I AM YOUR SALVATION
I AM YOUR SALVATION
Annual Baptism Teaching. Psalm 35:1-3.
Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. July 29, 2018.
Welcome to my infamous "annual baptism talk." Every year I manage to offend almost everyone :) But this year, there is no time for that. So we can all relax.
Psalm 35 tells us three things about God:
GOD IS ...
In verse 1, he is our lawyer.
Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me.
"Contend" means to argue our case in court. God stands up for us. He represents us.
In verses 2-3, he is our defender.
Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. 3 Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me.
God protects us from danger. He fights for us.
In verse 3, he is our savior.
Say to me, "I am your salvation."
In the context of Psalm 35, he's the one who rescues David from danger. In our context, he's the one who rescues us from every day dangers AND saves us from sin and judgment.
What does this have to do with baptism? Baptism pictures God as our lawyer, soldier, and savior. In baptism, the Lord speaks over us and says, "I am your salvation."
GOD SAYS ...
I am your salvation because the person of sin has been transformed.
Baptism is the visible action that points to the invisible action of our death and resurrection with Christ. The old life of self and sin is gone, the new life for God is here.
(Romans 6:3-4) 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.
I am your salvation because the penalty of sin has been paid.
We owed a debt we could not pay. Jesus paid a debt he did not owe. He took away God's judgment on our sin by offering himself as an atoning sacrifice in our place (propitiation - Romans 3:25) to be received by faith.
(Acts 2:38) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."
I am your salvation because the power of sin has been cancelled.
(Romans 6:6-7) We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
The Message says that we're, "no longer at sin’s every beck and call!"
I am your salvation because the pollution of sin has been cleansed.
At baptism, we make our inner faith visible - calling on Jesus. God invisibly/inwardly removes our guilt and shame:
(Acts 22:16) And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.
(1 Corinthians 6:11) But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (baptismal formula) and by the Spirit of our God.
(Titus 3:4-6) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
GOT JESUS? GET BAPTIZED!
At first glance, baptism is just water. But look again and listen because that water speaks. God speaks through the waters of baptism. He speaks a promise over us. "I am your salvation."
Yes, we are saved by grace through faith. But the New Testament is very clear about how that inner/invisible faith is to be expressed: through outward repentance and baptism in water.
If you've got Jesus, you really should be baptized.
Outside of the New Testament, it is unusual to find a connection made between baptism and the cleansing from sin's pollution. One exception is an early General Baptist Confession signed by John Smyth and others:
"The whole dealing in the outward visible baptism of water, setteth before the eyes, witnesseth and signifieth, the Lord Jesus doth inwardly baptize the repentant, faithful man, in the laver of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, washing the soul from all pollution and sin, by the virtue and merit of His bloodshed; and by the power and working of the Holy Ghost, the true, heavenly, spiritual, living water, cleanseth the inward evil of the soul, and maketh it heavenly, spiritual and living, in true righteousness or goodness. Therefore the baptism of water leadeth us to Christ, to His holy office in glory and majesty; and admonish- eth us not to hang only upon the outward, but with holy prayer to mount upward, and to beg of Christ the good thing signified" (op. cit., p. 62).