Wedded to Christ in the Water of Baptism

Baptism ChildBaptism is much like the manner in which one is married. As one is to be married once and to that one person, one is to be baptized once and into the one Triune God. And as it is sinful to divorce from your spouse for anything other than adultery, it is also sinful to divorce from your baptism for anything other than rejection of God. Man and woman become one flesh in marriage and in one baptism (Ephesians 4:5) we receive the one Lord and faith, Jesus Christ. The paradox here is that on mere doubt many are re-baptized, but never on mere doubt are there re-marriages between the same couple who are still married. This is all to say that sin makes hard hearts and blinds the truth about christological realities.

The Church’s relationship with the Bridegroom is increasingly undermined through many things including the likes of divorces and baptismal recommitments. Established in Genesis 2:24-25 is a type for Baptism or perhaps a motif between the Lord, his creation, and the baptized.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. 

Here, the Lord of all creation gifts to his people marriage, man is joined to wife –his helper, the two are naked and not ashamed. In the garden, however, harmony is interrupted by adultery where Eve looks upon the forbidden fruit with more desire for it than her husband and Adam likewise is the fool who does not protect his helper and wife but partakes in the same adultery. In an instance flesh is pitted against flesh and their nakedness becomes egregious.

Adam and Eve’s knowledge of their nakedness is the result of sinning against God’s word of provision, and we too are separated from God by this same nakedness inherited from our first parents. Furthermore, Christ on the cross is naked, he who takes the sin of the world is not without its mark. So nakedness, since the Fall, is a mark of sin, guilt, and blame. We have then something special in Baptism. In marriage two flesh become one flesh, but in Baptism flesh is wedded to spirit and this flesh cannot die but lives.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. –John 3:6

Being born of the Spirit creates imagery of nakedness from the womb of Baptism. This image of Baptism as a rebirth depicts a holy nakedness but is described by St. Paul as a covering of Christ, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27).” This covering is none other than the purchased cloak and bestowing gift delivered in death and granted unto humanity through Christ, the crucified and risen Lord (Cf. Romans 6).

When naked humanity laments over their sin and desires redemption, the shed blood of Christ reminds them who mourn that Christ never leaves nor forsakes us. Rather, He graciously grants the gift of Baptism bringing us away from our earthly father and mother and into himself–to wed his created unto himself. Finally, it is through this very cloak of Christ in Baptism that Our Heavenly Father sees the baptized as we were before the Fall: naked and yet shameless.

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