Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The miracle of salvation

Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)
We are buried with Christ in Baptism and rise with Him to new life. Baptism is symbolic of the death of all your past life - it is buried in the water. Then as Christ rose from the grave and from death, so we rise with Him, through faith, out of the water. When I asked to be baptised in water as a 12-year-old boy, I was buried with Christ, and when I came out of the water, I was a new born baby! My life is in Christ - He is my hope of glory! This is why the Word of God says you are a new creation: the old has gone forever and you have been made new! Your old sinful life is dead and buried in the water! Nor does it matter what your ancestors did or didn't do, when you pass through the waters of baptism, you died, and then rise to new life in Christ!

Look at Colossians 2:12 - buried with Christ in baptism and raised with Him through your faith. This is clearly symbolic of the death of all your past life, buried in the water. Then as Christ Jesus rose from the grave and from death, so we are to rise with Him, 'through faith', out of the water. It was the same extraordinary step of faith for Jesus, who died in absolute belief that He would be raised in three days. Our baptism must be a demonstration of that same faith.

The miracle is that Jesus died, then rose again, now He cannot die ever again, He is immortal. I am the same! I died with Christ and rose again, but in my case, spiritually rather than physically. Therefore, I am immortal and cannot die... not in the physical sense, but spiritually! This is the importance of water baptism which the Bible says is symbolic of this death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).

It is interesting to see there is another symbolism in water baptism (1 Corinthians 10:2). When the Israelites came out of Egypt to worship God, they were led not by the easy way but the strategically-planned hard way, through the Red Sea. Why did God decide on this longer route? Well, so many times after they came out, the grumbling Israelites would have gone back into pagan Egypt! They complained about lack of food and water, about hardship and so many other things, that often they would have gone back. But they could not. The Red Sea stopped them, it became a barrier to prevent them returning to the old life in Egypt. Their only way through had been by a miracle which opened the waters and, in His master plan, God used the same water to destroy their enemy. It is the same with the Blood of Christ and water baptism. It is to remind every baptised believer that we cannot easily go back into the old life because when we believe and are baptised in water, this reminds us that God has made a barrier, the power of the enemy is broken, the devil has been defeated. Praise God, Satan cannot touch us, we are on the other side, Christ stands between us and Satan, water baptism is the evidence!

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