UNITED WITH CHRIST AT BAPTISM.
1. John, in "preparing the way of the Lord," Mk. 1:2-4, preached baptism.
2. And from that time until now, baptism has had a unique significance for those who follow Jesus.
3. It was the means by which people were made disciples. Jno. 4:1,2.
4. The passage we have read from Rom. 6, states that we are "baptized into Jesus Christ".
5. It is by baptism then, that we are UNITED WITH CHRIST. Rom. 6:5.
6. But the scriptures also reveal many things of Christ with which we are united when we are baptized.
7. Let us now notice a few of these things:
I. WE ARE UNITED WITH HIS DEATH AT BAPTISM.
A. No one who accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of God can question the importance of His death on the cross.
1. Take time to read the following scriptures: Jno. 3:16; Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:15; Rom. 5:10.
B. But notice what God tells us in Rom. 6:3, "all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death."
1. So, He died for us, "Making peace by the blood of His cross." Col. 1:20.
a. If we are to benefit from His death, His blood, we must be UNITED WITH HIS DEATH, in baptism.
C. Jesus said in Jno. 12:24, "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
1. Death precedes life, He died that we might live.
a. But the same pattern must be true with us, for this is also what Paul writes in Rom. 6:4, "We are buried with him by baptism into death"
b. In verse 6, "Our old man is crucified with him."
c. And in verse 11, "Reckon yourselves to be dead to sin."
2. When we are united with Christ in baptism, we are united with His death.
a. His death, that which makes our separation, death from sin, possible; is accomplished in our baptism.
3. Saved by His death, and cleansed by His blood, we ourselves "die to sin" so that we are no longer bound by sin.
a. So, "Being then (after baptism) made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Rom. 6:17,18.
II. WE ARE UNITED WITH HIS LIFE AT BAPTISM.
A. Because we are united with Christ, we are raised from the waters of baptism to live a new kind of life.
1. "We are buried with him by baptism into death (separation) we also should walk in newness of life." v. 4.
a. Why? Because the "old man is crucified with him." v. 6, and a new life results.
b. This same thing is discussed in Col. 3:9,10.
B. Jesus told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Jno. 3:;3.
1. He further explained, "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." v. 5
2. When one is led by the words o the Spirit, Rom. 8:14; 1 Cor. 2:13, he is begotten by the "incorruptible seed, the word of God" 1 Pet. 1:25.
a. Then, being baptized in water, he is "raised to walk in newness of life...He is a new creature." Rom. 6:4; 2 Cor . 5:;;;17.
3. Paul summed up the result of being united with Christ in baptism when he wrote Gal. 6:14,15.
4. When we are united with Christ in baptism, we are united with His life: we become new creatures in Him.
III. WE ARE UNITED WITH HIS MIND AT BAPTISM.
A. Paul exhorts us, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Phil. 2:5.
1. But can we really have "the mind of Christ" today?
a. Paul answers in 1 Cor. 2:16, "We have the mind of Christ."
2. When we determine to obey Christ, to leave the world and follow Him, there is new direction to our lives and a new set of values, a new mind set if you please.
a. Read what Paul writes in: Col. 2:12 and 3:1-3.
b. So, being united with Christ, our affections are changed. We seek Him, and His.
B. Jesus said to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of the this world."
1. Paul says, "Our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Phil. 3:20.
2. Because we belong to Christ, we are raised from the water of baptism with a fresh outlook:
a. Look at what Paul says in: 2 Cor. 4:18 and 5:7.
3. Being united with Christ, we "Lay up treasures in heaven" and "Seek first the kingdom of God", Mt. 6:20,33.
4. One who is buried with Christ in baptism, and is "raised to walk in newness of life", can truly sing: "This world is not my home..."
IV. WE ARE UNITED WITH HIS WORK AT BAPTISM.
A. While we recognize that we are saved, "Not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves", Titus 3:5, we must also recognize that we are saved in order to work for the Savior. Phil. 2:12,13
1. Look at what Paul says in: Eph. 2:;10.
2. The Lord said in Jno. 9:4, "We must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work."
3. The basis of the judgment will be "works", Rev. 20:12,13; 2 Cor. 5: 10; Rom. 14:10.
a. In that great scene, the Lord pictures in Mt. 25:31-46, the separation of people according to, "Ye did it....Ye did it not.".
4. When Jesus left heaven and came to this earth, what was His life here?
a. He tells us in: Jno. 6:38; 4:34.
b. And so it is, this is the same type of life in which we become united with Him in baptism.
B. When Jesus was accused of associating with sinners, He replied: "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost." Lk. 19:10.
1. That becomes the mission of every person who is united with Christ
2. The early Christians felt this very keenly. Read, Acts 5:42; 8:4.
a. Just as Jesus was busy teaching, so those who were baptized into Him kept busy teaching.
b. When Ananias was sent by the Lord to Saul, note what he said to Saul: Acts 22:;16; 9:18-20.
3. Those who believed that Jesus is the Savior told others.
a. It ought to be that simple today. Read, 2 Cor. 4:13.
V. WE ARE UNITED WITH HIS DESTINY AT BAPTISM.
A. Where will you spend eternity? This is a question that all of us should ask ourselves.
1. There is no more important question in the world.
2. But Jesus provides the answer, if we will choose it.
a. Look at what He told the apostles in: Jno. 14:2,3.
3. Having finished his purpose on earth, the Lord returned to heaven, Jno. 17:4,5; Acts 1:9-11, and is now at the right hand of the Father. Col. 3:1; Rom. 8:34.
a. Remember, that Her has made promise, "That wherever I am, there ye may be also."
b. What a beautiful picture is painted in 1 Thes. 4:16,17.
c. So, He has promised that we can be with Him for ever.
B. Peter declares that God has done certain things for us. 1 Pet. 1:3,4
1. Yes, being united with Christ, we have an inheritance "reserved in heaven."
2. Some of what awaits us is revealed in: Rev. 2:7; 22:5.
3. Jesus makes the promise that if we are His, united with Him, we can be with Him in heaven enternally.
1. When people asked, "What shall we do?" Acts 2: 37.
A. God's answer was, "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ..." v. 38.
B. All examples that we have in the scriptures, of people becoming Christians, did just that.
1) They were thus united with Christ. Rom. 6:3,4.
2) United with His death, His life, His mind, His work, and His eternal home.
2. Those who come to Christ today, are still united with Him in the very same way.
3. Don't you want to be united with Christ?
4. Remember! United we stand, divided we fall.
5. We can do nothing if we are not united with Christ. Jno. 15:5.
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