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Pentecost 11

August 16, 2009

Click here to listen to an mp3 of this sermon.

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 15)
16 August 2009

St. Mark 16:16
Baptism of Brooklyn Abigail Justus

Are you baptized?  Brooklyn is.  Given to.  By the Triune God Himself.  Marked her with His Name in and with the water at the font.  Just as Jesus mandated in Matthew 28.  Yes, indeed, Brooklyn is baptized. 

“So what?”  I’ll tell you so what! 

Check out the magnificent promise that goes with Holy Baptism.  It may just blow your mind.  It’s quite outrageous.  Quite scandalous.  And yet, for you, me and Brooklyn — most comforting.   

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  

Who makes this promise?  The pastor?  The congregation?  The district president?  No.  THIS IS THE PROMISE OF JESUS HIMSELF!  To whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given.  Jesus, who is the Bread of Life, gives this promise.

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”   Brooklyn, this is Christ’s promise to you!  Baptized members of Trinity, this is Christ’s promise to you as well!  Jesus is speaking to you with these words.  This is a divine heavenly promise from Jesus for you.

“Saved,” Jesus says.  Saved is salvation.  That’s a divine rescue.  Only Jesus saves.  From all sin.  From death.  From the hellish grip and power of the devil.  It’s all from Jesus to you.  Pure gift from Savior Jesus.  It’s all up to Him. 

He does what He says.  He gives what He promises.

What’s Jesus’ promise? “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  

Brooklyn is in no position to save herself.  Mom and Dad had to take her to the hospital a few weeks ago when she was sick with a high fever.  She couldn’t drive.  She couldn’t call the doctor.  And as an infant Brooklyn is no match for the powers of sin, death and the devil.  And neither were any of you. 

So Jesus comes to the rescue.  Does His Good Friday Calvary salvation job.  Takes all sin in His Body.  Brooklyn’s.  Yours.  Mine.  Then suffers all its punishment.  Death.  Damnation.  Yes, that’s right damnation.  All of hell’s punishment.  Unleashed on crucified Jesus as He bears your sin and mine.    In your place.  For you.  For me.  For Brooklyn. 

Freshly risen from the dead Jesus wants all sinners for whom He died to benefits from His Good Friday dying.

That brings us once again to the font.  And the promise that Jesus makes: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  To Brooklyn.  To you.  To me. 

Would you dare to argue with Jesus?  Would you dare to contradict His promise?  Or not believe what He says?  If you refuse to believe, Jesus has some harsh words for you:  “Whoever does not believe will be condemned.”   If that’s what you want, then that’s what you’ll get. 

But Jesus doesn’t.  He died for Brooklyn and for you.  Rose from the grave for Brooklyn and for you.  Achieved and won salvation.  And now His word of promise: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  

He won’t ever go back on that promise!  You can always hold Him to His promise.  Especially when your sin, death and the devil accuse you and try to send you to hell.  You simply say:  “Yes, that’s right, I’m a sinner.  But I’m a sinner for whom Jesus died.  He died for me.  I am baptized!  So sin – I am forgiven!  Death and devil – I am rescued from your icy grip!  Damnation – you lose!  I have eternal life!  Listen again to Jesus: ‘Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.’”   

What a Savior! 

Happy Baptism Day Brooklyn!  Happy living in Jesus’ promise Brooklyn and dear baptized members of Trinity.

In the Name of Jesus.


From → "B" Sermons

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