• Matt Beaney

#226 – GO AND BAPTISE (2/11/20)



It’s interesting that Jesus includes ‘baptism’ as a part of The Great Commission. Of all the things He could have said as His last words on earth, I’m not sure I would have included dunking people into water!


However, He does include it so it must be very important! This simple act points to the most sublime of spiritual realities and sums up what it means to be a Christian.


So, we must ask the question, so where are all the baptisms then? If we are following Jesus, we should expect to see more people coming to Jesus and being baptised. Baptisms are a sign of a healthy church and this is why I’d like to see more in our church. Lack of baptisms, like a low birthrate in a population, points to decline and underlying problems. When a church is healthy - it’s faith and practice in harmony - there will be a ‘high birth-rate’.


So, let’s be humble, honest and prayerful as we respond to Jesus on this subject.


Readings and reflections

1. Jesus commands us to go and baptise people,

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Baptism symbolises What God has done - He has washed and made us new. It also symbolises what we are choosing to do - It’s a statement of repentance and faith as we to turn from our old life and live for God.

Why do you think Jesus included baptism in The Great Commission?

Do you value baptism and does your attitude need to change?


2. After Peter preached his first sermon on the Day of Pentecost, he includes baptism as a way to respond,

‘Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 2:38)

Repentance (a change of mind and life) and baptism always go together. How does the act of baptism show our repentance?


It’s clear that if we do not listen to Jesus. If we fail to pray and take the opportunities that He promises to give us, we will not see people coming to Jesus and being baptised.

Are you praying for people to come to Jesus and be baptised?

Are you open to being led by the Spirit to talk to people about the gospel?


To memorise this week

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)


To consider this week

Do you need to be baptised? If you’d like to discuss this, please contact the church office or talk to your Community Group leader.




COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - GO AND BAPTISE


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Do any of you have a story of overcoming obstacles to your being baptised?


Introduction - please share in your group

On Sunday, we continued in our series on discipleship. Last week, we considered how disciples are those who say "yes" to Jesus. Specifically, we are those who want to be disciples and are actively seeking to be involved in helping others to grow in their faith.


This week, and in our devotionals, we will see that disciples get baptised and seek to be involved in bringing people to Jesus and seeing them baptised. The Great Commission speaks of baptism,

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Baptism is an object lesson in what it means to be a Christian. It points to the sublime spiritual realities that 'Christians have been washed and made new.

Through faith in Christ, their sins are washed away.


In Christ, they have been made new, as our memory verse expresses it,

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

So, let's say yes to Jesus and get baptised if we haven't done so. And, if you have been baptised, remember and take joy it what it tells you - you are washed and made new!


Discussion questions

1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?


2. Read this week’s main text (Matthew 28:18-20) and discuss:

i) Why do you think that Jesus includes baptism in His Great Commission?

ii) Baptism teaches us that God has washed our sin away, He's raised us from the dead, and it points to our future bodily resurrection. What aspect of baptism do you find most inspiring or confusing?

iii) What does this text teach us about the nature of God as Trinity?

iv) Each person of God relates to us in similar and different ways. How does knowing God as Father, as Son, As Spirit help you in your life?

v) If we want to see more baptisms in our church, what is implied in this text?


3. Is there anything that you want to pray about?

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