Sometimes hilarious things happen during water baptismal services.
I had a friend who pastored a small church that didn’t have a baptismal tank. They needed to baptize some new believers so they borrowed the baptistery of a nearby church. The service was scheduled at the borrowed church.
That baptistery hadn’t been used in a long time so my friend went the day before and cleaned it. That proved to be wise because it had been a while since the pool had been used and it was dirty.
Did I mentioned that they killed a scorpion while cleaning?
Baptism day arrived and it proved unforgettable. A little lady entered the baptistery with him. He plunged her into the water and as he was bringing her out he noticed something big and hairy next to his foot.
Shock rippled through him. His cleaning experience from the day before caused him to see a giant tarantula or some other malevolent creature. He wanted to jump out of the water but with Spartan discipline he held steady like a good soldier of the Lord.
Then he glanced at the lady he had just baptized and realized something was different. He looked at the harry ball in the water again. That was no spider next to his foot. The lady had left her wig in bowels of the baptistry.
Strange things happen when you baptize people.
Baptism Represents Change
Lots of things happened when we were baptized into Christ. When we were plunged into the water, it symbolized our death to ourselves. That’s what repentance is all about. We confess our sin and God forgives us.
When we came up out of the water that symbolized Jesus‘s resurrection. It symbolized ours, too. Baptism reminds us that we have a brand-new life in Jesus and the potential to defeat sin is there.
When Jesus came into our heart we moved into a new world and became a new person. (2 Corinthians 5) Jesus is, “…able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25, NKJV)
Forgiven. Washed clean. Full of the life of Christ. Declared righteous before God because of Jesus. God’s children. Full access to the throne of God’s grace. The spirit of God dwelling within us.
And this life principle continues to work in us each day of our life.
We choose daily to die to what doesn’t please God in our life, to hurting other people. And His Spirit dwelling within us gives us power to live for the Lord to serve and add value to other people’s life.
We choose to live in Christ. We talk about the crucified life, and that is good. It just doesn’t go far enough. We need to live the resurrected life. You’d be useless if you had stayed in the bottom of the baptistery. Dead even.
The Resurrected Life
We are new creatures in Jesus. We live to do his will. Yes, we fight against the dead man. Yes we fight against temptation to sin and selfishness. But we have the power of the Spirit of God in us, enabling us to live like a new man or woman. God’s man and God’s woman.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
“It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. (Rom. 8:11-16, The Message)
“But there’s one nagging reason that keeps many of us from moving ahead in life. It’s our thoughts: those seemingly insignificant sentences that pass through the mind, greatly influencing everything we say and do. From our thoughts, we hear messages that can propel us toward great accomplishments and positive change . . . or drag us into a negative spiral.” H. Norman Wright
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