“See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
When the Ethiopian heard the message of Jesus as the Christ, Who willingly gave His life for the sins of the world, he desired to be baptized into Jesus’ name. Would anything hinder him from receiving this great blessing and from being received by God? Would the color of his skin, his nationality, or his past sins make him unacceptable to the Lord? What joy and relief when Philip took him down into the water and baptized him! Nothing would hinder him from receiving the grace of God in Baptism and being made a child of God. No wonder “he went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:39)
Do you want to go on your way rejoicing today, tomorrow, every day? Then remember your Baptism! Whether you can actually remember the day you were baptized or simply know that you were baptized as a child, remember the fact that you were baptized. For that is the day when you were connected with Jesus and everything He did for you.
Whenever you sin you deserve to die, for “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Remember your Baptism and rejoice, for that is when you were united with Jesus in His death. “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.” (Romans 6:3-4) His death counts for you, and all your sins were paid for.
Your Baptism also connected you with Christ’s life. “We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (verse 4) We now have a new life with Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
When you are tempted to sin, remember your Baptism, for “how shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:2) Therefore “consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (verse 11)
Do you ever fear that you are not fit to be a child of God, that perhaps something might hinder you from being with Him forever? Remember your Baptism, for that is the day upon which Christ clothed you with His perfection. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27) Nothing can hinder you from being in God’s presence now or forever.
Remember your Baptism! That is the day you were connected to Christ, clothed with His righteousness, saved, and given new life. We remember because we want to continue with Him forever. “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard.” (Colossians 1:21-23) Remember your Baptism and continue in that glorious new life with Jesus Christ. With Jesus in our lives, we can go on our way rejoicing.
David Reim is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, British Columbia.