1.0 My Experience (Acts 2:38)!
1.1 These men and women slated to be water baptized today had an experience with God.
Acts 2:38-”Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
1.2 They experienced God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
A) The New Birth means rebirth
B) Regeneration means renewal by the H.S.
C) Being Born Again means born from above.
1.3 You can be certain of your salvation.
1 John 5:13-”I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
- My experience helps me know I’m saved.
- I realized that I was a sinner worthy of punishment (cf. Acts 2:38).
- I recognized my need for God’s forgiveness of my sins (cf. Acts 2:38).
- I stopped fighting God or choosing my own path.
- I accepted God’s remedy of sin-Jesus Christ.
2.0 My Perspective!
2.1 Perspective speaks of outlook, worldview, values, preferred actions, etc.
A) Your personal values, guiding principles, and the body of beliefs that support your actions and decisions prove if you’re saved.
2 Corinthians 5:17-”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
B) Being saved brings an automatic shift in your perspective-a heavenly one for an earthly one.
2.2 My perspective changes when I experience salvation.
A) Hate is replaced by love.
B) Meanness is replaced by kindness.
C) Callousness is exchanged for compassion.
D) Disobedience towards God is replaced by obedience.
1 John 2:3-”We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.”
STORY: A number of years ago the Red Cross was gathering supplies, medicine, clothing and food for the suffering people of Biafra. Inside one of the boxes that showed up at a collection center one day was a letter.
It said: ”We have recently been converted and because of our conversion we want to try to help. We won’t ever need these again. Can you use them for something?” Inside the box were several Ku Klux Klan sheets. The Red Cross cut them into strips and eventually used them to bandage the wounds of black victims in Africa.
3.0 My Witness!
3.1 Witness speaks of testimony. It calls attention to you. It says, ”Look at me! Listen to me! Believe me!”
A) As a witness, your life and actions offer testimony to your beliefs and claims.
1 John 3:18-19-”18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.”
- Salvation causes YOU to care and love others in practical, down-to-earth ways.
- Salvation causes YOU to show mercy towards others who seem so undeserving of your forgiveness.
- B) As a witness you’re constantly calling attention to Jesus-the One who saved you and desires to save others.
1 John 4:13-14-”We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”
- You witness of Jesus to others in word and service.
- You witness of Jesus to others in the waters of baptism.
Story: The Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:35-40)
(1) Ethiopian-a black man who hailed from the nation of Ethiopia-a Gentile, Philip a Jew. This was evident by his clothing, skin color and features.
(2) As a proselyte (a convert to Judaism) the eunuch was returning from a religious feast in Jerusalem via the 50-mile route from Jerusalem to Gaza.
(3) A eunuch is a castrated male. He is typically castrated in order to perform a specific social function such as guarding a harem, serving as government official or a military commander, etc.
(4) The eunuch was an important official. He was the treasurer for Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. The eunuch had a driver, a fancy chariot, and all the other regalia to suggest his government status.
(5) The eunuch was a devout man-a man who had processed life enough to know that there is a Creator; right and wrong are two realities; and eternal justice must exist.
(6) The Eunuch is not saved. He is not secure in his relationship with God. Deep down on the inside he’s wants divine forgiveness and the cleansing of his sin. God wants the same for him too.
(7) God spoke to Philip to connect with this eunuch and witness to him about Christ. Phillip knew that everyone needed God’s gift of salvation.
(8) Let’s pick-up the story at this point!
Acts 8:35-40-”35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ”Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.”
- C) Philip was familiar with the questions of people who’re searching for meaning.
- He knew what the eunuch longed for. He longed to be different; to be changed-to be saved from his sins.
- So when the eunuch pointed to water and asked: ”Look, here is water, Why shouldn’t I be baptized” (8:36)?
- He then ordered the chariot to stop so that he gets baptized.
- Baptism washed him of the filth placed upon him by people, his sin, and his own emotional brokenness.
- Baptism involves a burial; the Eunuch went down into the water and became associated with Christ’s by way of:
- a) Receiving a New Identity;
- b) Experiencing Total Forgiveness;
- c) Becoming Fully Accepted into God’s family.
- The Eunuch was transformed as he rode with Phillip and he knew it. How did he know he was saved?
- His experience.
- His Perspective. And, water baptism would now provide that third proof.
iii. His witness.
Don’t you want that? You can have it right now. Right here! Pray with me.
- This weekend, some 92 people across both campuses are being water baptized.
- They know they have been saved from the penalty of sin by their experience, their perspective, and now they want the world to know of their witness.
- Would the candidates for water baptism please line up?