How does baptism help us bear witness to Christ in our lives? Today, R.C. Sproul draws an important connection between this sacrament and our call as Christians to participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When a person is baptized, he identifies himself with Jesus Christ. And to identify yourself with Christ means that you are willing to participate in His death and in His resurrection. Now, that is stated not just literally, biblically, but in a figurative sense, that a Christian who is baptized into Christ is called to be willing to participate not only in literal death and in literal resurrection with Christ, but to participate in Christ’s humiliation and His exaltation—so that Christian people, by the very mark of their baptism, are people who are marked indelibly with their call to humiliation, to be willing to be the humiliated people of this world.
This is the double-edged sword of Christianity. Again, the Apostle Paul said, “We will be exalted with Christ. We will be raised together with Christ. You see, we will participate in Christ’s glory if indeed we first participate in His humiliation.”
Now, there’s no sense in which the Christian is called to participate in death and humiliation in a sense in which we add to the atonement of Christ, in the sense that we can add any virtue or value to His death and resurrection. It’s not like Jesus just goes before us as the great example, and we are called upon to imitate Him, and if we imitate Him, we will win our own rights into the kingdom of God. No, Christ wins it all for us, once and for all. But in so doing, when we bear witness to Him, we bear witness to Him by calling attention to His death and resurrection by participating in it in our own lives because the servant is not greater than his master.