Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Rom. 6:3)

ABU-KHALIL WAS AN EGYPTIAN MUSLIM who converted to Christianity. His story is told in the book Into the Den of Infidels by Lynn Copeland. After Abu-Khalil was baptized, his mother disowned him. His family and friends avoided him because he brought disgrace on them. The people of his village beat him up and burned his Christian books. Often, he had to stay at the police station for his own protection. His mother even tried to hire a sorcerer to cast a spell on him that would bring him back to Islam. But no matter what, Abu-Khalil stayed true to the new faith into which he’d been baptized.

Abu-Khalil’s experience is hardly unique. In many countries, being baptized isn’t just an empty ritual. It still means today what it meant to the apostle Paul and the earliest Christians. It means identifying with Christ’s death and burial by accepting loss—the loss of social standing, economic security, and even physical safety. Above all, it means the loss of our right to keep on sinning: “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Rom. 6:2) God has something far better for us: a new life with Jesus.

Recognize the gravity of your baptism. For you, too, it is a demarcation between death and life. Praise God for the new life he has given you.

Think about your baptism and what it means.

Jerome Van Kuiken grew up in the Philippines as the child of missionaries. He teaches Bible, theology, and apologetics at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and serves in the children’s ministry at his local church.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.