God’s own Child
God’s Own Child
† Jesus`Son`Savior †
May you realize the joy of being the very children of God!
The Joy of Baptism
After one of the recent baptisms, as I was walking out of church, someone said to me, “Pastor, you really enjoy baptisms, don’t you?”
I am not sure if it was a surprise to them, or just a an observation, but yes, I do. More than anything else I do in ministry, I love it when there are sacraments delivering God’s miraculous grace to those people He loves, to those He has called into relationship with Him.
When God takes a person and the Holy Spirit breathes faith and eternal life into them, declaring them to be His children.
It is an amazing miracle….
Matter of fact, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and Absolution, all three of the major sacraments are miracles, something to be incredibly joyous about. They are, in my opinion, more important than any other miracle, more important than healings, or the story in the gospel of the man who was freed from demon possession…more incredible than the parting of the Red Sea, or anything else.
We’ve witnessed a miracle, one that has happened in our own lives as well.
Scripture describes what happens in baptism in many many ways. We often focus on the cleansing of sin, the being united with Christ’s death and resurrection, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, with a transformed life, even if it takes a while to see it completely. In baptism we are clothed with Christ, and the old sinful nature is drowned. We’ll talk about some of these things in our Bible Study today… but in the sermon, there is one thing, that sums up this miracle…
It’s there in verse 7, J, and all that are baptized know this…. you are God’s own Child…
I would hope that our reaction to realizing what Jesus has done here, and did in each of our lives would be like what the response of the man given life in the gospels did.
Jesus sent him home, saying, 39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.
Including this amazing fact, that each of us has been made God’s own child!
The Law was More than A Friend
If we are going to tell people what God has done here, and in each of our lives when He baptized us, when He cleansed us and gave us abundant and eternal life, we start as Paul did, talking about where we were before this.
He uses this great illustration about the law being our guardian, that God’s rules were put into play, not to condemn us, but to protect us. That’s not usually how the law is presented to unbelievers by many Christians. Many people think evangelism means talking about how the law condemns us, how people who don’t know about Jesus fail to live up to its standards, and need to do something about it.
Paul explains it differently here, that the law is our guardian, our teacher, the pedagogue, or to use and older term – our governess. It’s job isn’t to condemn us, but to protect us until we come to trust in God, until we journey on this “way of faith”, until we are united in baptism.
The law served, in many ways, like our babysitter – with carefully laid down rules so that we couldn’t maneuver around them, or find the loopholes in it. Yes, it pointed out what we’ve done wrong – but it always points to the solution, that God would provide a way of forgiveness, a way that He would make it right…
He did that, in our baptism. In clothing us with not just with Christ’s righteousness, but with Christ Himself.
But the law was there, bringing us to Christ, showing us our need, like a teacher guiding us on a field trip – ensuring that we are safe, ensuring that we would get to our destination in time. The moment the way of trusting Christ was available to us.
But there is something so much more!
It is not just baptism that should excite us, but what it means for the rest of life, in a real way, the beginning of life.
It’s like yesterday, when James and Doran were married up in Seattle. A lot of planning goes into a wedding – and a lot of excitement builds up as the event gets closer. I have heard it can even become stressful for some brides.
The day is nothing compared to the life together that has begun. There may be challenges, there may be days where they will be tired, but they will be there for each other. Weddings are a blast – but they now have a life together. They have a blessing beyond any other blessing.
In a similar way, the journey only begins this morning for J. She will walk with God all her life, as each of us does who trusts in Him, who realizes that He has claimed us as His children in baptism, that we have been given Christ’s name, that we have been given Christ’s spirit, sent into hearts.
We will never be alone, we will never be without hope.
We’ve been claimed… His children…the one’s He takes care of, the ones that don’t need the law keeping guard on us, because He is with us.
That’s the miracle that is in baptism – that’s the power of Christ’s death and resurrection – it’s not just about the sins that are gone… it’s about the relationship that is revealed, that begins, for God has adopted us, made us His own children, claimed us as His own.
Talking to God!
Hear it again…
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
If baptism as an event is important – then this, the idea that because we are the very children of God, that the Holy Spirit prompts us to call God, Abba! We are prompted, by the Holy Spirit to call God – Daddy – that’s the point of it all, that is why this is so amazing, that we can call out to the Creator of the universe, to the God who placed the Sun and the moon in their positions! We can call out
in time of need,
to fix the things we have broken…
to help us be able to deal with things we cannot understand..
or just call out to Him.. to praise and adore Him, Father, we love you!
So I get excited about days like this – for the right time has come, and we have a new sister, who will share in all of the blessings of being clothed with Christ.. who will with us, walk in great peace with God, who will feast with us, who is like us,
God’s own child.
That’s something to praise God for… even as we realize again, what He has done to each of us. AMEN?
- Our Place is His Place! (justifiedandsinner.com)