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UNITED WITH CHRIST
- We are united with Christ in the water
- Connected with Christ the water and the river The early church often baptized in the river, just as Jesus we baptized in the river. The thought was that Jesus met the believers in the water.
- We are creatures who occupy space and time. We often find things and places that connect us to others these things, places, and elements connect us
- A little girl puts on her mothers shoes
- A little boy puts on his dads hat or jacket
- Gettysburg In 2001 we made a trip there and I was uncertain how my children would respond to the place. We had just been to the Hershey Chocolate factory. We had all been cooped up in an RV. Would they run around like berzerkers or would they show reverence? It was a calculated risk, and theres just something about the place an energy, an atmosphere that inspires awe and reverence.
- Leos chair It connects us to his presence, for those who dont know him, now you do to some extent.
- If all of this is true with mundane things and our connections with one another, then how much more is it true with our connection to God the Creator, the living Christ and the Spirit in the waters of baptism?
- Symbols connect us to things larger than ourselves. They are as real as what they represent because they are part of that reality. No, the water isnt magic (no more than the bread is magic) but think about the meaning of water ...
- Water is life ... communities and cities have always gathered by rivers. The river contains power, but the river also brings life and activity. This is why the early church preferred to baptize in living water.
- Didache 7:1-2 baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water; but if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water ...
We are baptized into Christ
- Our baptism participates in all the many, many beliefs and practices that are a part of our faith. Some of these may even seem incompatible we are called out of the world, but we also live out Christs love for a lost world. We are dead to sin, but we have a new life. We are not saving ourselves, but we are submitting to his saving grace.
- This is why it is important to note that we are baptized into Christ. We are never baptized into a church. Baptism is much more than a one-time ceremony it is a connection with the Lord that we never leave behind.
- Discipleship Life in Christ
- We are united with Christ in his death, but also with his life and his resurrection.
- We are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18) it is a process. We are saved from a crooked and depraved generation even now. (Acts 2:40)
Our baptism is a transition
- Friday I attended a preview for a movie called the River Within. A young filmmaker from Paragould, AR, Zac Heath, made this film on a budget of about $40,000. One of the themes of the movie is a river that flows through a small town in Arkansas. Like the river, God is flowing through the lives of the people in that small town and in that church.
- One of the scenes I especially appreciated in the movie was a portrayal of a baptism in the river. The minister made mention of the group that gathers around the banks of the water and welcomes the new Christian.
- As the church we are people who live close to this river of God.
- We are forever bringing people down into the water. We are always bringing people to Christ they are growing into their baptism.
- We are also forever living alongside the river. All of us who have come up out of the water are learning what it means to live this new life we are growing out of our baptism.
- Baptism is a transition. It is the anchor point that we can go back to but it carries us forward as Gods spirit flows through our lives and our lives are changed. not just then, but even now.
- So, our lives have purpose in Christ.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 23 August 2009
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