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Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ
were baptized into His death ? ROM. vi. 3.

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ
were baptized into His death ? ROM. vi. 3.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BAPTIZED ITO HIS DEATHBROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christwere baptized into His death ? ROM. vi. 3.THESE words from the Epistle for to-day, which Ihave taken for my text, must have sounded with farclearer meaning on the ears of those to whom St.Paul wrote than on ours. At first probably we donot see any fitness in the figure which the apostleuses. We are familiar with the form of the sentence,and so we inquire no further. or is it hard to seewhy this is so. If we enjoy countless advantagesby living in a Christian land, and growing up dayby day under the influence of Christian rules and inthe use of Christian language, it is no less true thatthis habitual familiarity with holy things brings withit peculiar difficulties. We cannot see the specialcharacter of our profession brought out into clearlight by contrast with the profession of others. Wecannot estimate aright the cost of our warfare as weare bound to do because we do not observe theforces of our adversaries who lie in wait around us.early all now bear Christ s name, and we aregradually led to think that that in itself is of littleimportance for good or for evil. In common271272 VILLAGE SERMOSlanguage a Christian is only another name for aman. But it is not so that Holy Scripture speaks of those who have entered even nominally on Christ sservice and have been enrolled in His household.
That name and that enrolment, in which we allhave an equal share, tells us, or should tell us,always that we are God s children and soldiers, heirsof a heavenly inheritance. And if we are engaged insuch service, surely it is well that we should reflecthow we were pledged to it. If we are looking forsuch an inheritance, surely it is well that we shouldthink often of the terms under which it was firstpromised to us. Thus it is that the Epistles are fullof allusions to baptism, which is at once the typeand the pledge of the Christian s hope. And, aboveall, the passage which I have chosen brings thesubject most impressively before our minds in itspersonal relation to each one of us. But, as I said,we are unable from our position to understand atonce the full meaning of the language used. To usbaptism seems to bear no resemblance to death.There is nothing, as far as we can see, common tothe font and the grave, though it is in this way thatSt. Paul speaks. The few drops of holy water withwhich the unconscious infant is sprinkled bear littleresemblance to the stream into which in the first agethe full-grown convert descended that he might risefrom beneath its waters to a new life. But if theform be changed, the reality still remains. Whatbaptism was to the first Christian, that it may be tous now. The lessons which it taught then it maystill, by God s blessing, teach us. If it set forth adeath then, it sets forth a death now. If it was thenxxxi VILLAGE SERMOS 273the beginning of a new life, it is the beginning of anew life now. If it has lost anything of its formerpower and meaning, it is because we have changed,because we look for less and believe less, and notbecause differences of age or climate can removethat which God has fixed. And so we can use the
apostle s words, and repeat the question to youwhich he addressed to the Romans of old. Know yenot, my brethren, that as many of us as were baptizedinto Christ were baptised into His death ? Know yenot that that sacrament from which we derive ourChristian name declares the true nature of theposition in which we stand to the world at large,and points out the spring of our present strength.For what is it to be baptized into Christ s death butto die even as He died, and to share the blessingswhich by His death He gained for us to die toold motives and old hopes, and to live only inChrist ? And these are the thoughts which I wouldask you to bear away to-day. I would ask you toreflect that that baptism which we have all received,and at which we all assist, as often as any arededicated to God in this place, signifies at once adeath and a life a death which we must all realiseand a life which we may all enjoy.At first, when the Christian found himself cut off from the sympathy of those whom he had loved,excluded from the daily occupations in which theywere engaged and from the seasonable amusementsin which he had indulged, because they were bound upwith the old religion, it was not strange that baptismshould seem indeed to be a death. It was the clearmark by which the old and new were divided. ButT274 VILLAGE SERMOSit is far otherwise now, when everything borrowsits outward form from Christianity as it did thenfrom heathenism, and not to profess to be a Christianis itself to be strange and singular. We do not ourselves remember when we were not Christians we

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