Sunday, April 7, 2019

The waters of baptism

When I attended water baptism on Saturday morning, I was refreshed. Men and women from various ages and backgrounds spoke of lives changed, hearts softened, priorities altered. No wonder why, in his exhortation that morning, Pastor Bob called water baptism one of his favorite duties in the ministry. It is not that baptism saves any one; it is a declaration of one's faith in Jesus Christ.

Stephen Charnock, in his comprehensive and voluminous treatise, The Doctrine of Regeneration, wrote, "What am I now? Here is a new light in my understanding, new inclinations in my will; I can now look upon God with pleasure and run his ways with delight. Christ is my only joy, and Christ is my only gain. My old nature is wearing away, my new nature is rising higher and clearer; now I am freed by the blood of Christ from my filth."

That a Puritan preacher from the 1600s and modern-day Filipinos speak of the same personal spiritual experiences and truths is nothing short of a miracle. It is the supernatural work of God alone: this change in the very nature of men and women who were once lost but now found (Ephesians 2).

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