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New in Christ, No Longer Slaves!

You are no longer slaves. You are God's children, and you will be given what he has promised. Before you knew God, you were slaves of gods that are not real. But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers? 


 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), Ga 4:7–9.


I've always loved baptism. What a fantastic picture of our relationship with Christ! As a Pastor, one of the greatest blessings of the job is to talk with people about the importance of baptism and then actually get to be in the tank or river with them as they profess their faith in Jesus. It's such an honor. 


But what does it mean, and why do we do it? Well, it's simple and relates to the scripture I just shared with you. 


We are all dirty with sin. We need a cleansing of that sin if we want to stand blameless in God's presence. Every single person KNOWS that we aren't perfect. We all battle thoughts, desires, and evil schemes that we wish would stop! Those things even result in sinful actions if we allow them to take hold in our lives. It's because our human nature is flawed. When we entered this world, we were already corrupt with the poison of sin and rebellion because the very first man and woman chose to disobey God. 


You might say that's not fair! Why is all of humanity broken by the actions of other people? You're right! It's unfair, but you must admit that you're guilty. No person has passed the test or lived perfectly, that is, except for Jesus! 


Jesus did overcome the power of sin. He was spotless!


Now, let's talk about the nature of God. He is Perfect, Holy, and Just. Justice demands a punishment when the law is broken. If someone steals a car, they will be caught, put on trial, and punished. The law requires it. If they weren't punished, then justice would not have been served. It just wouldn't be right! 

Can God be perfect and not punish sin? No way! Justice demands a punishment for the sins of humanity. That punishment is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. It's a terrible punishment, but it's fitting for the awful crime of sinful rebellion. 

Here's the good news!


God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.

 

 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), Jn 3:16–18.


Jesus was without sin, and He was punished. Why does this matter? Because He took the punishment that we deserved. We are saved from eternal separation from God when we place our faith in that truth. 


Now, back to our primary scripture, we are no longer enslaved to sin; we are God's children! 

The scripture tells us not to return to our old ways but to continue in our new life of serving the Lord. 



Baptism reminds us of this great and glorious truth. Our old nature has been buried, and our new nature in Christ has given us a new life. We have a new purpose! We can stand blameless in the presence of God because the punishment for our sinful nature has been satisfied! 









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