Baptism 18 February 2018

Today we baptize 4 people – Wendy, Sean, Stewart and Vanessa.  It is an exciting time in the life of each of them and it is an exciting time in the life of a church.

These 4 people have decided to firm up their following of Jesus. They have nailed their colours to the cross of Jesus.

The London Baptist Confession of Faith way back in 1689 made the following statement:

Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be to the person who is baptised, a sign of fellowship with Christ in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Christ; of remission of sins; and of that person giving up of himself to God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.[1]

Talking of our focus this year on spiritual growth and maturity, baptism is a step in that direction, on the journey toward Christ likeness of living and walking in the newness of life.

Colossians 2:12 when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Our old lives have been crucified with Christ; they have been put to death. When we embrace Christ in justifying faith, we put to death the old man, the old likeness, the old corrupt nature. It is dead and buried. Just as Christ came out of the tomb with a new power of life, a resurrected life, so the Christian, once he is reborn and justified by faith, is to show evidence of new life, because a new power for life has been imparted to him by the indwelling Holy Spirit.[2]

Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Baptism says that we are on the journey. We have decided whom we are going to follow. We have not made it yet – we don’t have all our ducks in a row - but we are heading in the right direction. We do not stop growing after we have been baptized but continue to head toward God and his standards. Baptism is a milestone or a marker on our journey toward Christ.

 

Jesus was released into ministry after his baptism.  Before baptism he performed no miracles, healed no sick, taught no person, he exhibited no power but all that changed after his baptism.

Baptism is the event in our spiritual life that unleashes the power that God has placed in our lives.  It is the keys to the city, so to speak. It is the keys to the family car after we have got our license.

I am excited to see what God is going to do through the lives of these 4 people who have offered their whole lives to God this day.

I do not want to speak any more but allow you guys to speak into the lives of these 4 people.

 

No longer slaves - song

 



[1] The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, 37

 

[2] R C Sproul The Gospel of God