A Baptismal Obligation

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As you enter into worship each Lord’s Day, there are certainly many things that should be fixed in your mind and that should prepare you for the service of covenant renewal.

You should contemplate your own sin; you should lift your thoughts to the glory of Christ and the cross; you should meditate on specific portions of Scripture that God brings to your mind; and you should certainly consider one another so that you can stir one another to love and good deeds.

But there is one specific thought that I would suggest should be a major part of your weekly preparation for worship. As you enter into worship, you should always remember your baptism and strive to improve your baptism by growing in faith and good works.

When you were baptized, God marked you out as belonging to Him. God placed the mark of Christ on you so that you became part of His covenant family. Your baptism obligated you to repent and believe. Because you are baptized, you are obligated to point your life in the same direction that your baptism points – toward Christ and His righteousness. This means that your baptism directs you to this place of worship. You have come to worship to demonstrate the repentance and faith that your baptism obliges you to demonstrate as you draw near to God.

So remember your baptism as you enter worship. Worship, in which you repent of your sins afresh and receive the grace of God’s forgiveness afresh and obey God’s Word afresh, is the loving demonstration of a believing sinner who is a child of God. That’s who you are. How do you know? Your baptism tells you so.

The fact that you are obligated to worship God, and to repent and believe, because of the mark of Christ being placed on you through baptism ought not to dampen your fervor for worship and your zeal for God – on the contrary, it establishes these things. God has been so gracious to you – your Heavenly Father has marked you with the very righteousness of Jesus Christ. What grace! Oh, when can I come and draw near to God? When can I show my zeal to express what my baptism says of me? – that I am repentant and trusting Christ and that I am one of God’s saints in the earth. You – the baptized – you are Christ’s saints in the earth. God has marked out His true worshippers in the world through baptism.

Now, come and worship your Lord. Glorify your Maker and Redeemer and Friend, the Living God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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