Believe. Belong. Become.

10537812_10204551614214135_2034924838333151875_nI preached this sermon on the occasion of the GGCF Bacolod 1st Anniversary and Baptism at the clubhouse of Forest Hills Subd., Alijis, Bacolod, last April 12, 2015.

I’m so glad to be here with you all on the first anniversary of GGCF Bacolod. I rejoice every time I hear about the work of the Lord in your lives. We have been praying to start a church here in Bacolod for many years now. When I told the IBCP Board of Trustees of our plan to start a church in 2014, all of them unanimously supported the idea. Another good sign was when I met Pastor Dan again in 2013, after many years of being out of touch with each other. When he told me that he is willing to work with GGCF and plant a new church in Bacolod, I knew that the Spirit was moving.

I’d like to thank our pastors and movers who worked hard to prepare for this anniversary. Heartfelt thanks also to the pastors’ wives. I do believe that behind the great work of men are women. Thank you for supporting your husbands in the ministry of the gospel.

I regret to announce that Atty. Yoyoy Galicia cannot join us today. His father, Pastor Emmanuel Galicia Sr., suffered a stroke. There is bleeding of blood in his brain. Atty. Yoy has already bought a plane ticket about three months ago. But he decided to stay with his ailing father at this critical time. It falls on me now to preach the Word to you today.

Our GGCF theme for 2014-2015 is “believebelongbecome.” It uses three action verbs—believe, belong, and become. It describes the actions of followers of Christ. The first action is belief in Christ. The second is belonging to the body of Christ. The third action is becoming a follower of Christ. We see these three acts in the first church in Acts 2.

Believe To become a follower of Christ, you must first believe in Christ. You must trust Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. In Acts 2, we see that belief in Christ involves four things—(1) repentance, (2) rite of baptism, (3) remission of sins, and (4) reception of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:37-38 reads, 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

First, belief in Christ requires repentance. The word, “repent” is from the Greek word, metanoeo, which means, “lit. change one’s mind.’” (Gingrich) To repent is to change your mind about sin and God. In the OT, repentance is turning from sin and turning to God. Note that those who repented were also those who believed. “And all who believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44) They repented their sin. They believed in Christ. In Acts 16, the jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Always in Luke-Acts, repentance and faith go together. One must repent his sin and believe in Christ to be saved.

Have you repented your sin and trusted in Christ as your Savior and Lord? To believe in Christ is to repent your sin and trust Christ as your Lord and Savior.

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