Living the Gift of Christmas – Baptism

In Ephesians, Paul writes to the church reminding them of who they are in Christ and who God is in the life of a Christian. In Chapter 4:1-6, he recounts:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–  one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Esphesians 4:1-6.

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One baptism. That’s how Paul describes it. Right there with the “one Lord, one faith,…” If baptism was important enough for Paul to group it with Jesus and our faith, then it is important enough that we, as followers of Jesus should want to be baptized.

Is baptism a requirement of being saved? No. But, it is an outward showing of the inward change in your life. It was good enough for Jesus. It is good enough for me.

Remember the scene from Matthew 3:14-15 when Jesus is baptized by John. John clearly is confused.

But John tried to stop him, saying, “Why do you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!”  Jesus answered, “Let it be this way for now. We should do all things that are God’s will.” So John agreed to baptize Jesus.

It’s God’s will. Simple as that. Jesus was following the will of God and so, too, should we. Jesus also validated what John the Baptist had been doing as the forerunner of Jesus. John was telling the story of his cousin before Jesus’ earthly ministry began and he was an integral part of the early followers. Jesus acknowledged that by allowing John the privilege of baptizing Him.

Further, Jesus’ baptism was a perfect showing of the God head on earth. We are allowed to see God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost in this word picture from Matthew.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Wow! Can you imagine how John felt at that moment? To see and hear the voice of God and to know that he was instrumental in the life of Jesus.

We can feel that same way. Following Jesus in baptism is the same for us. We may not see the heavens open and there may not be an audible word from God, but in Heaven the angels are singing and there is a party going on.

What a glorious feeling. To be part of a family. And, what a family.dp1768663

Lynn

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