The Importance of Baptism

Water baptism accompanied the proclamation of the gospel from the beginning of the church mission in Acts 2:38-41. It was and is the rite of Christian initiation which indicates that a person is committing him or herself to Jesus Christ entirely; by being baptized in the water; believers visually demonstrate their faith as a public declaration of an inward change

So understand that the inward change is the focus here, to be baptized in Spirit since we can dip you a ton load in the water but if your life does not equate to the bible; then all is meaningless. So maybe you are asking, if all I need is an inward change, why do I need to be baptized in water? The answer could be found in John 3 when Jesus called for a baptism of water and spirit. Expounding it further, we have 5 points to which we need to discuss in order to understand the importance of water baptism, what it entails & why it is imperative.

I. Our first point is highlight in Galatians 3:27 which states – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” – Baptism signifies that we who partake now stand in confession as slaves unto Christ who by election share in His life, Spirit and inheritance. This means that we who stand baptized are called to put on Christ and shine Christ in our walk.

II. Our second point is; water baptism is a response to what Christ has done for us who believe. To validate this response, it must be preceded by repentance which is found in Acts 2:38“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and a personal faith in Christ as found in Colossians 2:12 which states – “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.”

III. Our third point is; Water Baptism when undertaken with a sincere heart of faith and commitment as we stand elected by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; thus the eyes of our heart is fixed on Him would shine that we have received grace from Christ as found in 1 Peter 3:21“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

IV. Our Fourth point is; Water Baptism is an outward sign and testimony of our receiving Christ as Lord and Savior; thus our sins are washed away due to our regeneration by the power of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5“he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”

V. Our Fifth point and by far one that completely resounded to me is this- Water Baptism portrays the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection which could be found in our key text as well as in Romans 6:24“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.” Baptism signifies an end to a life of sin and a beginning of a new life in Christ. Therefore Water Baptism doesn’t begin and end right here; but it involves a lifelong practice of turning one’s back from the world and all it’s evil and living a new life in the spirit as we walk in The spirit thus reflecting God’s righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”

Light Talk: God’s Redemptive Purpose

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.Isaiah 53:10

It was the will of God the father that His Son be sent to die on the cross for the lost world. By making Christ the atoning sacrifice for ALL Transgressions.God’s redemptive purpose of bringing many people to salvation has been accomplished. He will ” prolong his days “means he will rise from the dead and live forever. Please take note of “it was the LORD’S WILL TO CRUSH HIM” – let us reflect of how painful it is that a father would crush his own son, blameless and pure. But God willingly offered his son for a great purpose. Have have we offered and dedicated our children to God’s redemptive purpose? or are we so complacent, afraid to tell our children that we were created for one purpose alone, not just to find a job, climb the corporate ladder and focus on worldly desires, but One Great Purpose of SERVING GOD for His redemptive purpose. May God grant us the grace to always have The Kingdom mentality.

AHFi Dawn Watch: Approaching God in the Morning

Psalm 5:1-3 – “Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God,For to You I will pray.My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”

Last Sunday, December 8, 2013 AHFi had its first Dawn Watch service at the Upper Room Napindan Campus. Many of the saints came from both Napindan and the AHFi headquarters in Quezon city to come and worship the Lord in the dawning of a new day. Truly God is good, the praise and worship was led by the Armor Bearers Choir. Afterwards, Pastor Lyle Lopez; the Senior Pastor of Abundant Harvest Fellowship International shared the message entitled: “Approaching God in the Morning.” In this message, Pastor Lyle shares the importance of setting one’s priorities straight by approaching God first in the break of dawn. This stands clear with the statement of Charles Spurgeon in regard to morning prayer: “A prayer in the morning is worth two in the evening.” Pastor Lyle discussed Psalm 5:1-3 which was a prayer of David which shows the singular focus of the man after God;s own heart from Morning to evening: God alone.

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Pastor Lyle then discusses the importance of morning prayer and the focus to which one must abide in order to pray correctly. Directing ones prayer to God is a must. The idea behind direct is not “to aim” but “to order, to arrange.” “It is the word that is used for the laying in order of the wood and pieces of the victim upon the altar, and it is used also for the putting of the bread upon the table. It means just this: ‘I will arrange my prayer before you;’ I will lay it out upon the altar in the morning, just as the priest lays out the morning sacrifice.”

The mistake many people make is to pray at haphazard. There is too much random praying with us all. This idealism was then debunked by Pastor Lyle as He called all the saints to ask God for His Holy Spirit to guide us all in prayer. After this short yet striking devotion; a call to prayer was given. The saints devoted the remaining hour in prayer as each one stood to pray for their families, their church, their country and finally their personal walk.

It was truly a fruitful beginning since this was the first service set in the newly build Napindan Campus. It is the prayer of Pastor Lyle and every saint of AHFi that the newly built campus would stand as a house of prayer as each dawn watch would be a time of focused prayer as we call forth each saint to stand for holiness and purity in order to shine God’s light to the lost as the both churches of AHFi stand to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ alone. In Jesus name amen!

“Let holy preparation link hands with patient expectation, and we shall have far larger answers to our prayers.” C.H. Spurgeon

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First Dawn Watch Service Today

Today, AHFI is truly blessed to announce the launch of our Sunday Morning Dawn Watch which will be held in the newly constructed AHFi Upper Room Napindan Campus. Truly God is good as He empowers us to shine His light, His goodness and His truth. Services will be held this morning at 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM. Worship will be led by the Armor Bearers Choir with a Morning devotion by Pastor Lyle Lopez. Regular services will be held at the Quezon City Campus at 3 PM this Sunday. Hope to see you there!