WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV)
IMMERSED IN THE BODY
There is an apocryphal story about Russia’s Ivan the Great. Seems he was so busy with his campaigns that his advisors became worried because he had never married and had no heir to his throne. So he told them to find a suitable wife for him. That they did. After searching all over Europe they settled on the beautiful daughter of the King of Greece. There was only one hitch. The father/King insisted that he (Ivan) had to become a member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Ivan agreed. But when he and his palace guard arrived they found another glitch. The church forbade warriors from being members. They finally reached a solution. As the soldiers were being immersed for baptism they drew their swords and held them high so that all was baptized except the sword arm!
Although this story is most likely untrue it illustrates anyone who wishes to only partly surrender to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:13 Paul says all believers are “baptized into one body.” The word “baptized” literally means to be submerged. Paul also writes we “were made to drink of one Spirit.” Baptism and drinking are both initiation experiences and take place at the moment we believe in Christ. In the first figure the Spirit places the believer into Christ, and in the second the Spirit comes into the Christian. Paul is saying that Christians are in the Holy Spirit together and that the Holy Spirit is in Christians.
Physical baptism is a picture of salvation but it’s also picture of becoming immersed into a family of believers. If you were baptized today and you had to leave any part of your life out of the baptism waters that wasn’t surrendered to Christ, what would you have to leave out? What would it take for you to surrender that part of your life to Christ?