THE DEMAND TO CHOOSE

NOT CHOOSING IS A CHOICE

repentance

BAPTIZED IN LOVE

I HAVE DECIDED

HAVE YOU DECIDED?

Today, we have great faith that dozens of individuals are going to step into the waters of baptism. As the song says, “Though Millions Have Come – there’s Still Room For One…..”

There’s room for you today.

We can’t wait to celebrate with each and every one of you who decided to be baptized today!

In our generation so many people are guilty of putting off today, what they can do tomorrow.  I don’t think you are a procrastinator! 

Click the links on the side and follow along as you work through the steps that were covered during our I HAVE DECIDED series.

NOW is the time, and TODAY is the day.

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

1 Kings 18:21 (KJV)

This passage describes a crucial moment of decision. It’s the final showdown between the God of Israel and a false god, Baal. Elijah calls God’s people to choose once and for all between the living God who delivered them, and this false god who has captured their affections.

They seem unable, or unwilling, to make a choice. They want to hedge their bets, sit on the fence, and keep their options open.

How different are we in the 21st century? Would you prefer to make an ironclad, no-turning-back choice, or one you could back out of if need be? Do you ever find that you’re afraid to commit?

It seems that the more options we have, the more afraid we are of choosing. We become enslaved to being noncommittal. In fact, we may become so fearful of making a choice, we simply refuse to choose.

The Israelites thought that by saying nothing they were not committing idolatry, but by refusing to act, they were actually turning away from the living God who rescued them thus worshiping the god of open options.

Our loving God did not create us to keep our options open. He didn’t create us to live in fear of making a choice.  God created us to commit. He created us to choose.

HAVE YOU DECIDED?

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 1:6-8 (KJV)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24 (KJV)

there is a demand to choose

Their is a demand to choose.  Commit.  Make a decision.  Be wholehearted and single-minded. 

When He went to the cross for you and I, He chose us. 

You may not feel worthy today, but He chose you.

You may not feel good enough today, but He chose you. 

You may feel that you’ve gone too far and you’ve sinned too much, but He chose you. 

And today, because He chose us, there is a demand for us to choose as well.  And that choice is clear. 

Maybe you want to choose…

but you need direction.

repentance

the biblical definition of repentance

The lord is not slack concerning his promise, As some men count slackness; But is longsuffering to us-ward, Not willing that any should perish, But that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

The Biblical definition of Repentance means, “to change one’s mind.”

To truly repent, we must allow God to change our mind about sin.

When we do, turning from sin, to Jesus, is easy!

A change of mind is vital because the progression is…

Thought – Action – Action – Habit – Lifestyle

 

Thought

ACKNOWLEDGING OUR SINFUL NATURE

 

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

 

PSALM 51:3-5

ACTION

      REPENTANCE

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 JOHN 1:9

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

HABIT

      THE PRACTICE OF TURNING FROM SIN

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

ROMans 13:14

lifestyle

      TRANSFORM YOUR MIND

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

ROMans 12:2

the biblical definition of repentance

The lord is not slack concerning his promise, As some men count slackness; But is longsuffering to us-ward, Not willing that any should perish, But that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

The Biblical definition of Repentance means, “to change one’s mind.”

To truly repent, we must allow God to change our mind about sin.

When we do, turning from sin, to Jesus, is easy!

A change of mind is vital because the progression is…

Thought – Action – Action – Habit – Lifestyle

 

Thought

ACKNOWLEDGING OUR SINFUL NATURE

 

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

 

PSALM 51:3-5

ACTION

      REPENTANCE

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 JOHN 1:9

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

HABIT

      THE PRACTICE OF TURNING FROM SIN

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

ROMans 13:14

lifestyle

      TRANSFORM YOUR MIND

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

ROMans 12:2

baptized in love

immersion in water

Baptism is immersion in water calling on the saving name of the Lord.

Baptism is typical of so many aspects of human life – birth, passing from youth to adulthood, even death….

But baptism can also be compared to something else —

Marriage…

 

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:2

Undying Love

UNDYING LOVE IS FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST.

 

One of the great themes of life and literature is that of undying love – a love that simply does not die.

Scripture says love is a fire – and many waters cannot quench the fires of love.  People have for ages pursued such undying love. 

Occasionally, we see glimpses of it.

Undying love…Strange?

No.  That’s the plan of the ages. 

That we who are the bride of Christ – will be with Jesus forever.

In a practical bit of advice, Paul told believing husbands to love their wives – even as Christ loved the church…

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

 

Ephesians 5:25

united with jesus

      WE ARE UNITED WITH JESUS IN BAPTISM.

He who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.

1 CORINTHIANS 6:17

When are we “joined” to the Lord?  When we are buried with Him in baptism.

Interestingly enough, when we are buried – we are married to Him.  Because that same word “joined” is the word used for marriage in Matthew 19:5. 

Baptism then is UNION WITH CHRIST.

  • It’s a covenant – not just a ceremony.
  • It’s a commitment. 
  • It’s a declaration – before one and all, we proclaim who we love the most.
  • It’s a farewell to an old way of living.
  • It’s a new path – no longer going our separate ways, but following His.

Baptism is a death to all we once were and an acceptance of the LIFE GOD GIVES

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

romans 6:3-4

MAKE OUR VOWS

      WE MUST MAKE OUR VOWS

Jesus loved humanity so much that he went to the cross for us.  And on that cross, when the soldier pierced his side, blood and water ran out of his side.  We are saved by the blood of the Lamb!

This water is symbolic of the blood of Jesus! 

And you may think this is insignificant, or not really that important.  But baptism is very important. 

We are baptized into Christ.  The purpose of baptism is to get into Christ. 

You cannot be saved without baptism.

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1 PETER 3:21

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned

mark 16:16

immersion in water

Baptism is immersion in water calling on the saving name of the Lord.

Baptism is typical of so many aspects of human life – birth, passing from youth to adulthood, even death….

But baptism can also be compared to something else —

Marriage…

 

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:2

Undying Love

UNDYING LOVE IS FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST.

 

One of the great themes of life and literature is that of undying love – a love that simply does not die.

Scripture says love is a fire – and many waters cannot quench the fires of love.  People have for ages pursued such undying love. 

Occasionally, we see glimpses of it.

Undying love…Strange?

No.  That’s the plan of the ages. 

That we who are the bride of Christ – will be with Jesus forever.

In a practical bit of advice, Paul told believing husbands to love their wives – even as Christ loved the church…

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

 

Ephesians 5:25

united with jesus

      WE ARE UNITED WITH JESUS IN BAPTISM.

He who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.

1 CORINTHIANS 6:17

When are we “joined” to the Lord?  When we are buried with Him in baptism.

Interestingly enough, when we are buried – we are married to Him.  Because that same word “joined” is the word used for marriage in Matthew 19:5. 

Baptism then is UNION WITH CHRIST.

  • It’s a covenant – not just a ceremony.
  • It’s a commitment. 
  • It’s a declaration – before one and all, we proclaim who we love the most.
  • It’s a farewell to an old way of living.
  • It’s a new path – no longer going our separate ways, but following His.

Baptism is a death to all we once were and an acceptance of the LIFE GOD GIVES

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

romans 6:3-4

MAKE OUR VOWS

      WE MUST MAKE OUR VOWS

Jesus loved humanity so much that he went to the cross for us.  And on that cross, when the soldier pierced his side, blood and water ran out of his side.  We are saved by the blood of the Lamb!

This water is symbolic of the blood of Jesus! 

And you may think this is insignificant, or not really that important.  But baptism is very important. 

We are baptized into Christ.  The purpose of baptism is to get into Christ. 

You cannot be saved without baptism.

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1 PETER 3:21

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned

mark 16:16

I HAVE DECIDED

come to the river!

If we aren’t careful we will fall prey to the When-Then Syndrome

Saying things like “Someday when __________, then I will_________.”

Someday when I get my life together, then I will get baptized.”

Someday when I feel more comfortable, then I will get baptized.”

Someday when I stop sinning, then I will get baptized.”

Someday when I’m not longer addicted, then I will get baptized”

You don’t come to God because you are perfect, but you come to God in baptism because you want to me more like Him.

As the Ethiopian eunuch asked Phillip:

….here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

ACTS 8:36

What Hinders You From Making this Choice?

And so we ask a similar question today:

What Hinders You From Making this Choice?

Come to the river!!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:17

The Spirit is saying COME

How do you know if the Lord is calling you to baptism?

· You see your need.

· You feel Him drawing you.

Not only does the SPIRIT SAY COME – the BRIDE, the CHURCH SAYS COME. This is your invitation.

God put this date on His calendar – before you were born. He knew TODAY was the day you would decide to go in the waters of baptism.

have you decided?

self bible study

If you would like to dive deeper into the subject of baptism, or if you would like to share with your friends this wonderful gift, click the link below to view a more in-depth study of Repentance, Baptism by water, and Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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