top of page
Search

Baptized For What?, June 11, 2023

Matthew 28:16-20, The Baptism of Angelina Rosemary Wright-Harris.

Dear Angelina,

This message is written directly to YOU, Nina,!! You will be baptized in just a little bit; but I want all the rest of those gathered to listen, because they’ll be making a commitment to GOD to help support you, Angelina, as a Christian, as a child of GOD. AND folks gathered here, you will be helping Angelina remember to live into her baptism!!

All of us are here, in the sanctuary, because we want to worship GOD; AND We wanted to celebrate with you, Nina!

We want to join together with you and your family at your baptism.

We’ve gathered because we wanted you to be a special part of GOD’S family! I know you are glad that your parents gave you Rosemary as your middle name. Rose is your mom’s mother’s middle name, so your Grandmother’s middle name. And Mary is your dad’s mother’s name, so your grandmother’s name. You are covered with names from both of your grandmothers.

You don’t remember, Angelina, but you were born on July 20, 2009, almost 14 years ago.

I was baptized over 70 years ago when I was sprinkled by

Rev. Paul Wobus. Sprinklings, pouring, and immersion, are all Biblically fine ways to be baptized.

In just a couple of minutes, I’m going to have you pick out a shell that Hope and I collected when we were in Florida and use it to pour or sprinkle water on your head.

It’s the work of God that is the sealing of the Holy Spirit; that is the important part.

The same pastor that baptized me, Rev. Paul Wobus, also lead my confirmation class, where I confirmed my faith for myself, when I was about 13 years old. I confirmed the commitment my parents made for me at my infant baptism to God and the Church.

That’s when I said, “Yes!” to Jesus. You are old enough and you will confirm the promises with the support of you family and this congregation. You will say, “YES!” to Jesus for YOURSELF!!

Angelina, I’ve fallen down on my promises to GOD, several times; but GOD forgives me, if I turn around and go back to him and repent of my sin. I’ve renewed my commitment several times throughout my life.

God has never failed to keep good on His promises.

Remember Nina, if we repent our sins, GOD will forgive us!!

Most of the people here in this sanctuary were also baptized.

Folks, think about your baptism, so that when you pray for Angelina, you will remember your baptism.

Friends, when were you baptized? Were you a child or an adult? Have you recently renewed your commitment to Jesus Christ? AND NOW THE BIG QUESTION: “For what were you baptized?” or “Baptized for what?”

At Harmonie Church we are striving to LISTEN, LEARN and LOVE!

LISTEN—At Harmonie Church we strive to LISTEN to GOD; and we LISTEN to each other and those meet along the way.

LEARN—At Harmonie Church we strive to LEARN from GOD, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; as we LEARN from each other.

LOVE—At Harmonie Church we strive to LOVE GOD with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and we strive to LOVE our neighbor as we love our selves.

Our vision is built on what Jesus said the most important commandment was to Love GOD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and the second was to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Today’s scripture included the last words that Jesus said to us before he ascended to heaven, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

We are called to baptize folks, and help them grow to be disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We can work together to GOD’S glory. Hopefully, the following 4 steps will remind you, Angelina, and the rest of you all listening, how to stay right with GOD.

#1. BY CHOOSING TO WEAR THE RIGHT JERSEY!

Why did Jesus choose to get baptized? We hear the answer in Matthew 3:13 and following, “Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Jesus showed us how to submit to GOD!

Jesus said he wanted to be baptized, “TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Righteousness simply means “Having a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!!” For us humans, we are called by GOD to be baptized. WE ARE CALLED

To die to our sins and put on Christ!! The relationship on the inside, dictates what happens outwardly.

The Bible says that we are TO PUT ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ. It’s a little like putting on a BASEBALL JERSEY, some call it the cloak of righteousness.

WE BECOME ASSOCIATED WITH TEAM JESUS’. JESUS BEGINS TO COACH US IN LIVING; EXCHANGING OUR SIN WITH HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!

We can NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH by ourselves. We need THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST in our lives, and then as A RESULT WE BEGIN TO LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY. SO Angelina, DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME WHOSE TEAM YOUR ON.

GO TEAM JESUS!!

If you are going to serve Christ, live from the inside out, and give evidence that you play on TEAM JESUS!!

#2. Say, “Good Bye” to BAD HABITS!

BAPTISM IS A Symbol OF DEATH. We strive to die to our sins and live for Christ. Sometimes we need to leave things behind us as you go through life!

We need to say “Good bye,” to things that cause us sorrow; that cause your family sorrow; that cause God sorrow.

Nina, you might develop habits that don’t belong to the new life you have in Christ! It means you will have TO GIVE UP SOMETHING.

CHANGE always involves SACRIFICING something in order to GAIN SOMETHING ELSE. We exchange SPIRITUAL DEATH for SPIRITUAL LIFE. We exchange the BAD OR NOT REALLY GOOD HABITS we have to develop NEW HABITS!

Jesus was submitting to God His Father. As He would do ON THE CROSS when He was going to PAY THE PENALTY for OUR SIN, and the PENALTY WAS DEATH. He was symbolically PREDICTING what He was going to do when He DIED ON THE CROSS. The COST FOR US is to being willing to DIE TO THE OLD WAY OF LIFE and live for Christ.

#3. STOP TRYING TO CALL THE SHOTS

Jesus HUMBLED HIMSELF to be baptized. We can learn a lot from Him about HUMILITY. We can learn to SWALLOW OUR PRIDE and come UNDER HIS AUTHORITY AND SERVE HIM!

As you grow older, Angelina, make a choice to let Jesus call the shots. It will change your life. He knows you better than you do, so prepare to be humbled, and admit that unless Jesus is honored in your life, all your plans don’t mean a thing. So try volunteering to serve Christ in the humblest of ways.

#4. START DOING LIFE WITH and FOR OTHERS

Nina, my sister, I mean really take an interest and do life with others. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS!! Identify with them and their needs, don’t just talk about the weather.

Angelina, you can determine to actually take an interest in someone else that you might have ignored.

I’m glad that Jesus identified Himself with me. He was giving us AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW. He DEMONSTRATED, NOT ONLY THE NEED TO BE BAPTISED and LIVE FOR GOD, but also the need to be Christ’s servant to others.

Baptism is a Symbol of NEW BEGINNINGS. Jesus was in one sense at least putting HIS OLD WAY OF LIFE BEHIND HIM.

He would no longer BE A CARPENTER’S SON but would

BEGIN THE MINISTRY HE CAME TO FULFILL.

My Friends, As Christians, we are called by Jesus Christ to hear HIS last words on GOD’S Good Earth, HIS GREAT COMMISSION!! JESUS TELLS US TO A) Baptize folks, and

B) Help them grow to be Disciples of Jesus Christ

for the transformation of the world.

#1. BY CHOOSING TO WEAR THE RIGHT JERSEY!

#2. Say, “Good Bye” to BAD HABITS!

#3. STOP TRYING TO CALL THE SHOTS

#4. START DOING LIFE WITH and FOR OTHERS

Baptism MARKS THE BEGINNING of that ministry as He HEADED TOWARD THE CROSS. This was when He began TO PREACH, TEACH, AND HEAL the sick, CASTING OUT DEMONS and doing ALL SORTS OF MIRACULOUS WORKS. Jesus began a NEW PHASE OF HIS MINISTRY at His Baptism.


GOD, our Father, APPROVED of Christ’s baptism,

“This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

GOD approves of Baptism as an ACT OF WORSHIP.

He also calls us to A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP and with the

HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WE LIVE TO PLEASE GOD.

So, for what are we baptized? Baptized for what?

At Harmonie Church we are striving to LISTEN, LEARN and LOVE!

Some churches have broken being a disciple into into 5 areas:

PRAYERS, PRESENCE, GIFTS, SERVICE, AND WITNESS!!

Jesus tells us to love GOD and love our neighbor and in his last words on earth, he told us to make disciples and baptism them. We can work together to GOD’S glory. Each and every one of you are loved by God. Nina, GOD is saying to you, “You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”


In Christ’s Love and Peace,

Pastor Doug Kraus


And now the Baptism of Angelina Rosemary Wright-Harris.

Nina, family and GOD parents come on up!!

Recent Posts

See All

Epiphany of The Lord, January 7, 2024

Matthew 2:1-12. I want us to get on the same page with a few definitions. #1 Epiphany is the Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.  Remem

Jesus Presented In The Temple, December 31, 2023

Luke 2:25-32   Today is a day of hope for many people.  Tomorrow is the first day of the New Year and is a sign of hope; but many of our sisters and brothers have lost hope; or their hope is not very

bottom of page