The Life of a Follower of Jesus is Just Different … as She Daily Plunges into the Waters of Baptism

romans12_2Jesus is clear.  The beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours of followers of Jesus makes them stand out from other people in the world.  Jesus says of his followers, “You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16) Again, “This is to my Father’s glory. that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)  There is a marked difference between someone who has the Spirit of God living in her and the person who does not.  Sometimes this difference will open doors for you to share God’s Word and other times, this difference will result in a follower of Jesus being ostracized and rejected.

Martin Luther discusses this change in Jesus’ disciples in his discussion on baptism:

Thus a Christian life is nothing else than a daily Baptism, once begun and ever continued.  For we must keep at it incessantly, always purging out whatever pertains to the old Adam, so that whatever belongs to the new man may come forth. What is the old man? He is what is born in us from Adam, irascible, spiteful, envious, unchaste, greedy, lazy, proud, yes, and unbelieving; he is beset with all vices and by nature has nothing good in him.  Now, when we enter Christ’s kingdom, this corruption must daily decrease so that the longer we live the more gentle, patient, and meek we become, and the more free from greed, hatred, envy, and pride. …

The old man therefore follows unchecked the inclinations of his nature if he is not restrained and suppressed by the power of Baptism.  On the other hand, when we become Christians, the old man daily decreases until he is finally destroyed. This is what it means to plunge into Baptism and daily come forth again.

From: “Baptism,” the Large Catechism (paragraphs 65-67, 71) in the Book of Concord (Tappert Edition).

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