Step 8 For New Christians - Misc. Topics
Lord's Supper, Water Baptism, Memorizing scripture, & giving
The Lord's Supper and Water Baptism are the two ordinances of the Church.
Water Baptism does not wash away sins, what good is it? Three Reasons why...
Why do Churches practise the Lord’s Supper? Four Reasons why...
Why Memorize God’s Word? Three Reasons why...
Why Give to our Lord? Three Reasons why...
THE LORD'S SUPPER OR COMMUNION
Why do Churches practise the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord's supper is also only for the saved person. I Corinthians 11:23-26 tells us what it represents. The bread represents Christ's body and the grape juice represents His blood which was shed for us. This is a reminder of what Christ has done for us until He comes back. This is a serious time and should never be taken lightly.
The Lord's Supper, also referred to as the Communion, is one of two ordinances which Jesus gave to the church (the other being water baptism). Its practice is exercised in virtually all Christian churches in varying frequency — perhaps as often as every service or only one service a month. The origin of the practice begins with Christ's Last Supper with his disciples, the evening before his trial and execution. These verses are taken from that account.
1 Corinthians 11: 24-28
24" ..and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
25 "In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
26 "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes."
27 "So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord."
28 "Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”
During his supper with his disciples, Jesus used bread and the wine as symbols of his body and blood which were soon to be rendered as an atonement for sin. He broke off portions from the unleavened bread and offered them to His disciples to eat, saying, "This is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Later, he shared with them a common cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me" (1 Cor. 11:24-25).
As the Passover feast was established as an everlasting memorial for the Jew, Jesus proclaimed his last supper as an ordinance for His followers, a memorial supper to be observed until His return. "This do... in remembrance of me... For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1 Cor. 11:26).
Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper as a continual practice for His followers for several reasons, of which here are four:
1. To remember His suffering & Covenant (1 Cor. 11:24-25).
Jesus did not want His followers to grow forgetful of the great sacrifice He paid for them, and the incredible testament of salvation which we received.
2. To Proclaim His death till He returns (1 Cor. 11:26).
The enactment of this supper, to be repeated over and over, continually emphasized the essential fact of His death, portrayed the reasons why, and served as a reminder of His second coming.
3. To take self examination of our lives (1 Cor. 11:28).
Jesus instituted this supper as a very holy moment, for us to consider the state of our own heart before God. As we approach the sacredness of His body and blood, we weigh our heart against the awesomeness of His sacrifice. In this humble state, any faults, imperfections and sins come to realization, allowing us to confess them and obtain His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
4. To discern or recognize the Lord's body (1 Corinthians 11:29).
“For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves”
Discernment of the Lord's body is one of the most remarkable truths in the Bible. Jesus served His disciples bread and wine as symbols of the divine merger which took place between Himself (His sufferings) and His followers..
Water Baptism and The Lord's Supper are the two ordinances of the church.
Water Baptism does not save you or keep you saved. It is an act of obedience to Christ and pictures what has already taken place in your heart. It describes our union with Christ as seen in Romans 6:3-5. Every Christian should be baptized soon after receiving Christ as Savior. Have you been obedient to Christ and been baptized?
Baptism is done only by the local church. In Acts 2:41, we find that when a person was saved, he was baptized and joined the local church. This baptism identifies you with the local church. The church is God's place for Christians to be taught the Bible, to have fellowship with other Christians, and a place to pray and worship the Lord.
Nothing can replace the church, not even Sunday morning T.V. or radio preaching. You need to be in church! You should immediately be baptized and join the local church after being saved. This is one of your first opportunities to obey the Lord and please Him. Don't miss it!!! Ask the pastor to explain to you exactly what you need to do in order to be baptized and join the church. Have you talked to the pastor about joining the church?
Please Do it today!
According to the Bible, water baptism is not optional for the Christian.
Water Baptism does not wash away sins, what good is it?
Why is it one of the important first steps for a new Christian? Here are three reasons:
First, water baptism identifies our desire to obey Christ
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20). If you know that Christ wants you to be baptized and you refuse, you are being disobedient to your Master, the One who died for you.
Second, water baptism identifies our desire to be joined to Christ.
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4).
We have no way to show to others how we are placed into the body of Christ when we are saved, except through the symbolism of water baptism. Being baptized shows that when Christ died, we died. When He was buried, we were buried. And when He rose from the dead, we rose from the dead-to walk in newness of life.
Third, Water Baptism indicates our desire to follow Christ.
” We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4). It symbolizes our final break with our old life, with the past and its sin. And although we will sin even after we are saved, being baptized tells the world we are headed in a new direction; we are on a new road, and we are taking the first steps on that road.
Look at it this way. Following the Lord in baptism means doing what He did (Matthew 3:16-17). Following the Lord in baptism means telling the world you’re under new management. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Following the Lord in baptism means following Jesus and forsaking the way you used to live before you were saved. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It is a way of telling everyone, “I’m a new person, a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away; all things in my life have become new. I’m off to a brand new start.”
Baptism is going public for God. It is saying to the world, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”
MEMORIZING GOD'S WORD
Memorizing God’s Word is a privilege, not a duty. The benefit is all ours, but the pleasure is all His.
Memorizing Scripture takes both time and effort, so you need a good reason to do it. Here are three good reasons.
First, memorizing God’s Word honors Him.
Read Psalm 119 and notice the honor the writer heaps on God and His Word.
Verse 89: “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”
Verse 105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”
Verse 140: “Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.”
Verse 162: “I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.”
The reason we value God’s Word so much is that we value God. God’s Word is a reflection of Himself. It is a revelation of His mind. Memorizing Scripture is sometimes called hiding God’s word in your heart. When you do that, you are also hiding God there. Remember, God wrote only one book, and you honor Him when you show respect to that Book The Bible-By Hiding It In Your Heart. “Oh, how I love Your law! I meditation on it all day long.” (Psalm 119:97).
A second good reason for hiding God’s Word is to keep you from sin.
The psalmist said it this way: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). When you are tempted to sin, you need a premier defense. God has provided that defense in His Word. If you have memorized portions of God’s Word, you will be ready for the Tempter. When he badgers you and tries to get you to fall into sin, you will need your arsenal of Scripture.
If you have prepared yourself for temptation by hiding God’s Word in your heart by memorizing it the Holy Spirit will bring those verses to your mind when you need them most. Remember, Bible verses will save you from spiritual reverses. Hide God’s Word in your heart so you do not sin against Him.
A third reason to memorize Scripture is to prepare yourself to answer those who challenge your faith in Christ.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, not everyone is happy that you have become a Christian. Some of your old friends will do and say anything to get you to abandon your new faith.
Your new life convicts them of the sin in their own lives. And when they come to you with silly questions, when they make fun of your faith, when they challenge your trust in the Savior, you will be glad you have memorized God’s Word.
The Apostle Peter counseled us with sage advice in 1 Peter 3:15. He said, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,.”
Since you never know when you will have to give that defense, you must be ready always. This requires memorizing Scripture consistently. It is one of the important first steps for a new Christian.
Recommend one of our free study guidies here.
GIVING TO THE LORD
Learning to give is one of the first lessons God teaches new believers. There is good reason for it too! Giving is important to God. In fact, one-sixth of the Books of Matthew, Mark and Luke and 12 of Jesus’ 38 parables have to do with money.
There are three reasons why God places so much emphasis on our learning to give.
First, learning to give is important because of a divine pattern.
God wants us to be like Him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Giving glorifies God because it makes us more like God.
Second, learning to give is important because giving is a biblical principle.
Throughout the Bible we read about the principles of giving.
Giving is to be systematic as in 1 Corinthians 16:2-2 “Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
It is to be proportionate to your ability to give. It is to be sacrificial Mark 12:43-44 “Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Thirdly learning to give is important because of thankful praise and thanksgiving.
Heart and hand go together. When your heart is filled with praise to God, your hand will express that praise by giving. Who is more deserving of your thanks than God? He loved you; He sent His Son to die for you; He saved you. Now you are taking steps to be conformed to the image of His dear Son, Jesus. And one of those steps is learning to give. After all, isn’t “giving” the last half of the word “thanksgiving”?
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38).
God loves a giver-one who has learned to give thankfully and cheerfully 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Each week set aside some of your time for God. You may do that through your quiet time or through service to Him in your local church. And each week set aside some of your income for God. You may then give it to your church and other ministries that have blessed you.
David understood this principle and wrote, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (Psalms 37:25)
But whatever you do, get into the habit of giving back to God a portion of what He has generously given to you. Giving will make you a happy Christian, and it is one of the important first steps for the new Christian.
Questions God. Com - Brian Duncalfe