Our Common Baptism***
11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
I want to thank, Rev. Dottie Smith, Dr. Mark Arnold, Rev. Pam Gillyard, Min. Matthew Borders, Min. Marvin Venay, Min. Cindy Blackwell, Min.Kenny Kelly, Min. Cynthia Bell for preaching the gospel effectively. To all the associate ministers for visiting the sick, attending funerals and supporting the congregation. To all the deacons and deaconess for making sure ministry needs were addressed, the AV and Music and Arts for uplifting our spirits, ushers, nurses and everyone who loves and supports Morning Star.
Being home and recovering from knee surgery, I have regained perspective. I have gone from seeing the ministry as work to worship. I am not just a pastor but I am a son of God and a friend of Christ. My concern is for this congregation and for the church of Jesus and its condition.
I have prayed for you and hoped you have prayed for me. I’m glad to be here now. I have missed being with you in person. I’ve changed my desire for preaching. My focus is to be original. To bring the message in a way that is originally me. I intend to speak from the place so deep within my heart that you must think deeply about God and Jesus Christ, and from there form, a better understanding, and a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the world.
We begin with Abraham. God directed Abraham to circumcise his household as a symbol of their common faith and covenant with God.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
What every Christian has in common is baptism. And yet, Baptism is not common.
Michael Heiser said, “Baptism is a controversial doctrine.”
Immersed in water, sprinkled.
In a pool, or in a lake or ocean,
In the name of Jesus, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Baptizing children, Not baptizing children,
Some baptizing only once, baptizing again,
An ordained minister, verses a lay person,
Is it supernatural, or the symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism is a church ordinance.
With all the possibilities for miracles within our corporate faith,
There are limits on what the church can do.
The church cannot shape your whole identity.
The church can tell what tree you are from, but it cannot bear fruit for you. We are known as Saints, members, children of God, believers, disciples, Christians. You are also you as an individual. The church determines if you are in the body, but not what part of the body. We can only love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.
Whenever the church tries to shape the whole identity, it becomes pharisaical.
You cannot find your whole identity here, and yet, our collective identity is different from any other congregation in the world.
The church cannot meet every need…
Not everyone is healed… not every prospers; not every question is answered; not every problem solved; some are depressed, People leave the ministry. some are still searching for their purpose. We learn how to survive. The apostle Paul said, “I’ve learned how to abase and how to abound….” But, We survive; then grow, then thrive, then build. We build ourselves and we build up others.
The church is not made up of full grown believers- fully sanctified individuals.
Not everyone is on the same spiritual level. All of us are at different stages of spiritual growth.
Leaders are not infallible: They go on vacation when you need them. They fall and injure themselves; they struggle with issues, they get sick, others get weary. We don’t always agree. Everyone is vulnerable. Our vulnerability is our power. People are flawed.
Those flaws enrich our body. Hearing someone sing, who sang in the club, following a leader who almost died by addiction and now they are intercessors, working with people who survived divorce, bankruptcy, or imprisonment, or losing a family member to gun violence and found their joy, or hearing a cancer survivor testify to the goodness of Jesus. These make us more than conquerers.
What the church has is STABILITY. The storms rise and the winds blow but the church is built upon a rock.
God provides stability. God is faithful
Gen. 8:22, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Heb. 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Jesus Christ said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
One thing we all have in common is our baptism.
I don’t mean immersion in water alone.
Jesus told James and John, ‘Can you drink from the cup I drink, or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” Jesus was not speaking of water baptism. I am talking about something much greater.
THE MYSTICAL TRANSFORMATION
Paul reminded the church in Colossea, not to be brought under bondage by myths and folklore, false teachers and empty practices.
Something mystical happened. Something supernatural and divine happened.
Jesus entered the world as the Son of God. However, something supernatural happened when Jesus was baptized. He had no sin to clean. However, The Holy Spirit rested upon him in the form of a dove. The Voice of God declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.””
We experienced a supernatural transformation in Jesus Christ.
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
With all our different backgrounds, experiences, gifts and understanding, There is...
Eph. 4:5-6 “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Jesus stripped way the old nature.
“You were circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands.”
The flesh, which is weak and subject to corruption, is overcome by The spirit of divine power. Something powerful and divine happened. John the apostle also saw it. “To those who believe in Jesus’ name are born of God; not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Your whole self, not just one part of the body, once ruled by the flesh, has been crucified and resurrected by the mercy of God.
Michael Heiser said, “Circumcision was the constant reminder of the supernatural grace of God.”
Both male and female share in a spiritual circumcision. We died the death he died that we might live the life he lives. The wounds Jesus endured healed us. They removed our transgressions and iniquities and caused us to walk in his ways. We are dead to the world and the world to us.
God buried us with Christ.
“We were Having been buried with him in baptism.”
Baptism connects every person or family here by one thing- a story. Everyone here can tell what led them to Christ. We are drawn together by and unseen power. We have become his elect. If anyone be in Christ, he or she is a new creation. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.
Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Rom. 6:3-4.
Christ’s baptism gave us something Abraham’s circumcision could not do.
Abraham’s circumcision could not keep Israel from rebelling against God
Paul said, “They were baptized in the wilderness and died. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.” I Cor. 10:2-5.
Jesus Christ changed our eternal condition-
In Adam all die, in Christ shall all be made alive.
He called us for his purpose. We have been predestined. We’ve been called; We’ve been justified; and we’ve been glorified.
Christ’s baptism did something more than mere affiliation could accomplish; THE PRICE HAS BEEN PAID, THE DEBT CANCELLED, THE CHAINS BROKEN, THE DEATH SENTENCE REPEALED.
We’ve been adopted into the family of God.
1John 3:2 “ Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
We are marked by God. Revelation 9:4 “ The Four angels were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
The mark is in our minds. Our world view, our value system, our purpose unite us into God’s family.
Mark 3:35 “ Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.””
It is our responsibility, as sons and daughters of God, to honor our common baptism and walk in the light of a circumcised heart. We all must all apprehend what we were apprehended for. We must die every day to this world. We must live by more than bread alone. We must all eat the living bread and drink from the fountain of living water.
ONE THING I REMEMBER FROM MY BAPTISM. MY FORMER LIFE ENDED. I ONCE WAS LOST, BUT NOW I’M FOUND; I WAS BLIND, BUT NOW I SEE.
When we do Jesus Christ lives again and we live for him.
Come into the family of God. The Bible ends with an invitation. I make that same invitation to you today, you who are not yet in the family of God.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
And let the one who hears say, “Come!”
Let the one who is thirsty come;
and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”