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BAPTISM: CLOTHED IN CHRIST


Just this last week we baptized a 9-year-old boy into Christ. His name is J.J. J.J. knew all the answers to the questions I posed to him, but his father was concerned that his young son viewed baptism as a "magic act" that would make all kinds of marvelous changes without J.J.'s having to do anything at all.


So after I baptized him, I had a little talk with J.J. I explained to him that Galatians 3 says that when we are "baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." Galatians 3:27 I then explained to him that none of us can make it into heaven just as we are. We've sinned. We've all messed up. I have, the Elders have, the Sunday School teachers have, his mom and dad have. But Galatians is telling us that when we're baptized into Christ we put cover ourselves with Jesus.


(At this I put my hands over his face like a mask, and said) "That means that when I come before the judgment seat... all God is going to see is Jesus. He won't see 'me' -- He won't see my sinful past and bad decisions or actions. All He'll see is Jesus, because I'm clothed in Jesus (that's one of the beauties of baptism by immersion, because it best conveys that truth).


"So, J.J., do you think Jesus would lie?"


"No," he said


"That's right," I replied. "And because you've now been 'clothed' in Christ, you shouldn't lie either, should you?"


"No," he said.


"And J.J., do you think Jesus would cheat?... do you think Jesus would hurt anyone?"


"No," he replied.


"That's right," I replied. "And you shouldn't either should you? Because when you were baptized you were clothed in Jesus, right?"


"No," he replied, "I shouldn't."


Then I drove J.J. home. While we were driving along, J.J. shared how a young boy in his neighborhood wanted to fight him. And I could sense the youthful pride in his voice...he could whip this neighbor boy. So I asked him "J.J., what do you think Jesus would do with this neighbor boy? Do you think He'd fight him, or would he do something else?"


J.J. was quiet for awhile and then said "I don't know."


"Well, J.J. why don't you pray about that? Then you do whatever you think Jesus would do about it, OK?"


The beauty of baptism is that it drives home the fact that in our salvation, we are changed into the image of Christ. We put on Christ (Galatians 3:27, KJV). And that was the truth J.J. needed to hear.

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