This is the sermon for Sunday, September 12th, 2010.
Galatians 3:27-29 – 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Introduction: Last time we looked at the purpose of the Law. We saw, according to Paul in his letter to the Galatian church that the Law was added, or given, because of transgressions (verse 19). We also saw that the Law is not contrary to the promise of God (verses 21-22). And then, now that faith in Christ has come, we are no longer under the supervision or tutorship of the Law, but under grace in Christ Jesus.
This morning, I want to ask an important question; to whom do you belong? Who has ownership over you? Is it your parents? Your country; Yourself? Or maybe is it your sins?
Well for the follower of Jesus Christ, the answer is glorious: we belong to Christ!
Let’s unpack this truth from our text this morning.
The importance of Baptism.
Galatians 3:27 – for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Just how important is water baptism in our day and time? Well some people put too much emphasis on it; others don’t emphasize it enough; and still others don’t emphasize it at all.
Honestly, I haven’t emphasized it enough, and as a Pastor I have both failed God and this church in my lack of emphasis. Still let me share some of my views concerning baptism.
My views on baptism:
- It is extremely important.
- It was instituted by Jesus Christ Himself.
Matthew 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…
- I do not believe and practice infant baptism. While I am reformed in many of my thoughts and theology now, I have to part ways with many of my reformed brethren on this issue. I cannot find any Scripture that supports infant baptism.
- I do not believe in baptismal regeneration: meaning that you are saved by your confession of Jesus through faith in Him, through the waters of baptism. If this is true, then Paul would be promoting what he has argued against throughout this letter concerning the Judaizers – a salvation by works.
- Every believer/follower of Jesus needs to follow the Lord in water baptism.
- It is more than a mere symbol, but a powerful act that identifies us with Christ and displays the affect of the Gospel.
For Paul it was important. In fact in this verse he says that those who have been baptized have, “clothed themselves with Christ.”
- Greek word enduo (en-doo’-o).
- To sink into a garment, to array, to clothe, to endue, to put on.
Baptism is a powerful sign that we have died to self and sin (going into the water) and have been raised to new life in Christ (coming up out of the water).
Let’s look at what Paul says about baptism in Romans.
Romans 6:3-4 – 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Baptism is also a sign to those present and to the person being baptized that they belong to Christ.
Belonging to Christ brings one-ness.
Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- There is neither Jew nor Gentile: In Christ, the racial divisions have been removed. You see, there is not a white church serving a white Jesus; a black church serving a black Jesus; a brown church serving a brown Jesus. There is one Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ – and one church – whose members He calls out of every tribe, race, and nation to become one in Him!
- Neither slave nor free: There is no hierarchy in Christ. He is the leader- we are all the followers.
- Neither male nor female: This doesn’t mean we have lost the sexual distinctions between the sexes, obviously they are still there. What this means is that unity in Christ transcends the sexual distinctions. No gender is to be exalted above another.
- The result – we are all one in Christ Jesus!
If we belong to Christ, then we are heirs.
Galatians 3:29 – If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul, in verse 16 calls Jesus the Seed of Abraham.
Galatians 3:16 – The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
But since we belong to Christ we are also Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.
Conclusion: This morning please understand that we belong to Christ because God called us to Him. He first ran to us, then we ran to Him. If you are in Christ and have never been baptized after following Him, meet with me, let’s set up a time and place so that you can experience the joys of baptism.