Today we wrap up the week and the series on "Doors." Earlier in the week we saw that Jesus is the "Door" to salvation and that we are able to go through the door of salvation when we open the door of our hearts to Jesus and all that he is and all that he has done for us. Once we are established in a relationship with God through Christ, we follow the Lord in the pursuit of his will for our lives. This journey involves a lifetime of finding and going through the "Doors" of God's will that result in our living fully for him. For the most part this was the emphasis of our "Door" series leading up to this week.
Through the story of Philip and the Ethiopian man, we saw that the Gospel message impacts the one who is seeking God by taking them through a preliminary process that affects their mind, heart, and life until the culminating moment when they embrace Christ fully in genuine saving faith. Someone has said that water baptism is an outward act that represents an inward reality. So, water baptism is a picture of genuine saving faith and a declaration by the one being baptized that saving faith is a genuine inward reality for them.
So more specifically, the one who is baptized publicly declares that they have come to the spot where they have embraced Christ fully for the provision of his redemptive forgiveness, the provision of his indwelling presence, and the provision of his power for a changed life. Here's a passage from Galatians that captures beautifully how a person should go forward with Christ after coming up out of the waters of baptism.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live, I live by faith in Christ who loved me and gave himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
Here are a couple of more passages to take in as we conclude our series on "Doors."
There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow. And one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it. Matthew 7:13-14 (VOICE)
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. Ephesians 3:16-17 (NRSV)
Lord, thank you for your amazing love. I am so grateful that in your mercy and grace you put my feet squarely on the narrow path that leads to life. Help me to go forward living fully for you. Help me to rest securely in your provision for me and give me a Godly confidence that you will lead me to and through the doors of your will just as surely as you helped me with the doors that have brought me into a full and wonderful relationship with you through saving faith that lasts forever. Amen!
Posted on Sat, September 5, 2015
by Alan Porter