Andrew Fountain - The Extraordinary Effect of being Joined to Jesus

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Full sermon notes - The Extraordinary Effect of being Joined to Jesus

1. What is Baptism about?

  • It is a symbol of being united with Jesus in his death and resurrection
    • We will come back to it in a minute
  • First let’s talk about the idea of being united with Jesus

2. Union with Jesus Christ

John & Anne Darwin

John & Anne Darwin

Image source: getty

  • A few years ago in the UK there was a report about a man called John Darwin
    • He drowned tragically in a canoe accident in 2002
    • Five years later he was photographed in Panama with his wife
    • He gave himself up and was charged with numerous charges of fraud and put in prison
  • Dying is a very convenient was of getting out of all kinds of problems
    • Any prosecution against you will immediately be dropped
    • your debts get wiped out
    • your police record and driving record are wiped clean
    • you can no longer be called up for military service or any other kind of duty
    • no laws of the land even apply to you any more!
  • Now being dead might not sound so good to you, but if you were immediately re-incarnated
    • as citizen of another country
    • maybe the heir of several billion dollars
    • that could solve a lot of problems, couldn’t it!
  • (Actually the Bible does teach re-incarnation—only one time, but more of that in a minute)
  • We’re going to look at what the Bible teaches about this
    • The three places where it is taught the clearest are Eph 2, Col 2 & Rom 6
    • We’re going to look at Rom 6 this morning

Romans 6 —Death to the old

  1. We know that our old self was crucified with him
    in order that the body of sin would no longer dominate us,
    so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
  2. (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)
  • Here we have the basic idea
    • in some way (that we can’t really explain) if we are Christians, then our core identities were with Jesus when he died on the cross
  • Two things happened:
    1. The price was paid for our sin. Guilt was removed. We walk free
      • I have a friend that was involved in some wild stuff in his youth. He served time for bank robbery. But now he is free—he can’t be emprisoned again for it because he’s paid the price and walks free.
    2. The old dark power inside us that made us a slave to doing wrong things has died
  • So we are freed from both the
    • guilt of sin
    • it’s power
  • Now we come to the other side of the coin:

Romans 6 —Raised in the new

  1. Now if we have died with Christ,
          we believe that we will also live with him.
  2. We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead,
          he is never going to die again;
          death no longer has power over him.
  3. For the death he died, he died to sin once for all,
          but the life he lives, he lives to God.
  4. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin,
          but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
  • There are two aspects: present and future. First the future
    • Jesus received a new physical body—so will we
    • This new body is immortal, cannot suffer pain or sickness
    • Because we are joined to Jesus, whatever happens to him will happen to us
  • But there is also the present in v.11
    • Even now this new life has started inside us
    • We have been re-created as something new, and it has started already inside us!
  • We are JOINED to Christ.
    • Brothers and sisters, we are joined to him if we are Christians.
    • United. Inseperable. He in us and us in him.
  • Ex of helicopter rescue from ship off Cornwall
    • moment is when man is joined to rope.
  • The same ideas are in the letters of Colossians and Ephesians
    • bury—raised
      • death—life
      • “Together with him” Paul has actually coined new words here
    • when someone was crucified, they would nail a list of their crimes to the cross
      • Our crimes were nailed to Jesus’s cross
      • Not transferred to him, as a separate entity
        • but he put his arms around us and said “let’s do this together” and then he did it all
  • The core message of the gospel is union with Christ
    • Once I used to teach the Gospel in terms of scales
    • I once made a pair of scales to teach this to children
    • In one side goes our sin (heavy stone) and the other goes our good works (no substance)
      • Then we take the righteousness of Jesus and it balances it out
  • However much truth there is in this image, it is not how Paul presents the Gospel
    • Not a cold, legal transaction with scales,
    • but union with a living person
  • Implications of being united with Jesus
    1. Our destinies are inseparably connected
      • we are totally secure
    2. We actually have died
      • and we have been raised something else

3. So what about Baptism?

Baptism by Immersion

Baptism by Immersion

Image source: Diezba

  • What happens...
  • Why are they going through this?
    • Does anything magically happen to them in this process?
      • no, nothing at all (except they get a little cleaner in the process)
    • Is it just an empty ritual then?
      • No, and I’ll tell you why
    • are wedding rings an empty ritual?
      • Symbols can be meaningful because they tell a story
    • So these three people are going to tell a story with this symbolism
  • So what is it a picture of?
    • Death and new life – Joined to Jesus

Baptism is three things:

  1. A public declaration that you are following Jesus
  2. A picture of death and new life
  3. An opportunity to receive more from God

1. A public declaration that you are following Jesus

  • Declaring yourself as a follower of Jesus
    • In some cultures to decide to become a follower of Jesus can lead to persecution or even death
    • This was the case in the early church, 2000 years ago
    • But Jesus said he was not interested in secret followers
    • He wanted people who would trust him in life and in death
    • He promised that he would commit himself to those who were willing to commit to him
    • He wanted people who would trust him enough to “go public” with it
    • The way he asked them to “go public” was with an external action that symbolized what had happened inside them
  • As far as we know it was always done outside
    • but we have a very different climate in Canada (our last baptism was in March!)
    • Actually the guys being baptized were all up for breaking the ice on the lake in February
    • But they were worried that all of you would get cold standing on the shore watching them
    • So they have kindly and unselfishly agreed to be baptized indoors!

2. So why dunk in water as a sign of committing yourself?

  • Can you imagine if we did this at weddings?
    • As a sign that the bride is committed to her husband we are going to dunk her in a tank of water and totally submerge her!
    • Now we are going to dunk the husband!
  • So what does it mean?

Romans 6 —Baptism

  1. Do you not know that all of us who have been
          baptized into Christ Jesus
          were baptized into his death?
  2. Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, in order that,
          just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
          we too might walk in newness of life.
  3. For if we have been united with him in a death like his,
          we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
  • so going down is a picture of dying
  • v.4 Paul says “Christ was raised from the dead”
    • coming up out of the water is a picture of a new life beginning
      • “we too might walk in newness of life.”
  • v.5 There is some invisible bond that has occurred between us and Jesus
    • Just imagine that you had the opportunity of every bad thing in your past to be re-written
    • Everything you have done that you regret to be erased
    • Every mistake or hurt to be just wiped away
      • That is what this death is—the old is gone, there is a new life that begins
  • v.6,7 Someone who follows Jesus Christ is not sinless—they will always be imperfect
    • But they do have a new power available inside themselves to fight against old habits and faults
  • v8–11 If we are joined to Jesus, and he has defeated sin and will live forever
    • one day we will rise from the dead, just as he did, and live with him forever

3. An opportunity to receive more from God

  • Jesus told his followers to be baptized
    • and he also promised them that he would bless them if they kept his commandments
    • one of the blessings is the power and presence of Jesus actually available to us and in us
      • This is through his Holy Spirit
  • If you are not a follower of Jesus today:
    • How would you like to have the opportunity of
      • Every bad thing in your past to be re-written
      • Everything you have done that you regret to be erased
      • Every mistake or hurt to be just wiped away
    • And a new power in your life to live in a new way
    • If you are not following Jesus, and are interested in finding out more, then I would love to talk with you later
  • And if you are, and would like to be baptised, then we would like to do some baptisms this summer!
    • Come and talk to me
    • It is a wonderful occasion of celebration

Updated on 2015-06-28 by Andrew Fountain