The Second Sunday  After the Festival of the Holy Trinity

The Fourth Sunday of the Pentecost Season


June 09, 2024


(For the Biblical support for what follows, refer to

For those interested in studying what the Scriptures teach about Baptism” found later in this worship flyer)


God’s Blessing of Baptism –

and what Scripture says about it


            The following story has been told about the baptism of Irish King Aengus by St. Patrick in the middle of the fifth century.  Sometime during the rite of Baptism, St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertently stabbed the king’s left foot.    It was only after the baptism was over, that St. Patrick looked down at all the blood coming from the king’s foot.    Upon realizing what he had done, St. Patrick begged for the king’s forgiveness.   “Why did you suffer this pain in silence,” Patrick inquired.   The king stoically replied, “Because I thought it was part of the ritual.”


            Baptism, without a doubt, is not supposed to be a painful ordeal.  Instead, it is one of Christianity’s most precious “blessings” from God.  It possesses extraordinary power and provides gifts to us that go far beyond what we see with our eyes in the ceremony/activity of Baptism.   It is a “Means of Grace” by which God the Holy Spirit, in His mercy, applies the benefits of the redemptive work of Christ to the person being baptized.  


            This morning the Apostle Paul will be speaking to us about the assurance and heavenly inheritance we have through the Sacrament of Baptism.   Along with the Lord’s Supper and the written Word of God, Baptism is one of God’s three “Means of Grace” through which He assures us, by virtue of Jesus’ sinless life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, that the curse of our sins has been entirely removed (eternal death in hell); that our sins have been fully, freely forgiven;  and that eternal salvation in heaven is ours through faith alone in Christ, our Savior.  Consequently there is absolutely NOTHING further that God requires (from us) for our salvation – other than that we believe in what Christ, our Savior, accomplished to save us.  (And God the Holy Spirit works that faith in us, by enabling us to believe in Jesus.)


            But getting back to Baptism… many church bodies, Baptism is viewed as an “ordinance” – something God has commanded us to perform, and so it is regarded as a duty which every obedient Christian should want to carry out.    In most of those churches, Baptism is only (and, unfortunately, incorrectly) offered those individuals who have reached an “age of accountability” (or responsibility;   a false teaching, incidentally, which is found nowhere in Scripture)  – namely that point in life when an individual recognizes his/her sin, and is able to publicly declare both the willingness to repent of sin and also the desire to be baptized – as a sign of personal commitment/faithfulness to Christ.    In these churches, the “personal involvement” of the individual being baptized is considered the primary part of Baptism.    God’s involvement, on the other hands, is simply seen in His providing the ordinance/command to be baptized, and that the individual is carrying out.


            As we already mentioned above….along with the Lord’s Supper, in our church body we refer to Baptism not only as a “Means of Grace” (a means by which God establishes and strengthens/maintains saving faith in Christ), but we also refer to it as a “Sacrament.”  The term Sacrament comes from the Latin language and, by usage, has become a rather “broad” term which is used in many different church bodies to describe various special rites, ceremonies and symbols.   (The specific term “Sacrament” is not found anywhere in Scripture, but the concept is definitely there.)   In our Lutheran Church, we recognize only two “Sacraments:”   Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.   By definition, a Sacrament is: 1) a sacred activity instituted by Christ;   2) through which God offers, gives and seals the forgiveness of sins, new life in Christ (faith) and eternal salvation;   and 3) it is demonstrated visibly through an earthly element (in Baptism, water; in the Lord’s Supper, bread and wine) which is connected to God’s Word.


            We believe (and Scripture teaches) that when the Sacrament of Baptism is employed the individual being baptized plays – by far – the smaller of the two roles (with God fulfilling the much larger and more important role).   From the recipient’s side, the activity of baptism seems to be very brief and simple.   The individual is presented for baptism.   Water (in any manner – whether by sprinkling, pouring or immersing…..the amount/volume doesn’t matter) is applied.    Most importantly, God’s Word (specifically, from Matthew 28:19, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) has to be spoken, since it is the power of God in His Word that makes Baptism “efficacious”  (effective, spiritually beneficial to the individual).    And that’s it – as far as what the person being baptized does, and what we see and hear.  


            But just like that “tip” of an iceberg – which is the only part of the iceberg a person sees standing above water – is small compared to the real “substance” of the iceberg which is unseen because it is beneath the surface of the water…..even so in the activity of Baptism, the recipient’s role is like the “tip” of the iceberg:   noticeable, but small;   while the role the Lord plays in Baptism is like the “substance”of the iceberg – unseen beneath the surface, but massive by comparison to the “tip.”


            God’s “greater by far role” in Baptism includes the Lord’s conveying to us the following blessings/benefits (not in any priority order):    First, His full and free forgiveness of all our sins – and the assurance that the curse of sin (eternal death in hell) has been satisfied through the death of Christ for us, as well as that eternal salvation is ours through faith in Christ (Acts 22:19….part of today’s Sermon text;   Acts 2:38-39;   and Mark 16:15-16).     Second, in Baptism God miraculously establishes faith in the hearts of all who are presented for baptism (and yes, little children, even infants can believe – see Jesus’ testimony about this Matthew 18:1-10, esp v6 and Luke 18:15-17; also Matthew 28:19 and II Timothy 3:15), so that they are saved by His grace, through faith in Jesus (Mark 16:15-16 and I Peter 3:21).    Third, He strengthens faith in those (typically adults) who already have been brought by the Holy Spirit to faith in Him (see Romans 6, today’s Epistle Lesson).     Finally, God covers us with Christ’s righteousness, making us members of His family of believers and empowering us to live godly lives for our good and for His glory (Galatians 3:26-27; John 3:5,6; Titus 3:4-7).     Those blessings and benefits are certainly significant, aren’t they?   And God’s Word tells us they are available and freely given to every one of us!


            An honest, fair and faithful study of Scripture leads us to a clear, correct conclusion and understanding about Baptism;    namely, that God has instituted Baptism not merely as an ordinance/law for some (adults and teens, generally) to fulfill, but that it is a “Means of Grace” by which He graciously works to establish and sustain faith….as well as Christian faithfulness… every recipient of Baptism.    Through this special blessing called Baptism, God gives us His assurance that – for Jesus’ sake – He has guaranteed us all (adults and children – even infants) pardon from our sins, peace with Him, and the promise of everlasting life with Him in  Paradise/heaven.


Some Insights into Today’s Scripture Lessons

            In today’s Gospel Lesson we find Jesus receiving the Holy Spirit’s anointing at His baptism.  That anointing – as well as the Father’s affirmation – both formally and publicly designating (or inaugurating) Him as the One Who was to take mankind’s place under God’s wrath as the Messiah, our righteous, sin-Substitute and Deliverer.  Beginning here, with His baptism, Jesus’ redemptive work is set in motion…..redemptive work that will extend through a three year public ministry and which will culminate ultimately in His crucifixion and resurrection for our salvation.   In requesting Baptism Jesus was serving as both our Substitute in righteousness (fulfilling God’s will for us….and God does want us to be baptized – adults and children, including infants!)  and our Substitute under God’s wrath (in His baptism, Jesus demonstrates that He is willing to not only identify with us sinners, but to be our Sin-Substitute…..something He would demonstrate even more fully on the Cross).


            This morning’s First Lesson is Luke’s God-inspired account of the Ethiopian Eunuch encountering the Evangelist Philip on the former’s journey home from time spent worshiping in Jerusalem.   A “Jew” by faith, the Eunuch initially didn’t believe in Christ as the Promised Messiah/Savior.   But as he rode along and tried to read from the book of Isaiah, he came to what we know as chapter 53 with its wonderful prophecy of the Suffering Servant – a prophecy he was unable to understand, until……    Until God sent him Philip to the Eunuch to teach him about Christ – which is precisely what Philip faithfully and thoroughly did.   Philip’s instruction in the Scriptures must have included a lesson on baptism and its necessity, since the Eunuch – once he saw some water nearby – asked Philip to baptize him….which Philip did.   Notice here the process that led to the Eunuch’s baptism….the same process we employ when preparing to baptize adults.   First Philip instructed him in God’s Word.   Faith in Christ was fostered and strengthened in his heart by the Holy Spirit.   That, in turn, led to an earnest desire on the Eunuch’s part (rather than being compelled to obey an ordinance/commandment) to be baptized.


            This morning’s Epistle Lesson speaks about the benefits of baptism for us by comparing Christian Baptism to two events in Christ’s life:  His death and His resurrection.   As Christ died and rose, so through Baptism, our old sinful nature is put to death and the new man (the believer) rises to lead a life that is God-pleasing.    Please also note that this portion of Scripture is quoted by Luther in the Fourth part of his lesson in the Small Catechism on baptism (the Catechism’s section on Baptism is included at the end of today’s bulletin).


            Under the theme, “God’s Gifts in Baptism….for Adults AND Children,” during our Children’s Lesson we’ll talk about our church’s baptismal font in the front of church (just to the right of the pulpit) and what happens there.   As we do, we’ll consider two verses from Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 2 where the Apostle speaks to an audience that is mostly made up of adults, but which includes some children in it (just as our worshiping congregation today is made up mostly of adults, but has a number of youth…even babies….in it as well).   He urges everyone to repent (the term is used in its “broad” sense – “to believe”) and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins…..a promise that was extended not only to the adults assembled before him, but to their children also.  Even so today, when we offer baptism, we certainly want any adults who have not been baptized to learn about Christ from God’s Word and be baptized [if you or your child(ren) haven’t been baptized, please speak with our pastor!], but we also offer baptism to children….including infants….for Baptism’s blessings and benefits are to be applied to everyone.


            Finally, as we noted earlier, today’s Sermon, is a continuation of our summer sermon/service series on Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  False teachers have infiltrated the Galatian churches, suggesting that the Gospel Paul had taught them was not enough….that, while faith in Christ was important for salvation, so were good works – and, in particular, obedience to the Old Testament Jewish religious laws.   That OT Law had a purpose, says Paul.  It was to serve as a chaperon/supervisor, pointing out peoples’ sin and its damnable effects, until the Savior came to free us from its control and threats.   Now that Christ has come we are all God’s children through faith in the Savior, having been baptized into both His death for our sins and His righteousness applied to us.  It’s Christ’s works that save us…..not our efforts, sincerity, obedience – or anything but Jesus ALONE.





For those interested in studying what the Scriptures teach about Baptism

….especially Infant Baptism


            First, there’s a book Northwestern Publishing (NPH) produced called “Baptized into God’s Family.”   It’s in our church library.   It provides a good treatment of infant baptism.

            Second, two tracts were produced years ago but are still very good on the subject of infant baptism.    The first  is called “Why Baptize Children.”   A second tract is titled “You Owe it to Your Child.”    Both should be helpful.    Pastor can provide you with copies of them you.


            Third…..In  “Shepherd Under Christ” (a practical, pastoral theology book used at our seminary) pages 65-79 speak about the practice of infant baptism.  You can also ask the Pastor for a copy of those pages for your added personal study.


            In addition, you can look in the current NPH catechism from pages 305 to 325.   Plus, you can consult the “Book of Concord.”   There, in the Large Catechism, Martin Luther speaks extensively about infant baptism in the section on Baptism.    Another book you can use is called “A Summary of Christian Doctrine” by E.W.A. Koehler.  (It’s also in our church library.) On pages 202 through 212 the doctrine of baptism is thoroughly discussed.

            Fourth…..what follows are groupings of passages, under various headings, that touch the matter of baptizing infants (and/or adults), beginning with those parts of Scripture which address “original/inherited sin.”   This list is not the most comprehensive, but should “cover the bases” for you.  


            In most churches the need for infant baptism is not clearly seen (and is even denied)  because it is incorrectly presumed that infants and small children are not actually sinners.  Such churches additionally assume that children are not held “accountable” for their sins until an undefined time when they reach an age of “discernment” or “accountability.” It’s only at this point in their lives, so these churches teach, that youth are finally supposed to consciously understand their sin and their need for a Savior, plus personally desire that Savior for themselves.   Unfortunately this is a teaching that is built too much on the use of human reason, while avoiding what Scripture actually teaches and then distorting other passages of God’s Word in an effort to make them say things they don’t.   Simply put, the position they generally take on baptism (and other teachings, too) is that “it’s got to make ‘sense’ before I’ll believe it, and — to me — it doesn’t make sense that babies can believe.”   In addition, they teach that baptism cannot be administered unless and until the recipient “personally and publicly desires” to be baptized……a desire that a little child/infant cannot verbally express.


BABIES/CHILDREN ARE SINNERS….just as much as adults


Romans 6:23 (do babies die?   sure they do, even in the womb.    If Adam and Eve had NOT sinned, death would not have entered the world.   Death is an evidence of sin’s existence.    Babies die, because babies are sinners………by the way, if someone says “Well Jesus died and He wasn’t a sinner,”   You can respond by saying, “Yes, you’re right, He wasn’t a sinner, and yet He chose to become responsible for our sins and die for them.   (Isaiah 53:6 and  II Corinthians 5:19-21)


Psalm 51:5  (David, under inspiration…..and these are GOD’S words!….acknowledges that he was not only sinful “at birth,” he was a sinner from the time when he was conceived.   …..And don’t let anyone tell you that the “act” of conception [i.e., intercourse] is sinful, since the Lord gives the gift of sexual intimacy to married people, and so, in and of itself, it is not sinful; indeed, He blessed it in Eden — only the abuse of it is sinful!)


Romans 3:23-24  (the “all” includes everyone…, woman, child, adults, infants too)


Romans 5:12-21 (“all men” …..again is a reference to everyone, regardless of age…..the Greek word (anthropos……we get our word “anthropology” from it) refers to “mankind”/”humankind” NOT to males)


John 3:5,6 …..all people, including babies, need to be “born again”…… the statement “of water and the spirit” is a clear reference to baptism [Titus 3:5,6]……notice two other things here.   First the preposition “of” and then the conjunction “and.”   In the Greek there is only one preposition, upon which both words “water” and “spirit” depend.    The conjunction “and” ties together the two words “water” and “spirit” ….the sense here is that being born again of water and the spirit is one action/activity that occurs at the same time.  [Some churches incorrectly claim that Jesus is saying here that a man is first born of water (physical birth…’s “water” breaking) and then later on is born of the spirit (at the time of his/her conversion);   the original language Greek doesn’t really allow for that understanding.]




Matthew 28:19 (babies are certainly part of “all nations”…..after all, “When does a baby become a citizen of this country?”    Answer # 1…..”Surely at the time the child is born!”   [for example, many “aliens” come to this country to have their children born here;   at which point the children automatically are considered US citizens.]    Answer #2…..Even before they’re born   [consider this:   someone attacks a pregnant woman, who loses the unborn child in the attack, though mom survives.    What criminal charges are filed?   Among others, the charge of “manslaughter” because a PERSON has lost his/her life.   …….By the way, isn’t it almost schizophrenic that our country affords protection to a pre-born child as a person, yet at the same time calls the child/person a “fetus” and nonhuman so that it can be aborted? !!!!!])


Galatians 3:26,27  (all people need to become “sons” [children] of God……that, again, includes children/infants)


Acts 2:38-39 (“the promise…for you AND your children” is the promise of forgiveness, a forgiveness which is clearly connected to “baptism”…….This is a good passage from which to point out that churches that don’t baptize children are clearly in violation of God’s Word)





…..(The “Means of Grace” [Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the Word of God] are the instruments through which the Holy Spirit establishes and strengthens faith in a person.   Our “conversion” [coming to faith] is all the Spirit’s doing.    He enables anyone…babies included….to believe.)


Ephesians 5:25,26 (it “cleanses” us of our sin;   and everyone is a sinner – remember Romans 3:23: “ALL have sinned”)


I Peter 3:21 b (the waters of the flood, upon which Noah and his family were saved as they rode in the ark are symbolic of the water in baptism which — when connected to the Word of God through which the Holy Spirit works — truly “saves” the recipient.   God’s gift of eternal salvation, therefore, is a MAJOR part of baptism.)


Titus 3:5,6  (the “washing of regeneration” is an obvious reference to “baptism”;     Notice here that the Holy Spirit is significantly involved in this washing, since through it He “renews” [another way of saying “born again”] us by imparting faith into a person’s heart….in the case of an infant/child…..or strengthening existing faith… the case of an adult)


Mark 16:16  (salvation, again, is connected to the act of baptism…….the fact that “whoever believes” is recorded before “and is baptized” does not mandate, as many reformed teachers suggest, that a person cannot be baptized unless/until that individual publicly declares his/her faith.    Ask this question…..”to whom is Mark writing?”   The answer?    “To adults.”   And, as with most of the incidents in the NT when the act of baptism is described, the majority of people being baptized — or in some cases, the individual being baptized — will be adults/an adult.    After all, even in our churches today, the majority of members are adults.)


Acts 22:16    (Baptism “washes away sin”.  This cleansing/forgiving part of baptism is a proof that Baptism is a Means of Grace [NOT the only means, but one of the Holy Spirit’s means for working and sustaining faith]  along with the spoken/read Word and the Lord’s Supper.  It serves as a means by which God conveys His forgiveness and the gift of faith to people)


Acts 2:38  (We referred to this earlier.  The two points of this passage to consider now are:  1) baptism conveys God’s forgiveness to the recipient;  and 2)  through baptism the gift of the Holy Spirit is given….and through the Holy Spirit’s activity faith is begun and is sustained/strengthened.)



  (not necessarily “to immerse”)


Mark 7:3,4……throughout this text the word “wash” is used.   In the Greek language the word which is primarily used for “wash” is “baptizein”  (some say “baptizo”).   In either case, it is the word that is often translated “baptize.”     Pay special attention to the EHV’s (and other translations’) footnote, which refers to “dining couches” being washed.    Those couches would be similar to one a psychiatrist might stereotypically use in his office, upon which the patient is supposed to rest while in counseling.     People in the days when Jesus walked on earth actually ate at formal dinners from similar devices.    The simple point we want to make is this:    Do you immerse a “couch,” or do you apply water to it when you wash/clean it?   You apply water.   In a similar way, when we wash our cars we surely don’t immerse them!     And when reformed teachers say that in the accounts of Jesus baptism in Mark (1:10) and Matthew (3:16), where it says Jesus “came up out of the water” ….that that must mean He was “under the water” first before He came “up” and then went “out” of the water.  That’s an erroneous conclusion.  Remember that Jesus was with John in the VERY SHALLOW Jordan River.    Besides, when you go into a river from dry land, what direction do you always have to go?   Down….because the water is running through some kind of a depression below dry ground.   Going down into the water (from which you later go “up”) doesn’t demand that you go completely “under” the water.   Many a fly fisherman goes down into the water to fish without ever going “under” the water.    Then, when it’s time to leave the water you go from the lower point/depression “up” and finally “out of the water” and onto dry land.    The New Testament Greek words used in those two accounts easily “allow” this understanding.   What’s described here, then, is movement from one place to another, and nothing more than that.)




Pre-Service Prayer

Lord, open now, my heart to hear

   And through Your Word to me, draw near;

Let me Your Word e’er pure retain,    Let me Your child and heir remain.

Your Word does deeply move the heart, 

   Your Word does perfect health impart,

Your Word my soul with joy does bless,   

 Your Word brings peace and happiness.  Amen.





The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831




 Silent Prayer                                                                                                                            Pre-service music


The Introduction and Welcome to Worship   


We Praise Our God


The Invocation


Pastor               We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.               Amen.


The Baptism of Liam Alexander Ashley


The Baptism Hymn                                                                              Hymn 295  “Dearest Jesus, We Are Here”


1 Dearest Jesus, we are here,   Gladly your command obeying;

With this child we now draw near   In response to your own saying

That to you it shall be given   As a child and heir of heaven.


2 Lord, your Word is clear and plain,   And we will obey it duly:

“He who is not born again,   Heart and life renewing truly,

Born of water and the Spirit,   Can my kingdom not inherit.”


3 Therefore we have come to you,   In our arms this infant bearing.

Here we shall forgiveness view.   May this child, your mercy sharing,

In your arms be shielded ever,   Yours on earth and yours forever.

4 Gracious Head, your member own;   Shepherd, take your lamb and feed it;

Prince of Peace, make here your throne;   Way of life, to heaven lead it.

Precious Vine, let nothing sever   From your side this branch forever. 


5 Now into your heart we pour   Prayers that from our hearts proceeded.

Our petitions heav’nward soar;   May our warm desires be heeded!

Write the name we now have given;  Write it in the book of heaven!



during the final verse, the parents and God-parents of Liam will come forward, bringing him in front of the baptismal font



The Blessings and Purpose for Baptism



The Lesson                                                                                                                                    Mark 10:13-16


Some people began bringing little children to Jesus so that He could touch them.   But the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, He was indignant.  He said, “Let the little children come to Me.   Do not hinder them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Amen I tell you, whoever will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”   And He took the little children in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.



The Exhortation to the Parents



The Exhortation to the God-Parents/Sponsors



                        After which the Congregation will rise for



The Apostles’ Creed


I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;   Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;   Born of the Virgin Mary;  Suffered under Pontius Pilate;   Was crucified, dead and buried;   He descended into hell;   The third day He rose again from the dead;   He ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;   From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost;   The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  The forgiveness of sins;   The resurrection of the body;    And the life everlasting.  Amen.



The Administration of the Sacrament of Baptism



After which the Pastor will invite the Congregation to rise as



The Exhortation to Grace Lutheran Congregation



Our Prayer for Liam Alexander Ashley


Liam, his parents and sponsors will then return to their seats


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor                          Brothers and sisters in Christ:    the Word of God urges us to confess to our Lord all our sins of thought, word, and action.  This is something that ought to be daily part of our spiritual lives, and should come

 forth from every heart that is humble and penitent.    But we should especially do this when we meet together in His house to thank God for all that He has done for us, to praise Him, and to hear His life-giving Word.  Therefore, come with me now, to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, and let us confess our sins together.



Congregation   Miserable person that I am,   +   I confess and lament to You, O most holy God,  +   that I  am a weak and sinful creature,  +  guilty of every sin, of unbelief, and of blasphemy. +   I also confess that Your Word has

 not brought forth good fruit in me.   +   I hear it, but do not receive it earnestly.   +   I do not show works of love toward my neighbor.   +   I am full of anger, hate, and envy.   +   I am impatient, greedy, and bent on every evil.   +   Therefore my heart and conscience are heavy.   +   Lord, I ask You, free me from my sins,   +   strengthen my faith,   +   and comfort my weak conscience by Your divine Word,  +   that I may obtain Your promised grace.



Pastor                          Having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty God, now be strengthened in your faith, mindful that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should

 come to repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, rest assured that your sins have been fully covered by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ your Savior.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


Now, in the peace of God’s forgiveness, let us together praise our  gracious and glorious Lord!



The Congregation responds                                                                              “All Glory Be To God On High”

                                                                                       sung to the melody of “Almighty Father, Strong To Save”   (CW 517)



All glory be to God on high!   We praise, we thank, we glorify,

And worship You, Who gives earth peace,     Whose love and favor never cease.

Lord God, our King, on heaven’s throne,    Our Father, the Almighty One.


O Lord, the Sole-begotten One.       Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son,

O Lamb of God, You take away       The sin of all,   now hear us pray.

You rule at God’s right hand this day,      Have mercy on us, Lord, we pray.


You only are the Holy One;   O’er all things You are Lord alone.

O Jesus Christ, we glorify You only as the Lord Most High,

Who with the Spirit e’er shall be      One in the Father’s majesty.     Amen.



Our Prayer for This Morning 


Almighty and eternal God   +    direct our actions that we may always please You.   +   Open our eyes by the power of the Holy Spirit   +  that we may see and confess Your Son,  Jesus Christ, +  as truly God and truly Man, + and as the one and only Redeemer from sin for the entire world.    + As we reflect today upon the day of our Baptism,   +   help us to appreciate the significance of that event for each of us  +   since, through Baptism, You gifted us with faith,    forgiveness,   and membership in Your family of believers.   +   Through Your Spirit working in Your Word    +   empower us to live godly lives for You here on earth      as we look forward to the day when we will live eternally with You in heaven.   +   We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ, +   Your Son, our Lord, +   Who – along with You and the Holy Spirit      live and reign as the one, true God,   + now and forever.  +   Amen.

after which the Congregation may be seated


We Hear God’s Word


The First Lesson                                                                                                                               Acts 8:26-40


26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is an isolated area.) 27 So he got up and went. And there was a man, an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship. 28 He was on his way home, sitting in his chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.


29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go over there and stay close to that chariot.” 30 Philip ran up to it and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet.


Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”


31 The man replied, “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.


32 Now the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading was this:


He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,

and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,

so He does not open His mouth.

33 In His humiliation justice was denied Him.

Who will talk about His generation?

For His life is taken from the earth.


34 The eunuch said to Philip, “I ask you, Who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began to speak. Starting with that very passage of Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were traveling along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What is there to prevent me from being baptized?”


38 He ordered the chariot to stop. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they stepped up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away. The eunuch did not see him anymore, but went on his way rejoicing.


40 Philip, however, found himself at Azotus. And as he went from place to place, he preached the gospel in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.




The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                       Romans 6:1-14


What shall we say then? Shall we keep on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 Absolutely not! We died to sin. How can we go on living in it any longer? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him by this baptism into His death, so that just as He was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too would also walk in a new life.   5 For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.


6 We know that our old self was crucified with Him, to make our sinful body powerless, so that we would not continue to serve sin. 7 For the person who has died has been declared free from sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, He will never die again. Death no longer has control over Him. 10 For the death He died, He died to sin once and for all, but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11 In the same way also consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.


12 Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. 13 Do not offer the members of your body to sin as tools of unrighteousness. Instead, offer yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and offer the members of your body to God as tools of righteousness. 14 Indeed, sin will not continue to control you, because you are not under law but under grace.



                        following which the Congregation will rise, out of respect for Jesus for



Today’s Gospel Lesson                                                                                                             Matthew 3:13-17


13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John at the Jordan. 14 But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?”


15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, because it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John let Him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, He immediately went up out of the water. Suddenly, the heavens were opened for Him! He saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and landing on Him, 17 and a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My Son, Whom I love. I am well pleased with Him.”




The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                      Acts 2:38-39


38 Peter answered them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.”


Baptism’s Gifts…For Adults AND For Children




Sermon Hymn                                                                    Hymn 294   “Baptized Into Your Name Most Holy”


1 Baptized into your name most holy,   O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

I claim a place, though weak and lowly,   Among your saints, your chosen host,

Buried with Christ and dead to sin.   Your Spirit now shall live within.


2 My loving Father, there you took me   To be henceforth your child and heir.

My faithful Savior, there you let me   The fruit of all your sorrows share.

O Holy Spirit, comfort me   When threat’ning clouds around I see.


3 My faithful God, you fail me never;   Your promise surely will endure.

Oh, cast me not away forever   If words and deeds become impure.

Have mercy when I come defiled;   Forgive, lift up, restore your child.


4 All that I am and love most dearly –   Receive it all, O Lord, from me.

Let me confess my faith sincerely   And help me your own child to be!

Let nothing that I am or own   Serve any will but yours alone.


The Pre-Sermon Salutation


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord!   May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  Amen.

The Sermon Text                                                                                                                      Galatians 3:23-29


23 But before this faith came, we were held in custody under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.   24 So the law was our chaperone until Christ, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a chaperone.  2 In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 Indeed, as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 28 There is not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one and the same in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants and heirs according to the promise.


What All Christians Have In Common



after the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for



The Post-Sermon Blessing


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, now encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.



We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.

   However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address:    (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can donate on our website:



the Congregation will please rise as the offerings are brought to the altar

      • We Offer Our Prayers to the Lord


        Today’s General Prayers


        Included in our prayers this morning


        A Prayer of Intercession for Marilyn Outlaw

        who will undergo surgery this Tuesday morning.


        The Lord’s       Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name; 

        Prayer                          kingdom come;  Thy will be done    on earth as it is in heaven;    Give us this day our daily bread;    And forgive us our trespasses,    as we forgive those who trespass against us;     And lead us not into temptation;     But deliver us from evil;  For Thine is the kingdom,  and the power,  and the glory,   forever and ever.  Amen.

        We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing

        The Closing Blessing

        The LORD bless you and keep you.

        The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

        The LORD look with favor upon you, and give you His peace.   Amen.



        The Closing Hymn                                                                     Hymn 323  “Almighty Father, Bless The Word”

        1 Almighty Father, bless the word   Which through your grace we now have heard.

        Oh, may the precious seed take root,   Spring up, and bear abundant fruit.


        2 We praise you for the means of grace   As homeward now our steps we trace.

        Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here   May all at last in heav’n appear.

        Announcements,  Post-service music, Silent Prayer