NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (June 8) in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning. To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of this morning’s sermon.
To delve into the meaning and purpose of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this sermon.
“… Jesus … was a man whose credentials God proved to you through miracles, wonders, and signs … In accordance with God’s established plan and foreknowledge, he was betrayed. You, with the help of wicked men, had Jesus killed by nailing him to a cross. God raised him up! God freed him from death’s dreadful grip, since it was impossible for death to hang on to him. … He was exalted to God’s right side and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit. … Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” …
Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day. The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. … They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved. (Acts 2.22-24,33,36-39,41-42,47 CEB)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump, to help the conversation begin. Choose one to discuss.
1. Which is it for you: water is a fearsome thing to enter into or fun? Use a scale of 1-10 if it helps.
2. Tell us about some ritual you went thru as part of an initiation into a club or organization.
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this sermon.
1. What does Acts 2.1-11 say about the sort of people who composed Christ’s new community?
2. Scripture notes a number of things that occur in baptism. As a group, reference some.
3. What do you know from elsewhere in the NT as to how this church in Jerusalem turned out?
These questions assist our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us in our encounter with God’s word.
1. Why is baptism important? In the mind of the apostles in Acts 2? In your mind today?
2. What is baptism not? Why?
3. In what way(s) might the motivation of a child and an adult differ as to baptism?
4. There is no small number of varying understandings of baptism in Christendom today? Why?
5. One exhibits the traits of a healthy Christian life, but hasn’t been baptized. How can this be?
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. If you have faith in Christ and seek his changes and rule in your life, be immersed in him.
2. If you’ve been immersed into Christ, write down what all your baptism means to you.