You don’t have to be baptized.

Throughout my years in ministry I’ve had many people ask me if baptism was required for salvation.

From what I’ve read in the bible, I do not believe baptism is a requirement for salvation.  Romans 10 says to believe in one’s heart and to confess with one’s mouth that Christ is Lord brings salvation to the sinner.  One example in the bible could be the thief next to Jesus who was saved because he believed.   Obviously he was not baptized, but Jesus told him “you will be with me”.   No, I do not believe that baptism is a requirement to be saved.

However, I do believe that baptism is a response to being saved.  For years, I’ve been giving invitations for people to come to Christ and many people have raised their hands and prayed to give their lives to Christ.

I’ve found that there is a difference in the commitment level of a person who raises a hand or speaks a prayer, and the commitment level of a person who wades down into a pool of water in front of an audience of friends, family, and some strangers.

Here’s the point:  people who get baptized mean it.

Isn’t this is the point of baptism? To publicly identify a person as a new creation in Christ.  Doesn’t it say to all who are witnessing a person being baptized:  “I am a follower of Christ, I’m new, I belong to God”?  I believe that it does.

So here’s the deal:  Although it might not be a requirement for salvation, it is however the natural response and the next step for the person who has come to Christ.

By the way, I get the privilege of baptizing at least 9 people tonight.

What are your thoughts on baptism?

Faithco News

Here are a few thoughts from his past week at Faithco:

1.  People continue to come to Christ through our weekend worship experiences.  Last weekend, at least 6 people committed theirs lives to Christ.  It’s a huge blessing that He trusts us to send us non-Christians from our community.  May we never take this privilege for granted.

2.  I can’t remember receiving more positive feedback for any message series than this current one.  This stuff is life changing for families and marriages.  If you haven’t been a part of any of our weekends since we began Home Builders, go to http://www.faithco.tv and watch last weekend’s message.  We will be archiving the whole series soon.

3.  Last night we hosted the SHS Baccalaureate celebration.  What a privilege for our church community.  We did it all FCO style.  From the service, to the barbecue dinner afterward, the whole thing was a blast.  We enjoyed celebrating with the SHS class of 2011.   Thanks to all who volunteered in the catering: Stephanie, Pam, Tiffany;  To all who worked in the creative worship side: Carren, Kevin, Macie, Bo, Butch, Anthony, Bobby, Jena, and Landon.   There are more who served in other areas.  I just want to say thanks to everyone….you made last night a huge success.

I’m looking forward to watching Jill Newman this weekend as she talks to couples on the subject of  “Marriage Destroyers”  or something like that.  I hear there is going to be a surprise introduction to her message.  You won’t want to miss this.  Also, Jill is a professional counselor who has served our ministry for years.  She knows her stuff.  Be there.

I guess that’s it…

Faithco News

Here are some thoughts/reflections for some of the things that happened last week at Faithco, and some up-coming news:

1.  Last Sunday our Faith Kids kicked off one of the most important series of the year called iServe.  This series will end with our kids attending iServe day camp where they will be serving our community in various ways.  This is a powerful time to impact our kids as we teach them to serve God and our community.  Make sure your kids are a part of this.  It’s huge!

2.  Last Wednesday, Discovery 123 had its second session with our new people. They were asked to complete a personality test which will be reviewed this week to find out how each person is “wired” for life and relationships.  These sessions are taught by Deana and are always a blast as people learn things about themselves and their spouses that they never knew.

3.  Pulse was off the chain last Wednesday as Butch rolled out the largest slip and slide I’ve ever seen.  You’ve got to see the pictures.  Go to Pulse Facebook and check them out.  I think they are doing the same thing this Wednesday night at 7Pm….be there.

4.  Sunday was a good day.  From the praise and worship, to the message, I believe lives were changed.  I know I was direct and sometimes a little rough as I was talking to the guys.  However, if you want men to change, you have to speak their language.  I believe the  Home Builders series will be life changing for so many families.  I look forward to speaking to the girls this weekend.  Don’t miss a single week.  It’s too important to our families.  If you have to miss, you can always watch the messages online at http://www.faithco.tv.

Hey… in case you didn’t know, you can subscribe to this blog and every time I have a new posting, it will be sent straight to your email.  Just click on the “subscribe” button at the top of this page.

that’s it

Marriage Training?

As I get older and hopefully a little wiser, I believe I gain perspective on a few things.  This month at Faithco, we are spending some time talking to families in a series of messages called “Home Builders”.  We are using the following verse as our theme verse:

Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.  Psalm 127:1 NLT

To be a professional in any working field in our culture, it will take a person time, training, certification, and sometimes, even apprenticeship.  We grind through all these factors so we can have a chance at being successful in our careers.

Do you know what it takes for two people to be married?  Two willing people and a licence.  Training and counseling are suggested but not required.

Too many times people get married  and have no earthly idea what is in store for them until six months down the road.  Sometimes, people are married for years before they discover what marriage is all about.

I believe the best training for marriage comes from the church, and we (our church teachers)  are speaking up on what it takes to have a strong healthy marriage.

For the next month or so,  we are diving into the subject matter of husbands, wives, kids, and singles.  I believe these messages will be life and marriage changing.

Be at Faithco every weekend, or watch the messages at http://www.faithco.tv.

Change things in your home once and for all.

Faithco News

Here are a few thoughts and reflections of some of the things that are happening at Faithco:

1.  Last Wednesday night at 6:30pm, we kicked off our Discovery 123 sessions.  If you haven’t been through Discover 123, I highly recommend it.  There are a lot of creative insightful things to “discover” about God’s plan for your life through His church.  You can find out more at our website: http://www.faithco.org.

2.  Pulse youth continues to impact the lives of teens every Wednesday night at 7:00pm.  I can’t express enough the importance of having your teenagers involved in a God-centered youth ministry.  I believe God has given Faithco an incredible leadership team headed by Butch and Jacklyn Cantrell.  If your kids are not coming, get them here;  it will change their lives….seriously.

3.  Mothers’ Day was special.  I believe my wife Deana, is truly gifted to speak to women.  The content of yesterday’s message was powerful, especially when she brought up the different kids in the house and told people “These are my kids too”.

4.  Eleven people came home to Christ yesterday!

5.  The gift, flowers, and Phil Collins song was classic Faithco style.   Very special.

Upcoming weekends, we will continue the Home Builders series on families and relationships.  This is a great time to focus on your family commitment and relationships.  Don’t miss this series.  If you have to be gone, you can always watch the messages at http://www.faithco.tv.

that’s it.

Homes Built in Haiti

Last May, Landon and I spend some time in Haiti to help build homes. Below is a link to a story Joyce Meyers Ministries reported about these homes being built.

The crew I was with (total of 6, counting me) designed and built the first of 50 homes.  At around the 13 minute mark of the video, you can see me putting up the first walls of the first house.  At about the 18-20 minute mark, you can see the young mother we met who now occupies the home.  I can’t tell you how this video takes me back to last year’s trip.  I look forward to going back.

http://www.joycemeyer.org/BroadcastHome.aspx?video=A_Foundation_in_Haiti