Summary: Baptismal sermon urging a bold witness for new Christians.
Tonight we are going to observe the ordinance of Baptism. That is one way that we publicly proclaim Jesus as our Savior and Lord. I recently had someone ask me about a private baptism. There is no such thing. Jesus calls us to openly acknowledge Him. Jesus did everything He could to keep out the half-hearted people. Because He never minimized the cost of discipleship many would be followers left Him. He has been very frank about what He expects of those who do follow Him.
The baptisms we are going to observe in just a few minutes are not an end. They are a beginning. It is a commitment to Jesus Christ to live for Him in a hostile world. The term Christian means "a little Christ." It is a call to display Jesus to the world around us. It is unpopular to take a strong stand on anything today. But that is exactly what we are told to do.
(27) "What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops."
There are some of your friends, co-workers and relatives who don’t mind you going to church. They just don’t want you bringing that stuff out of the church and around them. We are not only to declare the salvation of God through Jesus Christ alone but we are to give His viewpoint about everything. God has a standard. It is to be revealed in the lives and by the mouths of God’s people. God has not desire for secret agent Christians. "Housetops" were the place where many public announcements were made. Invitations to a wedding, announcements of a new birth in the family, and Josephus even writes that it was from a rooftop that he argued and put down a rebellion. Wherever God has place you is your housetop. It is that place from which He expects you to proclaim Jesus with your voice and your life.
Mac Brunson, who recently left FBC, Dallas to pastor at FBC, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. took his 11 year old son to the Ukraine on a mission trip. The son had been gone a long time with an interpreter. When they returned the enterpreter told the story of the son’s witness to a 90 year old man using a track in Ukraine and English. The man said "I have always known there is a God, but I never knew His name. Now I know His name is Jesus." Can God use children like these who are being baptized tonight to proclaim Jesus? He most certainly can. We look at these young children and our expectations are very low. But God looks at these 4 and sees the influence of lives dedicated to Christ at an early age. How many others will see the glory of heaven because of the decisions by these who give their testimony of baptism tonight and give it again over and over through the years wherever God gives them opportunity?
Is it going to be easy to live for Jesus from this day forward? 3 times Jesus told His disciples "fear not." Which seems strange since He had also told them they would be hated, persecuted, arrested and brought before authorities and even betrayed by their own families. But He doesn’t leave it there. He goes on to explain why they and we should not fear to boldly proclaim Jesus as Savior.