New Life in Baptism: Children’s Sermon from Mark 1:4-11 and Acts 19:1-7

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This message combines New Year’s resolutions and goals with the beauty of new life in Christ through baptism. People do a lot of things in efforts to improve themselves or “start fresh.” We can truly start with a clean slate when we trust the work of Jesus and the cleansing power of His precious sacrifice. This message seeks to communicate to children the importance of relying on God for life and strength.

“New Life in Baptism” Children’s Sermon from Mark 1:4-11 and Acts 19:1-7 to Celebrate the New Year

Law/Gospel Theme: We can make plans and goals and try to will ourselves into being “better.” But the truth is that we are powerless on our own. With the help of Christ, all things are possible. This message centers on the work that God does in us. Baptism cleanses us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can daily return to God and be thankful for His mercy.

Optional Materials: Calendar and/or planner; goal list; water

Bible Passage: Mark 1:4-11; Acts 19:1-7

More Teaching Ideas on Simeon and Anna at the Temple

Children’s Sermon: New Life in Baptism

Greet children, with a calendar or planner in hand…

  Hello, children of God… What do I have here? (hold up calendar) That’s right; it’s a calendar! Now, you’ve probably seen plenty of these before. When January rolls around, we open up a fresh new calendar and start a new year. Some people feel like this is an opportunity to kick things off with a clean state or start over on things they hope to improve about themselves. A lot of people set goals and resolutions for things they want to achieve. Many times when a new year rolls around people make lists of these goals to remind themselves of things they are working on (hold up goal list of some sort). Often, these intentions include things like working on healthier habits like dieting and exercise. Hopefully people also intend to do more praying or Bible reading. Maybe they resolve to spend more time with family or get certain things done in their jobs.

But you know, this doesn’t always work. We often make mistakes, and sometimes “blow it” entirely. When people try to improve themselves or get a new start, they tend to quickly crumble once the going gets a little tough. It’s hard for us to really become a new creation. That is, it’s difficult for us to do that on our own. If we are trying to operate with sheer will power or personal intent, we easily mess up. We need something more to help us.

We know, though, that we have access to someONE who can make us new. We can get a fresh new start and a clean slate when we turn our lives over to God. He transforms us from the inside out and He has the power to change us! Today our Bible readings talk about Baptism. Baptism is a very special and amazing blessing, and is a gift that God has given us. Jesus was baptized when He lived on Earth, by a man named John. Maybe you have been baptized by a pastor, or maybe you will be one day. The special thing about Baptism is that it reminds us our sins are washed away. Baptism uses water (hold up water, maybe sprinkle a little on kids or use a spray bottle, if they are seated close), but the water isn’t what does the work. The Holy Spirit does that. Baptism is much more than just taking a bath and washing dirt off our bodies. It’s remembering that Jesus took on our sins when He died on the cross, and because of that He can wipe them off of us. His death makes us new.

Of course, we still make mistakes. We sin again, every day, but God will always forgive us. He will always give us the chance to start fresh. When we remember or think about baptism, we recall how God has adopted us into His family and loves us. He takes away the bad parts about us, and makes us new. God will always be there for us. So even if you don’t keep your New Year’s goals, or you feel like a mess-up, or you don’t know how to start over again, remember that God does the work for you. On our own, we are pretty helpless and most likely will fail eventually. With Jesus, anything is possible, and we know we can trust Him to give us a clean slate and a fresh start. Isn’t that a wonderful and refreshing thought for a new year? Let’s give thanks to god for that with a prayer…

Children’s Prayer 

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for giving us new life
Thank you for repentance and grace
Help us to remember you have all the power
Remind us of the blessings of baptism
Your son’s blood washes us clean!
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference:

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[d] with you I am well pleased.” -Mark 1:4-11

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland[a] country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in[b] the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.  -Acts 19:1-7

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