Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Holy Baptism: Identifying with the death and resurrection of Christ
The book of Genesis regards the flood as the greatest dividing point of history. The flood was an immense act of de-creation. It returned the earth to the situation of primeval watery chaos that existed before God started speaking in Genesis (1:3). The writer makes clear that all those specified have indeed gotten on board and were delivered from the flood. God shut the door of the ark; signifying divine care (v. 16) Right on God’s announced schedule the flood begins, with water pouring in from below and above. The great flood was an act of de-creation and the re-creation after the flood illustrates the eternal fact that God will not forsake the world for ever. God controlled the water at the time of the flood. The God who judges with water is also the only one who can save from water. As the days passed, the people forgot God again. Try to get away from God, sin and lose the glory of God. God loved His People. God sent His son. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)” “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. (Acts 2:28). “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). The word of God tells us that the Church is the body of Christ and Christ is the head of the Church, thus baptism is a service to join the Church.
Is baptism necessary? Some people ask this question, but when we know the basis of baptism and its need, we will understand better. The Holy Communion and baptism are conducted according to our Lord’s command.
“This is my body which is given to you. Do this in memory of me”.( Luke 22:19). Let us see what our Lord tells about baptism “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”. St. Paul says about baptism “We are those who have 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? (Rom. 6:3) “ for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Gal. 3:27).
Baptism is a service through which a person is dedicated to a new life. In Romans 6:3-7 it said “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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” By this new relationship, our “old self” is crucified with Christ and buried with him and as a result we are raised to life and we experience a ‘ new resurrection’. It is the Holy Spirit who makes this new life a reality. That is why it is said: “John baptizes with water; but for you; you will get baptism with the Holy Spirit”.
Almighty God, grant to those who were baptized, cleansing from the defilement, freedom from bondage, remission of sin, forgiveness of trespasses, a holy inheritance, imperishable garments, newness of the Holy Spirit and identification with death and resurrection of Your only begotten Son. Amen
Thought of the day
“You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever.”
Rev. Shaji Kochummen
Long Island Mar Thoma Church
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma ChurchThanks