Summary: An apology for baptism

Baptism: The Sacrament of Solidarity

Mark 1:4-11

Matthew 3:1-17; Mark 1:4-11; Luke 3:1-22; John 1:19-34

Intro: My personal experience with baptism

I. Nature and Purpose of Baptism (Reason)

Young people, secular- are weary of the old and established forms of religion

They question the relevance and meaning of such forms of religiosity

Baptism is of no great importance

For them (these) it has lost its meaning

Baptism is relevant and has meaning

A. Baptitzo- to immerse

B. History • OT purification Exodus 40:12-15; Leviticus 16:4,24

Exodus 40:12-15 Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put upon Aaron the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations." (RSV)

• Essenes

• John

C. Jesus Christ Matthew 3:15 "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness."

"What preaching declares, the sacraments dramatize. Preaching is the heralded word of God, whereas the sacraments constitute the visible word of God." Grider, (Systematic Theology), p. 493 (

Ephesians 1:7-8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us.

"Baptism in the New Testament Church involves three meanings: It symbolized (1) an identification with Christ and His baptism, (2) the believer’s incorporation into the Church, and (3) the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit by the baptizand." Dunning, (Systematic Theology) p.545 (

II. The Act of Baptism (Experience)

What is Baptism?

A. Sign of Repentance Mark 1:4-5; Matthew 3:2,6; Luke 3:3

*Mark 1:4-5 John the Baptist...was preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had turned from their sins and turned to God to be forgiven...And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them (The New Living Translation)

*Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8 Prove by the way you live that you really turned from your sins and turned to God. (The New Living Translation)

*Alcoholics Anonymous- admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Genesis 17:13 So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. (RSV)

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 6 Memorize his laws 7 and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8 Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9 Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates. (CEV)

B. Act of Purification

Knowing we are dirty doesn’t make us clean. We must act upon it.

GIJoe- "Knowing is half the battle!"

We, each person, need cleansing

Isaiah 1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil (RSV)

16 Wash yourselves clean! I am disgusted with your filthy deeds. Stop doing wrong (CEV)

Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you? (RSV)

Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (RSV)

26 I will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart and a desire to be faithful. You will have only pure thoughts (CEV)

I Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (RSV)

You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact– saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience.

(The Message)

C. Declaration Of What Humanity Is Not Able To Do For Itself

Mark 1:8; Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:16-17; John 1:33

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