(By Angela Watson)
It was a beautiful Sunday morning and you could almost feel the slight hum of excitement from the congregation as we watched a young teen boy and a grandmother being baptized; each one fully submerged and rising again from the large tank of water at the front of our church.
Nothing is magical about the water or the experience; baptism is simply a step of personal obedience in a Christian’s life, which symbolizes moving forward in resurrected living. It represents that moment when we accepted Jesus as our Savior and we received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 6:11 we read, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Later on in the chapter, Paul reminds us that as Christians, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
To the early Christians, baptism was more than just a demonstration of personal beliefs. It was their willingness to publicly declare their allegiance to Christ, which invited persecution, sometimes even to the point of death. Today, at least in North America, it is usually a celebrated event with little fear of a negative response.
Baptism still proclaims to the world that we are aligned with Christ, that we’ve been buried with Jesus, and that we are resurrected again through faith in Him. Colossians 2:12 says, “Having 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.”
Do we realize the power we lay claim to when we accept Jesus as our Savior?
What a difference it would make if we lived in the power of what baptism symbolizes!
Not only has the Spirit of life set us free in Christ Jesus from sin, but the Spirit of God dwells within us, and as a result, we have incredible power to live the rest of our days in these mortal bodies (Romans 8:1, 9).
Romans 8:11 explains just how great this power is: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Whether you’re closer in age to that teen boy, the grandmother, or somewhere in between, if you have trusted Jesus, you have the same power within you that raised Jesus from the dead.
Through the Holy Spirit inside us, we have:
a helper (John 14:15-17)
freedom from the law of sin (Romans 8:2)
life and peace (Romans 8:6)
become the children of God (Romans 8:16)
power to witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians 2:4)
power to help us in our weakness (Romans 8:26)
one who intercedes with us before God (Romans 8:27)
hope (Romans 15:13)
bodies are a temple, a dwelling place of deity (1 Corinthians 6:19)
strength in our inner person (Ephesians 3:6)
the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
While this list is not exhaustive, it certainly helps us appreciate the Holy Spirit’s incredible power that dwells within us. If the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside us, we can have every confidence to live the life God has called us to (1 Corinthians 7:17).
God has called us by name. He has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as our Helper. He called us to live the life that He has assigned to us. Let us live in the power of the resurrection. May we see our assignments as opportunities to serve Christ and walk in the Spirit’s power through all the circumstances where we find ourselves.