“Baptism” 03: Rebirth
作者：谢德华 ©By Edward Short
Reborn In Baptism
Romans 6:4; John 3:3
While Jesus was on earth he spoke with a man named Nicodemus and told him, “…no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” [John 3:3, NIV]. Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus meant but years later “rebirth” became an important element of Christian teaching.
The book of Romans describes the concept of “rebirth” as it is used in Christianity. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were bap¬tized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ Jesus was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” [Romans 6:3-5, NIV]. In other words, if someone wants to be “reborn” he should be baptized. My statement assumes that the person understands the truths of Jesus Christ, believes in Jesus, has done a lot of introspection and has decided to turn toward Jesus by giving up evil and doing good. The next step is that he should be baptized. In baptism he will be bur¬ied with Jesus and so when he comes up out of the water he will have been “reborn.”
What about after baptism? Our Scripture is quite clear: just as Christ Jesus was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” After a person is baptized (re-born), he should live a different kind of life. He used to speak unkindly to people; now he doesn’t. He used to be lazy; now he’s industrious. He used to think the world revolved around him; now he knows it re¬volves around God. He sees that the world has people in it other than himself. He used to brag about what he had done; after baptism into Jesus, he lives for and praises God. The Bible gives this person a high purpose for himself, what the Bible simply calls “a new life.” In other words, after he becomes a Christian he starts all over and the teach¬ings and love of Jesus will be evident in everything he does.
Remember the parable of Jesus, the one about the sinful son who turned his life around? When this prodigal son came to himself and thought about his father’s home, he knew there was food there and he re¬membered there was love there; so he went home. What he didn’t realize was that his father would be standing at the door waiting for him. His father greeted him with a hug and threw a party in his honor, invited guests and had a feast and welcomed his son back home. The son changed completely and he accepted his father’s love and forgive¬ness.
Today, in the privacy of our hearts, you and I turn toward Jesus; we think about our lives and repent of our sins. Then we want to be baptized. In baptism we participate in the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and allow the grace of God to save us and give us new life. We’re reborn. After our new birth, everything changes and we “live a new life.”
I hope you’ll take this step very soon.