Dear Watermark Church family,


“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20


The first story we read in the gospels about Jesus as an adult is His baptism. The last command Jesus gave to His disciples before ascending into heaven was that they should go throughout the world making disciples and baptizing them. Baptism is obviously a very important event in the New Testament.


Watermark Church will be having a baptism this Sunday, 5/19 during our worship service. Here are some insights on the purpose and meaning of baptism.


Why should I be baptized?


1. First, you don’t need to be baptized to become a Christian. The New Testament teaches that a person is saved by repentance from sin and believing in Christ. In Acts, we read "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.” (Acts 1:38) However, in Luke 23, the thief on the cross recognized who Jesus was, reached out to Him, and Jesus promised him salvation. That dying thief had no opportunity to be baptized.


2. Second, being baptized is being obedient to Jesus. As the verse above in Matthew 28 states, we are commanded to be baptized as a part of being His disciple. Baptism is an important first step of obedience for the new believer. Baptism is one of only two ordinances that Jesus commands us to observe for all time. The other is The Lord’s Supper, or what we often call communion.


3. Baptism is a public profession of your faith. Baptism is done before a group of people who witness your confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is not the only way we profess to be a Christian, but it is an important way.


4. Baptism symbolizes your cleansing from sin. Baptism throughout the New Testament indicated that a person had "repented" or turned away from sin. The apostles often referred to the fact that believers were washed from sin. Peter stated that the water in baptism symbolized not the cleansing of the body from dirt, but the cleansing of the conscience. (1 Peter 3:21)


5. Baptism symbolizes your union with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. When you become a Christian, you die to sin and your old way of life and you begin a whole new life. Romans 6:8 states, "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." The very act of baptism (being immersed in the water and coming up out of the water) is a picture of what happens to you spiritually.


6. We baptize by immersion as opposed to sprinkling or pouring. The term "baptize" literally means to immerse. This was how people in the bible were baptized. Also, immersion best symbolizes what happens spiritually when you become a Christian. You are not baptized in order to become a Christian. You are baptized because you are a Christian. We should not delay our baptism, since it is a command of Jesus.


7. What if I was baptized as an infant? Among Christians there are different perspectives on infant baptism. Some denominations and traditions baptize infants while others do not. Perhaps you were baptized as an infant. How should you view that baptism? You certainly want to show respect to your family and their viewpoints, as well as be grateful to God for any spiritual influence they had in your life. However, our understanding of what the bible teaches is that baptism is an action that follows a person’s individual choice to believe in Jesus for salvation. So, if you have not been baptized since you have made a decision for Christ, even if you were baptized as an infant, we would recommend that you get baptized.


At Watermark Church, we do not baptize infants. Instead, we dedicate infants to the Lord and call parents to commit themselves to raise their children for Christ.  We do this based on the model seen in scripture of infants being dedicated to the Lord:  Samuel in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 1:21-29) and Jesus in the New Testament (Lk 2:21-24).


If you would like to be baptized, talk with me or Ron, and we will set up a time for you to be baptized.

 

Watermark Church New Members Class to be offered Sunday, May 19 from 11:45AM – 1:00 PM. It is not too late to participate in our New Members Class and Lunch, to be held this Sunday, May 19, immediately following the morning worship service. You will learn about the vision, beliefs, ministries and next steps of membership at Watermark Church. Pizza will be served for lunch. Reply to this email if you would like to join the class!

 

“Discovering Your SHAPE for Ministry Class pt. 1”, Sunday, June 9 and “SHAPE Class pt. 2”, Sunday, June 23. (This is a 2-part series class. In Class 1, participants will discover their Spiritual Gifting and ministry interests.  In Class 2, members interact on their homework from Class 1, and set up a one on one meeting for direct ministry placement. Also, in Class 2 we will discuss ministries in the church where the individual can serve.)

 

Vacation Bible School dates set! The Watermark Church VBS themed “In The Wild” will be held on June 17-21, from 9:30 AM to Noon. There will be a Carnival for the children and their parents on Friday evening, June 21 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Tickets won by the children during the VBS week can be redeemed for games and prizes at the Carnival.

 

Helpers/volunteers are needed for the week, in many areas. These areas include decorations, crafts, music, teaching a lesson, serving refreshments and being a group leader. Contact Tim and Patti Kellis to find your place to serve. Let’s make this our best VBS yet!

 

Youth Group – May schedule. Here are the remaining Youth Group dates:

 

May

Sun. 19th @ 5:30 HS/ 6:30 JH - Bible Study

Sat. 25th - Canoeing

 

June

Sun. 9th – Cookout

 

Watermark Church Volunteer opportunities:

- Are you interested in being a part of a new prayer group starting up? It will meet from 9:00 AM-9:30 AM on Sunday mornings. Contact Rachael Gibson for more info at remgibson@gmail.com / ph. 513.382.8657.

 

- Do you love to work with kids? We need your help on Sunday mornings with our weekly Children’s Ministry or for our upcoming VBS June 17th - June 21st. If interested contact Rachael Gibson remgibson@gmail.com / ph. 513.382.8657.

 

- Are you interested in doing landscaping or helping to maintain our facility? Contact Rachael Gibson remgibson@gmail.com / ph. 513.382.8657

 

The Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is held every Friday at 7:00 AM at the Waffle House at the Monroe Outlets / SR 63 & I-75. Join with the men of Watermark Church for an encouraging time of fellowship!

 

A Women’s Bible Study is being taught by Claudia Shrive on Sunday mornings at 9:30AM at the church.

 

A new Watermark Group has formed, meeting at 9:15 AM on Sunday mornings, geared toward 20-somethings/young families. Childcare is provided! Led by Jameson Baumgartner.

 

A bible study class is being offered at 9:30 AM Sundays, taught by Pastor Ron.

 

Life Group: The Gibson’s and Settimos’ Life Group bible study is meeting every other Friday at 7:00 PM at the Settimo’s home. They will be looking at what the Bible has to say about current events. Contact Paul or Nathan for more info.


Together walking in obedience to Christ,

Larry