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making the connection | July 16, 2017

July 13, 2017

And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22)

When we talk about baptism, we say it is an outward symbol of an inward transformation of faith. It’s about declaring to the world an identity-shaping truth. Our faith in Christ has changed reality for us. The change happens from the inside out. After Jesus was baptized, God the Father spoke from heaven the words we see in Luke 3:22. When we publicly declare our faith through baptism, we are saying, “I am new in Christ” and “What God says about Jesus Christ His Son, is true for me as well.” We are His, we are loved by Him, and He is well pleased with us.

One of the challenges to understanding baptism is that it isn’t about what we do. The outward act of getting baptized and the water are not creating a change for us. They are symbols. Nothing we could do would earn the gift of salvation in Christ. Baptism is a public pledge to trust in Christ’s death and resurrection. Going under the water represents our dying with Him. Coming up represents our new life in the risen Lord. The symbolic act of baptism mirrors our inward pledge of faith in Him.

Baptism is a symbol of our freedom and our relationship. We declare our freedom from sin thanks to Christ’s work on our behalf. No longer are we slaves to sin and death. Through faith, we have a new and personal relationship with the God of the Universe. He is always with us. We have Him listening, guiding, and giving us hope in every circumstance. We are also saying our family includes the body of believers, the church. Baptism is the celebration of new life. The church celebrates on earth echoing the celebration in heaven. Jesus says in the story of the Prodigal Son: “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:32)
 –Nate Metler

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