You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you were baptized
into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Gal.3:26).
Read Galatians 3:26-4:20
A friend of mine told me a story of a time he went to a
Baptist church, where one Sunday, there was a baptism service being held. The pastor began
to tell everyone that baptism has no real significant meaning, but that it is only
something done to enter the membership of the church. I could not believe what I was
hearing. I have attended a number of Baptist churches and I have never heard such a
statement. In fact, most Baptist churches spell out the significance of Baptism in their
church doctrine, and it goes far beyond a ritualistic right of passage into church
Could it be we are coming to an age where we will no longer think it is necessary to
baptize new believers? Most assuredly so. For it is only a matter of a simple following of
suit. The reason such important sacraments could be easily set aside is that they have
already been set aside in the heart. The writer of Galatians tells us that "you who
were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." It stands to reason
that a generation who have clothed themselves like the world would see no reason to clothe
themselves in Christ. After all, who puts on two sets of clothing?
To some, Baptism is a step in the salvation process. To others, it is a outward expression
of and inward happening. For many, it is the identification with the death, burial and
resurrection of Christ. For Jesus, it was so that all righteousness might be fulfilled
Our believing in God concerning Christ identifies us with Abraham who "believed God,
and it was counted to him as righteousness." We are made righteous through our faith
in Christ because we have believed God, that Christ is the way to salvation for all of us,
and that salvation is as secure as He that has offered it is faithful.
When a baby is born, one of the first things we do is put clothes on the baby. Clothes
that we have picked out with and excitement and love for the new child. When Jesus came up
from the baptismal waters, God said "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased." When we are baptized in Christ we are clothed in Christ and are thereby
identified as God's child. And just like the new child in the maternity ward, we too shall
be taken home to be with our Father.
Baptism can mean a great deal to us, or it can mean almost nothing. The condition of one's
heart will determine which. For if someone desires to be clothed in Christ yet continues
identifying with the world, then he is trying to wear two sets of clothing. This will get
quite uncomfortable and will lead him to eventually remove the set of clothing that is not
worn closest to his heart. To the one who sees baptism as nothing more than right of
passage, he will not identify himself with Christ as a child of God. To the one who sees
baptism as very significant and somewhat mysterious, he will continue to discover the
awe-inspiring implications of what it means to be clothed in Christ and identified as a
child of God--one day to be taken home to be with the Father.