Sermon on October 27 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17
Baptism is both a milestone and a call to us. If what we see today is a picture of what is real, is that our reality?
To follow Jesus is:
1. TO MAKE A CLEAN BREAK WITH YOUR PAST!
The word ‘Christian’ occurs just three times in the Bible. But ‘in Christ’ is mentioned around 165 times
Nothing a Christian is and nothing he/she does can happen outside of being in Christ = no longer being in Adam
Baptism says this is who I am: ‘The old has gone – everything that God sees in His Son, Jesus, He sees in me too!’
2. TO ABIDE IN JESUS IN THE PRESENT!
‘… old things have passed away: behold they have become new’
The power of the gospel is life changing because it is life-producing.
Those baptized today are compelled to obey Jesus:
‘For Christ’s love compels us…’ (v15)
Baptism is a first step of many steps of following Jesus in a new direction
– for a greater purpose than yourself.
3. TO EXPECT RENEWAL IN THE FUTURE!
If anyone is in Christ, – (the power for all we are),
the old things have passed away – (the potential for all we can be),
the new things have come – (the promise for all that is ahead)
- Your future is in Christ, not you
What now? When God rescues us and unites us to Jesus, we will not escape the waves, flames and His shaping power.
- Christ is your future, not just tomorrow
‘The creation waits in eager anticipation for the sons of God to be revealed‘
It gets better! Baptism anticipates the restoration of the universe, and all who trusted in Jesus.
Among them a perfect Rahila, radiating Jesus’ joy; a mature Axelle, more like Jesus than she could imagine, and a grateful Annalie – singing the praises of the King.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. Read the passage together (2 Cor. 5:11-17). What does the phrase ‘in Christ’ suggest to you? How does baptism bring out this truth?
2. What precedes baptism? Why is there no command for any disciple to baptize himself/herself? If Jesus was not a sinner, why was He baptized?
3. How would you describe the new things that Paul talks about in verse 17? To what does this refer and how does this show itself in the Christian life?
4. Spend some time praying for those who were baptized this last weekend. How might you encourage them and spur them on to further love and good works – as a group and individually? Now do it.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Evan Earwicker