Baptism and new life
Last Sunday twelve people were baptized at an outdoor service that one of our families, the Heberlings, hosted. It was a great morning, even though it rained. Everybody got a wet to some degree. We baptized by immersion and sprinkling! The rain forced us to get closer together for the picnic afterwards. Spirits were good and the fellowship was warm.
But the best thing about the morning was that twelve people publicly declared by baptism that they are trusting in Christ alone to save them. They know and believe that only by the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, could they be delivered from sin’s penalty and power and have eternal life.
The only reason any person can “see” (experience) the kingdom of God (God’s saving reign in which those who have eternal life liveS) is by being “born again,” Jesus said (John 3:3, 5). That means people need to be birthed into new spiritual life that they could not cause, any more than a baby causes himself to be born. So those who were baptized last Sunday were giving testimony to the miracle of new life that Jesus alone created in them.
I love the way John Blanchard put it: “A Christian is not a person who has made a new start in life, but a person who has received a new life to start with.”
So “behind the scenes” of baptism is the work of Christ, through the Spirit, creating new eternal life in those who believe in Jesus. Thank you for giving dead people new life, Jesus, that we who have been birthed into Your kingdom may forever enjoy You. Thank You!