Based on Biblical Text Acts 2:40-41 KJV
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand were added to them.
As the people heard the Word the Bible says they were “cut to the heart” and asked Peter and the rest of the disciples, “What shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
Baptism is one of the things in the church that most everyone is familiar with; we’ve heard the word, we’ve seen it done, we know that it is an important part of the Christian experience. When we baptize, the water represents cleansing of sin. It is a visual representation that all of our sin, regardless of how vile and filthy it may have been, regardless of how unclean and unworthy we feel we are in the eyes of God, that sin has been completely washed away through the blood of Christ and we have been cleansed of all unrighteousness. When we baptize, we declare that we are baptizing that person in the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. What we are saying here, is we are baptizing that person “into” the name of God. When we enter into covenant relationship with God, His name becomes our identity. In other words we are His.
The Bible tells us that baptism is the act or event where one begins a new life-style with Christ Jesus being the center of their life. It is doing away with one’s old nature and beginning a new spiritual life in Christ. Just about every month we perform the sacrament of baptism. It is important that we take a moment to teach what the Word instructs us to know, believe, and live about this most important symbol of our salvation.
We baptize because Jesus commanded all who would follow Him must be baptized with water and the Holy Spirit. “None can enter into the kingdom of God except he be regenerated and born anew of water and the Holy Spirit.” Our “Commission” is to “make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” It is important to note that failure to be baptized does not condemn someone. As we are reminded in Mark 16:15-16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” The failure to believe brings us into condemnation by God.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says to us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Salvation does not come by the actions of man, including the act of being baptized by water. Our actions are to reflect our salvation. That is why baptism is a symbol of salvation, not a means of being saved.
We are saved by God’s grace through the faith we have in Him. Three dimensions of God’s grace that are at work in the world at all times include prevenient, saving and sanctifying grace. To understand a little more clearly let us take closer look at each.
Prevenient grace protects, provides and guides us until such time as we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. We baptize infants and children because we believe the grace of God is also available to the lives of infants and children. Matthew 19:13-15 tells how persons brought their children to Jesus “for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed His hands on them, He went on from there.”
God’s keeps us as His grace saves us. The parents of infants and children who are being baptized are admonished to read and encourage their child to read the Holy Scriptures, learn the Lord’s Prayer, the ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed, the Catechism, and all other things a Christian out to know and believe. They have a special responsibility to insure that the child’s life is so ordered that he or she is place on path towards a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Saving grace brings us into a saving relationship with the Son of God. This grace is available to every living being. It is the sanctifying grace that transforms us so that what we do conforms to our new position in Christ and we live the abundant life that Christ came that we might have.
We are saved by God’s grace through the faith we have in Him. Baptism involves the use of water, which is the “outward sign” denoting an “inward spiritual change” to a new life in Christ Jesus.
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, October 27, 2013, is the Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost.
Join our Worship Experience at 8:00 am and 11:00 am.
Church School begins at 9:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Texts Ephesians 2:8-10
Sermon Title Recalled and Reworked