PART 19 – GOD’S WILL? BE BAPTISED (GOD'S WILL REVEALED IN THE GREAT COMMISSION PART 2) (19/3/20)
Here's Sunday's message if you were unable to gather with the church.
‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’
After His resurrection, Jesus comforted his disciples by reminding them of his kingly authority and that He would always be with them. Interestingly, he also commands them to baptise people when they become Christians.
Today, we continue to consider what it means to pray “Your will be done…” Again, let’s look at the Great Commission, which is a very important section of Jesus teaching and will for all of us. We read,
“When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 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 28:17-18).
In this session, we will look at the important subject of baptism for those who have entered the Kingdom of God.
What is baptism?
Baptism is the act of plunging someone under water. It’s the initiation into the Kingdom. The word baptism simply means to ‘plunge into’; it speaks of death to the past and of new life with and new King and new Kingdom. Paul writes,
‘Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.’
Baptism is a symbol that speaks of a spiritual reality: through faith in Jesus, we have died and have been raised to new life in Christ.
Who is it for?
Jesus makes it clear that baptism is His will for all who follow Him. It doesn’t matter how we feel about it, it’s act of obedience! Baptism is for those who have faith in Jesus. It’s for those who are old enough to have repented of their sin and put their faith in Him for salvation. In his first sermon, Peter told the crowds,
“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).
It’s a response that no-one can make for you - you have to choose to obey Jesus in baptism.
Remember your baptism!
Our baptism, it could be argued, is the most important day of our lives. It’s a celebration of new life; it’s a display of Jesus’ death and resurrection to everyone who witnesses it. If marriage celebrates a new union between a man and a woman, how much more to be celebrated is the new union between that person and God through Jesus!
Like remembering one’s wedding vows, our baptism is something we are to recall to help us when we waver in our faith and commitment. Like Communion (which is the only other symbolic act we are commanded to do), Baptism reminds us of our new life through Jesus’ baptism - His death and resurrection for us.
Take a moment – Remember your baptism. Think about why you did it. Recall the spiritual realities that it points to.
If you are a Christian but are not baptised as an adult; if you are praying “Your will be done…” I believe that it’s Jesus’ will that you get baptised. Why not talk to someone and get signed up to the next baptism preparation class.
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY
Has there ever been a time when your really wanted something but it didn't happen? How did you learn to deal with it?
Introduction - please read in your group
I guess you may be wondering why we have not stopped this teaching series in order to take about the Coronavirus. My answer is that I believe that the Father would want us to learn to pray as a result of the current crisis. It’s God’s will that we learn to pray, and I’m praying “May you will be done earth’ in this regard.
This week we have come to the phrase "your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". This is not a promise that every sickness will be healed, everyone will be saved, every difficulty removed. It is, firstly, a prayer that Jesus would come again; because, only then will His will be fully done on earth as in heaven. Secondly, it's a prayer for what we read in the bible and what we believe to be God's will to be done on earth. It's an encouragement to pray and expect big things to happen.
Read The Lord’s Prayer
“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (“…For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”) (Matthew 6:9-13)
i) God's general will
God’s ‘general will’ is revealed in His word. Christians are to obey the whole Bible. The Bible reveals God’s will for you and me. David wrote, ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’ (Psalm 119:105).
Do you allow the bible to form your prayers and do you have any examples? How is the bible informing your prayers in the current crisis?
ii) God's specific will
Throughout God’s word, He speaks specifically to people about His specific will for them. God has definite things for you and I to do for Him. The Holy Spirit reveals His will through portions of the Bible that ‘speak’ to us, prophecy, dreams, visions, inner conviction (faith), encouragement from others, circumstances…
Have you any stories of God giving and fulfilling promises for you? Do you have any promises from God that you are waiting for Him to fulfil?
Go around your group, each one sharing what they would like prayer for at the moment. Pray for each person in turn.