The Reflection Series for this month is adapted from Reasoning the Rest, which you can read or download from the main menu. This month, we’re reflecting on water baptism. You can find the whole series here.
The practice of water baptism as a fundamental of the Christian faith can easily be grounded and supported by, “because the Bible says so.” While the authority of the Word of God in the Bible is supreme and, as believers, we are called to obey it, the presence of a command in the Bible rarely rests simply at a command without a much deeper reason, or more importantly, a need to obey. In the case of water baptism, at a closer look, the practice transitions from a direct command to a necessary step in the life of a Christian in the process of being remade and recreated in the image of Jesus Christ.
Water possesses unique qualities that other substances lack in cleansing and provision. Few substances clean in the way that water can. Few substances so effectively fill an empty space in the way that water does. No substance revitalizes and brings life in the way that water does. In the case of water baptism in the Christian faith, we can see that for a new Christian, these qualities of water are as important in the process of being born again as they are from a strictly biological, chemical and physical standpoint of hydrogen and oxygen molecules. This month, we will discuss how water achieves three objectives in its natural state and how it achieves these objectives in the life of a born again Christian. Water effectively:
- Removes what is corrupt
- Refills what is empty
- Revitalizes what is dead
In discussing these qualities of water and how they relate to water baptism, we will discuss three baptisms mentioned in the Bible, finishing with the baptism made famous by Jesus and John the Baptist in the early chapters of the Gospel narratives.
- “Global Baptism”/ The Flood of Noah
- “National Baptism”/ The Sea of Moses
- “Personal Baptism”/ The River of Jesus