Baptism is one of the two primary sacraments of the Christian Church through the ages (the other is Communion). Sacraments are visible signs of God’s invisible grace in which we participate with all of our senses as embodied persons. By God’s grace, baptism is the sacrament of initiation into life in Christ, marking the beginning of one’s journey of faith as a lifelong disciple of Christ.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NRSV) – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

We are baptized because of both the command of Jesus and the act of Jesus, who freely submitted himself to baptism. Baptism signals our death to an old way of life and our birth to the new life in Christ. In baptism, our identification with Christ’s passion and death is shown in our descent into the water, and our participation in the new life based on the power of Christ’s resurrection is shown in our ascent from the water. In baptism, the power that sin had in our old way of life is broken, and we experience rebirth by the Holy Spirit, receiving the gift of the Spirit. Baptism demonstrates God’s forgiveness and the washing away of our sins to receive a fresh start in life and a new ethical orientation. Through baptism, we are united with Christ and with all of the people of God in every time and place. We are no longer solitary individuals, but are instead welcomed and incorporated as members of a new family and citizens of a new society in which there is “no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, NRSV).

Romans 6:4 (NRSV) – “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Baptism is the first step in our journey of faith in which we enter ever more fully into our baptismal identity. Baptism enables us to become participants in the life and love of the triune God in whose name we are baptized.

If you are interested in Baptism at Liberty Vineyard Church, please contact Pastor Karen – (404) 388-0518.