Category Archives: water baptism

Water Baptism

I like to bring out this post on baptism whenever we’re about to have baptisms at Ephesus so we are reminded what they’re about, and why as Christians and the Church we should be doing them. Enjoy!

First and foremost, Jesus modeled full immersion baptism by John the Baptist in Matthew 3. Jesus directs us in Matthew 28.19-20 to baptize and we then see it carried out throughout the book of Acts as the early church was getting it’s start. Therefore, because it was exemplified in Jesus, declared by Jesus, and lived out in the life of the early church, we continue to practice it today. At Ephesus, we conduct baptism through the full immersion in water of the individual. This is due to the examples we see in the bible and the original Greek word from which baptism is derived being defined as placing someone fully in water. It’s that simple. Baptism takes on several forms of symbolism as does the Lord’s Supper. I’ll examine a few.

  1. Forgiveness of sins-water is naturally seen as a cleansing agent, we bathe in it, wash dishes in, clean off dead bugs from our windshield with it. So as we are outwardly expressing our cleansing of sin through Jesus, it makes sense that water would physically symbolize a spiritual house-cleaning
  2. Regeneration-Water brings life and baptism again symbolizes this. Jesus told Nicodemus one must be “born of water and spirit” in John 3.
  3. Resurrection-Traditionally, when baptized one goes down into the water (careful to hold the nose for obvious reasons!) and comes up again. This symbolizes our connection with the resurrection of Jesus and is spoken of by Paul in Romans 6 and Colossians 2.
  4. Unity of the church-Baptism is (at least it should be) a common experience for Christians, a sort-of “rite of passage” that is a jointly shared experience in several ways. First, we all, as followers of Jesus, have most likely been baptized at some point and see it as a shared milestone in our growth. Secondly, baptism is designed to be a public event where a shared joy and excitement occurs between friends and family. In these things we are further unified as the body of Christ.
  5. Commitment to God-Baptism on a certain level also holds a degree of accountability. You have publicly declared your acceptance of Jesus’ death on the cross and folks around you now have no doubt about where you stand. You now have no excuse when you flip someone off in traffic for cutting you off and then being right next to you at the next light anyway…not that I’m bitter.

Water baptism is a powerful, personal experience as you seal in your own life what God is doing in you. It’s also a powerful public experience that allows Christians to celebrate with you  and others around you to get a glimpse of what is happening in your life.

Advertisements

Baptisms and beyond…

Yesterday was a pretty phenomenal day at Ephesus Church. We had classic church plant baptisms in our backyard in an inflatable pool. I was thinking and praying about the baptisms before I headed to church yesterday evening and felt like that was a huge step for our young church just as it was a huge step for those being baptized, setting us up for the next phase. Then last night….Seth led a phenomenal worship set. The music was absolutely amazing, but it was so obviously authentic and Spirit-led. I was challenged as to how to transition from that amazing time of worship into a sermon. God spoke to me in the back of the room and I realized it all tied together. The message was from Ephesians 4.7-16 on maturity and growth. I realized it was right where God wanted us to go. Worship is amazing as we honor God with music and singing, but we can also have the tendency to want to “camp out” in worship and the euphoria it often brings. While not wrong in and of itself, it’s also not the whole package of our Christian faith. God desires for us to worship Him and He blesses us in the process, BUT he also calls us to growth and maturity, so the sermon was the right follow-up to an amazing time of worship. I had a blast with the sermon last night. I got up on a couple of soap boxes and really felt like God was directing much of my words to Ephesus last night. MUCH of what I said was not in my notes, which always seems to make it better stuff. To top it off we had our best attendance since moving to Area 15, on July 4th weekend no less! Needless to say I’m on a little bit of a high today!

First Baptisms at Ephesus

This Sunday we’re going to have our first water baptism service at Ephesus! We’re going full on church plant style and doing it in a small portable pool in our backyard. That’s great! I told everyone at Ephesus that I would post directions here on the blog so that is below. Also, I want to direct you to my previous post on water baptism to get a detailed understanding of what water baptism is and why we do it at Ephesus Church.

Directions to the Eige House from Exit 25 off I-77

  • Head east on Hwy 73/Sam Furr Rd
  • Approx. 5 miles come to intersection of Poplar Tent Rd and Hwy 73
  • Turn Left (north) at intersection-this will be Shiloh Church Rd.
  • Approx. 2 miles come to The Farm subdivision on left
  • Turn Left (west) on River Farm Rd
  • First Left on Traders Ct.
  • Quick Left at stop sign
  • Quick Right at Market View Dr.
  • 4th house on left
  • 3425 Market View Dr-grey house with black shutters
Any questions shoot me an email at ben@ephesuschurch.tv
Tagged , , , , ,