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Baptism Initiates Us Into Christ (Romans 6:3-8)

Sermon on Sunday 20 Oct 2019 by Pastor Justin

A lot of people think that if you do not go through baptism, you will not be saved. This is not true. Ephesians 2:8 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Baptism is a symbol. Baptism identifies us with our Lord Jesus Christ. It initiates us into a covenant relationship with God.

Matt 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 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.

The sequence is important:

1. Go and make disciples.

2. Baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and

3. Teach them to obey everything that he had commanded.

Only followers of Jesus Christ will be baptised. This is very clear in the scriptures. Baptism is only for people who repent, who receive the word intelligently and with gladness. 

In the book of Acts, Peter was making his first sermon. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. People listening were disturbed, and asked what they should do. Acts 2:38 - Peter replied, "repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:41 - Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Baptism is a declaration of your faith, your willingness to sin no more. It is a public declaration that you are a disciple of Christ. It is not a quiet relationship that you keep private. 

How should we be baptised?

Put on Christ. Galatians 3:27 - for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

The Greek word for baptism is "bapto". It means to immerse or cover fully in fluid. Baptism signifies a permanent change - we declare our inward conversion and our marriage to Jesus Christ. Only those dead to their old man qualify to be buried, to be covered.

In Acts chapter 8, a eunuch was baptised by Philip. Acts 8:38-39 - And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 

Mark 1:10 - As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

We emerge from the water to a new life. Water baptism should be the first step of obedience in the life of a disciple, leading on to a lifetime of obedience. The old man refers to your sin-loving nature. The old man wants to sin. You must bury the old man. He is dead. Jesus was baptised by his cousin, John the baptist. John the baptist asked why it was this way, when it should be Jesus baptising him instead. Matthew 3:15 - Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. Although John did not understand, he was obedient. Many things we do not understand, but we just need to be obedient to the Lord.  In everything, trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. The more we read the bible, the more we realise we do not know. But the more we do not know, we more we will want to know. 

Reasons are the number one enemy of faith - because human reasoning cannot grasp spiritual truths. Put away your human reasoning. If you rely on it, you cannot understand spiritual truth. Human reason makes us drift away from God. The devil wants to pull us away.

2 Corinthians 5:7 - We live by faith, not by sight. 

Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Romans 1:17 - For in the gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Obedience to God must never be delayed. Jesus Christ appeared before Paul when the latter was on his way to kill Christians. Jesus was so bright that He blinded Paul's eyes. Jesus also got Ananias to visit Paul and to lay hands on Paul to allow Paul to see again. Ananias told Paul to do all that God has commissioned him to do and to preach the gospel. 

Acts 22:16 - And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name. 

Indeed, why are you waiting?  

Romans 6:3-8 - Or do you not know that as many of us were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing 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. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. 

In the new testament, there is no ritual of sprinkling water or pouring water over someone's head. This is not God's idea of baptism. We must bury the old man. The life that I now live is for Him as He lives in me now. Jesus came to give life and life more abundantly. We have a choice - to sin or not to sin. A habitual sinner is a slave to sin because of pleasure. You must unite with Him; identify yourselves with Him. 

John 14:12 - I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 

John 14:21 - Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

You are ready. You just need to obey

5 pointers from Romans chapter 6:

1. We were baptised into Christ Jesus into His death. (Romans 6:3). 

We shall not be baptised unto any other name.

2. We were buried with Christ and we were raised from the dead with Christ. And now we walk in the newness of life in Christ. (verse 4) 

Baptism is about you being in the water, and Christ being in you. The Holy Spirit is not upon you but within you. We are able to walk in the new way of life because Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself.

3. We were united together in Christ's death, and in His resurrection. (verse 5)

4. Our old man was crucified with Him, and we are no longer salves of sin. (verse 6)

The old man refers to our sin-loving nature. It is in our mind. Flesh refers to your self-will. It is against the will of God. Self-will will be with you until you die. It is your self-gratification. So we have to be vigilant.

Analogy: The old man is like an unfaithful servant. Self-will are like thieves. The old man will open the door to the thieves for attack.

After baptism, we will have a faithful servant who will keep the door shut, never opening up for sin, bitterness, anger. Baptism is a symbol of burying our old man under water.

5. We who have died were freed from sin.

The Holy Spirit can move freely in you, guiding and teaching you. True freedom is having the power not to sin - not doing things that do not please God. 

Water baptism initiates us into Christ. It puts us in a new life, a new start with Christ. God is in your life. There is a new you.

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