Title: Baptismal Wedding

Focus: Baptism is the believers wedding ceremony that joins the believer in covenant to Christ

Function: To remind the hearers of the meanings associated with Christian baptism.

Text: Eph 5:21-32

1.  Differences in Baptism
	a.  Mechanistic Veiw
		- As if act itself saves
		- Infant Baptism a result of this
		- Many cult baptisms same way
	b.  Spiritual View
		- Baptism not important = Only identifies you with Christ
		- Holy Spirit Baptism (nothing to do with water)
		- Reaction to “Baptismal Regeneration” (Mechanistic View)
	c.  Sacramental View - Outward Sign of Inward Grace
		- Nothing to do with new life, just a command
		- Symbolize already relationship rather than initiation
		- Membership requirement into church, nothing more
		- Many evangelical, conservative denominations
2.  When stand back and take look at big picture
	a.  Several motifs and images associated with baptism
	b.  If get a hold of these images, much of the confusion go away
	c.  Three major motifs/images associated with Christian baptism
		1) New Birth
		2) Cleansing Bath; Purification
		3) Marriage
3.  Tonight we will look at the Marriage image
4.  Text:  Eph 5:21-32  -  Elements in a Marriage

I.  Proposal or betrothal - “Will you marry me?”
	A.  Presupposes some sort of prior contact, introduction or relationship
	B.  v.25 - Jesus loved his bride and gave himself up for her
		1.  Proposal comes in form of preaching the Gospel
		2.  Proposal is for marriage, for a “covenant”
			- Not taken lightly - It to be an everlasting covenant
		3.  Can see that salvation is in terms of relationship
		4.  Picture of relationship - Hosea 2:18-20
			a.  Make a covenant
			b.  Betroth forever (everlasting covenant)
			c.  The will “know” the Lord
				- Knowing = Intimacy
				- This the metaphor for marital consumation
				- Union emotionally, spiritually, physically
	C.  ILL:  Proposal usually very special
		1.  I saved up for ring to offer her, and she accepted - JOY!
		2.  Have you accepted his proposal to be married to him
	D.  If you not married to Christ, he is proposing to you.  Will you become 
	      one with him?

II.  The Wedding
	A.  Usually some sort of wedding - marriage becomes official
	B.  Eph 5 alludes to it (v.26-27)
		1.  When marry - Each of you sanctified
			a.  ILL:  To set apart, like special China.
				- Not feed dog with it, or use for trash
				- It special, only for a special person “dedicated”
			b.  Vows proclaim santification - “keep self only to her/him
			      forsaking all others. . .”
		2.  Idea of purity traditionally accompanies marriage
			a.  White color - purity, self is dedicated for special someone
			b.  Problem, none of us are pure
			c.  ILL:  Bride comes in, smell of brewery, dirty, ragged
		3.  Isa 62:1-5 - God is going to make you beautiful.  How?
		4.  Notice (v.26-27) - Cleanse with water with the word (Gospel)
	C.  ILL:  When see bride come down aisle, pretty in white
		1.  Everyone say, “ahhhhhh”    Groom smiles.    She looks beautiful
		2.  Thats what Jesus does for us when we are baptized
	D.  If you not married to Christ, he proposing to you now.  Will you 
	      become one with him?

III.  Becoming One (v.28-32)
	A.  Even get a new name as we saw in Isaiah
		Bride gets new name (“Present Mr. and Mrs Jesus Christ”)
	B.  We become one with Christ in baptism
		1.  Paul quotes from Genesis - Become one flesh (a new being!)
			a.  This is God’s final crowing creation - a new creature
			b.  You become one with Christ, new name, new identity
		2.  Lifetime committment (v.22-24)
		3.  Wedding Ring a symbol of the union
			a.  Woman wearing a ring, she is taken.  Leave her alone
			b.  Ring shows you belong to someone
			c.  Did Jesus do something like this for us?
		4.  Eph 1:13-14; 2 Cor 1:20-21 - Holy Spirit given as a “seal”
			a.  Seal bears imprint of the owner
			b.  Shows ownership, don’t tamper with it
	C.  ILL:  You become one, mixed, intertwined, you begin to change
		1.  How change?    Some say get fat and bald
		2.  Your likes, dislikes, activities, way of thinking, all affected
		3.  You consider what your spouse likes and wants
		4.  In the same way, we do the same when become one with Christ
	D.  If you not married to Christ, he proposing to you now.  Will you 
	      become one with him?

IV.  How does the marriage analogy help clear up misunderstandings?
	A.  Mechanistic View in light of marriage (especially infant baptism)
		1.  In light of marriage analogy, how does mechanistic view look?
		2.  SHOTGUN wedding - Not really become one, no love or committment
	B.  Spiritual View = Looks like "Living together" not really married or committed
	C.  Sacramental View = Think married just because say you are, but never been
	    through ceremony and had wedding solemnized
	D.  Baptism is the wedding ceremony for the believer
		1.  Jesus sanctifies you (he becomes your only love)
		2.  Jesus makes you a pure bride by cleansing with water & word

1.  Jesus loves you so much that he gave himself up for you
2.  He died for your sins, buried, resurrected, to make you his beautiful bride
3.  Decide to commit to him in life long relationship
4.  If you not married to Christ, he proposing to you now.  Will you become one with