June 11th, 2014 | By admin
By Paul Holland
Rachel and I have been married – August 12 – for 19 years. She has always told people that she was born in Kennesaw, Georgia. Except, she wasn’t. I realize she was fairly young at the time and may not remember all the details…
We have been transferring our car title and registration from Kentucky to Michigan and had to get out copies of our birth certificates. Rachel took a closer look at it and was shocked to realize she wasn’t born inKennesaw, she was born in Kennestone (Hospital, that is) – which is in Marietta. We got a laugh out of it and I’m getting a Daily Droplets out of it…
Most of what the Bible teaches on baptism, it teaches in passages that are written to Christians. Paul writes about baptism in Romans 6, for example, in the context of sin reigning in death. But sin doesn’t reign in the life of a Christian because we have died to sin. “How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” The context of Romans 6 is encouraging Christians to “consider [our]selves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (vs 11). But baptism is that point when we died to sin.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions baptism in chapter one. We learn several things about baptism as Paul writes to Christians with their baptism in the background. The crucifixion of Christ is presumed as well as their baptism into Christ (vs 13). Since we have been baptizedinto Christ, it is His name we should wear and Hisauthority we should follow.
In the same letter, chapter 12, Paul says that we have been “baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (vs 13). Yet again, baptism is not the main subject of the context but Paul presumes it in the background of his argument. “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (vs 26). Why? Because we were all made one when we were all baptized into Christ.
The same thing is true with all the passages dealing with baptism through the remainder of the New Testament. Baptism is not the main focus of the passages. Christians are presumed to have been baptized and we learn much about their baptisms from the context.
Here’s my point. Whether we have been Christians for 60 years or 60 minutes, it is important to review our “birth certificate” from time to time to be reminded of the blessings and responsibilities we have. Baptism is not the end. It is the beginning.