Time Alone With God daily devotional

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout of JAXNAZ Church

Wednesday, October 19

Read: Galatians 3:26-29

Galatians 3:26-29

New International Version (NIV)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Start

Consider: There is a third meaning to baptism that is so important for us to consider. We are baptized “into Christ” (3:27) and that means that we are baptized into his body. Baptism is not only a sign of forgiveness, cleansing and resurrection. It is also a sign of inclusion in the Body of Christ. To be baptized “into Christ” means that “you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). It means we are baptized into one another.

I have baptized people in lakes, in ponds, in swimming pools, in hospital beds and in the church. But I have never baptized a person alone. It is always done with other members of the Body of Christ because it is a communal experience. Being baptized is a recognition of Christ’s work in your life and of his ongoing work in you and through you by means of the church—the Body of Christ.

Of course, underlying the whole concept of water baptism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Going back to Monday’s reading we remember that John said…

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 3:11)

It is the infilling of Christ’s Spirit—the baptism of the Holy Spirit—that places the life of Christ in our bodies. But our individual bodies were never intended to live in spiritual, emotional or physical isolation. Our individual bodies are referred to as parts—or members—of one body.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Christ is in you. You are in Christ. But that is not the end of it. We share something so powerful that it can only be communicated by saying that we—together—are in Christ, for we together have been “baptized into Christ” and have “clothed” ourselves “with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

Pray: Praise the Lord for the gift that is the Body of Christ. Pray for your local body of believers. Pray that God blesses the church with his presence and with effectiveness in fulfilling our call to…

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19)

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