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  • After spending the last couple of weeks looking at the physical traditions of head coverings (2 weeks ago) and communion (last week)…both of those from 1 Corinthians 11
    This morning we are going to look at another…deep Spirit truth…with an associated physical tradition…a physical act…the immersion of believers in the waters of baptism and the profound meaning and power of baptism.
    I want us to see and understand that the baptism of all followers of Jesus…has great meaning…importance because of that meaning…and great Spiritual power…again seen in a physical act…
    Not only are we talking about baptism because of its physical nature…like head coverings and communion…but also…because this Wednesday we ill be baptising at leas one of us…and my hope and prayer is that if there are any among us who have not been baptised IN FATIH…by immersion…that you also would come Wednesday night…ready to be baptised as well...
    And if any hear the gospel and believe upon Jesus IN FAITH today…that you also would join us and proclaim your faith in Jesus…through the physical act of baptism…which I hope to show you today…has great meaning and Spiritual power!
    In the tradition of head coverings we saw that God is helping us remember and celebrate the truth of Creation order and headship…and that in that tradition we also see it is much more than physical…that even the angels are watching to see our obedience to God in this physical act...
    1 Corinthians 11:10 ESV
    That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
    In the tradition of communion we saw that God is helping us remember and proclaim the death of Christ…and in that physical act we saw that there is a connection between the spiritual reality and the physical eating of bread and taking of cup…that is tied to our physical bodies…we saw that there can be a physical outcome to disobedience or improper practicing of communion…with Paul telling us...
    1 Corinthians 11:29–30 ESV
    For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
    Now in baptism we will see a powerful picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the miracle that God works in a person’s life when they repent and believe upon Jesus for salvation…and what then happens to them in conversion.
    We will get to our text in Romans 6 in a few minutes but first...
    This will be me starting with giving you an overview from the Word of God...
    I will show you some texts about baptism and we will pull out the most obvious truth from them…then put it all together using Romans 6:1-4…to show...
    7 comprehensive truths about baptism...
    First…let us see the example of Jesus…may we see a Spiritual truth and an example for all followers of Jesus…in the baptism of Jesus!
    SLIDE
    Matthew 3:13–17 ESV
    Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
    Oh the glory of the baptism of our Lord and Savior…there is obviously so much to see here…but for today...
    See that Jesus was baptised in the Jordan…went into the water and came up out of the water…and when He did…the Spirit descended on Him...
    Physical act…Spiritual truth…example to follow...
    Then when we get to the first sermon in the Bible by one of Jesus followers (Peter) after the ascension of Jesus…in Acts 2...
    What happens…Peter preaches…the gospel proclaimed…from the Word of God...
    And many hear the gospel and respond…how?
    SLIDE
    Acts 2:37–38 ESV
    Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized 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.
    So not only as a way to follow the example of Jesus…now baptism is given a deeper meaning for all followers of Jesus...
    Baptism…the physical act of being immersed in water…is to be a response of all who turn from their sin and put their faith in Jesus...
    And again we see a deep Spiritual connection to a physical act...
    Repent and be baptised…for the forgiveness of your sins…AND…you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!
    Wow...
    This same Peter in 1 Peter chapter 3…helps us build on this with more of the deep Spiritual truth that this physical act portrays...
    1 Peter 3:18–22 ESV
    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
    Jesus was put to death…once for the sins of all whom He came to save…and Jesus was made alive in the Spirit...
    And like the ark of Noah…saving only 8 from the judgement of God…out of the water...
    Like this…baptism…saves you in a corresponding way…not only physically cleansing you from sin but…internally as you appeal to God to save you by faith…you come out of that water a new creation…because Jesus was resurrected from the dead and came out of the tomb...
    Then we get an example and some deep truth from the Apostle Paul...
    He is teaching some believers who had received incomplete teaching on salvation…and baptism...
    SLIDE
    Acts 19:2–4 ESV
    And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”
    So note…they had been baptised…but not in faith…in Jesus…and so a Spiritual truth is also missing…so what do they do?
    SLIDE
    Acts 19:5 ESV
    On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    Paul in Colossians relates the NT act of baptism to the OT physical act of circumcision...
    SLIDE
    Colossians 2:11–15 ESV
    In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
    You in baptism…your old self full of sin…through your repentance…that old self has been buried with Jesus…those sins…nailed to the cross...
    God has now…through you faith…as you rise out of the water of baptism…you are made alive in Jesus…forgiven…your debt cancelled…demons put to shame…and you raised to life in Christ!
    Saved by faith…alone…in Christ alone…both of those truths…displayed in your baptism!
    So now what? How do we then live?
    Our text for this morning...
    SLIDE
    Romans 6:1–4 ESV
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
    Again…there is much here…but for the purposes of this morning…a deep Spiritual truth…one that cancels many a false gospel…as seen in a physical act…baptism...
    In chapters 1-5 of Romans, Paul has explained the gospel truth of justification by faith alone.
    Romans 3:28 ESV
    For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
    Justified by faith…apart from works of the law…no single work…no special prayer…no one time act…no priest…no denomination…no nothing…nothing at all except true faith in the One True Savior…only faith in Jesus can justify you...
    If you are saved…if you are truly a follower of Jesus…then you are in right relationship with God...
    Your sins are forgiven…and forgotten…and paid for…nailed to the cross…not because God will look at you at your judgement day and say…well done…good job that one time you came up with your own strength and did that one thing....or said that one thing…good work....
    No…if you are justified…and therefore saved…it is because you have been saved by Jesus…the righteous one…and your by faith (which is a gift of God)…by faith you have put your trust in Jesus…and by faith then you are justified...
    What does it mean to be justified…it means that you as a sinner desrve to be sentenced to eternal death in Hell…that would be just…of God to do that…but Jesus stood in your place…paid for all of your sin debt…so at the last day…you will be declared…not guilty…not by your blood…but by His!
    And so now a question should come to our minds…OK…so if I am now by faith good with God…and my works did not save me…then I can live however I want, right?! I can keep on sinning, because grace will abound! Romans 5 20 “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,”
    Since justification is by faith alone, and since grace abounds where sin abounds, then why don’t we just continue to sin so that grace can continue to abound? That’s the question that Paul is addressing in Romans 6...
    Romans 6:1 ESV
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
    Or…how shall we then live given justification by faith alone...
    And in much of the American church today…the answer is…as long as you say you beleive in Jesus…you can live pretty much how you want…don’t do the really bad sins…whatever those happen to be today…and clebrate easter adn crhsitmas asnd stuff…and then you are fine...
    And that is called nominalism…faith by name only…called a christin…but not really one...
    And so how does Paul answer this question…and what does it have to do with baptism?
    What is Paul about to tell us?
    Well he is about to crush any easy belevism kind of faith…he will now crush any form of false christianity that says...
    If you made that commitment in your heart, if you professed faith, if you said the prayer, if you signed the card, if you walked down an aisle, if you were baptized, if you are a certain denomination then your salvation is sure.
    That is a demonic twisting of the glorious truth the Jesus saves! Again like the lies of the devil to eve saying…you can do it your way…and then you will know the truth and be like God...
    And in answering this question...
    The HS through Paul directs our attention to the physical act of baptism...since baptism is a clear picture of the answer. And the deep underlying Spritual truth!
    So what are the gospel truths of baptism...
    Allow me to show you 7 deep truths about baptism…using the texts I have shown you today…and the rest of Romans 6…verses 2-4...
    7 deep truths about baptism:
    7 obvious things to see...
    1. Baptism...baptizo (gk.)- means immerse
    As we consider these 7 truths about baptism…the first thing we must look at…is the mode of baptism…how do we as Bible believing followers of Jesus baptise?
    The Greek word baptizō means “to plunge, dip, immerse.”
    We see this in the biblical descriptions...
    In Mark 1:5 it describes those who were going out to John the Baptist, and it says they “were being baptized by him IN the river Jordan, confessing their sins.”
    It doesn’t say anything about sprinkling water or pouring water, but they were immersed IN the river Jordan.
    Remember in as we read in Jesus’ baptism…He said to John…I need to be Baptizo…immersed by you…and then
    Matthew 3:16 (ESV)
    And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water
    Immersed and came up from…He came up OUT OF the water, implying that He had been immersed IN the water.
    When Philip baptized the Ethiopian in Acts 8. In Acts 8:36, the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” Then the next verse says, “they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized (immersed…plunged) him. And when they came UP OUT of the water...
    If they thought sprinkling or pouring would be enough, they wouldn’t have needed a body of water.
    How about where John the baptist…btw his name means john the immerser…or John the plunger…that is fun...
    But look with me at...
    John 3:23 ESV
    John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized
    Immersed…John went to places where he could immerse people in plentiful water...
    So truth #1...
    Baptism by immersion is consistent with the meaning of the word…baptize…and how it was practiced in the NT...
    Truth #2...
    2. Baptism by immersion tells a truth that immersion in water can only tell.
    As we look now for the third week in a row at a physical tradition of the faith with a deep spiritual meaning…I hope you see that the way in which we practice these traditions is of the utmost importance…the way we practice them not only is in obedience to the Word of God…the way we practice them is to visibly tell a truth…to help us remember a truth…to help us pass that truth down to generations…and to celebrate that truth!
    Like in head coverings…the cloth coming down from the top of a woman’s head to tell the truth of headship…creation order…ultimately pointing to the goodness of God in creating us male and female…and the glory in our obedience to of that truth…as we have dominion on this earth!
    So if we change the practice…can we tell the same truth?
    Like in communion…in the words of Jesus…given to Paul. 1 Cor 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
    Again if we change the practice…can we tell the same truth?
    And now for baptism…the way we are to practice it must tell the deep truth that baptism displays...
    Remember in Romans 6:1 Paul had asked...
    SLIDE
    Romans 6:1 ESV
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
    Look at his answer to us...
    SLIDE
    Romans 6:2–4 ESV
    By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
    We saw this also in Colossians 2...
    In our repentance…we turn from sin…and by the Spirit die to sin!
    Romans 8:12–14 ESV
    So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    So here in baptism…all of us who have been baptized into Christ…we baptized into His death!
    Wow…whoa…let that sink in!
    This does not mean that at our baptism we become perfect and sinless on the outside…but it does mean that we are perfected in Christ once and for all and therefore will be being perfected by the Spirit in our lives from that point forward…why? Look at baptism...
    Christ died for sin, once for all, and we have been united to Christ in a death like his, and therefore we have died to sin.
    Romans 6:2 ESV
    By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
    then...
    Romans 6:5 ESV
    For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
    If you are in Christ…sin is not your master any longer...
    In Jesus we have victory over sin...sin no longer has dominion over us.
    If you look down to verse 14...
    Romans 6:14 ESV
    For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
    When we repent and put our faith in Christ...we have a new ruler, a new master, new Lord, new life, new desires.
    When we trust in Jesus…He tears out our sinful heart…gives us a new heart…
    Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
    And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    New flesh..new heart...
    We will still sin, but now we will struggle against sin, because will hate it…since by grace we have been given a new heart and new eyes to see Jesus as better than sin...
    Because we have died to sin and have new life in Jesus Christ.
    And this is what baptism is about. This is the truth that baptism is to show physically.
    Romans 6:3 ESV
    Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
    SLIDE
    Christ who had no sin...died for our sin…so that we with sin…would die to our sin!
    REPEAT 2 times...
    so...
    Romans 6:4 ESV
    We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
    So being put under the water…is our death to sin because of the death of Christ...
    And then as we a pulled out of the water...
    Notice that like in communion…Paul tells us of the power of the death of Christ for us who believe…oh the power of the cross…but why?
    Because the cross is empty…and not because Jesus is still buried in the tomb…but because the tomb is also empty!
    Jesus was really dead because of our sin. He killed on a cross and buried in a tomb. Baptism signifies His death and burial.
    And even though we were walking around before we were saved…we were dead...
    Ephesians 2:1 ESV
    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
    And the plunging of our bodies is to show that we know we were dead in sin…and to show that we IN FAITH desire to be washed of our sin!
    And that is only half the story...
    The other half is to show that because Jesus was resurrected and is alive…we who IN FAITH are baptised into Him…are now alive to new life! A life lived in and for Jesus!
    Christ was raised from the dead in a miraculous and glorious way...
    And because of that miracle and glory!
    We who truly believe in the same way...we are raised to walk in newness of life. We are new creations in Christ.
    And because He lives forever…we now also will live forever with Him...
    All of that seen in baptism…when done to those who are in FAITH…and by immersion in water...
    TRUTH #3
    3. Therefore, all believers who can be baptized should be baptised IN FAITH.
    It is not baptism alone that saves…but those who are saved should then be baptised...
    We saw this in...
    Colossians 2:12 ESV
    having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
    In the sermon on head coverings…I said this...
    What if someone says they don’t need to practice the physical part of traditions…they can just practice them in their heart…God only cares about the heart…so to that we ask...
    Don’t most biblical traditions have symbolic physical representations of glorious truths?
    What about the unleavened bread of the passover…
    Or what if they Israelites would have said…we don’t need to put the blood on our doorposts…we will do it in our hearts??
    What about anointing with oil?
    What about communion…isn’t communion just bread and the cup???
    What if week after week I sat out communion and you asked me why and I said…I am practicing communion in my heart from now on...
    What would we say if someone said…I don’t want to get baptized…it is just water...
    I think when we have this mind and heart…we are missing out on the beatiful truth that obedience to Christ in all things means all things and great glory and blessing comes of that kind of obedience...
    We are also telling the wrong truth when we skip over baptism…and the wrong truth is a lie...
    It is like saying…I can just be a Christian in my heart and my life does not need to show it...
    Which is exactly the lie that Romans 6 is meant to crush...
    Romans 6:1–2 ESV
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
    Then he immediately tells us of baptism...
    All who are IN FAITH should then after coming to FAITH…be baptised...
    So what does this say of baptising infants or those who do not truly have faith?
    What false truth does this tell?
    The tragic lie that so many in our culture believe…the lie that so many people think they’re saved simply because they were sprinkled with some water when they were a baby, or dunked under water at some point in their childhood or as an adult.
    Baptism, without faith, does not save anyone.
    They go together...
    Truth #3...3. Therefore, all believers who can be baptized should be baptised IN FAITH.
    Truth #4...
    Like the other traditions…there is a deep Spiritual and Biblically mysterious reality…tied to the physical act of baptism...
    4. There is a spiritual reality to the physical act of baptism.
    First we see in the baptism of Jesus...
    SLIDE
    Matthew 3:16 ESV
    And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
    We remember that Jesus is fully God…and yet fully human...
    So after He is baptised…when He comes out of the water…the Spirit descends on Him...
    Is the same true for us?
    Look at our text for today again..
    SLIDE
    Romans 6:3–4 ESV
    Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
    IN ORDER THAT…so we were baptised…so that…we too might walk in newness…of life…and we know that newness is by the power of the Holy Spirit…still not convinced?
    SLIDE
    Acts 2:38 ESV
    And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized 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.
    AND you will receive…to those who have faith in Jesus after hearing the gospel…peter says...
    Repent…and then..be baptised for the forgiveness of your sins…and then what? And then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!
    Wow!
    So is baptism symbolic…yes!
    Is baptism a tradition of the church…a physical practice to be done to…all who follow Jesus after they come to faith? Yes…it surely is!
    Is baptism also beautifully and powerfully and even somehwat mysteriously Spiritual? Yes it certaionly is
    Which brings me to the last truth to see for today...
    Truth #5...
    5. If you have faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior…and have repented of your sin…and have not been baptised by immersion into water since coming to faith…what shall you do? Be baptised as soon as possible.
    Look with me at...
    SLIDE
    1 Peter 3:21 ESV
    Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
    Baptism alone does not save you…and yes the sinner on the cross was saved by Jesus and is in paradise…even though he could not be baptised...
    However if you can be baptised and have not been since coming to faith…you must be baptised...
    Why does Peter say…baptism...NOW SAVES YOU…because…in faith through baptism...Baptism saves you because it represents and in a way proves the proclaimation of inward faith…an appeal to God for salvation...
    Baptism is a both sign and a seal of God’s grace in Jesus Christ for those who truly believe!
    Again showing the powerful relationship between physical traditions…and Spiritual realities!
    Can someone be batised and not truly saved! Of course there are many…masses of those who are...
    Like those in the days of Noah…many would have said they believed in God…but in order to be saved they needed to truly get in the boat...
    Only those who are truly in Christ…and baptised in FAITH…are saved...
    Because as Paul said...
    Romans 6:1–2 ESV
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
    But if you are in faith…have repented of you sin and not yet baptised by immersion…you need to...
    The Word of God…is saying...
    That all who hear the Word of truth…the Gospel…and repent of their sin…all who put their faith in Jesus…absolutely (if at all possible) should follow in the example of Jesus…and live out their belief in Jesus...
    By being baptized…
    And then should show the truth of that profession by living out their baptism…walking in newness of life!
    If you are a baptised believer…this is what your baptism meant…and through faith…did for you…so live out that faith in newness of life...
    If you have been baptised and are not fully walking out your faith…to you I say…repent and return IN FAITH to living out your faith in newness of life...
    And finally...I close by asking you...if you have died to sin.
    Have you been united to Christ by faith...so that you are now dead to sin and have been raised to walk in newness of life?
    If you have not…don’t continue to turn your back on Jesus and live for yourself and the things of this world.
    Come to Him today. Trust in Jesus...
    And then…if be immersed in the waters of baptism...
    To both physically show...the radical change that has taken place in your heart and then in your life...
    And to experience the Spiritual realities we have seen in the act of baptism to all who are IN faith in Jesus!
    Amen
      • Matthew 3:13–17ESV

      • Acts 2:37–38ESV

      • 1 Peter 3:18–22ESV

      • Acts 19:2–4ESV

      • Acts 19:5ESV

      • Colossians 2:11–15ESV

      • Romans 6:1–5ESV

      • Romans 6:1ESV

      • Romans 6:1ESV

      • Romans 6:2–5ESV

      • Romans 6:1–2ESV

      • 1 John 3:6ESV

      • Romans 6:4–5ESV

      • Romans 6:12–14ESV

      • Matthew 3:16ESV

      • Romans 6:3–4ESV

      • Acts 2:38ESV

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