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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Peter says that Noah’s salvation from the Flood symbolized baptism, a ceremony involving water in baptism we identify with Jesus Christ, who separates us from the lost and gives us new life. It is not the ceremony that saves us but faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism is a symbol of the transformation that happens in the hearts of those who believe. By identifying themselves with Christ through baptism, Peter’s readers could resist turning back, even under the pressure of persecution. Public baptism would keep them from the temptation to renounce their faith. (NLT)
1 Peter 3:18-22 – Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. And this is a picture of baptism, which now saves you by the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Baptism is not a removal of dirt from your body; it is an appeal to God from a clean conscience.
Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God and all the angels and authorities and powers are bowing before him.
The one who believes and is baptized will be saved. – Mark 16:16 (NRSV)
Helen Bliss (Washington) titled her story “BAPTIZED;” here is a portion of Helen’s story:
“Years ago, my husband and I attended a small church in California. Once in a sermon the pastor told us that his mother had framed her children’s baptismal certificates and hung them above their beds. They could rest assured as children of God. . . .
“To me, the most important part of my life is the fact that I was baptized. I am thankful that through baptism God bestows on us the gift of the Holy Spirit to be our companion, guide, and comfort.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What is my visual reminder of God’s love?
Prayer: Thank you, God, for the gift of baptism and for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE PREPARING FOR BAPTISM
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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