Monday, July 16, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Romans 6:1-10

Do you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death... (Rom 6:3)
Baptism is the entry point to Christ. God's initiative and people's positive response leads one to partake in salvation. Salvation is a gradual process and a faith journey. "We have in our own selves a lifetime of work." (Luther) Through baptism one dies to sin and lives in the new life of grace in Christ.
Baptism : To die to Sin with Christ
Through baptism one joins into Christ and identifies with Him. Jesus' death was to abolish sin. One, who identifies with his death, should die to sin. Paul says: "we were buried with Christ." Burial certifies the completion of death. No one can live in sin and in Christ simultaneously. The corrupt nature called the old man is crucified with Christ. Culmination of Jesus' baptism was the cross. So Jesus asked the sons of Zebedee "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized." One who is baptized into Christ should die for Christ. Paul describes his life as a life crucified with Christ. Paul says: he is "always carrying in the body the death of Jesus." One who is died and buried with Christ does not live in his (her) sin. Like Paul, he has been crucified to the world and sin. (Galatians 6:14)
Baptism : To live and walk in the newness of life
Through baptism, a believer experiences the 'in Christ' experience. "Therefore; if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away: behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17). Resurrection is offered to those who have died in and with Christ. Paul says, "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Those who have been raised with Christ should seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1-3). So set your minds on things that are above.
Parvati Bhai, a Gond tribal believer and a chronic TB patient was firm to take baptism. She was alone in her entire village to accept it. She was discharged from hospital, as there was no hope. Entering the village gate, she said: "Lord Jesus, I'm coming" and breathed her last. Seeing her hope filled end, her husband agreed to give her a Christian burial. During the funeral, our evangelist spoke about Christian hope. Now we have many believers in that village and the entire village is open to receive the gospel. Parvathi Bhai has died. But she lives in Christ and attracts many to Christ even after her death.
Thank you God for joining us with our savior Jesus through baptism. Help us to grow in Him and walk in the newness of life. Amen

Every baptism service is an invitation to renew our commitment to a new life in Christ.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church