Today we welcome the families of Caleb Robert Wah-Loong Tanner and Bodhi Jordan Totten for our Family Baptism Service at 11.00 am. Also, on Sunday 8th July, we will celebrate Levi Robinson’s baptism in the 9.30 am service.
The simple ceremony of water baptism symbolises what happens when a person becomes a Christian. This has two aspects: the powerful action taken by God, and the response of the individual to his gospel. When God saves someone, he pours out his Holy Spirit upon them. The Spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6); indeed the change symbolised in baptism is nothing less than a transfer from death to life. The water of baptism symbolises this gift of the Spirit.
At the same time, baptism has always symbolised repentance: John the Baptist proclaimed a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). Repentance is the “turning around” from serving self to serving Christ that marks the beginning of the Christian life. Just like the move from death to life, it is a profoundly radical change.
As a result, baptism is not just a powerful symbol, but it is in fact subversive, because it marks a break with the way of the world. Non-Christian cultures often take umbrage at baptism because they recognise this subversiveness. However, life in Christ is well worth the world’s frown.
Don’t forget Fireworks this Saturday, 5.00 pm!