The two church ordinances of water baptism and The Lord’s Supper are visible displays of the power of God in the life of His people. As our brothers and sisters in Christ step into the waters of baptism, they are giving open testimony to the work of God’s Spirit in their lives.
‘Repent and be baptized every one of you’ was the answer to the question asked Peter and the others by the multitude on the Day of Pentecost after hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for our sin, His burial and His bodily resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:22-24,37,38). As the people of God are submerged into the water, it symbolizes their death to the old way of living, and resurrection unto newness of life. For if any man be in Christ, he or she is a new creature, ‘old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As we take the bread and drink the cup, we remember the words of The Lord Jesus, as often as you do this, do it ‘in remembrance of Me.’ (1 Corinthians 11:24,25) The elements of the bread and the cup remind us that Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross fully satisfied both the justice and wrath of God. His justice demanded payment and punishment for our sin, and Jesus Christ provided both. That is the meaning of the theological term ‘propitiation’ that we will learn about this morning. Oh how wonderful is the grace of our God! How great is His love for us! John writes that it was not that we loved God, ‘but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10)
As we witness the testimony of Christ in water baptism and The Lord’s Supper, may the grace and love of God fill us with the fullness of God and the riches of His glory.