FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Helpful Information and Resources
Q. What is the Gospel? A. God Saves Man for His Glory
The Gospel is the good news that the just and gracious God of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to attain righteousness on our behalf, bear God’s wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the resurrection so that all who have faith in Him will be reconciled to God for His glory forever.
Summary: God’s plan to save man from his sin through Jesus Christ for His glory forever!
Our Problem: Our world did not happen by chance, nor did it evolve into what we see today. Instead, the Bible teaches that mankind is the intentional and direct creation of God. While we we were created to be in relationship with Him forever, man sinned through the actions of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3) bringing the curse of sin and death upon all mankind. (Rom. 5) We are children of wrath, dead in our sins and destined to be found guilty in the eyes of God when we stand before Him.
Our Solution: Good Works Fix Everything? Most religions teach that “good works” will appease God, allowing us to enter His presence for eternity one day. The focus is to have your good deeds outweigh your sin. After all, good people go to heaven right? The Bible presents a much different picture. Because of man’s sin nature that he is born with, man is corrupt to his very core. We are unable to do enough good to outweigh our sin and rebellion against God. We are hopelessly sinful, deserving God’s eternal punishment. (Rom. 3:20, James 2:10-11)
God’s Solution: Jesus Christ Does Everything! God demonstrated His love for us, while we were sinners, by sending Jesus Christ to accomplish everything we could not. Jesus comes as the God-Man to be obedient for us, earning perfection and righteousness on our behalf. He then also serves as a substitute sacrifice, bearing God’s wrath for us on the cross, while resurrecting from the dead three days later. We are now able to be forgiven of our sins and brought back into right fellowship with God again through repenting of our sins and placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ! (Acts 3:19, 16:31)
Q. What is baptism? A. Sharing your testimony
Baptism is the ceremony commanded by our Lord Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20) and practiced by the early church (Acts 2:41) as a sign of a person coming to faith in Christ for salvation. Ultimately, baptism is a sign of repentance from an old life of sin and submission to a new life in Jesus Christ. While baptism does not save us, it does serve as a picture of salvation. For the believer, we have now “died” to our sin (baptized into water) and have been “raised” with Christ (brought out of the water) to now live in obedience through faith with Him. (Rom. 6:4)
Our First Act of Obedience:
It is our public declaration to others that we have chosen Christ for salvation: Baptism serves as an outward sign of an inward change in the life of the believer. We are now identified with the death and resurrection of Christ. (Rom. 6:1-11, Col. 2:8-15)
It is our public expression to God of our heart’s desire to have Christ’s work count for us: Baptism serves as an outward sign of an inward desire to have the Father view the perfect life and sacrificial death of God the Son (Jesus) as being accomplished on our behalf. The book of Acts portrays baptism as the initial expression from someone who is desiring salvation. (Acts 2:37-41, 8:12, 18:8, 19:1-7, 22:12-16, I Peter 3:21)
It is our public explanation to the world for why our life will now be lived differently: Baptism serves as an announcement to both believers and unbelievers that a radical change has taken place in the individual's life. Similar to a press conference, baptism is a public announcement that we no longer live for the things of this world. Instead, Jesus Christ has become our pursuit in life.
Q. What is the Lord’s Supper? A. Sharing Communion
Passover is a celebration of the Jewish nation to remember the redemptive work of God setting their nation free from bondage in Egypt. (Exodus 12) Passover was first celebrated by the Israelites on the eve of their delivery. They were required to prepare a perfect lamb to eat, while also spreading its blood on the doorposts of their house as a sign of protection from the death angel that was coming to claim the life of every firstborn son in Egypt. Passover was celebrated by Jesus and His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion as well. But it is during the meal that Jesus Christ transforms the meaning of Passover. No longer do we celebrate the freedom gained from Egypt, but instead, as followers of Christ, we now celebrate the freedom gained by God setting us free from our bondage to sin. The bread and juice (representing the body and blood) serve as reminders of our salvation. It’s the blood of the perfect lamb that was spread on the cross and the perfect life accomplished on our behalf that we remember today, just as the early church practiced together. (Acts 2:46, 20:7, I Cor. 11:17-34)
Our Continual Act of Obedience: While baptism is a one time event in the believer’s life, the Lord’s Supper or Communion is meant to be celebrated regularly by professing, baptized believers together. By celebrating the Lord’s Supper together...
We proclaim Jesus’ death. (I Cor. 11:26)
We remember Jesus’ life. (I Cor. 11:24)
We savor the promises of the new covenant. (I Cor. 11:25)
We display a spirit of unity with other believers. (I Cor. 11:27-34)
We anticipate Jesus’ return. (Matt. 26:29, I Cor. 11:26)
Q. When Should my child participate in the ordinances? A. Parents bear Responsibility
What a unique privilege God gives us as parents to raise His children up in a home that fears Him. Each day becomes a new opportunity to find teachable moments as we strive to introduce our children to the God who created them. The ordinances given to us by our Lord provide a beautiful picture within the church of the glorious gospel. These pictures not only serve us as adults, but become a wonderful teaching tool for parents as they strive to explain the good news of Christ.
Baptism - a child should be baptized only when he or she can provide a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:41) This means that they can communicate both the content of the gospel and an expression of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Lord’s Supper - a child should receive the Lord’s Supper only after he or she has made a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ and has been baptized. (I Cor. 11:27)
Parents bear the primary responsibility for the condition of their children’s souls. We encourage you to faithfully teach your children God’s commands (Deut. 6:7), train your children up in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6) and bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4) As your children grow in their knowledge of the Lord, parents (especially fathers) should evaluate the readiness of their children for baptism and should actively seek to involve their elders in the process when needed. While parents are best suited to know the genuineness of their child’s response, the observations of others within the church family can also be very helpful.