Why Be Baptized?
From the beginning of the church, at Pentecost, Peter issued an invitation to baptism, affirming the promise is for you, for your children and all who are far away. (Acts 2:39) In 1 Peter 1:1-9 we find God has given us a new birth into a living hope through Christ's resurrection. Therefore, our response should be one of love for Christ and belief in him. Note the theme of grace and faith in this passage.
Would it be fair to say that baptism is one outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace? Is there a connection between baptism and salvation?
In baptism we are cleansed of the guilt of original sin; initiated into the covenant with God; admitted into the church; made an heir of the divine kingdom; and spiritually regenerated. This is the power of baptism.
It is also interesting to note there are three forms of baptism. They are pouring, sprinkling and immersion.
Living Out Our Baptism
To live out our baptism is to let the community of faith nurture us so that we may discover the new opportunities for service where individual gifts and graces are discerned developed and used. All baptized Christians are commissioned or anointed to be in ministry.
Living out our baptism involves living out our calling to the priesthood of all believers. In the baptismal covenant we say "we" to our new brothers and sisters in Christ. Through baptism you are incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God's new creation and made to share in Christ's royal priesthood.
Living out our baptism involves us not only in our own spiritual growth but also in ministry to the needs of others. Our baptism calls us to confront the spiritual forces of wickedness and the evil powers of this world.
How are you living out your baptism?
The Indwelling of God
There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope
of your calling, one lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
— Ephesians 4:4-6
One of the discoveries we discern when we pray is the closer we come to God, the closer we come to all our sisters and brothers in the human family. God is not a private God. The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the same God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of others.
Thus we recognize God's presence in our own hearts and in the hearts of others, because the God who has chosen us as a dwelling place gives us the eyes to see the God who dwells in others.