If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s Cross.
So writes Paul in Colossians 2:12-14 (Message version), For Paul, baptism was like the people of Israel going from captivity into a new land. Eugene Peterson’s translation of Romans 6 describes Paul’s understanding as this:
“If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace–a new life in a new land!” [Romans 6:1-3, MSG)
Baptism is like a doorway into a new life in a new land.
Baptism is like a bath, washing us clean, through Jesus’ action on the cross.
Baptism is like a coffin; we die to an old way of life and are resurrected into a new life, hidden in Christ.
We baptise because Jesus told us to go and make disciples… baptising them… and teaching them to do what Jesus said and did. In the following talk, Nick explains why we baptise and explains some exciting new developments in the life of Coventry Vineyard…