In baptism we enter the Body of Christ as we are adopted as God’s children in Christ. We who were many become one Body in Christ. We become buried with Christ in his death and share in his risen life. Once baptized, we receive God’s grace in a new way and are called to a life of service as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The sacrament of Holy Baptism is only the beginning of the Christian’s journey of discovering what it means to live a baptized life.
Baptism is about belonging: “Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble” (Book of Common Prayer, 298). Baptism is about belonging to the Christian community and no other rite is required to complete becoming a Christian.
Baptism is about becoming a disciple: St. Paul referred to baptism as full acceptance of Jesus Christ’s presence within us: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Baptism enters us into a covenant with God where we will live our lives according to Jesus’ teachings and follow his example of ministry in the world.
Baptism is a sacrament: “Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace” (BCP, 857). The outward and visible sign of baptism is water and receiving it as Jesus commanded: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The inward and spiritual grace of baptism is union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.