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Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Application

  • What was your main takeaway from the sermon?
  • Did the Holy Spirit lead you into any situations this week where you had an opportunity to put your takeaway(s) into practice?
  • What impact did those opportunities have on you spiritually?

Discussion Questions

  • What are some of the aspects of baptism that seem significant to you (what makes baptism so special)?
  • Have you been baptized before? (explain)
  • Cory described the Lord’s Supper as a part of a biblical theme where people eat in the presence of God. How might that theme help you understand and appreciate God’s saving work?
  • Why is the Passover meal an important background to the Lord’s Supper? (what about the Passover applies to communion)?
  • How can baptism and the Lord’s supper help you in your ordinary experience of living out your faith?

2.11.2024

Transcript

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

*This transcript is generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.

Now we are doing a series on the church. We’re doing a series to really think through our identity as the people of God and specifically what makes us us. Meaning there are a lot of different churches around us in the area. What is unique to the calling that God has given to park city church? And then we want to embrace that. So we’ve looked at some things to think through, through how to evaluate a church in general. We’ve done some teaching on that, and then we kind of zoomed in and we said, okay, well, let’s look at the particulars then. Let’s look at what we do when we gather. And we’ve talked about a few different things there. Today will be another one of those messages where we talk about some elements that happen when we gather together. Then we’ll turn our attention to what happens when we scatter, because this isn’t the only time that’s important. This is important. But then we depart from here and we want to talk through what does it look like to do that intentionally for God’s glory? And then we’ll move on from there and see where the Lord takes us. So here’s a question that has been asked throughout the centuries. What makes a church a church? What’s the difference between what we do here as park City church and what young life or youth for Christ or another parachurch organization does? What makes a church a church? The answer has been given throughout the centuries with different marks or essentials, and they’re pretty consistently given regardless of the denomination or background. But there are typically three that are pointed to, and the first one is the preaching of the word of God. Opening up the scriptures, allowing God to speak, that is an essential feature of a church. If you’re not doing that, then like people have said over the centuries, you’re not really a church if you’re not allowing God to speak. The second mark that is consistently offered is the practice of baptism and the Lord’s supper. Now, obviously, there are a lot of different ways to go about doing those things, but the administration of these things is another feature of a local church. Then finally, the last one is a very bizarre one that we’ve not even. Most people don’t ever talk about anymore. And we’re so far from fully embracing it that it’s difficult. But I would just use the word accountability. That a church is a place where people come together and they commit one to another, and there are expectations that we offer up and that we hold ourselves accountable to. That one’s tricky. Lord willing, we’ll see if we get into that one in this series. But today we’re going to look at that second mark, the practice of baptism and the Lord’s supper. So I’m going to pray, and then we’ll get into what we mean when we talk about baptism and the Lord’s supper. But let’s pray first.

Lord, we ask right now for your help. We pray, Lord, that by your spirit you would speak to each one of us and we would hear your voice loud and clear. And, Lord, we pray that you would help us to think clearly about these different practices that you have given to us. We pray that we would see the benefit in them and that we would administer them well so that individuals here and the entire church family represented would be helped along in their faith. And we pray this in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.

It’s funny, my dad was giving me a hard time about this. I did a sermon on expository preaching being the calling that God has given to me, and then I’m not doing expository preaching. He’s like, you talked about it and then you just moved on from there, apparently. So today is not an expository message. I’m going to bring you through some concepts, and I’ll walk you through. We’ll put verses up on the screen. I don’t have a passage to draw your attention to. That’s just one place. But we’ll kind of go all over the place. We’ll talk about these different things of baptism and the Lord’s supper. The other thing I want to say before I jump into the specifics here, the way in which I’m doing this, I am not going to stand up here and try to untangle the diversity of opinions and ways in which people do these things. I don’t think that’d be a helpful use of our Sunday morning. We have people from all kinds of different denominations and traditions and experiences, and we recognize that the church has been divided over these issues. And so what I’m trying to do here is draw your attention to what is clear in scripture and what is helpful for us, and then we can get to some particulars from there. Well, let’s get to work. What is baptism? What does the Bible say about baptism? The thing that I want to draw your attention to first is that baptism is normal. If you read the New Testament, if you read the New Testament, you go, okay, what does it have to say about baptism? Baptism is the normal experience for somebody who hears about Christ and believes in him, and the normal thing within the New Testament is that they are baptized, so it’s abnormal. In fact, I’ve heard a scholar say it like this, that the idea of an unbaptized believer in the New Testament is a foreign concept. The only example that I can think of is the thief on the cross. When Jesus was hanging on the cross there, there were two other individuals being executed alongside of him. One of them started to dialogue with him and came to faith. And we know that because of the things that he was saying. One of the individuals hanging there beside Jesus of Nazareth hanging there as well, said to him, when you come into your kingdom, remember me? That’s a bold expression of faith, because you’re looking at somebody who’s about to die, and the conclusion of faith is, this isn’t the end for him. He’s a king, and he’s coming into his kingdom. And I think that that could be of some help to me personally. When you come into your kingdom, remember me? And Jesus was hanging there, and he didn’t go, oh, I’m sorry, bud. We’re stuck. There’s no water anywhere around here. So I appreciate your commendation, but we’re just not going to be able to get this one done. He’s the one exceptional case in the New Testament of somebody who believes in Christ. And the Lord says to him, he commends his faith. Today I tell you, you will be with me in paradise. And so that individual does believe in Christ and is affirmed in that belief, but he is not baptized. But if you read the New Testament, that is abnormal. What’s normal is people hear about Christ, they believe in him, and they are buried in the waters of baptism. So that’s the normal thing. And I say that because in our culture, it’s very easy. And I’ve seen this as a trend, that there are a lot of people who trust in Christ and then think that baptism is some optional thing that may or may not be pursued eventually. And for us, we want to be true to what the Bible seems to emphasize, that if you become a believer, we want to encourage you to be baptized along with him. All right, several aspects here about baptism. I’m just going to list these off. These are not conclusive. These are not like an extensive list of this. I’ve pulled it from a few different places, and these ones feel important for us today. So here we go.

BAPTISM IS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

Number one, baptism is an experience of fellowship with God. Now, we see that in the commissioning that the Lord gave in Matthew, chapter 28, he puts it like this. He’s saying to his followers, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. So he’s teaching them. He’s telling them, this is what we do. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So it’s saying, you are being baptized in the name. You are being baptized into the name of the Trinitarian God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is fellowship with the Trinitarian God. So this is not just some ordinary religious experience, but it is a profound reality. You are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

BAPTISM IS UNION WITH CHRIST

Secondly, baptism is union with Christ. Not just baptism into the Trinitarian God, but a union with Jesus the Christ. It’s a union that you can think about a marriage, you can think about two becoming one. That’s kind of the idea. The New Testament tells us that this concept is very important for Christianity. When you become a believer in him, you are brought into union with him. Your life now becomes his life. He now lives in you. So Romans chapter six tells us about this in relationship to our baptism. Paul is writing and he says to them, don’t you know? So he’s drawing, it’s a rhetorical question pointing back to the believer’s baptism. He says, don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? He’s saying, don’t you know? We were baptized into Christ Jesus, therefore we were baptized into his death. He goes on in verse five, he says, for if we have been, here’s the word, united with him. We are in union with him. We’ve been united with him in a death like his. We will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. So baptism is a union with Christ. We join him in his death. We join him in his resurrection, we join him in his life and the life we now live. We live by faith in the Son of God. This is the concept of union with Christ. And your baptism is a part of that. You are brought into union with Christ.

BAPTISM SIGNIFIES OUR FORGIVENESS

Third, baptism is associated with the forgiveness of sins. We see this in acts chapter two, verse 38. Peter’s preaching a sermon. It’s going quite well. Everyone’s being convicted by it. They realize that they have rejected the messiah and they are cut to the heart. And they say, what do we do, brothers? What do we do? We’re hearing you. We believe what you’re saying. What do we do about this? And Peter says, in verse 38 of acts chapter two, repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins. Your baptism is an event that signifies the forgiveness of your sins. It is associated with this concept. When you go under the water, you are experiencing the forgiveness of God, which is what happens later in the book of acts when a group of people are being encouraged to be baptized. It says this, acts 22, verse 16. What are you waiting for? Get up. Be baptized and wash your sins away. Calling on his name, telling people to enter into the waters, to experience the washing of God. Wash your sins away. So baptism is associated with the forgiveness of your sins.

BAPTISM MARKS OUT A DECISIVE BREAKE WITH SIN

Fourth, baptism marks a decisive break with sin. It marks a decisive change in your nature, a break with your sinfulness. This is Romans chapter six. Again, Paul is writing, and what’s happening is people are beginning to wonder, okay, so grace is so amazing that even though I don’t deserve it, God is giving me his favor. That’s wild. So even though I screw up, God is going to love me and bless me and bestow upon me all of his blessings. That’s wild. Does that mean that I could keep doing the poor things that I’ve been doing? Can’t I just keep on sinning then? And then I just get more grace? Doesn’t that make sense? Isn’t this how the equation works out? Can’t I just keep on sinning? And this is what Paul writes, and he’s going to talk about baptism, but it’s this idea of the decisive break that we have made with sin. So Paul in Romans six says, what shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Absolutely not. By no means. That would be to misunderstand all that has happened in your salvation. We are those who have 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? What he’s saying is, the baptism event is the event where you die. There was a season in the life of my ministry where I saw a lot of people getting baptized who really didn’t look like they were very committed to the Lord. And so I started to get grumpy, and I actually kind of mishandled a lot of situations. And I would say, jesus is calling you to die. You willing to do know? Because I wanted people to recognize the significance of what’s going on here. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, when Jesus bids a man, when he calls a man, he bids him come and die. And I would say, are you willing to do that? Are you willing to go into the waters and die to yourself? And I was pastorally misusing that moment. But the concept is here in Romans chapter six. When you go into the waters of baptism, it is a decisive break with the old way of life. It is a decisive break with the sinfulness that we once considered so attractive and appealing. And we are saying, I’m dying with Christ. I’m being buried like his body was buried in a tomb. I’m being buried in the waters of baptism. And what comes out of there is a new thing. No longer just doing this sinful way of life like I once did, but I’m coming out to live in a new way under the rulership of my lord. So baptism marks a decisive break with sin. And that’s one of the reasons why I think people are hesitant to do it. They look at that and they go, well, I don’t know if I want to make that sort of significant commitment. I don’t know if I want to die, first off, but I also really like my sin, so I don’t know if I want to have a break with my sin. And Paul is saying, no, this is what happens in baptism. You go in there, you’re buried under the water, you’re raised to live in a new way. Verse seven of Romans, chapter six. Anyone who has died has been freed from sin. So we recognize that the waters of baptism are that decisive moment where we go under the water and we die to that autonomy, to that selfishness, to that self interest. And we say, I want to live my life for God’s sake. I want his way to be my way.

BAPTISM SYMBOLIZES OUR REFUGE FROM DIVINE JUDGMENT

Well, fifth, baptism is a refuge from divine judgment. This one’s a little tricky, but I think it’s so important we ought to try here. Baptism is a refuge from divine judgment, and this comes from one Peter, chapter three. Peter is writing his letter, and he’s going to draw on the historic event of the flood, the flood that happened, as you recall, possibly way back in the Old Testament. The rain came down and it was an expression of God’s judgment. It was divine judgment on all of creation, and it was a preview of what will happen one day when God judges the earth. And so there was this event, and God warned about it, and he gave Noah a blueprint for an ark, a big boat, and he told him to build that and then to enter that. And then the judgment comes down and the whole earth experiences that. But Noah and his family are spared. Okay, this is first. Peter, chapter three. Now it reads like this. In it, in the ark, only a few people ate and all were saved through water. And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also, not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What is he saying here? He’s drawing on that historical event and he’s saying the judgment of God is catastrophic. We know that. But there is a way to be saved through it. And it is by entering into the refuge that God alone has provided. To be spared, to be saved, to be prevented from experiencing the devastation. It is to enter into the provision that God has made through his promise. And in the Old Testament event, it was a boat. But we come to understand that what we enter into, the thing that covers us, that protects us, is Jesus Christ. We are saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s what the verse there ends with. So the waters of baptism symbolize this baptism that now saves us and it gives us a clear conscience. If you try to live your life thinking, okay, the way that I could be okay is just do better than everyone else, I’ll just try harder than these guys. And I think I got a good shot at it. But then you start to realize, whoa, whoa, whoa, I can’t do what God is demanding of me. So baptism gives you a clear conscience because now all of a sudden you realize, I’m not going to get out of this thing in my own strength. I’m not going to make it through this thing unscathed because I’m trying so hard or because I’m so great. I’m going to be okay because I’ve trusted in the promises of God and I therefore have a clear conscience before God. And I’ll show you here in a minute why this can be so significant for you.

BAPTISM SYMBOLIZES OUR LIFE IN CHRIST

6th baptism signifies life with Christ. You’re not just brought into union with him, you’re brought to life in him. Look at romans six again. It says, therefore, 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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. So now we get new life. We are joined with him in his death, we are joined with him in his resurrected life. And then we go forth in his life, giving glory to him and to the father. So baptism helps us to live. It helps us to live. All right, we’ve looked now at a list of items that the Bible says about baptism. Let’s turn our attention now to items that the Bible says about the Lord’s supper. And we’ll pull this together. I think you’ll see that both of them are important, but here’s what the Bible says about the Lord’s supper.

THE LORD’S SUPPER IS A MEAL WITH GOD

Let me start way, way back. Okay. The Lord’s supper is a meal. And this idea did not come out of thin air celebrating the Lord’s supper. It’s actually something that has been traveling through the scriptures. So if you start out in book number one, Genesis, the beginning, you find that humanity is in a garden, eating in the fellowship of God, eating in communion with God, in a relationship with the living God. God says to humanity, you may eat freely from any tree in this garden. And they therefore are living life under God’s rulership, in his presence. And it is beautiful. But they come to the conclusion, maybe we don’t want God here. Maybe we don’t want God calling the shots or telling us what is right and wrong. Maybe we could do it on our own without him. And they reject God. They turn away from him, and they eat from the one tree that he had forbidden them to eat from. They reject God. They sin, and we call it the fall. And it affected everything. And so they had to leave the garden, and they had to leave the experience of being in the immediate presence of God, enjoying his fellowship. And it’s devastating, right? And even the mealtime now is a difficult one, because we’re told, on account of the curse, the ground itself will be difficult to produce the things that we need to survive. So all of life is affected by this. And the opportunity of having a meal with God has been removed from us. But that potential doesn’t just vanish. God keeps rehearsing that maybe someday we’ll get it back. Maybe someday we’ll be with God again, sharing a meal. And we see it in different places throughout the narrative. But one specific one that’s important, and we’ll come back to it a little later on, is when they were in the desert wilderness, when the people of God were in the first off, they were in slavery. They were in slavery in Egypt. And God said, I want you guys to have a meal, and this meal will signify my saving work. I want you to take a lamb, and I want you to sacrifice that lamb, and I want you to put the blood on your doorpost, and then I want you to cook this thing up. And this is going to be a meal that we call the Passover meal, because divine judgment is coming. If you guys remember the story, there were these different expressions of judgment. We call them the ten plagues. You get to the last one, it’s the most devastating. It’s the angel of death coming to visit that area, and he says, here’s the way to be spared from that. Put blood on your doorpost and then eat a meal. And when the angel comes, the angel will pass by any house that is covered in blood, any house that has that provision on it, that listened to the word of the Lord and obeyed with faith. Any house that’s covered in blood, the angel of death will pass over that one. And now they have this meal, and they eat it every year. They eat a meal where they take a lamb and they sacrifice it, and they eat of that meat, and they remember, this is how God saved us. This is what God has done for us. And the hope is that one day it won’t feel the way that it does, where they’re eating it in haste and worried about what’s going to happen. And so God gives them more meals. He actually establishes that people as his people. He brings them to a mountain. He says, okay, here’s my covenant document. Here’s what it looks like to live with me. And they’re listening to that. He’s saying, you are my people. This is Mount Sinai. And then the elders go up the mountain. And this is very surprising. In fact, if you read it, everyone’s surprised by it. The elders go up and they have a meal with God. They share a meal. They sit down in the presence of God, and they have a feast. And we’re like, wait. And they’re freaking out too, like, we shouldn’t be able to do this. We’re dealing with God here. But this idea then that God can sit at a table with us is maintained. You get to the New Testament and you see the Lord, and you could call his ministry a ministry of the table. In fact, some scholars have pointed this out. If you read the gospels, there’s always a meal. Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal. There’s a meal. It’s always on the horizon somewhere. He has a ministry of the table that he’s always sitting with people and eating along with them. And what he’s doing is he’s teaching people. There’s a banquet that’s coming, and it’s the wedding banquet of the lamb. And he’s telling them there’s a day coming where people can sit in the presence of God and share a meal with him, and it will be beautiful. So now we come to the Passover meal that the Lord shared with his disciples. And this is where we’re going to draw some of our points from. He gets to this historic moment on their calendar.

THE LORD’S SUPPER IS A FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE PASSOVER MEAL

It’s Passover. We’re going to have a meal together. And he gets his disciples together. This is Luke 22, verse eight. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead, and he said, go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover. We’re going to share this meal together. Jesus and his disciples will sit down, and they will go through what the people of God have been doing every year for as long as they can remember. And so he gathers them together. He presides over this thing. He’s going to lead them through this ceremony, this religious meal, and he’s going to help them understand the purposes of God. Now, again, if we think about that Passover, it was a meal to help people recognize how to escape divine judgment. It was the blood of a lamb going over their doorpost that would allow that angel to pass by their home. But the truth is, our consciences were never fully calmed by that event. That’s what Hebrew says. The writer to the Hebrew says, we knew those lambs that we kept eating. That wasn’t enough. But they pointed to something greater. When jesus showed up, John the Baptist saw him coming. This is John, chapter one, verse 36. John the Baptist sees him coming from a distance, and he says, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus is the lamb. And he sits down at this meal with his disciples, and he’s presiding over it, and he’s taking these different things that they would all be accustomed to. The protocol would all be very familiar to them. They knew what was to be expected and all the different things that would happen there. And he’s sitting with his disciples, and he takes the bread and he breaks it. And he doesn’t say, this is the bread from heaven. This is God’s provision that he’s been giving to his people to sustain us. He takes the bread and he breaks it and he goes, this is my body. Do this in remembrance of me. When he had given thanks, he broke it. This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. He takes what was familiar to them, and now all of a sudden, he’s showing them, this is what it was all about. All these meals, all these years were pointing to this night, to what is about to happen here in real time. As Jesus’s body will be broken – he will be arrested and crucified. And he’s saying, take this and remember this. This is my body, broken for you. And then he takes a cup, and again, he’s reinterpreting it or showing its true meaning. And he takes the cup and he says, this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me. On the night of the passover, jesus is taking this meal, and he’s saying, you guys have to understand what this is really about.

THIS IS REALLY ABOUT JESUS

He’s saying, it’s about me. It’s about my broken body. It’s about my shed blood for the forgiveness of sins. He’s saying, when you do this, remember my saving work. And what will transpire over the next hours is he will be arrested, he will be executed. He is the lamb that is slain for us. His body is broken. His blood is poured out, and now he has given us a constant reminder of his saving work. Whenever you do this, Jesus says, do this in remembrance of me.

Take Care with How you Eat: Don’t be Divided, Examine Yourself

Well, there are some ways to be careful here, because in one Corinthians chapter eleven, we’re warned. It is possible to do this in an unworthy manner. It is possible to eat and drink in a way that is not fitting to the reality of what we’re talking about. For the Corinthian church, it was a way of division. Their church was divided, and they didn’t like each other. And so when they were having their meal, there were clear divisions that were occurring. So Paul writes, and he’s like, I don’t have anything good to say here. You guys are really screwing this thing up. And he tells them, I’m passing on to you the teaching, but you guys got to match up to this thing. He says, you are doing this in an unworthy manner. You’re doing it without consideration of each other. You’re taking communion as if this is just your private little religious experience, and you guys aren’t considering the body of Christ one another, and he’s correcting them there. But one of the things that we need to be aware of, then when we are taking communion, we are doing something corporately. This is a tough one and one we don’t like, because we’re private and we’re individuals, and we’ll put up with each other when we take communion. We’re actually saying, this is the body of Christ that God has given to me. These people, these people here in this congregation, when we take this thing, we’re actually declaring something corporately. We’re in this together, and we’re warned about doing this in a fashion other than that. So we need to have care and self examination, which is what first Corinthians is getting at. But we’re being told that the communion event, of taking, of the bread and the cup is a profound reality worthy of our greatest care. So we have looked now at a list of what the Bible says about baptism. We’ve looked at a list of some of the items describing the Lord’s Supper. I’m going to close by talking about how this can be important for you today.

THE RELEVANCE OF THE ORDINANCES FOR TODAY

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are gifts that God has given to us. They are meant to be resources that help us grow spiritually. These are things that are meant to nourish our faith. I was reading a couple of different books over the last few years. I read two different books on pastoral theology. Let me explain what that means. I’m looking at how am I supposed to pastor a people? Which you might say, you should know that, dude, reading two different books on this. And I don’t really care about what successful churches are doing or what everyone wants me to do. I just want to know, what does the Bible say about this thing? And let’s try to get close to that. So I’ve read two different books, the care of souls and pastoral theology. One of them published in 21, one of them published 40 years ago. Here’s something that surprised me. Both of those books talked about baptism in the Lord’s Supper in a way that surprised me. It felt like, why are they making such a big deal out of these things? As if that was the ministry, as if that is the most significant stuff about pastoral ministry. And then it dawned on me. It really is that important. These things, baptism and the Lord’s supper, they’re not incidental items. They actually are a profound thing that God has given to us. And they are actually meant to be items of ministry for the congregation, not just stuff that we kind of go through the routine each week or go through the routine when the opportunities present themselves, but these are items that help us out, that build our faith, that actually nourish our faith in profound ways. These are sermons. One corinthians, chapter eleven, verse 26. It tells us that whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. You declare the saving work of God in Christ. When you do this, it’s another sermon, which I’m grateful for. I’m glad we have three sermons today. I don’t like the second one (the first sermon was Dave’s baptism, the second is Cory’s sermon, the third will be the taking of the Lord’s supper). So we’ve got another one coming, and it’s going to help us. The third sermon is the Lord’s supper that we’ll take together in a few moments. Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. The things that we’re talking about, baptism and the Lord’s supper, actually communicate the beauty of God’s saving work to us, and they become something that nourishes our faith. Let me give you an example here of how this worked in real time. So Martin Luther, one of the reformers, he struggled with self-doubt and discouragement and uncertainty and all these different things, but he had this habit, and I thought it was beautiful and very, very helpful. He would say when he was facing discouragement, when he was going through a difficult situation, he would say this thing, and it was in Latin, so it was different than how I’ll say it here, but he would say the equivalent to, I am a baptized man. So he would say that he’s preaching the gospel to himself. He’s saying, this is my identity. I’m a baptized person. Yes. I’m dealing with self doubt and uncertainty, but I am a baptized individual. That is my identity. And he’s drawing on that for the present moment. This is so stupid, but it’s in my head, and it’s coming out. So you guys remember toy story two? When the cars are. They’ve got a car, and they’re in the toy store, and they’re driving around, and it’s a handful of the different toys, and it’s like Rex and the dog and Mr. Potato head. They’re driving around, they’re looking, and they end up in the aisle with Barbie, and there’s this Barbie party going on, and Mr. Potato head is like, I’m a married spud. I’m a married spud. I’m a married spud, right? He’s reminding himself he’s married with these Barbie dolls or whatever. What he was doing there, what Martin Luther was doing, was drawing on an event that happened for the moment. This is true. Mr. Potato head, I don’t know how you say this when we’re talking about something like, he was married, I guess, but he was saying, I am married. So that influences what I do right here. We need to be willing to remind ourselves and preach the gospel to ourselves. “This is who I am. Dead to Cor, alive to Christ. This is who I am. This is my identity. This is what has happened.” And I bring that forward to remind myself of its present relevance. I am a baptized individual. That is my identity. And we take of the bread and the cup and we remember, this is what God has done for me. And I remind myself this is the saving work of God, the broken body of Christ, the shed blood of Christ. And I feast on that. Knowing this helps me live today for his glory. God has given us these gifts and they are relevant for us today. And as a church, we want to do a good job of administering these gifts so that we might be nourished spiritually and glorify him in all that we do.

Let’s pray. Lord, help us to recognize the blessing that you have given to us. Help us to acknowledge the beautiful realities that are present in the ordinances of the Lord’s supper and baptism. Lord, we pray that those realities would strengthen our faith, that they would help us along in this journey, that we would have resources available to us that help us to be faithful every single moment. And so, Lord, thank you. Thank you for these and we pray these things in your precious name. Amen.