Baptism - Outward Sign, Inward GraceWell, we are all really looking forward to next month’s baptism service, which will be held on Sunday 15th May 2016, Pentecost Sunday. What a wonderful day to get baptised. Pentecost Sunday is the day that many in the grace community, myself included, consider to be the anniversary of the first day of the New Covenant era. It was the moment, in our redemptive history, when Jesus ascended into heaven and, in bringing to an end His earthly ministry amongst us and inaugurated His ministry in us. On that extraordinary day, men and women were enabled, empowered and emboldened by the Spirit to live the CHRIST life in an unprecedented way. It was, to quote the Apostle Paul, the day that,

the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints

Colossians 1:26

From that moment on we would come to know,

how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27

The Day of Pentecost ushered in the Age of The Spirit, the end of the Old Covenant period (Law) and the inception of the New Covenant period (Grace). What better day then for you to choose to be baptised?

Why do we baptise believers?

People are often curious about water baptism. In some sections of the church we over-realize its importance, in others we under-realise it. To assert that baptism is a necessary part of the salvation process is an over-realization. It is not. Baptism is for saved people, not a thing you need to do in order to get saved. However, to not see baptism as an important identity marker in our spiritual journey would be to under realize its value. Baptism is a very real outward sign of a very real inward reality. Baptism is about identification, it is saying to the world

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

Galatians 2:20

It might help to think of baptism as the believers’ eternity ring. When a husband gives his wife an eternity ring they are not suddenly more married than they were before, but the husband has provided his bride with another outward sign of what is already true – they are one.

Water baptism can be a dramatic event. Often the Lord will use the baptism waters to as a vivid way of reminding us what happened at the Cross. For baptism evokes memories of Israel crossing the Red Sea and their escape from their slave masters. Today, as then, The Lord invites us to,

Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians [enemies] whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight [has fought and won the battle] for you, and you have only to be silent.

Exodus 14:13-15

So eagerly anticipate next month’s service and as you go down into the waters of baptism connect with the story of redemption – a redemption that is already yours.

Still time to register

If you’ve not registered for baptism and you’d like to be baptised, then please let us know. Speak with Graham or any of the elders. If you have registered, remember on the day to bring a towel and a change of clothes, and on that day of all days we encourage you to invite friends and family to come and see what the Lord has done.

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