By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company.” – Charles Spurgeon
In Ephesians 5, Paul breaks up his letter by quoting three lines of poetry, “Wake up, sleeper, / rise from the dead, / and Christ will shine upon you.”
Some commentators believe that this poem may be a compilation of different Old Testament passages, but others believe that this would have been a common liturgy that would have been performed at baptisms.
What a beautiful way to describe baptism. Coming up out of the water is like waking up, like rising from the dead into a new life in which we shine the light of Christ to all people.
“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” (Romans 6:4).
Baptism is a symbol of descending into the tomb with Christ and joining Him in a death to our old selves when we go under the water. When we rise from the water, it is a symbol of rising from the dead, from our old lives, into a new life with Christ.
Do you remember your baptism?
Baptism is a public symbol because when a new believer is baptized in front of the church, it causes the congregation to remember their own baptism. It causes everyone to reflect on how God has worked in their lives.
Our baptisms represent the inward renewal that has taken place by the grace of God. The Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power cleansed us when we were first saved. You were a different person after you gave your life to God.
But praise God because His sanctifying power did not end there. But rather we are each being constantly renewed and continually filled with His Spirit. Our renewals shape us more and more into the image of Christ. We are made into better reflections of God here on earth.
I feel like the season of Advent is the perfect time to call out to God to renew us inwardly. In this period of waiting and celebrating the coming of a Savior, we are reminded that it is Him in whose image we are made and it is He that we must reflect.
It is the same grace that was at work in the virgin birth and the coming of Immanuel that is at work in every person who believes, renewing them and shaping them into Christ Jesus.
Parents: Talk to your kids about what baptism is and why we do it. Explain to them that it is a symbol of dying to our old selves so that we can have a new life in Christ.