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Baptized As The Savior

January 11, 2016

Baptism-of-Christ-xx-Francesco-Alban

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The Baptism of Our Lord                                       Trinity Lutheran Church

10 January 2016                                                       Murdock, NE

 

+Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 3:15-22

 

Well, let’s get right to the point. No need to mess around.

 

Why does Jesus get baptized in the Jordan River? The answer is really quite simple. Yet, the answer is very incredible. Mind blowing-ly amazing. Jaw dropping-ly stunning. Miraculous! The answer may even bring tears to your eyes and melt your heart.

 

Jesus receives John’s baptism in the Jordan to be your Savior! He is baptized in order to take the sin of the world in His body – absorb it like a sponge – and carry it to the cross in order to bear all of it’s eternal damning-red-hot-wrath-of-God-hellacious-punishment. This is what the Christ does! He is Savior. Of sinners. From babies to adults. The whole world full!

 

Let’s not forget that John’s baptism was for sinners. Consequently, the Jordan River water is dirtied, polluted and contaminated with sin. The sin-infested river water is toxic. Lethal. Deadly.

 

Lo and behold – the Holy One – the One without sin – the One who has no need to confess or repent – Jesus the Christ jumps right in this sinners’ spa! He’s soaked to the gills with the sewage of their sin. Oh, heck, He’s up to His neck in this cesspool of slimy sin. In the Jordan River Jesus is drenched and saturated with sin.

 

This is what the Christ does! It is His Christ cup of tea! He takes sin from sinners, bears their sin in His body and then atones for it as the one and only sacrifice on the Friday we all call “Good.”

 

“So what?” I’ll tell you the so what! If Jesus doesn’t take your sin and answer for it, then your sin still remains on you and it will damn you because you can’t atone for it.

 

Now, I’ve been sent by the Lord Jesus – the Christ – to tell you that He has taken your sin. With your sin He has borne all it’s damning forevermore-of-hell-punishment. This ministry of saving sinners all began as John baptized Him as the Christ in the Jordan. His Christ ministry of being numbered with the transgressor – His Christ ministry of the Lord laying on Him our sins – His Christ ministry of being wounded and crushed for our sins BEGINS AT HIS BAPTISM! His Christ ministry is completed when He proclaims from the cross: IT IS FINISHED!

 

That’s precisely why the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in bodily form like a dove at His Baptism. The ministry of the Christ – Jesus – is the one and only Holy Spirit-filled ministry that saves all sinners. His Christ work of dying and rising FOR YOU is also Holy Spirit work FOR YOU. Good Friday and Easter is what Jesus pulls off as the Holy Spirit-filled Christ to save sinners. To save sinners like you.

 

Now wonder then that the Father is so delighted! After all, saving sinners through His Son has always been the Father’s plan. So, brothers and sisters, hear once again the Father’s voice of approval and delight of who Jesus is and what He has come to do. “You [Jesus] are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

 

Yes, God the Father is so pleased with His Son Jesus. Why? Well, because Jesus has come to take all your sin and be your Savior.

 

Isn’t that incredible? It sure is. Salvation-ly staggering.

 

AND THERE IS MORE! With the Lord Jesus there’s always more when it comes to His giving, His serving as the Christ.

 

“What? How could there be more?” Glad you asked. Let me tell you. The more is the miraculous delivery and bestowal of the forgiveness and salvation that Jesus won and achieved on the cross as the Christ. One of the ways He does that is in the gift of holy baptism.

 

Today we had the great joy of seeing Dustin, Lita and Addie receive holy baptism in the way Jesus instituted it. That’s Matthew 28. Water and the Triune Name.

 

Baptism is not just plain water but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s Word. Again, that’s the Matthew 28 mandate and Word of the Christ Jesus.

 

Dustin, Lita and Addie, and all of you who are baptized, to be baptized in God’s Name is to be baptized by God Himself! After all, the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is there in the water – the water of your baptism – with His Name to be GOD FOR YOU. God’s gracious and saving presence comes with His Name!

 

Yes, baptized in the Triune Name today Dustin, Lita and Addie, Jesus is God FOR YOU as He gave you all the benefits of His Good Friday dying on the cross. Romans 6:3 puts it this way: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”  BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH! HIS GOOD FRIDAY DEATH FOR YOU! WHAT HE DID ON THE CROSS IS GIVEN TO YOU IN HOLY BAPTISM!

 

Baptized in the Triune Name the Holy Spirit who is the Lord and Giver of life is GOD FOR YOU. The Holy Spirit is present with His Name. He gives Himself and with Himself all of Christ’s Good Friday gifts TO YOU. This is precisely what Peter promises in Acts 2:38-39. “Be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. This promise (forgiveness and the Holy Spirit) is FOR YOU and FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND FOR ALL.”   Paul puts it this way in Titus 3:5 when he speaks of holy baptism. God “saved us … by the washing of rebirth and renewal OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.”   Jesus Himself told Nicodemus how to be born again. It is a teaching of holy baptism. “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water AND THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” (Jn 3:5).

 

No wonder Jesus promises: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mk 16:16). No wonder Peter preaches that, “baptism now saves you,” (1 Pet 3:21).

 

Baptized in the Triune Name the Father is GOD FOR YOU.   Now you have the Father’s voice of approval. The Father loves you. His is most pleased with you. As His own children! After all, His beloved and well pleasing Son Jesus died with all your sin on the cross.

 

Brothers and sister, Dustin, Lita and Addie, here is the great joy of Jesus and your being baptized into His death — Your sin doesn’t belong to you any more as far as God is concerned. He doesn’t count it against you because Jesus’ Baptism and His Good Friday cross counts FOR YOU! Yes, that’s right, He gets baptized and dies on the tree FOR YOU and for your salvation. He has gifted you with that very salvation in your baptism today.

 

In your baptism you have enough to study and practice all your lives. You now have plenty to do to believe firmly what holy baptism promises and brings – the divine saving Name of God, victory over death and the devil through Christ’s Good Friday death, forgiveness of sins, God’s grace and salvation, and the Holy Spirit with all His gifts.

 

Happy Baptism Day Dustin, Lita and Addie!

Happy living in and from your baptism!

 

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

 

 

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