“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 6:3-4
This morning U.S. Director Drew Steadman shared on the significance of baptism. Baptism itself does not seal our salvation, but serves as a symbol of our decision to follow Jesus. Similar to a wedding symbolizing the covenant of a marriage, baptism is a symbol of our covenant with God. It is an act of obedience and a declaration of the new life we have in Jesus! We centered our morning around Romans 6:1-10, and took a look at what it means to be buried and raised with Christ through baptism.
WHAT DOES BAPTISM TEACH US ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
We are saved by grace and grace alone. We cannot earn our salvation though works or anything else. Being saved by grace doesn’t mean we should just go on doing whatever we want. If this is our perspective, then we really don’t understand salvation.
SALVATION CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Baptism is the symbol that declares that change. By definition, baptism is the process of immersing someone in water as a sign of their new faith in Christ and their inclusion in the Church. This isn’t a symbol that just popped up in the New Testament, it is weaved all throughout the Old Testament.
BAPTISM REPRESENTED IN THE FLOOD //
The story of Noah and the ark is more than a fun Sunday school story. It is actually a sobering example of the destruction of sin. Because of the wickedness sin caused in humanity, the flood washed away everything on earth and made a way for new life. The flood waters, similar to the baptism waters, symbolize the cleansing and washing away of our sins.
BAPTISM REPRESENTED IN THE EXODUS STORY //
In Exodus, God supernaturally parted the Red Sea and made a way for the Israelites to step into freedom. This symbolized His promise to destroy our oppressors and set us free. The waters represent crossing the barrier between slavery and freedom.
BAPTISM REPRESENTED IN JOSHUA’S CONQUEST //
After freeing Israel from slavery, God promised them a new land to settle in, but they wandered for forty years before inheriting the land. Once again, they came across a flooded and impassable Jordan river that prevented them from entering. God supernaturally parted the water and allowed them to cross and claim their land. The Baptism waters remind us of the promises and inheritance we step into.
BAPTISM REPRESENTED IN CREATION //
At the sound of God’s voice, creation emerged out of the waters. Baptism signifies the new life we receive when we give our life to Jesus. When we accept grace and salvation, we are cleansed of our sin and made and new creation.
JESUS FULFILLED GOD’S PURPOSE FOR BAPTISM.
The Bible says we are baptized into Jesus, meaning we take part in His death, burial and resurrection. In order to step into the new life, we first need to die to our old self. Our sin will continue to filter into every area of our life until we lay aside our old selves and allow Jesus to be at the center.
BAPTISM IS MORE ABOUT GOD’S FAITHFULNESS TO YOU THAN YOUR FAITHFULNESS TO GOD.
God isn’t asking us to have it all together to come to Him. He invites us in our brokenness and promises to make us new. Baptism isn’t a requirement for salvation. It is a symbol of our new self being raised to life with Jesus.