We are washed clean and connected to Jesus in Baptism, not by our own working, but through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
The Blessing of Baptism
Read Galatians 3:26-27
Underline: For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Write: I am in Jesus.
Read 1 Peter 3:21-22
Underline:baptism … now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Read Luke 23:39-43
Underline:And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Margin: Baptism not required to be saved
Baptism carries with it an amazing blessing: we are made into God’s special kids. When we are baptized, we are brought into God’s family through the power of Jesus. While we are still sinners, we are able to be in a relationship with God because we have “clothed ourselves with Christ” by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our baptism. Baptism really does bring the forgiveness of sins to our lives, namely the washing away of the original sin that we inherited from our parents and their parents, all the way back to Adam and Eve. While it is a tremendous blessing, those who have not been baptized but believe in Jesus can still be saved (the thief on the cross was saved despite never being baptized). However, whenever humanly possible, we should be baptized to receive all the blessings that come with it.
The Power of Baptism
Read Ephesians 5:26
Underline: having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.
Margin: Baptism works because of Word
Read Galatians 5:24
Underline: those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
Margin: I am not a slave to sin
Read Romans 8:37-39
Underline: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Margin: I am forever connected to Jesus
Baptism washes us clean not because of the water, but because of God’s Word spoken and connected to the water. God’s Word brings life, and in the case of Baptism, uses water as an additional vehicle for that life. Baptism gives us the power to overcome in our life, no longer being a slave to sin, but alive in Christ. Prior to the Spirit entering our lives, we were powerless to stop sin. Now, we are connected to God’s divine power, allowing us to choose righteous living instead of sinful through the power of God’s Spirit within us. Baptism also connects us to God in a way that can never be severed. No matter what bad things come our way, we cannot be cut off from God because we are connected to Him in Christ Jesus.
Baptism washes away our “original” sin and makes us a child of God. God loves everyone, but only those marked through Baptism are considered His children.
What is a Sacrament
A Sacrament is a sacred act of God in the lives of His people. Sacraments meet three criteria:
It is instituted by God. This means that God told us to do it in His Word.
There is a physical element (in the case of Baptism: water) and God’s Word spoken over it.
The act brings forgiveness of sins to the receiver.
Is Baptism a Sacrament?
Read Matthew 28:18-20
Write: “water” in the margin, then connect “baptizing” to it with a line.
Read Acts 2:38
Underline: Repent and be baptized … for the forgiveness of your sins
Margin: Baptism brings forgiveness
As He was preparing to leave earth for heaven, Jesus gave one final command to His disciples: to baptize others in the name of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It is considered a Sacrament because Jesus told us to do it, and He tells us that it brings the forgiveness of sins to God’s people. Baptism is a one-time event in the life of a Christian. In it, God washes away our original sin and puts His Holy Spirit in our heart. In Baptism, we become His kid. While we continue to sin on a daily basis, we only need to be baptized once. We remember our baptism on a regular basis, however, through the process of confessing our sins and asking God for His forgiveness.
Who Should Be Baptized?
Read Matthew 28:19
Circle: all nations
Margin: “Everyone”, then connect it to “all nations”
Read Luke 18:15-17
Underline: Let the children come to me
Margin: Baptize babies
Read Genesis 17:3-14
Draw a box around verses 9-14
Margin: See Colossians 2:11-14
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17
Underline: In him also you were also circumcised
Circle: buried with him in baptism
Margin: Write “Old Covenant” and underline it. Write “New Covenant” and circle it.
Jesus told the disciples to baptize all nations, which would include children. He also specifics invite children to come to Him, which they are unable to do without the Holy Spirit. Perhaps most convincingly, children were brought into a special “Covenant” relationship with God through circumcision in the Old Testament. This circumcision pointed to a greater “Covenant” relationship that was coming, and this relationship would be marked by Baptism, not circumcision.
While the Bible does not explicitly state that children should be baptized, it also does not prohibit it. We know that all people are sinful (including children) and in need of forgiveness, that children are included in the “all nations”, and that they were able to receive the benefits of circumcision without being able to act or speak on their own at 8 days old. Therefore, because God is the one acting in Baptism and not us, we are confident that He is working on the hearts of children who are baptized before they are able to confess Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Confirmation is the process of standing up to “Confirm” that the promises spoken on their behalf as children are in fact their own as well.
Special moment yesterday at church. The birth of Addison Naomi was one of the best days of our lives. The Spiritual Rebirth of Addison in Baptism is up there also. In case you missed it, here’s the Baptism:
It was extra special for us because Pastor Chuck and Sue are such good friends, so for them to do what they always do with Baptisms, but doing it to our Addison was just different. Hearing Pastor tell her that she has been marked for all time and eternity as God’s own and Sue giving her the charge to let her light shine before men, that they might see that same Father is almost overwhelming. A wonderful day!
When Sue is away from worship and I’m filling in for her in some capacity, I like to tell people that I’m playing the role of Sue that day. The best interactions usually come from Kathy and Kristina in the Kingdom Quest area.
This past weekend I got to do the Children’s Message (idea came from Sue by the way) and a Baptism. So instead of Sue, I got to charge little Nia to “let her light so shine before men that they might see her good deeds and praise her Father in heaven.” It’s fun to be up there for baptisms. I was thinking while I was up there: The next time I’m here will be with Addison. Pretty awesome to think about.
We’re now on to the Baptism. Here is the summary of our time together yesterday evening:
What is a Sacrament?
Instituted by God
Pairs God’s Word with a visible, physical element
Brings forgiveness of sins
Is Baptism a Sacrament?
Matthew 28:18-20 | Jesus instituted Baptism when he charged His disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” These words from God plus the water show Baptism meets two of the requirements above.
Acts 2:38 | Baptism brings forgiveness of sins to people. Looks like it’s a sacrament!
Who should be baptized?
Matthew 28:19 | Jesus tells us that all nations should be baptized, which we take to mean all people of all ages, not just people old enough to make a decision to follow Jesus.
Luke 18:15-17 | Jesus had a love for babies and little children, and invited them to come to Him.
Genesis 17:3-14 | God made a covenant with His people. He would be their God for all time. To participate in the covenant, all the males had to be circumcised. For babies, it was done on the 8th day. This was how you enjoyed the benefits of the Old Covenant.
Colossians 2:11-14 | Paul relates the circumcision of the Old Covenant with Baptism in the New. Baptism is greater than circumcision because all people were to be baptized, not just the Israelites and not just men. Just as babies participated in the first covenant through circumcision, so too babies participate in this New Covenant through Baptism.
Julie and Donnie Ganaway deserved to be celebrated for all that they have brought to my life. They truly have walked beside me – even from many miles away – in helping my parents raise me in the Christian faith.
What a great example of what it means to be a godparent: walking beside those we sponsor, helping to raise them to be a follower of Christ. Here are some tips to help you celebrate this important event in your child’s (or your own!) life:
Throw a baptismal birthday party. Invite the godparents, family members and other close spiritual friends to come. Consider inviting the pastor that baptized you, even if they live far away.
Find the Scripture readings from the day you were baptized and read them each year on your baptismal birthday. If you don’t have them, you might try looking at the lectionary for the day you born. (You’ll have to figure out which Sunday of the church year you were born, and then work backwards. I haven’t found a site yet that will allow you to search a historic date for the readings)
Recite your Confirmation verse. Confirmation is the reaffirming of your baptismal vows. Why not tie the two together on your Re-Birthday?
Light your baptismal candle and say a quick prayer of thanks that God has made you His own child.
Start a baptismal-day journal. Each year, write an entry about spiritual milestones in the past year and some goals for yourself for the coming year.
What else would you add to the list?
I am the husband of one and father of three. I work at First Trinity, where I help facilitate worship planning, guide our communications process and minister to Middle School students.
I also dabble in writing online and building websites.