photolibrary_photo_of_salt_sprinkled_into_water

Baptism of our Lord
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Ohio
Pastor Kevin Jud
January 14, 2018
Genesis 1:1-5, Romans 6:1-11, Mark 1:4-11

Sermons online:
Text:                            pastorjud.org
Audio:                         pastorjud.podbean.com
itunes:                         bit.ly/pastorjud
Full Service Audio:    bit.ly/ImmanuelWorship

You have a quarter cup of salt and a cup of water.  You pour the salt into the bottom of a drinking glass and then pour in the water and stir, what do you have now?  Saltwater.  Saltwater is a solution.  The salt and the water are now merged together as one; if left alone it will remain in solution.  You can only separate the two items by boiling off the water or letting the water evaporate.  The salt and the water have merged into a new identity with each other.  They are one.

At Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River He is baptized into your sin and the sin of the world.  Pure, holy, innocent Jesus becomes one with the ugly filthiness of sin.  Jesus is mixed into your sin and he becomes one with your sin.  2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.[1]

  At your baptism you are merged with Jesus.  You are made one with Jesus.  In the waters of baptism you are mixed together with Jesus like water poured into salt.  In baptism you lose your individual identity and you are made one with Christ.  You and Christ are intertwined.  You are identified with Christ; you are a Christian.

Jesus and your sin are inseparable until Jesus takes your sin to Golgotha; the place of the skull, and your sin, and my sin, and the sin of the world are boiled off of Jesus through His suffering and death.  Jesus pays the price for your transgressions with every blow of a fist, every lash of the whip, every nail driven into His flesh; every agonizing gasp for breath as the sin is violently removed from Jesus.  Jesus is the sacrifice for sin giving His body and blood and His very life.  He gives everything…everything to save you.  He merges Himself with your sin and He is brutally purged of your sin through His suffering and death.  He rises on the third day, again pure, holy, innocent.

At your baptism you are merged with Jesus.  You are made one with Jesus.  In the waters of baptism you are mixed together with Jesus like water poured into salt.  In baptism you lose your individual identity and you are made one with Christ.  You and Christ are intertwined.  You are identified with Christ; you are a Christian.

In baptism you have been merged with Jesus.  You, body and soul, are one with the Lord God Almighty.  In baptism you are merged with Jesus in His death on the cross.  His death becomes yours; for your benefit.  Romans 6:3-4 (ESV) 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.[2]

You are a Christian; your identity is in Christ; you are one with Christ.  In baptism you are born again into new life in Christ.

This new life in Christ is your life to live in this world.  This new life in Christ also means that death will not defeat you forever.  Romans 6:5 (ESV)  5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.[3]

Being made one with Christ in Baptism means that your body will be raised from dead on the last day, and body and soul reunited, clothed in the white robe of Christ’s righteousness you will march into the Heavenly City of New Jerusalem to live forever with Christ.  You will be one with Christ forever.

In baptism you died with Christ.  Now you live with Christ.  You bear the name of Christ.  You are a Christian; made one with Christ.  This is good news, but it also makes you a target for you are living in a world that hates the name of Christ.  You live in a world that hates Christ and since you are one with Christ, the world hates you for bearing the name of Christ.

The world is all about self-serving greed and pleasure and egotism and power.  The world teaches you to be all about yourself; all about what is in it for me; all about how does this help me; all about how many likes I can get on the latest selfie; all about how much attention can I get.  All about me, me, me.  The world tells you that you need to sacrifice everything and anything in order to follow your dreams and achieve success.  We admire successful people.   But many whom we admire are those who have left a trail of broken marriages and families and relationships in their wake as they relentlessly pursue wealth and fame.

The recent Pixar Film, “Coco”, has a refreshing message about success.  Without giving away too much of the plot, the film’s big message is that there are things more important than being famous and successful.  The film is based around a 12 year old boy named Miguel participating in the myths associated with the Day of the Dead in Mexico, but the overall message is one that resonates.  There are many things more precious than your dreams.

This world tells you to love yourself above everything and to hate Christ who teaches humble love and service to others.  There is great temptation in this world to sin.  Temptation that calls to you like an irresistible Siren song, “Come on…what are you waiting for…it’s no big deal…everyone is doing it except you…you deserve to be happy…you deserve to follow your dreams…you deserve to do whatever you want to do…if it feels good, how could it be wrong?”  And sin lights a little fire under you to try to separate you from Jesus.  The devil wants to gently trick you and tempt you into sinful situations so he can turn up the heat and boil you apart from Jesus before you know what is happening.  He wants to pull you into ongoing sin and so separate you from Jesus.  The devil wants to slowly turn up the heat so you don’t notice sin increasingly taking charge of your life.  The temperature increases and increases and one day you find you are boiling away from Jesus, you are just steam floating away in the air.  The devil wants to normalize sin in your life so that you live in sin.  The devil, the world and your own sinful nature want to convince you that living in sin is the natural way to live.  And being, by nature sinful and unclean it is true.  So we try to convince ourselves that sin is okay.  I like to sin, Jesus likes to forgive sins.  It is a perfect situation.

What does St. Paul tells us?  Romans 6:1-2 (ESV) 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?[4]

Don’t be deceived by the devil.  Don’t let him turn up the heat on you.  Do not continue to live in sin and let the devil separate you from Jesus.  Renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways.  Repent of your sins.  Turn away from sin and turn back to Jesus.  Confess your sins and receive the living water of forgiveness.  Remain one with Christ.

The devil has another trick.  He doesn’t so much get you to sin as he just gets you to separate yourself from Jesus; just stay away from worshiping the king.  Stay away from hearing the words of forgiveness.  Stay away from the preaching of the Law and the Gospel.  Stay away from receiving the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion.  The devil has clever little lies.  Did God really say that you have to go to church?   You don’t need to go to church.  You will be just fine.  Being in a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.  You don’t need church.  You can do it on your own.

And it doesn’t happen fast, but over time you just evaporate away from Jesus like a glass of salt water left on a windowsill.  After a while the water is gone and all that is left is the salt.  You evaporate away and all that is left is Jesus; waiting for you to return.

You need Jesus.  More than that; you are one with Jesus.  Living in this world you need to consistently hear the Good News of forgiveness again and again.  You need to hear the preaching of Law and Gospel.  You need to receive the body and blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.  You are one with Christ living in a world that is anti Christ.  You need to be reminded of who you are.  You need to remember your identity.  You are a Christian.  You have been baptized into Christ.  You have put on Christ.  You are one with God in Christ.  Amen.

[1]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

 

[2]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

 

[3]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

 

[4]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

 

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