Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baptize- more than water

I've been going through Jesus' command for us in Matthew 28 and shared first the promise as we obey, then that it starts when we go and engage others, and that discipleship involves pouring Christ through pouring our our lives into others over time. Today, I'll look at baptizing:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that  have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

There's an obvious application here- physical baptism. It's an incredible joy to see someone you love receive Christ's salvation. Water baptism is a public profession of that faith and a tangible showing of their death to sin and life in Christ.
Sweet memory- My first 'disciples baptism' in 2001

There's also another significance to baptism that continues beyond the one-time water baptism. It shows that they are now part of the body of Christ- His church. They too, like the rest of His church, have been chosen by the Father, saved through His Son, and now have His Holy Spirit living and active in them. They are now part of this family of believers. Part of discipleship and teaching others happens as we invite them into the larger body of Christ. So we baptize them physically to show new life and we bring them into this family of Christ-followers. I am not the only person that loves Jesus in their life. They need others. Others need them. Not just through Sunday morning sermons, but as they learn to walk together through life to the glory of God. Part of leading and guiding others is showing them how we need each other. We were meant to live life together, care for one another, and show Christ to each other. 

And I love how we live it out. The Christ-followers in my life have walked through hard trials with me, encouraging me and praying. We celebrate birthdays and big milestones. They brought meals for weeks (twice for over a month) when I was hospitalized and had babies. We do mundane things like eating meals, going camping, play dates at parks, ertc. We do daily life together. They are people who aren't shocked by any sin in my life and offer wise counsel when I need it. Baptism isn't just about leaving behind the old life, but more so, it's about entering into the fullness of forever-life through Christ. And we don't do that alone, but we get to do it with others. It's an incredible gift from our loving God to live life together as His people.

When we share Jesus with others, we engage in their lives, invite them into our daily life, and introduce them to others so they can grow in Him, learn, and serve others as part of God's family.

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