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“Water, Water Everywhere”

Date: 
January 8, 2017
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
Matthew 3:13-17

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Theme: Baptism has to do with identity… baptism has to do with purpose and mission…

 

INTRODUCTION

  • I have a little problem… my Bible is waterlogged… so is your Bible…
  • From the second verse of Genesis (Genesis 1:2) to one of the very last verses of Revelations (Revelation 22:17) water flows through the pages of scripture
  • There are more than 700 references to water in the Bible – some are very literal… others are quite symbolic…
  • Water is a gift, a gift with great power…

 

WATER

  • Let me test your knowledge for a few moments this morning… let’s try to think together of some the places in the Bible where water is mentioned:   <note: my list is only a partial list>
    • Creation Story (Genesis 1)
    • Flood Story (Genesis 7)
    • Moses Story
      • Bulrush  (Exodus 2)
      • Red Sea  (Exodus 14:21)
      • Water from the rock  (Exodus 17:6)
    • Still water in Psalm 23
    • Jonah – Great Fish
    • “Come to the water” – (Isaiah 55:1)
    • Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3)
  • Jesus walks on the water… Sea of Galilee, etc. in the four gospels
  • Changing water to wine (John 2:5)
  • Healing waters – pool… paralytic
  • Living Water – woman at the well (John 4:10)
  • I have another question for you… how does God use water in the Bible?
    • To destroy…
    • To give life… nourish… sustain
    • To refresh…
    • To cleanse…
    • To purify…
    • To bless…
    • To bestow the gift of the Spirit…  (segway to baptism)

 

BAPTISM

  • Today, as we recall the story of Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, we are invited to think about our own baptism…
  • Have you been baptized? If so, why?
    • Maybe it was because, when you were a baby, your mother and father thought it was the right thing to do…
    • Maybe it was because, later in life, as your beliefs matured, you came to realize that Jesus wanted you to be baptized – was calling you to be baptized…
  • Many of you were baptized by having a few drops off water sprinkled on your forehead…A few of you may have been baptized by immersion – by having your whole body dunked under the water…
  • The story of Christian baptism begins with Jesus’ baptism… then, after Jesus’ resurrection and just before he ascended back to heaven, Jesus commissioned his disciples to baptize others in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
  • Fifty days later, on the day of Pentecost, Peter got up on his soap box in the middle of the crowd and preached a sermon about Jesus… he called on people to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38-39.) And from that day forward people came in great numbers to be baptized.
  • We baptize people in the church today so that their sins may be forgiven and so that they might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… these are good reasons to be baptized, aren’t they? – We all need forgiveness for our sins. We all need God’s Holy Spirit living within us. That’s why we are baptized.
  • But why was Jesus baptized? I can tell you this – it was not because Joseph and Mary decided to have Jesus “done” when he was a baby… and it was not because Jesus needed to be forgiven for his sins.
  • Perhaps a bit of background will help us to understand the baptism of Jesus…
    • John the Baptist, a great prophet, was baptizing people in the Jordan River….
    • John and Jesus were related – probably cousins – and they had known each other since they were babies…
    • John knew from the very beginning that Jesus was someone very special… and at some point he recognized that Jesus was the Messiah…
  • So when Jesus came to John to be baptized, John tried to stop him…. John said, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
  • Jesus said, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” (John 3:15)
  • When John heard this, he quit arguing and went ahead with the baptism. He baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, just as he had baptized so many others.
  • In his own words, Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.”
    • Righteousness, especially in Matthew’s Gospel, means doing God’s will… those who did God’s will were righteous…
    • Jesus was really saying that God was calling him to be baptized and he was obeying the call…
  • Though Jesus was unique and his baptism was unique, still his baptism helps us to understand our own baptism…
  • In baptism, we are joined to Jesus
  • Baptism has to do with identity… baptism has to do with purpose and mission…
  • Baptism – your baptism and mine – is God’s way of claiming us and naming us as God’s beloved children…
  • In baptism, God uses water to destroy the sin in us…
  • In baptism, God uses water to cleanse us and make us whole and new and free from death and sin…
  • In baptism, God calls us precious children and declares that we have a purpose in God’s saving plan for the world… we are baptized to serve…

 

CONCLUSION

  • In this font is living water… it is not alive because one of your pastors put it there… it is not alive even because we ask God to bless it…
  • The baptismal water is alive, because with it we are baptized in Jesus, and through baptism, we come alive in Christ.

 

Sermon Seeds

  • Materials published by Sermonwriter.Com for January 9th… edited by Richard Donovan
  • Materials published by DPS Sermon Builder for January 9th…. Especially Baptized To Serve – a sermon by Rev. Rick Thompson…

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