Sunday Sermon: ‘Baptized Into Christ’

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(audio)

Today is a very special day here at Twin Oaks. In both of our services this morning we will witness new believers following the Lord in Believer’s Baptism. Sometimes there are inaccurate views about the purpose and meaning of baptism. Some believe that water baptism is essential for salvation. The other extreme is with those who profess to know Christ, yet neglect to be baptize because they for some reason believe that baptism is unnecessary or optional.

Both of these views are non-biblical. First of all, water baptism will not save you. There is no redemptive power in water. You can enter the water as a dry sinner and come out a wet one.

On the other hand, to be baptized after you have been saved is very important because it is obedience to what our Lord has commanded.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…

Follow the early church throughout the New Testament and you will always find believers being baptized after they have been saved. We read from the book of Acts –

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized… 47 And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

The progression of steps in the early church was salvation, baptism and church membership.

Why is baptism important?

I.  Baptism – Symbol of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

A. ‘The Gospel’ – Good News

Paul says – “I declared unto you the gospel.” The word gospel means “good news.” God’s Good News is that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and on the third day He rose victorious over death and the grave and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

Scripture says that Christ did this for us. Christ died for our sins. He died for my sins and for your sins. Jesus said – John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  

B. Salvation is God’s Free Gift

Salvation and heaven are not something that we can earn. The Bible says –

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:10 There is none righteous, no, not one.

We are all sinful and therefore we cannot earn our way to heaven. In addition we read from God’s Word –

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done , but according to his mercy he saved us…

Salvation and eternal life are free gifts based solely upon God’s willingness to be merciful and gracious to us. Mercy is God withholding what we deserve. What do we deserve because of our sins? We deserve death and hell. Grace is God giving to us what we don’t deserve. What we don’t deserve is forgiveness and a home in God’s perfect heaven. Yet because God loves us, He has made a way for whosoever will believe – to be saved.

C. Salvation Comes Through Christ  

Some believe that because God is good and loving and kind, He should just sweep all of our sins under the rug and let everyone into heaven. Yet what they forget is that God is also holy and therefore by His holiness He must judge sin. Two thousand years ago, God judged sin when He crucified His Son on the cross. We read from the book of Romans –

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth (demonstrated) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

We read also from the book of 2 Corinthians –

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. NKJV

Christ, who knew no sin, became sin in the sight of God, so that we might be forgiven of all our sins and made right with God.  Another way of expressing it is that Jesus was treated as if He Himself had committed all of our sins and after salvation we are treated as if we were as sinless and pure as Christ.

A perfect example of this would be someone transferring funds from one bank account to another. Suppose you owed a debt that you could not pay. Your account said – ‘Insufficient Funds.’ But suppose also that someone else who had sufficient funds would voluntarily assume the liability of all your debt and in addition, they would have your account linked directly to their account so that you would always have sufficient funds for your every need. That would be pretty amazing wouldn’t it? That’s exactly what God has done through Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He assumed the liability of all of our sinful debt. In addition, when we receive Christ as our Savior, we are made a part of His righteousness so that we will always be seen as sinless in the sight of God.

Why would God do something like this? Let me suggest a few possible reasons –

1)    God did this because that is His nature (mercy and grace)

2)    God did this because we have been created in His image and He loves us

3)    God did this because He desires our gratitude which is expressed in love, worship and obedience

I.  Baptism – Symbol of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

II. Baptism – Symbol of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Believer

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

A. What is baptism?

The word ‘baptize’ means to immerse or submerge. It is a total engulfing. It is not a word used only in the church. Before the church began to use the word baptized, it was also used in common culture.

1. Two examples of this would be:

a. Clothing being submerged into dye in order to change its color

b. Cucumbers being submerged into a pickling solution in order to produce a pickle

2. Two major things can be seen in both of these examples:

a. The item is completely submerged into the solution

b. The item is submerged for the purpose of changing its character and conforming it to the characteristics of the solution

B. We Are Baptized into Christ

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ

Note that the believer is baptized into Jesus Christ. He is completely submerged into who Jesus is and what He has accomplished. The believer is completely engulfed with the righteousness of Jesus. The result is that he is made one with Christ. How are we made one with Christ?

1. Made One With Him in His Death

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

a. Why was Jesus crucified? Was it because He had done something evil?

ii. 1 Pet 2:22         ‘Who did no sin’

ii. Heb 7:26           ‘Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners’

iii. Heb 4:15           ‘Was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’

iv. 1 Jn 3:15           ‘In Him is no sin’

v. Jn 8:46              ‘Which of you convinceth me of sin?’

f)  Thief of the cross –

(1)  We deserve to die for our evil deeds,

(2)  But this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Lk23:31 NLT

b. Christ was crucified for our sins

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us… NKJV

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed . 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Christ died for our sins. (1 Cor 15:3)

2. Made One With Him in His Burial

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:

a. Why do we bury a body?

We bury a body because it is dead. After Jesus died on the cross the Bible says that they took His body down from the cross and placed it in a tomb. They buried His body and there His body laid for three days. The three days in the grace gave evidence that Jesus did indeed die.

b. Water baptism is a symbol of the believer being crucified with Christ signifying that the penalty of sin has been paid and the power of sin has been broken

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s – have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin

A great example of this is seen in the life of an early Christian named Augustine. As a young man, Augustine described himself as a ‘slave to his own lusts.’ He was a very wicked young man. But then the Lord gloriously saved him. One day, after his salvation experience, he met one of the immoral women he used to run with. She cried to him – ‘Augustine, Augustine, it is I.’ To which Augustine replied – ‘It is not I.’

3. Made One With Him in His Resurrection

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Christ did not remain in the grave. His body is not somewhere in a tomb today. Scripture says that on the third day Jesus walked out of that tomb signifying not only that He had power over death, but also that His Father was pleased with His sacrifice. Today Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Note again what Paul says –

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

The power and ability to live the Christian life does not come from our own effort or will power. It comes from the believer abiding in Christ and He in them. Jesus said –

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

CONCLUSION

Those following the Lord in believer’s baptism today:

1)   Have been shown from the Bible God’s way of salvation

2)   Have personally prayed to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior

3)   Willing to make their decision public today by being baptized in Christ’s name

 


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