Yesterday was a great Sunday morning at Life Connection Church. There was such a strong sense of God’s presence as God’s family at LCC gathered together to worship Him and learn God’s Word together as I taught from the Bible. We also celebrated the baptisms of three Christ-followers as a testimony to their commitment to Christ and our promise to support them and help them live out their faith as a part of the LCC family.
Baptism is always a moving moment when a believer goes under the water and comes up symbolizing the death of their old life and rebirth into a new life, a new person with Christ.
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Rom 6:4
For the believer, coming up out of the water is huge step forward in obedience and faith, and often times for the person watching it may stir a life changing conviction to make his own commitment of faith.
I was excited to start on the journey of teaching through the Book of Romans. I am calling this series “The Greatest Letter Ever Written”. It is part of the New Testament and a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome who were suffering great persecution under the government of the Roman Emperor Nero. It was written about twenty-seven years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the beginning of Christianity.
Paul very carefully writes this sixteen chapter letter to encourage and teach this Gospel of grace and peace.
Paul writes in the opening lines of the letter; I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Rom 1:7
Grace and Peace …. That’s the part that religious people don’t get. Grace and peace are really what the Gospel, or Good News, of Christ is all about. Religious people focus on the law and fail at it miserably and get discouraged. That’s how my religion as a Christian used to look. I would try and quit, try and quit, feel guilty, and try and quit.
And then one day my life changed when I got it, Grace and Peace.
Two of the ladies I baptized on Sunday, Andrea and Kim, had grown up with a religious background, but up until recently they really had not understood grace and peace in their relationship with God. As they shared their story with me, they told me of the wonderful and joyful moment when they got it.
Understanding and receiving grace and peace was a life changing moment for both. It was this life change that lead them to be baptized.
It’s amazing how you can see tears of joy under the eyes of a person who has just come up out of the waters of baptism. There is a softening and a changing of the heart that comes with grace and peace.
The person who receives grace and peace through Jesus Christ is not the only person who benefits.
Andrea said, “Now that I have grace, I can give grace to others.”
Have you got it yet? Who doesn’t want grace and peace?
That’s my prayer for you. That’s the blessing I pray on you.