By Robert Wawok

In Genesis, water is first, and dry land is called from the water, gathering the land together, and the water together in seas. In the creation event, all was “birthed” from the water of the global ocean.
As newborns, we are birthed from our mother’s womb, a sack of water, into life outside our mother’s womb.
In these two ways, baptism is not just a symbol of our death and resurrection in Christ Jesus, but in the creation of life sense, a symbol of being a new creation birthed from the womb of water as the earth and newborns are birthed from water. This speaks greatly to our being told we are truly new creations in Christ! We are not only identifying with the death and resurrection of Christ into new spiritual life from being dead to sin, but also identifying with that new life as a truly new creation in Christ.

So much of our language of salvation in the NT is the language of marriage. And baptism is no exception. In ancient Jewish culture, the mikveh, the ritual bathing pools, were used in Jewish baptism just prior to a wedding ceremony. Baptism, apart from being a symbol of cleansing and conversion, is also a symbol of consecration in Judaism. A young Jewish woman prior to marriage is under the authority of her father. Just before her wedding day, the young bride would go to a mikveh, and be baptized, through which, she would then be consecrated to her husband. In our NT language, we are the bride of Christ. In baptism, we as His bride, are consecrated to Him, we are now under His authority, and no longer under the authority of our “earthly father”.

I now have a deeper appreciation for the meaning of baptism than ever before. With these further symbolic meanings, we can see the fulness of Christ Jesus as He is described in the NT. We see that Christ is our savior, our creator, and our beloved. We see that He is God through His resurrection, that we are given new life through the divine creative process, and that are consecrated unto Him. In these ways we truly His mastership in our lives. In our teaching of repentance and baptism, may this deepen our understanding of what it means to baptize in the name of the most Holy God, our Master and Messiah.

Robert Wawok

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