A person could be baptized only when he/she has attained his/her wisdom, this baptism alone could be considered as the true baptism.
In Luke 3:23, we read that Jesus Christ was almost thirty years of age when he was baptized.?It is written in the Holy Bible that only when a person has repented and had acknowledged and confessed his/her sins, can that person receive baptism. When we read Luke chapter:3 we see that John the Baptist preaches to the people saying that, “You offspring of vipers,who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance………. Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn’t bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.”
So we see that the people, the tax collectors, and the soldiers repented, confessed their sins and then came to receive their baptism.?
In Acts 2:37, when the people heard what Peter had sermon they were cut to the heart and asked Peter as to what they had to do. Peter replied and told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. He also warned them and pleaded with them saying, “save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted Peter’s message whole heartedly were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their congregation.?God the Father had sent John the Baptist before Jesus Christ to give baptism where full repentance for sin is involved.?Likewise, even Jesus Christ was baptized to establish all these judgments to come to pass.?Jesus Christ told his disciples “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, by baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”? It is this that we teach after giving baptism by holy immersion.
We should first understand that there is a lot of difference between a sermon and Bible study.
- A sermon is delivered according to the order of worship in the church and it has a limited time in which it has to be given. Whereas, there is no time limit for Bible study.
- A sermon is given on a particular topic or on a particular theme. But Bible study cannot be done on a particular topic but it should be dealt.
- In a sermon, we can give an incident or a story that could go along with the topic or the subject of the sermon. But in a Bible study there is no place for a story or any kind of imagination.
- When a sermon is rendered, the preacher is inspired by the Holy Spirit to communicate to the people who are gathered. Whereas in a Bible study, we try to understand the word of God, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
- A sermon can be given by an old believer, a new believer or a person who has come to know about the Lord for the first time. But for Bible study a person who has the interest in the Bible or a person who has studied the Bible alone can conduct a Bible study.
The above mentioned points for Bible study are of general in nature. Now let us see what the Bible has to say about this:
- John 3:10, in this verse we see that Jesus asks Nicodemus, “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?” Nicodemus though being a teacher, since he did not have the knowledge of being born again or that of the kingdom of God he asked Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Therefore one cannot be just a preacher but also a person who researches the Bible to be able to conduct the Bible Study.
- In Luke 24:25, we see that Jesus talks to the two apostles who were going to a village called Emmaus. He said to them, “How foolish you are….” At the same time, we see that in verse 32 we see the same apostles say that “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
- In Acts 17:10,11, we see that when Paul and Silas came to Berea the found that the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
- In the book of Isaiah 34:16, 17, we read that, Look in the scroll of the LORD and read: None of these will be missing, not one will lack her mate. For it is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together.
As it is written in Luke 2:21-24, we see that on the eighth day when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ”a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
In the verses according to Mark 10:13-16 we read that, People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Therefore, we should bring our little ones to church and bless them. We have to dedicate them to the Lord.
Mathew 26:26-28; Luke 22:17-20
During the last Passover that Jesus Christ had with his disciples, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”
I Corinthians 11:23-34, in these verses we see that Paul the Apostle says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” Paul the Apostle warns that, “A man ought to examine himself before her eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks damnation to himself.”
In Acts 2:42-46, we see that the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer, they were together and had everything in common. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere heats, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.
Therefore, this is the command given by Jesus Christ, “Do this in remembrance of until I come.” It is because of this that the churches follow this.
Once when I was praying for a family, I realized that the wife was being possessed. Though this was revealed to me, I continued to pray. At that point, the evil spirit within that woman started to speak. It mentioned the name of an evangelist saying that it will leave this woman only when he prays. When I heard this, I felt a little let down. I started to have doubt that whether I did not have the power of God and the power to chase the evil spirit out. At the same time, what the evil spirit said next made me to think. The reason for that is that the evil spirit revealed that the particular evangelist “will not tie me completely but would wind me with a thread, and after sometime I would remove the thread and will seek another person to reside. This is how I work. That evangelist will not tie me down.” So having learnt this, I with the power bestowed upon me by the Lord, I tied the evil spirit and the woman was freed off it with the grace of the Lord.
That day when I returned home I started questioning the Lord about what the evil spirit had said. It was then that the Lord showed me a lot of things from the Bible. In this world everything is made in a form of trinity. Nothing can work on its own (for example or i.e.) Spirit, soul, and body. Though I believe in the trinity, the Lord showed me more of its glory through the scriptures. In Genesis chapter 1 verses 1 and 2 when God created the world we see the glory of trinity there. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Proverbs 8:22 to 31 when we read these verses we can see the references made to the existence of Jesus Christ thus, “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.” Therefore, even before the creation of the word we see that the existence of trinity.
In Ecclesiastes 4:12 we see that “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” It is this fact that Jesus Christ told his disciples in Matthew 16:19, i.e., “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Therefore, it is a must that when we bind an evil spirit we have to use a cord of three strands, explained the Lord to me. The Lord also explained that if we cannot tie an evil spirit with just a thread it will just cut itself free.
It is this that Peter in his letter I Peter 3:3 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.” Here again when we talk about “braided hair” we have to separate that hair into three parts and only then we could braid the hair.
In that case, if are to enter heaven we have to dress ourselves with the Holy Trinity only then we would be able to enter heaven. To confirm this further in I John 5:7,8 verses we see that “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”
The Lord thus giving me these examples from the Bible as indicated above made it clear that we have to have our faith and our belief in the Holy Trinity alone. Therefore, we are preaching only this to the congregation and also reveal the belief in Holy Trinity.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen