A Note From Chris - September 22, 2022

I love baptisms. I tell people all the time that Sunday is my favorite day of the week, and it’s true. I love worshiping with our church and doing ministry with each of you. But if a Sunday also includes a baptism, it’s extra special.

I love all that baptism means and all that it represents. Here are a few Biblical images of baptism that should both encourage us and motivate us toward obedience in baptism and helping others toward this important spiritual step.

1.Baptism is embracing Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

Colossians 2:12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
Jesus could have of course chosen anything he wanted for us to do instead of baptism. He could have chosen high-fives or secret handshakes or something, but he chose baptism, being put under the water. Certainly one of the reasons is because the act of baptism is a constant reminder of the miracle of death, burial and resurrection. Every time someone is baptized, they are uniting with this incredible gift. Every time someone is baptized in public, everyone celebrating with them is reminded of this truth (Romans 6:3-4).

2. Baptism is receiving the soul cleansing of Jesus

1 Corinthians 6:11b – “…you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Periodically, people will ask me if baptism is really important; they already love Jesus. It is! While there is nothing special about the water, baptism is connected to the washing of the Spirit that only Jesus can provide. Most often in Scripture, the receiving of the Holy Spirit comes in correlation to baptism. I’m so thankful he has paid our penalty and has the power to wash us clean of all the junk inside us. (Acts 22:16)

3. Baptism is to becoming a Christian what a wedding ceremony is to being married.

Galatians 3:27  And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.”

So many parts of the wedding ceremony are meaningful, from the wedding dress to the rings, from the support of friends and family to the special bond being formed. But nothing is more important or meaningful than the vows. That is what makes a ceremony unique. It’s the “I will be committed to you forever” that is most special. And everyone gets to celebrate it with the couple.

Scripture often refers to the church’s relationship with Jesus in wedding imagery. The church is the bride, Jesus is the bridegroom. Personally, we choose to become the body of Christ when we surrender to him. Baptism is the time when we officially say “I do” to Jesus. We are forever united with him now. Are we committed when we grow up in the church or say a particular prayer or have an especially significant spiritual experience in some way? Sure we are. Those are significant markers, as God meets us right where we are. But Jesus calls us to baptism as a way to seal that commitment. And what an incredible choice we make, to receive all the promises of God and walk in his grace forever.

October 16th is Baptism Weekend at Cornerstone. While we celebrate baptisms any time, that weekend will have a special emphasis on baptism. If you have not been baptized (immersed) and are interested in a conversation, you can talk to any ministry leader or reach out by clicking here. Our staff and elders are praying about having at least one conversation per week between now and then with someone about baptism. Please join us in praying every day that God will move powerfully in our church as we celebrate and prioritize the decision to surrender to Jesus.

Yours and His,
Chris VandeLinde

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