“There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.” Matthew 3:6 (MSG)
Life change charges my batteries! I love it. It’s my favorite thing about ministry. I love to see the impact Jesus makes on a life when someone receives Christ. Nothing is the same anymore! John the Baptist witnessed untold numbers of lives changed in his ministry. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets even though he preached in the New Testament. He fit the mold of what you would think about when you picture a prophet. Matthew’s gospel tells us that “John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey.” His voice thundered with a bold message of repentance. He came to prepare the way for Jesus. Matthew 3:5 says, “People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action.” God used his powerful message to change lives! They wanted to demonstrate that change in a public way through baptism. Matthew tells us, “There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.” Baptism wasn’t what made the change happen. It was a symbol of their commitment. Like a wedding ring that symbolizes the commitment of a husband and wife, baptism is a powerful symbol of our commitment to Jesus Christ. It shows on the outside what Jesus does on the inside when He washes our sins away. Through baptism we identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. When we go under the water, we identify with His death for us. Coming up out of the water is a picture of our identification with the risen Christ who now lives in our hearts by faith. This week we will look at some of the most amazing stories of life change in the New Testament and their experience in baptism. As we do, I pray it will encourage you in the change that Christ is bringing in your life as well.