Basic Christianity & Baptism
Summing up Christianity in just a few words is a big job. There may feel like there is a lot you need to know before you make the decision to follow Jesus. And, there is – in time. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to have all the answers before you take those first steps.
At the core, Christianity is about following Jesus – not blindly, but with authentic, real faith. To follow Jesus means to trust Him, believe Him and lean on Him to lead you through your life. Christianity is about saying no to the world and yes to God. It is a powerful, life-changing experience that leaves you different. And it all begins with you saying Yes2Love and yes to a personal relationship with Jesus.
Like the ancient church, Sherwood Oaks views and practices the act of baptism by immersion as the first step in your walk of faith. It is significant in that it happens once in our spiritual journey. Baptism is not an ending point, but a new beginning. Baptism is:
A response to the grace of God. We did not initiate the process, he did. In the New Testament, we see how to respond to such a gift—by faith, through repentance, in baptism.
Our identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The apostle Paul says that when we are baptized we crucify the old life and our relationship to sin is buried once and for all. We die to the things of this world and the life that would keep us from our relationship with God. Baptism is drawing a line in the sand of our lives. It is saying, “My allegiance is to this relationship alone. I publically proclaim to all that I belong to Jesus Christ and he belongs to me.”
Surrender. Baptism requires humility. The passive at of baptism reflects the fact that only God can wash away our sins. We can do nothing but submit. In the onetime act of baptism we identify with the sacrifice of Jesus and the shedding of his blood that makes it possible for the forgiveness of sins.
A response to our faith in Jesus. Baptism without faith is just a bath. In the New Testament, baptism always followed immediately after a person professed faith and acceptance as Jesus as the Christ, the son of the living God.
An act of obedience. Although it is much more, at the very least, baptism is pure obedience. It is a promise of commitment to live as a follower of Jesus and commit to a lifetime journey of faith and obedience to him.
Want to know more about Baptism? Click here.
Baptisms are easy to schedule, if you’re ready. Contact Mary today to set up your baptism, whether in front of the congregation on Sunday morning, or privately with just those you love in attendance.