Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:3-7)
The Moment Of Salvation
When a child is born, the day and time are recorded on his birth record. This shows the moment of birth. Before the day and the minute, the child remained in the womb. When he is cut from his mother’s umbilical cord, he begins his life independently. His journey has started. Most people remember the day they were born and are reminded each year when the birthday cake blazes with candles. Few remember (or know) the moment they were born. What is significant about that moment is the realization of life’s beginning. It is important because it marks a dividing time from one stage to another. The life experience is marked from that single moment of the day. 7:34 am (for example) is an exact moment when life outside the womb begins. It is an amazing time stamp.
Jesus told Nicodemus that a man enters the kingdom of God by being born again. The imagery of birth is found throughout scripture, describing the moment a person leaves the dark womb of the world to the light of God’s love and grace. John writes in his first epistle the beauty of being born of God as the joy of being redeemed. Paul uses the analogy of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as the new birth. In the figure of coming out of the tomb, salvation is found when a man rises from the watery grave of baptism to the renewal of the resurrection in Christ. A man is buried with Christ through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead, salvation is granted to those who have been united together in the likeness of His death. What is significant to consider is that moment in time, a man is no longer a lost, condemned, and hopeless sinner – but a child of God. The moment of salvation.
Every man struggles with sin and becomes a slave to sin. He is without hope, walking according to the desires of the flesh like the rest of the world. Life is filled with the passions of the world with no way to save himself. He is a servant of the devil, following the passionate desires and inclinations of a sinful nature. God’s wrath is against him. Being a good man will not put him in favor of God. Acting religious does not take away the anger of the Lord. Seeking the wisdom of human acceptance fails. And then a day comes when the gospel of Jesus Christ enters the dark heart of disbelief, and a change begins to take place.
The grace of God is shining through the clouds of doubt, and hope rises. There is an understanding of God’s love, the sacrifice and the price paid by the Son of God to redeem man, and an urgent need to obey. The voice cries out, “What must I do to be saved.” From the throne of a loving Father comes the reply to “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” Hearts overcome with fear are now consumed with hope as the water washes away all sin. It is a moment of cleansing. A new birth has been marked by a single moment where the lost soul becomes a new creation. Joy fills the heart. A journey of faith begins. God’s love has overcome another soul.
In the life of all of God’s children, a moment comes when they are no longer servants of the devil but slaves of God. It is that moment that is the glorious realization of God’s grace. One hour before, a man was lost. Thirty minutes prior offered no hope. Obedience to the will of the Lord marks a single moment in the life of the saved when they were born again. He was lost, but now he is saved. Without that moment of God’s mercy to take away all sin, there would be no hope. The day of one’s birth is important to remember the power of creation and God’s love. Knowing and considering the day of one’s spiritual birth has eternal consequences. That is when life really begins. Thank God for that moment of birth.