Iglesia Ni Cristo Baptism: Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria, Bulacan, Philippines
September 7, 2019
Written by Ronnie Mutya and Jerome Comaoay
EVERY FAITHFUL MEMBER of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) treasures the day of his baptism. It was the day when he received the great gifts from the Almighty God—to become Christ’s true disciple, to be forgiven of sins, and to be blessed with the right of receiving salvation on Judgment Day (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15–16).
On September 7, 2019, these blessings were received by tens of thousands of people from all walks of life and from different nationalities when the Church Of Christ conducted a baptism at the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria, Bulacan, Philippines.
Prior to receiving the holy baptism, the candidates for baptism listened intently to the Executive Minister of the Church, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo’s preaching of God’s words. It was also witnessed through live streaming by candidates for baptism as well as brethren from more than a hundred other venues of baptism all over the world.
The baptism was held on the occasion of the 10th year of Brother Eduardo Manalo as Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ.
Indeed, it was another blessing of God to the Church. Faithful Church members firmly believe that all of these triumphs are through the goodness and greatness of God to His nation in these last days—more reasons to glorify Him!
The following are the remarks made by some of the newly-baptized members and from Church officers from different parts of the globe who were part of the blessed occasion:
“I grew up within a Catholic school, and knew only about the Catholic religion. On September 7, 2017, my co-worker sent me an article about the Church Of Christ on social media, which increased my curiosity [on the Church Of Christ]. Many months had passed and I continued to think about the Church. When I finally attended my first worship service, the doctrines taught sparked my interest. During Bible studies, I felt excited to learn more and I saw the errors of my former religion. Everything in the Church Of Christ is based on the Bible and I felt fully committed to the true faith.
“After becoming a member, I will not lose my conviction to remain within the Church. I will strive to be steadfast in my services even with all the trials I have to endure in the future. I will remain as a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo until the very end.”
“I was given a copy of The Iglesia Ni Cristo Today magazine [Pasugo: God’s Message special issue] by a co-worker who is a Church member. I found the magazine to be very informative about the Church’s beliefs and doctrines. I must say at this juncture, although I had attended an Anglican Church in the past, many of my questions were not answered. In addition, while attending a Catholic Church before, I never felt comfortable. However, the Iglesia Ni Cristo Today magazine answered many of my questions and I also felt a certain degree of comfort.
“Receiving the holy baptism was a turning point in my life because it gave me the chance to repent from my sins, renew my life, and receive the right to attain the promised salvation. I promise to remain steadfast in my membership, continue to pray and have faith in God, and always attend the worship services to listen to and obey His teachings written in the Bible. I firmly believe that in doing so, I will be able to live righteously. I will also continue to be active in the propagation works of the Church.”
“The teachings about the one true God and the right relation to Him through and by the Son [Lord Jesus Christ] are the truths that enlightened me to become a member of the Church Of Christ. It is very important for me to render my worship and services to the one true God to attain salvation.
“My sheer determination to become one of God’s children and receive the Holy Spirit is my main motivation to pursue my membership. If I am considered as a servant of God then I believe I have everything. As a member of the true Church, I am stronger than ever, stronger than when I was going through the process of joining because I am now one of God’s children.”
“After learning about the Church Of Christ from a friend and attending many gatherings in the Church, I decided to leave my former religion [Pentecostal Church]. With the Church Of Christ, my understanding was opened about the importance of entering the true Church to be saved on Judgment Day. I promise to remain committed to attending the worship services, introduce the Church Of Christ to other people, and abide by the biblical doctrines upheld by the Church. I will always remain to be in the Church and strive to bring all my family members to the Church Of Christ.”
“When I first heard God’s teaching in an evangelical mission, the minister emphasized that people should prioritize attaining salvation more than anything else in this world. Before, I was preoccupied with worldly things; that is why I worked very hard. Especially here [in Netherlands], people are very busy earning a living. Now, I have a realization that though I need to make both ends meet, I should all the more be active in my services to God and prioritize Him.
“As I attend worship services and other Church activities, it was taught to me clearly and directly delivered from the Bible that the Church Of Christ is very important in man’s life. There is only one true religion that is acknowledged by God as His and that is the Church Of Christ. I promise that despite all the trials, I will always obey all the doctrines and apply it in my daily life. Also, I am one with Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.”
“My friends who are members of the Church Of Christ introduced me into this Church. I saw how dedicated they are to their membership through their active participation in the Church activities, especially in worship services. I haven’t seen any member of other religions that are that active—only the Church Of Christ members. This got me interested to know more about this Church until I decided to join. And as I continue to attend Bible studies and worship services, I then have understood that they are very active because it is their duty to God to serve Him and they prioritize their membership above anything else.
“I prayed to God that someday I will receive my baptism. And as a full-fledged member of the Church Of Christ now, my love for the Church and my membership continue to increase. I promise to remain active in this Church until I breathe my last.”
“That day [holy baptism] was the most blessed and memorable day in my life. I am one of the fortunate to know, understand, and hear about the teachings of the Church Of Christ. Before, I was very dedicated to my former religion not knowing it wasn’t the true one. More so, now, that I belong to and am a proud member of the Church Of Christ, I promise to be active in participating in all the activities launched by the Church Administration, especially in sharing my faith so that more Africans will also receive great blessings from God.”
“Being a former evangelist in the Pentecostal Church, I can say that its teachings are completely different from those of the Church Of Christ. Whatever the Church Of Christ members do, whatever they say, are based on the Bible.
“One of the teachings the Iglesia Ni Cristo upholds that drew my attention was the pristine teaching of the Bible that there is only one God—the Father, the Creator. This is taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to the Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to receive the holy baptism inside the true Church which allows me to become a true Christian and receive the great hope of receiving salvation on Judgment Day.”
“Hindi po ako titigil sa pag-aakay sapagkat ito po ay aking tungkulin bilang isang kaanib ng Iglesia Ni Cristo. Sumasampalataya po ako na ang Panginoong Diyos ang tumatawag sa mga magbabalik-loob sa Kaniya. Ang kailangan nating gawin ay magawa ang utos na maipalaganap ang mga salita Niya at gawin ang bahagi natin bilang Kaniyang mga lingkod. Kung paanong kinahabagan ako ng Panginoong Diyos na mapabilang sa Kaniyang bayan ay pagsisikapan ko rin na masunod ang utos Niya na tumulong sa pinaigting na gawaing pagpapalaganap na pinangungunahan ng Pamamahala.”
[I will not stop inviting people to listen to God’s words because it is my duty as a member of the Church Of Christ. I firmly believe that the Lord God is the One Who calls people to return to Him. What we must do on our part as His servants is to fulfill His command to let His words be known to all. I will strive to unite with the Church Administration in obeying God’s commandment to help in the intensified works of propagation so that more people will receive God’s grace of being called into His nation the same way that I did.]
“Humihingi ako ng tulong sa Ama na gabayan Niya ako sa tuwing ako ay nag-aanyaya ng mga taong makikinig sa mga aral ng Diyos na itinuturo sa Iglesia. Sa bawat lakad ko sa pagmimisyon ay positibo akong ipasusumpong sa akin ang taong maisasama sa mga gawain at pagsamba. Kahit may mga kahadlangan sa pagmimisyon, sinisikap kong makipagkaisa sa pinaigting na gawaing pagpapalaganap dahil nais kong makapagbigay ng kaluguran sa Ama. Nais kong maging katuwang ng Pamamahala sa gawaing pagpapalaganap—dahil sa aking pakikipagkaisa, naipadarama ko sa Diyos ang aking pagmamahal.
“Hindi ko ititigil ang gawaing pagbubunga dahil ito po ay aral ng Diyos. Bilang isang kaanib ng Iglesia Ni Cristo, tungkulin kong ipag-anyaya at ibalita ang kahalagahan ng tunay na Iglesia upang marami pa ang makaalam na nasa Iglesia Ni Cristo lamang ang tunay na kaligtasan.”
[I always ask our Lord God to help and guide me everytime I invite people to listen to His words. I am optimistic that every time I go out to invite people to attend Bible studies and worship services, our Lord God will lead me to those whom I may bring with me. Even if there are hindrances, I strive to take part in the intensified works of propagation because I want to glorify the Father. I want to be of help to the Church Administration, because by being united with the Executive Minister, I can express how much I love God. I will not stop participating in the works of propagation for this is God’s command. As a member of the Church Of Christ, it is my duty to make the importance of the true Church known so that more people may understand that salvation is found only in the Church Of Christ.]
“I always lead my family in attending every propagational activity so as to be an example to the brethren under my care, so that all of us will be united with the Church Administration in intensifying the work of propagation. I share my faith by distributing incmedia.org cards, INC pamphlets, Pasugo: God’s Message magazines, and also by inviting people to evangelical missions, Bible studies, and worship services. Age and status in life are not hindrances in propagating God’s truth. As in my case, I am now 78 years old and still I actively help in the work of propagation. I promise to God to continue bearing fruits of righteousness till the last moment of my life.”
“Ang isa sa mga nag-uudyok sa akin para tumulong sa gawaing pagpapalaganap ay ang nakikita kong pagsisikap ng Pamamahala na maglunsad ng iba’t ibang mga aktibidad para maipakilala at mailapit ang Iglesia Ni Cristo sa tao. Halimbawa na lamang ay ang pamamahayag sa bawat barangay, paglingap, at medical mission at marami pang iba. Kailangan nating tularan ang kasipagan ng ating Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan, ang Kapatid na Eduardo V. Manalo, upang marami pa ang makapakinig ng aral ng ating Panginoong Diyos at makasama natin sa tamang paglilingkod. Kaya, tumutulong din ako sa pagmimisyon sa aking mga katrabaho. Inaanyayahan ko sila sa mga pamahahayag at pagsamba.
“Hindi po dapat itigil ang pagtulong sa gawaing pagpapalaganap dahil sa alam nating lahat na nalalapit na ang Araw ng Paghuhukom at mayroon pa tayong mga kamag-anak, kapamilya, at kaibigan na wala pa sa Iglesia Ni Cristo.”
[One of my motivations to help is the effort of the Executive Minister in launching different activities to let the Church Of Christ be known and brought closer to more people. Some of those are the evangelical missions held in every barangay or village, Aid to Humanity, and medical missions among others. As the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, remains zealous in letting God’s commands be known to more people and have them with us in the proper service of the Lord God, we must not allow ourselves to be left behind. So, I continue to help in inviting my co-workers to attend Bible studies. I also invite them to attend evangelical missions and worship services. We must not stop helping in propagational works especially now that Judgment Day is truly near and we still have loved ones, relatives, and friends who are not yet members of the Church Of Christ.]