Baptism is a crucial element of the Body of Christ, the church. It’s been a staple among Christians for literally thousands of years. In the weeks leading up to our Summer baptism, Greg talked about the meaning and importance of baptism during this series.
In a section of his letter to the church at Rome, the apostle Paul speaks about the Kingdom of God and how human life is shaped by that Kingdom. This is emphasized in the way Paul uses baptism in his discussion. He encourages his audience to look upon their baptism experience to recall who they really are and to whom they really belong. Our baptism actively demonstrates the burial of our old lives without Christ as well as the renewal of our lives in Christ.
Baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ. It is a renunciation of living the way the world lives, with all of its lures and traps, and pledging to live a life that is solely for Christ. It is a life that is radically distinct from the ways of the world. One of the first mentions of baptism following Christ’s resurrection is found in the book of Acts (2:37-38). In this passage, the apostle Peter speaks to those who just heard the “good news” of Jesus, and tells them to: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (see Mark 4:30-32). It is a revolution that is quietly growing, but will one day come to full fruition. Christ has planted the seed by first coming to redeem us. He will one day return to reap the harvest, purging the world of all that is inconsistent with his Kingdom and restoring creation as it was meant to be. As followers of Christ, we have the opportunity to participate in this future Kingdom reality, today. Like John the Baptist, we are preparing the way of the Lord. One sign of this mustard seed revolution is seen through the baptism of believers.
There comes a time in everyone's life where the wine runs out, when the excitement ends, life turns out to be less than you thought it would be or your accomplishments feel empty. Based on John 2:1-11, the questions that were raised are, “What will you do?” “Where do you go?” and “Who do you turn to?” Mary shows us that in a crisis the person you want there and to whom you turn is Jesus.
Baptism is a crucial element of the Body of Christ, the church. It's been a staple among Christians for literally thousands of years. In his third chapter, Luke makes implicit and explicit points that shed light on the Kingdom of God, including the significance of baptism. Luke's writing shows him to be a good and serious historian. Like other historians of his time, he used the reigns of important rulers, like Caesar and Pilate, to let the audience know the time and date when he’s writing yet he chose to focus his perspective on God's activities in human history, specifically the coming Messiah.