Galatians 3:25-27 — But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
My kids love the water. They love the swimming pool and the ocean. The summer months are the best for them because they can swim all day long, day-after-day. Getting in and out of the water for them is second nature. They also love getting in the hot tub at their grandparents’ house. I wished they loved taking baths as much as they do swimming, but that is a different devotion for a different day.
A question to consider is this: what makes swimming in a pool or ocean different than getting baptized? On the surface, it appears that there is physically nothing different going on. When my girls get in the hot tub or bath, they go under the water. Do we call that baptized? Is anything different happening in baptism than what occurs in swimming pools and oceans around the world?
You likely know the answer is “yes.” Something very different is going on. But why? Paul says in our text today that “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” What does that mean? It means that the baptism has something to do with our being found in Christ. Baptism is a baptism “into Christ.” We are not saved by being baptized; however, those who put their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins are called to be baptized in obedience to Christ’s command (Matthew 28:18). Our baptism publicly identifies us as belonging to Jesus. The waters of baptism don’t do anything physically to us. In that sense, it is not different than being in the pool, hot tub, or ocean. But in the sense of it being a practice commanded by Christ, and that it portrays what has happened in our salvation (our sins washed away, our old life buried, and our new life raised up in Christ), it is very significant. We are baptized into Christ. We have put Him on. He is our righteousness, our life, our peace.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does baptism symbolize?
- Who should be baptized? Why does it matter that we Christians do it?
- What is the relationship with being found in Christ and being baptized?