The Bible tells us that Jesus is God incarnate; He is God the Son, eternally one with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He alone can forgive our sins and give salvation.
The writer of Hebrews explains how "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven" (Hebrews 1:1-3).
Many people believe that Jesus lived, was a good teacher and a very spiritual man, but they deny that he is God. A diluted Jesus is not the real Jesus. We must be careful to believe in the Jesus that he himself declared he was, "not be[ing] led astray from [our] sincere and pure devotion to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Here are seven declarations and actions of Jesus that show us who he believed he was and is:
1. Jesus said He was God
Matthew 26:63-65 "But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, 'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied. 'But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.'"
John 8:58-59 " 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!' At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds."
John 10:30-33 " 'I and the Father are one.' Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.' "
John 14:8-9 "Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.' Jesus answered: 'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?' "
2. Jesus said He came from heaven, God's eternal dwelling place
John 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me."
John 16:28 "I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."
3. Jesus said He was sinless, as God alone is without sin
John 8:46 "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?"
4. Jesus forgave sin
Mark 2:5 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'"
Luke 7:48, 49 "Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' The other guests began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?' "
5. Jesus said He was the only way to heaven
John 14:6 "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
John 11:25 "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.'"
6. Jesus accepted worship as God
Matthew 14:33 "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him Jesus, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
John 9:38 "Then the man said, 'Lord Jesus, I believe,' and he worshiped him."
7. Jesus performed miracles including raising others and himself from the dead
Matthew 4:23 "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people."
Matthew 17:18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Luke 8:49-50, 52-55 "While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. 'Your daughter is dead,' he said. 'Don't bother the teacher any more.' Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, 'Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.' …Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. 'Stop wailing,' Jesus said. 'She is not dead but asleep.' They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, 'My child, get up!' Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat."
Luke 7:12-15 "As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, 'Don't cry.' Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, 'Young man, I say to you, get up!' The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother."
John 11:43, 44 "When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go.'"
Luke 24:5-8 "In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He [Jesus] is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' Then they remembered his words."
Still have questions or just want to speak with someone? You've got options. Email email@example.com, call us at 615.444.9952, or stop by the Information Kiosk on Sunday.
What is baptism?
- The definition of baptism is “to immerse in water.”
- Baptism is a way for the believer to identify with Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, as explained in Romans 6:1-11. Immersion under water illustrates the death of Christ; coming out of the water illustrates His resurrection.
- Although baptism by immersion best represents the work of Christ, Romans 6:1-11 does not mandate how much water should be used. The value of baptism is in the life and heart of the believer, not in the amount of water.
Why should I be baptized?
- To follow the example set by Christ in Mark 1:9.
- To fulfill Christ’s commandment that His followers be baptized. “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 28:19-20)
- To symbolize new life in Christ and His forgiveness of your sins.
- To publicly identify yourself with Christ and His Church.
When should I be baptized?
- Once you have made the decision to trust Christ alone for salvation, baptism should follow, as made evident in Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47-48.
- The New Testament only records baptisms of those who have made a commitment to follow Christ. Baptism was never intended to provide salvation for an individual, but rather to publicly identify a person with Christ.
- If you have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity and have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death of the cross for your sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between you and God, then you are ready to be baptized.
What about infant baptism?
- In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them.
- Baptism is solely for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation.
- If you were baptized at any time before salvation, you have not yet experienced the full meaning of this symbolic event. We encourage you to publicly identify yourself with Christ as an adult through baptism.
- While recognizing the right of other churches to practice infant baptism if it conforms to their theologies, Crossroads understands Scripture to teach that only professing believers qualify for baptism.
- If you are interested in having your baby dedicated, please stop by the Waumba Land check-in desk.
Am I ready?
Maybe you're read over all the information above, but you're still not sure if you are ready to be baptized. Since there are a lot of differing opinions on what baptism is and when a person should be baptized, we thought we'd try to simplify things as much as possible.
Below are the two primary questions to consider when deciding if/when you should be baptized:
1. Are you a Christian?
This question is actually very different from “did you grow up in church?” or “do you do the right thing?” The question is, do you have a relationship with Jesus that includes a knowledge of your sin, a remorse over your sin that leads you to trust in Jesus for forgiveness, and a desire to see his will as being the most important thing in your life? If these things are true of you, you’re probably ready to be baptized. But if you’re not already a Christian, being baptized will not magically turn you into one.
2. Have you been baptized since becoming a Christian?
The pattern in the Bible is that a person is baptized after becoming a Christian. So if you are a Christian but haven’t been baptized since becoming one, we encourage you to participate in baptism. If you were baptized earlier in life, but it was before you had a genuine relationship with Jesus, we also encourage you to be baptized now that you have become a Christian. If you have been baptized since becoming a Christian, there is no need to be baptized again.
If you still have questions about baptism or becoming a Christian, feel free to contact us.
How do I register for baptism?
Visit the Information Kiosk to complete the Baptism Registration Form or fill out this form and we will send you a baptism packet.