You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:26-28 (NIV)
Many consider Baptism to be little more than a nice church tradition, a rite of passage. In today’s Scripture passage the apostle Paul heartily disagrees: in Baptism, a person is “clothed with Christ.” To be clothed with Christ is to have your sinfulness completely covered with the perfect sinlessness of Jesus, the Son of God, your Savior.
Think of how important it is to be clothed with Christ. Clothes allow for modesty. So when you are ashamed of something you’ve done and you’re wondering if you can ever live it down in God’s eyes, your baptism means that God himself has covered your shame. Clothes also provide protection and warmth. So when you’re suffering the effects of your own selfish behavior and you are out in the cold and all alone, your baptism is God’s loving, forgiving embrace: you are warm and safe because God is with you. Clothes make a statement about the person wearing them. So when it’s time to meet your Maker face to face and answer for everything you’ve done, your baptism will speak for you: “Jesus has forgiven me of all my sins.”
Baptism has value for your earthly relationships, too. Paul goes on to say: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The two points are connected. If believers in Jesus are all wearing the same clothes, it suggests that we are all part of the same team. So here in Baptism is an answer to ugly rivalries and bitter arguments that flare up even among Christians, even in our own homes. Just look at what we’re all wearing. Each of us is clothed with Christ.
Together, baptized believers are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” To be a son of God means that your Maker is also your almighty and loving Father who is working everything for your good. It means that he has prepared an eternal inheritance for you in the mansions of heaven.
What an amazing gift! In Baptism God gives us Christ and faith and eternal life. Martin Luther was right when he said, “Baptism is so full of consolation and grace that heaven and earth cannot comprehend it.”
Dear Father in heaven, renew my appreciation for what it means to be baptized into Christ. Amen.
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