Sunday, July 19, 2015

Carl Kulla, Baptism Sermon

And I have sometimes tried in these times when baptism has been discussed, to carefully remind my own heart and the hearts of those who may have an understanding of baptism, that the one thing we do not want to do is despise Holy Baptism. If we despise Holy Baptism then surely we are transgressing against God's word because baptism has been given by Christ Himself, and He has made known that he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved. And when it is such that we do not despise baptism and we bring our children to be baptized according to the command of Christ, the work that baptism does, it does not depend upon your and my understandings, but baptism does the work which God has sent it to do. And if we, beloved, in childlikeness, will bring our children to Holy Baptism, the promise that God makes, and that which He has sent baptism to do, it will do that which He has appointed it to do, and it never depends upon what we understand or how we understand baptism. But as soon as we begin to despise baptism, and we begin to say that, well, it is not needful and it is not necessary, that we do not have to have baptism, then I feel we stand at a dangerous place in our journey.
And when I say this I know then tonight there are going to be hearts who will say that, well, what does brother Carl understand of baptism? Oh, beloved, at this place again, I have a tongue of clay. I cannot speak of baptism as I feel it in my heart. I cannot speak of it as I understand, as little as I understand of it. But I do know this much, that God has given it, His beloved Son has commanded us to partake of it, and with a heart of joy I bring my own children unto Holy Baptism, and with a heart of joy I have baptized countless little children in our own congregation, a large congregation where there are many young families, many young mothers and fathers. And I have seen those moments when at Holy Baptism the very baptism itself has been so precious that hearts have been moved to tears and thanksgiving unto God when the children of God have even come to that place where their hearts have been melted in under the knowledge of the precious and eternal gift which God gives us in His beloved Son.
The word of God is sure and steadfast, and the word of God is unchangeable. But man, he understands that word in many ways. And we diligently ask God tonight even as Paul writes in this same chapter from which we have read: Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. And do we not diligently need, in our journey, to ask God that if there are sometimes different understandings and different minds, that God would reveal this unto the heart that does not understand aright. And how many times we ourselves have to stand at that small place in our journey. And I have to stand with you beloved, where I have to ask God that, oh God, if there is that which I do not understand rightly, then reveal it unto my heart and make it known unto me so I will not be lost and I will not stray on the way of life but that I can be a partaker of the grace of God and of that redemption that God has provided in His beloved Son.
Then of baptism I do want to say tonight that I, with all my heart, I acknowledge the understanding of baptism that has been in this visitation of grace. I acknowledge it with all my heart. And I diligently urge you children of God to read of baptism as it has been made known by those travelers who have gone before us. John Raatama has written preciously of baptism and it is not a long article, it is just a short one. And oh may God grant that we, who are the children of God in these last moments of grace, that we are journeying with those who have gone before us, that we are walking in the footprints of the saints who have journeyed and have already reached the eternal home in heaven above.
Carl Kulla, sermon, NH, 9-24-1973