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GraceLife Church

780-433-0060
    
Location: 7211-96a Ave
Mail: 584 Riverbend SQ NW P.O. Box 21166

Edmonton, AB  T6R 2V4
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What We Teach - The Church
What We Teach
The Doctrinal Statement
of
Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Edmonton
 
Contents

THE CHURCH

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-131 Corinthians 12:12-13 (New American Standard Bible)
12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.   13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.   
), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:22 Corinthians 11:2 (New American Standard Bible)
2For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.   
; Ephesians 5:23-32Ephesians 5:23-26 (New American Standard Bible)
23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.   24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.   25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,   26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; Revelation 19:7-8Revelation 19:7-8 (New American Standard Bible)
7"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."   8It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.   
), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22Ephesians 1:22 (New American Standard Bible)
22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,   
; 4:15Ephesians 4:15 (New American Standard Bible)
15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,   
; Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 (New American Standard Bible)
18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.   
).
We teach that the formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21Acts 2:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.   2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.   3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.   4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-521 Corinthians 15:51-52 (New American Standard Bible)
51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,   52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.   
; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-181 Thessalonians 4:13-16 (New American Standard Bible)
13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.   14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.   15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.   16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
).
We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23Acts 14:23 (New American Standard Bible)
23When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.   
, 27; 20:17Acts 20:17 (New American Standard Bible)
17From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.   
, 28; Galatians 1:2Galatians 1:2 (New American Standard Bible)
2and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:   
; Philippians 1:1Philippians 1:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:   
; 1 Thessalonians 1:11 Thessalonians 1:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.   
; 2 Thessalonians 1:12 Thessalonians 1:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:   
) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-201 Corinthians 11:18-20 (New American Standard Bible)
18For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it.   19For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.   20Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper,   
; Hebrews 10:25Hebrews 10:25 (New American Standard Bible)
25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.   
).
We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:31 Corinthians 11:3 (New American Standard Bible)
3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.   
; Ephesians 1:22Ephesians 1:22 (New American Standard Bible)
22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,   
; Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 (New American Standard Bible)
18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.   
) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor teachers; Acts 20:28Acts 20:28 (New American Standard Bible)
28"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.   
; Ephesians 4:11Ephesians 4:11 (New American Standard Bible)
11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,   
) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-131 Timothy 3:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.   2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,   3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.   4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; Titus 1:5-9Titus 1:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)
5For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,   6namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.   7For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,   8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; 1 Peter 5:1-51 Peter 5:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,   2shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;   3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.   4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
).
We teach the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20Matthew 28:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)
19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,   20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."   
; 2 Timothy 2:22 Timothy 2:2 (New American Standard Bible)
2The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.   
), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matthew 18:5-14Matthew 18:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)
5"And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;   6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Stumbling Blocks
7"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!   8"If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22Matthew 18:15-18 (New American Standard Bible)
15"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.   16"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.   17"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.   18"Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; Acts 5:1-11Acts 5:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,   2and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.   3But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?   4"While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; 1 Corinthians 5:1-131 Corinthians 5:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife.   2You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.   3For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.   4In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-152 Thessalonians 3:6-9 (New American Standard Bible)
6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.   7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,   8nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;   9not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; 1 Timothy 1:19-201 Timothy 1:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)
19keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.   20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.   
; Titus 1:10-16Titus 1:10-13 (New American Standard Bible)
10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,   11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.   12One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."   13This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith,   . . . . (click for complete reference)
).
We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5Titus 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
5For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,   
). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31Acts 15:19-22 (New American Standard Bible)
19"Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles,   20but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.   21"For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath."   22Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas--Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; 20:28Acts 20:28 (New American Standard Bible)
28"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.   
; 1 Corinthians 5:4-71 Corinthians 5:4-7 (New American Standard Bible)
4In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,   5I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.   6Your boasting is not good Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?   7Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.   
, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-41 Peter 5:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,   2shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;   3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.   4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.   
).
We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21Ephesians 3:21 (New American Standard Bible)
21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.   
) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16Ephesians 4:13-16 (New American Standard Bible)
13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.   14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;   15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,   16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.   
), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:22 Timothy 2:2 (New American Standard Bible)
2The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.   
, 15; 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17 (New American Standard Bible)
16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;   17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.   
), by fellowship (Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 (New American Standard Bible)
47praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.   
; 1 John 1:31 John 1:3 (New American Standard Bible)
3what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.   
), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19Luke 22:19 (New American Standard Bible)
19And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."   
; Acts 2:38-42Acts 2:38-41 (New American Standard Bible)
38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.   39"For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."   40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"   41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19Matthew 28:19 (New American Standard Bible)
19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,   
; Acts 1:8Acts 1:8 (New American Standard Bible)
8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."   
; 2:42Acts 2:42 (New American Standard Bible)
42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.   
).
We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7-12Ephesians 4:7-10 (New American Standard Bible)
7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.   8Therefore it says,
"WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN."   9(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?   10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)   . . . . (click for complete reference)
), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8Romans 12:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)
5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.   6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;   7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;   8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.   
; 1 Corinthians 12:4-311 Corinthians 12:4-7 (New American Standard Bible)
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.   5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.   6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.   7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; 1 Peter 4:10-111 Peter 4:10-11 (New American Standard Bible)
10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.   11Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.   
).
We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles' message (Hebrews 2:3-4Hebrews 2:3-4 (New American Standard Bible)
3how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,   4God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.   
; 2 Corinthians 12:122 Corinthians 12:12 (New American Standard Bible)
12The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.   
); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Corinthians 13:8-121 Corinthians 13:8-11 (New American Standard Bible)
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.   9For we know in part and we prophesy in part;   10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.   11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (1 Corinthians 13:13-141 Corinthians 13:13-14 (New American Standard Bible)
13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.   
:12; Revelation 13:13-14Revelation 13:13-14 (New American Standard Bible)
13He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.   14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.   
). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Romans 12:6-8Romans 12:6-8 (New American Standard Bible)
6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;   7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;   8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.   
).
We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today, but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-6Luke 18:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,   2saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.   3"There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.'   4"For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; John 5:7-9John 5:7-9 (New American Standard Bible)
7The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."   8Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk."   9Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.   
; 2 Corinthians 12:6-102 Corinthians 12:6-9 (New American Standard Bible)
6For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.
A Thorn in the Flesh
7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!   8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.   9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
; James 5:13-16James 5:13-16 (New American Standard Bible)
13Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.   14Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;   15and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.   16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.   
; 1 John 5:14-151 John 5:14-15 (New American Standard Bible)
14This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.   15And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.   
).
We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42Acts 2:38-41 (New American Standard Bible)
38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.   39"For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."   40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"   41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39Acts 8:36-39 (New American Standard Bible)
36As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?"   37[And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]   38And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.   39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.   
) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11Romans 6:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?   2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?   3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?   4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.   . . . . (click for complete reference)
). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42Acts 2:41-42 (New American Standard Bible)
41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.   42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.   
).

Scripture taken from, except those noted otherwise, the NEW
AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971,
1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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