Visible Christianity: Baptism
Topic: Baptism Passage: Matthew 28:18–20, Acts 8:26–40, Romans 6:1–4
Community Group Questions: Visible Christianity: Baptism
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Community Group Discussion Questions: “Visible Christianity: Baptism”
- For the next four weeks at Christ Community Church, the message topic is “Visible Christianity.” We’ll be exploring visual illustrations of the gospel we proclaim. The gospel is, first and foremost, a message to be proclaimed (see Romans 10:14-17). Yet, the good news of salvation in Christ can also be seen as we participate in baptism, taking communion, doing good works, and gathering as the visible church. Take time to discuss this idea as a group: in what ways do we see the gospel visibly in baptism? Communion? Good Works? Church membership? Do you find this idea compelling? Why or why not?
- Read Matthew 28:16-20. In this passage, often called “the great commission,” Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize new converts. Why do you think baptism was so important to Jesus that he would include it in this mission statement for the church? Do you think it’s significant that Jesus commanded us to baptize, rather than making it “optional” for new converts? Why is that significant?
- Read the famous story of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. What do we learn from this story about the relationship between understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then being baptized? Based on the Ethiopian Eunuch’s example, what should someone first understand and embrace before they’re ready to take that step of public baptism? How was God preparing the Eunuch for conversion and baptism, even months and years beforehand? How does he likewise prepare people today?
- Read Romans 6:1-4. This passage unpacks the symbolic meaning of baptism. On the one hand, these verses describe a spiritual baptism that takes place the moment someone believes the gospel. They are spiritually united to Christ, and therefore, God sees them as included in the death and resurrection of Jesus! Hey died with Christ, and they rose with Christ, and now, they are a new creation in him! On the other hand, this passage also describes water baptism. As the Roman Christians heard these verses read to them aloud, they would have pictured their water baptism as well. Just as Christ died and was buried, they would remember their baptism, where they went under the water, symbolizing their death with him. Then, just as Christ rose from the dead, they had come up out of the water into their new life with Christ. How does baptism’s rich symbolism encourage us to live wholly devoted to Christ? In other words, how does reflecting on your baptism give you inspiration to “walk in newness of life”?
- If time allows, share the story of your baptism with the group. What led up to it? What do you remember about the experience? If you haven’t yet been baptized, what’s holding you back at this point? How can the group pray for you in that?
Prayer suggestion: Thank God for the new life we have in Christ. Ask for power to faithfully live in line with everything our baptism visually proclaimed.