Have you been baptized into new life?

February 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 6:4 (NIV))

Baptism symbolizes a re-birth. Just as the Jewish Passover tradition of hiding the middle loaf of bread symbolizes death, the complete submersion in water symbolizes death. In both cases, the reappearance symbolizes a resurrection from death.

Luckily, we do not have to experience the ultimate death, which is eternal separation from God. Jesus paid the price so that we do not have to suffer the ultimate death. Through the symbolism of baptism and the spiritual meaning that it has, we have died to death because Jesus has already died for us. When we arise out of the water, we arise as new creations. Creations that are holy and righteous in God’s sight because of our faith that God sent Jesus Christ to pay the price for us.

If we truly die with Jesus, then we will live with Him as a reward for our faith. This is a gift of grace, for we cannot do anything that will make us worthy of this gift. It is given freely, and all we have to do is be willing to “die” so that we may live eternally with God.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a viper?

June 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
(Matthew 12:34 (NIV))

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus called these people a brood of vipers. Carefully consider what a viper is and then carefully consider what deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Was Jesus comparing these people and their actions to the actions that deceived humanity and lead us into sin?

Satan was called a serpent in the Garden of Eden. A serpent is simply a snake, however, a viper is a deadly snake.

Was Jesus saying that the words and actions of this group of people were more deadly than those that originally lead humanity into sin? Let’s take a serious look at this concept. Satan introduced sin into the world by saying that man could be equal to God. How can the creation be equal to the Creator? These words and actions that lead to this deception have sentenced every person who has ever lived to live in sin and to suffer for it. In retrospect, I can see how a serpent fits.

Now, consider the people that Jesus was speaking to. He came into the world to bring grace, mercy and salvation from our sin. The people that He was speaking to were speaking what they, in their sin, wanted to be true. They spoke words that were intended to turn people away from the idea that there was a way to attain salvation. Now, consider what is worse, to lead someone into sin or to mislead someone by saying that they cannot escape from their sin. The first trapped us. The second attempts to keep us in the trap that leads to death. We know better than to be lured into staying in the trap of sin, for Jesus paid the price that allowed us to escape from the sin that has shrouded our lives.

Have you done anything that would be considered an act of a viper? Have you done anything that would cause someone to stay in their sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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