Summary: 1st Sunday in Epiphany The Baptism of our Lord

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Rejoice in the Miracle of Baptism

I) We are made alive by God’s Spirit

II) We are gaining life by God’s Son


What do you think about when you think about baptism? Do you think about your baptism or perhaps the recent baptism of a family member? For those of you baptized as infants, your memories may be a little vague. You may only remember what you learned in catechism class. In conformation class or in adult information class you were taught God’s word concerning baptism. The sacrament of holy baptism is a precious gift from God. A sacrament that works the forgiveness of sin, delivers us from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe and trust in the word and promises of God.

Although you may not remember your baptism, a miracle has taken place. This miracle of God shows us his love and mercy. So today as we celebrate the baptism of our Lord, St. Paul encourages us to Rejoice in the miracle of baptism. By that miracle, we are made alive by God’s Spirit and we are gaining life by God’s Son.

I) We are made alive by God’s Spirit

A) God saved us. We needed saving.

1) In his letter to Titus, Paul was instructing this young pastor about the work that needed to be done in Crete. Paul reminded Titus that he needed to teach the congregation sound doctrine, and to do what is good. To provide encouragement for God’s people Paul reminded the Christians of Titus’ congregation of how they once were. The Christians of Crete were disobedient, foolish, and enslaved by their desire for pleasure. At one time in their lives, they were steeped in sin, without Christ and God’s love. In other words they needed saving. They needed to restore their relationship with God.

2) Before sin came into the world mankind had a perfect relationship with God. God created Adam and Eve in his image, an image of righteousness and holiness. But sin changed that image and our fellowship with God. Because of sin mankind was separated from our Father in heaven. This original sin was then passed down through each generation after Adam and Eve. Everyone born was born sinful and separated from God with no interest in serving him. The psalmist tells us, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." We, too, were separated from God at birth. Born spiritually dead and heading straight for hell. From eternity, God’s plan was to restore the relationship between him and sinful human beings. The prophet Ezekiel wrote, "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." It was not God’s will that we would be forever separated from him.

B) God’s method for saving.

1) We were not able to repair our relationship with God, and so God stepped in. He put his plan into work. Paul tells us " when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." We can not save ourselves by what we believe to be righteous deeds. The only righteous deeds that God will accept are keeping everyone of his commandments perfectly. Jesus tells us God’s requirements in his gospel, he tells us, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

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