The Power of Baptism

The following true story comes from Verna Chambers in "Kids of the Kingdom":

Little Betsy had faithfully attended baptism classes. Her mother, wanting to be sure her daughter understood its significance, asked, "Honey, what does baptism mean?"

"Well, it isn't the water that makes you clean " she began.

Smiling, Mother thought, Yes, she understands.

" it's the soap."

Well, Betsy was at least half right. Baptism is indeed the point at which the sins of a penitent sinner are washed away (Acts 22:16), but it's not the water itself that makes you clean. Paul makes reference to the cleansing that comes in "the washing of water by the word." (Eph. 5:26). Jesus, himself, spoke of the new birth as being "born of the water and the Spirit" (John 3:3,5). But there is no regenerational power in the water itself.

No, the power of baptism is the blood of Jesus Christ. As John acknowledged in the opening of his Revelation: "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood." (Rev. 1:5).

Does that detract from the value of baptism? Not at all. Baptism is no less important. It just means that the power of baptism is found not in the water, but in the blood of Jesus Christ. That's why Paul connects the two so closely in Romans 6:

"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death..." (Romans 6:3-4). Separating baptism from the blood of Jesus Christ is like separating the chassis of a car from its motor. A car is useless without a motor -- that's where the power is! And baptism is worthless without the blood of Jesus -- that's where the power is!

What a beautiful symbol baptism is of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:4-5). Thanks be to God for the cleansing that comes at the point of baptism, but greater thanks indeed for the blood of Jesus Christ which provides the power for that cleansing!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith