INTRO: This is the second lesson on things from the Bible that we MUST adhere to. God does not expect us to start our new lives with 100% Bible knowledge and perfect behavior; but there are some things we must get right. REVIEW HERE One of the areas I have witnessed that many are confused about is the TWO COVENANTS. God has made more than two covenants with His people, but these are considered, by Him, as the defining ones. In the Bible we read of the “first covenant” and the “second covenant” as well as the “old covenant” and the “new covenant.” #1 always refers to the agreement God made with Israel and #2 is the agreement God has made with Christians. John the Apostle declares points out one obvious difference in the two: “the law” (1st covenant) came by Moses, grace and truth (2nd covenant) were
realized through Jesus Christ”- John 1:17
ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS LESSON
ARCHITECT’S ADVICE. Brother Bob Lyles, sought to make us more acceptable to the public by suggesting we have a small protrusion, even if no real steeple.
THE DENOMINATIONAL SYSTEM. You may have come from a church setting that is very unlike this one. There was stained glass, the reverend was dressed in very unique attire, candles burned, maybe incense could be detected, pictures of “Saint somebody” might be noticeable, organ played loud and you felt no need to sing.
Not a word of that came from God’s word!!!
DOING EVERYTHING BY THE BOOK
“WE DO EVERYTHING by the Word of God! The New Testament is our guide for faith and
practice! We live . . . and we die . . . by this Book!” These were the words that thundered forth from the mouth of Pastor Farley as he delivered his Sunday morning sermon. Winchester Spudchecker, a member of Pastor Farley’s church, had heard them dozens of times before. But this time it was different…. (Tell of disagreement the family had before going to worship)
Winchester’s mind continued to race in this direction as he watched Pastor Farley pound the pulpit for emphasis and raise his Bible with his right hand. “We at First Bible New Testament Community Church do everything by this Book! Everything! This is the Word of God, and we cannot stray
from it . . . not even one millimeter!” Suddenly Winchester had another new thought: I don’t remember reading anywhere in the Bible that Christians are supposed to dress up to go to church. Is that by the Book? This single thought unleashed a torrent of other barbed questions. As scores of frozen pew sitters filled his horizon, Winchester continued to ponder similar new questions. Questions that no Christian is supposed to ask. Questions like: Is sitting in this uncushioned pew, staring at the back of twelve rows of heads for forty-five minutes, doing things by the Book?
Why do we spend so much money to maintain this building when we’re here only twice a week for a few hours? Why is half the congregation barely awake when Pastor Farley preaches?
Why do my kids hate Sunday school? Why do we go through this same predictable, yawninspiring ritual every Sunday morning? Why am I going to church when it bores me to tears and does nothing for me spiritually? Why do I wear this uncomfortable necktie every Sunday morning when all it seems to do is cut off blood circulation to my brain?
Winchester felt unclean and sacrilegious to ask such things. Yet something was happening inside of him that compelled him to doubt his entire church experience. HAVE REALLY BEEN DOING IT BY THE BOOK?
As startling as it may sound, almost everything that is done in our contemporary churches has no basis in the Bible. As pastors preach from their pulpits about being “biblical” and following the “pure Word of God,” their words betray them. The truth is that precious little that is observed today in contemporary Christianity maps to anything found in the first-century church.
LESSON: THE AMAZING BENEFITS OF BIBLE BAPTISM
THESIS: TO EXAMINE WHAT WE GET WHEN SCRIPTURALLY BAPTIZED
READING: Romans 6:1-7
INTRO: Let’s use this time to find out about and rejoice in the many benefits of being baptized according to the New Testament pattern. First, let me say, this will NOT be dwelling on the negatives of counterfeit baptism. Let’s get out of the way what we are NOT speaking about today.
1)Not identifying infant baptism, not even when a second act, like first communion, takes place
2)Not speaking about immersion in water in order to become married to someone who so insists
3)Not talking about being baptized for those who have died.
CONCLUSION: The “Plan of Salvation” is the “Man of Salvation” who left heavenly bliss to join the earthly mess. Then he taught things that were so radically different, many did not receive Him. But some did. To them he gave the blessing of being in His family. Today, you should think carefully about the place of baptism in God’s plan of salvation.
INTRO: We wish to look at a chapter so special, that it goes to the very heart of our salvation. Although the chapter is Romans 4, we will begin with Romans 5. This is because the chapter begins on a “Therefore” which tells us to look backward.
“Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God….”-Rom. 5:1
CONCLUSION: We must open our hearts and minds to receive Jesus by faith, which is ‘trusting fo the point of commitment, “it we would expect Jesus to dwell with us. Cf. Rev. 2:10.