Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
TWO WAYS THE CHURCH VIEWS BAPTISM:
- Sacrament - God is acting
- Ordinance - We are responding
We believe baptism is an ordinance.
THEOLOGY TO CONSIDER:
Augustine defined a sacrament as a “visible word” or an “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,” while at the same time being a form of pledged oath. In this latter sense, the word sacramentum was used very early to refer to Christian baptism.
Many protestant traditions like to refer to baptism and communion as “ordinances” rather than “sacraments” because we see them as outward expressions of faith, rather than mystical impartations of God’s grace, as though they merit something to the participant’s spiritual account.
1 | BAPTISM MEANS A NEW LIFE.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
THREE ELEMENTS OF JESUS’ BAPTISM:
- The water - Chaos and Judgment
- The Spirit - New Life
- The voice - New identity
2 | BAPTISM MEANS A NEW FAMILY.
“Baptism brings you into the neighborhood of other Christians; and there is no way of being a Christian without being in the neighborhood of other Christians.”
— ROWAN WILLIAMS
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
If God is Father, then the church is filled with brothers and sisters.
3 | BAPTISM MEANS A NEW ALLEGIANCE.
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something
to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
When you are baptized you take on a new identity, a new community and a new Lord.