Trinity and Baptism
One of the things I treasure from my days as a toddler was being with my father, who was a decorated concert pianist. One of my fondest memories as a three-year-old was sitting next to my father on his piano bench as he played Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Bach, etc. He’d help me climb up next to him where I’d sit in utter amazement watching his hands float back and forth across the keyboard. The music swirled all around me; I became immersed in it; it became part of me and helped shape my identity. It’s the reason that I began playing trumpet in 5th grade, why I chose concert band, jazz band, and orchestra over sports in high school, and why I pursued a degree in music as a college student.
A few years ago, I inherited my father’s piano. It now sits in a prominent place in our home. Each time I sit down to play it or even simply walk by it, I REMEMBER. I remember my relationship with my father, how I was immersed in his music, and how that has shaped my life.
In my mind, this is a beautiful picture of baptism. Through baptism, we become immersed into the Father, Son, and Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20), participating in the very death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-5). We move deeper into the relational, self-giving love of the Trinity. Detailing how baptism reshapes us, Paul writes in Romans:
- We are no longer slaves to sin (6:6)
- We have been set FREE from sin (6:7)
- We are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (6:8-11)
- We are not to be mastered by sinful desires (6:12-14)
- We have become slaves of righteousness leading to sanctification (6:15-19)
- We have become slaves of God leading to sanctification and eternal life in Christ Jesus (6:20-23)
- We have died to the law so that we might belong to Christ and bear fruit for God, serving in the new way of the Spirit (7:1-6)
Baptism is a practice through which we wholly identify with Christ and are immersed in the Trinity. It images the reality that we’ve been, likewise, immersed (baptized) into the Spirit of the Father and Son (Romans 8). Paul describes this reality as a transformational union, a participation in Christ that is bathed in the self-giving love of the Trinity.
And this actuality
continually reshapes our relational community
in such a manner that frees us from cultural homogeneity
yet binds us in unity
as ones with a manifest destiny
that is forged from our kingdom identity.