The Rev. Deacon Robert A. Jacobs
In our baptismal covenant, we commit to believe in God, participating in the Church’s life, resisting evil, sharing the Gospel and ultimately doing all of this out of love.
It starts with our creed. Do you believe in God the Father? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
What we believe about God is the first and foundational part of our Baptismal Covenant. It is God who initiates the covenant and it is His faithfulness, His steadfastness and His reliability that ensures that its validity. Our participation in the Sacrament of Baptism is to accept God’s promise and then to receive His grace. He purifies our soul; He washes us from all or sins; He makes us His sons and daughters; He gives us His Holy Spirit. We cannot make or take any of these things for ourselves. It is only through God’s work and our acceptance that we are His people.
We believe that God is exclusive. “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) “You shall have no other gods but me.” (Exodus 20:3) “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) If we accept the inspired word of God, then indeed, “The gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life.” (Matthew 7:14)
The way is big enough for all of us to come within. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
“Will you continue in the apostles, teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?” (Acts 2:42)
Once we’ve received basic faith, the beginning of Christian life is our participation in the life of the church.
Breaking bread each week, “we remember his death, we proclaim his resurrection, and we await his coming in glory.” In this shared meal we have an intimate union with Christ. He is in us and we in Him. We share of the one bread with one another. Breaking bread is the tie that binds together all of our Holy Apostles family.
“Will you persevere in resisting evil, and whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?”
Resisting evil happens again and again. Evil in the world is like an ocean. It’s waves crash upon us daily. Waves that feel like they’re wearing away at us. In a sense they are. When a wave of evil things comes upon us and we resist it, that wave becomes an instrument of God’s grace to purify us.
How did Jesus resist Satan in the desert? By an intimate knowledge of God’s word that He held up against the Devil’s lies. Jesus didn’t fight Satan with citations, He fought him with God’s truth and God’s promises. Jesus had utter faith in His Father’s faithfulness, truthfulness and goodness. That is how Jesus resisted evil: by believing with unwavering faith in God and His words.
Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity and right to life of every human being?
Our Baptismal Covenant is about being reconciled to God and becoming ambassadors of reconciliation.