Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A purification process can have many forms. In many primitive religions, a ceremonial cleansing was often performed in a river or stream. In the Christian church, a very common sacrament used in various forms is baptism. This sacrament was performed primarily in the New Testament as we do not see the word baptize or baptism in the Old Testament until the coming of John the Baptist. The dictionary according to Webster states the following about baptism:

“a baptizing or being baptized; specif., the ceremony or sacrament of admitting a person into Christianity or a specific Christian church by immersing the individual in water or by pouring or sprinkling water on the individual, as a symbol of washing away sin and of spiritual purification”

We know that baptism is derived from the Greek word “baptismos” which is symbolic of “burial”. Here at New Life Church, we are excited to experience the precious life giving blood of Christ in the waters of baptism. We believe in the sin remitting, almighty powerful name of Jesus Christ which has all power and authority to purify the dark red stains of the old sinful carnal nature according to Acts 4:12. God is still moving in the world today as was prophesied in the book of Joel Chapter 2. As the scripture states, “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh” and this has been happening since the day of Pentecost (ancient Jewish holiday celebrated 50 days after Passover) was fully come in Acts Chapter 2. As the following scriptures bring to our attention, it is not the actual water that saves us but our faith in Christ who saves us and gives a brand new nature:

Romans 6:4 (King James Version)
4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:12 (King James Version)
12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

1 Peter 3:21 (King James Version)
21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

We recently celebrated the baptism of Gary Johnson in our church in Watkinsville on March 7, 2010. His wife Brenda (pictured below left) and their children had been members of our church for almost two years. Gary is currently serving in the military in the Navy and had been overseas until just recently. Brenda had gone through some great spiritual growth and was set ablaze by God’s Holy Spirit over the last several months. Needless to say, Gary was quite amazed about what God was doing in her life and wanted to experience the same wonder, working power of God. A few Sundays ago, after an hour long bible study, Gary was baptized in the precious name of our Lord and became that very new creature! (Pictured left: Steve Russell performing baptism) Since that time, Gary, Brenda, and their family have relocated to Oklahoma but are still experiencing the amazing power of God in their new location. They have since found a Spirit Filled church and God is continuing to bless them greatly! Keep this family in your prayers as there are great things in store for them. God Bless the Johnson family! (See picture below)   In His Service,  Scott Strawn

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