BAPTISM MINIMUM AGE
Morning. We’re really excited as this is another Baptism Sunday for us.
We are baptizing SEVEN people today…spread throughout our 3 services.
If you haven’t been baptized as a believer in Jesus yet, sign-up today
Out in the lobby, on your app, just sign up
We’re doing this again on April 25th, and I want to see you in here, so sign-up this morning
As more and more people sign-up to get baptized, I want to take a few minutes here, before I start my message, to address one particular question that we’ve been getting quite often in the last month
And that’s this: Can my child get baptized?
First of all, the Bible teaches that baptism is something that one does AFTER they make a decision to follow Christ, so baptism is not for infants or babies.
But this is a question that’s coming often from parents of 7 year olds, or 8, or 9, or 10 year olds.
It’s a question that we have leaders have wrestled with for a long time, discussed often, and prayed through.
And we’ve come to the conclusion that we are going to ask that your children be at minimum, in Youth Group (so at least 6th grade), before they get baptized here
Now, I’m going to explain how we came to that, but let me also say this:
While the Bible is incredibly clear that baptism is only for those who’ve personally made a decision to follow Jesus, there is no age minimum in Scripture.
There are some areas in Scripture where we are given principles and examples, but are left on our own to discern how to apply (within a certain box) those principles in our own situations.
So you, as a Bible-believing Christian, may still come to a different conclusion for your own family in this particular situation.
SO if you have a 10-year-old who is a follower of Jesus, and they feel compelled by God to be baptized, and you want them baptized…
Then by all means, get Grandma & Grandpa and your friends & relatives together and go baptize them up at the lake this summer…or in the pool.
But I just want to tell you why we picked 6th grade as a minimum for being baptized at Renovation Church:
In my 16 years of ministry, I have had so many people come up to me and ask, “David, can I get re-baptized? I was baptized when I was 8, or 9, or 10, and honestly, I hadn’t fully realized my faith”
They’ll say, “I believed in God, but it wasn’t until I was in high school (or college) that I really decided (for myself) to follow Christ”
“And it became my OWN faith, not my parent’s faith”
Listen, I have two 8 year old’s myself.
And I absolutely believe that they believe in Jesus.
But I also know that it’s all that they know.
They haven’t had a true chance yet to make an independent choice for themselves if they will follow Christ or the world.
We’ve also had a number of parents ask us to baptize their 6 or 7 or 8 year old’s but they’ll usually ask if their child can get out of having to talk about it.
Which, is just another reason why we’re saying 6th grade as a minimum.
Because baptism is meant to be THAT person going public with THEIR personal faith in choosing to submit their life to Christ
We believe that in general practice, the best thing we can do for your kids and their LONG-TERM spiritual health and testimony…
…is to ask them to wait until they’re in middle school or high school or whenever their faith is TRULY their own…
and their baptism therefore will be something that will always be deeply meaningful to them.
If you have more questions on this, I would love to talk to you after a service
THE LORD HAS PURPOSED TO SHOW HE IS THE HUMBLE KING
All right, let’s jump into our message.
As a church, we’ve been going through the Book of Luke…1 of 4 books in the Bible about the life, death, teachings, and resurrection of Jesus
We’ve been in Luke chapter 19, and two weeks ago we jumped over a passage about Palm Sunday, so we could cover it today.
Because today is indeed Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter) on the Christian calendar.
That’s the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem and people laid down palm branches on the road.
So we’re going to open up to that passage, and I’ll read the first half of it now.
(Luke 19:28-35) – NIV
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
Okay, so we’re told that as Jesus approaches Bethphage and Bethany he sends for a colt.
At that point, He’s about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem.
And from there, he’s going to ride on this colt, a young donkey, into the great city
And He’s going to come in…announcing Himself as King.
That point is all over this passage, I hope you will see before we’re done.
But you’ll see that his entry as King looks very different than any of us, or anyone back then, would’ve scripted out a King’s entry
Back in those days, the King was supposed to ride into town on a mighty war horse.
He was supposed to be escorted in by his army and important citizens…with trumpets and banners and fanfare
And here comes Jesus…with just a crowd of people.
And quite the odd collection of people at that.
He’s probably got people like the wealthy tax-collector Zacchaeus, and blind Bartimaeus; He has fishmen, forgiven prostitutes, former drunks and addicts…
He has a whole eclectic crowd of people…
But there are no trumpets, no army, and not even a warhorse.
Jesus is riding in…not even on a grown donkey, but a colt…a young donkey that hasn’t even been ridden yet.
Why?? Why does the King of Kings ride on a donkey?
Well, Jesus is actually fulfilling a prophecy from the Old Testament about how the Messiah who would one day come to Jerusalem.
Take a look at it:
(Zechariah 9:9) – NIV
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
So the Jews had an ancient, 500 year old prophecy that one day the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.
And what does Jesus do? He rides in a donkey!
Fulfilling yet another prophecy!
Now, if you’ve heard this story before, you may be used to the picture of Jesus riding in on a donkey, but I assure you this is more shocking than it sounds to you.
This would be like, if Jesus was first coming to earth for the first time in the 21st century…it would be like Him riding into an important city like New York City, or Washington DC, but riding in…on a bicycle.
That’s not how Kings enter.
When Kings, or foreign leaders, or the President drives into Washington DC… they ride in…in a limo or in an enormous caravan of black escalades.
And traffic is stopped for 20 minutes as you wait and watch them go by.
By here comes Jesus…on essentially…a bicycle.
And my friends, it isn’t going to hinder His work…so don’t you worry about Jesus.
And it wouldn’t hinder his work if He rode in on a bicycle today.
Jesus doesn’t need the notoriety of pomp & fanfare, nor does he need the intimidation factor of a warhorse and an army.
I mean, donkey and all, the crowds are still flocking to Him
It’s not a small crowd.
Don’t picture Jesus on a donkey and 25 followers.
This is a huge crowd
Look at John chapter 12.
This is right after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and is on his way to Jerusalem
So same moment, just Book of John.
(John 12:19) – NIV
So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
And everyone is starting to follow Jesus…because of who He is
It’s His healing touch.
It’s His ability to SEE them…to look them in the eyes when no one noticed them before
It’s His willingness to see all of their sin, and still offer them forgiveness.
Jesus doesn’t need a show, and He doesn’t need to be in power to change the world.
And many of us as Christ followers would do well to remember this today.
It’s the humility of Christ, the message of Christ, and the love of Christ that truly changes the world.
Let me ask you a question:
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, do you think the local Roman governor was shaking in his boots?
He probably laughed.
Do you think Caesar, in Rome, thought that this man on the donkey was going to undo his Roman Empire and their ever-thirsting quest for power and domination?
I’m sure Caesar didn’t even hear about it.
And yet, in just a few centuries, even Rome itself would bow their knee to Jesus.
And not because Jesus came on a war horse and took “Israel back for God” by conquering the government.
No, no no, spiritual revival comes precisely because Jesus came, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey…
And humbly agreed to die in the place of sinners like us.
And Jesus is calling out to every one of you today…
Inviting you to follow Him more closely.
Whether you never have before…or you’ve known Him for 60 years.
Jesus Christ does not come to you on a war horse, with sword drawn, demanding that you follow.
The decision to surrender to Him will be yours.
But I assure you, if you study it (take one of these Bibles if you need to), you’ll find the only logical decision is to follow Him as King
THE CROWD HAILS HIM AS KING
And the people of the crowd that day, they rightly praise Jesus as King
Let’s keep reading. Page 717
(Luke 19:36-38) - NIV
36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
We see in verse 36 that the people are spreading their cloaks on the road…
Which, in those days is what you did, not when a teacher or a self-help guru came to town, but when the King came to town
In fact, in 2 Kings 9 (in the Old Testament), the people literally do this when Jehu is declared King
Matthew & Mark in the Bible tell us that the people in the crowd spread out Palm Branches too for the King
And in verse 38, they literally quote a Psalm 118, which, if you read that Psalm, says, “Save us (Hosanna) Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”
The messiah. The King.
They’re welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem as King of Kings…because Jesus truly can be nothing else in your life.
There aren’t other options on the table…and American Christians have really messed this up
If you make Jesus out to be some sort of self-help guru (who’s just there to improve your marriage & your career & your happiness), I assure you that you aren’t truly following the real Jesus.
If you’ve just made Jesus out to be a good teacher who will help you be a better person, I assure you, you don’t really know Him
If you’ve just made Jesus out to be someone who’s central aim is to help Christians gain political votes and power, you definitely don’t understand Jesus.
That’s the context of the chapters we’re in.
Everyone was expecting Jesus to ride in on a War Horse!
They’re all getting excited about Jesus coming to Jerusalem, and throwing down on Pontius Pilate, and sitting on the throne in Jerusalem.
And instead, Jesus rides in a young donkey, and 5 days later, gets nailed to a cross.
His Kingdom does not look like the kingdoms of this world
Jesus is not someone you use…in any way…to help you establish your kingdom.
He IS the King.
And we just each have to decide if we want to live in the reality of Jesus being King, or lie to ourselves, and live in a false reality that says we are in charge.
STONES WILL CRY OUT
And the Pharisees, the Jewish religious leaders of the day…the choose the false reality
They don’t want Jesus to be King.
They are incensed that He is coming in like this.
They can’t believe the people are calling this Jesus…the one who forgives prostitutes and offers grace to tax collectors…
They can’t believe people are calling this man “the King”
So watch how the passage finishes:
(Luke 19:39-40) – NIV
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Jesus is the King.
And nothing will change that.
The question for every single one of us is WILL we acknowledge Him as King of our lives?
There are many of you in this room who aren’t living at all like Jesus is King.
Some of you call Him “King,” and you sing worship songs to Him as King
But if anyone studied and watched your life carefully, you are clearly in charge of your life, and your schedule, and your actions.
You’re treating Jesus more like an assistant you can consult if things get hard.
But he is King. King. King.
And if you’re really going to follow Him, the only way to do so is to surrender your entire life to Him.
And what I want to do right now is share with you the stories (a story of someone) of some people who have surrendered their life to King Jesus
I want to call our Baptismal Team on stage right now, so they can get our baptismal ready
Because today, like I mentioned at the beginning, is Baptism Sunday..
…and so right now, you’ll not only get to hear some stories of how people truly met Jesus, and you’ll also get to see them be baptized.
Baptism is a symbol of what Jesus did for you when you, personally, believed in Him
It doesn’t save you.
But it’s an incredibly important symbol that, through your faith in believing that Jesus died for your sins on the cross, Jesus has washed away your sins.
And so we’re baptizing 7 people throughout the morning who’ve made a decision to follow Jesus…and we have ____ at this service.
Every person you see baptized at Renovation Church is baptized by their sponsor (someone who’s had a spiritual impact on them) and someone else from our church.
And so, we’re going to begin our first testimony… (I’ll grab the microphone and you can come on stage)
(SWITCH TO BAPTISM SLIDE)
(The King on a Donkey Slide)
Church, this is amazing.
Since we opened up this building in February, we’ve seen almost 20 decisions for Christ and 13 baptisms
God is moving here.
Easter is only a week away.
Bring someone to hear about Jesus on Easter.
People are open to coming to see this new building…especially on Easter. They are!
And I pray that in a month or two, that’s you in the baptismal, baptizing your friend, your brother, your parent.
God can do that.
He IS doing that!
And for those of you that are here today, and you’re hearing about King Jesus in a whole new way…
I pray you also make the decision to follow Him.
Because this humble King that road in on a donkey did indeed die on a cross.
And when He was crucified on that cross, He was dying for your sins…
He was literally taking the punishment for what you’ve done and will do.
Think about this: God loves YOU so much that He sent His own son to die for all of your sins.
That’s how much He wants to be in a relationship with you.
But you cannot be in a relationship with Him (you cannot be forgiven by Him) until you surrender your life to Him by making Him your King
….by believing he died for you
And when you do that, God will remove the punishment from you, and onto Jesus
And He will declare you not guilty.
You’ll be saved…as we say.
Saved from having to suffer the punishment for your sins…in hell.
You’ll be in His Kingdom for all of eternity
And your life will be changed right here, right now, and for forever
I do want to warn you though…
While King Jesus came in on a humble donkey, when you die someday, you’ll see Him as King, in His Glory, seated upon His throne.
And at that point, it will be too late to choose Him as King.
Those that refused on earth to make Him King when he came to them lovingly (offering His life for theirs,) will then experience His holy justice.
And they will have to suffer for their sins…because they wouldn’t let Jesus suffer for them.
SO they will be sent to hell instead of heaven.
Friends, he loves you, he died for you.
I plead with you, follow Him as King…accept His forgiveness now
The best time to follow Jesus is always today.
Let me pray
As I’m praying right now…if you need to turn your life over to the King today for the first time.
To admit that you can’t save yourself
To believe that He died for your sins
And to let Him be King of your life for the first time…
I want to give you an opportunity to do that right now.
To be saved.
If that’s you, and you want to be saved…to be forgiven…to follow Him…
I want you to stand up where you’re at.
No one’s looking at you…but this is just a way for you to mark this moment.
So if you need to be saved, and you need to turn your life over to Him, please stand up now.
For those of you standing, we want to pray with you.
Repeat this out loud after me…whether you’re a brand-new believer or have been one for quite some time.
Repeat after me
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
As everyone still has their eyes closed, for those of you standing up, you just made the most important decision of your life, and I believe that requires some more information…
So here’s what we’re going to do to get you that…as everyone has their eyes closed, I want you, in just a second, to walk back out to the lobby where it will be quiet.
You won’t walk out there alone.
There are others standing with you, and our follow-up team is going to walk out at the same time with you
And I, and our follow-up team are going to get you some extremely important resources & next steps to get you started on the most important journey of your life.
If you’re part of this church, and your friend or family member is standing up right now, PLEASE come out there with them.
All right, you can all go now.
As they’re walking, I’m going to thank God in prayer.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.