20 Jan 2010 The Mark of citizenship: Baptism
Christians are part of a city, the City of
Circumcision is the key to a good understanding of Baptism. Romans 4 says that Abraham was justified before his circumcision and his children were circumcised on the basis of Abraham’s justification. Circumcision made you a member of
Baptism not only gives you personal or individual benefits. Baptism joins you to a community, a body. Your Baptism benefits everyone else in the church. Just as we share our cares and our joys, we share one Baptism. The unity in Christ that Baptism gives to us is greater than we can imagine. Jesus says in John 17:20-21, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us…” Baptism is personal. We are one with the Father. We are one with one another. The community of Christ is comparable to the Trinity.
In the Roman World people were allowed to believe whatever they wanted as long as they paid lip service to the state, that is Caesar. Christians could not do that. They would not worship both Caesar and Christ. Throughout history there have been many similar examples. Countries and Empires such as Rome, Britain, Russia, and the USA have been the greatest contenders with the body that is the church.
Who will you serve; God or Caesar? Communism and Fascism are only two of the many ideologies that have put Caesar first. Think of the Christians that have suffered under
This means that the state is to be served whole-heartedly as long as it subjects itself to Christ. According to Romans 13 officers of the state are appointed by God. Therefore we should always obey God before men. Christ is the greater head than
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