In Baptism God lays claim to you. St Paul says, “You are not your own; you are bought with a price, so glorify God in your body.” God doesn’t rent you. He buys you. He holds title to you. he owns you. Through baptism you become His child. And then God adopts you as as his Child, He does so for a purpose. He has a plan for you. You’re saved from sin. You’re saved for service, for love, for good works, for enlarging the kingdom. You’re saved into significance. your life has real worth and meaning. “I know my

Baptism at St. Barnabas Orthodox Mission Kenya

Baptism at St. Barnabas Orthodox Mission Kenya

sheep,” said Jesus. “and nobody can pluck them out of my hand.”

Baptism in the Orthodox Church is far more than for the remission of sins. The dominant theme of baptism is positive. As Nicholas Cabasilas, a 14th century Byzantine theologian, points out all the scriptural and traditional terms applied to baptism point to positive meaning; “birth”, “new birth”, ” clothing”, “anointing”, “gifts”, ” washing”, “enlightening”, Refashioning”, ” seal”, etc.

The following words, addressed by the priest to the newly baptized capture the essence of baptism:

“You have been justified and illuminated….

you have been baptized;

you have been illuminated; you have been chrismated;

you have been sanctified;

you have been washed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Because of Baptism, St. Gregory of Sinai could say to us who are baptized;

” Become what you already are,

Find Him is already yours,

Listen to Him Who never ceases speaking to you,

Own Him Who already owns you.

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