Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I'm preaching a sermon series this month based on questions that the congregation asked (they wrote topics on survey cards over the last several weeks). This week's "I've Always Wanted to Know About..." topic is baptism. People submitted some really good questions about it, like:
"Are we the ONLY ones who are right?"
"What about my friend who believes in God, but isn't baptized?"
"Please explain why we believe in baptism and others believe in faith-only."
"Why do some verses say believe and others say to be baptized?"
"There are people who are much better than me who haven't been baptized. Yet I'm going to heaven and they are not? That doesn't seem fair."
"What must I do to be saved?"
That's a lot to cover in one sermon. I have to be careful not to explain it so thoroughly that I leave everybody utterly confused. Years ago, Clarance Greenleaf taught me the phrase, "There are more terms of pardon than are mentioned in any one verse, but there never can be less." I like that.
But how can I fast-track over 500 years of church history (the Protestant Reformation, Restoration Movement, etc.) and explain that some ran so far from Rome that they blew by Jerusalem? Maybe I'll just stick with the Bible :-)