Jesus said, "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19
Baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and our own relationship to His victory over sin, death and the grave (Romans 6:35). The one being baptized is presenting himself as a dead person to be buried with Christ, saying, "I am finished with the old life. I want to live in the power of the Resurrected Life of Jesus. I will be loyal to the kingdom of God."
Baptism means the ability to face God with a clear conscience, for there is in every true baptism the virtue of Christ's rising from the dead. (I Peter 3:21) We must be very careful not to conclude that baptism saves. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "By grace are you saved through faith." We are not saved by church membership, faithful attendance, the Lord's supper, or baptism, or all of these things put together. We entrust ourselves to Jesus Christ as our Savior and He alone has the power to save.
THE LORD'S SUPPER (HOLY COMMUNION)
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, This is my Blood of the new covenant which is shed for many. Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." (Mark 14:22-25)
WHAT IS THE LORD'S SUPPER?
There is a paradox here. The feast, as it was celebrated in the Bible, was always eaten with two simple elements, bread and the fruit of the vine. The Lord has chosen two common and ordinary elements to remind us whenever we eat them, of His sacrifice and love for us. While these elements become especially meaningful at the time of communion, they are also there to remind us of this love at every meal of the day. The paradox is, that though the elements are only natural food, the Lord has caused us to think of them as representing His Body and Blood. We, who are saved, who are covered by the Blood of the Lamb and who are part of the Body of Christ, are instructed at this time to judge ourselves rightly so that we will not be judged (I Corinthians 11:31). Thus, we are provided a special time for repentance.
WHY WE PARTICIPATE IN THE LORD'S SUPPER?
The Lord Himself commanded us to do this! The Apostle Paul wrote, "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread....(and) took the cup also saying. Do this in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." (I Corinthians 11:23-26) How should we come to the table? We should be examining our lives. We should not hesitate to set things right with our fellow believers and with the Lord.
TITHES & OFFERINGS
This church and every aspect of the ministry is supported by the tithes (10% of income) and the free-will offerings of the partners, friends, and all those who attend our services. It is important that mature partners fulfill their personal responsibilities to God and the work of the ministry. Through tithing according to scriptures (Malachi 3:10) and giving free-will offerings, the maintenance, operating expenses, construction, utilities, employee compensation, missions, and other expenses of this ministry are covered.
Tapes on "God's Financial Plan" are available to all new partners to help you understand how this church is supported.
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