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I Am Coming Out," Mark 1: 4--11, Pastor R. Strode

When we hear the statement that someone is "coming out," there is an assumption that it means either a confession about sexual identity or some embarrassing, sinful skeleton in the closet. "Coming out" can be a positive, public statement about who we are in Christ. When Jesus "came out" to be baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus' example teaches us to be decisive, to identify with him, to seek God's approval and to be equipped to do the work of a disciple. Our baptism is our public statement of an internal change of heart (repentance); willingness to embrace Holy Spirit guidance and a desire to do what is pleasing to the Lord (obey His commandments to love one another). We must decide that we are "coming out" to do the work that Christ has commissioned us to do which is to seek out those who are lost in sin and share the knowledge of what a life-changing difference that Christ can make in their lives. Let us be proud of who we are in Christ in good times and bad. We can testify that we have enjoyed the Lord's grace and been comforted that He was there all the time for us.

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