Focal passage: Romans 6:1-14
Without a doubt, my favorite church service to attend with my church family is our baptism service. When you walk in the sanctuary there is an excitement that permeates the building, an anticipation that is palpable and a joy that is overwhelming. We celebrate baptisms. I mean, we really celebrate. Shouts of joy, hand clapping, high fives are all the norm. So why do we celebrate so visibly? One word: freedom.
Baptism in and of itself does nothing for a person’s salvation, but what a picture it is of the new freedom the Christ follower has in Jesus!
Baptism is a clear picture of the teaching we see from Paul in Romans 6. As followers of Christ we identify with Christ’s death, understanding that His death frees the believer from our slavery to sin. Going under the water is a picture of our death to our old self. Just like Jesus did not remain dead, we don’t either!
As we see someone come up out of the water, we are reminded that Jesus was resurrected and is alive. We share that same life eternally through Him. Our pastor will often use the phrase, “raised to walk in newness of life” as he lifts someone from the water. What a great reminder that our new life is one in which we walk in the righteousness God grants us.
Left to our sin we are faced with death, but praise God that He doesn’t leave us there when we profess Jesus! We have freedom, and that freedom unchains us from our old self and puts us on the path to eternal life. That’s something worth celebrating.