I will, with God's help

Notes & Transcripts

class=MsoNormal>There is nothing I like better then Baptismal services. To me the whole Christian message - is there

and it is there in the words that so beautifully characterized our role in God’s plan.

In five words we have the entire human situation

- “I will, with God’s help” …

God is there in beginning, in creation, created us in His own image and God breathed into us… life

God he created them; male and female. 28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. (Genesis 1:27b-31)

God is there for his people when they were slaves in Egypt and needed him to provide the most incredible escape ever

-          an escape that defines a people – from psalm 78 we hear:

The day when he redeemed them from the foe; 43when he displayed his signs in Egypt, and his miracles in the fields of Zoan. 44He turned their rivers to blood, so that they could not drink of their streams. 45He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them. 46He gave their crops to the caterpillar, and the fruit of their labor to the locust. 47He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamores with frost. 48He gave over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to thunderbolts. 49He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels. 50He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.51He struck all the firstborn in Egypt, the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham. 52Then he led out his people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. 53He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 54And he brought them to his holy hill, to the mountain that his right hand had won. 55He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.(Psalm 78:42b-55)


God was there in the prophets when the people needed to be told of His plans for them.

                        The Prophet Jeremiah declares:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. 3For the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors and they shall take possession of it. … 8On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will break the yoke from off his neck, and I will burst his bonds, and strangers shall no more make a servant of him. 9But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

10But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and no one shall make him afraid. 11For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you; I will make an end of all the nations among which I scattered you, but of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished. (Jeremiah 30:1-3 & 8-11)

And most importantly God gave us clarity of his plan for humanity by living as one of us           

            By coming as - Jesus the Christ

                        To be an example for what we are to strive for

                                    - the holiness - that is the goal for our lives

                                                - to be in: full faith, trust and love with God

                                                            From Colossians today we heard:

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)


            God - in the greatest act of love of all - die for us

                        Died as the sacrificial lamb - fulfilling the law - dieing for our sins

                                    taking on everything that we have done that separates us from God


                                                - that which is out of step with God’s desires for us

                                                            …And saying - I will die for you

                                                                        Die for each one of you


Then to leave

            That’s right - to leave us to our devices

                        Our own free will

                                    But to leave behind the Holy Spirit

                                                The invisible force that empowers us

In Baptism - you are saying “Thank you Jesus - I accept”…


Today we celebrate the baptism of these beautiful people, and their beginning into the church

            Where both candidates and parents & sponsors make promises

But also as the congregation present, together with them - as a representative of the whole Christian church

            And we say the most powerful statement that we could possibly make

                                                “I will, with God’s help” …

In those words we accept that - it is our choice to accept God’s gift to us

            In those words we claim to follow Jesus Christ

                        In those words we accept the greatest lesson of all

                                    …We can do it - yet … only with God help

All through-out history the greatest of all sins is to think that we can do it alone - by ourselves

In the words of our baptism - we make the most important statement possible

            We accept our role in God’s plan

                        “I will, with God’s help”

Understanding that we can not do it alone

            That alone we will fail

God knows we will fail

- He expects it - and has planned a way to redeem us

That is why I love Baptisms the most

            Yes - because we welcome new lives into God’s family

                        ….Which is awe inspiring….

                        But also because we do it - aligned with God’s plan for us

                        We do it in with the right attitude

                                    In humility …

                                    - but - in hope…

                                                “I will, with God’s help”

By making the promises that everyone gathered makes in the baptismal service… for those that you are sponsoring …the candidates … and yourselves

            You are making the most profound promise that you could ever make

                        You are acknowledging the greatest gift ever given

You are accepting the responsibility of the teachings of Christ

Each child of God will still have to make the choice themselves

But … in baptism we are all provided with the opportunity to be part of God’s family – acknowledging God to be with us

In humility - but - in hope

                                    “I will, with God’s help”


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