A New Heart, a New Spirit

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I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:25-26

Greetings, fellow disciples of Jesus,

This past Sunday we witnessed God work a miracle at our morning worship. It is not an exaggeration to say that a life was forever changed because of what God did. How awesome is that!

This past Sunday we had a baptism at our morning worship. We received an infant—just three months old—as our newest sister in Christ. God made a promise that her sins are forgiven and life everlasting is hers for Jesus’ sake. God claimed her as a daughter in Christ—marked her with the cross of Christ forever and set upon her the seal of the Holy Spirit.

For her whole life long, this child of God can count on God’s presence in her life. If ever she feels afraid, she can return to the moment when God promised to be her God and Father in heaven and know that she is not alone.

If she ever wonders whether she has done something to place her outside of God’s love and forgiveness, she need only remember, “But I am baptized” and recall the grace shown to her that while she was still a sinner God proved His love in that Christ died for her for the forgiveness of her sins.

That she was baptized so young underlines her utter passivity in receiving this gift by grace and not because she earned it or possesses it through any power of her own. So, if she ever struggles with doubts or wonders if she has done enough for God, she can rest in the knowledge that in this is love: not that she loved God, but that He loved her and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for her sins (1 John 4:10)—and not for her sins only, but for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). That includes you.

All who witnessed this miracle had an opportunity to remember the promises God made to them at their baptisms—when God called them by name and claimed them as beloved children in His name: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Whether that promise was given to you a few weeks or a few decades ago, God’s Word stands for all eternity and is trustworthy and true.

Every new day provides us with ample opportunities to remember and to exclaim through the miracle of faith, “But I am baptized!” As you face the particular concerns and joys and trials and callings of this day, may you be encouraged by this reminder of God’s promise to you.

The Lord be with you.

Pastor Mike

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