Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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January 13 – The Baptism Of Jesus – Rom. 6:1-11 “Baptism – Our Connection To Christ”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Epistle Lesson just read, from Rom. 6.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • Our text for this morning makes a number of connections – some of which are difficult for us to grasp and appropriate for ourselves, but all of which are extremely important and valuable for us to know.  The apostle describes realities which we have participated in which are huge blessings to us – determinative of who we actually are, what we are, and what our eternal future and destiny is.  They all have to do with our baptism – which is “OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST.”
  • Now all of this sounds strange to us because all we see in a baptism is a ritual, the pastor splashing some water and saying some words.  However, we must remember whose Word it is that is being spoken and invoked, the very Word of God.  And we must remember the nature of God’s Word – that His Word creates and establishes reality, all that is and all that shall ever be.  And if we deny or ignore the reality, then it is unlikely that we will fully benefit from the consequences of that reality.
  • If God’s Word did not make these connections, it is unlikely that anyone would ever have even thought of them – but here they are before us, plainly and forcefully asserted by the Apostle in our text.  And so we give them consideration today – in hope that we will not only understand, but believe them, and embrace them, and rejoice that they are reality for us!  For there is nothing more important or more blessed than to be “connected” to our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  And according to our text, God’s own Word:

 

I.  In Our Baptism We Are Connected To And Have Participated In All Of Christ’s Saving Work For Us

 

A.  In Baptism We Are Connected To And Have Participated In His Death

 

Text:  “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”

B.  So Also, In Our Baptism We Were Connected To And Have Participated In Christ’s Burial

 

Text:  “We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death.”

 

C.  So Too We Have Been Connected To And Have Participated In His Resurrection – Which Has Raised Us To A New Life, An Eternal Life

 

Text:  “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.”

 

D.  This Means That Our Own Resurrection On The Last Day Is Absolutely Assured And Certain

 

Text:  “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.”

Statement:  Now the apostle does not present all of this as “picture language,” as mere figure of speech, metaphor, or symbolism.  Rather, it is all asserted as fact, as reality, as what is literally real and certain – as hard as this is for us to fathom.  I guess the best way for us to think of it is like travel through time and space – which we can imagine [like in Star Trek or other science fiction works], but which we have no way of actualizing.  So we must remember that time and space have to do with “Creation,” God’s creation and cosmos, this present world – and that God is outside of and above His creation.  All time and space is equally present to Him – as His Word teaches us, and therefore none of what is asserted in our text is impossible or even difficult for Him to accomplish!  And we remember that what His Word asserts, that is what is reality!

 

Application:  So when you look at those around you, those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, and when you consider yourself – these are people who have been with Christ on the cross, died with Him, people who have been in Christ’s tomb, buried with Him, people who have experienced the power of the Father’s glory – they have come to faith in Christ Jesus, and these are people who are destined for eternal life in glorious resurrection on the Last Day!  These are accomplished facts, sure and certain reality – not because of what we have done, or through any power of our own, but solely because of God’s power, what He has established by His Almighty Word, and it was all accomplished in us and for us in our baptism.  Our “BAPTISM IS OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST.”

 

Now we can ignore or even deny these things – I don’t really understand why anyone would want to, or why anyone would allow their sinful nature to move them to do so.  If we do, we forfeit a great deal of our grasp of the reality of what it means to be a Christian, a child of God, an heir of eternal life.  HOWEVER, if we grasp these realities, and allow them to sink into our hearts and minds, and they do become part of our thinking about ourselves and our lives in the world, then great blessings come to us – both in regard to our inner life of faith and in the conduct of our lives! 

 

Transition:  So, much is at stake in this – and it is obvious from our text, from God’s Word, that He wants us to grasp and benefit from the realities that He has effected for us in Christ Jesus, and through “BAPTISM – OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST.”  For:

 

II.  The Consequences Of Being In Christ, Connected To Christ In Baptism, Are Immense And Eternal

 

A.  If We Have Died With Christ And Been Buried With Him, Then We Have Died to Sin And Are No Longer Enslaved To It, But Now Walk In Newness Of Life

 

Text:  “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin.”

 

Text:  “We were buried 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.”

 

B.  So Also, If We Have Already Died With Christ, And Have Been Raised With Him, We Will Live To Him Forever – We Are Alive To God In Christ Jesus

 

Text:  “We know that Christ being raise from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

 

Statement:  Now, if the devil can get us to deny this, then he gains a great advantage over us.  His argument with us goes like this:  “See, you have sinned again!  You cannot overcome your sin!  You are still enslaved to sin – and along with it guilt and condemnation!  Christ has done nothing for you – you are just as miserable as you have always been.  You are dead alright – dead in sin and dead to all things good!  And that is your eternal destiny!” 

 

Now all of this is a lie – though we can see the logic of it, and often feel convinced by his argument.  It is a lie because it is just the opposite of what God’s Word asserts of us – we have been baptized, connected to Christ, have died to sin, been buried with Christ and raised with Christ, and so we also shall “be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”  The reality – as asserted by God’s own Word – is that we are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

 

Application:  So, we will either believe God’s Word – which as you recall is what establishes all reality; or we will believe the devil’s lie.  If we believe the devil’s lie he will bury us in what seems like a mountain of guilt and pessimism – until we finally despair and give up faith in Christ.  HOWEVER, if we believe God’s Word – which is reality, then we will see our sin as “unreality,” and as “glitches,” and aberrations from the greater reality.  We will never despair of God’s promises, His forgiveness, His gracious mercy and love – and we will confidently and assuredly address the sin which remains in our lives, knowing without any doubt that we will ultimately triumph over it, for we have already been delivered from it in Christ Jesus.

 

And we are certain of this because we have been baptized – and we know what God has asserted, and what is real, in regard to “BAPTISM – OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST.”

 

Conclusion:  So too, if these realities sink into our consciousness and dictate our view of reality, we will joyfully and boldly dedicate our lives to God each day, knowing that in Christ “the life we live we live to God,” for we are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  We do not allow weaknesses, foibles, sins, illnesses, accidents, setbacks, or aging and death to deter us – these are all temporary “unrealities” that are passing away.  For it is as the apostle writes elsewhere: “We have died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God.” [Col. 3:3] 

 

All of this, because we have been baptized into Christ Jesus!  Thanks and praise be to God!

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.