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Words spoken before Hilda was baptized this morning:
Hilda believes in God. She believes in the Bible as the Word of God and the only guide to faith and practice. She believes in Jesus Christ - that He was and is God’s only begotten Son.
We are here today because Jesus commanded baptism. Now - “baptism” is a Greek word that means “to immerse”. “Go therefore and teach all nations,” Jesus said, “immersing them.” He did not say sprinkling them, or drizzling them. He said, “immersing them”.
Immersion symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection. Paul wrote that we are “buried with Him in baptism” (Rom 6:4, Col. 2:12). Immersion in the name of Jesus Christ says:
1. I believe that Jesus died and rose again.
2. I believe that (should I die) I will be raised from death when Jesus comes again.
3. I died with Christ - to my former life without Him.
Paul said we are “baptized into Christ” (Gal 3:27, Rom 6:3). We become part of His body. His body died, therefore we also die.
When person is baptized he/she enters into a Covenant with God the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus victory - over sin, over Satan, over death - made it possible for us to be reconciled to God our Father.
When a person is baptized, her name is written into “the Lamb’s Book of Life”. She becomes a citizen of the New Jerusalem - the Lamb’s bride. That’s why Paul wrote that we are betrothed to Jesus.
Now a covenant comes with obligations. The Father’s part is to bless us, and to give us a part in the eternal kingdom of His Son. Our part is to obey His commandments, and to love one another.
Today is the anniversary of Pentecost. It is the anniversary of the day that the Law of God was spoken from Mount Sinai. It is also the anniversary of that Pentecost when the spirit was poured out, writing the Law on the hearts of those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the New Covenant promise. Peter preached his first sermon on that day.
“Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the holy spirit” (Acts 2:38). We claim that gift for Hilda today. May she be filled with the spirit of Jesus, and become a powerful witness for Him.
Be careful - my friends - what you pray for. The TRUTH will never be popular. And if you embrace the truth, you will never be popular either. The way of truth is not easy, but it is blessed.
NOTE: Infants and young children cannot believe. Infants and young children cannot first repent, therefore they should not be baptized. Infants have no sins to remit. We do not believe in something called by the Catholics, “original sin” - that is the sin of Adam, somehow transmitted to each and every one of his descendants. Through the prophet Ezekiel, the LORD commanded that a Son could NOT be punished for sins committed by his father (Ezekiel 18:20). Each individual could be punished only for sins he committed himself. And noone from the human race will be finally and eternally punished for any sin committed by Adam.
NOTE: Those who wish to understand why we baptize in the name of Jesus, can go to Part Seven of our studies on the Trinity Question, “Difficult Passages”, page 7.
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