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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 who died so that we may receive eternal life.
We are here today because Jesus commanded “baptism,” a Greek word meaning “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 by Jesus when He returns in glory.
3. I died with Christ - to my former life without Him.
Paul said that 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 a person is baptized 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 with God.
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. Paul wrote that we are betrothed to the One who rose from the dead.
A marriage 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. We are to love God supremely, and to love others as we love ourselves.
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 upon the disciples waiting at Jerusalem. Peter then preached his famous sermon. The spirit of Jesus Christ is writing His Law into our hearts. This is the New Covenant promise.
“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 the spirit of the Father. May she become a powerful witness for Him and for His truth.
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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