Community Baptist Church
Friday, July 19, 2019
CBC exists to honor and glorify God, equipping the family to reach out with the Love of Christ.

Something to Consider...

You just did the same thing that Adam and Eve did in the garden. 
Some things just don't change with time do they!
 
Welcome To Humanity...

You've just exhibited the same behavior as Adam and Eve. You could have chosen to browse freely through countless other web pages, but instead, you chose to disobey - to do things "your way."

Sounds just like a story we read of somewhere else...

God created a wonderful paradise and gave it to Adam and Eve. They could do anything they wanted and eat anything they wanted. The only rule given to them by God was that they could not eat from the forbidden tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, just as Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, you chose to enter this forbidden area. We all choose to disobey God.

When Adam disobeyed God, he not only brought sin into the world, he activated God's plan to destroy Satan. Sin brought a number of consequences. The most terrible was death. Sin brought physical and spiritual death into the world and would eternally separate mankind from God.

But Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved you so much that He died on the Cross and paid the penalty for your disobedience. He offers you forgiveness. Jesus Christ is the only way to gain forgiveness so that you can live eternally with God in heaven.

You must accept His gift of forgiveness - it cannot be earned.
How do you accept this gift?

The very nature of God - His holiness - is where it all begins. When God created mankind, He intended there to be fellowship between Him and mankind. However, that all changed when sin entered the picture. Now God and man are separated by sin. You might think of it this way: If you have a clean, white piece of paper and put a big black spot on it, what you have is no longer a clean piece of paper. If you were to hold it up and ask someone what it was, he would say, "A black spot." In the same way, we are tainted by sin and can no longer have fellowship with a holy, spotless God. The Bible says that the result of sin is death (in a spiritual context, that means separation from God - we're not able to "hear" or "sense" God).

God's plan to bridge the gap between Himself and mankind required His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be a sinless sacrifice. Since there was no sinless human being, God had to provide us with His own Son who is true man and true God. The Bible says, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word who "was with God" and "was God," becoming flesh in the virgin's womb by the Holy Spirit (read John 1:1-14 and Luke 1:35). That is why only Jesus can provide us with salvation.

When Jesus died on the cross, it was to atone for the sin that had destroyed our relationship with God. That includes all of our sin, past, present, and future. No one else in all of history was able to do that because no one else was perfect. And Jesus was perfect because He was the Son of God and never sinned. When we place our faith in Him for reconciliation, our relationship with God is restored.

With that restored relationship, we become children of God, and His Holy Spirit takes up residence within us. We then have the full power of God to help us desire and do His will. It is our prayer that you have taken this step of commitment. It is the most important step you will ever take. If you have not taken this eternal step, here's a simple, four-step process:

Step One
God's Purpose: Peace and Life

God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life - abundant and eternal.

The Bible says ...

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

Why don't most people have this peace and abundant life that God planned for us to have?

Step Two
The Problem: Our Separation

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.

We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God.

The Bible says ...

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

Our Attempts to Reach God

People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God ...

The Bible says ...

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).

"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).

No bridge reaches God ... except one.

Step Three
God's Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.

The Bible says ...

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 2:5).

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Peter 3:18).

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.

Step Four
Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.

The Bible says ...

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9).

Where are you?

Will you receive Jesus Christ right now?

Here is how you can receive Christ:

1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).
2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit (Receive Him as Lord and Savior).

Receive The Promise

How to Pray (prayer is just talking to God...just like you would do if you were talking to your closest friend):

"Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name. Amen."

What's Next?
If you prayed this prayer, the Bible says ...

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).

Did you sincerely ask Jesus Christ to come into your life? Where is He right now? What has He given you?

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Receiving Christ, we are born into God's family through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. This is called regeneration, or the "new birth."

This is just the beginning of a wonderful new life in Christ...

 
Next Steps...


BELIEVE
-- " ... whoever believes in him should not perish but [will] have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

How Do I Know That Jesus Is In My Life?

Did you receive Christ into your life by sincerely praying the suggested prayer? According to His promise in Revelation 3:20, where is Christ right now in relation to you? Christ said that He would come into your life. Would He mislead you? On what authority do you know that God has answered your prayer? (The trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word.)

The Bible Promises Eternal Life

"The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:11-13).

Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the very moment you invite Him in. He will not deceive you.

An important reminder... Do Not Depend on "how" you feel

The promise of God's Word, the Bible - not our feelings - is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship among fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).

The train will run with or without a caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, as Christians we do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.

Now That You Have Received Christ ... Help for the New Christian

 “Follow Christ With Believer’s Baptism”

Why should I be Baptized?

 1. To follow the example set by Christ.

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Mark 1:9

2. Because Christ commands it.

“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” Matt. 28:19-20

3. It demonstrates that I really am a believer .

“...many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8

What is the meaning of Baptism?

“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” 1 John 2:3

1. It illustrates Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

“Christ died for our sins... He was buried...and He rose again.” 1 Cor. 15:3-4

“For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ. Col. 2:12

2. It illustrates my new life as a Christian.

“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” 2 Cor. 5:17

By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead...so also we may live a new life!” Rom. 6:4

Baptism doesn’t make you a believer — it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you, only your faith in Christ does. Baptism is like a wedding ring — it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Why be Baptized by Immersion?

1. Because Christ was baptized that way.

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16

2. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.

(Example) “...then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water...” Acts 8:38-39

3. The word “Baptize” means to "dip under water".

The Greek word baptizo means “to immerse or dip under water”.

4. It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!

The founders of denominations agree.

Martin Luther... “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”

John Calvin... “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

John Wesley... “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”

Who should be Baptized?

1.  Every person who has believed in Christ.

Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized...” Acts 2:41

“Simon himself believed and was baptized...” Acts 8:13

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News...and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12

At CBC, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.   We have our children go through, "Now that I'm a Christian" before baptism.  This helps enforce the meaning of being a Christian and the decision that have made.

Some churches practice a “baby dedication" for very young children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the church, the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.

At CBC, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were “confirmed” as children.

When should I be Baptized?

1. As soon as you have believed!

“Those who believed...were baptized... that day!” Acts 2:41

“Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38

There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll never feel “good enough”!

Now that you are a Christian and are in fellowship with God, you will also want to learn more about how to grow closer to Him. The Bible calls this growing "in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

Read the Bible daily

The Bible is God's inspired Word. Besides revealing the Good News about forgiveness and eternal life, it can also answer the many questions you will have as you try to live a life that pleases God. It will enable you to be "thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17). Here are some suggestions as you begin reading the Bible on a daily basis:

1. Try reading the New Testament books in this order:
* First, read through the Gospel of John, a chapter a day. This will help you understand the basic facts about the Gospel.
* Then read Acts, for the exciting story of how Christ's first disciples spread the Good News of His death and resurrection.
* Next, read some of the letters that Christ's apostles wrote to these first disciples -- all of whom were new in their faith, just like you. These letters include Romans through 3 John.
* Then, go back and read one of the other three gospels: Matthew, Mark or Luke.

2. Think about what you read; study and analyze it. Ask your pastor or a mature Christian friend to recommend a good Bible study guide. The Bible not only reveals God to us; it contains greater wisdom than all the other books in the world.

3. Read through the Psalms -- the Old Testament book of worship -- to enrich your devotion to God.

4. Read Proverbs to gain wisdom and common sense, and to strengthen your relationships with other people (there are 31 chapters in Proverbs - read a chapter a day corresponding with today's date).

5. Pray for understanding. The Holy Spirit will help you (Psalm 119:18), and you will begin to see life from God's perspective.

6. Whenever you can, talk with others about what you are learning.
After you have a good basic understanding of the Bible, you'll want to keep reading it daily.
 
Pray daily

Talk with God often. Talk over your problems with Him. Let Him bear the weight of your troubles (See Matthew 11:28 and 1 Peter 5:7).

Praise and thank God for who He is and for what He has done for you. Admit your weaknesses. Confess each specific sin that you are aware of. Pray for others that they, too, may receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Suggestions for your daily devotional time:

* Plan a definite time, preferably in the morning when your mind is fresh and rested. Make it a habit.
* Select a quiet place where you can be alone with God.
* Make a list of requests, for others as well as yourself.
* Read and meditate on a portion of Scripture, then spend time in prayer.
* As you end your daily time with God, commit the day and yourself to Him.

Learn to depend on the Holy Spirit

God is actually three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit actually lives within every true believer in Christ (See John 14:16-17).

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit, as He lives inside you, is your counselor, to help you understand the truth revealed in God's Word: "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26, NIV).

The Holy Spirit will:
* teach you
* guide you
* strengthen you in your times of need

Attend church regularly

When you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you began a relationship not only with Him but also with all other Christians. Whatever it meant to you in the past, going to church can now become a rich and rewarding experience:

* You will grow in understanding by hearing God's Word preached and taught.
* You can ask questions and discuss Scripture with others.
* You will learn to worship God, which means praising Him for all that He is and thanking Him for all that He has done for you.
* As you worship, learn and serve with other Christians, you will find individuals with whom you can form lasting friendships (friendships that will last for all eternity!).

Be of service to others

You will find that the more you give yourself in service to others, the more you will enjoy your Christian life. Talk to your pastor or youth pastor about ways and opportunities to serve Christ and to witness for Him. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).

Learn to conquer your doubts

At times you may doubt that you really are a child of God:

* There may be some big failures in your Christian life.
* You may find yourself thinking about things that you feel Christians just shouldn't be thinking about.
* You may be troubled by some unconfessed sin.
When these things happen, it is important to remember that you are not saved by your goodness but by what Christ has already done for you. Review the steps you took to believe in Christ. Reassure yourself with the fact that, if you have received Christ by faith, you are now a child of God.

Learn to live one day at a time

Too often our lives become filled with anxiety. We worry ourselves sick about what might happen tomorrow. We try to cross our bridges before ever coming to them!

* The Bible says we are not to be anxious about what might happen tomorrow (See Matthew 6:33-34).
* The Bible also promises that, "Your strength will equal your days" (Deuteronomy 33:25). In other words, God's grace will be sufficient to meet the challenges of each new day.

Learn the blessing of suffering

Difficulties, ill health and all kinds of suffering have a new perspective when you have Christ in your life:

* Instead of "going to pieces," you can be strengthened.
* Instead of being a burden to others, you can be a blessing. As you realize God's power, comfort and strength through life's experiences, you will grow in your faith.

Learn how to deal with temptation

Temptation is a part of life. It was before you received Christ, and it still will be. It is not a sin to have wrong thoughts from time to time. It is, however, a sin to choose to dwell on such thoughts over and over again.

The Bible says, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak" (Matthew 26:41, NIV). When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He replied to the devil by quoting Scripture. Three times He said, "It is written..." (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). Be prepared for temptation, through prayer and through your knowledge of God's Word.

The Bible says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). Be prepared to take advantage of God's "way out" of temptation, whether it means that you "flee" the scene of the temptation (1 Timothy 6:11), or that you stay on the scene and "resist" it (James 4:7).

Tell others about Christ

Letting others know about your new life in Christ -- by word and by action -- can be one of the most satisfying and exciting experiences you have ever had. The apostle Peter encourages us to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15).

Adapted From "Your Christian Life" © 1965, 1968, as "Aids to Christian Living," 1986 as "Practical Steps in Christian Living," 1995 as "Beginning Your Christian Life," 1997 as "Your Christian Life," Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, P.O. Box 779, Minneapolis, MN 55440, U.S.A