New Life and Baptism: The Prize of Obedience

New Life and Baptism: The Prize of Obedience

Are you washed in the Power of the Blood of the Lamb? The old saying goes, “cleanliness is godliness”, and we can agree that being clean is a good thing! But what about Baptism? Some cultures sprinkle while others fully immerse. Regardless of what your beliefs call for, baptism is a Holy symbol of faith and dedication to the God that you serve. Is baptism a symbol of being clean or a of being born again? Let’s explore this topic with the Word of God!

2 Kings 5:10 NIV:

Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Matthew 3:13-17 NIV:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

How different are these two situations! Naaman was not obedient at first, seeing God’s plan as inconvenient and disappointing. It can be too easy as humans to assume that the almighty God should complete a task the simpler way that we have imagined in our mind—but God’s plan is much bigger than we can imagine! After much arguing and anger, Namaan finally obeyed and was cured of His leprosy. How much easier life would be if we only listened the first time! And how humbling to see the One man who is the Son of God enter the same Jordan River to be baptized, simply because it is what His Father wanted.

And Jesus…

Jesus’ faithful act of obedience is why we follow the example of baptism today. Not only are we cleansed to wash away blemished, but we are cleansed in the Spirit and given new life. When Naaman obeyed he was freed of his leprosy. Now it’s our turn. When we choose obedience we are rewarded with a new life free of iniquity and a home in Heaven with our Holy Father.

There is no right or wrong time to start over! Simply respond to the call of Jesus in your heart and be made new.  Reflect upon the miraculous life that flows through the Jordan River and the example of the One who goes before us. Let’s follow His Path!

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