Grow Deep - The Brand New Edition Week 2
Week 2: January 12 – 18
Brand New in Baptism
Memory Verse: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4
I’m not afraid to admit it. When I was a child I had a “lovie” … you know, a security blanket, only not a blanket? Chances are you or someone about whom you care deeply had a “lovie” or “blankie” as a child that helped them feel comforted and secure.
Mine was a stuffed Curious George doll, and I towed him everywhere. Through countless naps, car rides, washings, and surgical (ahem, thread and needle) repairs, George was by my side. I can still remember the empty feeling I had when I lost him and the joy of finding him again.
As I matured, I recognized the feeling of security and comfort I had once put in a stuffed toy was freely given by God through baptism. I hesitate to equate baptism to something so trivial, but our childlike need to feel comforted and protected does not leave us. That need is there when we lose someone special, when the diagnosis is dreadful, when we feel shame for things we’ve done.
While our physical items may get lost or destroyed, our baptismal connection to God cannot. The security and comfort given through baptism radiates brand new each day. Our baptism cannot wear out, we cannot outgrow it and we will never need a new one. Our baptism links us to God through Jesus forever, filling our need for security and comfort while fulfilling our destiny.
I smile now when I see my children with their “lovies.” I know that one day they too will outgrow their security blankets and will need to trust in something stronger, deeper and truer. And on that day, I will remind them of their baptism. As baptized believers, they have all the comfort and protection they’ll ever need, brand new each day, in Jesus’ victory over death.
Sunday, January 12
Read: Matthew 3:13-17
In contrast to John’s baptism of repentance, the baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus brings new identity and life.
Reflect: Why was Jesus baptized (verse 15)? What does the fact that Jesus was baptized tell you about the importance of baptism?
Monday, January 13
Read: Romans 6:1-11
When we are baptized, it is the end of something old and the start of something brand new.
Reflect: What new unions between God and man are created in baptism? Highlight these truths in your Bible so you’ll be ready to speak on the power of baptism at your next opportunity.
Tuesday, January 14
Read: Ephesians 1:3-14
The Holy Spirit has sealed you in your baptism into something new: a new identity won by Christ.
Reflect: God’s children are “predestined for adoption to sonship through Jesus.” What role do you play in fulfilling that destiny in others? In yourself?
Wednesday, January 15
Read: Ephesians 2:1-10
We are surrounded by reminders of who we were, but Paul calls us to remember who we are in Christ Jesus.
Reflect: How have we been made alive in Christ? What is our task now that we have been saved by grace?
Thursday, January 16
Read: Ephesians 3:14-21
Paul’s prayer is that we would understand the depth (as well as the breadth and height) of God’s love for us personally.
Reflect: How can we comprehend God’s love? Pray that you experience and share the love Paul describes in this passage.
Friday, January 17
Read: Ephesians 4:1-7
Since we were called by God and baptized into a new identity, we should live in a brand new way, in a manner congruent with that new identity as a son or daughter of the King.
Reflect: How does Webster Gardens encourage the church body to live a life worthy of the calling we received in baptism? Ponder the ways you can try something brand new with other members of our church.
Saturday, January 18
Read: Ephesians 6:10-20
Paul reminds us that we are not left alone but have been equipped by the Spirit for our walk of faith.
Reflect: Why have we been given this armor by God? Which component of the armor do you most need in your journeys today?