At Ellel Grange last week we had the privilege of conducting a baptism in our indoor swimming pool. David Silvester, our team pastor, an ex Baptist pastor, explained the significance and symbolism of full immersion water baptism. We were all touched as the baptismal candidate gave her personal testimony, answered some basic questions and, on the profession of her faith in Jesus Christ, was submerged in the pool and raised up out of the water. She was, as it were, buried with Christ and rose to new life in Him as it says in the Bible - ‘buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead’ (Colossians 2:12). We then returned to the Meeting Room to celebrate Communion and a new life in Christ.
The occasion reminded me that for a number of years when I was working in London I used to meet with a friend who was a Messianic Jew. Each time we met for lunch he would challenge me and ask if I had been water baptised, reminding me that it was a command in the Bible. It took me a while to make the decision, but eventually I was baptised in the pool at Ellel Pierrepont in 2000. It was a very special moment for me, but I think the spiritual significance took time to sink in. If I have died with Christ and risen to new life in Him then who I am doesn’t really matter any more. The question is am I living in the resurrection power of Christ?
Some years ago I read the story of a missionary lady in Africa who walked every day along a stretch of road where people were often attacked and robbed, some had been killed. “Aren’t you afraid?”, asked a concerned friend, to which the missionary replied, “I have only a Bible that someone could steal and I have already ‘died’ so I have nothing to fear as they can do nothing to me” She had clearly ‘died to herself and her own desires’ and continued to walk that road unharmed for many years.
Romans 6:4 says ‘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’. And the Apostle Paul says, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’.(Galatians 2:20) For me water baptism was an important start to dying to self and living a new life in Jesus.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the meaning of water baptism. Thank You that I can surrender my life to You and be re-born into everlasting life in You. May my life be hidden in You, Jesus, that day by day I should grow less and You become more. Help me to walk into the fullness of life that You purchased for me. Amen.
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