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25. Baptismal Preparation

Jim Howard

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  • June 13, 2016
    8:00 PM
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OK let me just make one little caviar. Before I dive into decides to Pan book about the discussion that we just had in the baptismal commitment OK And I want you to pay attention because I want you to hear what I'm saying some people and there could be someone here who will misunderstand what is being communicated. The the bottom line to someone's preparation for baptism is a converted heart someone who has been born again. All of that these are areas of instruction that the Bible gives that in many ways are evidences of someone's commitment to Christ as Lord of their lives and so when you're preparing some for baptism you're dealing with the heart do they really love Jesus do they love the Bible have they had a conversion you're dealing with the mind do they understand truth do they know that when you die you sleep until the resurrection they know that Hell is not burning forever never never do you know the mind they have the right belief system and then the life and the life is where the evidences of their conversion are are clearly laid out and those are the things that you saw us starting to look at a little more closely we're not saying that someone is saved or the main issue with baptism is whether or not they eat poor car whether or not they return Tod those are not the main issues but they do give evidence to someone's personal experience and so they are important and we don't want to neglect them or we could baptize people who really have not had a hard experience with crowds and so we want to help them in many cases by helping them through that baptismal process you are actually helping them through their own conversion process they're actually being helped in their own conversion. Last night I was all excited to give the Bible say over dot com presentation I stood up and started to give it Pastor Doug didn't have his notes printed out so he stood up and he started walking off the stage I saw everybody watching yesterday and then he got talking to people over there on talking in the front everybody's watching bastard they don't have a clue. Yet your notes are to get back on the stage. Anyway but that's what happened. So I just want to make sure I put that kind of a on in there you know I'm talking about you want somebody who loves Jesus and that's what you're really wanting but but we also believe that that it's possible for somebody to just say they love Jesus and to not have had a genuine experience and they want to be baptized because it's you know just cool to be baptized or they feel like somehow it's going to make them more saveable or like there they're going to be more sure of heaven if they get baptized or whatever but they don't want. To be a part of the discipleship experience so that's why in reality besides just the disciples of that happens afterwards the preparation you do in helping someone to make a commitment to Christ before baptism is one of the most important things for people staying in the church we often talk about how it's all about what happens after baptism we need disciple I'm after and I'm about to talk about that but make no mistake about it if you don't do proper preparation before baptism then you've already got two strikes against you and so you want to make sure that you do your work well do it lovingly you have no nothing to push this is not a pressure situation you can be as patient as you need to be but you just lovingly help them along to make the decisions that need to make now after someone's baptised we've developed a resource that helps with cycling them and I thought I would just take about ten minutes and explain what's in here so you have this book. In front of you. You should have been given it so. Yes the ideal situation is that if you prepared someone for baptism and you do want to study with them that you will be the one who mentors them afterwards so basically what we've frequently have done is we'll. Study with someone and then we'll get into baptismal preparation studies and we'll be studying them about how often about once a week right and then we finally get them ready and know the Sabbath is the big day and OK you're already and we have the baptism and then we hope you'll come to care to prayer meeting and Sabbath school starts at nine thirty and we'll see if there and there's not really anything beyond that's really systematic or intentional oftentimes So that's what we were trying to do is put something in place that was intentional and systematic with it so after they complete these weekly studies they're ready for baptism they start meeting weekly again with the mentor for the discipleship process this is based on twenty six weekly meetings how many chapters are in the book. Twenty six chapters that is how long. Six months so that six months once a week a mentor meets with a new member and takes them through this handbook Now let me tell you about what's in there right from the beginning the first chapter is on discipleship and it sets the tone if you look at for instance pay. Page six. It tells you the spiritual habits that you're wanting to new member to build in the discipleship process so Page Six. There is eight spiritual habits do you see them there at the bottom of page six. It is. OK it says daily personal prayer daily personal study the Bible daily morning and evening family worship weekly Sabbath school attendance weekly church attendance weekly prayer meeting or mid week small group Bible study attendance regular personal witnessing and regular involvement in local church ministry those eight things are basically what this entire six month process is intended to build in the new member and you as a mentor what then. Is your. If you're going to mentor them in these eight spiritual habits what type of obligation rests upon you you're going to do those eight things yourself right you know you say you know you really need to be a prayer meeting every week no I don't go but I hear there are some really nice people there who will help you when you get there. You understand I'm saying I hate to say it you know in any group that you talk to you're probably only talking to twenty percent prayer meeting people but hey I got to say it prayer meeting midweek by I would say whatever it is your church has OK it's something that should become part of the life of the Christian and it's a wonderful experience you may have gotten away from it recommit to it when it's time to disciple that new member right it's a wonderful hey look we have a lot of members the cycling new members it's going to elevate everyone there's going to be recommitment re consecration it's going to good for all of us so these are the eight points that you're trying to establish Now the next thing you get into is the devotional life the whole next section is on the devotional life and at the end of the second chapter. There's a practical application where it describes is that the end yes. On page fourteen. In the middle of the page it says in the back of this discipleship am book is a Bible and Spirit of Prophecy reading plan that will walk you through the entire Bible at a steady pace make a commitment to spend at least thirty minutes a day in prayer and study so if you look in the back of the book what do you see. A Bible a spirit of prophecy reading plan this is based on fifteen to twenty minutes of reading a day. So that means if they pray for ten to fifteen minutes and read or fifteen to twenty minutes then they have a half hour a day that you're encouraging them to commit in devotional time and they're making their way to the Bible and the major spirit of prophecy books. Now once you do that when you meet with them each week the first thing you're going to do before you go through the chapter together is you're going to. Have a brief time where you share an insight from your devotional time that week and you ask them to share an insight from their devotional time so they get into the habit of it now how do I know that well because I'm a mentor and I'm following the mentors guide. And the mentors guide starting on a sixteen. As one page or every weekly meeting it tells you exactly what to do OK and when I get to meeting number three the first thing says devotional review each person share one insight or lesson gain from his or her daily devotional time that week then chapter discussion now in the beginning of this mentor is God It tells you how much time to commit to each of these so that it's all laid out there but then you read through the chapter together and discuss it then there are in most chapters meeting tasks other things related to that topic that you might do right there in the meeting like when you're discussing prayer you might discuss the importance of making an intercessory prayer list with the person because the mentors God tells you to do that. Now there are some days like. Look at page twenty one of the mentors guide and it has an outside the meeting task that means that some time after this meeting you're going to do what it says on the outside the meeting task invite a new member to your home for Friday or Sabbath sundown worship or arrange for this to take place at the home of another church family you're wanting them to see family worship modeled or sundown worship model and so it's right there telling you instruct you to do that when you start talking about witnessing and personal mission of the church then on page twenty three it says arrange for the new member in the outside the meeting tasks to join you in a way to sing activity so to in order to check that off you need to take them with you to you know something the church is doing something personal outreach and as you go through this book it will have various different things that you're doing to help integrate the new member there's other places where it says invite them to or I'm sorry introduce them to three new members of the church they have not met Now if they already know all the members a church that. Obviously you just jack it off but if they don't if you're in a large church then that's an opportunity for you to introduce them arrange for a Sabbath lunch invitation so then you talk to someone to say hey we have a new member so and so would you mind if we arrange for you to have them over for lunch and it would be a good chance to get to know OK And then you arrange this lunch of a tip so they can get to know different members the idea of the mentors guide is that you're helping the member you're being intentional about getting them integrated into this social asset aspects of the church and the Ministry of the church. So if you just hand them this book. You will miss out sorely on the relationship you're building with them as a mentor and on the integration into the church that this does so well by by it's just in a very paced way integrating different aspects of church life force so that they can become integrated into the church now let me get back to this let's just talk about what's in here for a moment so if you go to the table of contents which is on page Roman numeral six and seven in the very beginning here. Chapter two is on the importance of the Bible chapter three the importance of the Spirit of Prophecy chapter four secret prayer chapter five character development Chapter six family worship and it gives an example of how to do family worship and then the mentors guide encourages you to take them and see them model works modeled. Personal witnessing Chapter seven talks about the mission of the Seventh Heaven is church and how now that there are a Seventh Day Adventist our mission is their mission. Called the witnesses about how every disciple of Christ is called to bear witness for Christ and it's a call to personal ministry then church life sacred assemblies we talk about Sabbath school prayer meeting and church service and the importance of those sacred assemblies of the church. For every seventh day adventist to make those habits in their lives we talk about the ministry of attendance you know that attendance is not just something that you do for yourself it's a ministry when you don't attend prayer meeting you bring down prayer meeting when you don't attend Sabbath school you bring down your church it sounds when you do you encourage the other saints there's a there's a we're in this together kind of thing this is important it helps to establish it in their hearts attendance is not just something you do for yourself it is a ministry you want evidence of that Hebrews Chapter ten it doesn't just say let's not for say the assembling ourselves together it says. Let us consider one another not forsaking the assembling of ourselves to get you not just doing it for yourself you're doing it for the encouragement of other people the Church attendance is a ministry and Ellen White actually says hey if very few people go to the meeting you should feel under double responsibility. I mean that's pretty intense isn't it OK anyway. Sacred ceremonies Chapter ten that talks about eight ordinances of the church I don't know if I can remember all but bats ornon says in ceremonies baptism. Child dedication. Communion. Ordination annoying to. The owner all's weddings and something else weddings. Yeah foot washing is part of the communion I said John dedication that's it oh there's only seven. Well thanks anyway and explains how and why we do the different organs in ceremonies of the church in the seventh heaven is church and then God of order goes over the biblical reason for church organization and talks about how the Seventh Day Adventist Church is organized then only one thing to fear talks about the history of the Seventh Heaven church and how our doctrinal system was built through our history tell it to the world talks about the mission of the seventh they have in its church it talks about the education work the media work the literature work the health work and it gives a full breath of the Seventh Day Adventist churches work in the world so that they can understand that then you get to the section on Christian lifestyle where it has an overview of why the balance between faith and works and how we're to understand how they are work and how they are integrated together and then talks about Sabbath observance reverence stewardship health modesty. Purity and entertainment and those types of things. Not loving the world etc and then marriage and family. Then the cycle of Angela's talks about the whole cycle and overview then proud to prepare the soil how to sow the seed how to cultivate with Bible studies how to harvest and preserve their discipleship and invites them at the end to become a mentor themselves of somebody so when souls themselves and to become a mentor and make disciples themselves the whole idea of discipleship is that you're making disciples who make disciples that's the idea so that's how the book concludes So I would really encourage you if you haven't read this book. We had a committee of pastors Marcus on the committee Cameron is on the committee I'm on the committee we have Stacy chef on the committee we have Gene Hall was on the committee Jeff ACA murder was only going to be about seven or eight of us and it was brutal. We really edited and edited edited and tried to really hone in on the things that are most important and put it in the most logical sequence and everything else and we believe that God really what had his hand over it because it was something in No One of us could have done it really was something that the Lord just kind of pulled all together and we've already seen some wonderful things I got one. Guy who met me in the hallway and he was telling about how the first person he took to this type of hammock was his son and it changes son's life and he won and now they've got a power point they used to do use the deception and book in their church and whatever and he wanted to give it to me and what have you thinking about trying to get him up on soul winning but the bottom line is you do not want to baptize someone and then assume assume that they're going to become integrated into the church assume that they're going to become a soul and assume that they're going to understand the things that you understand you really need an intentional systematic way of loving them and mentoring them into a life work. And that's with the intention. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio first if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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