Psalm of the Day: Psalm 30
Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 19:1-15
Scripture Reading: Luke 3:21-22
An ordinance which the Son of God was pleased to use, and afterwards to appoint for the use of His whole Church, ought always to be held in peculiar reverence by His people. If Christ Himself was baptized, then baptism cannot be a thing of slight importance.
It is hardly necessary to say that errors of every sort and description abound on the subject of baptism. Some make an idol of it and exalt it far above the place assigned to it in the Bible. Some degrade it and dishonor it and seem almost to forget that it was ordained by Christ Himself. Some limit the use of it so narrowly, that they will baptize none unless they are grown up, and can give full proof of their conversion. Some invest the baptismal water with such magic power that they would, like missionaries, go into heathen lands and baptize all people [believing it saves from sin or grants special powers]. On no subject, perhaps, in religion have Christians more need to pray for a right judgment and a sound mind.
[Baptism does not save sinners from sin. If this were true, our Lord would never have been baptized. The church sees in Scripture that baptism is the outward sign of what is on the inside. Jesus was baptized at the beginning of his earthly ministry as a public declaration of his identity. He was Jesus (Jehovah saves) Christ (the Jewish Messiah), the Son of God (the promised King in the line of David equal to God the Father -- God of very God).
The true church is baptized for the same reason in this Church Age. Baptism is an outward sign of a changed identity on the inside. The sinner has become a saint. The heart of wickedness has been forgiven and made pure. The Christian tells the world of his new identity and changed life through the waters of baptism. What a wonderful sign for what God has done in the heart of sinners. Baptism never saved anyone from the fires of Hell. Salvation does that. Baptism is the announcement of salvation.]
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, thank you for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, which made a payment available for the wages of sin.
Action Plan: Am I baptized? Why or why not? How else am I showing others my new identity in Jesus?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.