Celebrating New Life
Recently Jubilee Church was able to celebrate with 10 children and young people who had asked Jesus to be their friend. Each of them had decided to be baptised and it was quite a party!
So what is baptism?
Becky Floy spoke about baptism using Romans 6:1-4. These verses tell us that baptism is an outward, physical picture of the inward, spiritual change of those who have decided to follow Jesus; those who have experienced ‘new life’. Being baptised doesn’t make you a Christian, or magically destroy the power of sin – rather, it is an outward expression of what’s already happened on the inside.
Baptism is a picture of what God has done for us.
Jesus, the Son of God, came and lived a perfect life. He didn’t deserve death or punishment, and yet, although He had the power to heal the sick, walk on water and even raise the dead, He allowed Himself to be put to death on a cross. Jesus died in our place, as a substitute for rebels like us. The debt we owed God, Jesus paid by dying in our place. He took the full force of God’s justice on himself so we can have forgiveness and newness of life.
When we go under the water in baptism it is a picture of Jesus’ death and burial in the tomb.
But the tomb was not the end! God accepted Jesus’ death as payment in full for our sins, and raised Him from the dead.
When we come up out of the water in baptism it is a picture of Jesus being raised to new life!
Why do we get baptised?
Baptism is what disciples do! Jesus tells us that getting baptised is part of being a disciple: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) We believe that anyone who has been saved, i.e. repented of their sins and started to walk with Jesus, should be baptised. Baptism releases people into freedom by spiritually cutting off the past and bringing in newness of life; and it’s the Holy Spirit who gives them the power to live in this newness of life.
Also, when we get baptised we follow the example of Jesus. Although He didn’t need to repent, He identified with us in baptism, the sinful people He came to save. It was a sign of His obedience and provided an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to descend on Him and for God to say how pleased He was with His son. (You can read about Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:13-17.)
I’m sure you can see why we wanted to celebrate as the Jubilee Family! The stories from the lives of these young people tell of God’s grace and salvation and we believe that as they were ‘buried with Jesus in baptism’ they were also raised to live a new life in Him (Romans 4:6).
You can hear the whole of Becky’s talk here.