My cousin got baptized today. I’m especially proud of her. Baptism in my church is not done by age, or not necessarily immediately following conversion, but when they determine for themselves that they want to pursue Christ and continue in fellowship with a body of believers with all their heart, soul and mind (Deut. 6:4-5).
Paul, in Roman’s six discusses this beeline, or whole-hearted pursuit of Christ.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Baptism is much more than just being ritualistically dunked as a rite of passage to make you ‘belong’ to a local church. Much like a wedding ring, it is an outward witness to the profession of ones faith and desire to be united with Him in His death, we celebrate the future resurrection we are promised after our death. It is the metaphysical symbolism that drives us towards Christ and draws us together in unity with the catholic (eternal, invisible) church. We celebrate baptism not because we belong together, but in that we BELONG TO CHRIST! Paul’s use of the greek thapto (buried) denotes that we are buried, in the same sense dead people are buried in a crypt with Christ in his death. To Paul, this is much more than symbolic ritual. We are all guaranteed to die Adam’s death, but our hope in Christ, symbolized by Baptism is unification with him in everlasting life.
What are we doing to bring this truth to our youth?