Good morning and Welcome to Church! Today is a very special day at church because we have the joy of celebrating Believer’s Baptism with all the people who have come forward in faith and want to take that most awesome step of obedience by being baptized.
There are two ordinances that we celebrate and hold dearly in the church: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism. And, I think it is important, at times like these, to remind ourselves of the faith we hold and the truths that we believe.
We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are Ordinances. What that means is that ordinances are those things which Jesus himself told us to observe with other Christians. We believe that these two ordinances are symbols to remind us, along with other believers, of the things that Christ wants us to remember together. Baptism by immersion is an act of obedience that perfectly symbolizes the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. Baptism by immersion is an outward symbol, to other believers, of a commitment that has already been made in the believer’s heart. The Lord’s Supper is an act of obedience when the body of believers remembers Christ’s death and looks forward to His return through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine. These are the ordinances which we, and many, many, Christians have celebrated since the time of Christ.
It is important to note that the Lord’s Supper and Baptism are ordinances, not sacraments. Ordinances are symbolic. Sacraments are not symbolic, and are required for salvation. In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, and in some Protestant churches, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism are considered sacraments that are required for salvation. But that teaching would be contrary to everything we believe about salvation being by grace, through faith alone.
So, we celebrate the ordinances together at FBC and with believers of all time throughout the world. We celebrate with those who are coming to be baptized today. You will not, and cannot be, “more saved” once you are baptized, but I am firmly convinced that your obedience and willingness to be baptized will open the doors that will give you faith and courage to be obedient to Christ in all things.
All for Jesus,