Suggested Reading: Mark 15: 16-20
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Being a part of the Christian Community and recognizing Jesus Christ as our savior must be a central part of our lives. It should not be put in the background but instead should be an important part of our identity. It should serve as a defining characteristic of our actions and way of life. We have to be careful to avoid our Christian Identity from being put in the background to serve as a cultural dynamic and nothing more. Too often society and the demands of everyday life belittle the Christian Experience and divert attention from it; thus reducing its overall influence.
Jesus Christ described the effects of Sanctifying Grace and the receiving of baptism. There is a definite reaction spiritually, mentally, and physically to its presence. When someone comes forward to receive baptism, it is a transforming moment. It is in that moment the person becomes a member of the Church, is claimed by Christ, and their birthright as a Child of God is realized. The Sanctifying Grace necessary for Salvation is also bestowed on that person and they are offered a special protection from the evils and temptations of the world.
Witnessing someone as an adult receiving baptism is a wondrous blessing. The Holy Spirit is present in a very special way. There are tears of joy throughout the community and a spiritual energy that is hard to describe. It is through this presence that miracles abound. The description afforded to the Gospel of Mark cannot be understated. It is too easy to read the words and not understand the significance. We have all been commissioned to proclaim the Gospels, live our lives with Jesus Christ, and experience a transformative existence. We need to let our birthright have an impact on everything that we say and everything that we do. This was the intention of Jesus.
Yes, Sanctifying Grace and a life with Jesus will insure salvation. Beyond that, it is necessary to let this knowledge bring us happiness and success in this life. We cannot ignore this life while focusing solely on the next. If we do this, we miss God’s beautiful creation that is all around us and which we are an intricate part of. This is the key to happiness and the experience of feeling God’s Love. When we put Him back into His creation we can then understand more fully this world, our purpose, and this life. This life is indeed beautiful. It only takes on a darker form when God is ignored and our own free will is acted upon without considering God. Nothing, absolutely nothing can go wrong when God is taken fully into account and we surrender to Him. When that happens, beautiful things happen in a natural progression and we are able to feel it every day. Once we experience it, we will thirst for more and for a more perfect life with God.
Paul describes in his Letter to the Ephesians the riches, inheritance, wisdom, and power that awaits all who believe. We can all be partakers in this destiny if we only let the Holy Spirit do its work in our lives. We must let God love us and experience that love if we are to be happy. That is all God wants for us: to be happy and to love Him.