy_spirit1Please remember that this does not mean your life will always be great. The Holy Spirit will take you through times of testing and tribulation, just as He did Jesus, but always with the goal of producing the Character of Jesus Christ in your life. Faith holds on when things are darkest. But whatever God takes you through, He will never abandon you there. He will bring you through the valley and you will find increased faith and strength of character that is more precious than the purest gold.

    You can experience the filling of the Holy Spirit right now if you:

    • Sincerely desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:6; John 7:37-39).
    • Confess your sins. By faith thank God that He has forgiven all of your sins – past, present and future – because Christ died for you (Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; Hebrews 10:1-17).
    • Present every area of your life to God (Romans 12:1-2)myjobmyrelationshipsmyfinances
    • By faith claim the fullness of the Holy Spirit, according to:

    1. His Command – Be filled with the Spirit. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

    2. His Promise – He will always answer when we pray according to His will. “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).

    Faith is expressed through believing prayer:

    We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. Sincere prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:

    “Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”

    worshipBeing Filled and Controlled by the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event like being Born Again (Becoming a Christian). It is a daily, moment by moment walk with the Holy One who lives within you.