July 26

Colossians 2:11-15

“when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” vs. 12

People have argued for centuries about the proper mode of baptism, whether it should be by sprinkling, pouring or immersion. In general those practicing infant baptism have used sprinkling or pouring but even they have to admit that immersion symbolizes one of the important dimensions of baptism in a powerful way. From the beginning Christians have believed that believers are buried with Jesus in baptism…and immersion is the perfect way to represent that burial. And when those baptized are raised up out of the water they can’t help but think of resurrection. Of course we don’t have to be physically immersed to participate in Christ’s death and resurrection. The amount of water used in baptism is not related to its efficacy. Even those who were sprinkled as infants have been connected by grace to the cross and the empty tomb. Paul used this language to remind believers that in Christ they had been made new persons. The old sinful self had been put to death and a new holy self had been given new life. It’s that pattern of dying and rising that is such an important part of our experience as followers of Jesus. As Paul puts it, that old self has been nailed to the cross with Jesus…and we are raised to be his living presence in our homes and communities.

Thought for the Day: How can unbaptized persons participate in the death and resurrection?

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