I want to direct this meditation in two directions this morning. First, to the saints of Holy Trinity: To some of you, it may seem a little odd to be having a baptism of this gentleman that we have just met a week or two ago. But the lesson that has just been read and others like it record the apostolic pattern of baptism. Paul explained that salvation is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and after speaking the word of the Lord to the jailor, he was baptized at that very hour, in the middle of the night! Jesus sent his apostles and ministers out into the world to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them. This means that baptism ought not ordinarily to be the culmination of much study and training; rather it is the beginning of a life of discipleship, the enrollment in the school of Jesus. But this fact is actually re-enforced every time we have an infant or small child baptized. It was Jesus who said that “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me” (Mt. 18:4-5). Jesus says that everyone who enters the kingdom of heaven enters as a child. In other words, every baptism is an infant baptism. Everyone who desires to come to God must come as a little child. This is why baptism comes at the beginning of discipleship and should happen as soon as possible. Whether a person is 2 weeks old or 30 years old or 60 years old when God interrupts a person’s life with his grace, that person enters the kingdom as a child, as an infant, completely new, completely helpless, completely dependent on the kindness and mercy of God. Salvation is all of grace. A forty year old can no more save himself than a two week old.
And it is in this light that I exhort you, Rocky. I call upon you to recognize that you are coming to God as a child. You come in need of forgiveness. You come in need of cleansing. You come in need of wisdom. You come in need of new life. And as a minister of the gospel, I have been authorized to declare to you that all of these things are found in the Lord Jesus Christ. And I call upon you to believe this. Believe it deep down in your bones. Your salvation, your forgiveness, your justification, all that God promises to give you is a free gift given you for the sake of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You cannot earn any of this. All of our best deeds are still filthy rags before the perfect holiness of our God. This baptism is your assurance that God forgives. He promises to remove your sin as far as the east is from the west, and from the moment of your baptism, you must know and believe that you are a beloved son of God and Dayla is a beloved daughter of God. This is the gospel, the good news, Rocky. And it is good news for you. Believe this good news, embrace it, and give thanks.
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen!