It’s fantastic that this Sunday we are celebrating two baptisms. In the midst of the testimonies, celebratory worship and after service coffee and cakes, we will witness a profoundly visual demonstration of the life-changing power of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul says that ‘we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives’ (Rom 6: 4). Just consider that truth for a moment. Through the waters of baptism we Dianne and Erin will testify that they have died to their old way of life and are daily seeking to ‘put to death’ the power of sin that still seeks to exert itself over them. They will therefore be buried with Christ in sure and certain hope of ‘new life’.
Many people I speak to about the Christian faith, seem under an illusion that the Gospel simply offers the promise of life after death. Yet the truth is so much more glorious. When writing about baptism, Paul here promises new life before death.
Our prayer then for Dianne and Erin and indeed for ourselves is that we would come into the fullness of life that Jesus brings ‘today’ and not simply look to his promise being fulfilled ‘tomorrow’. And in doing so, we would rejoice and delight in the Lord Jesus in whom we discover hope, freedom and forgiveness.