Sunday Reflections (Aug., 12, 2012): Church Service, Carnival, and Baptism Class
Pastor Wesley was out of the pulpit today. Don’t worry. All is well with him. But we had some gentlemen to stand and preach the Word.
Before I share what they preached on, I must say that we have some gifted singers in our church! Rev. Russell Dabbs is one of them. I absolutely love to hear this cat sing. There is such a smoothness to his voice. Amazing.
Okay, on to the preaching. For Worship 1 (7:30 a.m. service), Pastor Donald Perry (our Assoc. Pastor of Pastoral Care) preached a sermon from Philippians 4:11-13 entitled, “I Am Still In The Learning Process.” For Worship 2 (10:00 a.m. service), Rev. Dwayne Long (one of our Associate Ministers) preached a sermon from John 15:1-11 entitled, “Are You Connected For Worship?” Both guys did an exceptional job bringing out the meaning and application of their respective texts.
I am truly grateful to be under a Senior Pastor who, among many things, is secure and confident in God to allow for other ministers and pastors to share the pulpit. Pastor Wesley, by the grace of God, is no lightweight when it comes to preaching. He is more than capable of preaching all 52 Sundays and Wednesdays of the year. But for him to periodically step aside to allow us the opportunity to preach God’s Word is truly a gift. That does NOT happen everywhere, and we do not take it for granted. Thanks, Dr. Wesley!
Yesterday, we kicked off our 26th church anniversary celebration with a picnic and carnival. It was great to hang with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Food was in abundance. The games were friendly and competitive. The carnival rides were a blast. And the fireworks were awesome!
I had the privilege of teaching our baptism class today. With Pastor Wesley’s approval, I began this class over a year ago to help believers understand the purpose and meaning of baptism. There is a personal backstory to why I am committed to offering this class to our church. Suffice it to say, I was baptized when I was young and without a clear understanding of what it all meant. Essentially, I seek to teach three things concerning baptism:
1. Baptism is a commandment given to us by Jesus (Matthew 28:19).
We are baptized and we baptize others because Jesus told us to.
2. Baptism is for Christians.
Those who have repented of sin and have placed their trust in the person and work (i.e., His sinless life, substitutionary death on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection from the dead) of Jesus are to be baptized.
We see this exemplified throughout the book of Acts:
3. Baptism visibly proclaims our identification by faith with Jesus’ redemptive work (Colossians 2:12).
We look forward to baptizing next Sunday those who have sufficiently articulated that they personally understand and believe the Gospel of Jesus!
All in all, it was a great weekend. I pray it was the same for you.