Updated: Jan 19
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4 NIV)
Baptism is a sacrament. It is a means of grace by which drawing near to God, His will and His grace is given by putting yourself in a place, position, and attitude or posture to receive it. The Nazarene Article of Faith on baptism starts by saying this, “We believe that Christian baptism, commanded by our Lord, is a sacrament signifying acceptance of the benefits of the atonement and incorporation into the Body of Christ. Baptism is a means of grace proclaiming faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. It is to be administered to believers indicating their full purpose of obedience in holiness and righteousness.”
Now many will debate the “how's” of baptism—whether by emersion, sprinkling, or even by super soaker—these do not really matter here. What really matters, is that the person is professing their faith publicly, to the Body of Christ, in Christ. In the passages above it is saying, “baptized into his death,” “buried with him… into death.” This may sound scary to many because death is seen as the end—meaning “The End,” finality, its over. But that is only part of it here. Here in these passages it only means the end of the old way of life. In essence, the death of your old self and self-centered ways. But that’s not all, these passages also say, “in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” The new life in the Body of Christ, the Church, living for Christ. It can in some ways be seen as a joining or connecting into the Body of Christ to live life a new way. The old is dead and buried, but the new arises from the water to live in faith by the Spirit.
Baptism is not an ending, it's the beginning. Have you started the new journey, the new beginning? Are you a part of something bigger than yourself? Are you part of the Body of Christ?
House, Nazarene Publishing. Church of the Nazarene Manual 2017-2021. Nazarene Publishing House. Kindle Edition.