01132019 Epiphany 2 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“We are baptized into Jesus!”

01132019 Epiphany 2 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

January 13, 2019
“We are baptized into Jesus!”
Sermon Audio

This morning, we continue our journey through the Festival part of the Church Year with our Celebration of the Baptism of Jesus.  For some of us, we may not remember our baptism, because it was when we were young infants. Others remember it clearly, because it was later in life.  Jesus Christ Whose Baptism we celebrate today was older, about 30 years old. Jesus Baptism had a divine purpose and plan from God in mind. For we who gather here today we celebrate Jesus Baptism in the Jordan River to remind us that for our baptism, each and every one of us, “We are baptized into Jesus!”

Whether a baptism is done in the hospital with an infant that clings to life, an older adult at the end of life, or an emergency baptism along side the road, the location for our Baptism though unique doesn’t change the fact, “We are baptized into Jesus!”  For it is God Who does the baptism and promises through the faithful, whether laity or leader of the church that God’s promises are for eternal life for all of mankind.

As parents, all of us have probably had the discussion with our children, that they need a bath or shower.  Whether after an outing in the woods, a sports event or even a long hard hot day of play. We as the parent try to ‘reason with our children’ and ‘convince them of the need’, because they ‘are dirty’ or ‘smelly’.  At times we succeed, but we also fail to help many understand the grace that is given unto us in Holy Baptism.

The need of Baptism for Christians is no different.  We try and convince ‘new Christians’ of the ‘need of Baptism’, because we by our nature are born and conceived in sin.  Paul speaks specifically to this point saying, “just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).  We are sinners, but this is not the end of the story.  This is why we believe and teach that “We are baptized into Jesus!”

“We are baptized into Jesus” in order that and our sin, both original from Adam and Eve and our individual daily sin, is forgiven by Jesus Christ and we are made ‘new’ through the Blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.  It isn’t like in Monopoly a ‘get out of jail free card’, but this is God’s plan, clearly God’s way, of redeeming us through the gift of His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“We are baptized into Jesus” and in our putting on the mantle of Christ we are provided the greatest opportunity for God’s grace to be poured over us through Water and Word.  Martin Luther in his catechism clearly states this when he wrote, “It [Holy Baptism] works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God” (p. 9 Koehler)

So how was and is Jesus Christ Baptism different from ours?  Simply, Jesus Baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan was in order for all righteousness to be fulfilled.  Jesus didn’t need John’s Baptism, for Jesus was sinless and perfect from birth and throughout His life. Jesus allowed John to baptize Him, in order that we who hear of the account of Jesus Baptism, celebrate this festival and baptize, adult, child and infant and can believe, “We are baptized into Jesus!”

What then is the benefit for us?  Simply the benefit is what we are given, eternal life.  When children come to receive a blessing at communion, it is a divine privilege to remind them and each and every one of us of God’s promises for them and made to each and every one of us at our baptism.  For most children who come forward cannot remember their baptism. This is the opportunity for them and us to receive a clear reminder from God through the celebrant that to God, they are important and God wants to continue to bless them and each and every one of us again and again in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  For in blessing each child, it is a personal way that they can feel their importance to God and can cement God’s promises made unto them and remind them of God’s blessing as the clear reminder we celebrate on this Festival of the Baptism of Jesus reminding all of us today that “We are baptized into Jesus!”  AMEN.