There are few things I enjoy as much as sharing with someone in baptism. I’m not just talking about physically “baptizing” someone, but the whole process. For every person that comes forward and gives their life to Christ there is a meeting that takes place before they ever enter into the waters of baptism. When I meet with the person who will be baptized we always spend some time taking a look at Romans 6:1-4. Let’s take a look at Romans 6:4 just for fun. Paul writes,
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans?6:4?NIV)
How powerful is that! “Buried with Him through baptism into death…raised from the dead to live a new life.” Wow! What greater hope is there for any of us than these powerful words? I don’t know about you but I’ve “started over” so many times that I’ve lost count. I’ve attempted to pull myself up by my bootstraps too many times. I’ve made “resolutions” ad infinitum. My failures have made me weary. I thought I could set my mind to something and see it through. The Christian life is not like running an obstacle course where you simply figure things out and tough it out. We do not have what it takes to be the people God has called us to be.
The greatest news that I ever heard in my life was that God would give me a fresh start, a new beginning. My life is hidden in Christ. His “mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 2:22-23) His Spirit intercedes for me, reminds me, leads and guides me, and draws me back when I get off track. His Word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) His Word is “sharper than any double-edged sword” to examine my true motives and the condition of my heart. (Hebrews 4:12) God has promised that He will “never leave me or forsake me.” (Hebrews 13:5) With promises and “tools” like these how can we be discouraged? He who began a good work in you and me is faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
I still put forth effort in my walk with God, but it is different now. I’m walking, serving, and living in the wide open spaces of the glorious grace of God’s goodness. It is not my power at work, but His power at work in me. Are you ready to wave the white flag of surrender and watch His wondrous work in your life?
In His Steps,