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The "Every One of You" of Holy Baptism (Acts 2:38-39)

September 9, 2012

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost            Trinity Lutheran Church

9 September 2012                                 Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +

Acts 2:38-39 “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off …”


Baptism of Grant Alan Bornemeier


“Every one of you” the blessed apostle Peter preaches!  Really?  Yes!  Really!  “Every one of you” means “Every one of you.”  None are to be left out!  Left out of what?   


No one, nobody, and the apostle means NOBODY, is to be left out of … Holy Baptism!  The apostle doesn’t discriminate!  “Every one of you” fits with and faithfully confesses the Lord’s mandate and institution:  “Make disciples of ALL NATIONS — baptizing them in the Name …” (Matthew 28:19).  


What part of “every one of you” don’t people understand?  Peter doesn’t say:  “only eight years old and up!”  Peter doesn’t say:  “infants and little children aren’t included!”   Peter doesn’t say:  “only the adults!”  He emphatically declares:  “EVERY ONE OF YOU!”     


Would you dare to leave Grant Alan out of the Lord’s “all nations” or the apostle’s “every one of you” for Holy Baptism?  Well, would you?  Of course not!  After all, Jesus died for all sinners.  An entire world chock full of them!  He didn’t leave Grant Alan out of His Good Friday dying!   As Jesus died for the world and for you, He also died for him!


So now the bestowal of Good Friday’s gifts!  The gifting of the benefits from Mount Calvary’s Tree!  Not just for the adults but also the children.  “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus commands “and do not prevent them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them too!” (Matthew 19:14) 


One of the few times in the New Testament in which Jesus gets really irritated is when His disciples try to keep the little kids and infants away from Him!  If you really want to anger Jesus, then say this to parents when Jesus is within earshot:  “Mom and Dads, nice to see you!  But the Lord really has better things to do!  He has more important people and pressing issues to deal with!  We have another room for the kids with sitters, puppets, DVDs, and snacks.  We call it children’s church.  Please take them there!  That way we don’t bother the Lord with all your snotty nose, screeching, and squirming rug rats!”


Rattle on like that and you’ll hear the Lord thunder:  “Idiots!  Bring the little children to me!  Don’t ever keep them away from me — you morons!  I have come for them too!  How dare you try to exempt and exclude them from what I’ve come to do for all on Good Friday!” 


Peter and all the rest of the apostles repented of trying to have a Jesus that excludes the kids!  Their way was not the Lord’s way!  That’s precisely why the blessed apostle Peter proclaims on Pentecost Sunday:  “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus.” 


Wait!  There is more!  More than just the command that every one within earshot of Peter’s sermon receive Holy Baptism!  There is also THE PROMISE of DIVINE gifts granted with Baptism in the Name of Jesus!  Yes, that’s right, I said it!  I dare to say it!  I dare to preach it!  Against anyone and everyone who maintain that Baptism is a nothing I will proclaim it’s magnificent promises! 


Baptism — a nothing?  Are you kidding me?  The blessed apostle Paul emphatically declares in Titus 3 that, “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit.”  That’s Holy Baptism!   Haven’t you ever heard what the Lord Jesus Himself promises in John 3 that whoever is “born from above” or “born again,” that is, regenerated, of water and the Spirit enters the kingdom of God?  We also have the Lord’s magnificent promise in Mark 16:16:  “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved!”


And then today’s text!  “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus.”  And then comes the promise of salvation gifts!  “For the forgiveness of your sins.”  “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” 


Baptism is not a nothing!  Baptism is not just plain water!   Baptism saves!  We just heard Mark 16:16 and Titus 3!  Baptism saves because Savior Jesus is there at the font with His Name giving the very salvation that He won for Grant Alan, for you, and for all on the Friday we call “Good!” 


To be baptized in Jesus’ Name is to be baptized by Jesus Himself.  The very Jesus who died and rose for sinners!  And so in Holy Baptism Jesus gifts sinners with His Good Friday forgiveness!  “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS.”  The blessed apostle Paul knew this too.  He gives the account of his baptism where he was told:  “What are you waiting for?  Get up!  Be baptized!  And wash away your sins,” (Acts 22:16).


Where Christ’s forgiveness is being dished out the Holy Spirit is also being poured out!  Forgiveness and Holy Spirit always go together!  And so Holy Baptism is a little Pentecost!  “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  AND YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.”  Christ’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit always go together.  Can’t have one without the other!  And so Grant Alan received Christ’s forgiveness today!  And with Christ’s forgiveness – Holy Spirited!    


Christ’s forgiveness, His Words, are, “Spirit and they are life,” (John 6:63)!  The Holy Spirit is the “Lord and Giver of life” as the Nicene Creed correctly confesses!  And so in Holy Baptism the Holy Spirit rolls up His sleeves and gets to work!  Doing His cup of tea with the Jesus-won and Jesus-delivered forgiveness given in the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit!


And what is that?  Glad you asked!  With Jesus’ Name and His divine forgiveness bestowed in the water the Holy Spirit raises the dead!  The spiritually dead, that is!  Dead sinners!  Sinners “dead in their trespasses and sins,” (Ephesians 2:1)!  Sinners who by nature are “objects of God’s wrath,” (Ephesians 2:3)!  But sinners who now are forgiven with Christ’s Good Friday forgiveness in Holy Baptism!  Sinners who are reborn, regenerated, and resurrected with the “gift of the Holy Spirit” who gives the baptized everything that belongs to Jesus.  Taking everything that belongs to Jesus and making it all known to the baptized!  For the creation of faith only in Jesus!  Now that’s a miracle!      


With Holy Baptism you’ve got the whole salvation shootin’ match!  With the water hooked with God’s Divine Name and Word comes the entire enchilada of salvation!  No wonder! For when your sins are forgiven and you are given the Holy Spirit – YOU ARE SAVED!  YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD! 


Then Peter makes it absolutely clear for whom all this salvation stuff applies.  “This promise (the promise of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit – salvation) is FOR YOU AND … FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND FOR ALL WHO ARE FAR OFF – FOR ALL WHOM THE LORD OUR GOD WILL CALL.”   


“For you” talk is gift talk!  Holy Baptism is the Lord’s gift!  His giving!  It is, “for you and for your children!”  “For all!”  I told you Peter didn’t discriminate!  The forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit provided in Holy Baptism are FOR YOU! 


And yes, even FOR YOUR CHILDREN!  Bryce and Laura wouldn’t dare to keep their little sinner Grant Alan away from such lavish salvation giving! 


Brothers and sisters, you who are baptized, use your Baptism every day!  How?  Not as an excuse to sin!  Don’t ever do that!  Good grief, that’s how you live outside of your Baptism!  Instead, use your Baptism properly – in the way Jesus intends!  Use your Baptism against all your sin!  Against the devil’s finger pointing and blame game!  Against a bad conscience troubled by sin!  Confess that you are a sinner!  That’s true!  But trump all your sin, all your sinning, and all the devil’s accusations with the truth!  And the truth is this:  “But I am baptized!  I am baptized into the Name of Jesus Christ!  I have the promise of Acts 2 that I am forgiven and have the Holy Spirit!  I have the promise of Jesus Himself in Mark 16, “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved!”  Jesus does not lie!  He is faithful!  And He will do it!


Happy Baptism Day Grant Alan!  Happy living in your Baptisms all of you at Trinity!


In the Name of Jesus!   

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