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Seeing the Gospel

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Introduction

Last week we began talking about the necessary marks of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Remember we said that just because you have a building and a group of people gathering in that building and they are doing a lot of religious things that does not make it a church of Jesus Christ
We even looked at
Revelation 2:9 ESV
“ ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Revelation 2.
Just a reminder and a quick review
We said that there are two marks that are necessary for there to be a church
Right preaching of the Word of God, last week we talked about the centrality of this. Without this there cannot be a church.
And what must be central in this which is central is the gospel of Jesus Christ
We also said a necessary mark is the right administration of the sacraments or the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper)
We also said that there are two marks that are necessary for a church to be healthy
Godly leadership
Biblical understanding of conversion and church membership
Today we will be talking about a right administration of the ordinances.
Let me say this, when the reformers talked about the right administration of the sacraments; my understanding of what was being said is that we understand the sacraments to be means of grace, they are practices of the church to remind us of the gospel, to picture the gospel for us, to point us to Christ and what He has done for us.
The sacraments are not salvific. practicing the ordinances does not save us.
In other words we need to understand that baptism does not save us
Taking the Lord’s Supper does not save us
This are to point us to the Lord Jesus Christ who alone saves us.
Let us take some time this morning to consider both of these ordinances

Baptism

I. Mode and meaning of Baptism
In NT baptism was carried out in one way: immersion
3 arguments for this
1. Baptidzo means to plunge, dip, immerse something in water
2. Immerse and not sprinkled is appropriate and probably required in serveral NT passages.
"in" not beside or by or near, they got down in the river to be baptized.
most natural reading would be as John was lifting His upper body out of the water not when He was stepping out onto the bank
adds John baptized there because there was plenty of water, he would not need much water to sprinkle
if sprinkling why not use a bit of the drinking water the eunuch would of had? Why wait until you find a body of water? Again language suggest they got into the water. Why would you do that if you are going to sprinkle someone?
3. Symbolism of union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection seems to require baptism by immersion.
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
( ESV)
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. ( ESV)
Truth of being buried with Christ and raised with Him is symbolized by immersion, sprinkling seems to miss the point. Immersion, the person goes down into the water and comes up which is a picture of going down into the grave and being raised again.
Symbolism is even richer if you think that in OT water was a means of God's judgement, the flood, Egyptians in the exodus, and Jonah. Jonah was thrown into the place of judgement and death because of disobedience and his miracelous resuce became a sign of Jesus' resurrection.
Wayne Grudem: "Those who go down into the waters of baptism really are going down into the waters of judgement and death, death that they deserve from God for their sins. When they come back up out of the waters of baptism it shows that they have come safely through God's judgement only because of the merits of Jesus Christ, with whom they are united in His death and resurrection."
This is what Peter is saying
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,
20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
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 good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
( ESV)
Just as Noah passed through the waters of God's judgement in the ark we have made it safely through the water of God's judgement in Christ.
Baptism is also a symbol of washing away our sins
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, ( ESV)
16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.' ( ESV)
Again immersion and not sprinkling is a clearer picture of this.
If we grasped the symbolism going on in baptism it would be a more precious thing for us, those of dying and being raised with Christ, passing safely through the waters of God's judgement, and our sins being washed away. Baptisms are a time of rejoicing in the church.
II. Subjects of Baptism, who should be baptized?
Pattern of the NT is that only those who give a believable profession of faith should be baptized. this is often called "believers baptism" since it holds that only those who have themselves believed in Christ should be baptized.
Baptism is a symbol of beginning the Christian life and should be given to those who have in fact begun the Christian life.
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. ( ESV)
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. ( ESV)
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
47 "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
( ESV)
The NT authors wrote as if all who were baptized had personally trusted Christ and experienced salvation.
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. ( ESV)
Clearly Paul is talking of those who have faith in Christ.
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. ( ESV)
Raised with Christ through faith, infants are not old enough, they do not have the ability to understand and exercise faith in Christ for themselves.

The Lord’s Supper

I. Background in the history of redemption
Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."
27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you,
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." ( ESV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,
24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." ( ESV)
In OT there were times when some ate and drank in the presence of God.
9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,
10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.
11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.
( ESV)
22 "You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year.
23 And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. (Deu 14:22-23 ESV)
26 and spend the money for whatever you desire-- oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. (Deu 14:26 ESV)
Garden of Eden: feasted in God's presence
Lord's Supper is a restoration of fellowship and unity in God's presence, but pointing us to a greater day
9 And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God." ( ESV)
The story of the Bible is God restoring humanity into fellowship with Himself and we get a taste of the feast we will enjoy in the eternal state in unity with all believers and in the presence of God.
II. Meaning of the Lord's Supper
1. Symbolize Christ's death
picture of His broken body and shed blood
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,
24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
( ESV)
2. Picture of the Spiritual nourishment Christ is for our soul
Just as we need bread and drink so spiritually we must have Christ to live
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. ( ESV)
3. We give a clear sin of our unity when we participate in Lord's Supper together
17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. ( ESV)
So
Remember Christ died for us, receive spiritual nourishment, unite with other believers who participate
But we are also personally reminded
4. Christ loves me and died for me.
Great time to personalize what Christ did for us individually. christ affirms His ove to us by inviting s to His table.
5. Christ affirms that all blessings of salvation are reserved for me
I come to the table of the King
I am in the family and am invited to fellowship at the table.
6. Good time to affirm faith in Christ
by taking this i am saying tha my only hope of eternal life is the cross of Christ.
III. Who should participate?
Symboic and spiritual
Bread and wine symbolize the presence of Christ
Also a spiritual presence
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." ( ESV)
IV. Who should participate?
1. Those who believe in Christ
Baptism symbol of beginning
Lord's Supper symbol of continuing
2. think it best for one to be baptized first.
3. One who has examined himself
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. ( ESV)
not discerning the body means not understanding the unity and interdependence of people in the church, which is the body of Christ.
means not talking thought for brothers and sisters in Christ
is there unity? a grudge?
are we living with selfishness and enmity?
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. ( ESV)
That is the idea.
So a baptized believer that is living consistent with the gospel and not holding a grudge against another brother in Christ.

Keeping the Gospel Central

The ordinances remind us of the centrality of the gospel. The ordinances remind us of the importance, the necessity of the gospel.
The gospel is all about Christ’s death for sinners and the ordinances visibly show unbelievers this gospel, the ordinances visibly remind us as the church of this gospel.
Baptism is the ordinance that every believer shares as they enter into the church of Jesus Christ. It is a declaration of the death and the resurrection of Christ and a declaration that your only hope for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life is identity with Christ.
Your only hope is that in his dying and in his resurrection Christ was your representative, that He accomplished this work for you.
Baptism is a glorious declaration of the gospel as we all proclaim that we will make it safely through the judgement of God because of what Christ has done for us.
And again the centrality of the good news of what Christ has done for us is proclaimed when we gather at the Lord’s table.
When we share the Lord’s table we are declaring that our only hope for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life is found in the redeeming work of Christ.
Brothers and sisters, the ordinances are not the gospel, they are not what saves us, but they serve the gospel
They portray the gospel, the magnify the gospel, they highlight the importance of the gospel and in so doing they make much of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And that is what every church of Jesus Christ should be about, declaring the gospel and making much of Christ.
It is God’s grace that He has given us the ordinances so that we might proclaim the gospel to one another, that we might see the gospel and so that Christ might be magnified.
Oh may Christ be magnified in me and in you, in us
May we light Him up, may He be exalted.
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