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November 23 – Baptism saves

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:3–4

Scripture reading: Romans 6

Christian living follows baptism. Baptism saves? Not the water, but the thing signified (“into Christ Jesus” and “into His death”). Baptism clothes us in Christ’s life and death. We are really united to Christ’s body so that His death brings forth fruit in our bodies. His flesh powers over our flesh that we might be changed. We are united to Christ not to increase in sin but to destroy it.

Baptism is the means to the power of the Gospel Kingdom. Many hear this and think “baptismal immersion” as if this text speaks of submersion and emersion. Yet what does it say? Baptism is the means by which we were buried somewhere—where? In Christ! This text says nothing about the ritual of baptism or the application, but the event. Baptism is a burial event. It places us into Christ’s death. It is gospel, it is history—Christ’s death becomes our present reality. Here is its power to change—“It is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.” Baptism places us into the resurrection. Baptism is gospel, where the history of Christ’s resurrection becomes our present reality. What took place with Christ, what happened to His body and blood has taken place in us through baptism. In baptism, we are sacramentally judged with Christ, raised, gone into heaven, and are there hidden with Christ. We will also come again with Christ in glory. Here is the power to change. We are now in glory and sin’s power has forever been rendered powerless. Here is the power to change. The power is the gospel.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you never forget your baptism, but remember that you belong to Christ and therefore may grow and increase daily in the faith that is at work in every good deed.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Jared Beairdis the church planter and pastor of Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Missoula, Montana, USA.

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