What does it mean to be baptized? Who should be baptized? Who should not be baptized? Alistair Begg answers these questions and instructs all who profess faith in Christ to be baptized. It is in baptism that new believers symbolically convey their union with Christ. It is not just a casual affair or a formality, but an expression that the believer’s life is changed and forever belongs Christ.
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
42And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe5 came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
What makes a church effective? Is it having a functional building, excellent worship music, a vibrant youth program or a teaching ministry? Our answers may vary, but the burgeoning church in the book of Acts clearly provides us with seven elements to which every church should strive. These marks include: The Apostle’s Teaching, Fellowship, The Sacraments, Prayer, Mutual Care, Worship, and Continuous Evangelism.
No church will ever master all of these elements, but they should be the marks to which church leaders are guiding their people. Is your church on the right course? If you're searching for a church in which to be involved, then these are the elements the early church displayed and should be the marks for which we look in an effective church.
|The Apostles' Teachings||Acts 2:42|
|The Sacraments||Acts 2:42-47|
|The Biblical Basis For Baptism||Acts 2:36-47|
|Mutual Care||Acts 2:42-47|
|Continuous Evangelism||Acts 2:42-47|