We had a great Sunday meeting this week – we baptised four new Christians from four different nations in a birthing pool! In Jesus’ day it would have been in the river Jordan – but we figured the Ouse would be a bit cold and mucky, so we settled for an inflatable pool. In our church fellowship we baptise by full immersion, because that’s what the word means.
The word baptise is purely a religious word in English but in the ancient Greek it is an earthy normal word that means to dip or immerse with a sense of a change of identity occurring. There’s an ancient recipe for pickling onions that involves onions being baptised in vinegar!
Going down under water in baptism is powerfully symbolic of the massive change that happens when someone becomes a Christian. It’s a burial service for the old you – 1 Corinthians tells us that if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come. That’s what it means to be born again. Being born again is a second chance at life with a clean slate and the power of the Spirit for a better life. We can have that chance because Jesus died for our sins and rose again defeating the power of sin and death in the lives of believers.
The water was cold on Sunday, but the joy of new life was evident on their faces. Do you need a second chance at life?
The Gateway Church