This Sunday, we're celebrating Spring Baptism and new life in Christ! Baptism Sunday is one of our favorite days of the year. Why? Because baptism is an outward expression of an inner transformation. It's all about going public with your faith in Jesus and communicating to the world your heartfelt commitment to following Him! You see, Jesus set the example of baptism for us. We can learn so much from his baptism story - the most famous Baptism in the Bible - in Matthew 3:13-16.
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, who was his cousin. In the passage from Matthew 3, John has a hard time understanding why Jesus needs to be baptized, since He was sinless. In fact, John felt unworthy of the task of baptizing Jesus! However, Jesus actually tells John in the scripture that his Baptism is a part of how Jesus will fulfill God's plan and follow God's will.
When John finally gets on board with baptizing Jesus, look at what happens next: "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." - Matthew 3:16.
Can you imagine that scene? The heavens open... the Holy Spirit descends like a dove and sits on Jesus' shoulder... It's incredible! Now, Jesus' baptism was both similar and different from our own baptism today. First, Jesus was not baptized to express his personal salvation from sin - he was already sinless and one with the Father. However, that is our motivation for baptism today. We want to stand up for Jesus in front of many witnesses as a response to the Holy Spirit's work in our lives.
RAISED TO LIFE IN CHRIST
When you go into the water of baptism, it's like you are being buried with Christ. You are dying to your old life of sin. When you are raised up from the water, it is like you are being washed clean, renewed, and raised to life, just like how Jesus was resurrected from the dead on Easter morning. At baptism, we celebrate that we are no longer dead in sin, but rather, we are alive in Christ!
Romans 6:8-11 describes it this way: "Now if we die with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that 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. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. "
So, baptism is our response to what Jesus is doing in us through the Holy Spirit. It is the ultimate expression of faithfulness to God. We know that God is pleased when we are obedient to Him, and baptism is one of those days in the life of a Christian when you are smack-dab in the center of God's will for your life. We pray that through baptism, you will feel God's pleasure and His rejoicing over your acts of obedience to Him.
To learn more about baptism and hear stories of lives changed by Christ, check out the additional content below:
- ARTICLE: Karina's Baptism Story - For Karina, baptism has meant freedom as she's battled with her mental health over the years. Click here to read her baptism story.
- ARTICLE: Eric's Baptism Story - For Eric, baptism has meant a deeper relationship with Christ in the face of familial hardships. Click here to read his baptism story.
- LEARN MORE: To learn more about baptism and to view answers to frequently asked questions about baptism, click here.