Baptism and Beginnings

Take a minute to read Mark 1:9-15.

One of the joys of ministry is watching someone be baptized.  It is amazing to consider the symbolism of the event and to watch as the person acknowledges that they were dead in their sins but are now alive in Christ.  Watching a baptism often reminds me of the whole point of all that we do as a church — making disciples of Christ.

Baptism is a powerful event, but it is important that it is correctly understood.  So many people think that being baptized is the end-all of the Christian faith.  What we need to understand is that baptism is not the completion of discipleship; it is the inauguration of discipleship.  Our baptism is the first step in a multitude of steps on the journey of faith in God.  Baptism does not seal our salvation or finish our justification.  Rather, baptism is a first act of obedience and sanctification

Just as baptism symbolizes the beginning of our obedience to Christ, Jesus’s baptism symbolized the inauguration of his ministry.  Right after his baptism, he entered into the wilderness and experienced temptation.  In the same way, when we experience salvation, we then become more aware of the spiritual battle that is all around us.  Following the time of temptation, Jesus began to proclaim the Good News.

Reflection
Our baptism is a symbol, but it is also an event that we can go back to and remember.  Take a few minutes to remember your baptism and what it meant to you then and what it means to you now.  Ask yourself how the journey has gone since that day.  Are you growing?  Are you closer to God or has your faith plateaued?  Ask God to build in you a desire to grow in your faith and in your relationship to Him.