I was reading my Bible today when I came across a passage that helped me understand the purpose of baptism in a way that made me appreciate why God designed it in such a way. It reads:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
- Romans 6:1-14
I used to be troubled by my struggle to be obedient and righteous in the eyes of God. This passage gives me insight into why I was so hard on myself. I didn't understand the purpose of baptism being symbolic of putting away the old man and putting on the new. I didn't realize that my baptism meant that I no longer had to struggle as much with avoiding sin. Grace makes it easier to surrender my body, heart, and mind to the will of God. Although it will still take effort for me to align myself with what God wants, being in grace is one of the keys to enduring unto the end. It also takes true faith.