Acts 2:14a, 22-32 Psalm 16 1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:29-31
Christ is risen!
Yes, folks it is still Easter. Easter runs right up to Pentecost Sunday, which happens to be June 8th this year. And it is during this season of Easter that our confirmands will be baptized. The youth who went through the Confirmation Class will be getting baptized. So, look forward to news on the date and time this will happen. It was a pleasure to have all four (Matthew, Levi, Kelsey, & Hailey) in the class this year. Their sponsors, Carol and Tony, did a wonderful job in being there with the youth.
So, what is confirmation class all about? It is the time when youth, those in at least 6th grade, learn about baptism, being a disciple who is a member of the church, and baptism. For those youth who have been baptized at a younger age, it is a time to make firm their faith. That is they are agreeing with the decision that was made for them when they were infants. There you have the definition of confirmation – making firm. For those youth who have not been baptized, the confirmation class is a time to make that decision. And it turns out that most youth who decide to go through the confirmation class have already decided they want to be baptized. It is a time for them to dig deeper into what baptism and being a disciple means.
When we have confirmation of our belief in Christ, we have peace. It is a peace that Jesus gives to us. In the process, our doubts turn into beliefs. That is the questions we have are answered. Then, as we pass on the stories we hear about Jesus, others get a chance to believe. When we believe, then we have life, an abundant, eternal life.
A. Peace be with you (John 20:19-23)
- Disciples gathered, in fear of the Jews
- Jesus gives a common blessing, but in an uncommon way
- Showed his scars of crucifixion
- The disciples rejoiced
- Jesus said he was sent, and he sends his disciples – do the work of Jesus
- Breathed on them the Holy Spirit
- Jesus had been raised from the dead – to not experience corruption (Acts 2:33-32) – the Holy Spirit helps us to not experience corruption
- The one who came back from the dead is the one to give us peace! What did the disciples do when they realized this fact? They rejoiced. Then Jesus tells them to go do the work that Jesus had been doing. Even if one disciple was not there, Jesus is willing to meet that disciple and tell them about believing in himself.
B. Blessed are those who believe (John 20:24-29)
- Thomas was not there on that 1st Easter Sunday, he doubted
- Jesus still expresses peace to Thomas – a week later
- For Thomas, he had the chance to touch the wounds, he didn’t – he believed!
- People have come to believe in Jesus, without seeing him
- How does that belief work out in our lives? (1 Peter 1:3-9)
- We have a new birth
- We have an inheritance
- We suffer trials until Christ is revealed
- The outcome of our faith? The salvation of our souls – for us to not experience corruption
- It is blessed to believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, we don’t escape this world. We work the work Jesus did. We suffer trials. We hold onto faith in God. Then, when Jesus returns, we gain life with him. Is that what you want?
C. Have you come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God? (John 20:30-31)
- Jesus was busy after he died & rose again – he did many signs
- These signs point to Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God
- We can believe in God (Psalm 16 – the Apostles’ Creed of OT)
- Taking refuge in God
- Admitting you belong to God
- Being with others whom believe in God & Jesus
- He blesses, counsels, and keeps us
- Our whole person (hear, soul, & body) gain the benefit of our belief
- When you believe, you have life. This is not just life that exists in things, or titles, or position. It is life with God, an abundant life. When we express our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, we gain life. Have you come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
Our confirmation class is saying that they believe Jesus is the Son of God. They are willing to be baptized to show the world the work that God is doing in their lives. We are praying that they hold onto their belief in Jesus for all of their days in this world.
If youth can express their belief in Jesus, then what is stopping the adults? Adults who have been baptized don’t need to be re-baptized. Adults who have been baptized can hold onto their faith, no matter the trials that we have in life. Unless we all hold onto our belief in Jesus as the Son of God, how are we going to receive salvation?