Saturday 21 May 2011

Getting dunked

Tomorrow afternoon we come together to witness the baptism of three of our brothers and sisters in the English congregation. The word “baptised” simply means “dunked”. As a sign of their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, these believers will be dunked in a pool of water.

Why do Christians get baptised? Here are four thoughts from the bible on what it means for Y,S and F to take the plunge.

1. A proclamation of the gospel

Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.
Colossians 2:12-13

We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone. Baptism reminds us that God forgave us all our sins while we were still dead in our sins. Not because of anything we have done, but only because of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. This is the gospel.

2. A sign of death

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?
Romans 6:2b,3

Christ’s death freed us from the power of sin. Our baptism identifies us with his death (Colossians 2:12 equates going into the water with burial) and serves as a daily reminder to put our sinful nature to death, and to live by faith.

3. A sign of new life

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 6:4

If there is no cross, there is no resurrection. We identify with Christ in his death, so that we live with Christ through his resurrection. We have been raised to new life.

4. A mark of obedience

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19

Upon his resurrection, Jesus commanded that all new believers be baptised as a mark of conversion and obedience to the gospel.

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