Summary: What does baptism do for the believer? Does it complete our salvation? What purpose does it serve? Paul lays out just what becoming a believer means and how baptism plays into that conversion/transformation...
Date Written: August 2, 2010
Date Preached: August 8, 2010
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Special Baptism Service
Sermon Title: Baptized IN Christ
Sermon Text: Colossians 2:11-14 [ESV]
Salvation, for the believer is an extremely wonderful time. This is because when we discover our sin and sinful nature… when we come to realize how awful our sin is in the sight of God, and how hopelessly lost we are… it is a terrible feeling!
However, the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that no matter how “bad” you think you are… no matter how wrong you have lived your life… God has promised that He can and will save you, if you will place your faith and trust in Him!
Today we celebrate the salvation decisions of five of our newest members… and we do so in a special and solemn way… Today will always be a day of remembrance for these new believers, as today they made their faith public by pledging their allegiance to Christ in the public ceremony we know as baptism.
Baptism in one of the 2 ordinances that Jesus gave to the church, the other being the symbolic remembrance of what He did on the Cross of Calvary that we celebrate in the taking of the Lord’s Supper…or communion!
However in looking at baptism from a scriptural point of view, we must understand that baptism is NOT an act we do to COMPLETE our salvation, but it is something we do out of an act of obedience after we come to know Christ as Savior! Baptism is public display that reveals to the world what has taken place in the heart of the believer!
Today in our passage of Scripture we read where Paul is speaking to the church in Colossae. This was a church that was NOT started by Paul, but by Epaphraditus… a convert under Paul’s ministry, and the church was experiencing some growing pains… there were many false teachers teaching things that were leading these young believers into false beliefs about Christianity.
Paul’s desire here was to clear the air and clarify the teachings of Christ and the truth about the Gospel, so let’s look at Col 2:11-14 [read verses here]
11 In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.
When we read this passage we can see Paul clearly outlining 3 very specific points that I want us to take a look at this morning…
1. A Comparison Revealed – v11-12:
The human brain is basically a supercomputer that analyzes all the information that is put before it and then it reveals what that information means… so often as believers we use the art of comparison to understand a specific point or process.
Paul understood the use of comparison and in our passage this morning Paul uses a very distinct comparison that reveals to the reader… what being saved means!
Let’s look at v.11
11 In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
What happens to the believer when they place their faith and trust in Christ and God forgives their sins and saves them? Paul tells us it is like the physical act of circumcision.
Now as unpleasant as the subject circumcision is for us to talk about, it was and still is a very common procedure for MOST males of our society today AND it was something practiced by the Jewish nation as well.
Circumcision was established by God in His covenant with Abraham and was to be a sign for all Jewish men that they identified with the covenant that God established with the Jewish nation!
Now we need to understand that circumcision is a very INVASIVE and PAINFUL procedure, but it was used to establish an identity within a larger body of people. The act of circumcision removed unwanted flesh and forever changes the male it is performed on…
Salvation by its very nature, brings about a change. To be saved, means that your situation has changed, but Paul goes further here… Here the Holy Spirit leads Paul to reveal that not only has our eternal position changed… but Paul tells us that WE have also changed!