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May 19, 2019

The Covenant of Baptism

The Covenant of Baptism

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: Other

Category: Sunday Morning

Baptism becomes that expression, that outpouring, and that excitement where I want to declare to the world that God saved me. 

Marriage is a Christian principle and is based on a biblical covenant relationship with each other. Marriage oneness is not a guarantee but it’s available if we will do things the way God called us to do. It requires work. Newly marrieds begin a process of dying to self and expectations and to see what is gained as the two form a new individual.

Pastor James describes the marriage relationship as a covenant. Covenant is significant; it's greater than a promise. A promise is between people and based upon fulfillment of one person. If broken, then broken for both parties. God did not make promises with His people but made covenants. As in the Abrahamic Covenant, when God said He would make Abraham and Sarah parents of many nations. Abraham begins to help God fulfill the covenant and a son, Ishmael, comes out of that. Ishmael was not the fulfillment of God's covenant, but God was still faithful to the covenant and fulfilled it in His way giving Abraham a son, Isaac.

God is a covenant keeping God with His people. It doesn’t matter our life circumstances. God intends to fulfill His covenants to all who are willing to receive.

In marriage, there is a representation of that covenant – the ring. The ring does not make us married. It signifies to the world the covenant with another person.

To the believer, baptism is a symbol of that covenant of salvation. Baptism doesn’t bring us to be saved. Salvation takes place when we come to that saving knowledge of Jesus Christ - that Jesus died for me - and we ask the Lord to come and be Lord of our lives. It is shown in John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

For God so loved the world . . . God has a great desire to restore the relationship between us and the Father - the relationship that was broken in the Garden as a result of sin. 

So loved the world, that He gave . . . It’s a one-directional movement of God to us. God gave – God extended a covenant promise to anyone who would receive it. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son . . . Jesus Christ who came down and lived a sinless life on this earth.

That whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life . . . That’s a covenant. Jesus came to make a way where there was no way. Our shortcomings do not matter. All that matters is Who we know in the end. When we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and we make Him Lord of our life, there is no longer anything that can come between our relationship with Jesus. Baptism becomes that expression; it becomes that outpouring; it becomes that excitement that one wants to declare to the world what God has done for us. 

Baptism is an outward sign of an inward work that God has done in our lives. Joy comes to let the world know what God has done.

We live in the most blessed country in the world. It is not a result of anything that man has done but a result of being formed on the principles found in God’s word. God was glorified in the founding of this nation. But does our Christianity lose our excitement because it doesn’t cost us anything? It becomes more apparent when there is a cost to it. The Voice of the Martyrs tells of a couple in India facing severe persecution because of accepting Christ and being baptized - both being hospitalized for days. Another pastor conducting baptisms had Hindu extremists begin to physically attack those in attendance.

We live in a society where it doesn’t cost us and we can lose sight of the significance of the cost of Christ. He laid His life down for each of us that we might walk in covenant relationship with Him.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging, we are healed. Baptism is not just a testimony of what has been done in us. It’s also a testimony of what He has done for us.

Rejoice and let the world know that we’ve entered into a covenant relationship with God, our Father. Jesus’ final words in Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Why should we be baptized?

  • It’s the path that Jesus set for us.
  • It was the example He laid before us - to make disciples by baptizing and by teaching.
  • It's an opportunity to walk as Jesus walked.
  • It gives awareness to the world around that we have made a covenant relationship with God.

Acts 8:34-38 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.

Explain the difference between a promise and a covenant.

How does Pastor James compare marriage to a covenant? What are the symbols of each one? 

Share your salvation and baptism stories. Was there a "cost" to either one?