February 6, 2019

Symbols of Celebration!

“… That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.”  Romans 6:3-4 (MSG)

A wedding ring is a powerful symbol. It has special significance – not only to the one wearing it, but for others as well. It communicates a message of commitment, a relationship of intimacy, and a promise of purity. A wedding ring is more than simply jewelry; it is a sacred symbol. Jesus gave us a similar symbol in our relationship with Him. It is the symbol of baptism. It shows on the outside what Christ did for us on the inside. Through His death on the cross, Jesus washed our sins away. When we put our trust in Him, baptism identifies us with His death and resurrection. It is a powerful symbol of faith and repentance. When we are immersed underwater, we are identifying with His death for us – a death we deserved to die for our sin; yet, Jesus died for us. Through baptism, we are buried with Christ.  He took our sins to the tomb and buried them.  When He arose, He didn’t come back to remind us of our sins but to redeem us from them and offer us a new life! We identify with His resurrection as we come up out of the waters of baptism to walk in newness of life! The Bible puts it like this:

“When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared His death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life.” Romans 6:4 (NCV) 

Have you experienced the refreshing power of believer’s baptism? It is the first step of obedience in following Christ. Baptism is a celebration of new life, the life of Christ indwelling us! Baptism also identifies us with other Christ followers. Just as my wedding ring identifies me with my wife, baptism identifies me with all those who have received Christ as their Savior as well! When Peter preached about Jesus on the Day of Pentecost, the Bible says:

“Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day – about 3,000 in all.” Acts 2:41 (NLT) 

Each one of these new Christ followers was connected to the other through this sacred symbol of baptism. They were identified with Christ and other Christ followers. It was the beginning of the Church.

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating our Winter Baptism at Woodlands Church. If you would like to experience the refreshing power of God through believer’s baptism, you are welcome to join us after any one of our weekend services at a Woodlands Church campus near you. You can register online today for the service that works best for you! When you do, check out the video of last year’s Super Summer Baptism! If you’ve already been baptized, invite someone else to take that step this weekend and celebrate it with them!