In a few minutes we will baptize in the River. Many of you prepared and knew that you would be baptized today. Others of you will be baptized today because God is calling you now. You didn’t plan on it. Throughout the singing and the word of God going forth, he is calling you. You will have to take the cell phone out of your pocket and borrow a towel that we are going to provide. You will have to let your clothes drip dry a bit.
OH, BUT IT IS WORTH IT!!
Over thousands of years, one resource has stood the test of time. Just down this little hill to your left is one of the most biologically diverse aquatic ecosystems known in the southwestern United States.
In a few minutes, some of us will leave the sweltering heat and will descend into the refreshing cool, fresh waters of the San Marcos River. It’s a constant 72 degrees year around. It will relieve our physical bodies of the tension and toil of physical activity.
However, as refreshing and invigorating as the natural river can offer our physical bodies, there will be something happening in our unseen spiritual life.
When humans put their trust in their Creator, and then put steps of obedience after their faith, the supernatural power of God begins a work inside the heart of every believer.
One year ago, David was sitting in a lawn chair just like you. He showed up to watch his brother in law be baptized.
After almost 10 years of marriage, he and his wife had drifted apart and rarely see each other. He started to look for something or someone to fill the void. He thought he had found what he was missing. A co-worker began to give him time and affection. For eight months he had an affair with a co worker. He eventually told his wife. As you can imagine this did not go over very well. They screamed and fought for a couple of days. That weekend they were invited to the River to watch his brother in law get baptized.
“As you started to speak it was as if God was speaking to me through you. It was as if there was no one else there but me. My heart filled with joy to know that Jesus loved me and that He was what I was missing in my life. I chose to get in the river that day and give my life to God. As I rose from the water I felt free. There was no more darkness. I was filled with joy. My savior Jesus Christ had saved me. Since that day I have put God first in my life. He continues to bless me everyday. He has healed me and my marriage. He has healed my wife’s broken heart. He has forgiven me!”
I bring Good News to you Today!
Everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved. “People of San Marcos, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.
Acts 2:23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. Jesus was nailed to the cross and killed. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.
(4000 years ago) King David said this about him: ‘I see that the lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 26 No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. 27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. 28 You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.
“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.
“So let everyone (in San Marcos) know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
When people hear this message, their hearts are stirred. They are compelled to act, but often don’t know what to do. They asked this exact question to Peter in the Bible: “Brothers, what should we do?”
The answer is the same today in 2015, everyone in the park today can be set free by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Peter gave them clear steps that I will give you today in the park:
“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
Today is the day for you to receive this salvation from Jesus. It is a free gift, but you have to accept it. I can’t do it for you. Your parents can’t do it for you. Your spouse can’t do it for you.
You can return to a right relationship with the creator this morning and it can rock you for the rest of this life and into eternity!
We believe that when we repent of our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sin and unrighteousness. Then, we have an opportunity to obey in baptism.
Baptism represents the death of the old you and the rebirth of the new you.
It is not just you getting wet. It is not magical. It is not a secret ritual or séance. However, baptism has great unseen supernatural spiritual effect on your life when you have faith in Jesus. You are obeying his word to be water baptized.
At PromiseLand San Marcos, we practice what is called ‘believers’ baptism. This means that it should be the choice of the person when they believe.
- If you got baptized before without believing in Jesus, then you were just getting wet and enjoying the cool temperatures.
- If you were baptized as a child and have not been baptized after you believed for yourself, then get re-baptized today!
- If you were baptized before and you did it for a spouse or to get married or some other legal reason, but now you trust in salvation through Jesus, then get baptized today.
Rebaptism is scriptural (Acts 19).
Let’s pray right now.
As soon as the prayer is over, we are going to stand up. Gather valuables and walk to the river. We are going to take over the river.
We will gather you into a line. And slowly/safely baptize you. If you are not being baptized, we hope that you will be a supporter. Give them space to gather at the river and everyone else find a spot to pray/sing/support.
When someone that has placed faith in Jesus gets into the water, something super-natural happens in baptism that is undeniable.
Our first inclination might be to think that the water is special, or the minister, or the person, or the clothing, or the location. All of these are wrong. If these were the catalyst for change, then an unbeliever could be baptized and they would magically be converted/saved. 2 Things happen when a new (shaky) believer get in the water:
1. You’re Publicly Identifying with Jesus’ Death – “Going Public”
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Colossians 2:11 In Christ also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
2. You’re Faith is Taking Steps – Obedient to scripture – Acts 2:38
Baptism in water is simply the first baby step you get the opportunity to be faithful in. Will it work? Is it necessary? Should I trust God? Is the Bible right?
1 Corinthians 10 says that baptism is similar to Moses going into the Red Sea. It was a test for him. Obedience. Trust. Do you?
2 Peter 2 says that Baptism now saves you like Noah and the ark. Noah was given the opportunity to place his trust in God and build/get in the ark.
Now you are given the opportunity today. Are you ready to place your trust fully in God and get into the waters of baptism?
At PromiseLand San Marcos, we believe in Baptism so much that we eliminate all the physical boundaries for you.