Baptism is a sacred commitment and is not to be entered into lightly. Baptism is not something we enter because “it is what we do in our family” and Baptism has little to do with what many of the pre-conceived notions of how society – and even many Christians – would define baptism. Baptism is a counter-cultural way of life that is rooted in the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptized persons are called to a radically different way of life that expresses God’s love, grace and reconciliation.
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. Baptism is full initiation into the Body of Christ – the community of Christians known as the Church – and is only the beginning of the Christian’s journey of discovering what it means to live a baptized life.
Baptism is About Belonging: Full Initiation into the Church “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 p. 298). Baptism is about belonging to Christian community and no other rite is required to complete becoming a Christian.
Baptism is About Becoming a Disciple: Following Jesus Christ, St. Paul referred to baptism as: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20 In Baptism we are becoming followers of Jesus Christ which 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: A Sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace. The outward and visible sign of Baptism is water and being baptized in the baptismal formula 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.
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.