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Summary: We’re going to address that subject and see that baptism, while it’s not something that makes a person a follower of Christ, is an important tool in identifying a person’s relationship w/Jesus.

Intro: There was a family who lived in rural South Carolina who’d never been to a big city before. They didn’t have a TV and didn’t know much @ anything except for farming. Well, the father decided he wanted to take his family on a special trip. So he bought tickets for them to go to New York City.

-When they arrived there they were totally amazed by the tall buildings, the lights, and fast pace of life. But they equally impressed w/the hotel they were staying in. After they were told where their room was, the father and son went to the elevators while the mother and daughter decided they were going to look in the souvenir store in the hotel.

-The father and son had never seen an elevator before so they watched as an elderly lady w/a cane came over and pushed the button and waited for the door to open. After it opened, she got on and the doors shut. The father and son sat there and waited for what was going to happen next. After just a couple of minutes the same elevator doors opened again and off stepped a young, beautiful woman.

-The father and son were totally amazed at what had seemingly happened to the old woman. The father then turned to his son and said, “Hurry up and go get your mother!”

-We all have an identity. Sometimes the way we look and the clothes we wear identify who we are. The jobs we have can give us our identity. And also the amount of wealth we have can help identify who we are. But those are things that are temporary. They are good at identifying who we are for a time but after a period of time those things don’t do that great of a job.

-For instance, your looks can be a major part of who you are. But if you’ve gone to a high school reunion lately you know that looks change over time! Our jobs can identify who we are but there comes a day when we retire. And our wealth can be a main source of pride for us but we won’t always have our wealth. Why not? B/c there’ll be a day when we’ll die.

-So what is it you really want to be the identity marker in your life? We’re continuing our series “Cliff Notes for Xians.” And it’s my hope that we’ll be able to grasp some very basic beliefs that have been a part of Xianity since the beginning.

Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Paul discuss the importance of baptism. For a good while I’ve been wanting to address this subject b/c baptism is something we practice at VillageChurch. And it’s one of the main questions I’m asked @. Very often someone will ask me, “Why is baptism so important? What does it mean?”

-We’re going to address that subject and see that baptism, while it’s not something that makes a person a follower of Christ, is an important tool in identifying a person’s relationship w/Jesus.

TEXT: ROMANS 6: 4-7

Bckgrd: There was an idea among many Xians in Rome that you could be a Xian and still live like you wanted to. But Paul set out to refute this. And he did it by telling the believers, “Don’t you remember what your baptism was all @? Don’t you remember what your baptism symbolized concerning your relationship w/Christ?”

-Paul wrote in Rom. 6: 1-2-“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

-In this section of Scripture Paul reminds followers of Christ the importance of baptism and what it represents, what it symbolizes. So what does baptism symbolize? Well, we’re going to see 3 things baptism symbolizes.

-The 1st thing baptism symbolizes is:

DIV. 1: THE DEATH AND BURIAL OF JESUS (v. 4)

Exp: Once a quarter we host a class at my home called “Discovering VillageChurch.” And in the class we cover the basic beliefs of the church and how we operate and how you can be a part of the church. By the way, next Sunday we’re hosting this class and if you’d like to sign up you can do so today using your Welcome Card in the bulletin.

A. But one of the 1st items we cover in the class is the issue of baptism. Now we practice baptism by immersion not sprinkling. And this generates a lot of questions b/c we live in an area where there are a lot of people whose church backgrounds included sprinkling.

1. So I’m asked a lot, “Why do you immerse?” We do it for a few reasons. For one, it’s the way Jesus was baptized. Two, the word “baptize” literally means “to immerse.” And three, b/c baptism best symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

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