Last week I introduced the topic of MISSIONS for us to consider. Actually, it will be my emphasis through much of February. In this week’s blog I would like to share some thoughts as to why we need to give thoughtful consideration to the whole topic of MISSIONS in our lives. Believe it or not, it’s connected to Baptism.
When we are baptized, we receive some awesome gifts from God. Let me list a few.
- #1 We enter into the Body of Christ, the Church, as the Lord makes us His heirs. I realize not all Christians understand Baptism in this light. However, Scripture makes it quite clear that Baptism unites us into the One body. Since it is Christ who unites us — WE ARE ONE Church with many parts.
- #2 We receive the forgiveness of sins as we are washed clean and raised up free from sin, a new creation in Christ. However, since we sin every day, the benefits of forgiveness in Baptism is not a one shot deal. Every time we come to the Lord truly repentant, asking for forgiveness, we are forgiven as if we were just raised up from the waters of Baptism.
- #3 We receive the presence of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. We may reject His presence and guidance, but He’s not going anywhere. He is with us, always seeking to draw us closer to God.
- #1 ETHICAL IMPLICATION Baptism must make a difference in our lives. Because we have been “born in Christ” our desire should be to try to be more obedient to God’s will, serving Him with greater devotion. We strive to be like Christ.
- #2 CORPORATE IMPLICATION Baptism joins us to the family of believers from every time and every place — THE CHURCH. While the act of baptism is truly a personal experience, God personally coming to us, it is also a much broader relationship. All Christians, no matter from what denomination, are united in the understanding of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” We may not all agree and even fight like cats and dogs about our differences, God has still united us in His Son whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not.
- #3 ESCHATOLOGICAL IMPLICATION This refers to the end of the world when Scripture tells us Christ will return as the King of glory to judge the living and the dead. It says something about where my life should be going. I was a sinner, doomed to die, but through baptism, I have been reborn a child of God and heir to His kingdom. I must act accordingly.
- #4 MISSION IMPLICATION Christ commands us to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them . . .” This means ALL Christians are called to witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. We don’t all have to be preachers in pulpits giving sermons on Sunday mornings. However, we ALL have to share our witness to Christ with those around us. This is not only what we say, but how we act, what we do, etc. We express our faith in Christ. This is our mission work for the Lord God. It is our baptism that “ordains” us into that ministry because we are part of the “priesthood of believers”.
Consider that this week. I hope you won’t be scared off and will join me next week. Have a glorious week and remember, Lent and Ash Wednesday is coming.