Baptism is God’s way of giving us a path back to him
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have 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.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” – Romans 6:1-7
Last Sunday we celebrated the first Sunday after the Epiphany or the Baptism of our Lord. Jesus went to the Jordan River and was baptized by John. At that moment, heaven opened up, the Spirit descended upon Jesus and the Father spoke.
What is baptism?
First, baptism is the applying of water by immersing, washing, pouring, and the likes. Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.
Which is that word of God?
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 28:19]
What benefits does
According to Luther’s Small Catechism, “It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.” It is a means of grace.
Which are these words and promises of God? In Mark 16:16, our Lord says: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Baptism gives the Christians a new life. It identifies us as belonging to the Lord. When we belong to the Lord, we are called to act as children of the Lord.
As children of the Lord, we should not live like children without hope. Because baptism changes us. In baptism we are mortified, we die. Yes, in the waters of baptism, we are recreated.
St. Paul tells us in the text that: “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.” We die to the former life and rise a new creature in Christ Jesus.
In the mystery of baptism, we are made alive in Christ. This new life which the apostle tells us about is a spiritual life. In it we have a unity with Christ.
This new life that baptism gives to us in Christ changes our future in this world and the world to come. Through the glory of God, the Father, we can live a new life. The apostle tells us that our old self is changed. 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. Through baptism, we have options out of sin. Jesus, through the spirit guides and sustains us in faith.
Baptism is God’s way of giving us a path back to him. Jesus has won the battle over sin and the devil for us. When he went into the waters of the Jordan River, he set an example for us.
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 and have hope.
Don’t give in to sin. Don’t live as if you have no choice. Sin does not have control over us. We are covered in the blood of 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; E-mail: [email protected], Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.