And that water is like the baptism which now saves you—not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. 1 Peter 3:21
Baptism is the outward declaration of an internal conviction. Baptism is described as:
• Dying to sin
• Newness of life
• Reunion in Christ
• Receiving the Holy Spirit
• Incorporation into Christ’s church
• The mark of Christian Discipleship
Once a person admits his sin and turns to Christ for salvation, some steps must be taken to proclaim to heaven and earth that he is a follower of Christ. Baptism is the initial and immediate step of obedience by one who has declared his faith to others.
1 Peter 3:21 above reminds us that this promise is vital. It’s one thing to say in the privacy of your own heart that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. But it’s quite another to walk out of the shadows and stand before family, friends, and colleagues to state publicly that Christ is your forgiver and master.
It is not the act of baptism that saves us. But it is the act that symbolizes how we are saved! The invisible work of the Holy Spirit is visibly dramatized in the water. Baptism is not to be taken lightly. The event is a willing plunge of the body and soul into the promise and power of Christ (whether that "plunge" is a submersion in water or or just a sprinkling of water) . The ritual of washing signifies our admission that apart from Christ we are dirty, but in Christ we are pure. *
*Includes some excerpts from “Baptism: The Demonstration of Devotion” by Max Lucado.
About Paula Renfro
Paula is the 2023 Head Lay Leader, Altar Guild Chair and Passionate Golfer.