Seven Ways to "Improve" Your Baptism
by Tom Goodman
March 25, 2009
THE "EASTER ENCOUNTER" IS COMING IN APRIL!
Join us for the Lord's Supper on Thursday, April 9, 7pm.
Attend our Good Friday service during your lunch break, April 10, noon.
Celebrate Christ's resurrection on Sunday, April 12, 10am.
The Puritans taught their people to "improve" their baptism. What they meant was that as you reflect on your baptism, it can fuel your faith, hope, love, joy, and obedience. This is a lesson we too should learn.
In a recent article, J.I. Packer outlined seven ways believers should reflect on our baptism and thus energize our faith.
First, "it was a gospel service, in which 'the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith' (Romans 1:16) was set forth in symbol." Your baptism symbolized death to sin and resurrection to new life. So, "my baptism assures me that
each day I may know more of supernatural deliverance from evil."
Second, "my baptism was a marriage service, in which I was given away to Jesus my Lord to be… his covenant-partner." So my baptism reminds me of the love and loyalty I owe to him, and his promise to cherish me and share with me all that he has.
Third, "my baptism was a burial service," as Romans 6:4-6 makes clear. So I must always "by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body." (Romans 8:12ff)
Fourth, "my baptism was an Easter festival, proclaiming both Jesus' resurrection and mine, as a believer, in and with his." Though I have to wait for Christ's return to experience the physical resurrection, "my baptism requires me to show forth
day by day the Christ-life which now courses through me, while at the same time confirming to me that a new and better body will be mine."
Fifth, "my baptism was a birthday celebration." And so "my baptism should teach me constant joy at being spiritually alive in Christ."
Sixth, "my baptism was an admission ceremony, bringing me into the family of God's adopted children so that I might share the family life of worship, witness, and work for our Father's glory."
Seventh, "my baptism was a commissioning service, entering me upon a life wholly given to serve Christ and his cause." We are Christ's errand-boy, as John Berridge, the eighteenth-century evangelical leader, called himself.
Reflect on how your life matches the life that baptism promises. And if you need to take this step in demonstration of your commitment to Jesus, contact me!
Weblog: Check out my blog, "Get Anchored." Some things to look for...
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