Should you be Baptized?
Pastor Jacob talks about why we as Christian get Baptized. Sermon from 10/11/2020
A few announcements before we dismiss the kids to get their hearts full of God’s words from our wonderful Sunday School Teachers: except the older kids, they get the pleasure of staying to an alright Sermon about an awesome God.
We are going to be having a “Fall Clean up day” on Saturday Nov. 14th at 8am
We’ll be wiping and vacuuming and sweeping and dusting and doing all the stuff that needs to be done to get our beautiful building to be as beautiful as possible for the upcoming Holiday Season
Saturday Nov 14th at 8am
We will be doing the Operation Christmas Child this year, and were going to ask all of you to do your own individual shoe boxes, and I have flyers and tags and all the rules, so if you are interested in doing that, come see me after Service today
They will be Due by: November 8th, thats one month from today
We’ll be giving out chili dinners to the Community towards the end of Novemebr, as well as making “Meal Boxes” for families in need…..and when the time gets closer were going to be asking all of you lovely people to help out
Ill keep you all updated when the time gets closer.
Were still looking for Volunteers to help out the Sunday School team on the Last Sunday of the month.
There is a sign up sheet on the back table
Last announcement, and some of you may have gotten the text message on our prayer chain about this, my friend John *******, sitting in the back, has had his eyes opened to Christ, repented of his sins, and dedicated his life to God!
Because of this amazing, heaven celebrating, hell shaking event, we will be going up to ********** after Church today, so he can be baptized.
Any and all are welcome to come!
With that, the kids are dismissed
So today, with a Baptism happening after service, we will be talking about Baptism.
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “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. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
At this point in our verses this morning, Jesus has been crucified, dead for three days, raised back to life, and ascended into heaven.
And now we have Saint Peter talking to a huge crowd of Israelites, about this.
He’s telling them that all through the Old Testament we learned about a coming Messiah and that Messiah is Jesus Christ.
He’s telling them about the miracles
He’s telling them who Jesus is, and why it matters.
In this Chapter, Peter is basically giving the first Sermon of the Church.
He’s preaching the Gospel and telling people who Jesus is.
And then we have our verses.
The people hear it and ask------what do we do?
We as Christians preach the Gospel, we preach what is written, we show love and kindness and charity to everyone we meet, and continually point them to Jesus Christ------ and there will be some who respond in the same way that these people did.
What do we do now?
I believe! …...now what?
I see my need for Christ, my sin eats away at me, I hate it and want it gone, I need Jesus in my life, I need healing and forgiveness and direction and purpose….. I believe, now what?
And Peter comes right back with the answer:
38 Peter replied, “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.”
Repent and what?
Join a Church?
Throw away your secular music CDs?
Repent and promise to never watch an R-Rated movie?
The literal instructions, of what to do once someone declares that they now believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are given to us right here in Acts 2.
You have heard the Gospel, and now believe?
Good - now repent and be Baptized.
It’s like this because of what Baptism is.
It is the outward expression of the inward change that has happened in someone’s soul.
And this change that a person has gone through, is the most profound change that anyone in the history of humanity could ever go through.
We all can and have gone through numerous changes throughout our life:
We change jobs
We change careers
We change tastes in art and music and entertainment
We grow old and change and gain wisdom
We look back at our lives, and remember specific changes that have happened to us, and then we define those chunks of our life, based on the change that happened that brought us into that season.
That part of my life started because I got married
That part of my life started because I got divorced
That part of my life started because I got arrested or went ot college or had a child
We all experience changes that….if we let it…..the change will define who we are.
But all of that…...is nothing compared to the change that happens when God opens someone’s eyes.
The Bible tells us in numerous different places, about the kind of person we were before God saves us.
Ephesians 2 says that we were spiritually dead
Romans 6 teaches us that we were slaves to sin
Colossians 1 says that we were His enemies
Ephesians 2 again tells us that we were children of wrath, on whom His anger rested.
Over and over and over again in Scripture we see that before the Holy Spirit lives inside of our heart, we are the dead slaves of sin who are enemies of God.
We arent kind of nice people who mess up every now and then
We arent sort of holy people who just need to memorize a few verses
We arent inherently good, but because of our bad parents we have ended up as bad
No. Scripture teaches that we are dead in our sins and trespasses, and there is nothing but wrath and punishment due to us because of our sins.
Before the Holy Spirit lives inside of our heart, we are in danger. There is turmoil and pain and suffering without meaning.
A life without God, is a dangerous life that leads to nothing but death and destruction.
That is why, in 1st Peter 3:20-22 Baptism is compared to Noah’s Ark
“20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
Our life before God saved us, was comparable to the state of humanity before the flood.
There is sin that runs rampant through us, and because God is just, He will punish all sin.
He isnt going to turn His back an ignore sin
He isnt going to accommodate it
He isnt going to say------ “oh I know you where in a bad place at that time in your life, so Im just going to let it slide this time.”
No, God will punish and destroy all evil and all sin----
That is why He sent the flood-----
BUT --- Not only is God perfectly just, He is also perfectly gracious
He will forgive all who ask, without ignoring their sin, because He will lay that punishment upon His Son.
The evils I myself did in my past, the punishment they earned, has been poured out on Christ on the Cross.
Every lash of whip---
Every drop of holy blood---
Every thorn on his crown, was the punishment that we deserved, up to and including his death.
Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again on the 3rd day, and if you repent of your sins and believe in Him, it will mean that that punishment was meant for you, but He took it instead.
So when believe---
When we repent---
We are fulfilling:
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Our old self----
Was nailed to the Cross with Jesus Christ and it is no longer us who live but Christ who lives within us.
God walked the halls of a mausoleum, pulled my dead corpse from the shelf and breathed new life into it.
No longer are we slaves to our sin---
No longer are we enemies of God---
No longer are we children of wrath-------we are now Children of the most high God.
Adopted into His heavenly family forever.
And unchanging, nonreturnable transaction has taken place within our soul and we will never be the same ever again.
Will we mess up? Yes
Fall down? Yes
Make stupid choices and stupid mistakes? Yes
But will we hate those mistakes and forever bring them to Christ to ask for His help and forgiveness? Yes yes yes a thousand times yes.
The change that happens in your heart and in your soul, when you repent of your sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is the most profound and life altering choice that any human could ever experience.
But it happens inside.
Within that spiritual part of you that once was dead but is now alive.
And only God can see your heart.
So…...that is why we are baptized.
We recede beneath the water---
And then we are born again---
It is as much of a symbol of our salvation, as my wedding ring is a symbol of my marriage.
Wearing a ring doesnt make some married---
But only married people or liars wear a wedding ring
Being baptized doesnt save you---
But only saved people can be baptized.
So the question is….why does this matter.
What comes from this?
Why should we be baptized, if baptism symbolically and ceremonially represents the profound change that has happened within us?
So if you have experienced this change, from death to life, from danger eternal danger to eternal safety----
If your eyes have been opened and life has been blown into your lungs, and you're asking yourself: “Why should I be baptized?” then I have three answers for you:
First, because God told us to.
We are given a direct instruction from God, and when we live in obedience to Him, our lives take on meaning beyond this world.
When the weight of this world falls on us, and we dont think we can handle any more…..align your life with what Scripture teaches, and while that weight may not go away, you will gain hope and vision that stretched beyond anything this world can throw at you
Second, because Jesus not only told us to, but because He modeled it for us.
Jesus went symbolically to death and resurrection for us, to not only model what He was about to do literally-------but to show us the path of dying to our own ways:
dying to our own thinking---
dying to our own thoughts and opinions---
He shows us the means by which we can escape the slavery of our sin---
He shows us that old us who followed after our own lusts, can die and be left in the grave------while the new us rises born anew.
When Jesus was Baptized, He was modeling the symbol by which we can escape death for life.
Dying to our old self, and being born again
And Lastly, it is a super public proclamation.
First - Because God told us to
Second - Because Jesus was
Last - Because it is a public proclamation.
It isnt just saying yes I am a Christian now:
Yes I believe what the Bible teaches---
Yes I am someone who believes that Jesus Christ is God---
That he fulfilled numerous prophecies from the Old Testament
That he performed supernatural miracles to prove His divinity
That He was stripped naked, spat upon, beaten to a bloody pulp, nailed to a cross and left to die under the Roman Rule of Pontius Pilate--
Allllllll Because He was taking the wrath of God that I deserved and dying in place
And yes I believe that the did not remain dead, but after being in the grave for 3 days, He rose back to life, proving that death is a tool in His hands for Him to do with as He pleases
And me being baptized…...is the outward expression of all of that. It is the ring on my finger to show that I am married.
It is telling all of our friends and family, this is who I am now.
It is telling the other members of my Church, I am with you----I am here for you---will you be there for me? Cause we are in this together now.
It is telling everyone in your life, that a change at the deepest, most intimate part of your soul has occurred, and you will be forever and eternally different.
But it is far more than just a statement to your friends and family, it is a public proclamation against the evil forces in your life that have sought to hold you down and keep you from your God.
It is saying to your sin and your past:
No longer, do you have control of me---
No longer will I bend my knee----bend my will----bend my heart to that which is vile and disgusting
Do you see the water? Do you see my obedience to God?
You are going to die, and I am going to live.
You are not in charge anymore.
It is saying to all the evil forces that have come against you:
No longer will the outcome of my life be decided by you---
Get behind me satan you disgusting goat faced piece of garbage
My God is bigger than you
My God is in CONTROL of you
All the demons you send to torment me, all the sissy little baby minions that you tricked---- can by no means even approach me….unless you have permission from my God.
Watch me be baptized----
Watch me change and there is nothing you can do about it---
And finally, it is a statement …..to yourself.
It is reminding yourself of your change---
Because if 36years of life have taught me anything, its that my worst enemy is myself
When we are lowered into the water, in obedience to God:
It is saying------Yes I used to live that way
Yes I used to do those things---
Yes I used to believe the lies that were said about me that said i wasnt worth anything---
But that is not who I am anymore---
I am no longer a slave to sin----
I have died to that stuff---
I have died to my old ways---
That is not me anymore!
So, if the Holy Spirit is living in your heart----
If you believe that Jesus Christ is God---
That He died on the cross for your sins and was raised on the third day---
If you have died to your old self and have been born again---
Then tell your friends---
Tell your family---
Tell your enemy---
And be baptized.
( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )