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Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
First Sunday After
Baptism Of Our Lord
#1: "Jesus' Baptism: What Does This Mean?"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
I. It was Jesus inauguration
A. As our Prophet--John 5:37-40
B. As our High Priest--John 12:27-33
C. As our King--Isa 42:1-4
II. What does it mean for His disciples?
A. He was carrying our sins, so He was baptized for us--Isa 53:4-5
B. To be "in Christ" means to be forgiven--Rom 6:3-4, 23; 8:1; Gal 3:26-27
C. The Spirit is upon Him and comes from Him--John 1:31-34, 14:26-27, 15:26
D. He gives the Spirit to those who are baptized--John 3:5-8, 16:13, Rom 8:2
E. He has the Fathers seal of approval--Zech 4:6; text, v17; Matt 17:5; Heb 7:26ff
Richard Lenski explains v15 re: It is proper for us fulfill all righteousness: "It was not Law but Gospel, not a demand to obey but a gift of grace to be received and accepted as such... Jesus is choosing Baptism by John as the right way to enter upon his great office, and he is doing this with a fine sense of propriety. He, the sinless One, the very Son of God, chooses to put himself alongside of all the sinful ones for whom this Sacrament was ordained. By thus joining himself to all these instances of Johns Baptism he signifies that he is now ready take upon himself the load of all sinners--to assume his redemptive office... This office had to be assumed voluntarily. Shortly after his Baptism, John calls Jesus the Lamb of God, referring directly to the sacrifice. Jesus himself calls his suffering a Baptism.
Martin Luther: (In His Baptism) Christ... was entering into our stead, indeed, our person, that is, becoming a sinner for us, taking upon himself the sins which he had not committed and wiping them out and drowning them in his holy baptism. And that he did this in accord with the will of God, the heavenly Father, who cast all our sins upon him that he might bear them and not only cleanse us from them through his baptism and make satisfaction for them on the Cross, but also clothe as in his holiness and adorn us with his innocence. Is not this a beautiful, glorious exchange, by which Christ, who is wholly innocent and holy, not only takes upon himself anothers sin, that is, my sin and guilt, but also clothes and adorns me, who am nothing but sin, with his own innocence and purity? And then besides dies the shameful death of the Cross for the sake of my sins, through which I have deserved death and condemnation, and grants to me his righteousness in order that I may live with him eternally in glorious and unspeakable joy. Through this blessed exchange, in which Christ changes places with us (something the heart can grasp only in faith), and through nothing else, are we freed from sin and death and given his righteousness and life as our own. [At the Baptism of Bernard von Anhalt, 1540, LW Vol 51]
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THE MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN
Object: a picture of childs Baptism
Im guessing that you have some of these in your house somewhere. The baby is wearing a white gown, mom and dad are smiling on the pictur,e and so are two or three other people who are close relatives or friends of the babys mom or dad.
Can you guess whats happening here in this picture? Thats right--its a Baptism. Some of you are in my Confirmation class, and you recall that whenever we recite parts of Luthers Catechism, we ask this question: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Thats what I want to know from you today. Imagine that the baby being baptized is YOU! What does this mean?
It means that you were baptized into Christ. It means that Jesus took your sins upon himself the day He was baptized. Three years before He went to the cross, He was already carrying our sins. Thats why they call Him the Lamb of God. He took our sins away when He died on the cross.
What does this mean? It means that whenever you sin, you go back to the agreement that God made with you on the day YOU were baptized. It means that you can be sure that your sins are forgiven because God never breaks the agreement He has with us.
What does this mean? It means that you belong to Jesus and that no one can take you out of Gods hand. You can jump out of Gods hand, but that wouldnt be a good idea. You made an agreement with God, too, on the day you were baptized. You promised even before you could speak that you would always be Gods child.
Wow! Baptism means a lot, and Ill tell you more after we finish singing this beautiful song about Baptism. Always remember this: Jesus loves you and made you His own in your Baptism. Now doesn't that make you want stay with Him for as long you live?
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#2: "God's Post-Christmas And Eternal Exchange Policy"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM