Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Holy Baptism: Identifying with the death and resurrection of ChristSt. John 3:1-8
What the Lord says in this passage about baptism and being born again and Paul's teachings give a deeper meaning and understanding of Baptism. Baptism calls us to conform to the Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Greek word translated "baptism" is baptizo. The primary meaning given by most dictionaries is "dip, immerse, sprinkle". Another meaning is "to bring into influence."
Baptism into Christ is an identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
1. Baptized in his death. (Romans 6: 3)
We crucify our old habits by uniting with Jesus' death.
2. Buried with Him (Romans 6: 4)
Being buried speaks of a commitment to completely erase from our minds any active connection with our old nature.
3. Resurrected with him. (Romans 6: 5)
The resurrection of Jesus is the most amazing fact in history. If we share in His death through baptism, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will raise us into the newness of life.
What the Holy Spirit gives us in baptism.
* Baptism gives us new life in Christ Jesus (John 3: 5).
Christ is the transformer of life. In him we get new visions and perspectives.
* Gives us a new identity in Jesus Christ.
When we conform to Christ we will have a new identity
* Baptism also gives us a new unity. (1 Cor. 12:13)
We have all been baptized with the same Spirit - whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - we have all drunk with the same Spirit.
Christ baptizes us in the Spirit and we become one body, even though we are different in race, colour, ethnicity, gender, personality, and preferences. The purpose of baptism is to unite us without distinction as a redeemed community.
* Baptism gives us new responsibilities.
Every believer here has received divine strength for ministry.
We are called to give hope to the hopeless, to give meaning to lives that have lost meaning, to give purpose to those who have lost purpose. He wants us to be rivers of his living water.
* Baptism gives us a new character (2 Cor. 5:17).
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; The old is gone, everything is new!
By giving a new character the Spirit leads us from darkness to light.
Baptism allows us to enter into a proper relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters and the nature. Faith in Jesus Christ alone is the basis for salvation, not baptism. But Baptism is our decision to accept Him into our lives in order to fulfill His command . So let us reveal him to the world as his witnesses.
Lord, help us grow in our relationship with you and with our fellow brothers and sisters. Amen.
Rev. Thomas P. Koshy
Kuzhikala Mar Thoma Church
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church