Worshiping the Triune God: Baptism

The last time I blogged about worship we discussed the Renewal (Confession and Assurance).  As worshipers come into the presence of a holy God they are moved to humble themselves before the Lord, confess their sins, and are renewed by God’s grace proclaimed through the Word of God.  Another way we are renewed by God’s grace at this point of the worship service is through the sacrament of baptism.  Of course, baptism doesn’t occur every Sunday, but when it does, it is a vivid illustration of the gospel and a practical means of grace.  I know not everyone shares this view of baptism.  Some churches consider baptism an expression of faith, not a means of grace.  But since we are a church in the Reformed tradition, we believe God extends his grace through the sacrament.  Baptism is packed full of meaning.  “It is at once a sign of the washing away of sin, a sign of our union with Jesus’ death and resurrection, a sign of the promise of new birth in Christ, a sign of incorporation in the church, a sign of the promise of the Holy Spirit, and a sign of the covenant and kingdom of God.” (The Worship Sourcebook, 255)  But, as James K. A. Smith explains, “Baptism is not just a picture; it also does something.  As a sacrament, it makes what it promises: a new person and anew people.” (Desiring the Kingdom, 183)  Have you been baptized?  If so, you are encouraged to remember your baptism often.  Remembering that your sins have been washed away by the shed blood of Christ and you belong to God.  If you haven’t been baptized, I invite you to seriously consider it, as this is God’s way of renewing his people and marking them as his own.

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