Who God Says You Are and Baptism

Thomas Merton once said, “For me to be a saint means to be myself, therefore the problem of sanctity is the problem of finding my true self.”  

We cannot grow unless we know who we really are. 

Why is it so hard to know ourselves? Books have been written on this. Once answer is the labels we have had placed on us by people, culture and even ourselves. I am fat, stupid, ugly, slow, poor, selfish, alone, a victim of...unloveable, lazy...the list is infinite.  

The labels we own move us forward or backward. What does this have to do with God? God wants to remove the labels that keep you from thriving as a human being and he wants to put labels on you that are life giving and true. 

Romans 6:3-4 says, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 

What’s that mean? Paul is talking to Roman Jesus followers in the first century who had been baptized. He is asking them to remember their baptism. What is baptism? It is a union with Christ. It is not just a symbol. It is the experience of dying with Jesus to our sins and the old labels that hold us back. It is the experience of rising with him to a new life, a do over life, and the new labels that God places on us. 

What are those new labels? Alive (Ephesians 2:5). Free from sin and death (Romans 8:2). Holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4). Filled with the Spirit of God (1 John 4:4). Chosen (1 Peter 2:9). A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). A joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). A temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). The light of the world (Matthew 5:16). Saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Brave (2 Timothy 1:7). One with Christ (Galatians 2:20). 

Baptism is a water grave where God washes off the old labels and puts on new labels (Galatians 3:27). It is an external experience designed by God to strengthen an internal experience. It is a visible reality designed by God to strengthen an invisible reality. It is the putting off of labels that destroy us and the putting on of labels that give us life. 

Have you been baptized since choosing to follow Jesus? Remember your baptisms and what it says about what God says about you! 

Have you not been baptized since choosing to follow Jesus? Get baptized and become one with Jesus. Let him wash the old labels away and put the new labels on you that will make you the best you, you can be, forever. 

Baptism Weekend is November 3rd & 4th. If you want to learn more about baptism or be baptized, sign up here!

Ron Johnson