Three Things I Wish I Knew the Day I Was Baptized
Intro: I remember my baptism well. I was fourteen and it was Lake Martin. The water was cold but the crowd was warm. Bro. Ronnie put a handkerchief over my face and plunged me beneath the waters…
There are so many things I know now I wish I knew then. But tonight I want to share three…
I. Salvation is a gift
- A gift doesn’t cost me anything.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB95)
A gift isn’t a gift if I have to pay for it. That’s why you have to watch these ads that are too good to be true. God never advertises falsely! The gift of forgiveness and eternal through what Jesus did on the cross is free, but it cost Him everything.
- A gift is given once
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:10 (NASB95)
God is not an Indian giver.
- A gift is received.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12 (NASB95)
That’s the only part we play in getting saved.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NASB95)
II. Prayer is talking with God
I can remember hearing the deacons pray these big lofty prayers. They were very impressive. They would pray the same prayer every week. I thought that’s how you talked God. I couldn’t talk like that so I didn’t pray.
God changed my life when He taught me that praying is simply talking with Him. Note that I said “with” not”to.”
Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6…
“And when you pray, don’t be like those people who don’t know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing, thinking that God will hear them because of their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him. So when you pray, you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven, may your name always be kept holy.
May your kingdom come and what you want be done, here on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us the food we need for each day.
Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.
And do not cause us to be tempted, but save us from the Evil One.’
The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen...” Matthew 6:7-14 (NCV)
The last thing I wish I knew was…
III. The Bible is more than just a book
Now I know that sounds like a no-brainer. Everybody knows it’s more than just a book. I knew that. The problem was I didn’t act like it. I didn’t read it that much. I didn’t study it.
I didn’t know that the Bible is infused with the power of God. Every word, every sentence, every verse is alive!
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NASB95)
It wasn’t until years later that I learned just reading the Bible, even if I didn’t understand it, brought me blessings. Over time, I came to understand more and more.
You have to dig for gold. And it’s the same with the Bible. You have to put some effort into to. But the rewards are awesome. King David loved God’s Word. He wrote a Psalm about God’s Word (it’s the longest!). Listen to what he said…
How can a young person live a pure life? By obeying your word. With all my heart I try to obey you. Don’t let me break your commands. I have taken your words to heart so I would not sin against you. Lord, you should be praised. Teach me your demands. My lips will tell about all the laws you have spoken. I enjoy living by your rules as people enjoy great riches. I think about your orders and study your ways. I enjoy obeying your demands, and I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:9-16 (NCV)
Conclusion : There’s no way in one night I could tell you everything you need to know. I have been a Christian for 25 years and I haven’t even begun to know it all.
God will teach you more and more about Him on the adventure!