Baptism of Chase Max Campbell
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Oct. 4, 2015
Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Baptism of Chase Max Campbell
The baptism of little Chase today gives us the opportunity to rejoice in the gift of holy baptism and what Jesus Himself gives to those who are baptized. I can’t pass that up. If I did, I don’t think I’d be able to sleep tonight and you, rightly so, would take me out to the woodshed for a big time …. After all, what holy baptism is and what holy baptism gives can never be extolled and believed enough. Jesus told Nicodemus that to receive God’s kingdom one must “be BORN AGAIN of water and the Spirit,” (John 3:5). Jesus promises: “He who believes and is baptized will be SAVED,” (Mark 16:16). St. Paul calls baptism a “washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5). In 1 Peter 3:21 the apostle Peter promises that baptism “SAVES you … by the resurrection of Jesus.” These words from the New Testament are not exaggerations. They are the hard-core, irrefutable truth.
Now, before I get too carried away like I usually do, I better extol and preach what baptism is and what it gives according to Acts 2. Here goes.
Peter carries out the work of the holy office that Jesus conferred on him. Peter serves in the office of the holy ministry. Apostolic ministry is the office of the holy ministry. The holy ministry is apostolic ministry. That means Peter has been “sent” by the Lord Jesus to do certain tasks. So, he does exactly what Jesus mandated and instituted. He preaches. He baptizes.
Check it out! “Be baptized” Peter proclaims. Baptism is not optional. Jesus mandated it. Commanded it! Matthew 28 – remember? So Peter calls people to the water of holy baptism. If you think you don’t need to listen to Jesus’ mandate and Peter’s sermon, if you preach a different sermon like “No thanks. I don’t need to be baptized,” then you need to repent. You need to have a change of mind and cut to the heart. You need to die to your words. YOU DON’T HAVE BETTER WORDS! You need to trust the divine words of Jesus in Matthew 28 and the sermon of His obedient apostle in Acts 2.
Again, here’s the sermon. “Be baptized.” In other words, “Let me give you the baptism that Jesus instituted. Let it be done to you – given to you.”
But the sermon continues: “Be baptized EVERY ONE OF YOU.” Well, well, well! Every one of you! That matches the “all nations” of Matthew 28. Jesus died for all. Jesus desires all nations – all for whom He died — to be baptized. So Peter proclaims: “be baptized every one of you.” Would you dare to disagree? Would you have left Chase out of the “every one of you”? Again, do you have better words? You don’t! So, none including Chase are to be left out of being baptized.
There’s even more: “Be baptized every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS.” “In the name of Jesus!” THAT’S HUGE! I’ll let you in on a gargantuan and audacious teaching of the Bible. Here is it. To be baptized in Jesus’ name is to be baptized by Jesus Himself. Where Jesus gives His Name – He’s there! I’d better say that again. WHERE JESUS GIVES OR PUTS HIS NAME – HE IS REALLY THERE – completely, totally there! He’s with His Name to be God for the baptized! He’s with His Name to be Savior for the baptized! With His Name Jesus gives everything that counts for a sinner’s salvation. Yes, that’s right, I said it! And I’ll say it again. With His Name Jesus gives everything that counts for a sinner’s salvation. Including Chase!
Peter knows this. He learned it from Jesus. That’s precisely why Peter extols divine, salvific gifts given in holy baptism with the Name of Jesus. Divine, salvific gifts? Absolutely! Listen. “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.”
Incredible! What bounty! In holy baptism Chase received the forgiveness of sins. What forgiveness? This forgiveness: the forgiveness Jesus won for him on the cross stained red with His divine blood! Baptized in the name of Jesus – Good Friday Jesus — God does not count Chase’s sin against him. The same goes for all of you who are baptized. Do you realize how important this is? It’s salvationly important! Because God the Father counted all your sin and all the damnation your sin deserved against Jesus as He hung on the cross and because you are baptized in the saving Name of Jesus, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! TO BE FORGIVEN IS TO BE SAVED!
Jesus’ Good Friday forgiveness and the Holy Spirit always go together. Can’t ever have divine forgiveness without the Holy Spirit being at work. Where sins are forgiven the Holy Spirit is blowing full bore! As the UPS delivery person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to distribute His Good Friday forgiveness to sinners as they are baptized in Jesus’ Name. In addition, through the forgiveness given in holy baptism, the Holy Spirit at the same time regenerates, rebirths or recreates you. Gives you new life. Makes you a new creation in Christ. That’s spelled: F-A-I-T-H!
Well, I need to put the finishing touches on this sermon. So here goes. “This promise,” Peter says. What “promise”? It’s the promise of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit given in holy baptism. “This promise,” Peter proclaims, “is FOR YOU.”
FOR YOU talk is gift talk. When gifts are given people always say: “Here this is for you.” So too with holy baptism. What it is and what it gives is FOR YOU! Holy baptism is not your work or gift to God! Holy baptism is God’s work! God’s giving! Again, how do you know that? Because it’s “for you.” That’s how one talks when one hands out a gift.
And not just “for you” but also FOR YOUR CHILDREN! For your children? Yes, baptism and its bounty are for your children! The apostle, taught by the Lord Jesus, says so. “This promise is for you and FOR YOUR CHILDREN and for all who are far off.” Don’t ever let anyone tell you that children should not be baptized. Jesus died for them. He wants them to receive His forgiveness. He wants them to receive the new birth of the Holy Spirit. His salvation is for the little ones like Chase just as much as for anyone else. The kids are not to be excluded. “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus declares, “and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God,” (Mark 10:14).
Brothers and sisters, thanks be to God that Chase was given holy baptism today. Baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Forgiven and Holy Spirit filled – Chase is saved. Pure gift! Like I said, we can’t teach and extol holy baptism enough.
Happy Baptism Day Chase! Happy living in and from your Baptism! May it bear much fruit – repentance and faith all your life – and then finally the resurrection of the body to eternal life. Dittos to the rest of you who are baptized too!
In the Name of Jesus.