God loves us
What shall we say, then?Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?By no means!We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.–Romans 6:1-4.
Many young people get into mischief simply to test the depth of their parents’love. They continually disrupt the parents’life, causing grief just to prove this love.
In order to reach the depth of that love, and be sure that it is genuine, they get into deeper trouble. The test goes on and on just to generate and prove that love. Children abuse their parents’generosity in order to increase love.
Last Sunday we celebrated the first Sunday after the Epiphany, or”The Baptism of Our Lord”.
Jesus began His ministry by being baptized by John. This way He aligned Himself with John the Baptizer.
Baptism brings us into the Christian faith. What does Baptism do for us?It gives the Christian a new life. Baptism identifies us as belonging to the Lord and unifies us with Christ.
The above text tells us about the process through which we go when we receive the sacrament of Baptism. We experience two unusual transformations–mortification and vivification.
The apostle tells us that we are mortified or we die in Baptism. Death creates a separation. Physical death separates a person from life–his body or flesh, old friends, business, enjoyments, and employment
However, the mortification or the death, which the Christian experiences in Baptism, is a spiritual one. This separation means we die to the former life that we lived.
We experience what Jesus experienced in His death. We die with Him. We cut ourselves off from the former things, our former sinful ways. The old man or Adam is drowned in the waters of Baptism.
Even though sin remains in the world and a part of our everyday existence, we do not have to indulge in it. Like the child who continually seeks his parents’love through mischief, we are not to do so with God.
We do not continue to sin just to get God’s attention or to see if He loves us. Yes!God is gracious. He is merciful, but that does not mean that we continue to live in sin and expect God’s grace to abound.
Like Christ, when we pass through death in our baptism, we are vivified, or made alive. Baptism takes us through a process of life and death
As Christ became alive in His resurrection, we become alive when we are Baptized.
This new life is a spiritual life. In it, we have a unity with Christ.
Our Lord, in His death broke the grip of sin, which held us captive. Therefore, we take on a new image, a new way of doing things. Even though we are tempted on a daily basis, we have a way out because we are no longer slaves to sin. We have options.
Jesus, through the Spirit, guides and sustains us in the faith.
Because we are a new creation in Christ through Baptism, we should not continue to live as if we have no hope. Christ died that we might experience the joy of salvation.
God loves us. He cares for us and wants us to live in the light of His grace. We do not have to prove His love for us. It cannot change. No one can challenge it. It cannot diminish. It is ours for all eternity.
Therefore, we should not abuse His grace. Let us live the new life we have in Christ Jesus. Amen
Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone 323-4107, or e-mail: email@example.com: Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.