Bible Study Topic: Baptism
What is Baptism?
Water Baptism is an essential part of a Christian’s salvation, and is not merely a symbolic ritual. It is only for those who have fully repented; those who have turned away from their sins and love of the world. Water baptism is also a requirement to enter into the kingdom of God.
According to the scriptures, the proper mode of baptism is immersion. To be baptized in the name of Jesus, is to be dead to your old sinful ways, and to be born again as a child of God. When a corpse is buried, it is not buried by placing it on top of the ground and sprinkling soil on top of its head.
The corpse must be covered completely.
So are we to be completely submerged (buried) in the water, and brought out (resurrected) like Jesus Christ. Supporting scriptures have been provided below:
– “And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16)
– Phillip and the Eunuch (Acts 8:34-39)
– “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death” (Romans 6:4)
Furthermore, according to the World Book Encyclopedia, “All first baptism was done by complete immersion,” (vol. 1, pg. 651). The Catholic Encyclopedia states, “In the early centuries, all were baptized by immersion in streams, pools, and baptisteries,” (vol. 2, pg. 263). Immersion was no longer convenient once the Catholic Church implemented infant baptism, thus the mode was changed to sprinkling.
(See Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed., vol. 3, pp.365-366).
Sprinkling, pouring, or infant baptism of any kind are all derived from human traditions, and are not supported by the word of God.
Why is Baptism done is the name of Jesus Christ?
Water Baptism was administered in the name of Jesus Christ, for this was the name given to our Savior before His birth for the purpose of saving His people from their sins
(Matt. 1:21). “Neither is there salvation in any other name: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
There is no biblical record of one person ever being baptized, as some believers are today, by repeating the words “In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In fact, Matthew 28:19 teaches us that a believer must be baptized in the NAME of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and that NAME is Jesus Christ.
Evidence that the Apostles, in obedience to Matt 28:19, knew the NAME of the Father, the NAME of the Son, and the NAME of the Holy Ghost, is demonstrated by their action in the following scriptures:
Acts 8:16 with the Samaritans
Acts 9:15, 16 with Saul of Tarsus
Acts 10:43, 48 with Cornelius and his household
Acts 19: 1-7 with the Ephesians
I Cor.1:13 with the Corinthians
Bible Study Topic: Prayer
Why should I pray?
As believers, prayer is our most powerful asset. It allows us to communicate with God directly, and thus build a relationship with Him. We have the ability to pray over any situation, and by faith receive strength, and comfort.
There is no time limit on prayer. You can talk to God for as long as you need to – You’ll find He’s a great listener!
Also, prayer changes things in our lives for the better. We do not need a Priest to make intercession for us.
Jesus himself is our High Priest, who died on the cross for us, thereby granting us access to boldly come before His throne of grace, and the way we do that is through prayer.
Jesus is compassionate, and is able to understand our pain and our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Through prayer, we can cast ALL of our cares and worries upon the Lord, knowing that He will sustain us because He cares for us that much (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7).
The Lord hears every sincere prayer, and He will hear your prayer (Psalms 66:19).
Do not hesitate to come before God with your problems, temptations, pains, disappointments, hopes, dreams, etc.
Do not think that there is anything you can’t tell Him. Remember, He already knows; so whatever it is, bring it to Him and allow Him to work it out for you.
What are the benefits of Prayer?
A Release from Anger & Burdens
Carrying around things like anger and burdens is like walking around with a 1,000lb weight on your back everyday!!
Who wants to carry that around everyday? Who wants to carry that around for even 1 day?
Jesus has provided a way for you to not only get rid of that 1,000lb weight you’re carrying right now, but also prevent you from ever carrying around another one, and that way is prayer. As you come to Him, imagine Him there just waiting to take that heavy burden away from you and lighten your load, leaving you with peace of mind.
Gain peace with Heaven
Prayer allows us to come close to God; to be at peace with God; have open communication with God, and thereby gain peace with Heaven!
Imagine you are at the very throne of God; the source of power for the entire universe, the source of life, creativity, beauty, love, wisdom, and law, bowing down in worship.
Is there anything you have held back from God? Is there anything in your life that you’re hanging on to that you know you shouldn’t? Is there anything in your life that you’ve allowed to take precedence over serving God?
If so, now is the time to make it right with God directly. Talk to Him, and listen for His response. If there is anything causing you to hesitate, being that to Him as well. Delight in the communication with God, and thank Him for it. Enjoy the peaceful feeling that comes with this prayer, and receive it with great joy!
Rid yourself of grief and receive comfort
This life is full of up’s and down’s. Nothing is perfect and there are times when we all feel grieve at some point. We all feel sorrow in our spirits; we all weep and mourn, but Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).”
In this prayer, allow yourself to experience that comfort. Pray from your heart, and not from your head. Don’t think; just tell Him what you are feeling and ask Him to comfort you.
If you have suffered a loss, and are in pain, tell Him. If you need to cry, then by all means – cry. Crying is a great release, and allows you to experience to reality of what you are going through.
Once you have said all you have to say, and the last tear has fallen, you will feel your heart being comforted by Jesus. This is your time to be still, receive comfort directly from Jesus, and just give God thanks.
If you would like someone to pray for you, please feel free to submit a Prayer Request.
True Witness Church of Jesus Christ Prayer Line: 1 (515) 739-1038 Passcode: 610072#.
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Bible Study Topic: Sin
What is Sin?
By biblical definition, Sin, is breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4).
Sin is also the thing that separated mankind from God (Isaiah 59:2), and caused us to loose fellowship with God.
When God created man, it was in His own image; therefore man was created pure, holy, and free from sin.
It wasn’t until man disobeyed God (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12-21), that sin entered into the world.
What is the remedy for Sin?
Because Jesus died on the cross, and was a sinless man, we all have hope. Jesus did not sin (1 Peter 2:22). Therefore, He not being under condemnation for sins of His own could die for the sins of others.
For, “all we like ship have gone astray,”… and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” (Isaiah 52:6). The only remedy for sin is found in Jesus’ expiratory death upon Calvary’s cross. Jesus died in order to give us a free salvation.
So how can we tap into this free salvation?
First, we must confess our sins to God. The bible says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but who so confesseth [to God] and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 26:13; 1 John 1:9).
Second, we must repent and be baptized. Acts 2:38 states, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, and you for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Bible Study Topic: Life & Death
What happens after I die?
This is a question that is often heard in these times. There are two choices after death, and those choices are hell or heaven. We must realize that both heaven and hell are real places, and as the people of God, we must make the right choice. You don’t have to do anything to go to hell, but you must do something if you want to make it into heaven. No one really wants to go to hell, after all, the bible declares that it is a place of everlasting torment, weeping, wailing, and gnashing (grinding or striking together in rage or pain) of teeth!
There is no water, no food, no friendship, and no rest. You will feel a desire for these types of personal cravings; however they can never be satisfied. The habits and evil desires of men that are preferred to salvation must be relinquished in hell. The things that you could not give up while you were alive on earth would be given up then. This is what hell is like.
There shall be no tears beyond the gate, heaven is a wonderful place. The bible tells us that eyes have not seen, and ears have never heard of the things that God has prepared for those who love Him and keep his commandments. Think about it, we have never seen anything that could ever compare to the eternal home of the faithful! The streets are paved with gold, the lion and the baby shall play together (Revelation 21:2; 10:27). There will be no pain, no tears, no wars, no death, no sin, and no unhappiness.
Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful place to go?
Bible Study Topic: The Holy Ghost
What is the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit, as it is often called), is the very spirit of God that was first poured out on man on the day of Pentecost.
This day is often referred to as the day the church was born.
This is a gift that was given to the believers who, on that day, were gathered in the upper room, and is still given to believers today.
Once a believer receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, that believer will begin to speak in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives them utterance (Acts 2:4).
To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is to be filled with the spirit of God, and therefore be apart of the church.
This is a necessary and unavoidable part of Salvation – One must repent, be baptized, and filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).
How can I receive the Holy Ghost?
In order to receive the Holy Ghost, one must:
Know that it is the will of God for you to receive the Holy Ghost according to the scriptures. Know that the Holy Spirit is for everyone (John 7:38-39; Acts 2:39)
Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:36-39)
Obey the word of God and follow his commandments (Acts 5:32)
Ask God for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:9-13)
Pray without stopping, and fast, believing that you will receive (Mark 11:24)
Allow others to pray with you and do not reject the “laying of hands!” (Acts 19:1-6)
Praise the Lord with all your heart for the promise of his presence in your life (Luke 24: 49-53)
Believe, trust and have faith that you will receive the promise. Remember that you cannot earn it by doing good works alone. (Galatians 3:2, 11-14)
Expect the spirit to fall at any time. At home, at school, at church, while shopping, or especially when the word of God is being preached. Don’t wait until you’re in church, or until tarrying service to seek Him. (Acts 10: 44-48)
Speak boldly whatever language the spirit miraculously imparts! (Acts 2:4)
Bible Study Topic: Repentance
What is Repentance?
By biblical definition, Repentance is the change of mind, views, and purpose that takes place, after acknowledging your sinful state and feeling remorseful.
It is the decision to turn from your old ways, allow God to free you from your sin, and move forward living a Holy lifestyle that is pleasing unto the Lord.
Why is Repentance necessary?
Repentance is required by God, as the first step in Salvation. Before you are baptized, before you receive the Holy Ghost, you must repent.
The only ground on which a sinner can be accepted by God is repentance. There must be a change! Repentance is something that was preached to the Jews as well as the Gentiles in the following in the scriptures below:
When you come to the Lord repentant, and are ready to make that change, He will receive you with open arms for the bible declares that, “…. a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalms 51:17)
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