Baptism connects us to our Father in heaven and makes us part of his family. The church has described Baptism as “an individual application of the Word” and the “visible Word” because God makes us his children, one at a time, in a way that we can see. We see God work a miracle right before our eyes as the pastor pours water over a baby’s head and says the baptismal formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Though at times in life we may be prodigal children, our baptism is the promise that our Father in heaven is watching and waiting on the porch, longing for our return. Just because we may have forgotten our Father, our Father in heaven never forgets about us.
What are the blessings of baptism?
The three criteria for a sacrament are:
- 1. Instituted by Christ.
- 2. Has an earthly element connected to the Word.
- 3. Offers and gives the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
The blessing from which all other blessings flow is the forgiveness of sins. The apostle Peter said on Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). The word Peter uses for forgiveness is a word that literally means “to send away.” What a beautiful picture!
Read 1 Peter 3:21 and Galatians 3:26.
Describe the unique blessing each passage shares that comes from Baptism. How does each blessing impact your daily life?
Is my baptism still effective today?
Your baptism may have taken place many years ago, but the blessings continue to flow into your daily life. In Baptism, we are united with Christ as his bride. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). Like a groom waiting to see his beautiful bride walk through the church doors, we take our Lord’s breath away! Jesus made us radiant! Now what?
Read Romans 6:2-7,12,13; Colossians 2:11-13; and Matthew 3:8.
How does your baptism impact your daily life?
How can I support other baptized believers?
Oftentimes, parents will ask others to be sponsors for their children. Discuss the following:
- What is the role of sponsors in the life of the baptized?
- If you are a godparent, for what things can you pray for your godchild(ren)?
- What are creative ways that you can encourage your godchildren in their faith?
Author: David Scharf
Volume 109, Number 09
Issue: September 2022