Jesus’ Big Splash

splashI once thought that perhaps we in the Church of Christ had made too big a deal out of baptism.  Now, I’m thinking we didn’t emphasize it enough!  We  focused on one aspect of baptism and missed the larger picture.  Our key verse was Acts 2:38.  We emphasized “forgiveness of sins” as though God’s hands were tied unless we did “our part” in receiving salvation.  I have no problem teaching Acts 2:38 and baptizing people for the forgiveness of their sins, however, it’s no longer my key verse in teaching people on this subject.

What if we emphasized Matthew 3:13-17?  Jesus, the sinless one, joined in a sinner’s baptism and invites us to do the same (Matthew 28:19).  He was baptized because it was the right thing to do.  The result being that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all united at that moment in time.  It is same today whenever anyone responds to the good news of Jesus in water baptism. The big splash we talked about this morning didn’t end when Jesus left the water.  That was just the beginning.  The ripple effect grew more and more powerful as time went on.  It is the same with our baptism.  We join Jesus in the water.  Cleansing from sin is just the beginning.  What else does Jesus want to do with our lives?  He wants to live in us and through us, so that the waves created by his beginning splash continue to grow in force until everything is renewed and restored.  That is what it means to live in the kingdom of God!

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

4 Responses to “Jesus’ Big Splash”

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    Very well said. We were able to witness four baptisms today. A wonderful public affirmation of an internal journey.

  2. avatar Stephen Carman says:

    Good thoughts this week in blog and sermon.

    What struck me in the reading was the line “but among you stands one you do not know” as John explains to the religious leaders who he was, and more importantly who the Christ was. Then, throughout the reading most did not know who Jesus was except the evil spirits, and even John doubts as he is in prison. Even so, people are intrigued as they continue to flock to him.

    This dilemma seems to be an important point for our time, especially when we become confident in the age of reason that we “know” or “understand” what is happening around us as it relates to “churchy” things. A certain amount of humble innocence (ignorance) may be a good thing for the self-assured, and as you point out in the sermon–religious elite. What can we do to keep the intrigue fresh when it comes to Christ?

  3. avatar Tommy says:

    Baptism is a subject I’ve neglected to study further than my own initial submersion. After your sermon and reading your blog post, along with the comments above, I decided to do a quick web search on what other folks are saying about baptism; basically, how is the conversation evolving. Two statements motivated the key words that I used during my search: 1. when Jesus said, concerning his own baptism, “proper to fulfill all righteousness. 2. when Jesus said, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose” (Matt 5:17). I want to know what these statements mean regarding the context in scripture on baptism. Was it normal? Was it radical? Why was it proper? and thus, how is baptism righteous, or fulfillment of righteousness.

    Okay, here is what I found in regards to the above questions (statements). The following is from the Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies:

    “Both water and blood are used constantly in the Torah and the New Testament as the two main agents to illustrate God’s cleansing. The Jews believe that uncleanness is not physical, but rather a spiritual condition as related in Leviticus 11:44 where it states by wrong actions one can make the “soul unclean.” Therefore, the purification through ritual immersion, as commanded in Scripture is basically involved with the soul, rather than the body. Note how both water and blood are cited in Scripture: (1) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12). (2) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). (3) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Feast Offerings (Leviticus 23). (4) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the five Levitical Offerings (Leviticus 1-7). (5) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11-14).

    (1) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the separation and the ashes of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19). (2) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the consecration to priestly ministry (Leviticus 8:6). (3) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the cleansing of the leper (Leviticus 14:1-8). (4) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the different washings of the Law (Hebrews 9:10). (5) Water is used in relation to the remission of sins (Acts 2:38); Titus 3:5; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3; I Peter 3:20-21; Ephesians 5:26; John 19:34; I John 5:6; Hebrews 9:19- 23).”

  4. avatar Jeanne Bowser says:

    Found this website to have very
    fine reading. God bless. Jeanne

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