Baptism; a Picture of a New Start
2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. NKJV
Today we are privileged to baptize two young men into our church family. We are also privileged to finish out 2006 this day and begin a new year.
Most of the time new beginnings are good. The reason is that we are for the most part optimists. We think that we could do it better if we had another chance. We know that we could have tried harder and hope that next time we will.
Baptism is a symbol of a new beginning. Unlike years, that come around every twelve months. It is not that we think that baptism is a new beginning. For baptism is only the picture not the actual thing. In this we differ from other churches. We believe that the work of the new beginning is from the power of the Holy Spirit in a persons life. And that baptism can only picture that.
I. A new creation comes first
A. The apostle says that if any man be in Christ he is a new creation old things have passed away and behold all things have become new.
1. Only in Jesus can you receive a true new start.
2. In Jesus every thing changes, especially us.
3. You are truly not the person you used to be if you are in Christ.
4. God has made you over again from the inside out.
5. Look how God changed those rough fishermen into fishers of men.
6. Look how God changed Saul the persecutor of the church into Paul the missionary of the church.
B. The Bible speaks of this as a new birth
1. Jesus said that except a man be born again he would not see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
2. Jesus defined this birth as a birth by the Spirit of God. John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. NKJV
3. The Holy Spirit of God uses the word of God to regenerate us.
4. 1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, NKJV
II. Baptism tells the story of this transition.
A. A story of the death and resurrection of our Lord
1. The apostle Paul tells us that the Gospel is the account of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
a. 1 Cor 15:1-5 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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, NKJV
2. Then Paul tells us that Baptism is a picture of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
a. Rom 6:3 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. NKJV
3. When John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness he gave us the pictorial ordnance of baptism.
4. Jesus himself submitted to that pictorial ordnance.
5. The early church, following the commandment of Jesus, perpetuated that ordinance.
6. Today, in compliance with all of above we intend to baptize these two young men.
B. A story of our own spiritual death and resurrection
1. Through faith we are accounted dead with Christ, and as God raise Him from the dead, our burial and resurrection from a watery grave signifies that we will walk a new life.
a. 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.
b. Our sins were nailed to His cross.
(1) 1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree , that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness NKJV
2. But baptism does not change us.
a. If you are not a child of God before you get into the water, you will not be one when you get out.
b. Baptism was never meant to replace personal faith in the risen Christ.
3. It is an act of obedience, a following of our Savior.
a. Jesus was himself baptized.
b. How then can we exclude ourselves from that which Jesus said, suffer it now to be so, to fulfill all righteousness. Matt 3:15
4. But the prerequisite for baptism is a death to sin and a resurrection to newness of life.
a. Some have reversed God’s design.
b. The Bible always says that after faith comes baptism.
c. Faith leads to baptism, not the other way.
d. In the same way the Lord’s Supper follows baptism to profess that Jesus died for our sins on the cross.
e. It is not that in taking the supper that we acquire Jesus’ death for us.
5. Those who have never experienced the new life in Christ are not suitable subjects for baptism.
a. Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. NKJV
(1) We are to make disciples and then baptize them, never the other way around.
(2) If you are not already a disciple of Jesus, then no amount of water can make you one.
b. Acts 8:36-39 And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" 37 Then Philip said,"If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said,"I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. NKJV
III. Baptism is a declaration of faith
A. It is a profession of our faith
1. In baptism we profess that we believe in the death burial and the resurrection of Jesus.
2. Baptism says that all which the Scripture says about him we accept as true.
3. Baptism means that not only do we believe but we trust in his saving work on the cross to enable us for heaven.
B. It is a testimony to our surrendered life.
1. Baptism is a testimony to our death to the old life.
2. Baptism is a testimony to the crucifixion of our flesh.
3. Baptism is a testimony to our resurrection to walk in newness of life.
4. Baptism is a testimony that we are no longer our own but we belong to him who purchased us with his own blood.
C. It is a declaration of a new beginning.
1. Baptism is our public profession that this is a new beginning.
2. That no longer do we follow after of the old life.
3. It is our profession that all things have now all for us to become new.