Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 28:18-20, where we hear Jesus tell his disciples. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
This command, which should unite the Christian Church, has divided into two camps. One believes that Baptism is the work of God in a person. The other believes that it is the work of a person, that is the one being baptized.
To see which is understood correctly, we need to look at two baptisms. The first, John’s baptism, was a baptism of improvement. The person struck by the Law of God wanted a fresh start, a cleansing of the guilt. This baptism was rooted in Old Testament Law, which used water to purify objects and people who were considered unclean. This baptism, the word simply means washing, brought the object or person back into ritual cleanliness.
The second, Jesus’ baptism, is a baptism for redemption. While it is done in the same manner as John’s baptism, it is something that God does. This baptism is a call from God through which we are removed from this world and connected to Christ. That is why for those who believe in Jesus’ baptism, infants are baptized, which has been the practice of the Christian Church since Christ commanded that all people are to be baptized.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me to grow in my faith so that will realize that your power is much greater than I can understand. Thank you for your gift of baptism. All praise and glory to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.