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No Better Words Than the Lord’s!

July 5, 2015

infantbaptismclipart

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost                                           Trinity Lutheran Church

5 July 2015                                                                          Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Mark 10:13-16 / Matthew 28:19

Baptism of Eila Jalin Roeber

 

Well brothers and sisters, it’s always best to let the Lord have the say so first. Let Him have the first word. He speaks. His words are divine. You always get into trouble when you don’t let the Lord have His say. Or when you falsely believe that your words are better than His. As if yours words are divine and His are not. For that you must repent. And then trust the Lord’s words.

 

Did you hear what He said? Better hear it again: “‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’”

 

The Lord’s words, together with the mandate and institution words for Holy Baptism in Matthew 28:19 have had their way with Landy and Meggan. They brought little child Eila Jalin to Jesus. Nothing, not even the foolish disciples would stop them.

 

Tell me, for whom did Jesus not die? Who did Jesus leave out of His Good Friday death? Who did He exclude from His divine blood shed on the cross? Who? Anyone? That’s right! No one! Jesus is the Savior of all sinners. He died for all. Cradle to grave sinners. Infant to senior citizen sinners. Eila Jalin is a sinner for whom Jesus suffered as the one and only sacrifice for all sin and for every sinner — even FOR HER. That’s precisely why Jesus categorically declares: “for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” In other words, Jesus is saying: “I died for the little children too. They’re sinners too. I didn’t leave any of them outside of my Good Friday dying. My death on the cross counts even for them.”

 

So, Jesus would have “all nations” receive the benefits of His Good Friday dying. So, after His resurrection He sees to it that this gets done. He directs His eleven disciples to the mountain and mandates that “all nations” be discipled – “make disciples of all nations.” All are to be discipled. None are to be left out of being discipled. How is one discipled? Well, you’re back to the Jesus words. He says that you do it by “baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19).

 

Now, to be baptized in God’s Name is TO BE BAPTIZED BY GOD HIMSELF! After all, God’s Name and God’s gracious presence go together. God is always there with His Name. Or, with His Name God is there. But the most important thing is that with His Triune Name God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit IS THERE AS GOD FOR YOU!

 

Do you understand that? Let me say it another way. It’s one thing for God to be present. And He is. In fact, He’s omnipresent – present everywhere. But it’s quite another thing when God makes Himself present FOR YOU! To be GOD FOR YOU! To make Himself totally and completely accessible FOR YOU!   With all that He is and all that He gives.

 

So, in Holy Baptism, God gave little child Eila Jalin His most holy Name! With the Triune Name she was given all that Jesus did for her on the cross. All the Good Friday Kingdom of God forgiveness that Jesus won for all was given to her with the Triune Name in her Baptism. The salvation of Jesus’ divine Good Friday atoning sacrifice is hers. She is covered in the blood of Jesus. In addition, she’s been given the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of life. Eila Jalin is a new creation. A new creature – spelled: F-A-I-T-H. Given to live a new life – the life of faith in Jesus. A disciple too! Just like all of you who are baptized.

 

Did you know that the Bible uses the “s” verb when it speaks of Holy Baptism? Yes, that’s right, I said the “s” verb. “S” verb? What “s” verb? None other than the biggest “s” verb, that is so salvationally important for sinners. The “s” verb is this one: SAVED!

 

Jesus Himself says so: “He who believes and is baptized WILL BE SAVED,” (Mark 16:16)! Would you dare to argue with the Lord? Good. I didn’t think so. No you know where the apostles learned it and why we Lutherans adamantly confess and teach it. Listen to Peter. “Save yourselves from this crooked generation,” (Acts 2:40). How could one save himself? Only as you are given Holy Baptism in which Peter promises that you are divinely given the “forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 2:38). Forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit! Both hooked with Baptism! So, let me ask you this. When you’re forgiven and you have been gifted with the Holy Spirit, are you saved? Well, are you? Of course you are! Now, I have to call to your attention another part of this Acts 2 text. Peter definitively declares that this forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s gifting are even “for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself,” (Acts 2:39). For your children. For all. Everyone. Sounds just like “make disciples of ALL NATIONS”!

 

Here are two more texts of the “s” verb hooked with Holy Baptism. Titus 3. “God saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” The washing of rebirth and renewal is Holy Baptism. Reminds you of Jesus’ words to Nicodemus: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” (John 3:5). Also 1 Peter 3:21, “Baptism now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  

 

Would you object? Many do. Unfortunately, even many Christians vehemently reject what I have just preached from God’s Word. They think they have better words than the Lord. Their protest goes like this: little Eila Jalin is just a baby! She didn’t do anything! In fact, she’s a Do Nothing. To be saved you have to be like an adult and DO SOMETHING!

 

No you don’t! Get over all that! Seriously! If you think you have to do something to get saved, then you diminish the work of Jesus on Good Friday, lessen Jesus as Savior for you and put yourself into the salvation driver’s seat. Would you dare to replace Jesus with yourself or something you do when it comes to your salvation? Would you? I beg you. Don’t do it! That’s a wicked game to play. Jesus says so in the text. Insist on being an adult – doing something for your salvation and “you shall not enter it.”

 

Sinners whether they’re little babies, tweeners, college students, adults or seasoned citizens hobbling around in the nursing home can’t do anything to get saved. Jesus does it all. He achieves and wins salvation on the cross. And one of the ways He delivers and bestows that Good Friday salvation is Holy Baptism! That’s precisely why little Eila Jalin didn’t do anything! She was given to! Totally passive! Given all that Jesus accomplished for her on the blood stained tree.

 

Again, that’s exactly why Jesus emphatically declares: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Children are the Lord’s example of how one gets saved. By doing nothing. By simple receiving from the Lord. Being given to! Passively given the blessing of the divine name in Holy Baptism. Passively receiving the all sufficient Good Friday forgiveness of Jesus in absolution, preaching and the Lord’s Supper.

 

Happy Baptism Day Eila Jalin. Happy living in and from your Baptism. May it bear much fruit in your life: repentance, faith, holy living and finally the resurrection of the body on the Last Day. Dittos for the rest of you who are baptized too!

 

In the Name of Jesus.    

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