• Matt Beaney

#227 – YOU HAVE BEEN WASHED (3/11/20)


Baptism doesn’t wash our sins away. It’s not something that we can do to babies or anyone to ensure they will go to heaven. Baptism follows faith in Christ and symbolises the washing that faith achieves.


Readings and reflections

1. Peter wrote of the washing that baptism speaks of,

‘And this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Peter 3:21)

Peter uses ‘save’ twice in this phrase. According to Peter, how does baptism save us?

Here, Peter is likening those who were saved in the ark to how baptism saves us from God’s judgement. Baptism ‘saves us’ only when it is a response of faith to the death and resurrection of Jesus for our sin.


2. After Paul became a Christian he was baptised,

‘And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ (Acts 22:16)

What does this text imply about how soon a new believer should be baptised?

What does baptism symbolise?

What does ‘calling on His name’ mean?


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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