Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.~ Romans 6:4
Dear People of God,
Jesus Christ died and was raised for sinners. We qualify. Easter is about the resurrection of the Lord. In our day we must not assume people know what “resurrection” is or means or does (we must not even assume those in the church know). To explain this, I will simply say that Jesus died on the cross that fateful day and was buried. But on the third day he in his physical body rose from the dead. He was dead but now he is alive.
What does this do for us? It means our great enemy, death, has lost its sting! Therefore, no matter what we face on earth we have the comfort to know that it cannot separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ. No power, sin, death, or the devil, is able to snatch us out of God’s hand. Since earliest times Christians gather regularly together to celebrate the resurrection, especially on Sundays.
It is through Christ’s death and resurrection that we know we have forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. God bestows this gift of resurrection to us as he chooses. God does it by first killing us, then making us alive. Sounds intense, I know. Because it is. Nothing of our old nature can remain. We too must die. Not just a little bit. But fully.
Without exception. Again, Jesus died for sinners, not the righteous. By our own reason or understanding we could never come to the Lord Jesus. We would never choose him. Rather, it is the Holy Spirit who brings us to the Lord. Indeed, God choose us, faith is God’s work, not something we muster up ourselves. So how does God kill us and then make us alive? Answer: God saves us through what I’ll call “the water of resurrection.”
Namely, the sacrament of baptism. As St. Paul clearly testifies, “We are buried with Christ by baptism into death…so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). It is not the water itself that has this power, but it is the Word in the water that does it. Wherever the Word is we also have the promise that there is life and salvation.
Therefore, it is a water of resurrection. First, baptism puts us to death. Then, by the glory of the Father, it raises us to new life. A life raised up in Christ. Through the water and the Spirit we are born from above. Don’t be misled, baptism is for all people. Adults and infants alike benefit from baptism because baptism is not a work that we do but a work that God does. It need be done only once because when God makes a promise, he keeps his promise.
When all other things in life fail, you can depend on the resurrection. The promise of Christ’s resurrection is at the heart of Christianity. It’s what you got going for you whether or not you have anything else going for you. And by the water of resurrection, that is, baptism, God applies this promise to you, creates and strengthens your faith, forgives you your sins, and gives you new life. God saves you through the Word attached to the water. Every day.
Peace and joy,
Pastor Levi Powers