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Put Your Whole Self In – April 28th, 2024

Dr. Rob White - April 28, 2024

Put Your Whole Self In

Baptism represents a total commitment––putting your whole self in.

Scripture References: Mark 4:1-11

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Put Your Whole Self In

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In a recent sermon delivered by Dr. Rob White of the Athens Universal Life Church, the focus was on the profound meaning and importance of baptism as a symbol of total commitment to God. Drawing on the narrative of John the Baptist and Jesus’ baptism from Mark 1:4-11, Dr. White elaborates on the symbolic act of baptism not just as a ritual for repentance and the washing away of sins, but as a deeper commitment to God.

Dr. White utilized the analogy of the well-known children’s song “The Hokey Pokey” to illustrate his point about baptism. He suggested that just as the song encourages full participation (“You put your whole self in”), baptism calls for a full immersion of oneself into a life of faith and dedication to Jesus. This act of “putting our whole selves in” signifies a rejection of half-hearted commitments and lukewarm faith, referencing Revelation 3:16 where partial commitment is admonished.

Throughout the sermon, Dr. White touches on modern life’s comforts and conveniences, drawing parallels to how, despite advancements that make life easier, true commitment and faith still require a full, sometimes challenging engagement. He argues that while life can be made less painful or more convenient, it never becomes free of challenges or the need for deep, personal commitment, especially in spiritual matters.

The sermon also recounts the story of David Livingston, a missionary who emphasized the need for staunch dedication in his work in Africa. This historical example underpins the sermon’s message that following Jesus requires more than superficial engagement—it demands profound dedication and the willingness to follow, even when there are no easy paths.

Dr. White concludes by inviting the congregation to reflect on their own levels of commitment, whether they have been baptized or are considering baptism. He emphasizes that baptism is about surrendering to God fully, allowing oneself to be led and transformed by His will, much like entering a new life of faith and commitment through a symbolic death and rebirth, as described by Paul in Romans 6:3-5.

This sermon challenges believers to reconsider their own spiritual journeys and to embrace a wholehearted commitment to their faith, ensuring that their actions align with their spiritual commitments and understanding the depth of dedication that baptism represents.

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