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Baptism is God’s work, not ours.

Today at Mosaic, we consecrated a new baptistry and baptized two new believers. I was moved to write some things for the consecration, and share them here with the hope that this might help you remember and recognize the beautiful mystery of your own baptism with joy and thanksgiving.

Baptism is God’s work, not ours.

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless
they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).

This is not an ultimatum from Christ, but an invitation. Baptism is not a means of salvation, but a means of grace — an act of surrender to the prevenient, justifying, sanctifying, and perfecting grace of Jesus Christ. It comes to us as a mystery, something to welcome and receive with deep thanksgiving. And it invites us not into a future Kingdom but into a timeless family.

Baptism is God’s work, not ours.

We who have been baptized are members of one, holy, apostolic family. When we stand in these waters, we stand united with a glorious cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and who will come after us. We are being covered by the same blessed and holy water as the thousands who were baptized at Pentecost and billions who have been baptized since. We stand with them as a witness to the power of Incarnation — Christ’s body for ours, Christ’s resurrection as our hope — and as followers of the one, true God and his Son, Jesus Christ.

Baptism is God’s work, not ours.

And still, Jesus commissioned his Church to baptize those who follow him. He said, “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 I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:19). Our baptism in water is a fulfillment of this Great Commission and a taste of the ultimate baptism of the Holy Spirit. John said, “I baptize you with water, but one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16).

When we are baptized, we identify with the baptism of Jesus which demonstrated that —

Baptism is God’s work, not ours.

When Jesus was baptized, “Heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my son, whom I love.
With you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:22).

In baptism we are marked with God’s divine intention and consecrated with God’s blessing that we might have life and have it abundantly. As these waters flow, “the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come,
and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of Life” (Revelation 22:17).

Carolyn Moore

I follow Jesus.

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Holiness is at least this: a design of life that exposes us most fully to the heart of a good, loving and creative God.