26 Mar Baptism is Beautiful
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
Baptism is beautiful.
I love everything about that watery moment. People are normally sweaty-palmed, as they should be. They are, after all, telling the world of the most thrilling transformation. From that day forward, a lifelong pursuit of Jesus Christ will unfold. It won’t be perfect. There will still be falls and bruised knees, but by the grace of God, there will be progress. Baptism is a thrilling moment, a living theatre, as the person portrays the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ (a.k.a. the GOSPEL).
Around 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ came out of a sealed Jerusalem tomb and history took a sharp turn. The resurrection of Christ is the single greatest event of all time. Without that resurrection, there is no Christian faith—just a Pollyanna wish for a vague afterlife existence. If Christ’s after-the-cross appearances were a farce, then “our preaching is vain, and your faith also” (1 Cor. 15:13-14). Why would the Apostle Paul say that? Why is a non-resurrected Messiah useless? Because it would show that “you are still in your sins” (v.17). Jesus conquering death means that Jesus conquered the curse.
Sin is the deadly issue that caused the curse. Because of our sins, we have been separated from God. However, if our penalties have been paid, then the whole atmosphere is changed. We are washed of our sins and we are free to come home.
We are redeemed. Jesus has changed everything.
Our English word baptize comes from a word in the Greek language meaning “to dip, submerge, or immerse.” The New Testament records that baptism always followed conversion, never preceded it, and was not necessary for salvation (Acts 2:1-41; 8:36-39; 16:30-33).
Looking at Scripture, we also know that immersion—being completely submerged underwater—symbolizes that a believer has died to an old way and is alive in Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12). The early church plunged professors into the watery grave, then raised them up to fresh air to walk in a newness of life.
The Biblical model of baptism by immersion includes John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11), as well as Christ’s disciples (Acts 8:36-39). Immersion is a means not only of declaring that Christ died, was buried and was resurrected to provide salvation, but also of testifying about our own hope of resurrection (Romans 6:5).
Baptism is a big deal to us at Storyline—not because of tradition, but because of Gospel transformation.
Baptism was—and is—beautiful.
Editor’s note: We recently celebrated baptism for the first time at Storyline Fellowship. Take a look at this video to meet Brittany and hear what led her to take this step of faith.