Jim's Jots and Tittles. . .
On Wednesday, October 5, Zanette Carroll's daughter, Brooke, was baptized into Christ. Those who were present saw her rise from the water completely washed of her past sins. She had obeyed the command Ananias gave to Paul in Acts 22:16--"...Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
Her sins were forgiven by the same power of God that raised Jesus from the dead: Colossians 2:12--"having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."
And though baptism is such a simple act, look what it has done for her and us: Colossians 1:13-14--"For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (the church), in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
God is so complex. He has all power. He spoke the world into existence. He created a man out of the dirt of the earth. He created a woman from Adam's rib. He destroyed all flesh with a flood, but saved eight on an ark. He created a fish big enough for a man to live in for three days. He resurrected Jesus from the dead. Man can never totally comprehend God--man is the created, not the Creator. God has no beginning or ending!
When we consider the ultimate power of God to destroy this earth at the end of time, we are made to wonder why He chose the simple act of baptism to demonstrate His power of forgiveness.
We know that baptism is an act of obedience, but could another act have been chosen that was more impressive? But surely if He had, man would glorify himself in the act not in the obedience to the act.
Baptism is an act that is visible to all. And in seeing that act performed, all can appreciate God's power to forgive and all the act symbolizes. Baptism is a burial from a life of sin and a resurrection to a new life in Christ. As Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13--"And where you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions."
Baptism enables us to be added to God's family as His children: Romans 8:16-17--"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ...."
Baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on the cross. Paul wrote in Romans 6:3--"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?"
Baptism therefore enables us to have a joint-participation with His death, burial and resurrection and enables us to have a joint participation each Lord's day as we remember His death and blood at the Lord's table. 1 Corinthians 10:16--"Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a joint-participation in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a joint-participation in the body of Christ?"
Baptism is the act that symbolizes Jesus as the sacrifice acceptable to God for our sins. Ephesians 5:1-2--"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children: and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
Baptism is the act that begins one's journey to be with the Lord for eternity. 1 Thessalonians 4:17--"Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord."
Such a simple act, initiated by such a powerful God to redeem the soul of mankind! Surely this demonstrates the kindness of God!