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Third-Last Sunday (Baptism of Mr. Raider Rhotenacher)

November 11, 2012

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Third-Last Sunday in the Church Year             Trinity Lutheran Church

11 November 2012                                       Murdock, NE


Matthew 28:19 / Mark 16:16

Baptism of Mr. Raider Rhotenacher


Make disciples Jesus says.  How?  Through Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!  That’s how! 


Today, another disciple of the Lord Jesus:  Raider! 


Yes, Raider!  Baptized in the Triune Name!  And in his Baptism today Raider turned his back on the devil!  He renounced all the devil’s works and all the devil’s ways!  Walked away from all the dark side stuff of the devil’s kingdom!  Quite frankly, today in his Baptism Raider gave the devil … the middle finger and told him to go back to … !  Well, you know where!  Pretty dicey move Raider!  Quite audacious!  Why did Raider do this today? 


Here’s why!  It is because Raider belongs to someone else!  And who’s that?  The one and only Preacher from Nazareth – Jesus — who died for this man Raider! Who took all of Raider’s sin in His Body on the Cross and was damned in it!  Yes, this Jesus who, “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself,” (Hebrews 9:26). 


Did you hear that Raider?  Did you hear that Trinity?  Jesus “appeared once for all [once for all time & once for all people] at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself!” 


Sin?  What sin?  It’s done away with!  Yours, mine and the world’s!  In the sacrificed and dead Body of Jesus hanging on the Tree!  Yes, all your sin – you name it – whatever you remember with shame or anything you can’t even begin to recall – it’s all covered, drenched, washed away, in the flood of Blood from the divine and sacrificed Lamb of God!   Buried in the black hole of His tomb!  Never to be dredged up again!  Never to be pulled out of your closet!  All forgotten!  All forgiven!  Because of that Preacher named Jesus who “was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people,” and most especially for you (Hebrews 9:28)!  


This same Jesus rose from the dead never to die again!  To extend His Good Friday reign of forgiveness, life and salvation over all nations and all sinners!  Including you Raider!  And you too members of Trinity!


Where?  In your Baptism!  Yes, Raider, Jesus set Himself up FOR YOU as the Forgiveness and Salvation God at your Baptism!    


How?  Here’s how!  In the most exquisite and unique gift that God could ever give in Holy Baptism!  It’s the incredible gift extolled by Jesus Himself in Matthew 28:19? What is this gift?


THE NAME OF GOD HIMSELF!  “Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”


Did you know that to be baptized in God’s name is to be baptized by God Himself?  It’s true!  The Lord is always the one doing the baptizing!  What He institutes He then does!  With His Name – FOR YOU!  It’s HOLY Baptism! WHAT IS HOLY belongs to Him, for Him to do and to give!  And what did the Lord give you?  God gives you His Name!  That means you belong to Him and no one else! 


In addition, it means that God with His divine, holy, life-bestowing and death defeating name has given Himself to you Raider!  With all that He is and all that He has!  God has given His life to you Raider!  God has given His heart to you Raider!  The Trinity lives and exists for you!  The Father with all His creaturely gifts!  The Son – Jesus who took on our flesh – with the salvation He won for you through His death and resurrection!  The Spirit – delivering and bestowing all that Jesus won for you on the once for all sacrifice of Good Friday! 


With God’s Name given to you today in your Baptism you have life and salvation!  Seriously!  God’s Name is most holy!  And with it He bestows all that is His to sinners for whom Jesus died! 


Raider and members of Trinity, when God puts His Name on you He gives you His Son’s enormous victory over death and the devil, the full and complete forgiveness of all your sin, His gracious favor, the entire Good Friday and Easter Sunday salvation that Jesus won for you as well as the Holy Spirit with all His gifts! 


To put it quite bluntly:  with His Name God is FOR YOU!  HE IS GOD FOR YOU!  ACTS AS GOD FOR YOU!  THE GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS!  Who justifies the ungodly! 


So now what?  What is your life as a disciple of Jesus to be like, Raider? 


Use your Baptism!  Live in your Baptism!  Revel in what God has given you in your Baptism!  Never move beyond your Baptism as if you can just leave it behind and move on to some other kind of super spiritual act of your own! 


How does a baptized disciple of Jesus now live?  Here’s how!  The baptized disciple trusts this specific promise of Jesus Himself:  “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mark 16:16)!


Raider and members of Trinity, you are to use this divine promise in times of great struggle, doubts, desperation, and immense temptations that come from your old sinful natures, the world and the devil!  You remember that immediately after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River He was sorely tempted by Satan to ditch the “Son of God” Good Friday gig!  He was deeply enticed to keep all your sin off of Him – all the sin that would kill Him and damn Him in your place!  But He stayed put!  He traveled the road to Jerusalem.  To do the once for all salvation FOR YOU that only He could do!


Raider and all of you who are baptized into Christ’s death and declared to be God’s own sons at the font, do you think that by turning your back on the devil, renouncing all his ways and by giving him the finger that he’s going to play Mr. Nice and just leave you alone? 


Not hardly!  It’s battle on!  He’s ready to rumble!  Prowling around as a roaring lion!  Now He’s your bitter enemy and he will enlist the world and your sinful nature to do wage war against you!  To assault you incessantly day after day!  To pull Ben Gazi like attack after attack on you until you give up!  So that you will stop following Preacher Jesus and give up on being a disciple of the Nazarene! 


And so you daily return to your Baptism and what God gave you at the font!  You are to use Jesus’ Mark 16:16 promise against your sin, death and the devil!  Declaring as often as it takes:  “I am died for devil!  Do you see the Lamb’s divine Blood covering me?  I have the Triune Name branded and tattooed on me!  I don’t belong to you!”


Daily you turn your back on the devil, all his works and all his ways as you use the very promise of Jesus against him, your sin, and the world.  “Hear this and hear it good – Satan, old Adam, and the world:  “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved!”  That’s the Lord Jesus who promises me that!  So leave me alone!  You’re all defeated enemies!  You have no power over me!”   Just put it out there for Satan to hear once again so that his ears bleed and so that must run away in fear.  Just shout:  “I AM BAPTIZED!”  That will do the trick!  Jesus doesn’t lie!  His promises are certain and sure!


This promise is so unshakably certain and sure that His promise and your Baptism in the Triune Name will bear much fruit in the future.  Here in this life for the sake of others and then eternal fruit!  And what’s that?  The resurrection of the body and life everlasting!   


Happy Baptism Day Raider!  Happy living in your Baptism!


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

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