Sermon Recap: OUTWARD DECLARATION OF INWARD CHANGE based on Acts 16:29-34 and Galatians 5:16-25

This Sunday, we celebrated five new members via transfer and seven new members through baptism! It truly was a wonderful day!

Baptism was significant in the life of the early church. On the first Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit poured out over the one hundred and twenty in the upper room. Their joy could not be contained and spilled into the streets. Peter preached his first sermon, and over three thousand responded by giving their hearts to Jesus. They ended that day with a mass baptism! Since that day, baptism has been a crucial component of the life of the church and a person of faith. What does the act of baptism mean at its core? It is a public, outward declaration of an inward change. Baptism is a significant declaration of allegiance to follow Jesus instead of Caesar or self.

How do we show our allegiance to Christ above all else? How do we demonstrate an inward change in response to the outward show of baptism?

  1. Embrace repentance (Acts 16:29-34). When the Philippian jailer experienced the earthquake, he thought for sure his life was over. He had fallen asleep on the job, and with the prison doors open, some may have escaped. Paul and Silas stopped him from committing suicide, and he asked the question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). He was not thinking about salvation from sin through Jesus, for he had never heard the gospel; rather, he was thinking about getting out of the predicament. Paul answered the way of true salvation, in the physical, as well as the mental, emotional, and spiritual, was through Jesus. In that moment, the jailer embraced repentance. He believed the Word about Jesus (16:31-32). He brought Paul and Silas to his house and made right where he had wronged (16:33). He bandaged their wounds, took care of their needs, and fed them a meal. Then, he and his whole family declared their faith by being baptized, publicly declaring what God had done within (16:33-34). That day was the beginning of a new chapter in his life.

    If we are to live out our baptism, we need to show the inward change. We must believe the Word about Jesus, make right the areas where we have wronged others or God, and publicly declare with our living who we believe. We cannot continue being the same person we always were.

  1. Live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18, 25). Instead of living for the world, culture, enemy, and self, we are now committed to a life that follows the Spirit. We become committed to a new way of living, forsaking the old ways. The sinful nature and Spirit will always be in conflict (5:17). Therefore, we have to make a choice: to live for God or live for our sinful nature. The Spirit brings freedom; sinful nature brings consequence (5:18). We show that we are living by the Spirit by keeping in step with the Spirit (5:25), constantly spending time with God and seeking his guidance. It means we have to also engage in a steady diet that feeds our spiritual self.
  1. Crucify the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21, 24). In addition to living by the Spirit, we actually should put to death the sinful nature. We cannot belong to Christ and indulge sinful passions at the same time (5:24). If we try to serve two masters, we become lukewarm, desensitized to the leading of the Spirit, and actually go back to the old way. It is like a bad game of tug-of-war; the one with the greater pull will always win (usually the sinful nature). If we know something is poison, we purposefully do not partake of it, for when we do, we know we will die. We should do the same in the spiritual. We should put to death our sinful nature, for willful sin cannot inherit the kingdom of God (5:21). The acts of the sinful nature are obvious. Leave them behind. Put them to death. Live by the Spirit.
  1. Bear the fruit of repentance (Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 16:34). When the jailer gave his heart to Jesus and repented, he showed a new outlook for life, choosing the way of joy (Acts 16:34). When we inwardly change, there needs to be an outward declaration. The initial declaration is in our baptism, but every day, we need to live out that change. The fruit of repentance, the new manner of living, is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). We should demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Baptism is the outward declaration of the inward change brought about by Jesus. But for our baptism to be genuine, we must order the remainder of our lives by that reality. Embrace repentance. Live by the Spirit. Crucify the sinful nature. Bear the fruit!

Questions for Reflection

1) Do you remember when you gave your heart to the Lord? What was your life like before Jesus? What is it like now?

2) Where do we still need to repent in our faith walk?

3) Do we need to rectify a wrong?

4) What spiritual practices do you employ to keep your relationship with Jesus strong?

5) What sin continues to trip you up? What sin do you need to crucify once and for all?

6) Which of the fruits of the Spirit do you excel at? Which one do you need to work on?

Upcoming Service

This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will start the study on the Foundations of Sin and Salvation with the sermon titled “The Sin Problem” based on Romans 3:9-18, 23; 6:23; and 8:5-8. What is sin? What is the true impact of sin? How can one solve the problem of sin? Come by or tune in on Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for May 21 – 27

May 21: Psalm 30:1-12 What does this passage teach us about God?

May 22: Psalm 31:1-24 What does this passage teach us about God?

May 23: Psalm 33:1-22 What does this passage teach us about God?

May 24: Psalm 34:1-22 What does this passage teach us about God?

May 25: Psalm 36:1-12 What does this passage teach us about God?

May 26: Psalm 37:1-17 What does this passage teach us about God?

May 27: Psalm 37:18-40 What does this passage teach us about God?

This Week’s  Events:

Sunday, May 26–Instachoir Picnic @ Sandy Bottom @ 5 pm

Upcoming Events:

Sunday, June 2–Summer Hours Begin (First Sunday Breakfast @ 8:45 am, Sunday School @ 9:15 am, Worship @ 10:30 am)

Sunday, June 2–First Sunday Offering–Ava Cares & Beginning of Baby Bottle Campaign

Sunday, June 9–Graduate Recognition Sunday

Saturday, June 15–Father/Son Breakfast @ 8 am–sign up available beginning Sunday

Sunday, June 23–Outdoor Worship

Sunday, June 23–Vespers @ 5 pm

VERSE OF THE MONTH!

Every month we will feature a verse. The goal is for the entire church to learn this verse for the month so we grow in our memorized Bible knowledge. The verse of the month of May is Galatians 5:22-23:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Announcements:

BIRTHDAYS NEEDED!

If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office with your birthday or leave a note in the offering plate. We don’t want to miss anyone.

Social Media

Beaver Creek has updated its social media page. Please follow and share so many people can see what is happening at Beaver Creek! You can find the pages as follows:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beavercreekchurchva/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeaverCreekChurchVA/

Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story

We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over, Phyllis Simmons (worship leading), or Joscelin Cooper (children’s story) if you want to serve.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY

Children’s Church will take the summer months off (June, July, August).

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Vacation Bible School will run on Wednesday evenings during the month of July (July 10, July 17, July 24, and July 31). If you would like to help or assist in any way, such as running a station, being a group leader for kids, preparing food, etc., please sign up on the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the narthex or respond to this email. So far, we have had only a few names sign up. We need several other volunteers. Please consider volunteering for this great outreach today!

GRADUATES!

If you are graduating this year or know of a graduate, please call the office. We are aware of one graduate. We are in the process of planning graduate recognition Sunday.

Nursery

The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School and church hours. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to participate in worship, please inform one of the members of the Christian Education team (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!

Sight & Sound Interest

The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. We should have more information in the coming weeks about a trip. If you are interested in participating, please contact the church office and let them know!

Four Ways to Give! 

1) Mail your tithe to the church office

2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

4) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Louise Shirkey & Carolyn Wine

Eddie Baker (health)

Mary Batterman (health)

Sandy Bennington (health)

Bouchery family (unspoken)

Katie Cooper (concussion)

Quinn Cox (health)

Norma Cunningham (recovery)

Amy Cyzick (health)

Elijah Tucker Dean (health)

Natalie Dodge (health)

Bob Hess (health)

Tim Howdyshell (health)

Stanley Jackowitz (health)

Christy Lazer (health)

Ruth Luce (health)

Mark Martin (health)

Meeta McNett (health)

Betty Miller (health)

Norlen Miller (health)

Mary M Miller (health)

Savannah Miller (health)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Ann Simmons (health)

Bob Simmons (health)

Millie Simmons (health)

Crystal Smith (health)

Whitmore family (house)

Mary Whitmore (health)

Judy Winner (health)

Cindy Wittig (health)

Shelvy Wittig (health)

Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church

Good News Brief–May 21, 2024