Down with the old man, up with the new
Raised to walk in the way of light and truth
I didn't see no angels, just a few saints on the shore
But I felt like a newborn baby, cradled up in the arms of the Lord.
Kenny Chesney’s song "Baptism" reminds me of my own baptism in a creek in Alabama on March 26, 1977. My Dad was in the water with me because he baptized me. My mom and others from the church who made their way out to the Coil’s house were standing along the grassy shore or on the cement bridge. Everyone was all smiles and I got a ton of hugs when I stepped up out of that water. They were true saints!
The old man/new man imagery like you find in Ephesians was real to me. Raising to walk a new life, the picture from Romans 6 and Colossians 2, was my experience. There is good reason for him to sing about feeling like a newborn baby. Jesus said that baptism was a new birth – the unsaved has been immersed and has been reborn of the water and the Spirit (John 3). A new relationship with Jesus was mine.
I saw recently where a brother wrote that some others who had the same experience as me were not a part of the New Testament Church. Though they believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God; though they accept the Bible as God’s only word to the world; and though they were immersed to have their sins forgiven, they were not a part of the New Testament Church.
According to Acts 2:41 and 47, when people responded to the gospel they were added to the number of the saved, which is the church. That makes them a part of the New Testament Church, which by the way, in the way we use the term church, is the only kind of church.
Be very careful about judgments regarding differences in practice and the impact they have on whether one is in the church of God. If I make the judgment that only Christians who practice everything just right are going to go to heaven, then that same standard will be used for me. None of us measure up to that standard. None of us. That's Life at Work.