Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Baptism of Jesus 1/13/2012
Sermon: January 13, 2013

Front Cover: ESV Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.

Call to Worship: Dear Father, we thank and praise you for sending your Son to be baptized unto fallen humanity so that we might live again.

Announcements

Opening Hymn: How Majestic is Your Name.
Praise Song: He is Exalted
Reading: Psalm 29
Praise Song: Thou Art Worthy
Scripture Reading/Prayer/Lord's Prayer/Offertory Prayer: John 1:29-34: Doug Saukkola
Offertory Hymn: #248 Come, Thou Almighty King
Sermon Text: Matthew 3:13-17
Sermon Title: Baptism of Jesus
Benediction
Closing Hymn: #507 I've Found a Friend


Dear congregation

The angel and the angelic choir have gone back to heaven, the shepherds have come to the stable and have returned to their flocks. As we proceed into the New Year we recount the appearing of Jesus in the early years of His life in this season of Epiphany (appearing), and in so doing, we continue today by considering the baptism of Jesus. What? Jesus was baptized? Why did He need to be baptized? Was He not sinless? What is baptism? How does the baptism of Jesus have meaning for us? The answers to those questions will be explored today as we receive the Word of the Lord.

Last Sunday we heard of those who traveled a long distance to worship the King of the Jews, Jesus the Christ. We also heard of the later testimony of Apostle Paul,speaking through the Holy Spirit, who preached to the Ephesians that Jesus had come for all people and that there was no longer any division between Jew and Gentile. As we consider the meaning of Jesus' baptism, here are two important verses that will be included in this sermon:

KJV 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

KJV Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

May the Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and hearts today so that we will grasp the significance of the baptism of Jesus into and for us.


Our text today is found in the Gospel of Matthew, 3;13-17: The Baptism of our Lord.

Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,1 and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son,1 with whom I am well pleased."

We will ask three questions of the text today.

What does the word baptism mean?
Why did Jesus need to be baptized if He was sinless?
How does the baptism of Jesus have meaning for us?


1. What does the word baptism mean?

Baptism: to dip, to immerse, to wash, to cleanse, to dye as with a color, to be joined together, to be united

Words change in meaning over the years and it is not always easy to have the proper knowledge of what a word originally meant in its usage when the Bible was written and how the word is understood today. For certain, the word baptism brings up images of a person being in water or having water poured over them as the Word of God is applied with the water in Holy Baptism. Another matter we need to deal with is that our understanding of baptism largely depends upon the the teachings that we have grown up under and how we have grown in our knowledge of the doctrine of Christ. It is important to realize that truth and to attempt to look at the Scriptures in an objective manner. (What do they say independent of our preconceived ideas)

The following text in which the word baptism is used gives the sense of a union or a joining.

Mark 10:35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
36 And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
37 And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory."
38 Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"
39 And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized,
40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared."


2. Why did Jesus need to be baptized if He was sinless?


In His humanity, He became a substitute for all humanity, "tasting death for all."

Hebrews 2: 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,1
12 saying, "I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise."
13 And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Behold, I and the children God has given me."
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.



He became sin for all humanity so that through His sacrifice, we are reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. {committed...: Gr. put in us}
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


How does the baptism of Jesus have meaning for us?

Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,1 and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son,1 with whom I am well pleased."



It is fulfilment of prophecy. Isaiah 42:1-8
It points to the beginning of Jesus' ministry (30 years old)
It reveals the Sonship/Servanthood of Jesus Christ
It displays the pleasure of God in His Son
The Trinity is openly displayed.
It is God's action from heaven downward. Christ receives the baptism of John as from heaven.

What does all this mean for me today? Summarizing briefly, it seems that the main point of the baptism of Jesus is that through it He was united unto the fallen human race so that He would as the Sin Bearer of the world take away our sin through the cross and resurrection.
I have grown up in the Apostolic Lutheran Church, have been baptized as an infant, but like many have struggled over the years in my understandings of what my Holy Baptism meant or means. Having said that, I to this day see overwhelming evidence for infant baptism, and this is mainly due to the reality that all baptisms are inititated and conducted from God to man. Another way to say it is that in baptism we are united with God through Jesus Christ. Baptism is God's act toward us and not our act towards Him. All baptisms flow out of God's favor towards us in that He sent Christ to us so that we might live eternally. But we struggle...

A dear friend who passed away a year ago would often tell me of his understanding of baptism by saying that when we are baptized as infants it is like we are brought into engagement with Christ through the water and the Word. He went onto say that as we grow in stature physcially and spiritually there comes a day when we are married to Christ at that time when our faith begins to mature.

Martin Luther, when he tempted by the devil into unbelief and despair would shout out: "I am baptized." As young people, let us not forget that we are baptized into/unto Christ and we belong to Him. He continually pours gifts and blessing into our lives, so wanting our relationship to grow, to blossom, to be fruitful, to be joyful and so forth.

Our closing Hymn today tells of how Christ came for us, how He wants for us to grow closer together, that He has all the counsel and direction we need for our lives and then in the end of the hymn He tells us that His love is the type that will never leave us. He will never drop us like others friends have or can.....The hymn is entitled, "I've found a Friend, O such a Friend!'

Before we sing that let us unite our hearts in a closing prayer, and following the benediction, we will sing together about the Friend we have found.......

I've found a Friend, O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him.
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which nought can sever;
For I am His and He is mine
For ever and for ever.

I've found a Friend, O such a Friend!
He shed His blood to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own self He gave me.
Nought that I have mine own I call,
I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His, and His for ever.

I've found a Friend, O such a Friend,
So kind, and true, and tender!
So wise a Counsellor and Guide,
So mighty a Defender!
From Him who loves me now so well.
What power my soul shall sever?
Shall life or death, shall earth or hell?
No! I am His for ever.

Yes, He is the best Friend of sinners....may we remember that as we leave our fellowship today and return to share this knowledge with those who yet walk in darkness.

Grace and peace to you today and always.
Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 13 Jan 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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