(Message 1) What does it mean to be baptized? Should I be baptized? What if I was sprinkled as a baby? Was my baptism Biblical? In this message Pastor Troy demystifies the meaning and purpose of baptism and helps us to see that baptism is less about “my religion”, and more about “my declaration of faith”. #GCBaptism
Jesus came and told his disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, he said, so why are you coming to me? But Jesus said, It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. So John agreed to baptize him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.
Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
Have you witnessed a baptism blooper, either in person or video? Share with the group.
What is your favorite baptism story or memory, whether yours or someone else’s?
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Discuss the history of baptism. How did an act that was originally used in the conversion from Gentile to Jew become such an important act for Christians?
Read Matthew 3:13-17. Why was Jesus baptized?What significance does that have for his followers?
Troy said that baptism needs to be your decision or it’s not a valid baptism. Do you agree? Why or why not? Does the mode of baptism (sprinkling, immersion) matter?
Read Matthew 10:32-33. When, if ever, should baptisms be private? Generations is a very low-pressure, come as you are kind of church. So why do we require you to film your story as part of the baptism?
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
How does the decision to be baptized relate to our recent series Iron? Share how it can be sharpening from above, around, and below.
Do you have to be baptized to be a Christian? Why or why not?
Why is baptism special? What does it accomplish on earth? What does it accomplish spiritually? What does it not accomplish spiritually?
If you know Jesus as your Savior and you haven’t been baptized, do you know what’s keeping you from it?
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
If you have not been baptized since coming to personal faith in Jesus, commit to speaking with your small group leader or one of Generations staff members about any questions or reservations you may have.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Lord, I want to be more like You. Thank you for the power in the testimony of baptism. Help me to be willing to share my story with others, with the hope that they will come to know you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.