16 Sep Sun. Msg. – Romans 6:1-11, Be Baptised
- Reference: Romans 6:1-11
- Date: 16 September 2012
INTRODUCTION • Read Matthew 28:18-20
1. Taking a quick break from our study in Hebrews to consider baptism.
2. ___ have signed up to be baptized this afternoon.
3. I thought it would be good to take some time this morning for all of us to consider what’s going to happen when we gather at 3 PM at the beach.
1. CC church services are what’s called “primitive.” Doesn’t mean they’re ‘backward;’ means simple, organic.
2. As opposed to High Church or Liturgical where there’s much more ritual.
a. A liturgical church service has a standard order of service where everyone sits. Stands, or kneels at the same time.
b. There’s a highly structured order of service that rarely varies.
c. All of the churches belonging to that denomination follow the same calendar & all read out of the same book. The prayers are written down and recited in every church on the same day and the message given in every pulpit is virtually identical.
3. At CC, while we usually do follow a routine for the service, we don’t believe it’s special or has to be done that way.
a. We just follow that schedule so we start & end on time. We have 3 services & need to make sure people have enough time to park, put their children in class, & get in here.
b. But there’s nothing sacred or untouchable in that schedule.
c. So we DO occasionally mix it up. We’ll worship or take communion at the end of service. Most Sundays we stand & read before the message. Some we don’t.
4. We also don’t have much in the way of rituals; special actions we perform that have a clear religious connection.
a. There are really only 2 sacraments, as we call them, that we practice: Communion & Baptism.
b. We’re going to take a look at just Baptism today.
5. We begin with the roots of Christian baptism – which come to us from Judaism.
6. We see it in that interesting guy named John the Baptizer – as cousin of Jesus’
Jewish Baptism • Mark 1:4–8
4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
1. John didn’t invent baptism. It was something the Jews already did. But it wasn’t Jews who were baptized; it was for Gentiles who wanted to BECOME Jews. It was a mark of conversion.
2. Not a few Gentiles grew weary of paganism & were attracted to the God of Israel.
a. They attended the synagogue and grew in their faith & many came to the place where they said they wanted to become a Jew.
b. There was an elaborate process they had to go thru.
c. They made an oath to obey the Law of Moses, brought a sacrifice to the temple, a man would be circumcised, then in a special ceremony they would be baptized as a symbol that they were putting away their old identity as a Gentile & were emerging into a new identity as a Jew.
d. They would then forever renounce their old name and would be given a new one that would be spoken over them as they emerged from being immersed in the water.
e. It was a picture of all they were before being washed away & they now had a new life.
f. These baptism were community events as other Jews gathered round and welcomed the new convert into the nation & covenant people of Israel.
3. John’s baptism was a bit of a scandal because it wasn’t Gentiles he was calling to baptism; it was Jews!
a. By doing so, he was saying they were no better than Gentiles and needed to be converted.
b. This deeply offended the nationalistic & religious pride of many of the elite.
c. But the Gospel tell us the common people came to him in great numbers because they knew what John was saying was true.
d. The Jewish religion had degenerated to little more than a dry, dull form; a set of mindless rituals.
e. They knew they’d wandered far from God and heard in John’s message God voice calling them back – just like the prophets of old they honored so greatly.
4. So – out they came out to where John was at the Jordan River by the thousands to publicly acknowledge their need of forgiveness & desire to return to God.
5. Jesus began His ministry by joining the crowds being baptized by John.
a. When John saw Him waiting to be dunked, he balked.
b. Because Jesus was w/o sin, there was no need for Him to be baptized. If anything,m John ought to be on the receiving end of being baptized by Jesus.
c. But Jesus told John do go ahead and baptize Him. Jesus came to identify w/us completely. Utterly & totally. And since baptism was a good thing – Jesus would partake of it.
6. A short time later, Jesus had his disciples also baptize people coming to Him.
a. In doing so, Jesus endorsed John’s ministry & baptism.
b. But baptism took on an important new dimension w/Jesus’ death & resurrection.
c. Jewish baptism before Jesus was about the remission or putting away of sin.
d. Christian baptism includes that but adds what Jesus’ resurrection makes possible, a New Life.
7. Here’s how the Apostle Paul explains it in Romans 6 . . .
Christian Baptism • Romans 6:1-11
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
1. Baptism is the Gospel re-enacted. // And what Paul says here reminds us it’s all about Jesus!
a. Baptism points us to Jesus; to His life, death & resurrection
b. When He died, He died FOR US. // Our faith IN HIM, literally unites us to Him so that what we were before we believed in Him died when He died.
c. Understand this: God reckons it that, IF YOU believe in Jesus, when He died on the cross, YOU died too.
d. That is, the you that was already spiritually dead in trespasses & sins. The you taken from Fallen Adam & Eve.
2. The proof Jesus really died is that He was buried. Paul says here in v. 4 our going under the water in baptism links us to when Jesus was put into the tomb.
3. But Jesus didn’t stay there. Death could not hold Him. Having fully satisfied the righteous judgment of God for our sins, He rose again form the dead and came out of the tomb to live forever more.
4. So in the same way, the baptized believer is lifted out of the water, identifying w/the fact that they now have a new & eternal life thru abiding faith IN JESUS.
5. Don’t miss that all of this is ABOUT JESUS! It points us to Him.
6. Think of baptism like this; it’s a shadow.
a. We go outside where the sun is bright & you extend your hand. It casts a shadow on the ground or wall.
b. That shadow derived from your hand. It’s a symbol that points to something else.
c. Baptism is a shadow, a symbol of Jesus death & resurrection.
d. Like the light on the hand that casts the shadow, God’s grace casts the meaning of the Cross on us & moves us to a faith that expresses itself in baptism.
7. So when we go under the water we’re saying we believe Jesus died for us; to pay for our sin.
8. Then we come out of the water expressing our belief Jesus rose from the dead, and by doing so, lives forever w/the power to give us a new life – a new identity derived from Him.
9. Remember I said a moment ago when Gentiles were baptized they came out of the water to hear a new name given to them? In Rev. 2:17, one of the promises for believers in heaven is that God gives them a new name. It’s the name He already knows us by, but we won’t know till we arrive in glory.
10. The main point of these vs in Romans 6 is that in baptism we identify w/Jesus.
a. He identified w/us by becoming human, living 30-something years, being baptized & going to the cross.
b. So we identify w/His death & resurrection thru baptism.
11. And notice how Paul makes this inclusive –
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
12. The English lacks the emphasis the original puts on believers as a group, a tight-knit community.
a. The repentance linked to our identity w/Jesus’ death is specific & individual to each of us.
b. But if you’ve really been born again, I understand the conviction of sin you’ve felt; & you know mine.
c. And THAT forges an incredible bond between us.
d. We may be different colors, ages, speak different languages, have widely different interests – but that each of us has been shown by God our desperate need of Jesus trumps all the things that make us different.
e. ThenàBecause we all believe Jesus rose from the dead & His Spirit now lives in us – we SHARE His life.
13. So Christians have been celebrating baptism as a public & community event for 2000 years.
a. Jesus followers of every denomination & stripe.
b. When we go out to the beach today, we are renewing something the church has always done.
c. There have been many places, locales, settings where people get baptized.
d. But it all means the same thing – Jesus died & rose again for us!
14. There’s more . . .
5For if [since] we have been united together in the likeness of His death [by baptism], certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
15. Jesus’ resurrection FIRST gives us spiritual life so that we have a new identity in Him right now.
16. But à That’s not the end of it; only the beginning. Just as Jesus rose from the dead & ascended into heaven, so our bodies will also be resurrected & transformed in the same way His was.
a. Jesus didn’t just rise spiritually from the tomb.
b. His body wasn’t left behind; it was transformed in a glorious spiritual body.
c. Our resurrection will be like His. Paul describes this great event in 1 Thess 4.
17. He ends –
11Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
18. Paul began by reminding them what their baptism meant; what it symbolized.
19. He concludes by calling them to go on living in light of it.
a. Baptism isn’t a magic ritual that ushers someone into a permanent place of special favor w/God.
b. All of you who are being baptized today – we’re totally stoked for & w/you.
c. But don’t think that just because you get wet, your name gets inked in some special book that leads to all kinds of special privileges.
d. No! Baptism doesn’t save. It’s something Jesus calls those already saved to do as a way to mark what the HS has already done. // Baptism doesn’t save – JESUS SAVES! / If Jesus has saved you – get baptized.
20. Does wearing this ring MAKE me married? / If I’m married, should I wear this ring?
21. Did Jesus save you? Get baptized! = [Didn’t sign up – Okay, come on out today.]
Questions About Baptism
1. Probably a good idea to address some of the most common questions people have about baptism.
WHY Get Baptized?
1. Because as we saw in Matt 28, after Jesus rose from the dead, His last words to His followers was to make disciples & that begins by baptizing them.
2. In Matt. 10 Jesus said –
“Whoever confesses Me before men [publicly], him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
3. Baptism was the way early Christians made this public announcement of their faith.
4. The early church didn’t do altar calls, have people raise their hand, or pray the Sinners prayer.
5. In Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost when Peter had finished his first sermon to a crowd of thousands, they were deeply convicted & asked him what to do.
a. Peter replied, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus.”
6. So, we baptize because Jesus said to. It’s your way to say you’re on Team Jesus.
WHO Should be Baptized?
1. That’s easy: Anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior & Lord.
2. But this is where it gets contentious because there are lots of churches who believe in infant baptism.
3. While there have been some really elaborate arguments made for infant baptism, the simple fact is – Nowhere in the Bible do we find the call to infant baptism or that babies were baptized.
4. In scripture, baptism is always something a person who believes in Jesus does.
Why it’s called Believers baptism.
5. It’s a parent’s faith that baptizes an infant, not that infant’s faith.
6. But since baptism doesn’t save, what really does it do for an infant?
7. At best it’s a hope when that child matures he/she will come to THEIR own faith in Jesus & walk w/Him.
8. So, if you were baptized as a baby but have now come to your OWN faith in Jesus, make it your own baptism; not your parent’s decision for you.
HOW Do We Baptize?
1. Again, we look to the Word of God. The Greek word for baptism means to immerse.
2. It’s not sprinkling, nor pouring. It’s dunking.
3. John the Baptist baptized at the Jordan the Gospel tell us specifically because there was plenty of water there.
a. The Jordan was on the edge of the wilderness – so that the people had to go OUT to be baptized.
b. If sprinkling had been good enough John could have set up next to Jerusalem or some other big city.
c. When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, it says He came up out of the water. Clearly, John had dunked him.
4. A Baptist & Lutheran were debating baptism. Baptists believe in full-immersion while Lutherans sprinkle.
The Lutheran asked, “Can I just go into the water up to my ankles?” No.
Knees? Waist? Chest? – Have to go to top of head? Okay, it’s the top of the head that counts; that’s what we sprinkle.”
Many Baptist churches have a baptistery in their church. Pastor will wear waders.
Flipping thru a church supplies catalog – “Baptist Baptismal Wear” = Big waders.
Next to it, “Methodist Baptismal wear” = Pair of rubber gloves.
5. Baptism by sprinkling began when infant baptism started, for obvious reasons.
a. Immersing a baby wouldn’t be baptism; it would be murder.
6. Keep in mind what baptism is; a re-enactment of the Gospel. It’s how we identify w/Jesus in His death & resurrection. Only immersion captures that. Sprinkling just doesn’t do it.
1. Baptism is a powerful way for the follower of Jesus to give public expression to their faith in Jesus.
2. We like to do our baptisms at CC in public – why we go to the beach.
3. Those being baptized announce their faith in & identification w/Jesus.
4. They announce their faith to God.
They say, “Lord, I believe in YOU, that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead for my justification and new life.”
5. They announce their faith to the Church.
They say, “I’m now one of you! Receive me as one of your own.”
6. They announce their faith to the World.
They proclaim, “I now desire to be numbered as one of the Redeemed, a member of the Body & Bride of Christ.”
7. They serve notice on the Devil.
“What you had a claim on in me is now dead & gone for I am a new creature in Christ, on whom you have no claim! You and I are now at war, & while I know you will never give up till Jesus puts you down once & for all, I too will never give up or give in in cutting off your influence both in my life & the lives of those around me.”
8. Finally, in baptism we say to Ourselves –
“Self! Remember this day, for on this day my faith gave form to an act of specific obedience to Jesus.”