Water baptism symbolizes the believer’s total trust in and total reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as a commitment to live obediently to Him. It also expresses unity with all the saints (Ephesians 2:19), that is, with every person in every nation on earth who is a member of the Body of Christ (Galatians 3:27–28). Water baptism conveys this and more, but it is not what saves us. Instead, we are saved by grace through faith, apart from works (Ephesians 2:8–9). We are baptized because our Lord commanded it: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
We launch a conversation this week that we are going to journey through over the next several weeks. We are calling this series: Living with Conviction AND Compassion in a World of Compromise. There is no doubt the culture both inside the church and outside the church…is marked by an erosion of moral conviction and spiritual fervor. And there hasn’t been a balanced response from Christ followers to this dilemma. It seems we too easily fall to one extreme or the other.
On the one hand you have those who are dogmatically strong in their convictions. These are the ones in a holy war to bring back the good old days. They claim to be proponents of revival but their social media rants and dogmatic condemnation of everything and everybody (except the ones in their little group) looks more like a version of a modern day Pharisee than the New Testament Jesus. These folks are just out right mad at the world and you can see in their faces and hear it in the tone of their voices.
On the other hand you have the group that is strong in their compassion. They focus exclusively on God’s grace without any understanding of his law or righteousness or written word. It’s as if God doesn’t really have any standards…and the standards he established for previous generations don’t apply to us today. There’s no need to address the issue of “sin” because God has been turned into a dotting grandfather who is no longer offended by our choices or behaviors. He just turns the other way and lets it slide. No worries. This group’s favorite verses are… “judge not less you be judged” and “work out your own salvation”…both of which are quoted out of context to justify behavior and lifestyle choices that don’t line up with scripture.
The modern day Pharisee’s convictions and those with conviction-less compassion are both misplaced extremes in response to a culture that has gone of the tracks. One side arrogantly and dogmatically berates the culture while the other side blindly embraces it. There has to be a way to live with both conviction AND compassion in a world of compromise.
Obviously, Jesus is our ultimate example and he modeled conviction and compromise. But over the next several weeks, we are going to study the life of another biblical figure who shows us to walk compassionately and yet, still be drive by deep conviction in a world that stands opposed to everything he believes.
We were made to live in community with others, and one way to find that at Northplace is to get in a group! No matter what kind of group you’re looking for or what stage of life you’re in, we want you to be in a community with people who encourage you, help you grow, and have fun!
Freedom groups equip believers to live the victorious and abundant life Christ came to give us. In addition to the 12-week Small Group is a powerful conference focused on overcoming the past and laying a foundation for walking in daily freedom.
The purpose of Serving & Outreach at Northplace Church is to train and equip ordinary people to go and do extraordinary things in the name of Jesus so that all might see, hear and experience God’s love in tangible ways.