Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 47 : Baptize My Disciples | Day 329

Put on Christ in Baptism!

In desperation, he came for counseling. How could he conquer two addictions that were destroying his body and soul? The first addiction was to liquor and the second was to pornography. These addictions were robbing him of time, money, and fellowship with God and his family. He had tried for years to rid himself of these damaging habits, but nothing had worked.

There was one primary reason for his continual defeat. He was violating the instructions of Romans 13:12-14: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantoness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

In his basement, this man kept numerous bottles of liquor, pornographic magazines, and a computer by which he could access pornographic Web sites. He obviously was making much provision for his fleshly desires. Yet, even if he removed these provisions from his life, how was he to "put on" Christ?

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

Paul affirmed that baptism represents death to sin, and being raised to walk in newness of life. (See Romans 6:4.) This newness of life should have several characteristics:

First, we are to tear down all barriers that would hinder believers from being united in Christ. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28). This bond of unity should transcend any national, cultural, economic, or gender divisions.

Based on this unity among believers, there should be genuine love between one another that expresses itself in generous giving to the needs of others. We see this kind of love demonstrated after Pentecost: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized ... . And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:41, 44-45). Lydia demonstrated generosity through hospitality after her baptism. (See Acts 16:15.)

Another characteristic of our "newness of life" is moral purity: “If ye then be risen with Christ [symbolized in baptism], seek those things which are above ... . ... Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:1, 5).

“... Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Romans 12:9).

To "put off" sin is not enough. We need to renew our souls (mind, will, and emotions). We can renew our souls by memorizing and meditating on God's Word, so that His Word permeates our lives. James wrote, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

Let's purpose to live in the reality of our death to sin and walk in the newness of life that Christ has given us by putting on Christ and doing those things that are pleasing in His sight. In your journal this week, write about your baptism and the changes that have come into your life since that time. Also, write about your experiences in living "one day at a time."

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard