by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Why Baptism Matters (2 of 5)
Questions About The Church
Roger Thomas
Acts 8:26-38
November 11, 2001

Introduction: Today's sermon continues a series on Frequently Asked Questions about this church. My goal is to not only provide my best answer but to also help you be better equipped to answer it yourself when asked by a friend or family member.

I am persuaded that the Bible teaches that a preacher is not just to be a Bible answer man, but is to equip others in their own Bible knowledge. Note how Paul explains this to Timothy, "the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (Tim. 2:2). As the Lord provides opportunity every believer must be able to answer questions about his faith (1 Peter 3:15).

Today I want to answer some basic questions about baptism. Many of you could answer these as well as I. Before we get to the question of baptism, however, let me explain a basic principle that is critical for understanding how I/we approach almost every issue of teaching and practice in this church. This principle is basic. It determines where we start in any religious discussion and how we proceed. If you don't grasp anything else, please try to understand this principle. I call it the First Christian Principle.

Simply put the First Christian Principle means that everything we practice and teach should, to the best of our ability, be based on what Jesus and his first disciples taught the first Christians to do and teach. Our teaching and practice ought not to not be based on what is popular, what some famous religious historian or theologian says, what religious politicians have decided, or primarily on the habits or patterns that our ancestors in this congregation practiced. There is nothing wrong with traditions, or popular ideas, or historic teachings. These can be very good—unless they come between what we do and what Jesus taught. Our goal is to go beyo ...

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