A, B, C… D!
Summer time in church life means children at Vacation Bible School and youth at Christian camps. From preschoolers to high schoolers, students across Oklahoma and the nation are hearing the Gospel.
In Oklahoma, because of strong camps and VBS programs, we are blessed to see a move of God, where in thousands make spiritual decisions. It is exiting to think about all the children and students who are understanding, some for the very first time, the “ABCs” of salvation. What do we mean by ABCs? According to LifeWay:
A-Admit to God you are a sinner;
B-Believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness from sin; and
C-Confess your faith in Jesus Christ and Savior and Lord.
This ABCs of salvation has helped countless boys and girls understand the path to eternal life. Without taking anything away from this, I think we could add one thing to this step-by-step list. And it starts with the letter D.
We should “dunk” them (i.e. baptism) and put them on the path of discipleship. A reading of the New Testament shows that every new believer was baptized as the first step of obedience in following Christ.
Fortunately, gone are the days of “easy believism” or “treat-them-and-street-them” approaches to evangelism. At the same time, we sometimes forget in our evangelism efforts to spell out the importance of baptism and discipleship.
In Christian theology, we understand that we are justified “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone” (Rom. 5:1, Eph. 2:8-9). We also understand that while eternal life and salvation—that is new birth—is imparted in a moment, our Christian walk lasts for life and into eternity.
The salvation that Christ offers justifies us, sanctifies us and glorifies us. Baptist would do well to remind children and youth—and ourselves—that salvation is ABCs, and it is also A through Z, to borrow a phrase.
This summer, as we have opportunity to proclaim the Gospel, let’s also proclaim what comes next after we believe.