Today’s post will have no central theme. Rather, I will feature some scripture which caught my attention in the last few weeks. First up is a verse from Proverbs 31:
She girds herself with strength,
and makes her arms strong.
I have tended to skip past this particular verse when reading through Proverbs 31 in the past. However, I am now of a different mind. This week at Church I saw a mother with two young children holding them throughout the service. Neither kid was a newborn- 1 and 3 years old, respectively. And she held them throughout much of the service. That couldn’t have been easy. [For those curious, dad was dealing with the older and more troublesome children.]
Physical strength is often something which is seen as a male attribute. But women need strength of their own as well- being a mother pretty much demands it. While I’ve intended to get my wife a gym membership when/if I get married, it was mostly focused on general health and keeping the weight off. But building muscle is another important thing which I had overlooked until today.
Next comes this passage from Romans:
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
I’ve never understood those Protestant traditions which have held that Baptism is “optional” for Christians. Scripture alone is clear on its importance- its necessity. We must die to the sins of this world, and be born anew into the family of God. And baptism is the means we do so. It is a spiritual drowning, if you will, which recalls back to the parting of the Red Sea. This leads to a seeming paradox- the only way to live is to die. But this life is bound by death already. The only way to escape that is through God. And in so doing we become His children. See also this from John’s Gospel:
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
Going back to the passage from Romans, we can also see that if we choose to live a life of sin, we can bring back that part of us which was supposed to die. That life where we were the children of the Enemy, and not of God. We must keep that old self buried, and never seek to dig it up. If we can do so, then eternal life with our Heavenly Father is before us.