May 7 I Friday
2 Kings 1-3
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him...since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.” —Romans 6:8-10
Baptism is a symbol of a bath, a burial and a beginning. For the recipients of John the Baptist’s baptism, it signified a new beginning. As Christians, once we are baptized, regardless of when that was, our life needs to bear witness to the reality of that every day. That our water baptism portrayed something that took place in Spirit baptism, Paul writes, “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” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Baptism is not some ceremony that has no real significance; rather, this outward demonstration shows what is expected of us now, a new quality of life. This is why John taught the crowd who came to him for a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins to “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).
Paul, as well, taught, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin––because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” Baptism is a symbol of a new beginning for all of us; we are free from sin. Paul continued, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:6-7, 12-14).
Previously, we lived in the power of our own human effort and failed again and again. Now, we live in the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. Even though we will still fail––because God never promised that we would not fail––there is going to be a new quality, a new dimension to our life.
We have resources to live a new life because we live in the power of the risen life of Christ that was imparted to us. Some of us may need to be baptized to demonstrate this—would we consider making such a declaration? For those who have already been baptized, does our life bear witness to the reality of what Jesus’s death on the cross has accomplished for us?
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for the newness of life represented in baptism. Help me to live each day as a witness of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Amen!