What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptised 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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.Romans 6:1-7
Baptism is a big deal. It should be as it is someone’s personal and public commitment to follow Jesus. For the individual, this is a significant declaration. For followers of Jesus baptism is exciting to witness and a strong affirmation of the goodness of life with Jesus. For God, how delighted he must be to see one of his precious people choosing in love to live for him.
Baptists speak of baptism as an outward sign of an internal reality. The sign of baptism points to the reality of personal faith in Jesus. Because it is a symbolic action, doesn’t mean it is not powerful. If the symbolic occasion of a wedding is incredibly significant because of the love between two people, how much more baptism! In baptism is the declaration of God’s forgiveness through the cross of Christ, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead by the power of the Spirit, the embracing love of God so we can become his children, the faith of someone reaching out to receive all God offers, the life-giving power of the Spirit given so they might live for him. That’s a very potent symbol.
Followers of Jesus spend a lifetime living out their baptism. We learn daily what it means to be united with Jesus in his death and resurrection. We learn daily how to ‘die to sin’ and live this new life for God. Baptism is an important start to this incredible journey of life with Jesus.