Into the Light…by Paul Gilbertson
Romans 6:3-4 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We 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.
As Pastor Tony discussed baptism last Sunday, it was not a New Testament thing. We have seen in our Sunday morning studies of the Israelites going down into the water and then coming out of the water. The first time was in Exodus when God led Moses to the Red Sea only to have the Egyptians on their heels. God provided a way to escape the slavery they were in by parting the sea and allowing the people to walk to safety. The second time was in Joshua when after 40 years of wandering the wilderness, God led the Israelites to the Jordan to cross and take the promise land. God divided the waters to allow the people to cross on dry ground. Both times God provided a way to help the people because they were not able to do it on their own.
You may ask, what does this have to do with people getting baptized last Sunday? Well for a lot of us we have wandered the wilderness looking for a light or we have been enslaved by the world around us. We got to celebrate family members realizing they cannot escape the world on their own and have come to Jesus for help.
To hear each person’s testimony that led them down the road to their decision to be baptized warms the heart. In some cases to hear darkness shattered by the light of Jesus or the innocence of one’s heart come to the realization that Jesus now resides there. To hear these decisions made publicly and ask the rest of us to walk with them in Christ Jesus is a great feeling. It is such a joy to watch as people are standing in the water one minute, then go under and rise out of the water. Seeing the light in their eyes and witness the fire in their hearts is a time for great joy and celebration. I am reminded all over again of the sacrifice of the cross and the ultimate joy we will have when we will rise from the grave.
Thank you to all who were baptized for sharing with us a little bit of your journey and allowing us to be part of your love for Christ Jesus.
Colossians 2:12 12Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
I come to the river with heaviness within,
with darkness in my soul of sin
I fall to my knees from the weight of it all,
for everyone to behold my great fall
As I wade into the darkness praying to Him,
what I can do seems so slim
I will fall back and let it all go,
under the water remembering what he did so long ago
Out of the water feeling so free,
knowing what happened when he was on that tree
Cleansed by the water for all to see,
let His light shine from me