What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. | Romans 6.1-11
This weekend we will be baptizing a group of people into the church. Baptism is a sign and seal given to us by God to recognize the work that He is doing in regenerating people from death to life. In baptism, we witness a public funeral in which a person acknowledges God’s work and responds to His grace by being united with Him in death and resurrection.
As a church, we are more than mere witnesses. We are part of the baptism celebration. As one gets baptized they are uniting themselves not only to Jesus, but also to His body, the church. As witnesses, we commit ourselves to the baptized as they likewise commit themselves to the church. For this reason, the Didache (early church book of order) calls the whole church to prayerfully consider the weight of what they are about to experience.
This week, please read through the Romans passage above, consider your own baptism, and prepare yourself to witness the celebration of new life this Sunday.