Camping 2011: Baptism Sunday
July 3, 2011
Scripture reading: Acts 2:37-42
Of baptism and weddings
Baptisms are kind of like weddings – the attention is centered on the few people that are getting baptized, but everyone there is a part of event. We are not observers, but participants, who celebrate with them and support them.
· It’s a reminder of what we’ve committed ourselves to.
Q (Kids) What is a symbol?
[Bring up one of the kids who answers it; offer a piece of paper or a dollar bill.]
The symbol is valuable because of what it means, what it represents. Baptism represents many things:
1. Repentance: Turning away from your sins AND turning to God.
If you were walking towards a cliff and your parents told you to stop and come back to them; what if you stopped, but didn’t come back, and kept playing on the edge, would that be repentance?
· Repentance is stopping and coming back to God in relationship.
Q (Kids) Have you ever missed a birthday because you were sick?
Sin is like a deadly disease, making us sicker and sicker, like cancer. When we become Christians, it is like Jesus gives us the cure by dying to take away the sickness.
Q Does that mean we should try to “get sick” again?
Romans 6:1-4 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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 reminds us that we have died to the life of sickness.
Q Now, when you are sick, do you usually get better right away, or does it take a while?
It takes awhile, doesn’t it? It takes a lifetime of following Jesus to get all the way better, but it is your choice how quickly you get better.
· It’s just like when you start to get better, you can make the recovery quicker by resting and eating right.
3. Entrance into the Body of Christ, the Church
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 12 ¶ The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Q (Kids) How many of you want to join the military?
You all will have one thing in common with the rest of the soldiers: Boot camp.
When you are baptized, you are joining with millions and millions of Christians who have all been baptized, and you are joining this local part of the Body.
· We are all here cheering you on; in the coming years you are supported by a strong community.
One final note: I have asked all of them to share. If nothing else, it is a simple profession of faith, but some are going to give a short testimony as to why they are being baptized.
· It is a very ancient tradition to give a profession of faith.
But it is tremendously encouraging to the church to hear what God is doing in the church, in lives young and old.
It is my profound hope that this motivates us all to see more of this, to see more lives changed and more becoming part of our community.
· As God has called us as a church to evangelize, I want us to be motivated by a sincere love for others to be changed.
I want to see some of my co-workers, and your co-workers, friends and family next year.
Objectives of sermon:
· Implant in young and old minds the image of dying to self and being raised in Christ.
· Excite church to see more baptized.