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  • Writer's pictureTim Hemingway

Baptisms: Abigail, George, Isla, Mark



 

Testimony time stamps:

George -26:35

Abigail -17:40

Isla -12:35

 

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

Romans 6:11


Among the happy occasions of our lives there can be few that are sweeter than the birth of babies and the marriage of sweethearts.


But I rather think that believer’s baptism is more joyous than both.


The reason for that is, that the occasions of birth and marriage signify a new beginning that ultimately terminates. Both birth and marriage ultimately give way to death.


But believer’s baptism, as an occasion, signifies a new beginning that will never terminate. It signifies a new birth, into a spiritual life which can never die. It signifies the guarantee of resurrection from the dead unto eternal life.


The Apostle Paul says, what can separate us from the love of God? Trouble or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No! In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither life nor death will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, this is perhaps the happiest of earthly occasions this afternoon!


We get the notion of baptism from one place, and that place is the bible. It’s not a product of imagination; it is a profound command of the Lord Jesus – and not to be taken lightly.


So going to the bible what do we find? In Matthew 28 we find Jesus, himself, instructing his disciples to make followers of Jesus from all nations and to baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


Then in Acts chapter 2, we find Peter carrying out that very command - telling the good news about Jesus and urging people to repent and be baptised.


And then, moving on a little further, in Romans chapter 6, we have the Apostle Paul explaining who the Roman Christians are in terms of baptism. And what we understand from this passage is Paul using baptism to describe what happens to a person when they are save – that is to say, when they put their faith in Jesus, and received him his as their Lord and Saviour and eternal Prize.

The water baptism that Jesus spoke of and Peter urged new Christians to go through is a picture of the real spiritual baptism that has taken place in the life of a true believer.


Those spiritual realities that baptism represents, Paul explains to us in terms of two things: death and resurrection.


He tells us that a person who has saving faith in Jesus has been unitedwith him. That’s how we find favour with God – Jesus unites himself to us and makes us acceptable to a holy and perfect and just God. He does it by taking our sins upon himself and by giving us his own perfect righteousness.


That is what union with Christ looks like - my sins on him, his righteousness on me. It is all of grace!


And the way that union expresses itself in terms of Jesus’ death and resurrection is, that when we were saved, our dead spiritual nature was crucified with Christ and was buried with him.

And when we were saved, we were also raised with Christ from that dead, empty, way of life to a newness of spiritual life.


That means we are no longer slaves to sin as we once were. But we now count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, in Christ Jesus.


The type of spiritual transformation that has taken place, is so precious, and so wonderful, and magnifies Jesus so supremely, that it cannot be kept under wraps. It has to be expressed. And that’s why we have baptism.


Baptism is the visible sign that Mark, and George, and Abigail and Isla belong to God through their union with Jesus. It is their testimony to us that they have become sons and daughters of the living God by faith in Jesus.

No longer rebels, but righteous servants of the King of kings.


So, it is our delight, as a church, to take these four upon their professions of faith in Jesus and to baptise them today. They are saying that they have died with Christ to their sins, and they have been raised new creatures in Christ. The old has gone, the new has come.


For that we give thanks to our God, and we rejoice with them.

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