The Sacrament of Baptism
Rev. Dennis Abraham
Youth Chaplain, Southeast Region
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.
Paul’s letter to the Romans is unique because it is a “theological epistle,” where he writes statements of faith in an organized manner to the Christians in Rome. The growing Christian community in Rome was facing many challenges, especially tensions between Jewish and Gentile believers, and also doctrinal issues.
In the Mar Thoma liturgy of Holy Baptism, when a person is baptized, the following is said: (name) is baptized in the hope of the remission of sins and eternal life. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” As a faith community, we have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, reminding us that we are a new creation, and we need to experience this newness on a daily basis. Being human beings, we have weaknesses, and we fall to sin. But Christ, through His sacrifice, gives us a second chance, and we are sanctified, justified, and reconciled to Him. This is not a license to sin, but rather, to experience forgiveness so that we can move on in our journey with Christ, without sin pulling us away.
Just as Christ resurrected from the dead, by the glory of the Father, through our baptism, we remember that we have to have the inner experience of dying with the Messiah to live a new life. We need to bury those sins: those parts of our life, (thoughts, words, deeds) that bring us away from the experience of salvation in Christ.
The sacrament of Baptism brings us together as a faith community. Our life within our faith community is shaped by a common conviction that in Christ, new life has come. Therefore, by being set apart, we need to experience transformation and renewal on a daily basis. We have been sealed with the seal of Holy Baptism. The trinity is in us, and we need to lead others to the same experience. This is our purpose as a worshiping community.
Let us remember the oath our parents and God-parents took on behalf of us during our baptism, and the oath we took when we first participated in the Holy Qurbana – “I renounce Satan, I believe in Christ.” Let us experience joy in our salvation.
Prayer: Lord, help us to understand that we have been baptized and set apart as your children. We fall to sin, but help us to experience your forgiveness, so that we may be renewed, and that we shine as a light, and be able to share our salvation experience with the world around us. Amen.
Thought for the day: We have been baptized not only to Jesus Christ, but also to His death. Let us be dead to sin, and alive in Christ. Let us rejoice in Christ, who is our hope and salvation.