Do you remember your baptism? Feeling the Living Waters wash your sins clean and the Holy Spirit filling your soul? Committing your life to Christ, asking forgiveness and repenting of all your sins and asking God’s help to live a better life? Was it a holy and life-changing experience for you? Or, maybe not…
Maybe you were baptized as a child and don’t remember much. Maybe you were baptized because it was the thing to do, but you didn’t fully appreciate the significance. Or, maybe you did have some understanding of the power of that moment, but how much do we really understand at that starting point of our spiritual journey?
Let’s take some time today to remember the significance and power of our baptism and three reasons why baptism is the starting point for living a visible faith.
1) Through baptism we die to sin and start fresh in a life with Jesus.
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:1-4 NLT)
Our baptism is the turning point where we formally renounce our sin and give our life over to Jesus. Our sins are washed clean and we are made new, sealed as Christ’s own forever. We can begin to live new lives, not to willfully continue doing wrong and asking forgiveness, but trying to live according to the teachings of Jesus, with God’s help.
If you don’t remember this moment or haven’t fully made this turn in your life, you can reaffirm your commitment to Jesus at any time. Repent of your sins and ask Jesus to wash you clean. Commit to live a life in him and to follow his teachings in all things, with God’s help.Visible faith begins with a commitment to live a new life in Christ. Click To Tweet
2) We are baptized in water to reflect the cleansing and purification of our conscience.
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21 NIV)
The water of our baptism is a powerful symbol of being washed clean. Peter describes it as symbolic of the waters of the great flood that washed away everyone except Noah and the seven other faithful members of his family. It symbolizes a cleansing, but also our promise to God to live with a clean conscience.
Whether you were fully immersed or just had water sprinkled on your head, the waters of your baptism washed away the old and made you new. You renounced evil. You confirmed your belief in God. You agreed to follow in the teachings of Jesus. Your sins were washed away and you were made clean.The water of baptism has washed away our sin and made us clean. Click To Tweet
3) We are filled with the Holy Spirit who guides us as we strive to live a better life.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NIV)
At our baptism, we are not only washed clean, but filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives within us and is our guide. He leads us, equips us, prays for us, encourages us, warns us, and is our inner compass to keep us on the right path. (Read here for more on the Holy Spirit.) What a powerful gift we’re given through baptism, if only we’ll remember it and call upon the power of the Holy Spirit within us to be our guide.Don't ignore the greatest baptism gift - the Holy Spirit. Let him guide your life. Click To Tweet
Let the sound and feel of water remind you of your baptism.
Anytime you feel or hear flowing water, take a minute to remember your baptism and give thanks that you’re filled with the Living Waters of Jesus. In the shower, in the rain, while you’re washing dishes. Water can remind us that we’re saved by God’s grace, set apart of Christ’s own, and filled with the Holy Spirit. We have everything we need to allow God to fill our hearts with His love and help us live a vibrant and visible faith.
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of liing water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38 NIV)
Thanksgiving for the Waters of Baptism
The Book of Common Prayer has a beautiful prayer of Thanksgiving over the Water. I may not remember my baptism, but I can continually reaffirm my commitment whenever I witness a baptism or anytime I see water.
We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.
We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon me your servant the forgiveness of sin, and have raised me to the new life of grace. Sustain me, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give me an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.