WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS (Water Baptism Service)
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
WATER BAPTISM TESTIMONIES: Hannah, Andrew, Madeline, Martin, David and Sandi.
OPENING TEXT: (Romans 5:8-11, NLT).
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God — all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.”
- This is one of the most amazing things that Jesus’ death on the Cross accomplished!
- “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Ex. 33:11).
- “Abraham was called a friend of God.” (James 2:23).
- Jesus said to His disciples: “I have called you friends.” (John 15:15).
- In Luke 7:34, Jesus is called the friend of sinners!
THE BIG IDEA: We can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God all because of what Jesus has done in making us friends of God.
1. ZACCHAEUS THE DESPICABLE SINNER:
“1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.” (Luke 19:1-4, NKJV).
- Zach worked for Rome and was considered a traitor by the Jewish people.
- Tax collectors in Bible times were often linked with murderers, adulterers and sinners.
- Though rich, he “sought to see who Jesus was” – there was still something missing!
- There was something about Jesus that drew crowds of people to Him: PREACH IT!
- Zach’s two problems: #1: He was short. He couldn’t get through the crowd to see Jesus!
- #2: He was a sinner. “But there is a problem — your sins have cut you off from God.” (Isaiah 59:2, NLT).
- So Zach climbed a tree – he did whatever it took to get to Jesus. How about you?
2. JESUS THE WONDERFUL SAVIOUR:
“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (Luke 19:5, NKJV).
- All along, it was Jesus who was looking for Zach. In the same way, He is looking for us.
- Jesus sees YOU. He knows where you are, and what you’re going through in your life!
- Jesus knows your name. He wants to come to your house, and your family, and your life.
3. EXPERIENCING THE JOYFUL TRANSFORMATION:
“6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (Luke 19:6-7, NKJ).
- Notice how Zach responded to Jesus: He made haste and came down.
- And when we receive Jesus, there is great joy and excitement!
- Notice that the rest of the crowd wasn’t so happy – they began to complain.
- Jesus got a reputation – a nickname from His enemies – as the friend of sinners:
- “That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” they asked his disciples. When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do.”” (Matt. 9:10-12, NLT).
“8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:8-10, NKJV).
- The result of the sinner meeting the Saviour? A joyful transformation!
- Was it his good works that saved him? No! He was saved by God’s grace alone.
- However – his good deeds demonstrated that he was truly saved.
- Good works are the fruit of our salvation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).
- PRAYER: “Lord, I give you everything there is in this man, William Booth. Do with me what you will.” (William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army).
- We are called to believe in Jesus – AND – repent of our sins.
- When someone truly meets Jesus, they will become more generous – just like God!
- Finally, we see that Jesus is seeking the lost. Do you know Jesus today?
HOW TO BECOME FRIENDS WITH GOD:
- Admit that you’re a sinner. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) & “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23A).
- Believe that Jesus died on the Cross for you. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) & “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31).
- Confess Jesus as your Lord. “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).
- Repent of your sins and be baptised. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38).
WATER BAPTISM SCRIPTURE: “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12).
SONG: What a Friend we Have in Jesus (Andy)
Some of the thoughts in this message were inspired by the sermon “A Little Man Meets a Big God” by Brian Bill (www.sermoncentral.com).
- Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
- Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/